What are the key Digital Marketing trends for 2021 that your business needs to consider?
Paid media:
Artificial intelligence: If you haven’t already realized it, 2020 may be the year that a lot of people wake up to the dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.
For example, Microsoft and Uber use Knightscope K5 robots to “patrol” parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime.
According to Techgrabyte: “Artificial intelligence is the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades” and “will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030,” which means that “AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.”
Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force behind many services and, currently, we already see it implemented in such areas as:
● Basic communication
● Product recommendations
● Content creation
● Email personalization
● E-commerce transactions
Chatbots:
Chatbots will continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2021. This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.
Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. Many brands already use chatbot technology, including rideshare brand Lyft.
Personalization:
If you want to stand out in 2021, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails and more. 90% claim they find personalization appealing Ex: Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored recommended products or movie titles.
Starbucks uses a gamified mobile app that draws on data like purchase history and location to get as personal as possible, allows customers to customize their drinks, and encourages further use with its rewards system.
Voice optimization:
With the introduction of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google assistant, the popularity of voice search, whereby the user speaks directly to their device instead of typing a request or manually performing a task, is on the rise. As consumers adapt and begin to use voice assistants more and more, marketers working with SEO should consider optimizing their websites to recognize voice search. Many brands are already including voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers:
● Patrón Tequila helps consumers access personalized cocktail recipes
● Domino’s allows pizza-lovers to order from the comfort of their couch without having to pick up the phone or even place an online order
● PayPal users can engage Siri to send money to friends, family or businesses
● Nestlé created a skill that provides voice instructions as you cook
● Campbell’s has a skill that helps hungry consumers choose and cook recipes
Video content:
Video content is gaining traction as an increasingly popular form of content. With live video, stories, and Instagram TV, more and more businesses are using video as a digital marketing tool. Some marketers are going above and beyond and creating personalized video messaging as opposed to email or phone calls, which may prove to be a promising new way to engage customers.
And don’t just think of YouTube. There are plenty of ways to drive higher engagement with your video marketing, as you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
The recent development of 360-degree video content allows viewers to control their perspective for a more personalized and engaging experience. Along with this technology, virtual reality is immersing viewers in the brand experience completely. It’s wise for brands to familiarise themselves with the potential of this technology.
Influencer marketing has become the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing today. As people generally trust people more than brands, hearing positive information or feedback about a product or experience from an influencer often holds more weight
Social Messaging Apps:

If you think social messaging apps are just for sending emojis to your friends, take a look at these numbers:
● 1.3 billion monthly users are active on Facebook Messenger:
● 10 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger every month
WhatsApp has 1.6 billion active users and 55 billion messages are sent every day
● The top three social messaging apps – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat – have more combined users than Facebook or YouTube
Reasons for your brand to use messaging apps include:
● Cultivate contact
● Deliver information
● Boost sales
● Involve people in events
● Regain potential customers
● Provide support and assistance
Visual Search:
Visual search can take the user experience to a totally new level: People can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results.
A) Pinterest Lens :

Not surprisingly, Pinterest has jumped on the visual search bandwagon. They came out with Lens, a visual search tool that allows users to take a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products or view pinboards of related items.
● Fashion
● Home decor
● Art
● Food
● Products
● Animals
● Outfits
● Beauty
● Vehicles
● Travel
B) Google Lens :

Pinterest is not the only one with visual search. Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects and landmarks through a camera app. HerApparel and home goods: Find similar products and where to buy them.
● Barcodes: Use a barcode to find info about a product, like where to buy it.
● Business card: Save the phone number or address to a contact.
● Book: Get a summary and read reviews.
● Event flyer or billboard: Add the event to your calendar.
● Landmark or building: See historical facts, hours of operation, and more.
● Painting in a museum: Read about the artist and learn more.
● Plant or animal: Learn about species and breeds.
These key trends can help you increase your site traffic, generate more leads, and grow sales, all while retaining your hard-earned customer base. They are also critical to help you understand digital marketing trends and how they will impact the larger competitive landscape.
Does Digital Marketing Work for all businesses?

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves building out buyer personas to identify your audience’s needs and creating valuable online content. However, that’s not to say all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy in the same way. But, remember, it is recommended to define one flagship plan for the whole team, for governance and accountability, before branching out into secondary planning. One final tip; set a start and an end date for creating the marketing plan, if not, the audit stage could continue indefinitely!
Long story short, to be competitive as a business owner, you’ll need to embrace some aspects of digital marketing.