Digital marketing is going through some shifts and changes, especially after a year like 2020.
To stay relevant, we have to keep up with these changes and stay on our toes constantly. What worked like a charm yesterday, might not work as effectively today. Consumer habits and technology is changing, we can feel a shift happening in the marketing channels and methods.
We had 8 digital marketing experts analyze and voice their predictions for the upcoming year. These marketers all have different experiences, but they all answer the same overarching question – how to stay on top of your marketing game this year.
Webinars Will Continue to Rise in B2B Marketing
With the pandemic going around all types of conferences and seminars have been cancelled or postponed. Smart marketers have realized that webinars are actually a really viable alternative to seminars, because they allow to create a similar type of authentic connection with the audience.
Furthermore, expert webinar platforms allow the host to capture audience emails, launch interactive polls and live offers. These interactive live offers allow marketers to bridge the gap between live seminars and offering an online course or a product to achieve more. All of these features are hard to accomplish with live events.
Another attractive aspect of webinars is setting up automated follow-up sequences. The audience is not already ready to make the purchase on the spot, especially if it’s a B2B product. Often they need time to consider and discuss that decision. The follow-up emails are a perfect way to close the lead exactly at the right time.
That’s why professional marketers view webinars as an important step in a sales funnel. In 2021, we’re expecting webinar marketing and sales to continue growing.
– Erkki from WebinarSoftware
Automate if Possible, Hire a Virtual Assistant if Not
Managing your subscriptions for softwares is going to be a hassle when you’re working on several websites at a time. So you must be able to manage existing SaaS subscriptions to make sure that there’s no stoppers or hassle in your workflow. A smooth and automated workflow will serve you 24/7.
2021 will be all about saving time and cutting down on manual processes. Marketers will try their best to automate the tedious, monotone work wherever possible. And whenever it’s not possible to automate a laborious job, marketers and business owners will hire virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are surely going to be in a huge demand as they will be needed the most when marketers are looking to automate their work.
Marketers will continue to try to cut their expenses and save more money to make sure that their blogs, businesses will run smoothly, without any hassle.
– Alan Szternberg from Nachonacho
Content Marketing Never Goes Out of Trend
While Video marketing is the new trend, Content Marketing never goes out of trend because it’s cost-friendly and gives a 6x higher conversion rate than other methods.
However, marketers still strive hard to rank their content. With Google’s new update in 2019 blog rankings dropped immensely even on blogs with many backlinks. The Google update struck hardest on blogs with content offering little to no value to their readers.
In 2021, I can’t stress enough on personalizing content and providing answers to actual readers, not just robots.
If you want to rank your content, forget about high volume keywords and focus on sharing answers to what your target audience is actually looking for. Take time out to know your audience more and don’t underrate the value of trending keywords.
Listen to your readers, take time to really understand their problems and questions and then continue to periodically produce valuable content for them.
– Farwa from ContentStudio
AI and AR Will Enhance the E-Commerce Experience
E-commerce is an ever-changing industry. Every day, more retailers are making the move to selling products online. However, several new trends come up that can help their business grow and outdo your competitors – and 2021 is no different.
Many stores will be using AR technologies to offer customers a rich buying experience by 2022. Artificial intelligence will act as your online in-store associate by offering personalized guidance and recommendations to your customers.
Unlike in physical stores, online shoppers can’t try on or physically feel the product that they are most likely to buy.
Augmented reality will help eliminate this hurdle by letting customers see how a certain product would look even before they make a purchase. This would help increase the sales and decrease the rate of product returns.
Clothing and furniture are some of the fields where this is already happening. Marketers from other fields will soon realize this and they will follow. The early technology adopters will most likely reap the most rewards from this.
– Sarmad from Replug
Staying Relevant for 2021
Trying to stay relevant on all social media platforms is not efficient anymore. Social media has become way too competitive and nuanced nowadays.
Marketers will have to focus on one or two platforms where they can best serve and engage their audiences. E-Commerce will continue to boom with sellers bolstering their presence on all well established marketplaces. All of this will be content-driven. So, whatever you do, make sure the content resonates with your audience.
Videos, videos and more videos (production quality should be top-notch). The hygiene level of video content is quite high nowadays. 1080p is a must.
Augmented reality will definitely play a vital role in boosting up the sales numbers because the added layer in product presentations can attract many potential customers. Smart marketers will learn how to fit this new technology into their sales processes.
– Diana Minter from TechWireHub
Podcasting Will Be Even Bigger
Podcasts seem to have been taking over the internet world in the last few years. It offers a very convenient way of consuming information for busy people. Huge podcasts like Joe Rogan’s show are hitting well over 100 million downloads per month. That’s much more than almost any video on YouTube or Facebook can reach in the same period of time.
Considering these numbers, I think that podcasts will become even more popular. With that in mind, the podcasting space will become more saturated just like any other marketing channel as it starts growing. Therefore, if you’ve considered starting a podcast, it may be a good idea to do it today.
– Andriy Haydash, WordPress developer & consultant at andriy.space
Video Marketing Will Be Essential for Every Business
Using video in all its flavours will continue to be one of the biggest trends and not only for team communications. Live sessions, webinars and pre-recorded content are all key to digital marketing success.
Mobile-first platforms like Tiktok are new battlegrounds for marketers. Previously existing services like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Twitch, etc. continue to be crucial in order to reach intended audiences where they consume clips. That’s why it’s important to create content that’s ready for a range of platforms and be able to produce appealing videos quickly.
This way marketers will be able to quickly react to emerging topics online and have suitable video ads ready to publish in time while the world is looking for content about current trends.
– Tobias Raub, Co-founder of Clipchamp
The Rise of Tracked Redirect Pages
As online platforms continue to restrict advertising and targeting, some companies might fear that they won’t be able to get their products in front of the people who need them the most. But Facebook’s Pixel isn’t ready to face its end in 2021!
More brands will start realizing the potential of developing their own redirect funnels, capturing their visiting audiences through tracking pixels on those pages. And circumventing these restrictions.
Some digital marketers may create their own in-house solutions, as we did with tcf.one. Others will rely on emerging platforms that offer ready-made services catering to different tracking and analytics pixels, and different user journeys.
However, one thing is certain – analytics, accurate tracking and actionable metrics will continue to be the keystone to smart marketing decisions. In a growingly competitive space, you have to get scientific and rely on the right metrics more than ever.
– Narek Vardanyan, CEO of The Crowdfunding Formula
Summary and Key Takeaways
2021 will definitely reveal some surprises for us. Some of them good, some of them bad.
It’s our job to recognize them early on, to adapt and thrive in this constantly changing digital marketing environment. Webinars will continue to rise as a lead generation tool. Video marketing will become even more essential for every business. Likewise, podcasting is also expected to grow. AI and AR are expected to penetrate the e-commerce field and take it by storm.
However, some digital marketing fields will continue to be important as much as ever. High quality content still wins audiences and produces SEO value. Keep doing that.
But no matter which marketing channel you choose, and no matter how clever sales funnels you build, it will always be important to measure the results you’re getting. The analytics and metrics behind user behaviours will continue to be the cornerstone for learning.
To summarize, the landscape is changing and trends are shifting. And in this constantly changing environment, the marketers who can learn and adapt the fastest will be the ones reaping the most rewards.