Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce and online shopping has been the front-runner for many shoppers. Spending months on lockdown have led to new shopping habits as many turn to online platforms to satiate their addiction. While the Covid-19 cases in Singapore have seen a significant drop, this consumer behaviour won’t be stopping anytime soon and it might even continue to expand and grow!
Here is what you should keep an eye out for and how you can leverage on online shopping trends that are revolutionizing the digital marketing landscape.
First on the list and in no particular order, we have:
1. Shoppable Instagram Posts
With more consumers spending more time on social media platforms, brands will have to evolve to cater to a new shift in habits. One way brands can achieve this is to leverage on Instagram’s shoppable posts which have gained tremendous traction since it first launched in 2017.
Instagram’s shopping feature is an easy integration which allows users to complete their purchase without having to leave the application. Clickable tags can be added to the image as product descriptions. This makes it extremely user-friendly for users to view the products and shop simultaneously. While users love this because of how convenient it is for them, it is just as convenient for brands to use. It is simple to set up as shown in the steps below.
To begin creating shoppable posts on Instagram,
- Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager
- Create a Shop on Facebook with Shopify or BigCommerce
- Connect your online shop to your Business’ Instagram account
- Upload the photos you want to tag
- On the post settings page, tap Tag Products
- Activate the Shop tab on your Instagram profile
Image: The Editors Market
2. Live Streaming
Live Streaming is another digital trend that gained much popularity over 2020. Live streaming alongside virtual events will continue to stay and become a permanent part of many brands’ strategies because a majority of people are homebound due to the pandemic.
Live streaming is also a way to create a more interactive and entertaining experience to attract shoppers’ interests. It can enhance engagement in real-time, build trust, boost social profile and increase sales as viewers can shop products simultaneously while watching the video.
There are many ways for you to start live streaming given the various platforms available such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Bigo Live, Periscope, Twitch, BeLive Asian and many more!
Image: The Green Collective SG
3. Marketing Automation
Another rising trend is the use of automation as it helps you achieve different outcomes with minimal human input. In other words, it enables you to handle work more efficiently.
Automation can be easily integrated into many steps in your marketing process. It helps to create and distribute content at scale and automating steps in your marketing process enables you to focus on areas that are more human-reliant – engagement, content creation and lead management.
Image: Sugar Market
4. Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing isn’t new, it remains as one of the key channels for brands to advertise and increase their brand visibility and authenticity. Nowadays, consumers are more brand conscious and demand greater transparency about the products they purchase and influencers are there to bridge that gap.
Since influencers already have a following of their own, they have established relationships with their followers which allows for greater audience engagement as they provide a ‘human face’ to the brand, generating brand authenticity.
Influencers are also known to be more relatable to the public as compared to traditional celebrities. They are more likely to share common problems with their followers in relation to the brand’s product. NoGre found that 70% of teenagers regard YouTubers as more relatable than celebrities.
These influencers know what’s trending on social media and are most familiar with the kind of content their followers enjoy. Hence, engaging them can result in a fresh and creative angle to elevate your brand.
5. Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is a method of engaging customers through conversations, using chatbots, social messaging, calls, and more. It is all about building relationships through personalized, one-to-one content.
While it may seem that using chatbots and messaging apps may not be very personalized, it leverages real-time conversations and two-way dialogues to engage customers.
These automated conversations can progressively become more personalized, and they remember and cue interests or other information from prior interactions.
Image: Engage Bay
6. Voice Search
Another digital marketing trend to look out for is voice search. Voice search is now more popular than typing – PwC found that 71% of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice instead of typing. In other words, ‘voice search’ helps to improve and enhance customer experiences. Brands need to begin to optimize their website for voice search as it is slowly starting to revolutionize SEO practices.
How to optimize your website for voice search
- Use long-tail keywords
- Update Google My Business
7. Image Search
Apart from voice search, image search is also becoming a popular way among consumers to search for information. By snapping a picture, it makes searching easier when trying to find something you do not know the name of. Image search also yields faster results than text or voice searches. Hence, it is important for brands to include relevant images that customers may try to search for in your website and also include the alt text for each image so that your brand is accessible when searched for.
Huge changes in listening habits have been reported in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Changes in lifestyle saw more people spending time at home and thus, more time spent listening to podcasts. Forbes has also predicted that ad dollars spent on podcasts will exceed $1 billion. On top of that, podcasts are known to be easy-to-consume content and convenient for listeners.
So what does this mean for brands? Brands need to continually adapt and move toward a multimedia approach to engage audiences. Podcasts are a great addition to enhance existing written content and social media content.
Not only is it convenient for consumers, but it is also easy for brands to start producing podcasts due to the numerous platforms available in the market – Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Buzzsprout and many more.
One very important trend that has been gaining ground is the notion of sustainability. Customers now value socially conscious practices and are constantly looking for brands that align with their values.
Brands now need to learn how to fit into customer’s conversations and live on social media. Many brands are taking steps in altering the materials used for their packaging or adopting recycled materials to manufacture their products.
One example is Vitamin A, a swimwear brand, that uses fabric made from recycled nylon fibres. Their packaging boxes are also fully recyclable and biodegradable.
Besides being environmentally friendly, there is also a massive shift towards inclusivity that can impact purchase behaviour. With inclusive marketing, brands need to set up campaigns that embrace diversity by including people and stories from various backgrounds. A Capgemini Report shows that 79% of consumers are changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact shown by a brand.
Source: Eco Warrior Princess
From marketing automation to sustainability and its impact on brand value, these digital marketing trends will define and reshape our marketing processes in the months to come, especially when the pandemic is still ongoing. Start taking steps to onboard these trends and improve your marketing game!