The top marketing trends in 2021 often involve mobile marketing, AI-assisted marketing, personalization and content creation. People spend more and more time each day interacting on their smartphones, so it’s important to build a proprietary app or get listed on an app to take advantage of the built in audience.
Within a few short years, all advertising will appear on smartphones and mobile applications, and radio and television broadcasts will become marginal. People can create their own stations online, so traditional radio and television broadcasts will likely be dead in the water.
The Top 10 Must-Know Statistics to Guide You Marketing Plans
Statistics are a good harbinger of what to expect in 2021. The top 10 must-know statistics for marketers in 2021 demonstrate the following marketing trends:
- Video Content
About 82 percent of Twitter watch video content on the platform. Interactive video content grows increasingly popular – businesses post more video content in 30 days than the amount of content produced in 30 years for broadcast television.
- Optimizing for Zero-Click Searches
Zero-click searches are information that Google often supplies to answer a search query. Crafting answers to common questions and satisfying Google policies increase the chances your information will be chosen.
- Smart Speaker Advertising
Flash briefings are becoming more common, and by the end of 2019, there will be more than 200 million smart speakers in use. Look for less invasive and more refined marketing messages in flash briefings. Some marketing messages might tend toward the subliminal.
- Voice Searches
About 20 percent of all Google searches are started by voice commands, and 71 percent of mobile phone users activate their voice assistants, so it’s critical to optimize your website, catalog and content for voice searches.
- Chatbot Technology
More and more businesses are using artificial intelligence and chatbot technology to provide instant customer service answers. Chatbots save time and money and increase customer satisfaction. Experts estimate that by 2023, retailers will save $439 billion and increase sales by $112 billion by using chatbot technology.
- Social Media Ads
It’s hard to keep track of which social platform is the hottest, but Facebook and Instagram seem to have the hot hand going into 2021. Quick Sprout reports that 31 percent of businesses advertise on Instagram, and Facebook owns Instagram.
- Mobile Payments
If you don’t accept mobile payments and mobile wallet systems, you put yourself at a competitive disadvantage. For example, Starbucks customers can use a phone app to order and pay for their order.
- Mobile Searches
Mobile search optimization for Google gives you access to 96 percent of mobile search traffic – including high-conversion searches, such as GPS marketing.
- Content Creation
About 55 percent of marketers rate content creation as their top priority.
According to Merca20.com, about 45 percent of people watch YouTube videos more than one hour each week. Over 500 million hours of videos are viewed every day. Any marketing plan or strategy that doesn’t incorporate video risks losing out on tremendous marketing opportunities.
The Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2021 and Beyond
The biggest marketing trends for 2021 are those that have a transformative power over your business. The following are the top 10 examples, but there are many others:
Chatbots are like personal assistants, but they’re not on your phone. Powered by artificial intelligence, also known as AI, these applications have practically taken over the customer service industry. They rank at or near the top of most top-trend lists because they save money, free staff time and make suggestive selling recommendations. Customers can use chatbots for voice searches and getting answers to their questions 24/7, and you never have to worry about snippy service.
Surveys show that chatbots will handle about 85 percent of all customer service by the end of 2021. Customers like getting instant responses and answers to simple questions without being transferred multiple times. About 63 percent of customers say that they prefer messaging a chatbot when they need to communicate with a business.
Chatbots offer outstanding customer service, remember a customer’s complete buying history, make shrewd recommendations and automate repetitive tasks so that staff members can concentrate on core business tasks.
Personalization always stays near the top of desirable marketing trends because it’s such an important customer benefit. Personalization cuts down on inappropriate marketing messages, so the marketing that you do is spot-on. Personalizing all your marketing is critical in 2021, and that includes all communications – emails, content, product descriptions and product choices.
About 63 percent of consumers get actively upset over generic advertising, and 80 percent of them admit that they’re more likely to do business with a company that remembers and respects their preferences. An amazing 90 percent of shoppers are favorably impressed with accurate and relevant personalization.
A simple study quickly reveals the power of personalization. Visit Amazon and Netflix, and take note of their customized recommendations. These are two of the world’s most successful companies, and they succeed because of their personalized approach to each customer.
Vlogging, which is blogging on video, is rapidly gaining its share of advertising budgets in all industries. It’s relatively inexpensive to produce a quality video, and the results can be quite lucrative. According to Business Insider, up to 65 percent of your marketing audience are visual learners – those who retain more information from videos than written content. Most products have a strong visual appeal, and vlogging is the ideal way to show that appeal. AI can complement vlogging by identifying the best videos to show key prospects.
4. Shoppable Posts
Do you ever worry that there are too many steps between your business and the customer? That distance needn’t concern you any longer. Instagram introduced Shoppable Influencers in 2019, and the trend quickly spread. About 54 percent of shoppers use social media to research products, so shoppable posts are a natural for these platforms.
5. Micro Influencers
Influencer marketing continues to grow – maybe too much. Some of the top social media influencers earn incredible salaries for endorsing products. You can still find affordable influencers at the micro level, such as local celebrities, athletes and radio and television personalities. In 2021, more companies will turn to small- and medium-sized endorsers, instead of paying outrageous sums for top-tier influencers.
6. Revenue-Sharing and Multichannel Marketing
More companies market their products in multiple channels that include marketplace platforms like Amazon. Amazon had a stellar year in 2019, and the platform is one of many that offer revenue-sharing and an additional outlet for your company’s products.
7. Interactive Content
According to an article posted at Forbes.com, people prefer new online experiences, and interactive content fills the bill for the 91 percent of consumers who want more interactive and visual content. Interactive content keeps people on the page longer, makes excellent material for sharing and engages people in greater depth. Some of the most popular interactive features include:
- Interactive videos, which are growing increasingly popular
- Interactive e-books and white papers, which enable you to build your customer database for newsletters, marketing messages, etc.
- Polls and surveys
- Specialized widgets that calculate interest, loan rates, etc.
- Interactive infographics that can derive demographic information, product preferences, income range, etc.
8. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Facebook launched its Horizon application in 2019 as a social hub for users of its Oculus headsets. The headsets allow consumers to experience augmented and virtual reality. AR and VR are growing fast as marketing tools because products and advertising can be placed in key locations in the virtual environment.
9. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is the process of using artificial intelligence to make key business and advertising decisions. More and more companies are trusting their AIs to buy advertising, which is based on hard cost-value and conversion-rate statistics. Most of these decisions are based entirely on data, such as conversion rates, real-time bidding and customer buying practices. AIs are the ideal application to crunch the numbers, bid effectively for ad buys and cut customer acquisition costs. In fact, statistics show that 86.2 percent of display ads will be placed by programmatic advertising applications by the end of 2021.
10. Alternative Niche Market Advertising
Niche social media platforms can prove tremendously lucrative if you can find the right forums for your business concept and product line. It grows more difficult to compete in social media each year because of competition from millions of businesses. Ad prices on the major platforms rise constantly, and many of the top platforms have plateaued in regard to producing sales results.
Alternative social channels can be strong investments for compatible businesses, and they’re worth investigating because the returns can be phenomenal. Some of the niche social platforms include:
- Snapchat: an instant and anonymous platform for conversation
- Pinterest: a place to pin pictures of interest
- Reddit, a network of groups based on shared interests
- Untappd: a platform for beer lovers
- Care 2: a platform for those who want to improve the world
- WAYN: a social travel network
- Dribble: a platform for artists to share pictures of their art
- Houzz: a platform for home decorating ideas
- Meetup: a platform where people can join groups and events
Mobility Tops All trends
Digital marketing is moving toward increased mobility, and the trend will continue in the foreseeable future. Expect increased AI technology, more mobile marketing and greater consumer focus.