The most important digital marketing trends for 2021

Thanks to changing consumer and user behaviour, digital marketing is advancing at a high pace. RTB House lists some of the most important trends to keep track of in 2021.

Short video formats in social media

A trend that grew strongly in 2020, and something that is predicted to continue growing this year, is the use of short videos on social media. TikTok increased the number of monthly visits by 72% globally between the third quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020. Facebook responded to the success by launching Instagram Reels. Earlier this year, TikTok also launched TikTok For Business, and the platform plans to expand its paid marketing options in 2021. Marketers who want to reach a younger target group should therefore invest in a video strategy.

At the same time as short video formats on social media are becoming increasingly popular, 90% of users state that they buy goods from companies that they follow on social media. As many as 75% will also spend more on companies they follow, which is an increase of 12% from 20191. This suggests that social shopping is likely to become increasingly popular, even in short video formats. It may therefore be a good idea to explore creative ways to integrate social media into your ecommerce strategy.

Voice search

Smart speakers and digital voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa are becoming increasingly popular. According to a study by SalesForce, four out of ten millennials use voice search when searching for a product online, and the number is predicted to increase2. Last year, Twitter introduced voice tweets, and LinkedIn now allows users to record how their names are pronounced. The trend indicates that during the year it will become increasingly important that both websites and ecommerce platforms are optimised for voice search so that digital voice assistants can navigate users there, and also to rank higher in the search engines.


Mobile gaming increased last year and with new technology being used to develop mobile games, it looks like it will continue this year. According to Newzoo, there are currently 3.5 billion smartphone users around the world, and 50% of mobile app users play games. A strong trend in 2021 is therefore forecast to be advertising in gaming apps. Something that users seem to be positive about - a survey from Ipsos shows that 50% of users consider mobile ads to be visually appealing3. Marketers should, however, keep in mind that the ads should not be intrusive or irrelevant to the players, and should therefore focus on personalisation.


In 2020 alone, consumers downloaded 130 billion apps across iOS and Google Play4. App usage is growing, and app users are one of the most valuable shoppers as they browse more products and convert at a higher rate than mobile web users. The fact is that statistics show that apps running retargeting see a 25% conversion rate5. This is why retargeting in apps is one of the trends keep track of in 2021.

Personalisation continues to play an important role

Last but not least, all stats indicate that personalisation will continue to play an increasingly important role in the success of marketing in 2021. A study shows that 72% of consumers will only engage in personalised marketing6. During the year, it will therefore be even more important for marketers to adapt communication based on users' personal preferences, interests and behaviours.



Useful resources:
RTB House
RTB House is a global company that provides state-of-the-art marketing technologies for top brands worldwide.
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