Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

If you can successfully execute the following b2b marketing strategies, you’ll outshine your competitors, build lasting connections with customers, and win more leads and sales in 2021.

  1. Authentic Human Connection

Connecting with real humans is essential in today’s digital world. As COVID-19 forces us to stay home and keep social distance, we crave human interaction. Unable to spend quality time with friends, family, and colleagues in person, we’re turning to technology to bridge the gap.

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends report, people seek more human-centric businesses and leave the companies that don’t value authentic connection. More than 70% of those surveyed said they appreciate digital innovations that have deepened their relationships with others during the pandemic.

“When organizations design their digital future for efficiency, rather than human connection, a debt accrues, and this debt can manifest in biased results, lack of inclusivity, and feelings of social isolation.”

Marketers should capitalize on the opportunity to develop real relationships with customers. You can start by rethinking your company values, mission, and operations. Start with your value system, which drives your business. When your values align with your clients’ – connecting with their emotions and aligning with their actions – you’ll form deeper connections.

Bringing human values to the forefront of your business marketing efforts will equip you to address client and consumer needs effectively and authentically. You can build powerful connections and profound loyalty by:

Viewing your organization as a “human entity”

Identifying your clients’ core values

Mirroring those values in your businesses

2. Allocate some budget to cookieless awareness campaigns to reach new audiences

For a big portion of 2020 people all over the world were under mandatory lockdown. This means, not going out, no malls, no stores: no window shopping of any kind for a long time. Customers lost the possibility of looking around stores and discovering products they didn’t even know existed and less that they wanted them.

During lockdowns, shoppers probably received tons of retargeting advertisements showing them offers and deals on products they expressed interest in based on their browsing history. But what about new products? What about those specific articles they don’t get the chance to discover anymore? Additionally, what about those users who never allow cookies?

Personalised ads use cookies to track user behaviour, and based on that, it’s possible to target users. They are great for e-commerce stores that have an existing audience aware of their products. However, targeted advertisement encloses shoppers in a continuous loop of products they already know they like, and have already probably bought.

With non-personalised ads (NPAs) you have the possibility of creating brand awareness amongst users that didn´t know your business. You can reach new audiences showing customers products they weren’t aware of before, but that could still interest them, thus increasing your potential customer base. Additionally you will have the possibility to reach users who block cookies.
Usually, non-personalised ads have lower conversion rates. But at this era of lockdowns when the digital ad inventory is larger than ever, you might want to allocate some budget on them to test. In 2021 it will be more important to keep testing and measuring different types of campaigns and channels. As a digital marketer it is important to keep trying new (and old) alternatives, measure their profitability and find a sweet balance between both.

3. Live-streams and an increase in influencer content

Stay at home orders meant events were canceled, and consumers were unable to attend in-person events. They weren’t even able to socialize with their friends and family.

This led to an uptick in the number of people tuning into live-streams, whether it was a branded live-stream, a live video from their favorite celebrity, or an online workshop.

On Facebook, live viewings spiked by 50% during lockdown periods, while viewings on Instagram surged 70%. TikTok use shot up in 2020, and there’s a good chance we’ll see this upward trajectory continue to play out in 2021.

Human-drive content like influencer live-streams can create trust, and tap into the 'in-the-moment' connection that 2020 consumers crave.

Amazon Live really got going during the pandemic. Influencers took to the platform to promote their favorite products during live events. What’s more, the livestreams were shoppable, which meant viewers could make purchases while they were watching.

4. Featured snippets & no-click searches

For many, many years, the goal of SEO has been to get your listing in the “position number one” spot of search results. Now, going into 2021, the end-goal is continuing to shift to more SEO visibility in “position zero.”

Position zero refers to Google’s “featured snippet”, and 2021 SEO marketing trends are prioritizing it above all else. The featured snippet works differently than other search results entries—for one thing, it’s separated by a small box and located at the top. More importantly, it also displays extra, relevant information with the attempt at answering the user’s question without them needed to click on it, prompting the nickname “no-click search.”

Featured snippet of 99designs for “How to design a logo”

Although it sounds counter-intuitive to forego someone clicking on your link, the recognition you get as a thought-leader outweighs a single click/visit. Moreover, featured snippets are sometimes read aloud with Google Assistant voice searches.

If you’re going to target a featured snippet yourself, there’s a few things to know. For starters, featured snippets are mostly for long-tail keyword phrases like questions (such as “how to design a logo”). They come in different forms, from step-by-step lists to straight-up definitions to even videos (and more), so match your content with the appropriate format.

In the content itself, make sure you answer the keyword question clearly and succinctly, preferably with bulleted lists or a table structure.

5.Focus on stories

The “story” was pioneered by Snapchat in 2013. While it took quite a while for others to adapt (three years!), today, almost every social media platform has its own version.

Instagram Stories, Twitter Fleets, YouTube Reels — each have their own name or little twist to it — but they all pretty much function the same way. Social media stories take advantage of the audience’s fear of missing out with the use of mixed, engaging media that disappears after 24 hours.

To succeed in the stories format, you have to make use of all its features. This means utilizing the full screen, engaging with your followers through polls and clickable media, and experimenting with stickers, motion overlays, effects, and all kinds of creatives.

For brands and marketers, the stories format allows you to be more candid and post as much as you want without worrying about jargon such as frequency or grid uniformity. It’s also easy to use and a great way to increase brand awareness. What’s not to like?

Because each platform has its nuances, it’s important to find an app that allows you to cross-post without losing quality.

– Denise Langenegger, Outreach Strategist for Instasize