How 2021 changed digital marketing forever

How 2021 changed digital marketing forever

Somehow, the utterly-bizarre series of events commonly known as “2021” is almost over. The year both dragged on a flew by – and 2021 changed digital marketing forever.

If you haven’t already, it’s a great time to start adjusting to these changes. Keep reading to discover some of the most notable email, social media, advertising and content strategy shifts from the past year!

How 2021 changed digital marketing:

Hand holding smart phone with Instagram displayed on screen


Throughout 2021, Instagram threw social media marketers tons of curveballs. First, the photo-sharing app announced that it was no longer, well, a photo-sharing app. Then, Instagram allowed accounts with under 10,000 followers to post links in their Stories. New branded content features followed suit. And recently, Instagram also dropped IGTV in favour of “Instagram Video“.

Those are just the biggest changes – Instagram’s made tons of small but impactful updates too.

Person sitting at desk, holding phone that displays Twitter app icon


Not to be outdone, Twitter rolled out updates of its own throughout 2021. The most notable changes? It’s probably a tie between:

  1. Twitter Spaces, a Clubhouse-like live audio conversation feature.
  2. The resignation of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and CEO.

Monetization tools, like Super Follows, also launched this year. And to make room for new features, Twitter bid adieu to Fleets, its version of Instagram Stories. Clearly, social media apps are pulling out all the stops to stay relevant. Expect more changes in 2022!

IPhone and ear buds lying on white surface

Intelligent Tracking Prevention and iOS 15

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and its iOS 15 update both helped boost online security – and made collecting data more difficult. Apple automatically turned ITP on for iPhones and iPads with iOS 14 installed – and messed with the effectiveness of targeted Facebook ads in the process. Meanwhile, the iOS 15 update rendered email marketing open rates (somewhat) useless.

Making data-based decisions is one of digital marketing’s biggest benefits. And while there’s still tons of analytics and metrics available, marketers and advertisers have to be a little savvier when interpreting it.

Person watching laptop with video player displayed on screen

Video content

Every year, marketers agonize over the importance of video content.

But in 2021, social media apps really put added pressure on content creators to produce videos. From TikTok, to Instagram Reels, to the popularity of five-hour YouTube videos, it’s clear audiences can’t get enough.

This leads to one big question: Does your team have the capacity to produce video content?

Man watches webinar on laptop with multiple people on his screen

The rise of webinars

If it seems like everyone and their Instagram-famous dog hosted a webinar this past year, you’re not wrong.

According to HubSpot, “More than half (53 per cent) of marketers say webinars is the top-of-the-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads.”

After all, we’re all well-accustomed to Zoom by now. A free webinar is a low-risk way to attract those leads—and help them build a stronger relationship with your brand.

Can’t keep up with all these changes? Sounds like your digital marketing strategy could use some adjustments. We’d love to help get it back on track! Reach out to us if you’re ready for your digital marketing to take off.

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