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These 10 digital marketing trends will dominate in 2021

Because of the pandemic, the retail landscape has changed dramatically. Customers have developed new shopping habits and increased their expectations of brands. Digital marketing has also made a huge leap forward due to the shift towards increasingly distant consumption. Linked to this is rapid progress in the field of new technologies such as AI, AR or VR. With so much change, even seasoned marketers need to keep themselves firmly in the saddle.

So what will 2021 bring? Will content remain king? Which platforms should brands invest in and which hyped technologies will actually hit? It is never too early to ask yourself these questions and create a solid basis for planning your digital marketing activities. Here are our predictions for the digital marketing trends for 2021.


10. Omnichannel Marketing

Our top trends begin with a classic, but one that is gaining relevance every year. Even more than ever before, a company needs to be present across a variety of channels, interact and, of course, be connected. In 2021, the choice of digital channels will be enormous and the advertising options so advanced that it would be negligent to ignore even a handful of them - SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, paid ads, e-mail marketing, etc. must be optimized within their specific possibilities for the company's goals. This is the only way to fully develop the strength of the omnichannel approach.


9. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is not an invention of the last year either, but the numbers speak for themselves. According to the Influencer Hub, 63% of the companies surveyed plan to increase their spending on influencers in the next year. The increasing desire to open up new micro-communities and the hype surrounding Tik Tok do the rest. Ever heard of the Hype House? In this Tik Tok Influencer WG live the Tik Tokers with the greatest reach from LA and the surrounding area and do what they do best: creative short videos for their almost 20 million followers.

Left to right: Alex Warren, Kouvr Annon, Ondreaz Lopez, Tony Lopez, Dixie D’Amelio, Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. Photo Credits: Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

In addition to the tik tokens, gaming influencers in particular were able to increase their reach and popularity significantly in 2020. For this reason alone, marketing experts are convinced that even more marketing budget will flow into the gaming-relevant channels YouTube and Twitch in 2021.


8. AI & chatbots

The continuous development of artificial intelligence has also brought the chatbots into our lives. As this technology collects more data and insights over time, it can also get more information about customers and feed into another megatrend that we will talk about later.

The experts from linchpinseohave found that 47% of American companies are expected to implement chatbots for customer support services and also use virtual assistants. Predictions from consumer-facing services suggest that chatbots will be programmed to match human behavior, offer similar services, and improve customer service. After all, they answer at any time and immediately.


7. Shoppable posts

2020 forced many companies to focus their sales more online and offer even more digital solutions. Indirectly, this could also have sped up the development of new social media formats, which peaked in 2020.

For example, there is Facebook Live Shopping. Combining live video with shop-in features gives brands another exciting opportunity to showcase their products and sell them instantly. Instagram has also taken this route. Shoppable posts were clearly pushed in the algorithm and in their possibilities.

Source: Shopify / Instagram


In 2021, social media and e-commerce will become even closer grow together and thus make the shopping experience from inspiration to product research to the conclusion of the purchase as simple and seamless as possible. Shoppable posts are not the newest star in the social media sky, but they definitely have the potential to shine even brighter in digital marketing in 2021.


6. Google Local SEO

For small businesses, there is little more important than making sure their local listings are up to date on various search platforms. This is primarily due to the fact that for local B2C companies (e.g. dental practice or car dealership) the Google My Business entry provides valuable information about their working hours (many of which are constantly changing due to COVID-19), services and geographic location . These key pieces of information are proven sales drivers.

A small hint: Local entries should always have a geographically defined service area. This setting increases the frequency of ads when searching for businesses near me. It may seem counter-intuitive to limit the radius of the company, but it does lead to more payouts. Because many search engines (especially Google) prioritize the spatial business area as part of their search algorithm. So stay visible!


5. Customer Personalization

A recent study found that 72% of consumers expect a personalized shopping experience from an e-shop, despite widespread privacy concerns. Digital marketers urgently need to work to adapt customer communication and experiences to their preferences, interests and behaviors. AI and machine learning already offer automated possibilities that need to be used. In this context, it is companies like Persado who with their automated solutions help to optimize website texts and adapt them to the respective user.

Source: Persado


With a robust dictionary that includes nuances of language and emotional feelings, the software delivers the best news based on the brand voice provided.


4. Google Automated Bidding System

Google's automated bidding has come a long way since it debuted in 2016. It has now become a real alternative for 2021. Not only can it adjust bids in real time, it also uses far fewer resources in the company. This leaves more time to optimize other aspects of PPC performance, with the aim of ultimately offering users a better result at lower costs.


3. Brand purpose

In third place is a trend that will primarily occupy content creation in the next year. Sustainability, Black Lives Matter, the new normal - 2020 was a year in which companies had to show their attitude more than ever, and this will continue to be the case in the future. The world is growing together, differentiation through products is decreasing and so it is ultimately the brand purpose that is increasingly coming to the fore.

The communication and the actual actions of a company must be absolutely in harmony in order to appear authentic. This pays off especially in times of crisis. Deloitte's Global Marketing Trends Study 2021 shows: A coherent, authentically lived purpose acts as a strong differentiation from the competition, inspires customer loyalty and employee satisfaction, strengthens brand values ​​and creates the basis for long-term, sustainable brand development.


2. Voice Search Marketing

In the early years, voice devices were mainly used to listen to music, ask about the weather, or make a shopping list. Now consumers are taking it a step further and voice devices (and marketers) are here to listen. Do you want to play a Taylor Swift song? Alexa can tell you how to download her new album. Do you need milk on your shopping list? Your voice unit knows where the milk is currently on sale.

As the possibilities for voice devices emerge, it is clear that these devices offer a unique opportunity to formulate campaigns using previous purchase information. As users become more familiar with devices, the next logical step is to use them for more individual needs.

Although many users are skeptical of the constant collection of data here too, they still do not want to forego the convenience offered. This is exactly why we expect the big global breakthrough for voice search marketing in 2021.


1. Short form videos

Content remains on the throne and prefers to show itself in the trendy short-form video as it is known from Instagram Stories, Tik Tok famous and Instagram Reels have thought further. No digital marketing strategy will do without this content format in 2021. At the center of this megatrend is of course Tik Tok and the rollout of its ad formats in the second half of 2020.

Source: Tik Tok


D.Developing short-form videos may seem deceptively simple, but weighing branding messages against the carefree tone associated with short-form videos requires customer research, strategy, and creativity. On average, Gen Z has an attention span of 8 seconds - if you want to accommodate brand purpose, offer and CTA during this time, we wish you every success!


Sum up

There are many old acquaintances in the digital trends of 2021, but they have undergone significant further development due to technical progress and the new normality and thus have all the requirements for an exciting and above all highly digitized year 2021.

If you are now wondering how you can gain a foothold in this industry yourself in 2021 and take advantage of all these trends, then we have just the thing for you: Our extra-occupational Growth & Digital Marketing Online Program offers you the most relevant content to conquer the world of digital marketing in the shortest possible time. Within a few weeks, we cover the entire field of digital marketing, growth strategy, communication, user experience and coding and all this in a practical manner and with live training sessions. Just take a look and see for yourself!


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Credit Featured Image by Neil Soni on Unsplash