2020 threw out the book on marketing. Digital marketers were left to pick up the pieces and stitch together a whole new normal. The result is a whole host of new and noteworthy digital marketing trends that were reactive to changing user habits and appetite.

So, now the dust has settled on the past inconceivable year, we are left to sift through which digital habits and trends will last the test of the pandemic, and define 2021.

We have compiled our top minds from Thinkingbox and AntiSocial to put together their thoughts and predictions for what digital marketing trends to expect for 2021.

Social Media


AntiSocial’s Senior Social Strategist, Vanessa Ortynsky, talks us through what she expects to see on social for the year ahead, and what this means for brands.

Transparency and Authenticity

More than ever before, brands need to be able to communicate why they exist and what purpose they serve for their customers. I suspect there will be an even bigger emphasis on “doing good” and giving back to the community this year. Brands who work hard to build and strengthen their communities will thrive and outperform those who are solely focused on sales.

Transparency and authenticity continue to be super important as customers and followers won’t support businesses they can’t trust and don’t believe in. On that note, we’re also seeing an uptick in user-generated content that’s relatable and genuine; something we’re all craving during these turbulent times.

Relatability

Meme marketing (brands putting their spin on relatable, share-worthy memes) continues to gain momentum in 2021. It’s a fun and compelling way to connect with your audience and tap into new audiences as followers absolutely love sharing memes with their wider network.

I definitely see this trend continuing to be popular in 2021 for brands who want to be more relatable and increase more valuable metrics like saves and shares. We created memes for AntiSocial client, Save-On-Foods and they saw a huge increase in comments, saves, and shares.

Content


AntiSocial’s content king, Thomas Watson predicts a “Great Flood of Creation” for 2021 due to the endless hours for creativity that 2020 brought us. Read on for how Thomas sees this impacting digital marketing and what to expect for 2021.

Live Streaming

Times are changing, and so is the way we receive content. Gone are the days of previously produced content clogging your news feed and taking up space for things you’ve never seen before.

It is time to welcome instant content that may only be seen for the moment it appears on air. Live streaming is the future of online content, with websites such as Twitch and YouTube smashing live viewership records throughout 2020. We can expect more of the same in 2021.

Creative Technology


We spoke to Patrick Daggit, Thinkingbox’s Interactive Developer, about the top trends he expects to hit the Experiential Marketing sphere for 2021.

Touchless Experiential

The ubiquity of smartphones is something we will see entering Experiential in a big way in 2021, as a safe access point for interactions with touch. In addition to the device having a camera, it also has an internet connection and a private touch surface for the participant meaning it can become a COVID safe way to implement interactivity.

We will also see a rise in touchless sensors such as The Kinect (Azure) developed by Microsoft, the Leap Motion Sensor, the Ultra-Leap, and Lidar technology which uses lasers to learn where objects are in the virtual space.

Passive interactivity can be achieved using motions of the body, hands, and pressure sensors. These techniques combined with visual feedback via screens, projections, or physical elements are COVID safe and can be unforgettable.

Graphic Design


Thinkingbox’s Associate Creative Director Andy Garcia predicts what he thinks will be the top design trends for 2021.

3D Visuals and Fonts

Technology, higher resolution screens, and faster devices are making rich visuals more commonplace. We are seeing more high-quality 3D visuals entering web designs. Even photoshop has easy 3D manipulation tools, now.

Augmented Reality

Due to the pandemic, mobile usage is through the roof and many in-person or outdoor experiences are not accessible anymore. Enter Augmented Realty. AR has become an extension of our design thinking and allows design to help facilitate experiences within someone’s home.

Geometric Grids

Showing the grid has become really popular and we expect the trend to continue into 2021. Grids can be simple but have a lot of flexibility. Whether it’s a website or graphic design, showing the structure or grid of your design is becoming a popular element and keeps your designs looking fresh and modern.

Dark Mode

Dark mode is hitting more screens in 2021. Like in the past with Skeuomorphic and flat UI design, Apple and Android have helped set the pace with phones and tablets offering dark mode and in 2021, more designers are embracing the dark mode look.

So there you have it, our digital marketing trends for 2021. Of course, expect to be updated every step of the way as the year unfolds. If you’re looking for more advice on digital marketing trends, social media marketing, or any kind of digital news, contact us. We’d love to hear from you.