By: Regan Thompson

Now that we are a few months into 2021, we thought it would be a great time to highlight the top marketing trends 2021 has to offer. We’ve researched top trends and tactics gathered from experts across the internet. Here are the top 10 trends we suggest incorporating into this year’s marketing strategies.

1. Purpose-Driven Content 

Businesses know their “why”, mission, and values. Stay true to your mission and values in order to build meaningful relationships with consumers. Transparency is key in 2021! Try more PSA campaigns this year, center your messages around pandemic relief, or highlight essential workers.  All of this emotionally-driven content shows the softer side of your business and proves to your consumers your values are actually values. Nike announced that it was donating merchandise worth $5.5 million to front-line healthcare workers. Other major brands, including Timberland, Reebok, and Adidas, donated to Sneakers for Heroes, an initiative to provide comfortable footwear to healthcare workers.

2. Video Content

The use of video content and the need for it from consumers continues to rise. Consumers are wanting to read less and less. Providing informative, engaging video content meets your consumer’s wants. The good thing for marketers is that video content comes in many shapes and sizes. Experts are predicting are sharp rise in video content in 2021. Americans will spend 100 minutes a day consuming video content, 99 percent of marketers are planning to continue using video in their marketing, while 95 percent plan to increase or maintain their spend on online video.

3. Easy to Consume Content

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! This is the theme for 2021. Similar to the appeal of video content, users are not appealed by a lot of words. 55% of Americans listen to podcasts and interest in newsletters has gone up 14%, during 2020. Creating more visuals, infographics, podcasts, and video content will improve your audience’s appeal. Keep things simple and easy on the eye. 

4. Evolve and Establish Innovative Partnerships 

Partnerships can have the ability to take your brand to the next level. Try building new relationships with businesses in and around your field, or even another industry. This allows your consumers to see your business knows how to build relationships and are constantly working to improve your brand and company. For instance, Ford partnered with 3M, the United Auto Workers, and GE Healthcare to manufacture ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

5. Emphasis on Sustainability 

We can all be more “earth-conscious” in 2021. This means your content can be more earth-conscious as well. 81% of consumers feel strongly that companies should help the environment. Act on sustainability with your content and meet consumers halfway. Encourage your audience to recycle more by providing sustainable ways you can improve the Earth that relates to your brand. 

6. Build Relationships with Consumers

This goes back to being transparent with your audience and throughout your brand. Build relationships with your audience through things like welcome emails, interactive content on social media, and making your content more personable. As reported by Harvard Business Review, “emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.” They are more loyal and buy more with less price sensitivity.

7. Navigate an Increasingly Polarized and Political Climate

It is no secret 2020 brought upon a pandemic and an increasingly polarized world with it. Consumers will look at a brand’s every move and it is important your team is prepared and educated on messaging. “Every ad dollar spent, every choice of channel and platform, every social post, every inch of shelf space, and every conference or trade show will be evaluated through the lens of what a brand’s marketing decisions say about who they are and what they stand for,” says Tim Linberg, Chief Experience Officer at Verndale.

8. Virtual Events = A Necessity 

No one was shy to virtual events in 2020, giving that was our only option. With vaccine rates on the rise, hope is ahead for in-person events. However, there is still plenty of time and people to vaccinate. This means virtual events are going to be around for a little while longer. By going virtual, companies are able to open up their brand to a larger audience. The key is to get creative! Try launching a guest speaker series or roundtable discussions with consumers. 

9. Chatbot Takeover

In the past, chatbots have been not favored by the consumer. According to Hubspot, only 5% of companies incorporated chatbots in 2016. However, that percentage grew to 35% by 2017. With a pandemic looming, 2021 can be considered the revolution of chatbots, with more and more businesses incorporating them on their website. Having a polished robotic customer service representative available 24/7 for your consumers is a necessity. 

10. Strengthen Customer Participation

Allow your consumers and audience to influence your brand. At the end of the day, you are working towards drawing in a certain audience type. So why not let them input their creative ideas? Businesses that strengthen customer engagement will likely be able to run more successful marketing campaigns.

If you are ready to tackle implementing one or more of these trends into your nonprofit’s 2021 marketing plan, let us know. We are ready to make your 2021 marketing efforts stand out.