The Most Prevalent Digital Marketing Trends of 2020

2020 has been a transformative year, and there is hardly an industry that has been untouched – including digital marketing. In this wave of change, many businesses have had to adapt and integrate creative solutions to new problems. We’ve compiled a few digital marketing trends and skills that took center stage in 2020, how they’ve affected the industry, and how we predict they will play out in the coming year.

Keep reading for the biggest trends in digital marketing in 2020!


As a digital marketing agency, our top priority is getting the best result for our clients. This involves staying up to date with the constantly changing technology, algorithm changes, and best-practices. Being adaptable in digital marketing has always been an essential skill and this year has made that even more evident.

During this year we’ve witnessed many businesses alter how they cater to their consumers in order to adhere to new safety regulations. With the mass shut down of events, stores, and normal operations teams had no choice but to scrap entire marketing campaigns and deliver something fresh that spoke to the current situation. In order to execute this seamlessly, businesses evaluated and adjusted their campaigns accordingly. Businesses that adapted successfully in 2020 did the following four things: 

Be Authentic

As your brand adapts to the changes in the market one thing should remain the same: your core values. Inauthenticity breeds distrust, which will only result in a loss of sales and a diminished reputation. Steer clear of this path by upholding your brand’s values. If you’ve never defined your core values, now is the time to get clear about your brand story!

Exercise Social Listening

Listening is fundamental to connecting with your customer. Thanks to social media, tuning into the needs of your target audience is easier than ever. Before solidifying changes to your marketing strategy, tune in to what your customers and target audience are saying, and ensure that your adjustments will meet their needs. 

Address Operational Issues

Transparency is key. If you are aware of any delays in shipping or production don’t be afraid to share this information with your customer. Also, ensure that none of your campaigns are marketing products which aren’t currently available. 

Connect with Existing Customers

The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas selling to a new customer has a 5-20% chance of being successful. As you adjust your strategy, incorporate personalized email and social campaigns that target those who already have an affinity for your business. Personalized email campaigns and targeted social media marketing are going to continue to be a trend in 2021 so brush up on your marketing messages to ensure they are effective and current. 

Cause-Focused Marketing 

The past few years have shown an increase in cause-based marketing with consumers demonstrating support for brands whose values align with their own. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to pay more for an item if part of the cost is being donated to a charitable cause. This trend of “voting with the wallets” grew in popularity in 2020 as today’s consumer now expects the brands they support to be vocal about social causes. Cause-focused marketing was a huge trend in 2020 and we expect it to continue into 2021 and beyond.

As the resounding call for societal change was heard around the world, brands answered by boldly taking a stance on these issues. Here are a few notable campaigns that made significant strides toward change: 


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A post shared by Sneaker News (@sneakernews)

To combat the decline of available PPE, Nike began manufacturing face shields to ensure the safety of health care professionals. 


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A post shared by The Body Shop Official (@thebodyshop)

As part of their #ActTogether campaign, the Body Shop Australia is partnering with Launch Housing to provide housing for the homeless. 

These campaigns remind us that the journey toward a better future requires a collective effort and that, regardless of an organization’s size, there’s always something that can be done. When choosing a social or environmental cause to align with your brand, consider the following to ensure success:

Conduct a Survey

Sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source. Conduct a survey that inquires about the different causes your consumers and employees are most passionate about. The cause you choose should align well with your brand as well as your consumers’ feelings and preferences.

Find the Right Partner

Once you find a cause you’d like to take a stand on, research non-profit organizations whose mission aligns with the goal you’re trying to achieve. 

Be Authentic

Although this should go without saying, businesses should only align themselves with a cause if they have genuine intentions to insight change and not for the sole purpose of monetary gain or popularity. People can see through inauthenticity, so don’t insult your customers or others through performative allyship.


In compliance with new health and safety regulations, businesses discontinued in-person services and made the migration to digital. Not long after the stay-at-home order was put into effect, e-commerce had spiked by 49%. Although the rise in sales was primarily due to the purchase of groceries and electronics, the sudden increase in online purchases made it clear that having an e-commerce platform was more important than ever.

Mobile apps like Instagram and Facebook also exhibited a sudden uptick in time spent in the apps as well as purchases, compliments of their shoppable post features. According to Facebook, total messaging increased over 50% within countries that were hit the hardest by the virus. If there were ever a time for businesses to strengthen their social media presence, this was definitely it. 

The shift to digital means that marketers need to be thoughtful in how they connect with consumers. A strong emphasis on e-commerce and digital channels is an important marketing trend in 2020. Brands that function D2C (direct-to-consumer) can also capitalize on the heavy shift online.

Benefit from the digital shift by optimizing the following areas: 

Target Customers

Determine which platforms your customers frequent the most. After analyzing their demographics, you’ll have the information necessary to craft a campaign tailored to your target audience. 

Create Seamless Checkout Experiences

Verify that your user experience is easy to navigate and free of errors as this can cause a disruption during the buyer’s process. For more information on how to optimize your UX, check out our blog UX: Simple Strategies to Enhance Your Website.

Stay Updated On e-Commerce Features

Brush up on the latest updates in e-commerce! With sites like Facebook and Instagram reshaping the way we shop, being knowledgeable about new features and integrations is a must. 

Influencer Marketing

With the rise in social media users and the introduction of shoppable posts, enlisting influencers to market products has also been a noticeable trend this year. When it comes to marketing your products, it’s no secret that consumers aren’t entirely trusting of copy written by the brand themselves. In fact, 63% reported that they are more trusting of the opinions of influencers and 58% stated that they’ve purchased a new product within the last six months via an influencer’s recommendation. 

Here are a few things to consider before introducing influencers into your marketing campaigns: 

Conduct Research

Apps like Upfluence make it easier for you to find and connect with influencers. Once you find an influencer you’re interested in working with, be sure to confirm that your brand’s core values align with theirs. 

Reach and Engagement

It’s a numbers game, but just make sure you’re looking at the right ones. Sure, partnering with an influencer that has a massive following seems like the goal, but those numbers fall flat if the content the influencer posts isn’t being engaged with. If they aren’t engaging with the influencer’s regular content, your sponsored post might not do well either. Partner with someone who has an engaging following. 

Even though business was far from usual this year, businesses from around the world demonstrated immeasurable resolve amidst the challenges that arose. We hope that the recap of these trends helps make navigating our new normal a little easier! 

Need some assistance implementing some of the strategies above? Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Written by Bryanna Norris
Published on December 7, 2020
Filed Under: Marketing Strategy