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7 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

Written by: Zahra

For brands to win the war of pulling customers over to their side from the rest of the competition, winning the battle online is more important than ever.

This has been made evident with the recent COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when even the baby boomers group has been “forced” to go online for their daily necessities. With the introduction and the eventual acceptance of online shopping by even groups that have rejected till recently, understanding how to market your products online properly through the right channels should be a top priority for every brand that is not already doing so.

However, with the ever-changing landscape of social media and constant updating of algorithms, where should a brand place their limited resources to position themselves strongly for the coming year?

What is Digital Marketing?

Before we start, let’s take a look at digital marketing as a whole. Digital marketing is the act of marketing products and services via online channels.

And it varies from country to country.

Taking up a digital marketing course in Singapore can be entirely different from taking a similar course in another country like China.

This is because the social media platforms and online media that the users in each country consume differ from one another. For example, the mode of communication via text messages in Singapore is generally via Whatsapp where the consumers in China use WeChat.

Generally, HubSpot (a CRM platform) has split the traffic of online marketing into inbound and outbound marketing.

Inbound is mainly traffic that comes from platforms like Google where a potential customer is looking for a specific product and comes to your website while actively searching for it.

Outbound traffic simply refers to the content and ads that you place out to constantly reach out to your potential clients through media like social media platforms, etc. and pulling them to your website.

7 Rising Trends

1. Facebook is No Longer the Core of Social Media

As much as we still love Facebook, it is not the monster it once was anymore. At least not among the young ones. Research has shown that a big part of active Facebook users are at the age of 60 or more and the younger crowd, who is having access to social media for the first time, is shunning the book everyone used to love.

It can be seen as something “uncool” to be telling friends that you are using Facebook for someone in their teens.

If that is the case, should you still be putting resources into creating content for Facebook, especially if you are trying to reach out to the younger generation?

The short answer is yes if the mass market is your game. This is because those that have the spending power are still on Facebook, and the only way, for now, to reach out to them is still through this social media giant.

However, a rethink in strategy is needed if you need to groom and create a strong branding around the next batch of consumers since this older generation will slowly reach the end of their spending cycle in the next 10 years or so.

2. Content Marketing is Still a Must

Content marketing is the process of creating valuable and relevant content to groom your community and attract leads.

It has been an essential part of digital marketing since the rise of social media and continues to prove its worth with the attention span of individuals getting shorter and shorter.

Regardless of the platform, good content always stands out and is one of the main reasons why a social media platform will push your page out more. This is because good content helps to engage and make users stay active on a platform and it is critical to the survival and popularity of any social media platform.

However, creating good content is neither easy nor cheap and this may be one of the pain points for many smaller businesses with limited resources and budget.

Find out how you can create and marketing content yourself with the content creation & marketing module in this digital marketing program.

3. Video Marketing to Separate Yourself from Competition

These days, people pay more attention to video content rather than long, lengthy texts that take time to read. Videos have taken the internet like a storm and are becoming important as part of a successful marketing campaign.

Imagine your social media or website is your online storefront and content as your promoter that tries to sell your product or service to a potential customer. Will a video with sound and visual be able to capture the imagination and attention of this said customer, or a 2,000 words article do better?

Then imagine this “promoter” became so popular that people are willing to share it with their friends and relatives without getting paid. This is the holy grail of marketing for you in the digital landscape – word of mouth marketing.

4. Use of Chatbots

With the need to have a quick answer due to the impatient nature of the digital native generation, Chatbots have gained huge popularity among the bigger brands in recent years.

The fact that they are easy to use, fast, and accessible 24/7, Chatbots have become the “first line of defence” for customers wanting quick replies from brands that they are interacting with online. These inquiries will only be passed on to a human staff when it is out of the Chatbot’s scope.

With the means to pass on the frequently asked questions to these Chatbots, brands can now save much of the time and use them to focus on other important aspects of the marketing process.

5. Voice Search

Voice and visual searches are the top trends in 2020 and are expected to continue through to 2021.

As voice searching becomes more accurate and gains wider acceptance, many SEO specialists are now looking into the possibility of dominant search engine Google putting more focus and emphasis on voice searches.

With that in mind, creating content on website, blog, etc. may have to dive even deeper than the traditional keywords research since natural talking will eventually be key to searches.

6. Social Media Stories

When Snapchat first unveiled its story option, it sent the youths in a frenzy. Its popularity is evident with Facebook co-founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg proposing to buy over the short video platform in the early stages and was snubbed mercilessly (and openly) by its founder.

Soon, Instagram (owned by Facebook) came out with its version of a short video that disappears after 24 hours, known as “stories”, and the rest is history.

Now, almost every other platform has this function, including Facebook itself, and this mode of sharing content became something of a norm for the younger generation.

And one platform stood out brightly in 2019/20 – TikTok.

Known as Douyin in China, this short video creation platform has taken the Generation Z (born 1997- 2010+) by storm internationally and is slowly spreading its influence to even the millennial generation (although studies show minimal penetration as of now), with more than 800 million active users worldwide in 2020.

In a brand’s aim is to groom this generation into the next group of customers in the foreseeable future, then having a presence there is critical and timely, with most brands not knowing how to do it properly yet since it is still a relatively young platform for marketers.

7. Telegram

Slowly but surely, this messaging platform has become the platform of choice for most of the younger generation who are starting to become suspicious of WhatsApp (another Facebook company) and LINE. Unlike regular messages, secret chats are not cloud-based and can only be accessed on the device used.

It also functions like a Facebook-lite or Twitter-lite version with the capability to share posts and photos with people who join your Telegram group, something quite similar to what we see in China social media giant WeChat.

To have the first taste of its popularity, all you need to do is download the app and be amazed by how many of your friends in your phonebook are slowly coming onto the platform. This is because they have a function that notifies you whenever an existing friend joins Telegram recently.

Like most social media platforms, Telegram is free and it will not be wise to not jump onto this bandwagon and see if a connection can be built with your potential clients using this new platform.

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