Thanks to the unexpected changes in the global economy during 2020, commerce, particularly retail, is taking a direction we could not have foreseen a year ago. Digital marketing is adapting to keep up with these changes, which is why you can expect to see the following key trends in 2021.
Marketing trends predictions and expectations
With the rapid growth of online retail and virtual platforms during the lockdowns of 2020, what can you expect to see from digital marketing in the next few months? Here are just a handful of the trends we expect to dominate the coming year:
- Short-form videos are set to dominate social media. People have developed a much lower tolerance to boredom over the past year. They want content they can consume quickly and without the effort of reading, which is why short videos are becoming the best way to reach your market.
- New privacy laws will change the way you target your audiences: California’s new privacy laws, signed into state legislation in 2020, are set to act as a blueprint for similar regulations in other states and at the federal level. These laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), give consumers increased rights and protection when it comes to their online privacy. Online marketers will not be able to target them as easily as they did formerly and will have to adapt their tactics. It is recommended that you acquaint yourself with your state’s privacy laws and shift your tactics accordingly. You should also start creating messaging that explains the value of data collection to your customers.
- Automation will grow in both implementation and efficiency. Automation is here already, but it will become more efficient and sophisticated and will be adopted by more and more marketers, quickly taking over the digital marketing mainstream. You will be empowered to convert leads, generate personalized content and track your results more accurately.
Why will short-form videos dominate this year?
The growth in popularity of platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat is proof that the global market, in general, has an appetite for bite-sized pieces of video content that communicate their points quickly and in an entertaining manner. Marketers looking to capture a large, younger audience will have to start creating content for these types of platforms. Doing so effectively will become an area of specialized marketing expertise in its own right.
User privacy protections – a new marketing challenge
The new legislation in California, and the laws like it that are likely to follow throughout the country andlimit marketers’ ability to collect data as they did before. Automatic background data collection will become a thing of the past, and all information gathering will have to be done with the audience member’s express consent. Naturally, this means that marketers will have to develop ways to solicit that consent while respecting customers’ privacy and keeping them informed of their rights.
Marketing automation and personalization practicalities and affordability
Marketing automation and personalization are becoming the only ways to do digital marketing and social media marketing in the coming year. You may wonder what it will take to make the necessary adaptations.
Marketing automation platforms are nothing new, but they are rapidly developing in sophistication, with new features and add-ons being developed all the time. These developments are likely to pick up speed in 2021. The customer journey is becoming more intricate, with numerous touchpoints and metrics. Marketing teams will have to automate their analytics and responses to keep up. Outcomes and return on investment cannot be predicted and tracked manually anymore.
Automation is closely linked to personalization because the more you seek to create personalized communications for individuals and market segments, the more you will have to lean on machine learning to help you understand and speak to specific customer needs. Personalization and automation are thus growing together. You will not be able to personalize without automation. Customers will not engage with your content unless they can see its personal relevance. You will not be able to convey those personal messages across large audiences without automated gathering and interpretation of data.
WSI New Media Marketing is a full-service digital marketing and search engine optimization company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact us for expert help with your SEO, social media and other digital marketing tactics and strategies.