Paid Media (SEM) / Digital Marketing

5 PPC & Social Trends To Watch In 2021

Josh Heine

16 Feb 2021

While 2020 certainly threw a few challenges at us, what will transpire in 2021 will continue this digital revolution. Having a strong presence online through organic and paid means, has never been more important. So, as we find our rhythm early this year, here are Five Pay Per Click (PPC) and Social Media trends to keep an eye out for.

1. Plan ahead for new placements on Instagram and more.

It’s only a matter of time until social media platforms develop additional ways to further monetize new concepts. One example of this is Instagram reels.

Facebook has also scaled so much that they now offer a large number of ad placements within their ecosystem. However, Instagram only has Feed, Stories and Explore at this stage. So, adding in Reels ads to the mix would be a no-brainer.

2. A multi channel approach is now more important than ever.

Consumer media behaviours are constantly evolving, and this evolution has prompted shifts in how people use media platforms, as well as how much time they spend on them,

Similar to how perfecting a recipe creates a delicious dinner, selecting the best blend of channels to market your brand creates an optimal media mix. Depending on your goals, an integrated multi channel campaign can result in maximising your ROI. Showing up where and when your customers are looking has never been more important. Even so, many brands have pivoted their marketing strategy because of increased demand, insufficient supply, or shrinking budgets. One in three consumers will choose a brand that shows up when and where they’re searching.

As you plan out 2021, remember that now is the time to test and learn, especially with online video and search.

3. Stores embrace the shift to online shopping on Instagram.

As our “new normal” becomes more established, businesses are finding ways to pivot their plans to ensure sales are maintained. The shift to contactless shopping will allow eCommerce stores to thrive even further in 2021, with social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook beginning to integrate in-app purchasing.

To take advantage of these changes, your business will need to:

  • Survey your audience to determine their true wants and needs from an online offering.
  • Research and test multiple video platforms to find one that supports your new offering.
  • Collect contact information from customers to ensure you can be in touch at any time.
  • Sign up for Instagram and Facebook shopping to link products to your social posts.


    This space is ever evolving, so ensure you:
  • Set up retargeting ads as the majority of your traffic won’t purchase on their first visit to the site. Implementing a unique strategy offering a promotion, discount and/or a special offer can help encourage people to convert.
  • Focus on mobile. Just a one second delay in mobile load times can impact mobile conversions by up to 20%. If your website is slow, not optimised, has a clunky checkout process, or lacks shipping and return policies, now is the time to fix it. Any inconvenience can significantly reduce your conversion rate.

4. The growth of smart bidding & automation.

Smart bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that uses machine learning to optimise for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction. As we move into 2021, smart bidding is becoming more and more powerful and the strategy for using it is becoming more relevant. This is part of the new world of automation, which is a key factor to tackle cookie-less browsers in 2021. No more third party cookies and can help improve efficiency.

This means your business will be able to introduce a smart strategy that is focused on improving conversions and conversion value. Removing the manual optimisations and allowing Google’s algorithm to understand historical data of conversions can in fact boost performance significantly. Although automation in PPC is not exactly new, it’ll start to play a much more important role such as with ad testing, calculating best bidding strategy and identifying performance issues within an account.

5. The rise of TikTok continues.

The short form video app went from 500 million users in December 2018 to close to a billion today. Despite this, TikTok has continued to move forward and looks set to advance even further in 2021.

TikTok is making eCommerce a focus this year. In China, the local version is called Douyin and has already seen major success. For the rest of the world, the first stage of the eCommerce rollout is the launch of shopping for products using sponsored hashtags.

As in-app purchases and shopping continues, TikTok can become a global force, especially with the launch of eCommerce capabilities that may become crucial for business advertising.

By Josh Heine, Paid Media Consultant at GrowthOps Digital

GrowthOps Digital is a full-service digital agency that offers end to end digital marketing services such as Google Ads, Social Media, Partnership Marketing, and more. Speak to us about your growth needs today.