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How to turn the pandemic into digital marketing success

13 August 2021

Wondering what on earth the pandemic has done to digital marketing? Wonder no more, keep reading to find out our Top 5 Digital Marketing trends for 2021, stemming from the height of coronavirus in 2020. 

2020, what a year!

2020 brought many changes, not just to digital marketing but to our whole lives, so it’s time to see how all of 2020’s madness has affected digital marketing trends for 2021. Looking for the best ways to boost your brand’s success online? Then look no further.

We’re going to break down the top 5 most useful marketing techniques for 2021, so you don’t have to. While we had to adapt to new circumstances, such as social distancing and working from home, this also meant companies needed to adapt their digital marketing strategies too. So without further ado...

#1 - Experience life in real-time

Live events online are nothing new to digital marketing, but when the pandemic caused the shutdown of all in-person live events, the popularity of online events skyrocketed. 

Whether you wanted to watch a concert, sporting event or a lecture at university, it was all accessible online: a big jump from just the occasional special event broadcast on Youtube. Many companies had no other way of guaranteeing they stayed above water, than to broadcast all events online, such as concerts and sporting events, and lectures were even moved to Zoom. Social media means we have many platform options to connect others to our live events, and most of these platforms managed to break viewing records during lockdown #1. This shows the importance of connecting with your audience in real-time. 

The pandemic meant we couldn’t see our loved ones in person, so events such as these, became a way for people to connect with others during such an uncertain and isolating time.

The power of real-time experiences can be used to any brand’s advantage as it can create a huge consumer engagement, a crucial key to marketing. But don’t be under the assumption that lives have thoroughly been over-done in 2020, they are still a prominent format ready to be utilised by your business in 2021.

So whether you create live interviews, q&a, lectures or webinars, always keep in mind the possibility of audience interaction and encourage this as much as possible to ensure your success. 

Top tip - Although video format is considered the main format in real-time experiences, don’t forget discussions on platforms such as Twitter. The opportunities are endless. 

#2 Consumers do all the work for you

Also known in the marketing world as UGC, user-generated content is, again, nothing new. This particular form of marketing is an easy, tried and tested way of using your current consumer’s experiences as a way of enticing new customers on social media.

Let’s face it, if your best friend tells you about a brand they’re loving, you’re most likely to check it out asap and probably become obsessed with it too, the same goes for us seeing like-minded people on social media saying the same kind of things. People trust people, not big scary brands hiding behind their logos.

UGC is not to be confused with the big-time influencers of society, this is what we call nano-influencers (people with little reach but a great power to influence through their authenticity and relatable lives).

Here are some ideas to get you started on creating UGC

  1. Reposting stories from customers mentioning your brand
  2. Creating challenges on platforms such as the uber-popular TikTok 
  3. Posting real reviews

#3 Interactive content is king 

Again, interactive content is also nothing new. But, due to 2020 being such a shambles, it’s become a highly useful way to build brand awareness in 2021.

The main reason interactive content is so vital to businesses is that it connects brands and consumers. This kind of content then evolves into an even more useful way of marketing because brands are increasingly creating content that stands out from everyone else, and this is where interactive content becomes a trend.

Whether you want to stand out using quizzes, ebooks or infographics, these are just some ways that you can get the internet buzzing. 2020 also saw us inundated with coronavirus infographics such as this one. These pandemic infographics were confirmed a hit because we saw them shared on everyone’s social media, so it’s proof that interactive content creates impact and ultimately boosts customer engagement.

#4 TikTok Mania

With so much time at home and not much else to do, people took to finessing their dancing skills over on the massively growing platform that is TikTok. The New York times branded TikTok as ‘rewriting the world’ (New York Times, 2019) and from statistics such as 2 billion downloads (Sensor Tower, 2020), it’s hard to disagree with them.

TikTok very much stated its claim in 2020 as a new platform that was here to stay, and that’s why it’s vital that if you’re looking to boost your brand, TikTok is not a platform to be ignored.

If you’re lucky enough to go viral on TikTok, it’s safe to say that new forms of advertising and partnerships with content creators will come flooding in, so it’s a great platform to get stuck into, with pretty much endless opportunities. 

TikTok’s are fast videos that serve to educate and inform you as well as giving you a good dose of humour. What’s not to love?

Time’s ticking so make sure you’re utilising TikTok in 2021.

#Top Tip - Instagram has also launched their form of TikTok called Reels, so if you create content on TikTok you can easily repurpose it onto Reels and viola, you have quickly posted content onto two platforms in no time. 

#5 Be real

Being stuck in a pandemic led to our emotions being all over the place, we were constantly on edge with the harsh reality of loss and uncertainty staring us in the face. Therefore, human vulnerability was massively blown open for all to pick apart.

Brands faced all these issues too and marketing had to adapt to target customers in a much more humane and sensitive way. This led to a massive brand overhaul for many and allowed them to become much more humanised and identify much better with their audiences. 

The Black Lives Matter movement showed brands across the world how it was done. They showed time and time again their commitment to social issues, which then lead to consumers wanting the same attitude from brands worldwide. 

Showing humanity as a brand is not only essential to marketing in 2021 but it must be done authentically. You cannot suddenly opt to show humanity in one area, if your brand doesn’t reflect this in other aspects of its social media, it must be authentic otherwise consumers will see right through it.

#Top Tip - Try finding a way of connecting social causes and issues to how your brand works internally, like your hiring process or the way you create your products. I.e. If you’re products are cruelty-free, talk more about animal cruelty to resonate with your audience.

To sum it up perfectly, having relevant purposes and values humanises your brand and connects it to your audience so that they can easily understand why you exist and the values you wish to deliver through your company. 

Kickstart your marketing now

Now you’ve sat and read through these highly useful marketing tips for 2021, it’s time to put your knowledge into action and run wild. 2020 may have been one big mess for some things, but for others, it’s created a whole list of new digital marketing opportunities.

Remember, no matter what uncertainties may come your way, those who plan and anticipate the change will always be better prepared to face them.

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