The Future of Digital Marketing: Predictions for 2021 and Beyond
The digital marketing landscape changes so much and then frequently that it’s almost impossible to imagine what the longer term of digital marketing may offer in terms of opportunities.
During the last year or two, we’ve seen new technologies, a backlash of types in social media, and influencer marketing maturing from its youth as a viable and powerful marketing channel in its title. What do I see because of the biggest content marketing trends for 2021 and beyond?
Own Predictions : Future Of Digital Marketing
There are 2 major trends within the digital marketing industry I feel everyone is going to be talking about. The primary is AI. We are going to begin to understand the chance of an AI-driven content marketing strategy. If 60-70% of the substance we make goes unused, AI will start to drive us to re-examine what we make and why.
The second is employee activation. AI will tell us what to make, but our greatest storytellers are our existing employees from across the business. Every company needs a technique to activate these employees as both creators and because the best channel to share that content.
This is the paradox of AI. The more the robots tell us what to try and do, the more we’ll need our internal experts to make and share that content.
There are a couple of things we’re pretty clear about. Content marketing isn’t getting to go anywhere for a short time, obviously. But what other digital marketing patterns may we see as we head towards 2022-2024?
Smart speakers and “assistants” are around for a short time, but they really started to start up in 2017 and 2018 as people have lost the self-consciousness of speech on their phones, and a variety of the latest consumer devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have appeared on the market.
There’s no reason for the trend in mobile to prevent growth, and this hands-free technology will become an increasingly standard way that users prefer to interact with their devices. It’s estimated that over half of all search questions are powered by voice search.
With this growth in voice search-powered smart devices will come more opportunities to plug to the folks that own them. Amazon already spotted this chance when it started offering cheaper Kindle devices in exchange for agreeing to receive marketing communications. Targeted Alexa ads are already within the pipeline and also the other devices are going to be bound to follow.
Advanced AI Technology
Artificial intelligence has been expanding what’s possible within the world of digital marketing for quite awhile now, but we’re getting to see exponential leaps in what this technology is capable of over the following few years.
Chatbots will become a customer service standard and begin replacing live agents more and more frequently as machine learning algorithms grow more complex and are ready to parallel men with almost spooky accuracy.
Marketing is becoming more conversational and personalized and chatbots enable you to take advantage of this trend without additional strain on your manpower and resources.
AI is additionally getting used in advertising. While it hasn’t quite achieved human levels of creativity, Google is already running ads powered by AI to optimize campaigns by identifying the best-performing ad designs and replicas and automatically adjusting supported user engagement.
Social Media Takes Over The World
You may think web-based media is now regularity, however as is commonly said: “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
Social media will still make its presence known in every area of our lives and become truly integrated with both on and offline services.
In an episode of the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror, social media has spilled out of the screen and into the important world as individuals rate their interactions with others and are awarded better housing, jobs, and social stations supported by their overall rating.
Science fiction? Maybe for now, but the longer-term probably isn’t thus far away. Most of the apps on your phone are probably already sharing data together with your social media networks, and it’s now common for employers and recruiters to screen social media profiles before interviews.
What does this mean for marketers? A deeper understanding of every customer as a private and therefore the opportunity to supply highly targeted offers and services, because the AI algorithms utilized in social media grow increasingly sophisticated.
The Rise of Micro-influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has already grown huge in recent years with top influencers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube attracting many followers and making a six-figure income from their deals with brands.
However, influencer marketing remains in its infancy and while it offers great ROI compared to more traditional advertising channels, there are some issues to be ironed out.
Fake followers are currently a drag that’s still being resolved, and there are some notable occurrences when brand/influencer relationships have backfired in a bad way.
Big-name influencers also are beginning to lose their power as they fight more and more sponsored posts, reducing the authenticity and impact of their recommendations.
As consumers still value individual recommendations over being marketed at, it’s getting to add up to take a position more in “micro-influencers” — those social media users who have a way smaller but dedicated following and may deliver truly authentic marketing messages to a trusting audience.
Influencers’ power is going to be measured not by the sheer number of followers they boast, but their personal relationships with each individual follower.
Augmented Reality Becomes Commonplace
Remember the Pokémon Go craze of 2016? The mobile game wasn’t only an excellent example of how augmented reality is often utilized in video games but also a marketing opportunity, as businesses jumped on the opportunity to offer to customers trying to catch a Pokémon or two close to home.
Augmented reality isn’t just a fun gimmick for gamers. It’s getting used more and more as a tool for brands to succeed with customers. Ikea now offers a computer game catalog where you’ll place pieces of furniture in your house, and fashion brands are beginning to use augmented reality to permit their customers to do outfits virtually within the comfort of their own homes.
Expect to ascertain more brands jumping on the augmented reality bandwagon, and therefore the technology is slowly becoming a more common occurrence with serious marketing goals, instead of a cute trick.
Video Overtaking All Other Digital Channels
Savvy marketers have recognized the facility of online video for years – back in 2015; The Washington Post predicted that video would account for 80% of all online content by 2020.
We’re almost there yet, but the video is already proving itself as a strong medium, and we’ve seen a huge rise in the live streaming video especially over the last year approximately.
Video marketing will be incredibly effective at boosting engagement levels and also the consumer appetite for video shows no sign of slowing down – YouTube is already overtaking Facebook because of the second-most visited site (Google is favorite, naturally).
If you’re not fully embracing video in your brand marketing, you’re already lagging behind, but it’s not too late to jump in. With the mixture of live video and augmented reality, exciting things are getting possible, and original and creative videos are bound to be the large content channel winner as we head into 2019.
Going Back to Basics with Employee Activation
Of course these advances in technology are very exciting, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the essential principles that bring an excellent marketing strategy, and an excellent company.
Employee activation will enable your organization to get the most effect out of each employee, who will act as ambassadors for your brand and grow sales and conversions in a very genuine and authentic way that’s simpler than any ad campaign could ever be.
Referring back to the trend of micro-influencer marketing, when your employees are engaged they’re going to themselves act as micro-influencers for your company. If you’re successful in employing individuals who align together with your brand values and help their passion for what you’re trying to realize to grow, they’re going to act as your most dedicated cheerleaders.
As our reliance on technology grows, more and more organizations also are realizing they have to be more “human” and must activate the storytelling and organic sharing power of employees – this is often the “paradox of AI” as we learn to require our place alongside machines during this brave new world of opportunities.
Where Do You Think Marketing is Going?
Some time back, the amazing team at Velocity Partners designed this “Future of Marketing” slideshow, supporting quotes that I got from several B2B marketing leaders. These words ring so true, you’ll watch this future unfolding in 2021.
If you’re an experienced marketer (or even a sensible newbie), we’d like to know your thoughts on the future of selling within the comments, please!