Loading Image 2021 Marketing Trends | Marketing Agency | Commit Agency | AZ

2021
Marketing
Trends

Ready to Conquer 2021? We did the research so you don’t have to. Check out our list of the top trends shaping marketing in 2021.

Digital

Elevated digital brand experience

Consumer expectations of a brand's digital experience is more important than ever as we continue to keep our physical distance in the pandemic. If there's ever a time to get a digital strategy right, it's in 2021. Going forward, a brand's "digital handshake" should elevate rather than simply complement the in-person brand experience. Younger consumers, especially, have low patience for unsophisticated brands in the digital space.

Video continues to dominate

While video in general is not something new, consumers’ viewing habits and behaviors are definitely shifting. It’s out with the high production quality, famous talent and long-form videos and in with the authentic, inspiring and educational content that users are craving. The number one reason 12,000 Google survey respondents from around the globe they watch videos? To unwind. Sure makes a lot of sense in the age of COVID, don’t you think?

Sequential Video

Instead of forcing a 30-second made-for-TV spot into the digital world, use video ad sequencing to serve a planned sequence of ads that tell a story to customers across their purchase journey. This narrative structure is proven to be more memorable with a 74% ad recall lift for video ad sequencing vs. single 30-second TrueView YouTube Ad.

This narrative structure is proven to be more memorable with a

+74%

ad recall lift for video ad sequencing vs. single 30-second TrueView YouTube Ad.*

Google Analytics 4

Eight years after Google officially announced "Universal Analytics," it has launched a new generation of Google Analytics—"Google Analytics 4." GA4 will change the way we think about measurement using event-based data modeling instead of session-based, full cross-device and cross-platform reporting built to handle data from both websites and apps, and machine learning throughout to automatically surface insights.

Core Web Vitals (LCP, FID, and CLS)

Starting in May 2021, Google will be updating its ranking algorithm to take user experience into account—measured by a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals. These Core Web Vitals are focused on load time, interactivity and the stability of content as it loads. Poor scores in these user-centered metrics will not only create a bad user experience for your website’s visitors, but will soon hurt your search rankings as well.

Semantic search

Content has to shift to represent what people may imply they need—not just the terms they search for. We will need to be able to predict what else they may need and what the intent of search may have been beyond the key term. Understanding this relationship and providing all inclusive content that will help users discover what else they may have been looking for will be critical in 2021.

Consumer privacy laws

Privacy continues to be a central focus going in 2021. The launch of iOS 14 pushed a new version of Safari that allows users to very easily protect their data via a “shield” button on the browser. Additionally, the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—not to mention California’s Proposition 24 (the Consumer Privacy Rights Act) which is expected to become law once the results are certified in December—has caused developers to take continued steps toward offering consumers the opportunity to protect their data. This is causing issues from a data gathering standpoint for agencies.

Continued growth in streaming (CTV)

According to eMarketer, there are more than 200 million connected TV (or CTV) users in the United States alone.

CTV viewership is expected to reach

50%

of households in 2021

86%

of households in 2024

Advertisers have taken note, to the tune of an estimated $5 billion in ad spend by the end of 2020 (an increase of over $1 billion from last year). Have you cut the cord?

AI continues to make its way into more processes

Google continues to push toward more automated systems to manage paid search. While there are a lot of positives to automation, there are also some caveats. When automation is applied, it removes a lot of the visualization of the data in terms of understanding what is driving the campaigns.

Growth in AR and VR

If the idea of taking a car out for a test drive makes you shudder, you're not alone. The coronavirus has unequivocally had an impact on our comfort level with product trials, like shopping for that new car or even just a pair of jeans. Now, marketers are making it possible to do this from the comfort of home, thanks to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. These "immersive experiences" have made it possible for some brands to maintain revenue despite a decrease in physical shopping throughout the pandemic.

Design

Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

We're seeing a huge boost in searches for a number of design trends in 2020, which is expected to increase as we move into 2021. For instance, the ornate, geometric, Art Deco style of the 1920s is reemerging—incorporating elegant patterns and retro fonts against a linear, geometric style. Also on the uptick are the use of muted, organic colors; minimalist shades of black; and a newfound interest in Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Art Deco with a twist

Art Deco with a twist | Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

Blooms

Blooms | Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

Minimalist Black

Minimalist Black | Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

Muted Colors

Muted Colors | Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

Chinese painting and calligraphy

Chinese painting and calligraphy | Design Trends You’ll see more of in 2021

Creative needs to be tailored for each channel

To fully optimize media channels, it is important for advertisers to build platform-specific creative; customers are also coming to expect it. By building custom creative, advertisers can get the most of our their media placements.

Nature and activity-based photography

As the pandemic restrictions continue across the globe, we see more interest in the great outdoors and being active when it comes to photography. Search results show terms like “Wild Journey,” “Camping,” “Hiking” and “Out in Nature.” Images that capture the moodier side of these adventures, where people (and their pets) are connecting with awe-inspiring outdoor places, are increasingly meaningful.

Social

Conversational Commerce

Social media continues to evolve into a seamless and one-stop tool for how consumers interact with the brands they love. Where once siloed channels existed for all of our niche needs (TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Yelp, oh my!), users around the world are now increasingly opting to spend their time, and interact, in one place: their preferred social media platform. From critical reviews of products and services purchased, direct correspondence with companies they regularly do business with and real-time tech and customer care support, user engagement on social media will only continue to intensify in 2021.

Growth in livestreaming

The COVID pandemic has shifted how we all experience events we used to attend physically, like going to church, graduating college, attending a wedding or celebrating the birth of a baby. Today, many significant milestone events have shifted from physical experiences to online livestreaming events so that we can all experience those special moments even when we can’t be together. Would you say “I do” to a Zoom wedding?

Short-Form Video - TikTok and Reels Grow and Dominate

To think, less than four years ago, TikTok didn’t exist. Now, it’s one of the most downloaded—and used—social media apps on the planet. The viral sensation set the world on fire with its addictive short-form video editing capabilities, quirky dance challenges and more. No surprise, then, when Instagram jumped into the race with its newly launched platform-within-a-platform Reels, mimicking much of what makes TikTok so fun with the added value of being supported by Facebook’s unmatched network of users. Brands big and small are now tapping both platforms for access to the elusive, coveted younger demographics each attract so authentically with unique sponsored content, influencer partnerships and creative organic campaigns to draw attention where they need it most.

The Consumer spending shift to ecommerce via Social

Both consumers and traditionally brick-and-mortar brands embracing ecommerce pre-COVID suddenly found themselves diving in. After realizing some of the ease and benefits of ecommerce, many consumers may not fully return to brick-and-mortar shopping, especially during the holiday season.

Purchases of nonessential items—which are typically discoverable and shoppable on social media—stalled during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic as overall spending slowed, but is expected to rebound. Product sales on social platforms is expected to top $23 billion by the end of 2020—a 20 percent increase over 2019 but still $2 billion short of earlier projections.

Barriers to conversion is one of the biggest challenges—and tropes—when discussing how to best leverage your social media marketing strategy to drive sales. A direct influence of the ongoing realites of COVID-19 has been the acceleration and mass adoption of on-demand purchasing thanks to increasing user-friendly shoppable content. The shorter the conversion, the continued growth in value social media will play in brands' sales efforts.

Advertiser sponsored polls on Facebook and Instagram

Influencer Marketing and User-Generated Content (UGC)

Influencer marketing shows no sign of slowing. In fact, it’s evolving. More impactful than ever in a post COVID-19 marketplace, brands of all sizes continued to leverage—and find value in—what what social media influencers ultimately deliver: authentic voices in uncertain times. From critical brand advocacy when it’s needed most to becoming original content creators for brands otherwise hampered by social distancing or travel restrictions, utilizing influencers in creative and topical ways became one of 2020’s most dependable strategic marketing tools.

advertiser sponsored polls on Facebook and Instagram

You may have noticed that Facebook and Instagram poll ads are showing up more and more. Over the years, poll ads have evolved. The latest update rolled out in late 2019, which included launching Facebook video poll ads as well as AR ads. These types of ads increase engagement and help brands collect information about their target audience's preferences.

Advertiser sponsored polls on Facebook and Instagram

Content

Interactive Content across platforms

Interactive content is key to increasing customer engagement. This can be in the form of GIFs, videos, quizzes, polls, etc., and can be used in both digital and email executions.

Make
It
interactive

Monetizing content

In today’s social media “influencer economy,” Instagram continues to develop new ways to partner with its content creators. For the first time, Instagram will now start sharing ad revenue with creators through ads in IGTV and the badges feature. This is a shift for the platform, which previously left creators to figure out monetization on their own to now partnering with them through direct payment in the app. Instagram hopes this new rollout will entice influencers and creators to continue to use Instagram in a big way, which would make the platform more competitive.

Live event advertising

A pileup of delayed live sports events will leave advertisers scrambling to stretch and be nimble with their 2021 advertising dollars. This could cause some networks to lose out on ad spending and advertisers to rethink how they target the male demographic that typically tunes in. This season’s Super Bowl, which usually plays a big role in the advertising world where many companies debut new products and initiatives, may look different as many marketers may choose not to rely on the Big Game for a big reveal.

Brand Activism

Companies taking a stand and getting involved with social Activism

This past July, more than 1,000 companies hit pause on their Facebook ad spending in response to the "Stop Hate for Profit" movement aimed at social platforms for not doing enough to end hate, bias and discrimination on social channels. As the unsettling events of 2020 continued to unfold before us on the news, brands began taking a stand in ways they hadn't before—and consumers noticed. From healthcare to racism to climate change, there seems to be no topic that's off-limits—and consumers today expect their favorite brands to take a stand on important social issues.

Commit Agency can help your business thrive in 2021

Once you've had an opportunity to explore these trends, don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or ideas. We'd love to hear from you.

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