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8 Digital Marketing Trends Changing the Game for Business

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“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” – VP & Global Head of Tech Vision & Strategy at HP.

Not too long ago, voice search engine optimization (VSEO) and data-driven marketing were merely ambition concepts. Today, they are transforming the marketing landscape.

Digital marketing is an ever-changing field. Just when you are confident that you have gained success in one aspect, another challenge awaits you, making you rethink your strategy and shift gears.

Over time, emerging digital marketing trends are improving the way businesses create and promote content. As a business owner, your success heavily depends on your ability to adapt to these trends. Here is a list of the most impactful ones.

1. Voice Search

According to analysts, voice search engine optimization (SEO) will have a tremendous effect on digital marketing in the next few years. Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa were introduced a long ago. Still, today they are more polished, advanced, and, most importantly, intelligent, encouraging more and more users to switch from text to voice search.

So, what makes voice search different?

Similar to conventional SEO, voice search optimizes a site for user intents and specific keywords. For instance, if someone asks, “what are the best headphones,” they are searching for a post that not only answers their question but also complements it with facts.

A voice assistant is different from traditional SEO. It collects an answer from search engine result pages (SERPs) and repeats it to the user. It doesn’t generate a list of search results or makes them visit a site.

But how does the voice assistant know about which site to visit? For that, It goes through featured snippets located at the top of search engine result pages in the zero position.

A featured snippet packs a tremendous amount of power. Once a featured snippet is displayed in SERPs, it causes the first search result’s CTR to drop by 8%. Therefore, if you can regularly appear on featured snippets, it will help you become more visible with voice search.

2. Video Marketing for Engagement

More than 90% of video marketers use social media videos to land a new client. Marketers have historically felt uncomfortable around video production, so how exactly are they supposed to approach it?

Firstly, it is necessary to keep in mind that the days of a full-fledged production crew are gone. Today, you only need to create informal, short, and engaging videos to promote your products. You can upload these videos on Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube.

Advertisers looking to make the most of YouTube’s capabilities can opt for YouTube TrueView or video display ads. With ad formats, digital marketers can promote story-driven and engaging content to customers in a discreet manner, which builds trust and promotes brand awareness.

TrueView for Google Shopping ads can cover YouTube videos of featured products. Through a single click, consumers are routed to the products shown in the video and can buy them without going through multiple steps, minimizing friction to a considerable extent.

If you are advertising on Amazon or social media, keep in mind that both have tons of opportunities to make the most of video, whether it is Enhanced Brand Content videos on Amazon’s product pages or in-stream video ads on Facebook.

When your email marketing and website database provide plenty of opportunities to leverage for video, use them to polish your user experience, provide product tutorials, and answer frequently asked questions.

3. Rise of Multi-Touch Attribution

This is the digital era. Customers are continuously receiving brand promotions on social media platforms. They are also bombarded on phone apps, podcasts, TV screens, web pages, and Google searches with products.

As a marketer who is looking to advertise on various mediums, it is essential to understand which of the touchpoints can result in a conversion.

Usually, attribution models can determine the first instance of a customer interacting with your business. However, this does not tell you about what will happen next.

Did a user read about your niche and detail and opt for your business? Or did they forget about your brand until they reached the next touchpoint? Is it possible to grasp and optimize the sales funnel?

Marketers who rely on last-touch attribution have certain assumptions. For starters, they believe that the last touchpoint carries the most impact, leading to the conversion. The problem with this assumption is that it discredits the value of a cross-device and multi-channel strategy.

If your digital marketers are spending time and resources on aligning your marketing across organic search, paid search, social media, email, and other channels to build a unified and consistent experience, avoid losing momentum by quickly spending your budget on what you see at the bottom or top of the funnel.

Instead, embrace a multi-touch attribution model, which can help you to consider all the touchpoints in the shopper’s journey. This way, you can make data-driven decisions about how to spend money in advertising formats at each step of the shopper’s journey.

4. Automated and Smart Bidding in Google Ads

For best results in Google Ad campaigns, ad specialists go through every piece of data and continue tweaking it and adjusting it for keywords, ad phrasing, and bids. Although this obsessive attention to detail produces results, it is burdensome, to say the least. Business owners without prior experience can falter at running these campaigns, eventually becoming overwhelmed and losing their hard-earned money.

Automated bidding strategies are here to resolve these concerns. With them, Google utilizes AI and machine learning to assess voluminous amounts of data that it has of its users to adjust bids in real-time. Ad specialists can adopt automated strategies to maintain control. Smart bidding is not something new – it was introduced in 2016. However, businesses have recently started to recognize its brilliance.

Do keep in mind that there is a wide range of human strategies to optimize PPC performance. Don’t set it without a well-thought-out plan. You have to test several things, which includes testing automated bid strategies against each other.

5. Mobile-First Websites

The prevalence of smartphones and drop in desktop usage was one of the biggest changes throughout the 2010s. As a result, businesses are prioritizing a mobile-first design for their website. This means that designers map out the smallest screen during website design first to provide the highest quality of user experience to a mobile audience and include features developed to enhance mobile use. As you can guess, this involves touch-screen friendly navigation with functions like collapsible menus, less text-centric content, and streamlined navigation menus. Although the site will continue to work on large screens and desktops, the UX is personalized to a mobile audience. Here is why you should choose a mobile-friendly design:

• Increase conversions and sales. Enhancing the user experience on mobile facilitates users with navigating the site with greater user-friendliness and boosts conversions
• Integrate mobile functionalities like camera use and voice detection into your site
• It is more affordable than creating a separate website and app
• Your page will load quicker, improving search engine ranking results and visitor experience

If 75% or more of your traffic belongs to mobile devices and smartphones or your digital analytics display a constant increase in mobile traffic to your site, mobile-first design can be suitable for your business’s site.

6. Gamification

Gamification is one of the emerging digital marketing trends that adds game features to a site. The elements that make games fun, addictive, and engaging are incorporated into marketing techniques to increase sales, brand identity, and customer loyalty.

Some of the examples include:

• Use games in your ads to improve brand awareness
• Scavenger hunt on the site tempts users to open each page and review newer items. Find new things and enjoy rewards like a free download or discount.
• Log in to the website ten days in a row and earn a prize
• Spin the wheel and earn a discount ranging from 10% to 50%

The advantages of gamification include:

• A nice way to bring users back to a site
• Can help with training purposes
• Can help with education purposes
• Offer clear CTAs for conversion
• Increased user engagement

7. Interactive Content

Interactive content is anything that people swipe, click, or interact with online. According to a study, 93% of marketers believe that interactive content is excellent for the education of buyers.

Businesses are experimenting with the following types of interactive content:

• 360-degree videos
• Augmented reality ads
• Polls and quizzes

These formats use state-of-the-art technology, such as video content and augmented reality to provide an engaging and immersive experience. These days, consumers like the feel of fun and memorable content from brands – it makes them feel more connected.

8. Marketing Automation

If you run a business, you are unlikely to:

• To have enough time to send emails to every subscriber,
• Focus on every abandoned cart
• Make enough time to circulate promotions and sales through email and social media.

Fortunately, marketing automation has made the lives of marketers easy. Email automation and marketing automation helps you set up campaigns and promotions, schedule a release in advance or set a trigger without any hassle. Most importantly, it tracks analytics – you can find what works and what doesn’t to make the necessary adjustments and tweaks. Companies use marketing automation for the following:

• Social media responses –Schedule posts weeks in advance to create automated responses. By adopting this use case, you can maintain social media without dedicating all of your days to it
• Segmented populations – Marketing automation plays a pivotal role in personalizing content for your customers based on common grouping
• Cart abandonment – Automate an SMS message or email that have to go out once someone abandons the cart to let them know that there is a discount, convincing them to return and buy
• Lead generation – You must have observed pop-ups on sites that offer a gift or discount. You will are required to type your email address and, within a few minutes, your gift will arrive in your email. After some days, you will receive tailored ads that are based on your interests and preference. This is automated marketing at play.

If you are looking to capture, nurture, and convert leads, marketing automation is the way to go. With it, you can establish a complete pipeline that meets your goals. Hence, there is no surprise that it is quickly growing popular among businesses of all sizes.

Final Thoughts

These emerging digital marketing trends are expected to shape the future of many businesses in 2021 and beyond. As you can observe, things are moving at a rapid pace in the digital marketing world. Interactive content, voice search, video, AI, etc. have become mainstream in just a few years. There is no time for companies to stand still because the modern, young, and tech-savvy consumers want brands to connect with them in exciting and new ways that make for enjoyable and seamless customer journeys.

Understanding these trends can greatly benefit your organization.


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