Digital marketing trends to keep an eye on for the remainder of 2021 and beyond

hand holding phone displaying chat bot

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It’s no surprise that AI is becoming increasingly popular throughout many facets of technology. So, it makes sense that marketers are taking advantage of AI technology, too. A great example of marketing-centred AI that is widely used today is chatbots. Have you ever been browsing a website when all of a sudden a little bubble pops up in the bottom corner of your screen and asks if you need any help? Chatbots are great for getting customers’ answers quickly, assisting in processes like sign-ups or online orders, and in some cases even connecting to a real agent for further assistance.

2. Conversational marketing (instant responses, relate back to chatbots, etc.)

Almost certainly a response to humanity’s shortening attention span and desire for immediate responses to questions, the effectiveness of conversational marketing is likely responsible for the birth of the aforementioned chatbots. AI chatbots with increasingly believable human responses—or in some cases, actual human responses—have helped businesses tremendously. It will be exciting to see how this form of marketing continues to develop in the years to come, and what other tools we humans (or robots) will come up with to keep the consumer conversation rolling!

3. Video marketing

Video is everywhere in 2021. Virtually all major social media channels have integrated video into their platforms, even if they originally didn’t have it. I still remember in 2013 when famed text-based platform Twitter introduced video and how big a deal that was. And, as of April 2021, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform on the internet. The tremendous rise in popularity of applications like TikTok, and now ubiquitous video features like ‘Stories’ across many other applications, have proven that consumers are much more likely to watch and interact with a video than they are with a text-based piece of marketing content. If you haven’t already, now is the time to step up your video-marketing game!

4. Influencer marketing

No matter your opinion on influencers, it’s hard to ignore their extreme popularity and ability to pull millions of views in incredibly short amounts of time. More and more companies are working with influencers to advertise their products—whether it be an ad-spot in the middle of a podcast or a product placement in a TikTok or Instagram post, influencer marketing is becoming the new norm.

5. Interactive content

Alas, one of the fastest-growing trends in the digital marketing space—interactive content. This could mean anything from simple polls or quizzes to complete virtual reality (VR) experiences and beyond. Besides being one of the fastest-growing trends, I thought it would be appropriate to mention, considering a recent example I came across in my personal life. After some time browsing a video game application that I frequent, I came across a new Kellogg’s VR experience (advertisement) that had something to do with shrinking down and taking a ride through a human’s digestive system—Kellogg’s Gut Bacteria Reef was the name. No, I’m not kidding; and yes, this is a product directly from Kellogg’s. Here’s the link if you have a curious mind. It’s very interesting to see the reviews from people who purchased and experienced it be mostly positive. Kudos to Kellogg’s for adapting its marketing strategy to appeal to a wider and more digitally transformed audience. I think we’ll be seeing more and more of this in due time.

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