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With the world in a state of upheaval (still), it can be tough to predict what the market is going to do next, but luckily we’re here to help. We’re at the end of the last quarter of 2021 and the year is rocking and rolling, so we wanted to take a moment to share some of the top digital marketing trends of 2021 thus far.

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One on One Virtual Customer Service

People have always liked talking to “real” people instead of bots, and this hasn’t changed! In fact, we’d hazard to say that demand for one on one customer service with a live customer service representative has grown exponentially. Now that more people are home for much longer stints of time, establishing a human connection beyond people’s quarantine pods has exponentially increased in value.

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Livestreamed Events

This event has been canceled. 

It’s likely a sentence that has likely haunted your dreams for months- especially if you’re someone who was looking forward to a particular concert, convention, or otherwise. It’s no surprise that CrowdCast or Live Streaming events have become as popular as they have. Virtual live events are the next best thing. This trend will certainly continue into 2021 as long as live events continue to be out of the question. You can reach your consumers by putting on CrowdCasts or sponsoring one. This will provide content for your customers to consume.

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Podcast Content

Podcasts have seen an uptick in viewership over the last year. In fact, about 68 million Americans currently subscribe to weekly podcasts. The great thing about advertising with a podcast is that their demographics tend to be niche, making it easy to determine whether or not a podcast will reach your target audience!

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Charitable Outreach

With the rise in unemployment thanks to the continuing pandemic and staff cuts (unemployment in the US is at 6.3% as of Jan. 2021), showing a little empathy goes a long way. Not only is promoting a charity or giving a certain percentage of all proceeds to said charity great for optics, but it’s also the right thing to do. Appealing to the ethos of your shoppers is a great way to build a personal connection with them and can do a lot to set your business apart from your competition. Whether you decide to donate a percentage of all sales to organizations like No Kid Hungry or One Percent for the Planet, you’ll be doing a good thing- and your customers will appreciate your humanitarian goals.

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Verbal Search

There has been an uptick in verbal-based search, or search utilizing Siri or Cortana. In the age of COVID, people have been talking to each other digitally more frequently, so it’s no surprise that people are talking to their personal AI’s more, too. In fact, according to a survey run by NPR and Edison Research, 5% more people between March 31, 2020 – April 1, 2020 used a voice command several times a day than was reported in the month previous. We foresee this trend continuing until the pandemic is capped.

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Inclusivity-Centered Marketing

In light of the widespread support of the Black Lives Matter movement, it has caused a number of companies to look inward and come out in support of the movement, as well. Collaborating with minority creators and supporting them across social media has been a popular route. Increased inclusivity in marketing campaigns including visual aids like commercials, promotional videos, promotional displays, and more can work to your advantage. When you tell your clientele that your product works for the widest audience possible- regardless of race, body size, etc., they will be drawn to your brand and product.

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Personalization is Key

Everyone likes personalized things. Personalized lockets, window stickers, sneakers- so it’s really no surprise that people like personalized marketing content, too. Isn’t it much better to receive specially curated content just for you than content with seemingly no direction? The answer is, absolutely! When you choose to personalize your marketing strategy, your customer will perceive your company’s dedication to excellent customer service (which is of course true!). Targeted ads based on what your lead has searched for on your website in the past, account holder email blasters,  special offers, and empty cart emails are great ways to appeal to customers.

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Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been all the rage for years, but now that people are stranded at home, they’re even more desperately looking for new content to devour. The influencer marketing industry is currently worth around $22 Billion USD. It’s no surprise that such a lucrative industry continues to expand as the popularity of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok influencers continue to grow. In some way, the current global climate has been a boon to these creators. They don’t have the overhead of a large production company and they can circumvent much of the logistics needed for full-scale photo or video shoot. Their flexibility, relative affordability, and access to vast, niche communities make them fantastic resources for your business! We’ll talk more about influencer marketing strategies in a different blog, so stay tuned!

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Video Content Above All

Video content has been key for years now, and it shows no signs of slowing or stopping. Video content doesn’t just provide a visual, it provides something that’s nearly tangible. In direct sales, the goal is to put a product in the customer’s hand to create a touch-based connection with your product. Now that people are less in person and more virtual, creating video content is the next best thing. It’s been predicted that people will spend 100 minutes every day on average watching video-based content in 2021, it’s a great opportunity to partner with YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to get your content out there. The longer a consumer spends watching videos, the higher the ROI and the more likely they are to convert to a customer who makes a purchase from your store. A great tip when creating video content is to keep it short, but not too short. 30 seconds seems to be the sweet spot, followed closely by 15. For more marketing video tips, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in future posts.

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