Smirk Reacts to 2021 Marketing Trends

by | Oct 19, 2020

If there’s one thing we can take away from 2020, it’s to expect the unexpected. We all know the marketing landscape is always evolving and adapting. It’s not enough to simply keep up with trends, you need to be ahead of the game. Here are the Smirk team’s predictions for 2021’s most significant marketing trends.

1. Online Customer Service

So much of a consumer’s shopping and engagement with your brand is solely online, especially now. 80% of customers expect a brand to respond on social media within a 24-hour period. It’s imperative that you have a dedicated person or team replying to customer questions and comments across all your brand’s digital channels.

Exceptional businesses exemplify world-class customer service both in their brick-and-mortar and virtual storefronts. When consumers interact with a brand on any social platform, whether the interaction is positive or negative, they expect a timely and thoughtful response. Having a successful review management system can aid any business in gaining new and retaining current customers.
Clara Wilson

Smirk Strategist

2. Live Video Content

With social distancing in place, live video has proved to be a valuable resource for brands and influencers to stay connected with their audience. Twitter was one of the first major platforms to introduce live streaming in 2015. Over the past year, it’s become one of the most popular forms of content, with internet users consuming 1.1 billion hours of live video in 2019.

Live video content is excellent for engaging with your audience in real-time. In lieu of in-person interaction during the ongoing pandemic, live streaming provides brands an opportunity to create shared experiences with consumers in a safe and responsible manner.
Trey Rhoades

Smirk Strategist

3. Personalized Marketing

How much of your digital marketing is shaped by customer data? Personalizing your social content, web copy, emails and ad campaigns has everything to do with utilizing the information you’re collecting on current consumers. People are spending over six hours a day engaging with content, and that means being bombarded with ads — it’s critical that your messaging stands out to them. 80% of consumers surveyed indicated that they are more prone to do business with an organization if it provides a personalized experience.

If your digital campaigns are done well, your audience will feel like your brand understands their needs, wants, motivators and concerns at that specific time on a personal level.
Allie Carrick

Smirk President & Managing Partner

4. Responsible Consumerism & Brand Activism

With many social movements gaining momentum in 2020, 63% of consumers want to engage with brands that align with their values and beliefs. It’s increasingly expected for brands to take public positions on emerging social justice and sustainability issues.

I love this trend because it encourages organizations across all industries to stand up and speak out. Authenticity and consumer trust should be core tenants of your business. Your digital content needs to reflect your brand’s values at every opportunity.
Lee Emerson

Smirk Client Service Director

5. Video Advertising

Studies show that 76% of adults in the US, UK and Australia have purchased a product after viewing a video. Video is a great way to communicate a lot in a short period of time. 80% of consumer online traffic involved video watching in 2019.

Video continues to be a cornerstone of digital marketing, with short format taking center stage. Moving imagery and motion design are such gripping storytelling mediums that I don’t see this trend disappearing. It’s the perfect way to convey brand story, brand messaging and engage your audience.
Rachel Haynes

Smirk Creative Director

6. Interactive Content

Interactive content grabs a user’s attention while scrolling— it could be a quiz, poll, animated infographic or live video. On average, it can generate two times more conversions than rhetorical static posts, and 91% of users prefer interactive content over traditional formats.

When a user is able to interact with a piece of content, they develop a relationship with that brand. With more unique tools and services being introduced to provide creative, interactive content, the standard for digital marketing is shifting away from traditional formats.
Dawson Hirt

Smirk Junior Graphic Designer

7. Search Intent

Everyone has a specific result in mind when they Google something — that’s search intent. When developing your search strategy, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and figure out what they’ll be typing into Google when they’re looking for something in relation to your brand. Ensuring your content fits the needs of your customers will positively impact the ranking ability of your brand.

Most businesses know what they want to tell you about their product or service, but it’s far more effective to figure out what your target audience wants to hear about it. Search engines are rewarding high-quality content that’s written with the user in mind, not their algorithms. Lengthy, dense or unfocused content isn’t valuable to any user and could cost you a first-page position. Just remember that readability ranks.
Emily Martinez

Smirk Senior Strategist

8. User-Generated Content

User-generated content is any type of content created by a consumer about your brand. It’s an effective way to get the word out about your brand and appear more accessible to your audience. 86% of brands are now utilizing content from their followers on their social media platforms.

With the gaining popularity of influencer marketing, user-generated content is a powerful tool for brands. It’s one of the most authentic ways of promoting your products or services while making a connection with your audience.
Kelsey Jones

Smirk Content Creator

9. Leave Room for Change

Your marketing plan should never be set in stone. It has to be highly adaptable, especially to new emerging trends. Have questions on how these can apply to your marketing strategy? We’re here for you! Set up a time to chat with us about how your brand can adapt and win in 2021.