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8 things you have to know for 2021 – Digital Marketing

Changing the playbook

Among the chaos of 2020 brought on by the big shifts in our society, many industries – marketing included – have had to evolve and adapt to fit the new normal in 2021. 

Global crisis or not, everyone knows that marketing trends move at the speed of light. With new data, changes in algorithms, technologies, and techniques emerging on, the way we attract, connect, and market to our audiences will be different.

To succeed in this fast-paced, industry, you have to do more than just keep up with trends in marketing – you have to stay ahead of the game. So, moving on from 2020, this is our guide for the times ahead:

#1 – SEO will change – Google Core Web Vitals

The latest search milestone on the horizon for 2021, Google is set to make Core Web Vitals ranking factors part of the new Page Experience signal. Fortunately, website owners have gotten the heads up from Google so, giving them time to make changes to their sites.

The key factors are around real-world user experience, which includes page loading speed and mobile experience. The signals analyzed by Core Web Vitals are going to impact what pages appear in regular search results, as well as Google “top stories” (which was previously influenced by AMP).

Here, you can read all about Google Core Web Vitals.


#2 – A World without Cookies

Another big BIG change is that Google’s industry-leading browser Chrome will stop supporting third-party cookies. Although we still have time (until early 2022), a sea change for online advertising is coming. For those who use cookies, it will significantly alter how digital ads are targeted and tracked. 2021 will provide a final chance for marketers to educate themselves about the impact of the cookie-less future and to prepare for it.

Existing technologies that can track users just like third-party cookies include: Local Storage, IndexedDB Web SQL, and any other technology that makes it possible to save data on a user’s device from browsers (as cookies do).

Other browsers (like Safari) have been blocking third-party cookies for years, and we’ve seen repeatedly that trackers simply resort to workarounds, other methods and new technologies that make them able to track users just the same.

#3 – User Generated Content (UGC) – Brand Advocates

User-generated content (UGC) is any content – videos, images, reviews – created by customers or users, rather than by the brands themselves. As one of the most authentic forms of digital word-of-mouth marketing, UGC is a great way for brands to make themselves more accessible and relatable to their audience.

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Since the rise of influencer marketing back in 2016, UGC has become the cornerstone of many brands’ marketing strategies. Actually, 86% of companies and many big-name brands are now repurposing the content of their followers and brand advocates. UGC is proven to far outperform brand-created content, so enlisting customers to not only generate content but also market it for you, is undeniably a great marketing strategy. 

While User Generated Content is by no means a new trend, due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions this year, there’s a big increase in UGC. More brands adapt to the digital landscape and look to their customers to create the content they want to see.

#4 – Influencer Marketing getting stronger

Creators are the storytellers and advertisers are putting them at the core of their content strategy. This is the way to make influencer marketing more authentic and effective. Clients are thinking of influencer marketing in a much more strategic way. Like a communication campaign integrated in their marketing strategy rather than a channel to boost messages like paid, organic media and PR.

So far, we’ve seen a lot of influencer campaigns being very short-term oriented. The days of influencer marketing as a “one-off” strategy are over. Influencers who are used on an ongoing basis increase brand loyalty and attention. In fact, Altimeter Research recommends that marketers spend 25% of their digital budget on influencer marketing because it is more authentic and delivers better results.

At VoxFeed, you can get in touch with any influencer or content creator that fits the profile of your brand and audience.

voxfeed influencers profile
Filter by profile and interests of your audience


#5 – Instagram Reels and SEO

Regarding Instagram Marketing, there are two key things that all marketers should take advantage of: Reels and SEO.

Instagram announced in November 2020 that it would become more search-friendly. Now, without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should appear.

instagram reels


Now in 2020, we’re seeing the same thing happen; reach is dropping for Stories and feed posts but is exploding for Reels. 

The time to embrace short-form video marketing is now. Instagram Reels can be 15-30 seconds long and this will be game-changing for marketers as we should expect increased opportunities for more reach on posts. To take early advantage of this update is to make sure your captions include relevant keywords. By associating your Social media with your most important keywords for your business, will give you a great head start.

#6 – Online Shopping on Instagram

2020 was definitely a turning point for E-Commerce. Brick and mortar businesses needed to pivot to ensure sales keep coming in. This shift toward contactless shopping will allow E-Commerce stores to thrive even further in 2021. With Instagram and Facebook integrating in-app purchasing, the steps to convert a user to a customer will be reduced. The gap between ‘scrolling’ and ‘shopping’ will be blurred.

In 2021, your local gym and yoga studio will offer classes online in a range of formats – from free Instagram Lives, Zoom calls, or their own integrated and propriety platforms like Peloton. Banks and lawyers will offer online meetings, and retail stores will offer local delivery or curbside pickup.

#7 – TikTok’s consolidation

During the pandemic, social network usage has naturally increased. One of the great winners is TikTok. TikTok has continued to grow in popularity globally as shown by this recent research from Global Web Index.

TikTok usage and growth across the world:

With TikTok expanding its advertising options and publishing stories of how its platform can increase purchase intent. TikTok will definitely be a platform to watch in 2021.

#8 – WhatsApp’s new carts feature

WhatsApp is introducing a new shopping carts feature. It lets you order multiple items with a single message from businesses on the service. It works in conjunction with the service’s existing catalogs feature. Now, you can add multiple items to your shopping cart and send the entire order in a single message, replacing the back-and-forth communication that needed to happen previously.

whatsapp cart
WhatsApp’s new carts feature is aimed at simplifying in-app shopping

Carts will also help merchants to keep better track of order inquiries and manage requests. WhatsApp said it is adding the new feature after early positive response from some businesses that tested it recently.

And… that’s it. That’s all we got (for now).

What do I do next?

As the marketing world continues to evolve, businesses must also adjust to survive. Brands must have no other option but stay on top of these shifts to successfully connect with their audience. The challenge is more pressing when your audience is smarter and suspicious of advertising nowadays.

There are too many advertisers and we’re all competing for the same consumers, using the platforms, and the same techniques. COVID has driven most off-line marketing to online channels, making the saturation worse.

As a brand, you must integrate these trends to help you really connect with your audience and know what their real needs are. When you are able to share your customers actual needs and wants, your relationship becomes meaningful to them.

No one knows the future, but we can always prepare for whatever the future brings. At VoxFeed we can guide you through with all your brand advocates, user generated content, influencer marketing and TikTok campaigns. All of that with a free account and access to the platform.

We’re here for you.