Every year usually has its defining moments which makes it stand out, be it from the side of digital marketing trends, or technology likewise, the year 2020 has already seen its fair share of world-shifting events, from the fight to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic to various natural disasters, social unrest, down to the shifts experienced in most industries, all designated 2020 as a true year of numerous histories.
Essentially, 2020 has shown the resistance within us to fight during the most awful times. The COVID-19 has greatly impacted the way we work and how businesses operate in this era, we have also seen more brands move online.
As we move into the new year, our close observation on how consumers and brands are responding to these new realities has given us a deeper insight into the digital marketing trends that are working in this new normal and help marketing experts and businesses to identify the emerging opportunities they can tap into in 2021.
We’ve identified 7 key areas where savvy marketers should embrace next year.
Trend #1. More Content that Drives Engagement
Content that drives interaction should be an important element of your marketing. Make every element of your marketing, the website, the social media channels and other platforms as interactive as possible to drive to provide value for your visitors, get them to engage and learn more about your brand. Examples of engaging content include quizzes, games, polls, interactive videos, surveys, and contests.
Trend #2. Value and Trust to Consumers
The impact of COVID-19 has led to a massive shift from face to face interaction to an increase in online communications. Online meetings and calls on platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Zoom more than doubled as the virus spread. This will continue to change consumer behaviours long into the future, hence the need to gain consumer’s trust will be a ceaseless trend in 2021. Consumers will pay more attention to how brands pivot quickly in these uneasy times and reward businesses that align with their values and needs. According to Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends report “consumers are 2.8 times more likely to continue purchasing from a brand after a data breach when brands are transparent in their intentions. Consumers want to see brands offer good value moving on. They want brands to provide quality products and solutions they can trust, and safety for customers. Another aspect of the Digital marketing trends that marketers need to watch for is Value-based marketing, this will help brands to project even more what value a product or service can provide rather than product features. This will also impact brand Messaging. Brand messaging moving on should be transparent and simple, and fulfilling those messages should be consistent and reliable.
Trend #3. SEO remains relevant
One of the key digital marketing trends we should look out for is SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a valuable method to attract your desired target audience or market to your website — if this is done right. Good SEO for your website still remains an essential part of your marketing approach in connecting your brand with your customers or prospects. Long-form informative content can help you to achieve this. According to SEMRUSH’s State of Content Marketing Report, it shows articles of about 3,000-plus word count get more traffic and shares. This implies that when you create value-based and engaging content, you definitely provide your audience with shareable information that helps them to make more informed decisions about your brand and build trust.
Marketing professionals should continue to deploy effective SEO strategies with good content to be able to boost visibility for their brands. This process starts with having effective keyword research born out of the pain points your customers are constantly searching for online via the search engines. It is very important to truly understand the main content needs of your target audience and focus on key phrases they are looking for and tailor your SEO content to those needs. Your content needs to add value to your target customers or target market. With recent changes in Google algorithms and some of the emerging trends in SEO, marketers have to think beyond the basic SEO tips and techniques in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Trend #4. Use of Chatbots
According to research published on HubSpot, 82% of consumers today expect a quick response from brands on marketing or sales questions. However, for a good number of businesses, it is impossible to meet with this kind of demand without having hundreds of customer support persons on ground to provide answers to these questions and this will lead to more operational costs. Many thanks to advances in tech and machine learning, Chatbots solves this demand. Chatbots offer brands the opportunity to have customer service inquiries of all types answered 24/7y, from anywhere.
Chatbots are programmed and customised to respond to users and can reply differently to messages depending on the keywords the query contains. A recent article from Business Insider claims that 80% of companies will be using chatbots by 2020. Grand View Research also claims that 45% of users prefer chatbots as the primary mode of communication for questions regarding customer service.
Trend #5. Adblocker for Privacy Protection
With growing concern among online users on how their personally identifiable information(PII) is being used and with whom it is being shared, ad blockers are now a thing to protect the privacy of online users.
In 2015, there were 198 million ad blocker users globally according to a report from PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 ad-blocker Report.
With the increasing demand for Adblocker should marketers be worried?
Yes! If you share intrusive advertising format such as;
- Automatically playing video ads
- Flashing Ads
- Ads that hijack the screen
Ad blockers are not adopted because of dislike for Ads but due to the delivery method of these ads. Studies have shown that website visitors started adopting ad-blockers because of these reasons;
- Viruses infected their device.
- Increased awareness of ad-blockers technology.
- Slow system performance due to advertising.
Marketers in 2021 need to focus on online content consumer behaviour, as the report claims most users find these ads formats mentioned above to be intrusive and irrelevant.
Trend #6. The rise in Ephemeral Content
Embedsocial.com reports Instagram Stories has over 500 million users every day with one-third ⅓ of the most viewed Instagram stories stemming from businesses. Before now, stories were available to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram users, but other tech companies have jumped on it with the recent one being Fleet from Twitter. LinkedIn also introduced stories to millions of its users, a clear indication that ephemeral content will become one of the largest content distributed across the globe.
It is interesting to note that stories have helped increase the time people spend on Instagram from 15 to more than 32 minutes a day. Asides being a 24hours content, ephemeral content gives room for engagement between business owners and their customers, offering the opportunity to keep the customer closer, thereby, building brand credibility.
Ephemeral content could be live video, image, text, poll, memes, etc. Businesses that are yet to tap into the opportunities ephemeral content present needs to do so now because 2021 is the year of ephemeral content.
Trend #7. Use of Brand Activism as a Digital Marketing Strategy.
With over 1billion internet users, businesses can’t pretend to care, information is readily available online about brands which outrightly influence the buyer’s decision. Bearing this in mind, businesses need to be intentional about how they present their value to online lookers who are quick to form a judgement based on this.
2020 is the year consumers want to see their favourite brand stand for something worthwhile and that is not going away anytime soon. A new consciousness has been awakened in consumers due to the pandemic and protest across different countries spurring a rise in the demand for better governance and resistance against any form of oppression.
As part of the insights for Digital marketing trends, Digital Marketing will no longer be about looking for a new client, but a showcase of brand value to further win the heart of online consumers. Also, it won’t be about that beautiful package around your product only, but the real value that touches on social issues that affect everyday people. Brand Activism will be the new oil and brands do not have to wait for the people to protest to represent their interest, all they need to do is genuinely project their brand value using the campaign.
Come 2021, the number of mobile phone internet users is projected at more than 280 million, giving rise to content forms that are susceptible to mobile devices. Also, value-based digital messaging will influence consumers’ buying decision, meaning it is the year where consumers will be on the lookout for brands that align with their personal values, so, any business looking to get the best out of 2021 must connect with consumer value.
At WhirlSpot Media we are always on the lookout for great marketing conversation because we believe the more you engage and communicate with your customers and prospects the more likely they will need and value what you deliver.
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