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A year like no other, 2020 has taken a toll on marketing with the pandemic greatly shaping and affecting digital marketing trends moving into 2021. Nevertheless, it’s time to look forward and capitalize on the latest advancements in the world of marketing. Brands need to find ways to connect with their consumers, to meet their growing demands that seem to be increasing tenfold with every passing day.

As 2020 has shown us, brands are still capable of accommodating to the market demands, despite the setback of the pandemic. E-Commerce sales skyrocketed last year with most people confined to their homes, which meant more people also spent more time on the Internet, more specifically on various social media platforms. This pattern here, seems to be continuing for the time being with the effects of the pandemic still prevalent to this day.

Thus, in an attempt to prepare themselves from the ever-emerging digital marketing trends that are cropping up with the turn of the new year and not to mention the new decade, brands are investing their resources to identify these crucial trends. What follows is a few of the latest digital marketing trends that should be on the radar of brands, to remain relevant and competitive.

Firstly, a digital marketing trend that brands should pay close attention to is influencer content creation. We are living in the age of the “Internet Celebrity”, where these influencers have huge followings akin to the traditional celebrity. With their large audience amounting up to thousands and even millions, these influencers could play a key role in digital marketing moving forward. Brand deals are normal occurrences for influencers who advertise, and market products sent to them by brands to their loyal fans.

This trend is beneficial to both brands and influencers alike, as these collaborations turn in huge profits for both parties. Influencers can market these products to their audience with ease, and at a high rate. There is a constant flow of engagement between the followers and these influencers, proving the upward trajectory of profitable brand deals. Last year, TikTok emerged as the app of the year with its video-sharing platform being the playing ground for most brands. Its short video productions allow for content to be created at a more frequent rate.

With this, opportunities for more brand deals are there for the taking.  Live streams allow for a more unfiltered interaction between influencers and their fans, where products are marketed virtually without the editing of a conventional video. Creating a more human interaction in which their fans can put their trust in. This effectiveness can be seen with the spike of live streams on Facebook to which experts say garnered millions upon millions of viewers. Hence, brands should focus on influencer content creation as a booming digital marketing trend.

Another trend that seems to be gaining more traction is that of voice searches. An extension of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the advancement of voice-activated devices and tools are the way of the future. Many consumers are looking to ease into voice searching with it providing ease when it comes to how they search for their intended products. Voice-activated assistants are becoming more popular by the day, being used in homes and offices alike. Experts say that at least one in four homes in America own a voice-activated assistant, showing its accessibility to many families.

We are sure to be familiar with the likes of Alexa, whose name is on the lips of many consumers today. It completely changes how we surf the Internet, which is why it is causing massive shifts in the current digital marketing landscape. Even on our smartphones, studies have shown that more than half the users use the voice search feature as a means to look things up on the Internet. Other popular voice searching tools include Siri, which could be considered a pioneer in voice searching as well as Cortana, which while is relatively new, is proving to be reliable and heavily used by consumers. As such, this digital marketing trend is one that brands should be exploited to meet the demands of their consumers.

Additionally, as we reflect on the years before, we can see how inclusivity played a big role in consumers choosing to invest in a certain brand. Consumers want to see brands diversify and include marginalized groups in their marketing and promotional work too. This digital marketing trend could prove to be important in guaranteeing customer satisfaction going beyond the actual product itself.

As stated by Accenture, 41% of shoppers have shown to move away from brands that do not shed light on the importance of proper representation of various communities. Hence, this digital marketing trend should be on the minds of all brands, when marketing their products to their consumers.

Finally, the end of last year showcased the rise of audio-based applications and social media platforms such as podcasts and clubhouses. These voice-based platforms have enabled individuals of all walks of life to come together to talk, listen, and learn from each other in real-time. For marketers, it serves as an opportunity to conduct market research and collect data and insights, and ultimately provide the customers with what they need. Moving forward, businesses should include clubhouse and podcasting in their digital marketing arsenal to move ahead of the competition.

To conclude, every one of these trends shows great importance in shaping the digital marketing world of the future. If consumers are not satisfied, brands are at a loss and as such must be willing to go the extra mile for their consumers. Studying and observing these digital marketing trends as elaborated above is what could be a determining factor in the longevity of a brand. Brands must be more socially aware and vigilant as challenges await in this digital age with every turn.