Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For (in 2nd Half of 2021)

In this digital era, businesses have had to adapt fast to rise above exceptional challenges and competition. 

While most view competition as a roadblock, in reality, it is advantageous when you put it in a different perspective. Having someone in your industry who is crushing their digital marketing strategy is a good indication that it could also work on your business. 

When done properly, digital marketing acts as a vehicle to bring your target audience directly to you. And from there you have the chance to nurture and convert them to loyal customers. 

Here are digital marketing trends you want to watch out for if you want to stay afloat in the sea of content and achieve consistent growth.

1. Live video is in

In the light of recent events, live video is growing even faster than everyone has expected. Platforms such as Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram reels, Twitter, Linked In, and Youtube have options for streaming live video now. Even if you never consider yourself as a video person, this year probably turned you into one. People at home turn to video not just for entertainment but also for learning – they are loving it and businesses are getting noticed too. 

One of Daily Esports reports reveals that live video is growing so fast that it blew up in 2020 by 99%. Given this data, it is safe to assume that this growth is an indication that banking on video production is a great strategy for marketers and businesses as the demand continues to grow. 

2. Audio content on the rise

There is an emerging trend in the digital content realm that’s taking over and is worth taking into account – the world of audio content. In comparison to written content, audio allows versatility. It is an immersive media that cuts through the visual clutter. This format is on the rise for the reason that the audience can go through their day hands-free. They can listen to audio wherever they go, whether they are at home doing chores or just simply having a morning walk. 

There are several audio forms a business can incorporate into its marketing strategy. To name a few, there are podcasts, audiobooks, and the latest audio-only app, Clubhouse. Whether you are attracting new clients or entertaining customers, determining how audio fits into your marketing efforts and how it would fit into your customer’s journey with your brand can bring a positive impact to the business. 

Based on Trinity Audio reports, the total listen-through rate in audio content is a whopping 91%. Meaning, everyone who listened to audio has heard the entirety of an ad placed into it. This opens a great opportunity for marketers as an alternative to traditional advertising. 

3. User-Generated Content 

User-generated content (UGC) is the best word-of-mouth marketing strategy a business could ever implement. 

Companies use UGC as part of their marketing strategies. This strategy works as people trust people more than brands. According to Tint Up, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people, even if it’s people they don’t know. 70% look at UGC before deciding to purchase. 

It all comes down to the core fact that people trust firsthand authentic experiences. Candid, real, and relatable posts from actual influencers or genuine feedback from a customer grab the audience’s attention and magnetically draws them to the brand. When someone promotes a product or service, people are more likely to buy.

4. Brand Activism toward sustainability

With the much-needed rise of political, social, and environmental activism that the world is facing. It is no surprise to see brand activism emerge as an up-and-coming marketing trend. In the day and age of the conscious consumer, brands are expected to speak up and take responsibility, or else they risk losing an entire generation of customers.

In one article from CNBC, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils the company’s pledge on sustainability. The company commits to using renewable resources, implementing decarbonization strategies, and altering its business strategies to reduce its carbon footprint.

People don’t just want a good product; they want a good product from a good company that has the same values that they do. They want to make sure the brands they put money into are just as concerned for the environment as they are. Sustainability is more than just a marketing trend but rather, it has evolved into an expectation for brands to take social responsibility. 

5. Re-thinking “Branded” Content 

To repel the dislike for traditional advertising, branded content is being used as a marketing strategy. This strategy primarily focuses on the values of the brand, not on its products or services. People don’t want to feel they are being sold to. They want value, entertainment, and experience which is exactly what a well-done branded content does. It delivers an enjoyable experience for the customer. without force-feeding an ad down their throat.


One of the most successful branded content is Lego the Movie, it was such a hit that people did not realize it was branded content for the Lego brand. As a result, it increased brand awareness, and right after the movie was released, the sales jumped to 25%. It is a testament that consumers don’t mind when brands help tell great and engaging stories that generate human emotional connections. 

6. Repurposing content 

Digital marketers talk about creating new content on many different platforms. One of their pain points is the overwhelm with the amount of media they need to create to stay consistent. 

We can all learn from Gary Vaynerchuk’s content strategy – a developed system for content creation, evaluation, and distribution of content. He strongly encourages content repurposing. One long-form piece of content like a vlog, for example, can be repurposed into micro-content as short-form pieces like articles, memes, images, quotes, stories. These pieces of content are then distributed to all relevant social media platforms.

Repurposing content will not only save you time but will also prevent that feeling of overwhelm when you need to post each day. It’s turning one idea into many different pieces of content and then sharing that content on a variety of platforms. Do not just stop with video, audio, and blog posts, spread the brand’s message in multiple channels. In turn, this will give your business more visibility, varied methods of delivery, and consistency.

So with all these ‘trends’ floating around and possibly changing the digital marketing landscape as we know it, is your brand ready to adopt? Should your brand get on all these trends, some of them, or none of them? 

Let NGP-IMC help you find out the best strategy for your business’ digital marketing and digital public relations needs. Click here to learn more.