// 28 January 2021

6 Digital Marketing Trends For 2021

Goodbye 2020! The global pandemic has had an impact on every business. However, many businesses have been successful in turning to digital marketing to keep their businesses not only afloat, but still profitable. 

2020 saw digital transformation in the enforced switch to digital ways of working, which had an impact on culture and process as well. Many companies, particularly large operations, perhaps surprised themselves in their ability to adapt when forced to and this in turn, may provide them with the confidence to persevere through more changes which may arise in 2021 and beyond. In fact, many businesses globally reported far higher profits by completely transforming their businesses to digital.

Digital transformation is a mega trend that has been around for years, and something that Traffic specialises in and has propelled for its clients over the last year in particular, as the pandemic has given the need for digital transformation a new urgency that, for many businesses, is existential. 

So, what will 2021 bring? 

In this article, we explore 6 trends we expect to see continue or be introduced this year for businesses to be heard in today’s digital landscape. 


1 – Digital Business Pivots May Become Permanent

Virtual Events and Experiences for audiences to engage outside of your traditional sales messaging. We have helped many clients, especially in the property industry such as Australian Building Company and Menangle Park create virtual consultations and Q&A sessions for at home display home viewings or similar. By diversifying your social media activity to connect with more engaged users, you enrich the user experience on your social profiles, helping to break down the barriers towards purchasing from you. 


2 – Social Media Will Become A Primary Channel For Purchase, Instead Of Just Discovery

Social media platforms like Instagram & Facebook are making it easier for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without ever having to leave the platform, creating a simple and seamless path to purchase. With social commerce continuing to advance into 2021, retail brands will need to adapt to these platforms with new rules, not dissimilar to what many did with Amazon.


3 – Informed Buyers Want To Buy From Informed Brands

This means evolving even beyond the age of personalisation and entering an age of personal commerce, where consumers co-curate their experiences with brands to reflect their preferences at any given moment. They expect for brands to understand what they’ve bought in the past and help them to determine what they should buy next, based on all the data that they’ve consciously shared with them by engaging with their sites and channels. This is not just a matter of brands meeting consumers where they are; it’s about brands telling them what they want, when they want it. If brands and retailers are going to continue collecting first-party shopper data, they will need to begin actioning it in meaningful ways, predicting what their shoppers want to see next, and understanding where shoppers are in their buying cycles to predict when they’ll want to buy.


4 – Virtual Events Started Out Of Necessity, But Are Here To Stay Because Of ROI And Accessibility

In the face of the COVID pandemic, events became virtual out of necessity. As we move into 2021 and beyond, many events will stay virtual not only because of continued safety concerns, but also as a result of lessons learned in 2020. Companies found that by going virtual, they opened up their event to an entirely new audience as virtual events are more accessible than in-person events. 

For virtual events, visa issues, travel restrictions and costs aren’t as much of a concern as with in-person events, and many businesses have found that this allows for higher attendance and more participation. In essence, that means a smaller investment for more people and a higher ROI. 

The key, however, is to get that creative brain thinking and drive engagement through great speakers, rich content and some fun of course. In 2021 and beyond, virtual events will continue to be a popular option to engage with a broad set of customers as businesses see the many benefits of hosting online events.


5 – Content’s Reign Isn’t Over  


If content is King, in 2021 context will be Queen. Having a more detailed understanding of your customer, from zero-party-based interests to a more detailed view on customer interactions makes next-generation personalisation all the rage.

Applying machine learning and analytics to your personalisation strategy will allow marketers to drive efficiency, effectiveness, automation and optimisation.  

Content marketing will remain a key priority in 2021, but there will be a sharper focus on storytelling, for both B2B and B2C organisations. 

Especially since the start of the pandemic, we have been absolutely inundated with information, so compelling content will be critical to cut through the noise in the market. Storytelling marketing will allow businesses to connect and engage more effectively with customers and prospective clients. Customers are looking for a personal and emotional connection when making their purchasing decisions, and a story that resonates strongly with them will help organisations establish that initial connection. It also needs to be in ‘bite-sized content which can be easily consumed such as quotes, short videos, blog posts and more. 


6 – The New King of Social: Short-Form Videos

People’s boredom levels have increased while in isolation and many people globally have turned to short-form video for entertainment: TikTok is now the preferred platform for Gen Z, Snapchat implemented a major redesign, and Facebook launched Instagram Reels to get in on the action. Given the boost in social media consumption for all generations, CMOs have redirected budgets to these channels — in Q2 of 2020, social media accounted for almost 25% of total marketing budgets, a rise of 13% from 2019. 

Given the love for all things quick and catchy, marketers looking to target younger customers must invest in their short-form video strategy and execution. Developing short-form videos may seem deceptively simple, but balancing branded messaging with the carefree tone associated with short-form videos will require customer research, strategy, and creativity. On average, Gen Z has an 8-second attention span — it’s high time to start experimenting with how to best communicate your brand purpose, product values, and CTA in a short and snappy way.

To find out more about how Traffic can help your business with digital transformation and marketing, contact us today. 








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