At one point, artificial intelligence, data-driven marketing, and voice search engine optimization (VSEO) were grand concepts bordering on the absurd. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are among the top priorities for a majority of business owners in 2021.
And why wouldn’t they be? After all, if your business plans to remain competitive in today’s online scene, you must conform to the rapidly developing changes in digital marketing trends. As Brian Solis puts it: “Each business is a victim of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to exploit it. Digital Darwinism does not discriminate. Every business is threatened.” Have no confusion: We live in an era when digital marketing moves quickly, and consumer interests and behaviors are hard to foretell. Marketers can no longer bury their heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old systems will work perpetually.
Three 2021 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore
2021 Digital Marketing Trends #1: Artificial Intelligence Chatbots Are Changing the Way Business is Done, and May Affect Your Bottom Line
Think back to the last time you had an online conversation with a customer service representative. Maybe you were complaining about getting the incorrect item in your order. It’s highly likely that the person on the other end trying to resolve your dilemma wasn’t a person at all. You might have been talking with an artificial intelligence chatbot, basically a talking robot.
Artificial intelligence has made chatbots more realistic than ever before, and they are growing pervasive. Talking bots are taking pizza orders, reserving hotel rooms, and scheduling appointments. In short, these robots are everywhere and are one of the biggest digital marketing trends.
To maximize artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots’ capacity to improve service, save money, and increase engagement, businesses and organizations need to understand how these programs work and what they can do. Let’s go over how they have changed marketing and customer service and how they can start working for you.
What Is a Chatbot?
Let’s begin with the basics.
A chatbot is a computer program that mimics human conversation – spoken, written, or both. Chatbots conduct discussions with people, and developers typically hope that users will not recognize they’re actually speaking to a robot.
The term chatbot comes from “chatterbot,” a name coined by inventor Michael Mauldin in 1994. He created Julia, the first chatbot made with Verbot, a common software programming and development kit. Today, AI chatbots are also called many other names: talkbot, bot, IM bot, intelligent chatbot, conversation bot, AI conversation bot, talking bot, interactive agent, artificial conversation entity, or virtual talk chatbot.
Artificial intelligence in the form of natural-language processing, machine learning, and deep learning, makes it feasible for chatbots to “learn” by discovering data patterns. Without training, these chatbots can then use the pattern to similar queries or slightly varied questions. This ability gives them the “intelligence” to execute tasks, solve problems, and handle information without human intervention.
Of course, issues can and do occur, including cases in which chatbot shortcomings frustrate customers. Talk bots also raise some intriguing ethical and philosophical questions that researchers have considered from the start.
- Technology research firm, Gartner, has predicted that 85% of all customer interactions will be automated by 2021. Artificial intelligence will power 95% of all customer interactions by 2025.
- Grand View Research predicts the global chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025, with a combined annual growth rate of 24.3%.
- Furthermore, 80% of business decision-maker respondents to a 2016 survey by Oracle said they already used chatbots or intend to use them by 2021.
- In fact, 63% of customers are more inclined to return to a company website that has live chat. (singlegrain.com)
2. Conversational Marketing: What is Conversational Marketing?
Let’s look at the heart of this phrase: conversation.
It’s marketing with a one-to-one focus, not one-to-many. It’s similar to a personal inbound strategy.
At its core, conversational marketing is more like a discussion with a friend or referral rather than talking to an audience. The idea is that it’s a distinctive way to communicate than how we do with big groups. Instead, it’s like you’re informally talking with someone because, actually, you are.
Think about giving your customers answers to their questions; resolutions to their challenges. Of course, you don’t want to slip into the habit of interrupting. Conversation marketing can have the appeal of traditional tactics by shouting at prospects. Rather, use technology to be available when needed, answer the questions, and connect a user with a person when they’re ready.
In other words, rather than old-school marketing where you push advertisements or sales pitches in someone’s face, conversational marketing is about creating availability to interact with prospects when they’re ready to talk.
That’s it. Your role as a marketer- or as a company- encourages an environment where you’re available, and people know they can reach out when needed.
Like the friend they text with a quick question, you’re only an instant message away. Conversational marketing is about making business interactions personal and without the sales pressure.
- A whopping 86% of Drift survey respondents said they prefer chatbots above forms.
- According to Gartner’s report, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have chatbots by 2021.
- In fact, according to data from Business2Community, 79% of consumers are willing to use messaging apps to get customer service.
3. Video Marketing: Is Video Marketing the Right Choice for You?
Before we get started, there is an honest question you should ask yourself – “is video marketing the right alternative for me?” To answer this question, there are a few things to contemplate before getting started without setting a destination first.
Setting a goal of what you want to accomplish is the first and most critical step of this journey. Without a clear goal, you will likely be in trouble as you proceed to create your content.
After establishing a clear goal, the rest will be just designing problems that you will easily sort around. What is every marketer’s goal in this world? People will watch and be attracted to their content. This means you will have to produce a clear video marketing strategy for this to occur.
The fact is that video marketing is one of the most relevant tools you can acquire today. On Facebook alone, organic engagement is higher when content incorporates videos, according to Locowise. When we consider video marketing, Youtube may be the platform that first comes to mind. After all, YouTube is the largest video hosting platform and the second largest search engine platform behind Google. According to RenderForest, people view five billion videos every single day.
The question is, are you able to design a plan that has definite goals oriented to what you want to accomplish? And are you able to set achievable, realistic goals that are possible to measure in order to learn from your wins and losses? If the answer is yes, get to work and create the best video marketing in your industry out there.
- Insivia says that a website is 53 times more likely to reach Google’s front page if it incorporates video.
- According to one study, video views increased brand association by 139% and purchase intention by 97%.
- Now, if your video is longer than 1 minute, it is more likely to have increased reach.
If your business hopes to survive in organic search in 2021, I believe that this kind of humanization of your brand will be unavoidable and following these digital marketing trends will help. This growth is unlikely to waver as we move forward.