In 2021, there are some trends in marketing and there are some outside stuff of marketing that surely bears mentioning. Of course, the pandemic is no new news, as of 2021, at least, but that is old news for a lot of people. There are implications that stem from the pandemic that influence digital marketing trends, however. In this article, let us explore some new and unknown digital marketing trends in 2021.
One question is whether people are becoming numb to digital advertising. As stated in the Forbes article from January 27, 2021 titled “15 Top Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2021,” the contributor Skye Suttenfield states that many people have simply tuned out digital advertisements. This question is an important one, since it defines how potential customers and customers interact with businesses. In shaping a business marketing plan, thus, it is important to consider that people, because of their increased interaction with screens, are likely growing tired of certain advertising strategies. For example, the flashing banner ads probably are not a good choice anymore, as this is overstimulating to a person’s brain which is already running on overdrive from having seven Zoom calls that day for work. This may be an exaggeration, but it is realistic to assume that people do not want to be bombarded with aggressive advertising strategies such as flashing banner ads.
But there are various strategies that companies can use to market their services, even in a digitalized age such as the one we are living in now.
These are by no means predictions as to what will sell in 2022, but rather, trends that might be promising. One is the trend that people have acknowledged as generally true, which is that marketers must use innovative content. What is innovative content? It generally involves embracing new technologies and using them in a novel way in order to garner the trust of new customers and existing ones as well. For example, some say the video is last year’s news. However, this may not be entirely true. Video marketing can be extremely helpful to a company, especially if the content is engaging and professionally recorded and edited. It does not necessarily have to be the best quality video anymore, as oftentimes an Apple iPhone can do the trick in terms of capturing good quality video. If your company is looking to expand its reach, then a video is paramount to this aim. Preferably, multiple videos would be ideal, but some companies do not realize that these videos cannot be mere lectures. What do I mean by this? I mean that a video needs to have some interactive content with the client or potential client to make it interesting to them.
Interactive content is often the most powerful in terms of marketing because of its capacity to help customers with a real, tangible problem. Interactive content can provide solutions, or even invite the customers or potential ones to come up with a solution on their own. Of course, this is where social media comes in. Your business can employ social media to post contests or various forms in order to have interaction with your website. This is a primary function of social media marketing. It helps attract customers to your website.
Aside from the interactive content on your website and social media posts and profiles, another trending marketing technique is utilizing AI (artificial intelligence) to automate processes. AI apparently, according to several online marketing authorities, has the ability to enhance a customer’s experience on a website. Look at the places you are already probably using AI. Take for example any chatbot on a webpage. Companies want to automate those processes so they have more people to perform other business tasks in this rapidly evolving marketplace. So they eliminate (not entirely) the need for a personal touch to customer service, employing chatbots instead of real human beings. This is a marketing trend that I believe we will see more of in the coming months. Why does it apply to marketing? It applies because customers will be guided to the information they need more quickly and efficiently through AI chatbots for help chats. Of course, there will still be a need for some human oversight and interaction on these chat platforms. But AI has already impacted customer service in this way.
What else can AI do? Well, for one, it can improve translations. Machine translations have been occurring and improving. How can this help your translation company? It can help your business grow into more lucrative areas. Some also tout the ability of machine translation to help create drafts of translations, then a human will usually look over the draft in a process called “machine translation post-editing.” This is a way to cut down on costs, sometimes, though it can be counterproductive in certain areas. Sometimes a human translator is necessary.
Regardless, the machine translation industry is set to grow.
Future Group, an interpretation firm and a provider of professional translation services, understands these key benefits that machine translation can provide. Its personnel also realize that most of the key marketing trends of 2021 are here to stay. These marketing trends are also set to evolve in different ways that we cannot quite predict yet.
We should definitely keep our eyes out for any technology-related innovations, however, and these will sometimes, even likely, be the sources of new marketing trends.
Another marketing trend in the digital world is the voice search application of technological devices. The voice search allows someone to first ask the AI-powered chatbot to answer a question. But this is not the entire story. The AI chatbot also records the answers. It is well-known as well that the chatbot “improves” its results through algorithms in which it “reformulates” its knowledge. This is basically how AI functions, in a nutshell.
Essentially, there are multiple marketing trends that I think will emerge as time goes on.
There is a trend, for example, of digital influencers, who are individuals engaging in the activity of promoting a business via social media or other platforms. This is sometimes viewed as “free” marketing, and in some respects it is. Yet, businesses should be focused on how they appeal to these influencers because if there is no compelling reason for an individual to become an influencer for any company, then those companies will lack influencers and thus miss out on a substantial marketing opportunity. As noted in the periodical Information Today in an article written by Linda Pophal in April 2021, the author expresses that marketing will require multichannel marketing through social media. In my opinion, it already does require this, but the pace at which a company embraces this change will probably determine its success in marketing in 2021 to some degree, at least.
Platforms such as TikTok, the author of this same article in Information Today notes, will become more prevalent in terms of their reach of people. People become more interested in platforms such as these because they offer a new way to connect. Businesses ought to capitalize on this by employing marketing strategies in relation to these platforms.
Pophal also notes that this trend will continue into 2022. So, if your business is not already using these tools, you should definitely consider putting them into action for your 2022 plan.
There are other ways that AI and automation can help, yet what often happens is that people believe that AI will replace human agents, especially those in customer service and other fields in which AI is having some impact. This is noted in the periodical CRM Magazine in an article in the January 2021 edition. In this view, AI will not necessarily replace human agents in some fields. AI will support these agents, allowing them to have more freedom to do their jobs. This is a perspective that is somewhat contrary to the position expressed earlier in this article, in which I described AI’s potential impact on markets.
However, I believe a middle path is the more likely one. The middle path includes a way of seeing things in digital marketing, such as AI, as tools. AI might replace humans in some areas, or at least it might highly disrupt certain industries. But, as we have seen, especially during the last year and a half during the pandemic that is going on, businesses and people have been required to adapt. Thus, I take the stance that resilience is a good marketing strategy as well, as businesses and people have been required to adapt, sometimes drastically, and they have been successful in many cases.
Though disruption in industries is bound to occur in some ways and given that there are certainly consequences to this (e.g., many businesses have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic), the most successful will be able to adapt to these disruptions. Someday, maybe these disruptions in industries will be viewed as catalysts to changing organizations. Perhaps change is not such a disruptive thing after all.
In this article, we have viewed digital marketing trends in 2021 in depth, and we have also explored potential ramifications of the digital marketing strategy your business might choose. We have also seen how the fact that resilience and courage in the face of disruption in an industry can actually catalyze change.