After an unusual year, we head into a new one. Consumer habits have changed, and so in some ways, marketing has changed.

Are you ready to welcome in the new year with confidence in your approach? Here are six direct-to-consumer marketing trends to try out in your strategy in 2021.

1. Tell your brand’s story and how you are different.

This one is tried and true, but in a world of more e-commerce and touchless interaction, the need for connection goes deeper than ever.

Telling your brand’s story offers your customers the chance to know you, even when they can’t visit your store front or engage with your company face-to-face. When you share content around what makes you different than the rest, you can stand out in a digital world.

Instead of simply promoting, share your brand’s story: What do you stand for? How did your company come to be? Why do you do what you do?

The more your customers know what you’re about, the more connected they feel to your products, and they can make their way along your customer journey, from just knowing you exist to becoming engaged, loyal fans.

2. Bring consumers to channels you can control.

There’s a lot of noise on the internet. Social platforms are instrumental tools in creating awareness and reaching new potential customers. But where do they go from there?

If your audience notices you, then moves on to the next shiny thing, the time and resources you’ve invested in getting your name out there fall short of bringing in actual revenue.

Sell on your own website and build up your email marketing list. Engage your audience, and direct them back to the places that matter: your store, your message, your tribe.

Remember, many consumers in younger generations rely on mobile for their entire website experience, and that trend is becoming more true for all demographics. Make sure your website looks great and functions well on mobile, so that your customers can engage with your brand and your products easily and effectively.

3. Embrace user-generated content.

We’re social creatures. In an era of social distancing, many of us are turning to the online world for human interaction. More than ever, social media influencers and micro-influencers are reaching consumers on a personal level and driving the way we make decisions about how to spend our time, and what to buy.

Work with influencers and brand ambassadors to showcase your products in a real way. Share photos of customers using and loving your products.

Sharing user-generated content is a great way to show off your brand through the eyes of your customers, tap into social proof and build community.

4. Focus on building community (your wine club!)

Your best brand ambassadors out there are the customers using your products and talking about why they love you: It’s your best free advertising!

This group of loyal fans will naturally spread the word to potential consumers. Tap into that by nurturing your community with meaningful content and engagement. Create an experience that’s memorable, one that people want to be a part of.

Your product is so much more than the thing itself. It’s the experience of it. 

When you engage your community — be it your email list, your wine club, or your social media following — your customers become ambassadors of your brand, creating a wonderful snowball effect.

Word-of-mouth is a classic marketing for a reason. The trend here is investing in a marketing strategy that encourages word-of-mouth behavior in an online space.

5. Remember, people buy from people.

This one’s all about your customer and how you build their trust. At the end of the day, people love to buy from people, which means the more you showcase the human element of your brand, the more trust you build within your community.

Who on your staff can you feature in your digital marketing content? What happens behind the scenes? Tell that story.

Ask your key wine members to do market research with you, and feature them in social media posts and emails.

Your community of people includes not just your leadership team and staff, but also your customers, distributors and broader network.

Highlight the faces and stories that make up your company, and your brand story becomes richer and resonates.

6. Share more interactive content.

Most of us are at home more than ever before, living more isolated lives. We’re craving interaction. As business owners, we can create opportunities for interaction in creative ways.

Post quizzes and games on your website. Include questions in your social posts. Ask users to post content with hashtags, and pull them into your marketing process so that it becomes a two-way conversation.

Even something as simple as this bike sizer interface creates active engagement with customers with clicks. Or this fun wine quiz by Bright Cellars offers an interactive experience for website visitors.

As often is the case with trends, 2021’s direct-to-consumer marketing trends are not entirely original — They’re old concepts that have taken on a new, and in many ways deeper, meaning in the context of today.

Embracing these trends can help you stay relevant and thrive in 2021.

Need support building out your 2021 marketing strategy? At Bauerhaus, we specialize in bridging the gap between branding, marketing and tactical implementation. We work closely with direct-to-consumer brands to develop and put into play effective marketing strategies that live up to the modern day. Schedule a call with us to discuss your branding and marketing strategy.