Online Advertising Trends To Watch In 2021

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eCommerce experienced tremendous growth in 2020. In 2021, eCommerce will become a higher priority on every company’s agenda, which will surely increase the competition brands already face. By the year 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce. Brands are being forced to adapt their marketing strategies on the fly, pivoting towards the thriving eCommerce space and advertising their products or services online.

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Advertising is constantly evolving, and brands that are able to lead innovation for advertising content will reap higher and higher rewards. Let’s take a look at some online advertising trends to watch that will keep your brand ahead of the curve.

Social Media

Traditional advertising methods are not nearly as effective as they used to be. Instead, social media has become an essential medium to connect to your customers. 73% of marketers currently believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. Mapping out a marketing strategy that takes advantage of this social media boom will be paramount to the future growth of your brand. Creating strong digital content is more important than ever and bringing influencers or ambassadors onto your team may help boost your social media presence and extend your brands reach through user generated content. Brands will continue to fight for the coveted social media ad space and work towards increasing their overall online presence, so it’s important that your brand has a plan of attack.

User Generated Content

User generated content affects 90% of shoppers’ purchasing decisions. This type of content also tends to be the most engaging, compared to paid-ads. 

This is why brands are relying on UGC to support their word of mouth marketing strategies. People trust real people and real opinions. Social media, in line with the rise in influencer marketing, has provided a platform for brands to heavily influence buying decisions using UGC.

With social media quickly becoming a strong DTC sales channel, more brands are deciding to  invest in UGC. As more content is created and engaged with, the brands gain more earned media — ultimately the most credible form of content for the brand because it is being created by highly satisfied customers. This content, when given increased distribution via social media, will drive higher conversions than any other paid channel when it comes to online advertising. 

Optimisation and Targeted Ads

Nearly 50% of marketing teams spend half of their marketing budgets on social ads. This huge spike can largely be attributed to targeted advertising, where ads can be directed towards specific users screens. Targeted ads are more prevalent than ever and are useful for leveraging campaigns, ad groups, and keywords you’ve already created. Through social media networks like Instagram and Facebook, brands have been able to optimize their ads as much as possible. Brands can specify the target audience’s location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. You can even target people who have bought from you or interacted with you and others like them. In 2020, standard image posts (78%) and Stories (73%) were regarded as the most effective types of targeted influencer content. Through targeted ads, you can optimize your advertising budget but control where and how consumers see and interact with your advertisements. 

Brand Loyalty

With so many brands competing through the same channels, customer acquisition costs have surged 50% over the past 5 years, and paid social advertising increased by 24% just in late 2020 alone. Competition has fueled these rising ad spends, making it harder than ever for brands to stand out on social media. Thus, some brands have shifted their attention away from customer acquisition and instead have focused on customer retention. Due to this eCommerce boom, it is predicted that spending on customer loyalty and retention will increase by 30% over the next year. Harvesting a strong community of fans that are loyal to your brand is a great strategy to ensure that they keep coming back for more rather than continuously sinking money into ads.

Advertising isn’t quite what it used to be, with social media ads proving to be much more effective than traditional commercials or billboards. Adapting your advertising approach to the current climate may not be easy, but is essential to continuing growing your brand and extending your reach. Brands will continue to be met with new obstacles as our future remains uncertain but keeping up with online advertising trends is a good start. 

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