Updated: Jun 1
Goodbye and good riddance to 2020. The global pandemic has made an impact on every business. With the global disruptions of the Covid 19 pandemic, we can expect an overwhelming change in the digital marketing space because brands are now facing a whole different environment in consumer behavior due to mass social movements and change in technology. Everything is basically new now. So it is important that brands prepare themselves for this rapid change in the digital marketing space. Here are some of the new marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
1. More buyers will want to buy from informed brands
People are now unwilling to move around because they’re prioritizing on their own safety and the safety of their loved ones. So how are we going to sell to people if they are not willing to visit our stores anymore? The key word here is trust. As digital marketers, we have to shift into building trust with our customers. One of the most reliable ways one can trust the brand is by allowing potential buyers to interact with current clients. This can be done through testimonial advertisements, competitions, promotional campaigns and many more. This way, the company is personifying the brand- instead of trying to sell products. People don’t like it when businesses are constantly trying to sell. A buyer’s mind needs to be drawn and interested for them to make positive decisions. Just like the way you catch fish, something needs to be given for you to get.
2. Introduction of virtual events
People are more reluctant going to events. Especially those of old age. The fact that Covid 19 is not over yet, we expect an increase of virtual events in 2021. Marketers need to brace themselves for this new type of set up. Digital marketers will have to figure out a way to capture, and then interact with the viewers, in a more personal way. Itmis important that marketers make sure that communication is as clear as daylight. One of the things that I have noticed in most virtual events done in 2020, was that most of these events were not as communicative, both verbally and non-verbally. The picture quality and the sound isn’t always on point and therefore we as digital marketers need to find better structure in order to improve communication during virtual events.
3. Purchases from Social Media
Social media platforms will become top channels for purchase, instead of just discovery.
Social media platforms like Instagram are set to explode as channels of ecommerce sales. Integration will be much easier, and it will allow users to complete their purchases without leaving the application, creating a seamless path to purchase. We predict that businesses will be able to sell exclusively on their social media portals. Still remains to be seen, but the world already has all the mobile transactions platforms set. We now wait for social media platforms and e-commerce to merge.
4. Ephemeral Content
This is the type of content that lasts for a set period of time, usually 24 hours before disappearing into the abyss. Snapchat users create a million snaps a day. Other social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have joined in as well. We can expect that in 2021, digital marketers will get creative and tap into ephemeral content to get consumer attention.
The structural disadvantage of ephemeral content is that the content that’s posted can’t be reused, making it harder to automate. But with so much attention on ephemeral content, it cannot be ignored.
5. Featured Snippets in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
For many years, companies have paid a lot of money to set themselves as high as possible on Google Searches.
Featured Snippets are highlighted texts that Google uses to answer users their questions, without them clicking anything. For some searches, Google provides a quick answer or summary with a content snippet from a relevant website. These featured snippets are most likely to show up when your search is in the form of a question.
Despite featured snippets being a quick solution for users, it presents a challenge for digital marketers. If users can get answers without clicking on anything, how can we put the brand message in front of them?
The solution is to provide just enough information to pick up interest for users to click for further information.
The following paragraphs are some additions that I would like to share with you, but they might not necessarily be very important to the current Tanzanian market. These following points are more global rather than regional. But they’re also very useful.
6. Segmentation through Ads
Google and Facebook have so much data on their users that they understand them on a much deeper level than any human could ever do. In 2021, we expect to leave manual segmentation because the big digital ad algorithms can micro-segment the perfect audience. In turn, this will create more customer retention and engagement.
7. Automated Bidding via Google Ads
2020 may have been the last year that digital marketers could manually tune their ads for peak performance. Automated bidding can tune and optimize ads better than any digital marketer, making it less time consuming. Allowing digital marketers to put their focus on brand awareness and other digital advertising platforms.
8. Search engine optimization for Voice Search
Today, we see people speaking into their watches, interacting, and getting voice responses from their phones. With COVID-19, more people are turning to voice search. According to Gartner, 35% of consumers are interested in hands-free technology that would limit touching or contamination. Voice search has become one of the fastest-growing types of search. Beyond mobile phones, we now have connected devices and smart speakers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts are discovering that voice searches yield different results than text searches. For example, when you type, you enter something like “weather Kenya” into your search bar. When you speak, you’re more likely to ask the complete question, “What’s the weather like in Kenya?” This may first not look like such an important phenomenon, but lets put it in a clearer context. If you ask, “Where is the Golden Jubilee?” and follow that up with, “I want to see pictures of it” and “Who built it?” Google can interpret what it is based on your initial search.
9. Search engine optimization for Image Search
In 2021, through Google Lens, Google’s image recognition AI algorithmic search engine is moving out of the domain of words and into the domain of pictures and videos.
Do you know that you can snap a picture of a place, enter the image as a search to find out more information on the area? A user can upload their friend’s Instagram image and geo target that snap to the exact location. Image searching is another stream of traffic for digital marketers to explore and insert their client brands into.
I conclude by saying that, if your business still isn’t on the digital platforms, then you haven’t seen half of its potential because regardless of your location, the market is now online. Register your business on social media pages, start paying for Ads and see the amount of leads that you will receive in return, may it be sales, business credibility or trying to improve people’s perception towards your brand. Everybody is on social media now. Only 2 billion of the planet’s 7.2 billion people have active social media accounts. What is even more incredible is that there are almost 1.7 billion active mobile social users now.