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Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

In response to the pandemic, the digital marketing world has kicked into high gear with the popularization of virtual platforms to replace in-person experiences and campaign redesigns to acknowledge the new reality. Given the rapid adoption of new technologies, behaviors, and trends, marketers must look further into the future to keep up with marketing trends. What can we expect in 2021 and beyond? Which platforms should brands invest in? How can marketers better engage and retain customers? It’s never too early to start strategizing. Below are some digital marketing trends we think are worth paying close attention to.  

Short-Form Videos  

While social distancing at home, many people’s boredom levels have increased, and many have turned to short-form videos for entertainment. Now, even as the nation begins to open back up, these behaviors continue to be deeply set. According to AdRoll, TikTok is now the preferred platform for Gen Z, Snapchat implemented a major redesign, and Facebook launched reels on Instagram to get in on the action. It is crucial that businesses looking to target a younger demographic invest in short-form video strategy and execution. TikTok Business launched earlier in 2020 and is set to expand its paid promotion and advertising options in 2021. The early adopter window is valuable but short, meaning marketers must move quickly and get acquainted with this emerging medium. 

Marketing Automation 

With digital marketing technology growing in sophistication, it’s no secret that marketing automation is becoming a trusted tool in the belt of many marketing strategists. The customer journey is dynamic, offering a variety of touchpoints across all connected devices. As companies use digital marketing to expand their reachit becomes almost impossible to track data manually. Having a sophisticated attribution model is becoming the industry standard for predicting outcomes and calculating ROI accurately.  

This is where marketing automation platforms come into play. According to AdRoll, 67% of marketing leaders have already leveraged marketing automation tools. While marketing automation software has existed for years, developers are always working to integrate new capabilities with the most robust models offering design, marketing, and CRM functionality, all from a single connected platform. In 2021, this technology will further evolve, allowing marketers to better generate leads, provide customized content, and track results.   

More Personalization 

Online shoppers expect more than ever. Whether your target audience makes their purchase decisions based on exceptional branding, product selectionor promotional offers, there is more than ever an expectation of personalized content. A study found that 72% of shoppers will only engage with personalized marketing. Shoppers avoid and unsubscribe from mass-blasted email campaigns in favor of targeted, personalized outreach and landing pages. 

As you can imagine, there are countless ways to personalize the shopper’s experience, whether that be through multi-channel experiences, curating offers tailored to customer needs, or customer-centered support. However, before you begin any level of customization, you must gather more information on your site visitors. The more data you collect on a customer and their preference, the more tailored your personalization will be.    

User-Generated Content  

In today’s world, customer experience has never been more critical. Consumers crave enjoyable experiences with brands; they want proof before they buy, and they want reassurance after. UGC ticks many boxes for connective content, from strengthening customer-relationships to generating new leads and providing excellent social equity. When consumers see brands using content from real customers, you improve your credibility and bring your brand’s promises into perspective. In a world filled with unprecedented change, users want a brand they can count on.  

As digital marketing continues to evolve, we can safely say that 2021 will be a year of continued digital transformation and engagement; this will be a year where innovation, marketing strategy, and creative ideas will either make or break brands. Rise above your competitors by implementing these four trends. If you’re looking for an agency to help you grow, check out what we have to offer at GriffinWink. We can help you expand your digital efforts and achieve overall marketing success.