Marketing trends for 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything in marketing, it’s that you really can’t forecast the year ahead. However, there are some obvious marketing trends that we’re likely to see emerging or continuing in 2021.

Social media is still important and a new platform has emerged. 2020’s content platform winner is TikTok. There was a 500% increase in marketing spending on the app and it grew in users by 75%. Presumably most of this is B2C marketing.

However, the other main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) still have an important place in our online lives. This is particularly true for B2B marketing, which might be inappropriate for TikTok and Snapchat.

We’ve been seeing an increase in engagement and impressions across our clients’ Facebook and Instagram accounts, and LinkedIn is still the top driver for website visits. People are spending more time on social media to connect with others than ever before.

2021 will see an increase in: paid advertising; content that connects on a human-level more; and a higher frequency of posting in lieu of more traditional forms of marketing – and to capitalise on this.

Podcasting is on the rise

Although it is by no means a new form of marketing, it is becoming more commonplace in all industries.

Many businesses are restricted in terms of filming video, however still want a well-rounded marketing strategy with easy-to-consume content.

Podcasts can be enjoyed on-the-go and while multi-tasking. Listeners can get involved in in-depth discussions anytime and anywhere. Meanwhile, brands are able to show authority on topics in a more human and entertaining way.

In 2021, podcast activity will continue to grow, particularly as the content can be created from any location, regardless of any restrictions. It also comes back to this need for human connection – something which you can gain from an experienced and friendly podcast host.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is vital

CSR isn’t just a box to check off. The impact companies make on those around them is noticeable. This has become more vital as people come together as communities through challenging times and seek to find something that makes them feel good.

In addition, the next generation of employees and some of the most powerful consumers, Gen Z, are heavily invested in a brand as a whole. They look to companies who are diverse, sustainable and have a positive impact.

Your marketing needs to reflect this. It should reach out to people and help them, or showcase how your products/services help people. It also needs to reflect a diverse workforce and consumer.

Virtual events become sophisticated

Out of necessity, many events – such training sessions and exhibitions – turned virtual in 2020. Now that everyone has got their heads around meeting and learning on laptop screens – and figuring out how to unmute their mic – it’s time things got more sophisticated.

Big brands and corporations will seek to maintain their authority as modern leaders in their industry by offering sleek, brand-aligned and interactive exhibitions and training sessions.

There is still a requirement for these events that were once held face-to-face, but companies need to provide something more to convey professionalism and to keep participants engaged.

These are just a few of our marketing predictions for 2021. It’s impossible to know what the year ahead holds, but 2020 has proved that the marketing industry is excellent at adapting to meet the needs of businesses and consumers.

Find out how RED can help with your marketing activities here.

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