2020 was unlike any other year. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic rippled through the marketing industry. Consumer behaviours have changed significantly, and there’s no denying companies had to rapidly rethink their strategies – retail brands migrated online, bricks and mortar stores shut up shop, and e-commerce’s share of global trade went from 14% in 2019 to 17% in 2020.
To understand the extent of these effects, HubSpot asked 1,500+ marketers around the world about their marketing strategies and plans for 2021 and found that marketing priorities have shifted for the future. Its recent “State of Marketing Report 2021”, includes the top trends, strategies and best practice for marketing success.
Here’s the top four digital marketing trends you need to be across:
1. Social media takes out top marketing channel
Social media consumption is at peak levels, so it’s no surprise that marketers are putting their dollars in this channel – 8 out of 10 companies to be specific – making it the number one marketing channel for 2021. Teams are seeing the most ROI from Facebook and Instagram respectively, using social listening, hashtags and live video as primary tactics.
2. Focus on SEO is increasing
69% of marketers are investing in a solid SEO strategy for the year ahead (up from 64% in 2020). Marketers say top tactics are strategic keywords, localisation and mobile optimisation, and rely on keyword rankings as the dominant measurement for SEO strategy success. Confidence in SEO approach is strong – 75% agree their efforts are ‘extremely effective’ or ‘very effective’ in achieving marketing goals.
3. Content is king
One area to see increased focus on this year is content marketing – 82% of companies have an active strategy (up from 70% in 2020), and 28% have plans for new investment (up 17% from 2020). Video reigns supreme for marketing media created this year, and for good reason – people watched 12.2 billion minutes of video in 2020, which comes as no surprise given extra free time generated in global lockdowns and the corresponding rise of social platforms like TikTok.
4. Chatbots and conversational marketing are on the rise
Respondents said customer satisfaction was a top priority for 2021, so it makes sense that they’re investing in conversational marketing tools like chatbots to drive customer engagement and improve customer experience. 47% are using bots in 2021 (a 2% increase on last year), and Livechat and HubSpot are the top two software of choice.
Read the full report here.