The Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends of 2021

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1. Artificial Intelligence — Google Ads Smart Bidding

Google has a TON of data on consumer behavior. Using the Smart Bidding feature in Google Ads, you get to tap into that pool of information. Smart Bidding uses AI to automate your Bidding. 2021 is the year for this innovative feature of Google ads because (unlike the past) you no longer have to worry about not reaching your audience or inefficient ad spending.

Figure 1: An 81% Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) using Smart Bidding

The best part is, Smart Bidding can save you the time and effort it used to take to create each ad by hand. The digital marketers of the future will use it to get an edge on their competition and drive more conversions.

2. Conversational Chatbots

According to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Report,

“More than 45% of businesses today have implemented bots as part of their marketing efforts.”

The world demands instant answers, on-demand, and fewer people want to make support calls, send emails, or submit forms.

But all chatbots are not created equal. In fact, bots are becoming more conversational than ever because the more issues they catch, the less human support people need.

We live in an age where most people care less about human interaction and more about getting issues solved; it doesn’t matter if a bot or a person does it.

Figure 2: HubBot Conversational Chatbot

3. Personalization and Personal commerce

Consider this research from Octane AI:

“71% of consumers feel frustrated with impersonal shopping experiences.”

“When website content is not personalized, 74% of customers feel frustrated.”

“66% of consumer’s content that isn’t personalized stops them from purchasing.”

Still, personalizing your business isn’t enough anymore. Consumers know marketers have their data, and they know that they know things about them. So, customers expect businesses to know what they want already. Customers have no problem sharing their data:

“More than 50% of consumers say they’d share personal information about products they like to get personalized discounts.”

“83% of consumers say they’d share their data to create a more a personalized experience.”

“64% of consumers are fine with businesses saving their purchase history and preferences in order to receive personalized experiences.”

Digital marketers will see an increased pressure in 2021 to personalize the customer experience and anticipate their needs.

4. Video marketing in Social Media

Whether a business does long videos or short videos, there’s a market for them all. Blogs and podcasts don’t come close to the power of video marketing, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2021. But there’s a twist.

Before we get to that, consider this research from the latest State of Marketing Report by Wyzowl:

“92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. This was 91% in 2019, 85% in 2018, 82% in 2017, 88% in 2016 and 78% in 2015.”

“72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate.”

Figure 3: 2015–2020 Video Marketing Trend Data

By the way, that twist I mentioned earlier is that video marketing is trending towards live video marketing instead of recorded. That includes live training events, webinars, going live on Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, and anywhere you directly interact with your audience.

There’s a more significant risk for mistakes when companies go live. Still, it pays off with greater engagement and income from customers. The fact is, customers are increasingly demanding interactive experiences, and social media is no longer a “gathering place” for friends and family as it was in the past. Social media has evolved into a place where people go to buy things.

5. Augmented Reality

Since Facebook owns the Oculus company, we can expect to see a more significant push with augmented reality marketing. It’s not here yet, but Facebook isn’t the only player that sees this as the future. Consider this:

Gartner’s research indicates, “By 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed to production.”

Also, Grand View Research predicts a 73.8% increase from 2019–2025. Increased investments in AR technology are fueling the increase in market growth.

Figure 4: Forecast for Augmented Reality Headsets

Businesses that market to other companies (B2B) stand to benefit the most from this innovative wave because 84% of the augmented reality market share is enterprises. In comparison, consumers make up 16%.

Don’t bet against AR making a splash in 2021, here are a few of the big-name players involved:

· Google LLC

· Microsoft

· Sony Corporation

· Seiko Epson Corporation

· Magic Leap, Inc.

The theme of these five trends is the combination of automated technology with the human element. The journey is to use technology to give each customer a more interactive human experience. It’s to use innovation to satisfy customers, give them exactly what they want, as quick as they want it, all while raising expectations and pushing human potential.

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Wes Lee is a passionate entrepreneur & advocate for success with over a decade of business experience:

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Wes Lee

Wes Lee

Wes Lee is a passionate entrepreneur & advocate for success with over a decade of business experience:

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