Top 7 Trends to Watch for in 2021
2021 has the potential to see enormous growth in promising technologies. Thanks to the challenges throughout much of 2020, some of those technologies have already grown faster than anticipated. Others have the potential to take off in the coming year. Is your business prepared to address these hot technologies head-on?
1. Google Core Web Vitals
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and growing, and savvy website owners adapt to those changes. Most recently, Google is set to include Core Web Vitals in its algorithm, changing how it selects the most effective sites for its search results and provides them to its users. Core Web Vitals include elements that track loading speed (LCP), interactivity (FID), and visual stability (CLS). Ensuring that your website has the right elements can increase the odds that it will appear high in search engine rankings.
2. Voice Search
Voice search is becoming an increasingly popular search mechanism. With more than 111 million users currently, voice search offers considerable opportunity for businesses that choose to focus on it. Voice assistant tools like Alexa allow users to search while performing other activities, from driving to taking care of chores around the house.
Voice search requires a more natural keyword pattern than traditional searches. Usually, users phrase voice searches as a whole question, rather than as a disjointed series of words. Adapting to these changes and including those keywords in your content plan can make it easier for your website to get noticed.
3. Visual Search
Image searches allow potential customers to search for content based on a picture. For example, this is an excellent way for users to find products that they may have seen somewhere in person or on the internet. Sixty-two percent of millennials want visual search options over any other new search technology, and with good reason. Visual search is becoming increasingly important across multiple platforms, including search engines.
4. Improved Chatbots
Chatbots have, for some time now, taken tasks off of the shoulders of human representatives. As they continue to grow in popularity, their functionality is increasing. Not only can current chatbot models handle basic customer service tasks and interactions, but they can also offer solutions to problems, answer questions, and even locate specific products for users that need them. Improving chatbot functionality allows human representatives to focus on other tasks.
Around 58% of B2B companies and 42% of B2C companies use chatbots to enhance customer service and provide for customer needs. As their functionality improves and they become easier to program, an increasing number of businesses will add chatbots to their customer service arsenal or increase their chatbots’ functionality to help handle more tasks. For many companies, this can help cut costs and improve customer service at the same time.
5. OTT/CTV Ads
OTT content has increased steadily over the past several years. During the coronavirus pandemic, most consumers started streaming more content than ever, with the average American streaming an average of 8 hours of content or more per day. OTT ads allow businesses to get directly in front of customers whenever they watch that content.
Many advertisers also appreciate that OTT ads allow immediate action: users can click directly on the CTA from an ad, which means they can respond immediately to the content they’ve viewed. OTT ads also allow for more direct targeting than traditional television advertisements, since they enable you to customize your audience based on other viewing habits and even the other content they’ve viewed on connected devices.
OTT ads offer the same benefit as traditional television commercials, but with that more targeted audience. They allow advertisers to create ads that provide both visual and audio input, which can evoke a more profound emotional response in its users.
6. Programmatic Ads
Throughout 2021, programmatic ads are likely to continue to grow immensely in popularity. Traditional digital ads were based on a broad spray strategy: they cast out a wide number of ads hoping that they would reach consumers who had an interest in the content. On the other hand, programmatic ads are based on a set target audience, determined by algorithms based on browsing behavior and other elements. Programmatic ads can help improve advertising investing return and make it easier for advertisers to reach their target audience directly.
7. Branded Podcasts
Companies are increasingly creating their content, including branded podcasts, instead of advertising on someone else’s content. Over the past several years, podcasts have grown considerably in popularity. People listen to them while performing other tasks, from driving to performing menial chores. Branded podcasts allow your business to fully display its expertise and share the things that most interest your team members. You can focus on your specialty, go deeper into information relevant to your customers, and add personality to consumers’ interactions with your business.
Interactions Between Changing and Growing Technologies
In many cases, these growing trends have the potential to interact with one another. If you want your business to excel in 2020 and beyond, make sure you’re familiar with these trends and ready to implement them across your business.