2021 Marketing Trends To Watch For

What are the up and coming marketing trends for 2021? After the unprecedented year of 2020, one thing we can be certain of is there’s much to come in the landscape of digital marketing and public relations.

This week, we got together with our team and compiled our list of trends to watch for:

Leading with a people-driven marketing strategy.

Executives and thought leaders have seen the shifts in the media landscape and society that are forcing them to speak out on behalf of their company. We will see more leaders step out from behind the corporate brand to accelerate the speed of trust and credibility for their companies.
– Paige Velasquez Budde, CEO

Robust content marketing strategies

While advertising will still play a significant role in many marketing strategies, a more robust organic content strategy will be critical to building an online infrastructure. Quality vs quantity is key here, so utilizing video content, longer thought-driven text posts (especially on LinkedIn) and leveling up engagement with other individual’s personal brands will be an important factor since many changes are likely to come for advertising platforms.
– Nichole Williamson, Brand Strategy Director

Involvement from the core team

Companies, organizations and institutions will recognize that the biggest untapped marketing asset they have are the individual thought leaders on their team. Instead of pouring all marketing resources into the corporate brand, smart organizations will leverage those internal thought leaders as public-facing on-ramps for the business itself, accelerating trust and affinity at a much quicker rate along the way.
– Rusty Shelton, Chairman

Audio-driven content creation

Audio will continue massive growth, specifically with older audiences. Audio consumption has grown considerably over the past few years (check out the increase in podcasting), yet there will be new opportunities to expand through conversational apps like Clubhouse that serve as realtime, at-your-fingertips, content.
– Wes Fang, Chief Strategy Officer

Holistic PR strategies

Brands will focus more on holistic PR opportunities including targeted and strategic influencer placements, virtual events, etc. on social media versus solely focusing on paid advertising on platforms whose algorithms are constantly changing.
– Fabiana Meléndez, Senior Publicist

More natural stock photography

Less “stocky” stock photos! These wheels have been in motion for a long time, but stock photos that look more organic and less posed are much more engaging (and likely to be engaged with). User-generated content or personal imagery is even better! It doesn’t have to be perfect and polished if it feels genuine.
– Melanie Cloth, Creative Lead

An evolution for influencer marketing

It’s likely that influencer marketing will ramp up in the new year. With the ongoing effects of the pandemic, people are spending more time online than ever before. Companies will likely take advantage of this momentum to bolster their social media presence. At the same time, brands are being more and more judicious about which influencers they choose to do business with, taking care to ensure that their investment is strategic.
– Katherine Bingham, Publicist

Product purchase capabilities on social media

More social media platforms will incorporate a “marketplace” aspect into them to make it easily accessible for customers to buy products directly through them (ex: Instagram with their shop page, Facebook Marketplace, etc.). This might include a separate page on their platform that will enable consumers to directly buy products catered specifically for them through the app/website.
– Anushree Bhat, Digital Marketing Intern

TikTok advertising and sponsorships

Increase in brand sponsorships with TikTok stars/15-second video ad placement on the TikTok platform. These videos should seem less like ad placements and more like integrated videos relevant to the trending songs and dances on the app.
– Karly Weiner, Publicity Intern

An increase in corporate social responsibility efforts

I can definitely foresee a more activist mindset. Given the growing awareness of social issues, brands will reevaluate what their audience expects out of them. Brands will actively be thinking of ways to bring people together and make the world a better place. Design strategies could involve providing more accessibility such as image descriptions or subtitles.
– Nathalie Patajo, Design Intern

An affinity toward simplicity

With consumers’ feeds being congested with more ads and promoted posts, a trend I predict is digestible content. Brands will need to create campaigns that a viewer can easily understand – so the consumer doesn’t have to think too hard. We spend the majority of our day looking at a screen, make sure your messages are easy to grasp.
– Macey Pieterse, Digital Marketing Intern

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