A comprehensive digital marketing strategy is a critical element of any business plan, providing organizations with the means to attract new leads and customers. Without it, a company’s growth may slow or even come to a halt. This may result in very few leads inquiring about your business and very few existing customers knowing about your products or upcoming sales.

Any marketing created this year must include multiple channels to achieve specific company goals. A multi-channel approach is beneficial because it enables businesses to reach more consumers on the platform of their choice. In addition, it improves customer awareness. Consumers who see a consistent message across multiple platforms are more loyal and tend to perceive businesses as forward thinkers. A multi-channel approach to digital marketing will also ensure a company stays ahead of their competition. Brands using display, mobile, social and video marketing all together achieve up to 500% improvement in ROI.

Setting marketing goals and creating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy are not easy tasks. Very few things happen as we anticipate. And unfortunately, many businesses still give digital marketing a short shut-eye and move on before they can see real results.

So, what are the key digital marketing trends for 2021 that businesses should consider when looking to engage and retain current customers and generate new leads and revenue? Our online marketing agency in Toronto has identified 4 key trends that are shaping digital landscapes in 2021. Implementing these trends in your marketing plan will help you gain a competitive edge.

4 Key Trends that are Shaping Digital Landscapes | Online Marketing Agency Toronto

1. AI-First Approach

The first trend that will dominate digital landscapes is the AI-First approach. 2021 will be the year that we will wake up to the dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). Several businesses are already getting a head start. They are using AI to obtain accurate and real time analytics. They are also using it to enhance customer experience and support and minimize customer churn. In fact, 8 in 10 businesses that used AI in 2019 were able to improve customer satisfaction by at least 15%.

AI - Key Digital Marketing Trend 2021 - iRISEmedia Online Marketing Agency Toronto

Grammarly uses AI to determine the tone of your marketing copy (source: Grammarly)

2. Verified and Optimized Local Listings

Making sure that local listings are verified and kept current across search platforms will also be important in 2021, more so than in previous years. Local listings, whether on Google, Facebook or Bing, provide valuable information about a business’ hours, services and geographic location. They also enable businesses to capture the attention of consumers with trustworthy star-ratings and professional imagery and marketing messages. With the number of consumers using smartphones to search for local products and services set to increase, having fully verified and optimized listings will be paramount in 2021.

3. User-Generated Content

User-generated content will also be a trend that will dominate 2021. It will be a killer asset to small to medium sized businesses looking to increase their online marketing initiatives and make a comeback after a slow pandemic year. In a nutshell, user-generated content is content that is generated by a business’ social media followers, product users or consumers. It is not content that is paid for by a brand. Rather it is a real and legitimate recommendation being shared by consumers themselves. Businesses can no longer ignore user-generated content, especially since 3 in 5 consumers trust it over any other marketing method.

4. Visual and Voice Search

The prevalent use of voice and visual search is another emerging 2021 trend that our online marketing agency in Toronto feels is important to highlight. An increasing number of consumers are searching via voice-activated tools like Alexa and Siri. Perhaps that is because many people are stuck at home, with limited occasions for socializing. It may also be because voice technology is more readily available and 3 in 5 consumers have a form of it at home. But it’s not just voice search that will dominate in 2021 – we can also expect other creative search methods to trend, like visual search. Tools like Google Lens enable consumers to search for whatever they can see.

Google Lens Visual Search - Digital marketing Trend 2021 - iRISEmedia Digital Marketing Agency Toronto

Google Lens allows you to do a Google Search with images taken with your phone (source: The Verge)

About iRISEmedia – An online marketing agency in Toronto

At iRISEmedia we are specialized in social media management, digital marketing, online reputation management and online branding. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to increase qualified web traffic and online leads. We service clients in Toronto and throughout Canada and the U.S. Give us a call or contact us if you want to discuss any of your social media marketing needs. We would be delighted to hear from you.