5 Strategic Digital Marketing trends in 2021

As the world came to a screeching halt with the onset of the pandemic last year, the name of the game for many businesses became ‘Pivot and Persist’. Digital transformation of businesses took a centre stage and enabled them to ride the storm to survive through the pandemic. Brands welcomed this opportunity to bring about some much needed changes to their business plans at an accelerated pace. With the new year, the strategy by brands has now shifted to using digital means as a differentiator and to bring home some personalised experiences for their customers.

Accelerated digital adoption among audiences in both urban and rural settings has led them to consume content like never before resulting in increasing screen time. And with the immense opportunities that digital tools have brought about to reach out to the customers, companies are now encountering a highly fragmented audience base scattered throughout various platforms. This creates a need for an omnichannel strategy to achieve higher visibility among the customers and create top of mind recall.

Message with a heart and soul
We are currently living through an age with a gold mine of data. With so many data points readily available to us, it becomes crucial not to get lost in just data and bring in the most important aspect of marketing which is the human aspect. Driving empathy through the brand's messaging becomes a crucial element in forging long lasting bonds with the audience. Customers today are very sensitive to how companies conduct themselves and therefore it becomes impertinent to carefully evaluate what, when and how the brand chooses to tell its story. Audiences in the digital realm are expecting a more personalised relationship with their brands and therefore it is important to tailor the messaging accordingly.

Make your brand ‘Voice’ search-ready
With almost half of the searches made in 2020 resulting from ‘Voice’ searches, brands need to rethink their SEO strategy to be future proof and get them ready for the next big thing that is Voice Search. With homes being increasingly equipped with Voice Assistants and people having fun with assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google, Cortana etc., being voice search ready is no longer an option to stay top of the minds with their audience.

Make it attention grabbing!
The one fact that goes easily obscured by marketers is that the users face a storm of brand advertisement and promotional content on a regular basis. By the same token, distractions on the internet as well as in the daily lifestyle are shooting up. It just takes one YouTube or Instagram notification for the user to leave the content that they were calmly consuming. A study by Boston Digital recently reported that in 2020 the average user attention span has downgraded to just 8 seconds, which simply means that the brands need to hook the user's attention in less than 8 seconds.

And that’s the motive of short-form content, which can also be termed as snackable content. Short-form video content proffers you the flexibility to put out relatable content and get their attention by targeting emotions and logic. As a brand, one needs to understand what your user wants and transition your short-form content accordingly. Also, the short form content is easier to distribute via multiple channels, which also becomes a reason to be remembered by the users. The concise short-form content makes it easier for the brand to be visible on diversity of channels and promote themselves.

Moments Matter
As we have seen that there is an uproar of new content and daily distractions on the internet. Indulging in some moment marketing helps brands to separate itself from the chaos and putting its own spin on trends thereby increasing the relatability factor. Today, every brand is looking to become as fit as a fiddle and slip into conversations about trends and daily talk. And that’s the whole concept of Moment marketing. And as they say time and tide waits for none, is the perfect articulation of Moment marketing. Moment marketing can also be understood by the term real-time marketing. Time factor is the most crucial parameter one should consider to craft a smart and relevant moment marketing campaign.

Rise of nano and micro influencers
The two words which resonate well with influencer marketing are Relatability and Agreeability. With people spending more time on social media, influencer engagement, when done right, allows you to interact with the consumers more personally and allows you to leverage their influence for your brand. A new trend emerging in this space is the rise of nano and micro influencers. With their expertise in a focussed area, even with a comparatively small number of followers, they have the potential to connect more effectively with their audience and are great for long term partnerships.

Reigning it in
Even a prodigious marketing push can end up making your target consumer disinterested and may detach your audience from your campaign. A simple due diligence needs to be followed so as to maintain a level of caution in digital campaigns. While you start targeting the consumers, you define a pattern, but this pattern or the strategy of marketing may not be the same for 365 days round the clock. The goals, motivational factors, pain points, behavior of your consumer may change with time still making them an ideal consumer for your brand. In the same way, there needs to be a continuous check on these tick boxes to constantly bring in adjustments to your existing strategies.

The success of any campaign will never depend on the sales figures, it depends on the number of concrete relationships you have made with your target audience and what they think of you.