Future of Digital Marketing: Top Trends To Help Your Small Business Thrive In This Age of Innovation

By Karan Shah August 8, 2021

Have you started adopting the latest digital marketing trends like all companies are doing?

If yes, you’re on the right track! But if you haven’t, there’s no time to waste.

The future of digital marketing is here and these latest trends are a part of it.

All companies small or large have started making their digital marketing efforts to survive in the cut-throat competition.

In this blog, we have listed some of the latest and best digital marketing trends to look out for and start integrating them into your business activities.

The growth of digital marketing didn’t suffer even during covid.

In fact, more and more money was pumped into digital advertising since those channels were the only ways to reach the target audience.

And with everything moving online due to the pandemic, the future of digital marketing is ever bright and promising.

Here’s a statistic to put things into perspective.

Digital ad spends were recorded at $336 billion in 2019 and are expected to reach a massive amount of $645 billion dollars by 2024! That’s a staggering growth rate!

Hence, without further ado, let’s look at the Top 11 Digital Marketing Trends that’ll help you up to your digital marketing game.

1. Shoppable Posts on Instagram

What are exactly Shoppable Posts?

Instagram has developed a Shoppable Posts feature to let businesses sell their products directly from their Instagram accounts.

How it works is that it makes redirecting customers to the Brand’s websites much easier.

Shoppable Posts allows sellers on Instagram to place website links for products in posts. Users, on clicking these links, are redirected to the seller’s website for a purchase order.

Essentially, it reduces the time between coming across a product on Instagram and buying it.

Shoppable Posts are expected to drive the sales number higher owing to this way of direct Instagram advertising. Companies are basically turning their posts into ads for product sales.

The range of products on Instagram Shoppable posts is from clothing to beauty products to home products.

With shoppable posts, customers can quickly check out any item as selected products are directly added to their cart.

If you are a product-based business, then Shoppable posts are highly recommended.

Recommended resources:

9 Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Businesses To Use  

How To Start an Entire Fashion Blog Completely On Instagram

2. Voice Search / The boom of voice Search in 2021

Since the advent and growth of voice search, the technology behind a voice-enabled search query and conversational AIs has rapidly evolved to allow users to make highly complex and accurate voice searches.

We have witnessed a massive surge in popularity and use of smart assistants in phones and smart speakers like Apple’s Siri, Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, etc

Such a rapid acceptance of this technology across the market has caused a major impact on search engine trends and SEO.

Over the future years in Digital Marketing it is expected that almost half of mobile searches will be done with voice assistants.

So what is the future scope of voice search in Digital Marketing?

Let’s dive in further and break down some major strategies we need to adopt for evolving voice search trends:

  • Understand your target audience.
  • Understand the user experience.
  • Ensure your website is designed for mobile friendliness.
  • Focus on the featured snippet.
  • Target long-tail keywords

3. Video Marketing & Webinars in 2021

The majority of content consumers prefer watching videos over reading words and listening to audio format.

These make the video format of marketing much more effective in relaying information about products or services to the customers.

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter support this form of online marketing because they are also video format channels.

Engaging and funny videos that are trendy have more appeal to the audience making them the best way to market a brand.

According to a study on digital marketing statistics, around 92% of professionals use video format as their primary marketing tool.

Video format content is much more effective at persuading and bringing in consumers towards a brand for potential conversions.

After YouTube was launched in India in 2008, video marketing channels in India gained massive momentum especially in recent 5 years; and not just Youtube but also Instagram, Snapchat & Facebook, are providing the necessary highway for many brands for increasing their recognition & building brand value.

Recommended resources:

The Rise of Social Video Marketing: The Definitive Guide  

TikTok vs Triller: Which Is Better for Social Video Marketing?

4. AI-Chat Boxes

Industry Experts believe that Artificial Intelligence will receive an enormous boost in investments towards improving customer experience over the coming future.

Half of the businesses are expected to follow the implementation of chatbots & virtual assistants for customer support services.

The chatbots are being increasingly programmed to mimic human-like behavior and improve customer service.

One recent example is Google’s Project LaMDA which is a conversational AI that can respond to humans with human-like replies and emotions.

If this intrigues you, read this article on Google LaMDA.

We have listed below a few trends in chatbots for the future.

  • Chatbots are expected to develop to be more like humans in the future.
  • Voice bots are expected to become mainstream.
  • An in-Depth Study of customer insights will help in improving chatbot behavior.
  • Social media will most likely be the first to dominate AI Chatbot integration.

Recommended resources:

2021 AI Statistics, Trends & Data You Need to Know  

How Chatbots Will Impact Customer Service Industry

5. Artificial Reality:

Artificial Reality has grown and has been gaining popularity over the last few years and will continue to do so in the future.

Hence Businesses are integrating it to develop smart campaigns and move towards smart automated bidding.

A good example is how the websites implement chatbots to engage with the customer without having direct contact between the business owner and the sellers.

Taking a central stage in the digital world, AI will become a favored trend and new trend for a marketing strategy, because it leads to a better, more interactive, and personalized user experience.

One of the common examples that Artificial Reality has been offering today is the use of chatbots.

When a visitor arrives at the website, a chatbot pops up for an automated guide for visitors.

Artificial Intelligence is ultimately going to steer the future of Digital Marketing & businesses.

6. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has gained pace over the last few years both in terms of usage and development of technology.

The market size of VR and its applications is expected to bump exponentially by 2025, and advancement in the niche of gaming where VR technology is slowly being integrated has helped it find way more consumers.

VR’s range isn’t limited to fun and games either. Marketers have started recognizing VR’s unique potential to facilitate immersive experiences.

With the right strategies and marketing push, brands can find ways to connect deeply with consumers.

The biggest bonus for VR, in general, is its huge potential. It can literally cover all forms of experiences and entertainment from traveling across the world or playing the pokemon game in your local store.

This vastness allows companies who are marketing their products and services to use all kinds of different alternate realities to attract consumers to their products.

There are unending possibilities that businesses can use when incorporating VR into the digital marketing campaigns which will be unique to allow further exposure for the business and lure more audience.

7. Programmatic Advertising:

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising provides a way to purchase and optimize digital campaigns, instead of purchasing directly from publishers.

Programmatic Advertising includes Artificial Intelligence targeting specific audiences with automated buying of campaigns.

The ideal goal is to optimize and increase transparency for both advertiser and the publisher.

This is accomplished via real-time auctions where ads are purchased simultaneously as a visitor loads a website.

Programmatic Ad Buying is the use of software to purchase digital advertising.

While the traditional method includes human negotiation, requests for proposals, and quotes, programmatic buying makes use of algorithms and machines to buy ads. Programmatic Advertising is when AI is used to automate so that advertisers can target more specific audiences.

The automation is quick, efficient which ultimately increases conversions and lowers the customer acquisition cost.

Real-time bidding is a type of programmatic ad buying, it allows better and fast targeting, qualifying ads to be bought and sold on a per-case basis, which means visitors who are your targeted audience will be exposed to the ad.

8. Optimizing Digital Marketing with Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has already transformed the workings of marketing as we know it.

Artificial Intelligence can speed up different aspects of Marketing tasks, improving customer experiences and driving conversions.

Voice Search assistants like Siri and Google Assistant use AI to recognize your voice and sentences and then reply with appropriate answers.

AI in marketing makes use of data and machine learning to optimize marketing campaigns.

AI can analyze, optimize and automate a ton of marketing procedures to boost our efficiency and productivity through it.

Key Points to note:

  • AI can extensively personalize the customer experience by breaking down their profile insights.
  • AI can speed up the production of creation of certain content types.
  • AI can even make decisions on what type of content to create and when to upload it.
  • AI can pre-process huge databases and make accurate analyses based on data patterns to make appropriate predictions.

9. Sharp local SEO in 2021

Local Search Results are very important for small businesses. Half of all Google searches are made for local information, which is why your business must be optimized for local areas since businesses could be missing out on potential customers within our local areas.

To procure information for local search, search engines rely on data such as local searches, social media groups and pages, links, and mentions to provide the most suitable local results to the user.

With locally optimized SEO, businesses can use it to market their products and services to local potential clients and customers.

Key Points for Local SEO:

  • Optimize for Google My Business.
  • Keeping engagement on Social Media optimal
  • Update new posts to Google My Business.
  • Make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate online.
  • Perform a local SEO audit.
  • Improve your backlink structure.
  • Optimize  SEO elements like title tags, header tags, meta description, and content.
  • Use location pages on the website.
  • Focus on creating localized content.
  • Ensure your website is designed for mobile friendliness.
  • Keep backlinks relevant

Recommended resources:

2021 SEO Jobs Statistics, Trends & Data You Need To Know  

Your Ultimate Guide to Local SEO Strategies

10. Automated Smart Bidding Strategies in Google Ads

What exactly is Google Ads automated bidding?

Automated bidding is part of Google Ads bid strategies that are set to generate maximized results from your campaign goals.

With automated bidding, Publisher automatically adjusts the bid amount on the likelihood that your ads will generate a click, lead, or conversion.

To get all this from users, they analyze key data from the user’s device,  like their OS, time of the day they usually browse, location points, and demographics for the user.

Automated bidding aims to resolve two main issues marketers face in their campaigns:

  • Whether the bidding strategy is high enough for the target audience.
  • Whether the bids might seem higher than needed and potentially be displayed to people who wouldn’t make the purchase.

The 7 types of automated bidding strategies

  •  Maximize Clicks
  • Target Search Page Location
  • Target Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
  • Target Outranking Share
  • Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • Maximize Conversions
  • Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC)

11. Influencer Marketing

Influencers have garnered a spike in interest and figures over the past few years.

Fun Fact:

The number of Google Searches for the term “influencer marketing” itself has increased by 15 times! (1500%).

These numbers are impressive and proof that the segment is going to explode even more in future years.

But what is influencer marketing?

It is the marketing effort by a company through an influencer who has a large follower base and potentially a good influence on their buying decisions.

Influencers have a lot of reach potential & as more brands are becoming aware of the advantages of influencer marketing, they are willing to dive into the world of Influencer Marketing with more budgets.

A survey performed by Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that 63 percent of Digital Marketers are planning to boost their influencer marketing budget this year. Also, the influencer marketing segment is primed to be around a $15+ billion market in the future.

It’s without a doubt that influencer marketing is bound to grow. But how will the future of influencer marketing look like?

Just like all the other Marketing segments, it is going to evolve with new technologies and trends.

Let’s have a look at new upcoming changes in the influencer sector that we can expect in the future.

  • The advent of Influencer Networks
  • Focus on Micro-Influencers
  • Focus In-House Influencer Programs
  • Advertising to become Stricter Guidelines
  • Rise of CGI Influencers

Summary

The key takeaway from this blog is that digital marketing is the way forward and by keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends, it will get easier for businesses to market and reach their prospective audiences at affordable prices.

If you wish to learn more about digital marketing and its trends, sign up for this IIDE’s 3-month Online Digital Marketing Course and you’re sure to expand your horizon and gain a lot of practical experience.

The career opportunities in digital marketing are ever-growing and now is the right time to get started in it.

Conclusion

We hope this blog has been a good read for you. Let us know about your views in the comments section below.

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Karan Shah

An ‘Edupreneur’ and the founder of IIDE – Indian Institute of Digital Education. He is a passionate public speaker and teacher for over 10 years. He has trained over 1,00,000+ students and 25+ corporates in Digital Marketing via online and offline channels. He is a Harvard alumnus specialising in E-commerce. He is a Tedx speaker and is a visiting faculty at India’s top management institutes like the IIMs.

Comments

  1. Raphael Hans says

    Its a wonderful post. On my view I have seen Instagram shopable posts and video marketing to be the most powerful. I have seen my friends using those to advertise their business. Also I have seen people making mini games having their Brand on as mode of advertising.

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