9 Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

The digital marketing trends for 2021 revolves around two definite but almost contradictory concepts. First is a general humanization, confronting real issues and creating content to suit the individual contrary to mass appeal for more personal engagement. 

Second is a much more mechanical and technical optimization, making minor adjustments to the behind-the-scenes areas like SEO and how you structure campaigns—the fundamentals that your satisfied customers don’t see.

Below, we’ll cover 9 of the digital marketing trends of 2021 to give you a head-start over your competition. Make these marketing trends your focus and considers them when outlining your digital marketing strategy for the new year.

1. Inclusivity 

Just a glance at the front page headlines shows the magnitude of inclusivity in our current time-and-place in history. Many people by the day, especially millennials and marginalized groups, want a glimpse of a more optimistic image of equality in the brands and the content they consume and purchase. 

Or, more precisely, they just don’t want to see the same homogeneous content we’re habitual to from previous decades.

In 2021, digital marketing encompasses media and subject matters that cover various races, religions, sexualities, etc., and represents people with physical disabilities and mental affliction. Other includes the content for your imagery and videos and the topics you discuss in social media and blogs, or even the line of products you offer.

According to Accenture, this cultural movement is already influencing purchasing behavior: 41% of shoppers “have switched… their business away from a retailer that does not consider how crucial [identity and diversity] is to them.”

The same study reveals that 29% of customers are entirely prepared to switch brands entirely if they don’t display enough diversity—and that percentage just goes up for ethnic minorities and the LGBT+ community.

2. Featured snippets and no-click searches

For a long time, the objective of SEO has been to get your brand name in the “number one” spot of search results. Now, coming into 2021, the end goal is continuing to shift to more SEO visibility in “position zero.”

Position zero refers to Google’s “featured snippet,” and 2021 SEO marketing trends prioritize it above everything. The featured snippet operates differently than other search results entries—it’s separated by a small box and located at the top.

It also displays more related information to answer the user’s question without the user needing to click on it, prompting the nickname “no-click search.”

Featured Snippet Example

The featured snippet for “How to cure headache.”

Yes, I know its sounds counter-intuitive to forego someone clicking on your link, the acknowledgment you get as an influencer outweighs a single click/visit. Also, featured snippets are occasionally read aloud with Google Assistant voice searches.

If you want to target a featured snippet yourself, you must know few important things. For someone new, featured snippets are mostly for long-tail keyword phrases like questions (such as “how to cure headache”). They come in various forms, from step-by-step lists to straight-up definitions to even videos, so match your content with the relevant format.

In the content itself, keep in mind to answer the keyword question clearly and briefly, use bulleted lists or a table structure.

3. Sustainability: loud and proud

Similar to the digital marketing trend of inclusivity, people in 2021 care about environmentalism. They want their favorite brands to be as concerned for planet earth as they are; only then are they ready to spend.

About 81% of consumers strongly feel companies should help better the environment; nowadays, there is a rise in sustainable and eco-friendly brands, especially for younger consumers. Every brand can benefit by broadcasting its sustainable practices.

Businesses/Brands have to communicate sustainability through branding and content to make environmentalism part of your identity. 

Sustainability

With creative digital marketing design, you can visually communicate your brand’s environmentalism.

Several ways depend on your other branding styles, such as presenting a banner with an important role on your site. You can also use subtle methods, such as branded reusable bags or sending green themes through your brand’s visual identity.

4. Ad-blocker blockers

The trends are not just about happiness and progress—it’s also about overcoming problems like ad blockers. With 27% of internet users expected to use ad blockers in 2021, many marketers have their primary stream of traffic automatically cut off at the source, including PPC campaigns.

First, you have to understand how big of a problem it is for you—your ad data and analytics will tell you what you need to know. Depending on your target audience or where you post ads, the harm damage might be minimal.

If your ads get in the trap of ad blockers, your best strategy is to adopt them, and you cannot tell your potential customers to change their preferences. Readjust your advertising budget to suit other, more high-yielding campaigns, like influencer marketing or sponsored content. 

Customers don’t respond positively to display ads anyway, but they do respond well to influencer marketing, so making the switch is a good idea in any situation.

5. SEO for image and video to carry out visual searches

You must be aware of the search for images and videos by typing in keywords, but did you know you can also present existing ideas for a search or even take original photos and search for context? As more customers find out these visual search techniques, it changes the overall SEO landscape in general.

Image SEO

With the help of Google Lens, people can take a photo of a product they want to buy and receive search results that lead directly to product pages.

To maximize the increased amount of visual searches, you need to make sure your image and video SEO campaigns are excellent. For starters, remember the following things:

  • Never forget to mention alt text in your image descriptions
  • add images to your sitemap or make a dedicated image sitemap
  • mention your target SEO keywords in the file name of your photo/ image
  • Make sure to use pictures and videos of the highest quality, including HD

Additionally, familiarize yourself with Google Lens, particularly if you’re an e-commerce brand. Operate your SEO procedures correctly, and take traffic away from competitors when shoppers conduct picture searches for products.

6. Interactive content

A trend that is trending for a long time is one of the best practices you can undertake for your business. Interactive content doesn’t just promote more engagement, and it also improves the user’s enjoyment.

Interactive content like surveys, quizzes, open-ended questions, giveaways, contests, polls, calculator widgets, etc., are some of the fantastic things you can do for your brand. 

In simple words, they increase the duration of potential customers, which helps your position in algorithm-based searches. If you observe people, you will find that everyone just wants to be involved in something, so interactive content almost always improves your user experience.

Interactive content is part of the more vital trend towards personalization; allowing users to have their opinions heard makes them feel they have a connection to the brand.

7. Customer segmentation

Most digital marketers are aware of customer segmentation, which is not new but rather newly popular. The idea is elementary and straightforward: instead of a small number of significant marketing campaigns targeting general audiences, it’s better to have a large number of small marketing campaigns targeting specific audiences.

In simple words; Customer segmentation means grouping your target audience by definite traits or behaviors, such as demographics or shopping habits. It allows you to tailor your content to suit their preferences more precisely; 

For example, it creates two different email lists for big spenders and small spenders and sends various newsletters to each that feature different products.

Customer Segmentation


You have the other freedom to choose how to segment your customers, but the most common divisions are demographic, geographic, psychographic, behavioral, and customer journey. Source Intercom

This plan works best for personalization and customer engagement, as your followers get content hand-picked for them.

Customer segmentation can be done to specialized ads and some sites, categories of blog content, and social media content for various communities.

8. Oldies but goodies

Not everything new and modern is the only gold. Several marketing trends of the previous year are still going strong and will continue to be game-changers throughout the following year. And if you still haven’t implemented them yet, you might just do it right now, and there’s more urgency now than ever before.

Check out these ongoing digital marketing trends from 2020:

  • Shoppable Posts: social media posts that directly bring users to the product checkout page tend to increase conversions by streamlining the payment process. See if you’re eligible for Checkout on Instagram.
  • Gen Z World: last year saw the eldest of Gen Z turning 18 and entering the workforce. If you want to invade this young market, understand Gen Z marketing strategies to implement in 2021. 
  • Micro-influencers: as opposed to premier influencers, micro-influencers are those who have a larger-than-average social media follower. If you attract enough of them through social media contests and giveaways, you can achieve the same numbers as top-level influencers at a fraction of the cost and effort.
  • Voice Search SEO: since voice assistants first hit the market a few years ago, voice searches have been upending traditional SEO tactics—people don’t use the exact keywords when they talk as when they type! Try modifying your SEO strategy to incorporate speech keywords.

9. Local SEO

Google often updates their local SEO algorithm, so if you are a local business, you should constantly update your business’ appearance in local results too. Sometimes, local SEO is even more powerful than broad SEO—people searching for a particular type of business with their geographic location have more intent to purchase, so it’s easier to convert them.

For starters, you have to get verified by Google. You can do this by signing up for Google My Business and either claiming your listing or creating a new one. This helps you rank higher in Google SERPs and also gives you the chance to offer additional information about your company to online searchers.

Additionally, you want to incorporate local keywords prominently into your SEO strategy. Obviously, prioritize the name of your city or town as a top keyword, but you can go the extra mile by also incorporating related keywords. If your location has a famous landmark or quirky claim-to-fame, mention it once or twice.

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