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Now that the new year is around the corner, it’s time to take stock of what transpired in digital marketing. This year, most businesses still grappled with restrictions and lockdowns due to the new Covid-19 variants, and marketing specialists continued facing challenges brought on by the pandemic. The lesson? Adapting and pivoting to the constant changes in the environment and market is crucial to your brand’s survival. 

Read on to gain more insight in this 2021 recap on post-covid marketing trends and utilize them to help your brand gain traction and “future-proof” your brand against anything unexpected.

More Brands Adopted Artificial Intelligence

AI-powered digital marketing was more accessible than ever in 2021, even for businesses on a stringent budget. The following took off this year:

  • Personalized marketing with the help of machine learning
  • Better chatbot services that improve customer service
  • SEO software that can generate a lot of product descriptions in minutes
  • Content creation with the use of AI (ex., Pre-made video templates)
  • Marketing automation for better efficiency (did you notice the increase in your “promotional” emails this year? The lack of in-person shopping helped email marketing soar!)

If you have not implemented any AI yet, make sure you invest in the proper tools with a proven track record. Learn more here

Easy-to-Understand Content Reigns Supreme

This 2021, content that’s easier to consume tends to perform better and ranks best. However, though there’s still room for pillar and cornerstone content between 1500 to 2000 words, the passage-based ranking of Google saw a shift. 

Expert marketers have begun adjusting longer content to make them easier to understand. Follow suit by doing the following:

  • Ensure your content provides answers to specific questions
  • Say goodbye to lengthy and convoluted epic long guides
  • Break down content into very distinct sections for easy reading
  • Find ways to make your content more visually appealing 
  • Make sure that your content serves a purpose for the audience and guides them to take a specific course of action 

The audience loves this trend, so expect to see more of this in the tail end of 2021 and beyond. 

Being More Selective with Social Media Channels

In 2021, businesses had limited income because of restrictions. As a result, they also had limited advertising budgets. For this reason, brands like Uber and Chase turned off paid digital ads without adversely affecting their revenue. Many other brands followed suit because staying present in all channels is not sustainable. 

Before, brands thought that the more social media channels they had, the more leads and conversions. However, you must now be more selective and focus on nurturing your social media profiles instead of just having a mere presence. In addition, you must rely on data to help you figure out which social profiles increase your bottom line and have a clear ROI.

Social Commerce Was a Hit

In addition to focusing on the proper social media channels, social commerce exploded. You can learn more about the ins and outs of social commerce and how to get started in our recent blog post here, but in short, social commerce is the act of buying and selling products or services via social media. 

For example, in the screenshot below, you will see that this company uses Instagram to sell products in a few different ways: First, they tag products within their photos, allowing you to click and shop for that exact product. Second, a user can simply visit their page and click “view shop” for yet another way to get users to convert to a sale.

The Resurgence of UGC for UX 

Back in the day, UGC, or user-generated content, had a terrible reputation for digital advertisers. This tactic can lead to many issues, especially if you cannot moderate what others say about you. However, UGC exhibited a resurgence this 2021 on both websites and social channels. 

A lot of brands tapped into their audience by offering freebies and discounts. In turn, the people who truly loved their brand conveyed the message more effectively. This approach leverages people who already use your products and services, giving you the best boost. It’s a win-win situation, so continue implementing this strategy if you want to amplify leads and increase conversion rates in 2022. 

Holding Successful Virtual Events

Though a few places eased some restrictions, virtual conferences, trade fairs, conventions, and other events stayed virtual this 2021. Though some of them may return to face-to-face in the future, people are still reeling from the aftermath of Covid-19. 

Therefore, you must prepare to host virtual events continually. Do a mix of in-person and online activities to satisfy your clients. There are many perks to doing this, such as the following: 

  • Online events are cheaper to hold, and the attendees can purchase affordable tickets.
  • Anyone can attend from speakers to guests because the internet bridges geographic barriers.
  • People have gotten used to virtual events and look forward to it
  • Niche events with smaller audiences and budgets can push through with their planned activities.

Though people desire some kind of normality, having the option to attend online gives your target audience more flexibility. It opens up the event to even more who aren’t in the local area. In other words, don’t erase virtual events from your repertoire just yet – they benefit your speakers, consumers, and even suppliers tremendously.  

Many Capitalized on Voice and Visual Search

Today, most homes have some sort of smart speaker available. Thus, savvy marketers capitalized on voice search to get prospective clients and existing customers to know more about their brand. Voice searches readily deliver value-based content to your audience, and on the same token, visual searches also play a significant role in driving business. 

The Rise in Popularity of TikTok

Finally, this wouldn’t be complete without the obvious – 2021 was ruled by TikTok. Although this China-based app dealt with censorship issues and was even banned in some countries, the setbacks were just that, and you cannot deny that TikTok has grown by leaps and bounds this year for both younger and older generations. 

You also see a diverse group of professionals, from doctors to engineers completing TikTok challenges. If you are serious about capturing your target market, keep a close eye on your competitors and see what they do on TikTok. It is high time to emulate their TikTok marketing success, so you can also reap the rewards.