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5 Digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021

Goodbye 2020, welcome 2021! 

The year 2020 has been a game changer, to say the least. No one can predict with absolute certainty what the year 2021 will be like. 

The digital landscape is the hardest to predict. With new technologies and tools being introduced at a neck breaking speed, 2021 hold challenges that not only seem difficult to predict; but often hard to navigate. By now, most businesses have woken up to the reality that they need an online presence. Online presence for most businesses is no longer limited to a website; they need a responsive website a strong social media presence, and email marketing among others. 

Here is a list of 5 interesting trends in digital marketing to be aware of in the year 2021.

Hello Alexa!

The use of voice controlled devices like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortona will continue to rise. Smart-home controlled automation has been around for a while now. Due to the lockdown, people are getting increasingly comfortable being at home and interacting with the internet via voice search. This means that websites, especially ecommerce websites will have to incorporate voice search in their online presence to remain competitive. 
In 2020, 50% of all searches are performed with voice search. This includes voice searches on devices without a screen. 
According to Statista, Millennials (born between 1981 to 2000) were the most prolific users of voice controlled digital assistants in 2019. Research shows that the use of digital voice assistants  among the other generations is increasing too. The Baby Boomers (born between 1946 to 1964), many of whom made their first online purchase during the lockdown, have increasing taken to using digital voice assistants. 

The rise of the Mobile Devices

The use of mobile devices is on the rise. Due to COVID-19, substantial portions of our lives has moved to the virtual world. Using the internet to stay in touch is no longer optional. Our young study using the internet, we conduct business online we have virtual get-togethers with friends and family. There is no denying to the fact that internet has become a major part of our lives. 

A large portion of the population which was previously offline, has been forced to migrate to the online world. According to Statista, 53.6% of the global population was online in 2019. 2020 saw a 7% increase in internet users globally. This upward trend shows no indications of slowing down.

According to the Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index, the use of mobile will increase by 7-fold. This means that having a strategy suited for mobile is no longer optional. As of today, almost 50% of the internet searches are on mobile devices. Having responsive website that work well with mobile devices, to have strategies for mobile SEO are becoming increasingly necessary and will continue to do so in the future. 


What is personalization in marketing? Why is it important? Personalization is about creating a one-to-one marketing experience for the customer. It can range from address your email marketing clients  by their names, to suggesting products like movies according to their preferences. Examples of marketing personalization done right are Amazon, Netflix and YouTube. 

Digital marketing has changed. Consumers today expect campaigns that appeal to them. When marketers rely on personalization, they bring value to the consumers. Consumers are more likely to engage with brands that cater to their needs. Needless to say, personalization concentrates on delivering customer centric experiences. This improves customer experience making it more likely for them to choose to engage with your brand as compared to your competitors. 

This trend towards personalization shows no sign of slowing down in the coming future.

SEO will continue to be relevant

Search Engine Optimization is all about delivering the relevant content to a searcher on the search engine result page. SEO is also one of the best ways of driving relevant traffic to a webpage. 

According to the marketing expert, Neil Patel, Google no longer ranks 'good' content on the first page of SERP. To stand out in the SEO race, websites have to concentrate on EAT. Expertise, authority and trustworthy. This means businesses have to create relevant and trustworthy content for their websites.

Making a webpage attractive to a search engine involves making information on the webpage easier to find. SEO will continue to be relevant in 2021as an important part of the digital marketer's toolkit.

Social media will remain centerstage

When deciding which social media platform to engage with, I like to suggest to clients to start with one or two that most of their audience (current, if they already have an offline presence or prospective, if they are starting out) use. To elaborate, let us take the example of Facebook. Facebook is very popular platform for B2C marketing, while LinkedIn is popular for B2B.

A study by Morning Consult showed that nearly 72% of all Generation Z and millennials follow influencers on social media. This directly affects their buying behaviors. What does that mean for small businesses? To attract this important segment of the population, businesses have to invest in creating social proof and influence on social media platforms. 

According to Smart Insights, the use of social media platforms around the world has increased by 10.5% in 2020 from 2019. This upward trend does not seem to show signs of slowdown in 2021, as more of the world's population gets online. To remain competitive, creating valuable content on social media will remain an important digital marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes. 


To wrap up this article, let us sum up important trends we have mentioned about. 

  1. The use of voice-controlled digital assistants
  2. The increase in use of mobile devices
  3. Personalization in marketing
  4. Search Engine Optimization as a marketing strategy
  5. Using social media to create social proof and influence
Businesses need to include the above mentioned trends in the marketing strategy for growth. 
Contact Anandi if your business needs help with digital marketing.  

Image credit: Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

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