Michel Bernard Shares How Marketing Trends Are Changing For 2021
2020 caused unexpected, seismic changes in the digital marketing landscape. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic were damaging and far-reaching, but also had the effect of raising e-commerce sales. As people were removed from their normal ways of socializing, shopping, and ordering takeout food, online alternatives were able to take up the slack.
As the digital landscape has undergone so many changes, marketing practices have had to be updated as well. Michel Bernard, a digital marketing expert, shares some of the ways in which marketing trends are changing in 2021.
Companies have become more aware of the impact they have on customers’ lives. The most authentic companies have reached out to see what their customers need and what kind of information they can trust. Connections between brands and their customers will continue to be paramount in 2021.
For example, brands will find it necessary to create opportunities to do good in the community. Many brands responded to the pandemic by creating charitable initiatives meant to support essential workers and healthcare providers. These gestures of kindness caused tighter bonds between brands and consumers. Consumers were able to reach out to brands and let them know about charitable opportunities.
Increasing Use of Livestreams
Livestreams became even more important in 2020, and the trend is projected to continue into 2021 as coronavirus restrictions continue. People who are working from home need diversions, and children and teens spending more time online enjoyed using sites like TikTok to upload and share their own content. Livestreaming began to take the place of live or in-person events, ranging from product launches to concerts and political fundraisers.
Even after the lockdowns have finally come to an end, livestreaming is expected to continue as a major aspect of digital marketing. Brands and consumers have grown accustomed to this way of connecting with one another, and savvy brands will continue to expand on their possibilities.
More Influencer Content
Going hand-in-hand with livestreaming, more influencers have become prominent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Influencers provide organic marketing opportunities for brands, and they use their own time to produce informational and fun content.
One platform that has particularly taken off with influencers is TikTok. While the app was first used for young people’s dance and music, it has expanded to videos on cooking, makeup, and fashion. TikTok reaches a huge number of Gen-Z and millennial consumers each day and tapping into this market is one of today’s best digital marketing strategies.
Sustainability has become even more important in 2021. 81 percent of consumers believe that companies need to help improve the environment. Brands have been shifting toward a more sustainable stance for several years, and this trend is projected to continue into 2021. Millennial and Gen-Z consumers are considered two of the most environmentally oriented cohorts.
Popular programs to promote environmental health include upcycling plastic trash from the oceans, donating a portion of profits to environmental causes, working to reduce waste in manufacturing facilities, reducing packaging, and encouraging customers to do their part to protect the world we live in.
User-generated content has become one of the key features of digital marketing over the past few years. With user-generated content, consumers are able to create shared experiences with their friends and connect with a brand on a deeper level. This information can help to grow organic market reach as user-generated content is shared.
Over the past year, issues of social and racial justice have come to the forefront. As American society went through painful times, brands came to realize that they needed to conform to the new requirements of doing business today. Smart brands allied themselves with popular movements like Black Lives Matter and made sure that their advertising and promotional materials were free of racial bias.
Companies that did not make an effort in this area were called out and shamed in the public eye. Michel Bernard emphasizes that it is even more important for brands to increase their social responsibility.
Voice-Activated and Visual Searches
In 2020, the ways in which consumers searched for products and information evolved. More consumers bought voice-activated units like the Amazon Echo that runs Alexa. Natural-language queries enabled users to find the information they needed without having to type on a computer or smartphone. Visual searches also became popular, with customers able to upload pictures to search for. Programs like Google Lens also make it possible for wearers to search for anything they can see.
Smart digital marketers are already adapting their advertising and their products to fit this new model. Marketing directors are advised to use even more image alt-text and descriptions than in the past, in order to make their data fully searchable.
The Rise of Podcasts
Podcasts have become extremely popular in today’s digital landscape, with one consumer survey finding that as many as 55 percent of the population listens to podcasts regularly. One major advantage of the podcast is that it is easy and inexpensive to produce and share. Any brand with a good idea can start a podcast and position itself well when compared to its competitors.
Taken together, all of these changing digital marketing trends will continue to have an impact well into 2021 and beyond. When digital marketers want to update their activities in accordance with shifts in the business landscape, they have many workable options. Michel Bernard expects that there will be more exciting developments in digital marketing over the next few years.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes