Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2021
This year saw a massive shift to digital and by all accounts, this will continue into next year. Our 2021 marketing trends forecast considers the potential of co-marketing, heightened digital interaction, the importance of video in your content, virtual experiential marketing and marketing in Africa. Here’s what you can expect to see.
READ MORE: PR and Digital Marketing: A Hybrid Approach
More Co-marketing Partnerships
Co-marketing is on the rise, with more brands collaborating to achieve win-win campaigns within their intersecting industries.
Co-marketing partnerships bring brands together to reach new or untapped audiences, enhance brand credibility, keep up with trends, and achieve joint business objectives. When done correctly, these partnerships are hugely mutually beneficial.
Importantly, you need to ensure that the brand collaboration is a good match and that both brands have clearly-defined target audiences and similar brand representation. Moreover, it should also feel organic. Partnerships that seem forced, or are an uncomfortable combination of products or brand tones, generally don’t get the results.
Increased Interactive Content
Users now demand more than functionality – they want engagement. While social media is key to this engagement, you can also include engagement tools in your existing online infrastructure. This includes website quizzes, games, polls, interactive videos, surveys, and competitions.
Adding interactive elements to your website or social media is a good way to provide value for visitors. It will also get them to engage with your brand, therefore allowing you to learn more about them too.
For example, many companies offer free tips, how-to videos and even online bond calculators on their websites. In this way, they’re offering value to their visitors while also learning more about their website user activity. This info, in turn, can help you refine targeting for paid ad campaigns on Google or Facebook.
In 2020, we saw clearly that video content gets higher engagement than copy and still imagery. This is evidenced by the TikTok boom and multiple viral video campaigns. Video content lends itself to shareability and adds distinction to your customers’ newsfeeds.
Databox conducted a survey to analyse this trend, specifically regarding Facebook. When asked what content drives more engagement, marketers noted that video provided 29,7% more clicks than images.
The reason? Videos force scrolling users to stop and pay attention to the post. As consumers, we’ve gotten better at digesting content while scrolling, making it easier to scroll through images without giving the posts the time of day. With videos, you have an extra second to grab users’ attention.
Experiential Marketing’s Evolution
The immediate future of in-person events remains uncertain. Instead, one key marketing trend you should capitalize on next year is virtual events. Experiential marketing, while once touted as the next big thing, relies on human interaction which, in the current climate, cannot be banked on.
2020 saw everything change, with the global health crisis largely eliminating live events & upending proven marketing techniques. With brands eager to reunite with customers, experiential marketing pivoted to help forge relationships into the future. https://t.co/5oNlmD3Ql7 pic.twitter.com/Q0S0LSKhXV
— Advertising Week (@advertisingweek) December 9, 2020
But experiential marketing has evolved. Forbes notes that it will become digitised. “People are spending more time online and using connected devices as they are mandated to stay inside, giving more opportunities for users to interact. Whether it be through VR, playing an interactive game, attending a virtual concert, or a live streaming demo, experiential marketing will move towards brands engaging audiences for experiences online.”
Expansion into Africa
Considering marketing your business in Africa? If not, you should be in 2021. If your strategy doesn’t extend into Africa, you may be left behind in the next few years – if approached correctly, the growth opportunities are immense.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “the emerging affluent African consumer is as connected as the rest of the world, smartphone always in hand. As this untapped market captures global attention, it also offers marketers a chance to leapfrog the legacy of mass marketing and reinvent the field from the ground up.”
Marketing in Africa has its challenges, with different languages and cultures being the obvious hurdle, and so brands that launch global campaigns in Africa are often unsuccessful. But you can learn from other brand’s mistakes. Crucially, marketing needs to be localised and adapted for each territory and market segment within it.
It’s no wonder that social media holds the key to marketing potential in Africa… Digital media is becoming increasingly accessible across the continent, thereby allowing targeted ad campaigns to flourish across the various platforms. This data also gives brands an opportunity to tap into, and understand, their growing market.