The marketing world, just like the world itself, changed in 2020. 

COVID-19 altered the way people shop, dine and interact, as well as how they consume information. Technology drove an added emphasis to digital marketing and social media. Companies closely monitored their finances and scrutinized expenditures. Meanwhile, businesses that upped their marketing game stayed front and center with customers and clients. 

In 2021, the businesses that continue refining their marketing plans, goals and strategies will achieve success. As the region’s largest marketing agency, Priority Marketing always stays a step ahead. We surveyed our talented marketing specialists to gain insight into the trends that will define marketing in 2021. To stand out, companies should consider these six elements when developing their 2021 marketing plans: 

Video 

Video consumption has been trending upward for more than a decade, and that’s going to continue in 2021. As more marketers leverage the popularity of video, quality and creativity will matter more than ever. Anyone can film, produce and post a cellphone video on the fly. Unfortunately, that’s meant our social media feeds are filled with lower-quality videos lacking strong visuals, clear audio and inspiration. Businesses with professional, polished cinematic videos will stand above the masses. 

LEARN MORE: Video a key element of a smart marketing strategy 

Technology in PR 

Face-to-face interviews and in-studio appearances took a hiatus in 2020. Today, journalists – even TV reporters – are comfortable interviewing sources over Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. These digital interactions will remain at the forefront in 2021 and beyond. Newsrooms continue operating with limited resources, and recorded video interviews can eliminate travel time from a reporter’s shift. Sources must be well-versed in digital tools to continue as an expert resource for the media.  

LEARN MORE: Pitching, preparing clients as media focus on COVID-19 

Virtual Events 

Many in-person events like awards ceremonies and fundraising galas are still on pause. A year ago, virtual events were viewed with skepticism, but now are taking center stage. Audiences have become accustomed to Zoom calls and Facebook Live presentations, so much so that video conferencing is becoming routine in the workplace. That means audiences are more receptive to attending virtual events. In 2021, expect to see brands large and small creating spectacular, innovative ways to connect virtually with target audiences. 

LEARN MORE: Create a virtual fundraising event that attracts guests, donations 

OTT Streaming 

Over-The-Top (OTT) television is video content streamed directly over the Internet to a connected device, like a smart TV, cellphone or tablet. Continued social distancing means more eyes will be on paid streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Sling. OTT bypasses the need for a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription. However, businesses can still reach this audience by purchasing commercial spots. On average, OTT advertisements have a 90% completion rate and are non-skippable. This is a hot way to reach audiences in 2021 within a limited advertising budget. 

LEARN MORE: What is Over-The-Top television? 

E-commerce 

Consumers have fallen in love with online shopping. It’s fast and convenient, and orders can be shipped directly to a home or business. At one time, large corporations dominated E-commerce. To sustain momentum during the pandemic, many small businesses and nonprofits dove into E-commerce, offering unique, specialty products not available through the corporate giants. Many consumers also recognized the value of supporting local small businesses, and thus the economy of their hometowns. To capture this audience, businesses will need to boost their online presence by expanding digital marketing, web development and email services. 

LEARN MORE: 3 ways to drive E-commerce 

Paid Search 

Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to be extremely important for businesses with an online presence, which in 2021 should be every business. However, paid search allows businesses and brands to be seen in an increasingly competitive digital environment. Just like businesses can pay for display ads in print, investing more in paid search elevates brand awareness and recognition, and ultimately your bottom line. 

LEARN MORE: Top 10 digital marketing tips to outsmart your competitors 

Marketing is an industry that’s in a constant state of evolution, but COVID-19 ignited a rapid shift toward digital marketing. Strategies that were successful at the start of 2020 might have been obsolete by year’s end. As 2021 begins, every business should reassess its marketing plan and focus on the elements that will deliver the desired results. 

Want to stay a step ahead in 2021? Call Priority Marketing today at 239-267-2638 or send an email to info@PriorityMarketing.com.   

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