According to Statista, Over £35 BN was spent online this Christmas.

With another national lockdown now in place, e-commerce sales will continue to rise—no doubt about it, so making the customer journey seamless, personable, and unforgettable will be imperative. The pressure is increasingly on for brands to stand out and reach their consumer innovatively.

So how can we pick up the pace and make this happen as a brand? What trends will help business owners and marketers like yourself, connect and engage with customers, leading to loyal and long-lasting relationships? How can your digital storefront become a portal for return customers and referrals?

2021 is the year whereby the focus needs to be on the people if you want your digital marketing strategy to drive results.

Team Ecrubox

Here are the trends we believe are pivotal in shaping the future of how you interact with your customers.

Human Centric Content

On Facebook, live viewings spiked by 50% during lockdown periods, while viewings on Instagram surged 70%. TikTok use shot up in 2020, and there's a good chance we'll see this upward trajectory continue to play out in 2021.

Human-centric content like influencer live-streams can create trust and tap into the 'in-the-moment' connection that consumers crave. Moving forward, what will help this trend drive results is to make the live-stream content shoppable. Amazon Live is a great example of this as Influencers have taken to the platform to promote their favorite products during live events. What makes the concept fully engaging to a viewer is that they have entertainment, but they can also make purchases while they were watching.

Best digital marketing strategies for 2021: for brands, the focus needs to be on people

UGC is key

Customer experience is invaluable, and now more than ever, they have to be at the center of the brand's journey. Consumers crave enjoyable experiences with brands that are easy and memorable.

User-generated content (UGC) ticks all the boxes when it comes to connective content:

  • It builds and strengthens communities
  • It's upbeat and accessible
  • It enables brands to meet customers and discover digital hubs of new users that they can engage with
  • It helps brands generate tons more content against a backdrop of stay-at-home orders and restrictive measures

When incorporating UGC, always make sure that you have a strategy. There needs to be a style and overall feel to the type of content that you are sharing. Branded templates are a great way of sharing customer's content and adding a consistent feel to the imagery you are putting out. Incorporating UGC into your social media platforms also helps to build your digital community effectively.

Keep your audience engaged with the latest social media trends for 2021.

Best digital marketing strategies for 2021: for brands, the focus needs to be on people

Sustainability is key

81% of consumers strongly feel that companies should help improve the environment. This is a number we can't ignore, so brands need to make sure that they incorporate their values throughout their messaging. If they are not considering sustainable practices or measures, now is the time to do so. Actions speak louder than words, so taking the time to align your values with your customers' needs and expectations is a good place to start. Plastering your mission all across social without having substantial evidence of how you have contributed to a better future will cause more harm than good. Instead, begin by dedicating a "Goals and Vision" page to your site to help highlight what you are planning on changing and doing in the future. But don't forget to actually take action.

Best digital marketing strategies for 2021: for brands, the focus needs to be on people

Voice and visual search

More consumers are becoming comfortable searching via voice-activated tools like Alexa. You could argue that lockdown restrictions have encouraged us to use technology like Alexa, or perhaps it's simply because this type of technology is more readily available.

But it's not just voice search that will prevail in 2021 - we can also expect other creative search methods to rise to the top, like visual search. Over the next year, visuals will become increasingly important in the SEO game. Tools like Google Lens enable consumers can search for whatever they can see. This means marketers will need to focus even more on image alt-text and sitemaps for images.

Want to learn more about the latest trends in digital marketing? Why not sign up for our upcoming event with Start Up 2021? Looking forward to seeing you there.