It doesn’t matter what your industry is, or what products and services you offer – digital marketing trends cannot be ignored. Not so long ago, companies needed little more than a website and a Facebook page, but now, the digital landscape is evolving so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.
By now, there aren’t too many successful businesses that don’t have an online presence. In 2020, new technologies and tools will come to the fore, forcing marketers to adapt in order to keep their organizations at the top.
After all, Digital Darwinism is an unforgiving reality. If you don’t adapt, you’ll surely be left behind. Read on to discover the digital marketing trends to be ready for in 2021.
1. Chatbots Will Dominate Customer Service
Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) software that acts as a virtual “concierge,” communicating with users and assisting them in completing their goals. Chatbots interact with humans in a natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but verbal interactions are also possible. Over time, as the system collects more data insights, the AI learns more about the customers, making it possible to offer a continuously-improving service.
Throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020, chatbots carved out a regular role on Facebook, by the tens of thousands, for different tasks. Everything from providing weather reports to automating some basic customer support functions can be easily handled by sophisticated software. Bots allow users to get personalized, focused interactions without pulling too much from limited human resources.
80% of businesses claim they want to start using chatbots this year. When you consider the benefits, it’s easy to understand why:
- 24-hour service
- Instant responses to customer queries
- No need for breaks, vacations, or overtime pay
Tawk.to research from January 2020 found that 43% of consumers prefer to message an online chatbot rather than to phone customer service centers when communicating with a brand. So, with businesses and customers keen for more involvement with chatbots, this is sure to be one of the fastest-growing digital marketing trends in 2021.
2. Facebook May Be Peaking. Really.
Facebook is no longer the kingpin in the social media world. According to Forbes, 41% of its users are over the age of 65. While it is by no means struggling, it’s clear that Facebook is losing ground with the younger demographics, who tend to prefer the more visual, interactive experiences offered by Instagram, Snapchat, and the rising star, Reedit.
After the data breach scandal in 2018, Facebook has lost significant credibility, with many people growing frustrated and resentful with the platform’s proliferation of fake news, political propaganda, and cyberbullying. The once-dominant force is continuing to drop in popularity with younger demographics, with TechCrunch speculating that Facebook may be dead to Gen Z.
It’s essential for future digital marketers to really look at who their target market may be because Facebook may be very unsuitable for some campaigns, especially as it continues to trend downwards with younger people. Facebook is still massive, and many Americans continue to check in on it. Still, marketers should be more cautious with who they are trying to connect with and make sure their target audience is still on Facebook. If not, you could be wasting your marketing budget, targeting the wrong social media platform.
3. Instagram is a Hit with the Kids
Instagram’s meteoric rise has already seen it pass one billion users, an impressive achievement. That means it’s one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms and, perhaps more importantly, much of its user base is the coveted younger demographic, especially under 30. Facebook is losing much of that cohort, due to its reputation as the social media platform for “old people.”
One potential problem that marketers should keep in mind is that Instagram recently decided to remove the likes feature from the platform. Many influencers have voiced concerns about this move, and therefore, companies should keep a close eye on the impact this will have in 2020. While it could lead to an uptick in content quality, many users may drift away from the platform in search of vanity metrics elsewhere.
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Latest Update on January 15, 2023
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