With a chaotic 2020 behind us, 2021 looks to be a lot more predictable and consistent when it comes to online advertising and the ways people and companies can benefit from certain trends that popped up during these last couple of difficult months. eCommerce has been the biggest boom of 2020, serving people across the globe in an era where restrictions and fear of infection molded the lives of millions of people that ended up using online shops and stores, many of them doing so for the first time ever.

However, the marketing trends that have developed over the course of last year have greatly impacted the online world and really changed the way a lot of marketing agencies deal now with online advertising and special promotions. A lot of these trends revolve around social issues and worldwide policies that reflect the wishes of the consumers as well as the development of certain fields like environmentalism, inclusivity and sustainability.

Here are the 5 trends that we believe will continue to grow and show net-positive results in the long run in 2021 and beyond:

Sustainability

More than 80% of the consumers believe that companies should help improve our way of living by paying attention to the environment and investing in methods that will provide a cleaner future.

This is seen not only in the automobile and electronics industries but also in the fashion industry as well as the food industry. From electric cars, electronics and electric tools made from sustainable materials, to clothes made from collected plastic from the oceans and eco-meals.

Making sure that you touch on sustainability and recycled products as well as getting involved in cleanup campaigns will definitely draw more attention to your business for doing the right thing in times of need and change.

Inclusivity

Given the on-going political challenges of the world, we have seen certain trends really pop out and develop in the last year, inclusivity being one of them as more and more people are getting frustrated with certain ingrained traditions in our society that neglect minorities and people that in the past were seen as non-conformists.

Many studies today show that this cultural shift impacts purchase behavior, with a lot of shoppers drifting away from companies and retailers that don’t really align themselves with the current political and socio-economical trending views. Brands that have been criticized for being non-inclusive or too distant from their customers have registered losses and a significant drop in purchases.

Once again, making sure that your services and/ or products cover the needs of everyone, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sex, is also a net positive for a lot of western consumers today.

Transparency

One of the more surprising trends of the last year is definitely related to issues of transparency that have come out in the public eye and have drawn attention to certain companies that don’t act in good will behind the scenes and in some cases, resulted in serious implications for those involved and caused a lot of unnecessary harm for the sole purpose of profit.

Therefore, people have started to pay a lot more attention to business practices and how transparent your company is about the way it provides these services and/ or products.

If affordable, being involved in certain contributions to certain issues is a positive thing to be known for, but also transparency in regards to how clean your company is, or how well you take care of your employees or how you make sure that you continue to keep your moral integrity as a company are all true benefactors and legit marketing points that you can touch on.

Influencers & Live-streaming

Stay home meant for a lot of people the need for entertainment through other sources. And these other sources have proven to be online social and streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, but also YouTube and Twitch.tv, platforms where advertising has continuously increased by demand and by the sheer numbers that these streaming mammoths bring monthly. We are talking about billions of hours watched and millions of viewers each month.

There are plenty of ways to advertise your products there, either through simpler and less costly ad revenues, to direct influencer sponsorships where your brand is always affiliated with a certain streamer personality that also promotes it from time to time or directly advertises it through an icon carefully placed on their interface.

Customer Experience & Accessibility

Easy to interact with and memorable ads or websites have gained a lot of popularity. Most people are not patient enough to go through more pragmatic ads and websites, so you really need to focus on delivering an experience that connects instantly or provide ways for your customers to engage with you in very simple ways that they feel they are rewarded for their interest.

The latter can be more easily achieved through user-generated content and it helps establishing a very good relationship between companies and their customers or target audience. The first one however needs a little bit more creativity as you can take the route of using podcasts, playful newsletters and even vlogs in order to promote your services or products. The more difficult thing here is that you need to rely on an investment in your creative department, whereas in the case of user-generated content, your customers will do it for you as long as they are given the tools to do so.

Time to Move Forward

The positive thing about 2020 in terms of marketing is that it pushed companies to think outside the box and to embrace the modern ways in which our society is evolving, slowly shifting away from the core of what was considered not even 2 years ago to be the go-to in terms of online advertising. As unfortunate as they are, crises like these can provide that extra incentive to allow yourself to experience things differently and change your ways accordingly so that new ways of doing things take shape and end up in control of the market.

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