The digital marketing world is ever changing, which is one of the things that makes it such an exciting industry to be a part of, but it can also make it challenging to keep up with. What was effective in 2020 might not get the attention you want it to in 2021, and so forth. As you enter the next year in this decade, you’ll certainly want to be ahead of the curve.
In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the most innovative marketing tactics you’ll see in the new year.
1. Social listening tools
Social listening is a great way to monitor your brand’s presence online. It includes tracking the social media accounts of your company for customer input, direct mentions of your brand, and any conversations with related keywords, subjects, rivals, or industries. With tools like HubSpot, Sprout Social, Falcon.io, and Hootsuite, you’ll also get an interpretation of the details.
Insight from social listening tools is going to be very valuable in the coming years and will certainly help marketers get to know their audience better and as a result, improve their campaigns in the long run.
2. Short-form video (and video in general)
For years marketers have been preaching the importance of video content but the rise of short-form video through apps like TikTok and Instagram Reels have really made video engagement a requirement for the modern marketer.
Why? Video is a flexible and entertaining format of content that presents a real-life image of what is going on in the world, while also being easy to access and even easier to share. Consumers like it because it’s simple to digest, fun and engaging, and marketers like it because across several channels it can offer a potentially enormous return on investment (ROI).
Pro Tip: To maximize your ROI potential, make sure to size up your video for a variety of formats — post lengthy cuts on YouTube or Facebook and shorter edits to TikTok, Instagram, etc.
As we continue to face stay-at-home orders and cancelled gatherings, marketers and entertainers will also be focusing on live streams to fill the gap. Think about ways you or your partners can engage with your audience in real time.
3. Micro and nano-influencing
Micro-influencers are smaller influencers who have 10,000-100,000 followers. Because they have smaller audiences, marketers believe that these micro-influencers are able to communicate more closely with their small(er) but more devoted followers regularly. As compared to mass visibility, this group of social gurus will become much more important to companies who are interested in actually selling their goods.
In any sector, micro-influencers exist. Just like any campaign for influencers, you have to be careful to pick the right ones for your brand. Your own social media profiles are the best place to start the quest, as micro-influencers might already be following you or interacting with your posts. There are also many resources to help you identify influencers that are interested in your business, industry, or your product.
Once you’ve found the right nano-influencer(s) for your campaign, keep track of agreements, posts, and payment in a well-organized spreadsheet or with the help of social tools, such as:
- Influencer One
- Creator IQ
4. Hybrid in-person and online events
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, both personally and professionally, we can expect the effects to carry on into 2021 and for the foreseeable future. One way we’ll see marketing differ is in the context of live events. Throughout 2020, we saw thousands of events get cancelled; from concerts to conferences and small gatherings.
In the early stages of 2021, we’ll certainly see live events continue to be stalled but when they return, we’ll likely see more hybrid events offered. What does this look like? Brands and entertainers will likely offer online events to supplement or take place of in-person ones. Thanks to social media and video platforms, like Zoom, engaging online is easier than ever and event planners are definitely going to take advantage of that, especially as we slowly transition into a post-pandemic world.
5. In-app social media purchases via social media shopping
Social media shopping, also referred to as social commerce, refers to businesses that directly sell goods on social media platforms. It varies from social marketing which uses advertising to drive social users to the business’ website. With social media shopping, there’s less movement online and browsers can conveniently make purchases in the social app and keep scrolling. What’s also cool about social media shopping is that brands get the chance to incorporate products into compelling content that their target audience will enjoy. This makes it so users don’t feel like they’re getting bombarded by ads, and are instead liking, sharing, and buying from content they love.
6. More meaningful brand missions and campaigns
With all of the challenges of 2020, what consumers want now more than ever is goodwill and positivity. As you build out your marketing plans for the next year, consider what you can do to facilitate positive change in the world. There are endless ways to get involved in social justice, environmental, and economic causes these days, and your customers will appreciate your well-intentioned efforts! To see an example of this, click here.
7. Interactive content
Beyond blog posts and videos, you can expect to see more interactive content popping up in 2021. Choose-your-own-adventure content, quizzes (like the one seen below), and polling and surveys will help brands and customers connect in 2021.
There’s been a lot of uncertainty in the last year, but there are two things we can say for sure: 2021 is here and digital marketing will continue to evolve as always. We hope these tips help keep your marketing efforts on-trend and authentic to your brand. Which of these trends do you want to hop on first? Open up the discussion in the comment section below!
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Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.