To stay current and fresh in a competitive landscape, brands have got to keep adapting their marketing efforts, in response to new trends and practices. With so many marketing options out there, you’ll be spoilt for choice in 2021. To focus on some of the most important trends right now, be sure to check out these picks.
1. Social Shopping
Social shopping, or social commerce, allows businesses to directly sell products using social channels. Social commerce is not the same as social marketing, which focuses on boosting web traffic with content. Social shopping rather involves a complete shopping experience, from browsing items to payment. The process is more streamlined when compared to shopping on a website. Further benefits of social commerce include:
- Improved user engagement.
- Improved search engine rankings.
- The opportunity to grow your audience.
2. Hosting Virtual Events
The COVID-19 pandemic paved the way for virtual events, such events became necessary due to new restrictions and safety. In 2021, virtual events will continue to be a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Hosting virtual events can allow businesses to access new audiences, and share their brand story.
Virtual events can often draw larger audiences because they can be easily accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world. To ensure that virtual events are successful, businesses need to create engaging content and provide excellent speakers. Events should be as creative and as fun as possible, making the best of the new normal.
3 . OTT Advertising
OTT refers to ‘Over-the-Top-Television’, with OTT channels, the content is played using the internet, as opposed to broadcast or cable providers.
OTT Advertising allows you to serve ‘non-skippable’ ads over the Internet, with an immersive content structure. When you provide ads on an OTT platform, you can help your audience to actively engage with the content. Throughout 2021, ott advertising will become increasingly popular.
4. Continued Personalization
In 2020, online marketing was all about personalization, and in 2021 the focus on personalized marketing will continue. According to Medium, ‘94% of businesses believe that personalized marketing is critical to their success.’ The idea behind this is that content relevancy results in the customers making a desired action. Businesses can personalize their marketing in the following ways.
- Product recommendations: Collect data about the customer and then use this data to recommend the products that they are most likely to enjoy.
- Personalized emails: Using CRM data, brands can send emails that tap into the values and preferences of the customer.
- Chatbots: With the use of Chatbots brands can deliver a personalized experience. Chatbots can access the customers’ previous interactions with the brand, and use this data to support the conversation.
5. Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR refers to a business model that helps brands to consider their influence on society, whether economic, environmental, social, or even political. A focus on Corporate Social Responsibility means aligning your business to improve society, or to support positive social changes. In the year 2020 we experienced increased political polarization across the world, this year, it’s going to be more important than ever that brands align their marketing with the values of their audiences. Whether it’s efforts to protect the planet or responses to the ongoing pandemic, consumers expect brands to focus on their CSR.
Over 2021, data and analytics will become increasingly important in marketing. The customer journey is becoming more layered and complex, meaning there is more for marketers to assess. Visualization and data analytics skills will be important to brands this year. There are plenty of benefits to data-driven marketing, including:
- Marketers can create highly targeted and personalized campaigns.
- Analytics can help you to create consistent marketing on each channel.
- Data-driven marketing can also help you to inform and improve your products.
7. User Generated Content
Brands will focus their efforts on ‘User Generated Content’, whether it’s videos, photographs, or social media posts. UGC is any content that is created by an Internet user, about the brand. Businesses love User Generated Content because it tends to outperform traditional brand content. UGC can help companies to:
- Establish authenticity and credibility.
- Access creative and unique content.
- Tap into new audiences and widen their appeal.
- Promote themselves without a huge budget.
In 2021, we’ll see many brands using Nostalgia as part of their marketing campaigns. Nostalgia encourages audiences to reminiscence, looking back to old times, songs, and memories, that bring back great memories. Several brands out there are already using nostalgic marketing, to forge deeper connections with their target audiences. Big companies paving the way are Nike, and Cheetos. Though this trend has been going on for some time, it’s really going to kick off this year!
9. Lots more video
Pretty much all businesses are already using videos as part of their marketing strategies, but according to the consumer, it’s just not enough! Business2Community, recently reported that ‘43% of consumers say they want more.’ There are several advantages to adding more video content to your marketing campaigns, including:
- Improved retention: Reportedly, ‘video Content has a retention rate of 52%.’
- Boost conversions: Including video can help businesses to boost conversions on their websites and social media pages.
- Creative content: Videos allow brands to get visual and creative, entertaining their audiences, and remaining competitive in a digital landscape.
- Create events: Videos can help you to create special events, for example live webinars.
10. Interactive content
Interactive content has been about for a few years, however this year we’re going to see an even bigger focus on interactivity. There are several different types of interactive content, including quizzes, surveys, interactive videos, contests or polls. Users enjoy this type of content, it can be fun, creative, and boost engagement. By creating some great interactive content, you’ll improve your user experience.
As you add new elements to your marketing strategy, remember to keep an eye on your analytics, to see what’s working for your audience. Efforts to analyze and improve your marketing campaigns all of the time will help you to stay ahead of your competitors.