2020 was a whirlwind, to put it mildly. Industries that we previously thought were indestructible crumbled while other outliers thrived (video conference companies, anyone?).

It’s been 9 months since COVID-19 upended the marketing world as we know it. Now, with stability slowly returning and solid ground under our feet, we can begin planning for the future. These are the marketing trends that we anticipate being the most popular and useful in 2021.

1. Plan For Uncertainty

A question mark drawn on a blackboard in chalk

2020 was the year of the contingency plan, both in business and in life. If you had one, you probably fared better than those who didn’t. In 2021, using more flexible marketing plans will help you to ride the waves of the ongoing pandemic. Implement quarterly check-ins to review and adjust marketing budgets and content as needed.

2. Keep Messaging Sensitive

Two people holding hands representing a moment of caring

Remember all the Christmas ads that had gathering families this year? These are what we’re used to seeing, but they are arguably not what we should have seen in 2020. Families have been ripped apart, some having not seen each other for months due to the pandemic or, in extreme cases, were grieving losses as a result. These ads felt misguided and abrasive in such strange times. As the country and economy slowly begin to rebound, it’s important to remember that many individuals and sectors are still struggling. Advertising and messaging that ignores this struggle comes off as tone-deaf at best and insensitive or cruel at worst.

3. Continue To Digitize

A close up of someone holding a smart phone

If you didn’t have much of an online presence before, 2020 showed you why it’s critical. Businesses no longer have the luxury of waiting to create or modernize their web presence — digital marketing efforts need to be implemented now. The best way to get started when you’re new to the digital world is to select tools that you’re most comfortable with and grow from there. If you’re unsure of how to use social media marketing, what website designs are trending or what SEO stands for, ask for help. Use this time to catch up and grow the digital presence of your business.

4. Replace Sensory Marketing With Digital

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Sensory marketing can sell certain products in a way that digital can’t. There’s no way to replicate the smell of garlic frying in a pan for your jarred tomato sauce or the feel of cashmere on skin, but there are ways to replace sensory marketing with digital marketing. Video marketing can reproduce tradeshow showcasing, well written content or copy can evoke an emotional response and paid advertising can reach out to communities far beyond your own.

5. Create Great Content

Someone holding a single lightbulb

Content is, and remains, king of the marketing world. The graphics and videos you create, the way you write and the stories you tell will ultimately be why most customers choose your product over a competitor. Your brand, and your voice, should shine through your content, reaching and hooking your market in a way that makes them feel directly connected to your company.

Ready to rock the web but not sure where to start? Fortune Web Marketing can help you to kick off the new year with a formulated marketing plan that grows your business. Let’s make 2021 your year.