In 2020, businesses around the world were suddenly plunged into a digital-only world. As the battle against COVID-19 continues, it looks like some of these changes are here to stay. HubSpot reports that digital leaders working across various industries plan to spend an average of 25% more on digital in 2021. So, what do these digital-focused 2021 marketing trends look like?
1. A focus on video content to boost engagement
Video is set to be one of the biggest 2021 marketing trends. But, while video channels might be a key way to reach audiences who are forced to stay at home, it’s important to choose the right platform. Statistics show that the right video content can help brands boost products in several ways.
- Advertising on a variety of channels
Video is a powerful advertising tool. Research shows that 80% of users can recall a video advert that they saw in the past 30 days (source: Forbes). And, social media posts without any videos get 92% less traffic and 24% fewer shares than those with at least one video (SEMrush).
But, adapting videos to the audience is important. Not all videos are suitable for audiences in all regions. They need to resonate with an audience culturally in order to have the right impact. That’s why marketing localization services are key.
- Showcasing a specific product
90% of users reportedly agree that product videos are helpful to their decision-making processes (source: HubSpot). This may be because online shopping feels less risky when consumers can see what they’re buying.
What’s more, retailers are now taking products showcasing a step further with AI. Industry leaders like IKEA and paint giant Dulux have created AR apps that instantly render products in the shopper’s home.
2. Brand accountability
COVID-19 has been a testing time for brands, what message should they send to their customers? Well, those who got it right were rewarded. According to Deloitte, 20% of people experienced increased brand loyalty towards a company that responded positively to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 25% of people who noticed a brand “acting in their own self-interest” walked away from that brand. This highlights the importance of engaging with customers in an empathetic, honest way in today’s market. Brand accountability might not be a 2021 marketing trend but a shift in the way we buy.
Customers want to buy from brands they can relate to and that share their values, be it sustainability, eco-friendly product, or crisis response. Brands can then tailor their messages for audiences in specific geographical areas through marketing localization services.
3. Using marketing automation and AI
Automation isn’t new, but it should be a key 2021 marketing trend. As of May last year, 77% of US-based Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) reported they had turned to AI to automate their work (source: Deloitte).
AI can effortlessly complete repetitive tasks and analyze data, but its potential stretches much further. AI can transform the data it analyzes into sales-boosting changes. It can optimize and personalize customer journeys. It can predict user interface preferences and desirable products. In short, it can completely transform marketing strategies and save time too.
5. A new take on influencer marketing
Influencer marketing will continue to move towards the center stage in 2021. It doesn’t seem as though the pandemic has had a major impact on influencer engagement. In May 2020, a prominent survey found that 96% of US and UK customers were “engaging with them more or to the same extent as before the coronavirus outbreak” (source: Business Insider).
How important is the follower count?
Interestingly, influencers don’t have to have millions of followers to make an impact. Research suggests that collaborating with smaller influencers who have loyal fan bases can be cost-effective and promote a sense of exclusivity that larger influences can’t bring (source: International Journal of Advertising).
Multichannel and social commerce in 2021
Multichannel influencer advertising can also be beneficial. For example, Facebook’s live video popularity increased by 50% during the first half of the pandemic, while influencers on other platforms continued to see positive engagement too.
Another key 2021 marketing trend is social commerce, which links well with influencer marketing. Once a brand has attracted a user’s attention, it can take advantage of social commerce, where customers purchase a product without even leaving the platform. This changes the user journey with the hopes of increasing buyer retention.
5. Marketing translation
The marketing industry can’t go global without translation. Brands need to resonate with their customers, sending clear messages in their audience’s own languages. These messages should be localized so that they have the right impact on potential customers in specific areas, taking into account their cultural beliefs and local customs.
Localization is a creative process that can’t be left to online translation tools. After all, a brand’s reputation depends on how its audience understands its messages. At Future Trans, we offer high-quality marketing localization services across the MENA region. Our team has extensive experience in the industry, working with brands such as Amazon and Uber.