What’s hot in 2021? A guide for marketeers

At CWA we believe that personalisation is going to be a big theme within marketing and communications for 2021. Everyone’s lives have changed this year so brand strategy will be all about listening to audiences and targeting them with messages that resonate in a post-pandemic world.

We take a look at how this translates into specific marketing activity and share some top tips for planning ahead.

In 2021 video content will continue to grow as one of the most popular ways to share content.

Thanks to the introduction of Lives, Stories and Fleets which capitalize on sharing instantaneous content and are prioritized at the top of social profiles, expect to see even more live video streams on your social channels next year.

Customers demand real-time and authentic video, so be prepared to feature them in your social strategy. Alternatively, your brand might be better suited to Micro-Influencer Marketing – a key trend on the rise for 2021.

Targeted, Personalised, Authentic Video Content

Micro-influencers specialise in a niche area and have real authority in that subject matter. They tend to have higher engagement as they have built a good relationship and rapport with their niche audience who regularly interact and engage with their content.

It is a marketing method that is more cost-effective for brands and has greater cut through, which means greater impact. The BIG influencers are now very expensive to work with, micro-influencers offer an opportunity to target specific niche audiences at an affordable price.

Top tip: Make sure your video content forms part of a wider campaign or strategy to make it meaningful to your audience

People power in PR
Mug with word conversations on
2021 is the year to have meaningful conversations with your people and customers

Many marketers have come to realise that successful brand-building is less about selling and more about building relationships. Authentic conversations with consumers build brand loyalty and PR will continue to play a major role in shaping the narrative.

However, with so many changes taking place across organisations this year, there will be a renewed focus on employee engagement. Brand reputation should be built on a strong culture that starts from within. Your people will be your biggest brand advocates next year and communications activity will reflect this.

Top tip: Don’t just leave the data-driven campaigns for your consumers. Now’s the time to be listening to your people and taking them on the journey with you

Trusting in technology

We’ve delivered more virtual events this year than ever before (no surprises there), so we know that it is possible to create a great delegate experience through creative content.

Rarely was a virtual conference considered sexy, but now virtual events are giving traditional events a run for their money in terms of delegate experience!

More businesses are now starting to feel comfortable with the concept of virtual events and realising the benefits. Bespoke microsites are perfect for hosting pre-recorded videos, presentations and feedback surveys.

Best still, we can create different spaces within the site for segmented audience groups (e.g. senior management, customer-facing employees) to target key messages more efficiently than a face-to-face event.

Online events needn’t be boring, they need to have a clear purpose and can actually deliver better value for money.

In 2021 we expect to see more people trusting in the technology and having more confidence in virtual events.

Top tip: Create a theme that your audience can buy into to personalise the event and increase engagement

What about visual branding?

As more template-driven tools saturate the market to make it easier for anyone to design simple graphics, the gap between DIY marketing and working with a creative thinker will become more apparent.

Expect to see a rise in life-like and 3D design as moving graphics take centre stage on digital platforms.

Personalization will become more mainstream in visual graphics as brands work harder to better connect with their audiences.

Top Tip: Visual graphics play a major role in brand identity. Consistency is key, but not at the expense of creative thinking and an expert designer

What trends do you expect to see emerge in 2021? Let us know at hello@cwa.co.uk

Written by
Sophie Aldridge