Digital Advertising Trends for 2021

Digital advertising is going through a transitional period, and all these changes will be relevant throughout this year and in the years to come. Here are the top 7 trends of 2021.

1. E-commerce

Before lockdown, online shopping was more of an additional function than a popular type of shopping, but now online, you can buy not only food or clothes but also cars. According to GlobalWebIndex, 49% of all internet users plan to shop online more frequently once the pandemic is over. The most significant change has been among consumers who were already shopping online. 31% of consumers who didn’t shop online say that it’s the first time they are shopping online and are planning to continue doing so after the pandemic. Many brands have created social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, making integration with Amazon. It should be noted that recently the most effective type of advertising in social networks are stories and live streams, 20-40% of which visitors become leads.

2. Video Content

The popularity of the video has increased after COVID-19. The main driver of the popularity of video-content is 5G connection and new technology. There are some new video ad formats like 360° panoramas and virtual reality (VR) ads. According to Zenith, in 2021, an average user will spend 100 minutes a day watching videos. The video’s advantage is that it evokes an emotional response from the audience and is easy to perceive. According to statistics, posts without video elements get 92% less traffic than posts with at least one video.

Of course, video ads are a great way to engage if the content is personalized and optimized. But remember that nobody wants to interrupt their content with persistent ads. Programmatic advertising can help marketers find a specific audience and show engaging ads at the right time through all the proper devices.

The world data traffic share confirms the popularity and effectiveness of video content. According to Statista, about 66.2% of the stake in 2020 was in video apps. 

3. Internet Privacy, Data Security, and Post-Cookies Era

Personal data security comes to the fore. In response to the restriction of the use of third-party data, many social networks have had to reconsider their methods of collecting and using personal information. New rules and regulations on personal data use make it much more challenging to use cookies to track and personalize ads. Of course, the work principles will have to be changed, but this allows you to build a new system and collect user data with their consent without causing an adverse reaction. 57% of US marketers say that privacy regulations have increased transparency around data use. The amount of data may decrease, but in the long term, it will become better. 

It is worth noting that, although users are worried about their safety, they also want to receive the most individualized content. For example, 80% of self-classified frequent shoppers will only shop with brands that personalize their experience. So, it becomes essential to explain the value proposition of data collection to reassure privacy and understand what is valued the most. 

And, of course, cookies. The most popular browser globally, Chrome, used by 65% ​​of people, refuses to collect information about users’ cookies. That is an essential change because cookies have been the primary method of collecting data since the 1990s. Cookies are critical to all digital advertising stages, from planning and launching ads to measuring performance, and the digital world has two years to develop an alternative. According to forecasts, advertising coverage may decrease, while prices, on the contrary, may rise relative to supply and demand. Cookies can be replaced by 1st party data, contextual targeting, and universal identifiers.

However, the good news is that it is worth keeping in mind the growing popularity of advertising channels such as CTV and audio. Cookies are not required to work with them.

If you are interested in this question, we have a solution on how to target without cookies. Write to us

4. Voice and Visual Search

Audiobooks, Apple Music, podcasts, Spotify, and ClubHouse, penetrate our lives and, according to IAB forecasts, will amount to 26 million dollars this year. The rapid spread of the audio format is due to the ease of perception of voice and the presence of at least one device with a voice interface with us: a smartphone, CTV, Alice, or a watch. Communication with voice assistants does not limit the weather questions, and now the user reveals more information about himself.

Moreover, the audience is more tolerant of audio ads and is even ready to listen to them in exchange for high-quality music content. It gives the audio format more advantages, although it is already on par with other advertising types. Programmatic audio uses all kinds of targeting and makes it possible to choose the ad format (audio accompanied with a banner, video, or active link) based on user behavior. Also, audio advertising is notable for its affordable price compared to the video format and the inability to hide it using ad blockers.

5. Mobile Optimization and Social Networks

Mobile devices have long become an integral part of our lives. You can hardly remember the last time you left home without a smartphone, smartwatch, or other gadgets. We are open to the world, and the world is available to us; we are unable to refuse it. Therefore, investments in mobile advertising and applications will continue to grow in 2021. Today, 5.22 billion people use mobile phones – 66.6% of the world’s population. Since January 2020, the number of unique mobile users has grown by 1.8% (93 million), while the total number of mobile users has increased by 72 million (0.9%) and reached 8.02 billion by the beginning of 2021.

When it comes to mobile devices, we cannot ignore the role of social media. There are now 4.20 billion social media users in the world. Over the past 12 months, this figure has grown by 490 million, representing an increase of more than 13% yearly. Social networks in 2021 are used by 53.6% of the world’s population.

For example, such a social media format as the story was originally a 15-second video with a life story. Now we know it as Shoppable Posts: social media posts that directly connect users to product checkout tend to increase conversions by streamlining the payment process. And the functionality of Instagram, Facebook, VK, TikTok, and even LinkedIn allows us to fit in this short video to communicate with the audience and advertise with a “buy” button a link to the online store.

6. Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic media buying is no longer just a trend among Western brands and large companies; programmatic is growing into the standard of buying digital advertising. Programmatic advertising encompasses a toolset that can help brands improve many components of their marketing plan, like targeting, key metrics, marketing attribution, and reporting. 

Unlike contextual advertising, programmatic consider keywords for impressions and conducts accurate targeting by interests, location, demographic, and social characteristics. You save the time of purchase itself, avoid negotiations with the advertising platform owner and routine manual processes, and get the necessary target audience (read more about Programmatic advertising).

7. Connected TV

Traditional television has long lost its former credibility, and Connected TV has replaced it. CTV is an ecosystem of internet-connected devices: Smart TVs, game consoles, and Set-Top-Box. It has access to Netflix, Apple TV, etc. 

What is the advantage of CTV? Traditional television broadcasts 12 minutes of advertising every hour, and the same commercials are watched by all audiences of the channel, despite demographic data and interests. New generation television allows you to target advertisements to narrow segmental circles, which results in personalized and relevant advertising that meets the parts of a specific audience, does not irritate it, and, as a result, more often leads to targeted action.

Another advantage is the expectation that CTV will be widely used in programmatic advertising. By YouTube stats, 79% of internet users have a YouTube account. CTV is one of the programmatic channels so that advertising can create targeted ads for more segments with higher engagement rates of video ads.

Every year, the ways of interacting with the audience develop and expand their potential. And with the proper use of relevant content, deep personalization, and trends in 2021, you can reach unprecedented heights in the advertising world.