Saying that what 2020 brought has been unexpected is like saying nothing. Marketing activities in 2020 were all about changes, requiring quick adaptations and modifications in our marketing strategies. Digital transformation has been accelerated – and are we going to see more of that in 2021? Will virtual telephony or innovative website builders be rocking the world? We’ve asked quite a few marketing experts to share their insights and predictions.
Let analytics speak
Numbers speak for themselves. I would like to see more marketers who get into analytics, data and statistics to power up their performance. It can be difficult at first, but nothing speaks louder than data and it can help your marketing strategies work – and work even better. An analytical mind is no longer an extra asset or nice-to-have – it’s a must for everyone now.
Lukas Mehnert, Smartlook
All about personalization
I think 2021 will bring us a lot more personalization. So many offices and workplaces are still entirely remote, and people lack the face-to-face interactions with businesses and brands. Using more personalization in marketing campaigns will help us connect with potential buyers. I think there will be an increase in video marketing so brands can really show their customers what they are all about, build relationships, and stay connected to their audiences virtually.
Eliza Nimmich, Biteable
The 2020 pandemic has exposed businesses without well-managed user onboarding processes – on average, SaaS businesses without user onboarding process report approximately 70% higher user churn compared to those who invested in the area. And according to Harvard Business School, just a 5% reduction in the user churn can mean an increase in the profitability of a business by 25% – 95%. We foresee an increased demand in the Digital Adoption Platforms as a solution to fight the user churn as businesses are forced to reconcile.
Ondrej Dobias, Usetiful
Transparency and SEO
Transparency with a twist (building in a public as way to demonstrate and teach), in-depth step-by-step guides and a lot of content marketing around pillar pages for SEO
Matej Kukucka / Head of Marketing / www.liveagent.com
Analytics, benchmarks and research
- In-depth analytics,
- gathering industry benchmarks for better decision-making,
- content marketing based on research
Martin Bloksa / CEO / www.streambee.io
Influencers – an important part of marketing strategies in 2021
One of the biggest marketing trends that will continue to gain momentum in 2021 are leveraging influencers in digital media. From acquiring strategic backlinks to getting mentioned in social media to having content created for your brand, collaborating with those content creators who have digital influence will become an increasingly important part of marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.
I am recommending all of my clients to begin to build targeted databases of not only influencers and content creators in their industries, but also to begin to catalog the digital influence of their employees, customers, those in their email databases, as well as social media followers. With the democratization of digital influence, there are more nano influencers that any given company can collaborate with than they probably know until they perform this exercise.
Neal Schaffer / President, PDCA Social / www.nealschaffer.com
Conversational Marketing will be a norm
Conversational Marketing has gained traction over the past several years, and its growth in 2021 will be no exception. The rise in online consumption has caused consumers to expect (and demand) fast, insightful responses that address their desire for interaction amidst quarantine and their need for trust during an uncertain time. Thus, marketers should leverage live chat, chatbots, and targeted engagement to enhance the customer experience and gain loyalty.
Soon, Conversational Marketing will no longer be an advantage but a norm, meaning marketers must look to differentiate themselves with superior messaging integrations and memorable customer touch-points. Expanding these capabilities will also allow teams to become more data-driven, gaining more worthwhile information on specific segments as marketing personalization also trends upwards.
Isabelle / Marketing & Growth Analyst / www.lido.app
- Unbiased review portals,
- transparent pricing (tables),
- niche portal sponsorships,
- use case articles/jobs-to-be-done type of content for SEO
Matt / Founder / www.marketingplayer.com
Listen to your users
We are expecting to see increased activity on social issues and creating meaningful action toward users and their real needs. Some of the brands didn’t know how to listen to their users and didn’t track conversation which gave them a lot of backlash in 2020. In 2021, we expect that brands will find better ways to understand social conversation in a creative way.
Angelina Harper / Outreach Specialist / www.reallysimplesystems.com
I believe one of the biggest trends we’ll see in 2021 is vulnerable marketing. Marketing that pushes human elements, transparency, and connects intimately with target audiences will win in 2021. Almost all websites look the same, everyone is writing nearly identical content, and most companies are pushing very similar messaging. 2021 will be the year many brands break the mold and create uniquely personal online touch points. I think this will happen through conversational marketing, more personalized (not longer) content, and deep segmentation in email marketing.
Brooks Manley, Digital Marketing Consultant / www.brooksmanley.com
Recommendations from friends and family more important than ads
Word-of-mouth marketing is gaining its momentum and it is gonna continue to play an important role in 2021. Customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than ads and are more willing to purchase from brands they know something about.
Alicja / Outreach Specialist / www.candybar.co
Content that provides solution
Long-form content that is generic and all over the internet is long-gone. Content that ranks will be the one that provides answers to the question of masses. Informational keywords that don’t give accurate results will be focused more than the ones with thousands of volume. In general, brands will be focusing more on their brand uniqueness and delivering better.
Farwa Anees / Digital Marketing Executive / www.contentstudio.io
Meaningful stands on social issues
With a general, increased consumer desire for brands to demonstrate corporate social conscience, especially with Generation Z increasingly making up a larger proportion of the workforce and consumer market – marketers and brands will themselves feel more compelled and inspired to take meaningful stands on social issues.
Wesley Burger / Marketing Director / www.cloudtask.com
Rise of Cross Border E-commerce
One big marketing trend we see on the horizon for 2021 is the rise of cross border e-commerce. While it’s already a big deal, expect to see more companies invest in and sell into other markets. After the contractions experienced in 2020, brands that were happy in their home markets are struggling. It’s likely that many will branch out and expand into new markets that are performing better as a way of keeping sales and revenue numbers growing healthily. And it won’t just be the big name brands too — smaller brands are testing the waters and investing in new markets as well. We expect 2021 to accelerate this further.
Brad Matthews / Growth Marketer Company / www.adchina.io
Voice search is going to grow in 2021 as normal people get more used to talking to their smart devices. We marketers need to adapt and optimize our content for voice.
- First, our content needs to be even more laid back and conversational than before. Because that’s how people talk.
- Second, we need to include sections within the article specifically designed to be picked up by the voice algorithm. The easiest way to do it is to append an FAQ section to every post (where it makes sense)
- And again, conversational writing tone is key.
Owner of Nikola Roza / SEO for the Poor and Determined / www.nikolaroza.com
Update and Energize Keyword Strategies
As demographics and product lines evolve and consumer interests ebb and flow, it is crucial marketing teams stay agile and aware of the shifting elements in user behavior and what interests those users. Page content, marketing content, and new tools should be incorporated into understanding what words consumers are using to connect with brands and products that interest them most.
Also, nothing breathes new life into customer engagement quite like reputation management and public relations strategy. In the coming year, companies should strategize new ways to showcase their available image. Authenticity, increased trust, strong word-of-mouth, and a positive image all combine to dramatically improve engagement, increase interactions, and help the company gain new insights by interacting directly with customers in a public space.
Brian / Founder and CEO / www.infintechdesigns.com
Social media videos will take center stage
The pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of time people spend online and consume videos through social media, which includes how they research products and brands. In 2020, more than 800 billion internet users installed TikTok on their app, and 90% of them access the app daily. Meanwhile, video posts get 38% more engagement than photos on Instagram.
One thing is clear here. In 2021, businesses should consider creating short videos and hosting them on social media platforms to reach and engage more audiences – especially for businesses that target younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials.
Andre Oentoro / CEO / www.breadnbeyond.com
Content is a King
Content marketing has always been an ever-evolving landscape. Every year there are exciting developments shaping the content marketing industry. In 2021, businesses that create video content, focus on enhancing user experience (UX), and personalize their marketing messaging will dominate. Furthermore, conversational marketing (with chatbots) will go mainstream, while micro-influencer collaborations will occupy center stage. Not to mention brands will have a special focus on increasing expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), garnering more and more user-generated content (UGC), and optimizing their content for voice search.
Kevin / Communications Manager at Traqq / www traqq.com
AI, SEO and Video!
Brand to brand collaboration will be encouraged in 2021 to sustain and scale in the highly competitive business environment.
Be it brand awareness, sales, advertising, and marketing, video content marketing will be the future of content marketing. Video content will be the most consumed, shared, highly engaging, and viral form of content marketing in 2021.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will be emerging and implemented across various business processes. AI will bring marketing automation to make the whole process effective and efficient. Implementation of IoT and AI in various ways will reduce manual operations and expedite the work process and marketing funnel.
Some trends never vanish like SEO marketing. SEO will again be one of the core marketing trends in 2021. Voice searches on search engines like Google will follow the uptrend. Google reveals that “near me” has grown by 150%; 74% of customers visit a store that day when they search for something local; 20% of all Google searches done on mobile are now voice searches.
Brands will keep spending on PPC advertisements on Google and Facebook Ads along with new Instagram opportunities.
Sugandha Bansal / Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer/ www.theblueoceansgroup.com
Omnichannel marketing strategy
Third party cookies are being restricted and Apple’s new consumer opt in requirements will change the advertising industry significantly in 2021. Only providers who can create 1st party cookies will be able to tie together customer journeys across devices and touchpoints – and those companies who choose to rely on third-party data will suffer as a result. Businesses who will be successful in 2021 will leverage an omni-channel marketing strategy which is being properly optimized with first-party multi-touch attribution.
Lucas Sommer / Director of Marketing / www.leadsrx.com
One marketing trend for 2021 will be to scrape the questions from the People Also Ask boxes from Google’s SERPs. There is a treasure trove of content ideas contained within all the PAA boxes that show up for your targeted keywords.
You can manually pull dozens of questions by searching for a handful of your keywords. Or you can use tools like Nozzle and Data Studio to generate a list of hundreds of questions and deliver it to your content team.
Dale Nguyen / VP of Marketing / www.nozzle.io
As even more businesses have now gone online or have improved their websites and social media channels, customers’ expectations continue to grow. People want to see brands that know why they exist and who they are built to serve. Trust and human connections become even more valued. In fact, lots of businesses are expected to shift their focus from demographies to values. Customer engagement will go beyond passive responses on online reviews, giving advise to fellow customers, etc. Think about interaction and innovative business partnerships, know who you are and what you stand for. Oh, and don’t overlook the gig economy!
Head of Marketing at Brosix / www.brosix.com
“New” audience of consumers
Brian Johnson believes the next year will present a significant challenge in differentiating offers plus an opportunity to reboot classic marketing offers. The CHALLENGE will be adapting advertising and marketing tactics to engage prospects that have developed a very short attention span after years of smartphone use. Using brief, eye-catching marketing videos that clearly highlight the benefits to the consumer is a great way to differentiate a product or service from an abundance of choices. Benefits that include an aspect of instant gratification will beat out feature-laden and story-telling marketing & advertising. The OPPORTUNITY for marketers to target a massive “new” audience of consumers, forced to work online and from home in the coming months, allows marketing tactics previously made obsolete (e.g. “make-money-from-home popup ads”) to have a resurgence of success.
Brian Johnson / Co-Founder & CTO / www.canopymanagement.com
Shall we sum it up?
- Consumers’ expectations are increasing
- We should be getting more and more on AI
- Content is a King!
- Productivity and time tracking for better performance
- Combining several communication channels
- Customer feedback counts very much. Conclude it and listen to consumers!
- Influencers and WOMM