Last year threw us all a big curveball. It was definitely an unpredictable and unprecedented year, and many of us had to adapt to the changes.

Businesses were pushed to take advantage of more digital marketing strategies than ever before. Some of the changes we saw included a huge rise in eCommerce sales, more time spent on social media channels, and a shift toward digital learning.

With 2020 behind us, it’s time to consider what the next 12 months have in store. Here’s what you can expect to see in terms of digital marketing trends for 2021:

The digital transformation will shift from competitive advantage to competitive necessity.

As a vaccine becomes readily available, we still expect to see lingering effects from the pandemic. Businesses who have not upped their online game will be forced to join the digital transformation. We have entered an age where we must go digital or bust.

In fact, we have seen more digital growth over the last six months than we have seen in the last six years — and it won’t stop there. The digital market is expected to see global growth at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2020 to 2025. In terms of revenue, the market value is projected to increase from $469.8 billion to over $1 trillion by 2025.

Taking advantage of this growth by embracing digital marketing strategies will be crucial for businesses to stay relevant in a post-pandemic world.

More businesses will turn to hyper-local SEO to reach more hyper-relevant customers.

Throughout 2021, we will continue to see an emphasis on search optimization, especially voice and local searches. Optimizing your local SEO will connect more customers in your area with your business and improve your visibility on popular “near me” searches.

Along with the expanding capabilities of local geofencing, you’re able to use highly targeted ads that reach your customers based on a real-world location. This means you can reach them where they live, work, or even while visiting your competitors.

Easy-to-consume, socially-conscious marketing will resonate best with your audience.

Companies that prioritize environmental, ethical, and social responsibility will see the most success. After the social unrest from this past year, consumers will expect more empathetic and socially-aware content.

Convey this to your customers through active engagement on social media channels and email marketing communications. With these methods, you can leverage both key aspects of community and storytelling.


Social sharing and discovery will continue to rise this year.

Consumer behaviors have changed permanently, but this just means you need to better understand who your customers really are. Social media has risen as a channel for targeting segmented audiences and as a platform for consumer shopping as more people choose to make purchases without ever having to leave their homes. 

Retail brands are pushed to adapt to these platforms, while other industries take advantage of the surge in active users. Following this, we will see brand engagement come primarily from influencer marketing and social media advertising.

While it’s normal to want to reach as many users as possible, don’t feel like you must be present on all digital platforms. With so many different channels available, you should just focus on ones most relevant to your business. 


Overall, the digital marketing trends of 2020 will continue to be important in 2021. On that note, we’d like to start the new year with some good news: we’re here to help you work toward a better future and make smarter marketing decisions! After reviewing your current digital footprint in our initial marketing assessment, we will set you up for success.

If you’re ready to put 2020 in the past and move forward with your marketing strategy, contact the experts at UpSwell. We’re here and ready to help you start the new year right!

June 1st - September 3oth

50% OFF

Digital Management Fees
for 3 Months! 

$750 value!

*This offer is for customers who have not previously used UpSwell’s digital marketing services for PPC Search or Social Media Ads. The Digital Splash promotion requires a minimum 3-month commitment to either social media ads or pay-per-click, and a media spend of at least $1,000 per channel. A one-time new customer set up fee of $150 will be charged upon signature of the contract. Contact UpSwell Marketing for details.