Digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021

Written by Safeer ur Rehman

While 2020 has been a challenging year for the global economy with several small and large businesses closing down due to the pandemic, it hasn’t been easy for the marketers either. Considering the fact that the retail landscape has drastically evolved causing some dramatic changes in customers’ buying behaviors, marketers have been mostly busy acknowledging the new reality and changing their campaigns to suit the new norm.

With customers only becoming more demanding over time, it’s important to revisit the old marketing trends and enter the New Year with the hope to bounce back by capitalizing on the new trends.

So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the top marketing trends that we believe are going to take the center stage in 2021. 

Short-form videos 

Knowing what kind of content your audience consume is the key to forming a strategy that can help you boost your traffic and ROI. 2020 saw a huge spike in video content creation and its consumption. In fact, by 2022, online videos are expected to make up over 82% of all consumer internet traffic. If that’s not enough to get you on the edge of your seats, according to Quartz, one official at Facebook went as far as suggesting that by 2021, Facebook will be all video and no text platform. 

Although all the major social media platforms had seen it coming and invested significantly into redesigning their algorithms to give preference to the video content, TikTok has so far been successful in capturing Gen Z’s undivided attention due to its short video format. The video streaming app saw a few bumps along the way but it still remains one of the fastest growing online social platforms.

You may have your differences with TikTok but it’s only wise to establish your presence on the app especially after it officially launched TikTok for business earlier this year which means we can look forward to another paid marketing tool with a huge potential in the coming year.

Data Protection

Marketers have long been emphasizing how important data management is to contemporary marketing but it appears that getting access to the consumer’s data is not going to be as it has been in the past. The state of California recently introduced California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) according to which brands and businesses are now restricted in their use of personal user data. 

Advertisers on Facebook were forced to alter their campaigns after they were unable to target millions of shoppers in California due to the new act. The act has set a precedence for other governments around the world that had long been demanding reforms from the social media giants. This would further complicate a marketer’s job as they would not only have to be cautious in data acquisition and handling but they might even have to find some other ways around it.

So, it’s important that you start preparing for such changes as a marketer and analyze the impact of government acts preventing businesses from accessing data in order to be able to formulate alternate strategies.

Marketing Automation

Setting up ad campaigns manually on different platforms is not the only challenge marketers face today. From identifying different platforms where your audience spends their most time to projecting the ROI after analyzing dynamic user journeys with dozens of touchpoints across different devices, automation can help you do it all with minimal effort and human interference. The year 2021 is going to be the year in which automation is no longer going to be an option but a necessity. Check out our blog about the reasons why you need to switch to programmatic marketing if you want to find out more.


If you are wondering why your weekly or monthly newsletters are not generating the same response as they had been in the past then you may want to consider changing the tone in which you communicate with your audience. Mass-blasted emails worked once but those days are long gone. Despite the governments’ concerns about the way personal data is handled by the marketers, consumers are becoming more demanding with each passing day and expect more personalized marketing messages especially the ones that land directly into their inbox. 

You could either hire a dozen copywriters who are willing to work day and night to produce personalized content for your brand or you could turn to machine learning to achieve that with greater efficiency. 

What’s new in SEO?

Google has not rolled out any major update other than introducing snippets and position zero in search results, unlike last year when the famous BERT was released. Marketers are now going to be more focused on getting featured in the snippet which usually appears against a question typed into the search bar. 

The snippet is Google’s way of answering a question using reliable information from a third party. The search engine’s algorithms pick the most relevant information to display followed by the website link in the box against a question. 

While more and more people are going to try to make it to position zero, the key to doing that is providing concise information in digestible formats. These snippets are usually for long-tail keywords such as “how to choose the right web development platform” etc. The snippet information could range from an explainer video to simple definitions and step by step guides.

Final words

Digital marketing in 2021 is going to follow the same trajectory that has long been predicted by experts and digital marketing agencies such as ourselves but it’s going to be a while before normalcy is restored and the global economy bounces back. If you are looking to hire a Digital marketing agency in UAE to help you get through the growing challenges then you can get in touch with us. 


Kick-off the new year to a great start by getting a FREE audit for your website and social channels NOW!.


Originally Published January 22, 2021 01:45 PM, Updated February 11, 2021.

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