Digital marketing trends in 2021

2020 has been a year of upheaval and uncertainty, the drastic lifestyle changes and impact on the international economy has been difficult for all of us. Digital marketing has not escaped the changing landscape, and marketers need to ensure that they remain on top of the trends for the upcoming year.

As we approach 2021, taking a fresh look at existing marketing strategies and analysing new developments is essential. Now is the time to closely examine your goals, enhance your decision making through performance metrics and adapt to the ever-changing landscape facing all brands and businesses in the new year.

Doing your research 

The stalwarts of digital marketing, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and SEO for example, are certainly not new elements for marketers to contend with. It is the way in which they evolve that is of interest to brands developing new strategies, so conducting market research is vital to understand the fluctuations of your target audience’s interests and needs. Establishing the intent of your audience when they search for content is the first step to achieving better search ratings and producing more engaging content.

In 2019, Google announced and rolled out their BERT update that improved the understanding of people’s searches, namely the subtle nuances of language that computers struggled with. Since this huge update, Google’s search algorithm has become even more advanced at interpreting various kinds of natural language enquiries. Optimising your content with SEO keywords that reflect user intent has resulted in a user engagement increase of an enormous 667% for some brands

PPC campaigns certainly don’t seem to be going anywhere soon either, with responsive search ads (RSAs) now seemingly becoming the default search format due to Google’s implementation. RSAs eliminate the need to manually figure out the headlines by mixing and matching the combinations to determine which create the most compelling ads for customers. Augmenting this technology into your strategy could save valuable time and resources, providing the edge to your upcoming ads.

Stay in tune with your audience 

Making sure that your brand values and ethics chime with the desires and passions of your target audience is key to ensuring success for 2021. This success isn’t just about optimising your advertisements and researching the market, it’s also dependent on observing the traits of your audience. According to research, up to 41% of consumers actively shift their business away from companies who do not reflect their values of inclusivity and diversity.

Modern audiences, especially younger sections of society, have begun to shy away from the typical, homogenous groups often represented in previous marketing and advertising campaigns. Representation for people with disabilities, as well as a variety of races, genders and religions is essential for these audiences when selecting their most trusted brands. In a similar vein to inclusivity, the modern consumer takes an avid interest in environmentalism.

With 81% strongly feeling that companies should protect the environment, communicating an eco-friendly stance to your audience can pay huge dividends for your upcoming campaigns. This can take many forms from unveiling a new product that is sustainably sourced, to creating ad banners that champion your commitment to a particular environmental issue. 

The key to successful marketing materials is to always centre it on the relevant audience, whilst preparing the relevant research and technological tools to maximise your engagement. 2021 is sure to bring new challenges, but opportunities will abound for enterprising companies.