Marketing agency trends haven’t exactly played out as expected recently. We are living in interesting times… and marketers are eagerly looking for bright and shiny promises in 2021.
We all are — in any given industry. A lot of what made sense in digital marketing last year is already irrelevant today.
Let’s take stock, check our current stash of marketing tricks that we’re still using, and then look ahead to the top 10 marketing agency trends you should know about in 2021.
What Are The Current Trends In Marketing?
It’s important to be aware of the current top marketing trends to better decide if some upcoming trends are worth investing in or ignoring.
This is one of the fastest-changing industries and if you’re not moving quicker than a spider monkey — you’re going to miss out on all of the bananas! And the green stuff too.
Here are some of the top digital marketing trends from yesteryear.
This is what Customers.ai is here for! Developing better connections with customers, shortening sales cycles, collecting data, and generating qualified leads is all part of the Monkey magic, and what many refer to as “conversational marketing”.
This includes text message marketing, such as Facebook Messenger and SMS. While chatbots have proven that they are here to stay in 2021, the ability to switch to real-time or live chat is increasingly important.
Big surprise, right? You’re probably already planning to link your brain up to Elon Musk’s Neuralink device asap… or not. ???? ????
Many marketers have already been utilizing AI for quite some time to gain insight into customer’s emotions.
Armed with emotional IQ data, marketers can adjust to connect more meaningfully with customers and therefore make more memorable experiences. Yes, it is more human than human.
Like it or not, get ready to learn about and appreciate AI and machine learning even more in 2021.
“Digital Darwinism does not discriminate”– Brian Solis
As marketers, we are all diving deeper into machine learning land — a lot of this is about more than automation, it’s about harvesting data and intelligent customer insights.
If you’re not regularly analyzing data to guide your content and advertising, then you’d better get privy fast because it’s a safe bet your top competition are data dungeon masters.
Chatbots use machine learning, but we’re mostly talking about programmatic advertising, answering frequently asked questions, and utilizing AI to auto-suggest improvements for advertising.
Voice Search Optimization
If you accidentally called your pet or child “Alexa”, you’d be excused in 2020, as we’ve all been staying home more often and utilizing streaming music to fuel our WFH days and ease stress.
The dynamics of WFH life have broadened the opportunities for marketers in voice search optimization even more in 2021. Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana have primed the pump and it is clear voice search is only growing.
According to eMarketer, one-third of the U.S. population was already using voice search in 2019. With an expected 9.7% increase to 122.7 million users by 2021! Marketing agencies can’t afford to ignore the voice search takeover.
Better SERP Data
When it comes to nailing down search algorithms, many marketers are playing monkey see, monkey do. But there’s a better way — analyzing search engine results using sophisticated (and easy to use) software.
Free Marketing Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google trends as well as those offered by SEMrush and Ahrefs make analyzing keywords and search engine rankings more fun than a barrel of bananas!
We could go on and on about the digital marketing trends of 2020, from focusing on Gen Z to social stories, videos, and interactive content, but that’s not what you’re here for, is it?
What Are The Trends In 2021?
We’ve all heard enough about the marketing agency trends of 2020. Let’s get on with the glory of 2021! So, what are the unicorn marketers doing differently this year? Dig into this list of the 10 marketing trends you should know about in 2021.
Marketing Agency Trends #1: Purposeful Marketing
If you ran an insensitive campaign in 2020 — it’s over, you’ve been called out and possibly “canceled” by consumers.
According to a study by Deloitte, over 25% of consumers walked away from a brand that they interpreted as insensitive in 2020.
However, we already learned the importance of conversational marketing in 2020. Now it’s all about building genuine relationships and brand loyalty with meaningful messaging.
It’s time to reevaluate your marketing agency or business’s purpose — how are you serving people? Nobody wants a cold call or email these days (did they ever?) and everyone needs help in some area of their lives.
Figuring out how you help your customers is step one. Next, take that service and shoot it to the moon — get micro, get focused, and amplify your “here to help” messaging for brand loyalty in 2021.
Marketing Agency Trends #2: Agility And Quick Pivots
It may be a stretch to call marketing agility a trend, as at first blush it seems more like a necessary survival skill. However, marketers are uniquely positioned to leverage digital tools and technology better than most.
When the world throws you a pandemic or mass social unrest, you’ve got to make quick changes to stay relevant in the marketplace. Your consumers’ needs ebb and flow like the tide and you’ve got to be the lifeboat on these choppy seas of change.
A great way to keep pace is by having an omnichannel approach to marketing where you can keep tabs on all of the different channels from a single dashboard or platform.
Add more cross-channel marketing tools to your tech stack this year to both delight your clients and improve your agency’s internal efficiency.
Marketing Agency Trends #3: Hashtags and Emojis
While utilizing emojis and having a hashtag strategy is nothing new for content marketing, it’s taking — dare we say, unprecedented form in 2021.
Hashtags remain a solid way to get your content in front of more people in an organic and targeted manner. Emojis are everywhere — people love them, and research shows emojis fetch 25% more engagement on Twitter and 60% on Facebook.
So start adding those unicorns ???? , monkeys ????, and sparkles ✨ to improve your social media game! ????
Marketing Agency Trends #4: Nurture Your Humanity
In tune with our first agency trend of this list, being purposeful with your messaging, now more than ever agencies are implored to be more human. What does this mean?
Stop making decisions based solely on efficiency. When you mostly invest in efficiency you risk falling short in inclusivity, with biased results and a distasteful feeling of social isolation.
Invest in human connections — ask yourself how you can serve your customers’ needs with quality over quantity, with empathy over apathy, and compassion and generosity over greed.
Agencies have the perfect platform to do this. Technology has blessed us with tools that enable us to communicate instantaneously with people in a conversational way that adds a touch of humanity and value to every interaction with your business.
Consider using a Customers.ai drip campaign on your Facebook page, Instagram, and website with a live operator chat takeover function– not only do people get fast responses, but they can speak with a real person when needed, which is a major brownie point these days.
Transparency and trust build on the aforementioned purposeful marketing and human connections.
To summarize the trends to this point in a nutshell: Be Real.
Transparency matters a lot to consumers. Being sincere and transparent is how your agency or company will build trust with customers in 2021. The best way to do this is to promise what you’ll deliver, and see it through no matter what.
Marketing Agency Trends #5: More Purchasing On Social Platforms
The major social media platforms, especially those from the Facebook family, are making it easier for people to discover and purchase products without leaving the platform.
With the rollout of Facebook Shops since May of 2020, it has never been easier to drive more conversions using chatbots.
Another solid reason to continue improving your social media presence and customer experience with advanced customer support tools. Every unanswered message, question, or comment is potentially a lost sale.
As eCommerce businesses witness the power of these developments and pivot to allowing purchasing on social media, we expect a lot more demand for Facebook Messenger Ads and Messenger drip campaigns to guide leads through the customer journey with multiple choice questions leading to the sale/conversion.
It has never been easier to create a custom drip sequence for your customers with Customers.ai OmniChat for: SMS, Web Chat & Facebook Messenger Marketing (and Instagram in beta, get on the list!).
Marketing Agency Trends #6: Partnership Marketing
Every industry is looking towards fractional solutions in various applications. When it comes to marketing — combining forces with other successful or driven marketing agencies is better all around. Not only will your agency become more scalable and able to take on more work but also you can focus on your expertise.
There are many different “partner marketing” models, but you’re basically outsourcing anything you haven’t mastered and freeing yourself up to become the master of all things.
Marketing Agency Trends #7: TikTok Is Officially Important
If you’re a member of the Gen Z generation, then this is fine — you’re already there. If you’re a bit older, perhaps even a Millennial but most certainly if you’re a Baby Boomer — then you’re probably not a “TikToker”.
Prepare to burn the midnight oil learning this new platform and how to advertise on it, because it’s officially a thing in 2021 and a fantastic way to connect with customers.
Check out how a major clothing brand, Mango, boosted engagement and cultivated a stronger sense of community with their Spanish customer base.
You can find more inspiration for your client’s TikTok campaigns on the TikTok website.
Get creative with a branded hashtag challenge and build a community for your agency or clients all through the use of fun videos.
Marketing Agency Trends #8: No More Cookies
Google has announced that it will no longer support third-party cookies on Chrome starting in early 2022.
It’s a good thing for the internet as a whole, as far as privacy and data tracking is concerned, and no more antitrust lawsuits for Google. But what does this mean for marketers? You need to prepare to utilize first-party data to target and track your ads.
Marketing Agency Trends #9: Ecommerce Advertising
Shopping online has completely exploded over the last year, which can be significantly attributed to the pandemic.
Marketers can reasonably expect a solid ROI on ad spend with the Ecommerce giants. Because companies like Amazon know a wealth of information about their customers (borderline creepy), marketers have better measurability.
If we’ve learned anything from 2020, as we’ve already stated, it’s key to drive human connections in your marketing strategies for 2021. The easiest way to provide this conversational element to your customer’s experience is with an Ecommerce chatbot.
Take advantage of the array of Ecommerce marketing tools available. Start a conversation with each visitor to your website, Facebook page, or Instagram profile that encourages easier conversions for Ecommerce sales.
Marketing Agency Trends #10: Customer Engagement
Engagement has always been important to marketers, but this is on a whole new level. We’re talking about customers actually participating in brands, as ambassadors, influencers, and more.
User-generated content, or UGC, is always important in the world of social media marketing, but now we have customers co-creating and innovating new products. This type of interaction is often through video or blog.
Here are 10 tactics guaranteed to increase engagement on Facebook for your clients in 2021!
What Is The Biggest Trend In Online Marketing?
For 2021, the big trend is going to be across many verticals — being kind, being real, and being helpful. It might sound mushy but we’re quickly approaching a time where brands have to take a stance. Then, they have to stick to it and beat that drum until you and your clients are excited about what you believe in.
While you might still be reeling from all of the changes in the marketing industry in 2020 — stop monkeying around and start brainstorming new ways of doing things to maintain your marketing agency’s competitive edge.