2020 started like any other new year. Marketers were excited and prepared to take on digital opportunities. But it only took about a couple of months for this enthusiasm to subside.
As the COVID-19 pandemic started making its presence felt across the world, marketers were back to their drawing boards, trying to figure out the next course of action. While internet consumption increased significantly during the lockdowns, the way consumers shop changed drastically.
Coupled with the technological advancements and search engines updating their algorithms, 2020 didn’t turn out as expected for most marketers. But with the year about to end, it is time to start working towards the future.
What are the digital marketing trends marketers should watch out for in 2021? Here is a list of top 9-
1. Video Marketing Critical for Digital Growth
Online video consumption has doubled in the last two years in India.
Consumption has grown to the extent that video marketing has become a vital element of every successful digital strategy. From boosting conversions and sales, building trust to higher ROI, marketers can experience several valuable benefits with this addition.
2. The Age of AI is Now
We’ve all heard how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will rule the world of technology in the future. But look closely, and you’ll see that AI is already being used massively across the digital landscape.
One of the biggest examples is Google’s RankBrain algorithm, which uses a machine-learning AI. Marketers should focus on using AI-powered tools to jump this technological bandwagon as early as possible.
3. Hello, Voice Integration
With the growing popularity of smart devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Siri, 2021 should be an excellent starting point to start working on voice optimization.
India has been witnessing a huge surge in the usage of voice assistants through smartphones and smart devices. Marketers should look for ways to adapt and optimize for voice search to remain relevant.
4. The Rise of Customer Data Analytics
Customer data analytics is all about technologies and processes that provide organizations with a sort of customer insight which is vital for delivering anticipated, timely, and relevant content.
While customer analytics has been around for some time, marketers should ditch traditional practices and look for advanced solutions that can better understand the customer journey.
5. Social Media for Advertising, Engaging and Retaining
Social media became the go-to destination for people to not only communicate but to get entertained, connect with brands, and even access the latest news throughout the pandemic. As social media usage has increased, marketers should focus on using these platforms to advertise, engage, and retain customers.
According to a report on Statista, social media ad spending in India is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 8.7% between 2020 and 2025. If you don’t already have a presence on social platforms, 2021 can be the year to make a move.
6. Local SEO and Listings Are More Important Than Ever
Marketers working for small businesses cannot overlook local SEO and listings anymore in 2021. Improved reputation, customer feedback, and digital presence boost are some of the critical advantages of getting a business listed on Google My Business and other directories.
Small businesses wanting to remain competitive at the local level should focus on local SEO to experience a host of valuable benefits.
7.The Future is Programmatic Advertising
While programmatic advertising is a branch of AI, it deserves a special mention. A simple example of this technology-driven ad buying process is real-time bidding or RTB, which takes into consideration hundreds of different signals to display relevant ads to specific consumers.
According to a report on Exchange4Media, programmatic advertising is growing at a rate of 70% in India. With the digital ecosystem looking for effective ways to deliver relevant ads to target consumers, programmatic advertising could be the most vital piece of the online marketing puzzle.
8. Master Visual Search with Video and Image SEO
While text search is how most people use search engines, visual search is getting increasingly popular. Search engines like Google are also introducing features to encourage people to use visual search. For instance, Google now allows users to use their original photos to search for content online.
As more people will discover these features, it will have a considerable impact on the overall SEO landscape. Take a proactive approach for capitalizing on the rising popularity of visual search. If you’re an e-commerce brand, do try to know more about Google Lens.
9. Blocking Ad-Blockers
As per an eMarketer report, around 28% of internet users will use ad blockers in 2021. These ad blockers often cut off the source of your traffic, including PPC campaigns. As people will continue using these ad blockers, marketers should look for ways to adjust their strategies accordingly.
For instance, if they see that their strategies are being affected by ad blockers, marketers can focus on other forms of marketing, such as sponsored content or influencer marketing, that are not affected by such obstacles.
Making the Most of Your Digital Strategy in 2021
Every new year brings with it a host of digital marketing possibilities. While 2021 is not expected to be a usual new year like the past, one thing is for sure- there will be no shortage of opportunities if you know what to do.
If you’re looking for ways to make the most of 2021, these are some of the top digital marketing strategies you should watch out for.