Digital Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye Out for in 2021

As the unprecedented times of 2020 have reshaped the business and marketing ecosystem, 2021 is a year where new trends will gain more power in the marketing world.

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that nothing is certain. There were popular trends in early 2020 that were meant to rise, but have since died out. Some trends were supposed to stop growing or become stagnant, but now they are more popular than ever. 

Among the significant changes 2020 left us with, video conferencing and working from home has become a new standard, social media usage and e-commerce sales hitting the stratosphere, and brands shifting their marketing landscape, albeit rather forcibly. These changes are probably here to stay and not because of the reason you think. What should we expect from 2021? Nothing is inevitable, but here are some key trends to look out for that have the potential to grow exponentially this year.

Inclusivity and Equality are now a MUST.

Social movements like Black Lives Matter made inclusivity and ethnic equality a more significant focal point in 2020. The campaign, highlighting the endemic issues that still reside within parts of society worldwide, impacted cultural views that have been present for centuries. 

This positive cultural shift will highly affect consumer decision making when it comes to what brands they choose. Accenture published a study highlighting that inclusion and diversity will drive shopper habits in the upcoming years, stating that “more than 40% of LGBT and ethnic minority shoppers are ready to switch towards brands that adopt inclusive practices.”

This means that brands or marketing strategies that don’t adopt inclusive practices will probably suffer a blow in 2021. However, brands that adopt these practices will likely positively impact their consumer base, creating deeper connections with their clientele.  

Live-stream and Influencer content

Staying at home and lack of social interaction through events means one thing: social media and live-stream consumption skyrocketed. Whether it was a branded live-stream, a live video on Instagram from their favourite celebrity or influencer, an online workshop or funny and entertaining videos on TikTok, people are turning to online entertainment now more than ever.

Speaking of TikTok, its use shot up in 2020. TikTok is a more recent player in the mix, but it is available in over 150 markets worldwide, in 39 languages, and has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times worldwide (until December 2020). 

Right now, it is placed slightly under Instagram in terms of users. But unlike its predecessor, Vine, this trend will probably continue to increase in 2021, securing TikTok’s upward trajectory for the long run.

So why did this happen? 

Interactive live content filled up the human connection void that consumers were left with the past year. Seeing and interacting with another person, let alone an online celebrity, creates trust and satisfies the need for social dynamics.

Brands and marketing strategies looking for new ways to appeal to customers can find potential clientele on these platforms. With an ever-increasing client base, targeting live-streaming and influencer content will cater to multiple audiences.

Programmatic Advertising

Here’s a more “market-tech” trend for all of those marketing geeks out there. Programmatic advertising means using AI technology to automate ad buying to target specific audiences much faster. Real-time bidding is a perfect example of programmatic ad buying.

This process is highly efficient and quick. Leaping into programmatic advertising, when done correctly, means higher conversion rates and lower costs in customer acquisition. 

Most search-driven manual advertising is done using 3-5 variables (keywords, location, etc.). Even those done with professional tools pale compared to programmatic advertising platforms that employ hundreds of variables to target advertising to the point of targeting by lifestyle or behaviour habits.

A popular programmatic advertising platform is Google’s Display & Video 360. It enables ad campaign management across display, video, TV, audio and other multimedia channels, all from a single dashboard. It also uses Google’s machine learning capabilities to automate tasks like bidding and optimization to respond to your audience’s necessities quicker!

In 2021, marketing strategies that adopt the newest ad-targeting technologies are the ones that will stay at the top. 

At Mrkt360, we will service DV360 starting 2021. Contact us to get all the benefits of DV360 plus the added value of Mrkt360’s marketing industry experience.

The new ecosystem: Targeting the at-home video consumer

COVID-19 forced consumers to stay at home. But as we discussed earlier, the need for social interaction remains. People are continually turning to online videos to stay informed. In 2022, more than 80% of consumer internet traffic will be inspired by online video. If the rise of digital and mobile adoption in 2020 told us anything, this trend is likely to continue.

Overall, the watch time of online video has increased, even to the point of consuming Youtube content on TV screens. This opens up ways for brands to connect with consumers in new ways, especially when it comes to reclaiming audiences that switch from traditional televised content to online video content.

Being successful in 2021 means hopping into the online video trend to engage actively with consumers.

2020: A Lesson

2020 taught us that the unpredictable exists. Brands have to think hard about how they choose to communicate, connect, and engage with their customers. Being locked inside means spending more time online, which points to an ever-growing shift in consumer behaviour. 

Over the next few months, we’ll see this prolong itself. Life-streaming will become even more common, inclusive brands will rise to the top, and new automated and video-oriented marketing strategies will be the ones to ensure success.

Alex Zertuche

Alex is a copywriter from Monterrey, México. He graduated from the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey with a degree in Communications in Digital Media, specializing in Project Management for Creative Industries and Digital Media Production. He is passionate about entertainment, creative writing and generating engaging content through his work.

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