Planning Your 2021 Digital Marketing Strategy: Trends to Watch.

2020 is almost over, and it's time to start planning your 2021 digital marketing strategy.

What's the best way to develop a solid digital marketing strategy? Use the 70:20:10 rule.

Confused girl meme. Text

The 70:20:10 rule is a great way to add diversity and a consistent structure to your content flow.

Check out the video or podcast above. Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your platforms' choice. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in digital marketing and join in on the conversation.

What's New?

An exciting story has been stirring regarding a Sherwin-Williams employee who was fired after going viral on TikTok by creating paint mixing videos. The story is a harsh "reminder of the many great ideas from front line employees that die in middle management."

You can read more about it here:

Sherwin-Williams, Influencer Marketing and UGC Trends: Why Consumers Were Left Shaken But Not Stirred

Facebook also has some new features rolling out, to no one's surprise. Check it out:

Reaching Customers Where They Are With Facebook's Click-to-Messenger Ads: A Guide

And Old Spice is looking to break records!

Old Spice Looks to Create World's Longest-Lasting White Elephant Game on Social

What's Working?

With so much uncertainty globally, people crave transparency and genuine connections more than ever.

Conversational marketing and building long-term relationships replace deceptive and aggressive marketing, as consumers demand more from the businesses they give their hard-earned money to.

It's all about customer experience in 2020, and that digital marketing strategy should continue to be strong going into 2021.

Why Do You Need a Solid Strategy?

On-the-fly marketing does not work. Full stop.

If you look at the most successful businesses on the planet, you'll find a common thread. They didn't get their success by accident.

It is vital to have a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal of achieving sustainable competitive advantage.


  • It sets clear tasks and objectives and coordinates employees towards a unified goal your business wants to achieve.
  • Ability to divide the work into small manageable tasks and assign specific duties to each employee.
  • Your competitors have a strategy, so if you don't have a clear road map of where you want to be and how you'll get there, you'll get left in the dust.
  • It helps you determine your target markets and better understand your customers.
  • Without a clear plan, you will not be able to use your resources efficiently.
  • Having a solid strategy that always reminds your customers about you being there is crucial. And helps your business appear more professional.

The 70:20:10 Rule

image of numbers 70 20 and 10 in red, blue and green.

The team at Honeypot Marketing is dedicated to producing high-quality content and providing our clients with results that generate growth.

When handling an account, we ensure we are using tactics that work across all platforms. We also ensure that we are testing and experimenting with new tactics.

Internally, we follow a framework that guides out organic and paid content creation - the 70:20:10 rule.

What is The 70:20:10 Rule?

  • 70% of our content strategy is assured. We know it works and will use this strategy when constructing most of our content.
  • 20% of our content is a light experiment or a test; this provides great insight and can enhance our social media strategies in the future.
  • 10% of our content is a new idea, something creative, and might seem removed from the strategy we have in place. If it doesn’t perform, we move onto something new.
A coloured graph showing the breakdown of the 70/20/10 rule.

You want to create content at different levels because spending all of your resources at one end of the spectrum or another means sacrificing either quality or consistency.

The 70% Rule

The majority of the content you produce will fall into this category - it's the proven content—your bread and butter.

This means that 70% of your marketing should be the planned 'marketing as usual' content.

This content is generally low risk, not overly time-consuming, and should speak to your business' core expertise and the customer's needs or pain points.

  • Here are some real-world examples from Honeypot:
Screenshot of Honeypot Hive Hack showing how Snapchat filters work.

Hive Hacks is a regular series of ours, where we give step-by-step tips on how to use special features on social media platforms.


Mobile Storage Rentals social post that links to a blog for more info.

An informative post that leads to an onsite blog where audiences can learn more - a great way to drive traffic to your site without pushy sales tactics.

These posts relate directly to the brands but are not pushy sales tactics.

Instead, they offer the audience high-level information that showcases the brand's specialties and knowledge.

It also helps consumers make more informed decisions, leading to higher satisfaction rates, and establishing long-term relationships.

The 20% Rule

This content can be moderately risky and is directly related to the 70%, aiming to pull your prospects further down the sales funnel.

With this segment, you want to target a potential new audience.

Developing this new, innovative content helps enforce a deeper engagement with your audience.

Your investment in this category may not see an immediate return, but it lays the groundwork for the future and helps outpace the competition.

You'll perform the necessary analysis and analytical work to measure past content.

Setting content goals with specific benchmarks and iterating based on the results is the fastest way to set yourself apart from the competition and make your content more relevant to your target audiences.

Here are some real-world examples from Honeypot:

email marketing infographic in yellow and black with 4 tips.

Infographics are a great way to capture attention and share information that's easily digestable.

Meme using The Umbrella Academy with text: Marketers guessing what their audience wants.

Using memes helps keep your content fresh and entertaining, by injecting some humour and playing up pop culture references that most people can recognize.

A post with video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. Repurpose old content by turning it into a video!

The 10% Rule

The final piece of the pie is where true innovation happens.

This 10% should go to high-risk, high-reward content.

This practice encourages the content team to explore opportunities for growth in unexpected areas.

It's the groundbreaking ideas that haven't been tested – new ways of connecting with audiences that could become tomorrow's 20% or 70% in your digital marketing strategy.

It's the innovative part of your content that's meant to see into the future. When done right, it can pay off by setting you up as a trendsetter in your niche.

Innovation is best grown when strategies are developed. You can create models, analyze data, and scale ideas that win.

Sometimes, the best ideas come when we think outside the box.

Tik Tok is an excellent example of marketing that falls into the 10% bucket. Many businesses think it's not right for them and ignore it because they don't truly understand it or how to use it effectively - and it can be handy.

Here are some real-world examples from Honeypot:

Spotify playlist for Father's Day showing a list of classic rock songs.

A Spotify playlist isn't something you'd typically see from a marketing agency, but posting at the right time, on the right channels to the right audience helped make it a success.


We went in an unexpected direction with a charity run for climate change for this client, and it resonated with their audience.

As you can see, the central theme here is unexpected.

In these examples, we tried something new in our digital marketing strategy that didn't directly relate to these brands but still resonated with their target audiences.

Remember that your audience is people, and people have many interests that go beyond your brand.

That's why developing personas is so critical to understanding your target audience.

It helps you understand what kind of people they are and what they're interested in, which opens up endless content possibilities.

Trends to Watch in 2021

Voice Search is quickly becoming more and more common every day.

The technology has improved dramatically in the past few years and has been integrated into pretty much every device connected to the internet.

I used to think it was a gimmick until I got a smart TV that I could talk to. Now I never type in a search on YouTube - I tell the TV to do it.

This is also changing the keywords marketers need to use because when we use voice search, we don't speak as we type.

We tend to use more precise phrases that are more conversational than search queries typed into the search bar.

Image of voice search devices, Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home/Nest, Microsoft Cortana.

Voice search devices are becoming commonplace in homes, along with our phones and other smart devices.

Shoppable Social Media is all the rage right now, and for a good reason.

Watching a video or seeing an image of a product and immediately purchasing it with the click of a button or a swipe has taken convenience to a whole new level.

Image of phone with a woman on screen with purchase tags pointing at her clothing.

You can now literally buy the clothes off someone's back. Like what you see? Now there are handy purchase tags attached to images that allow for quick and easy shopping!

Gamification integrates game components like point systems, leaderboards, or badges into non-game activities to increase engagement and motivation.

Who doesn't like games? They're fun, flashy, interactive, and they can transport us to worlds beyond imagination.

Using gamification posts can boost audience engagement, help build brand awareness, and generally creates a positive association since games reward players unless you're a Dark Souls masochist. I will admit that I am...

Black animated scratch and win card with 3 gold circles to scratch for beauty products.

Everyone likes the feeling of winning something. It doesn't have to be an outrageous prize. It's just fun and satisfying to be rewarded for playing.

Chatbots [DM marketing]

Chatbots are those cute little buddies that hang out in the bottom right-hand corner of most modern sites these days.

They can be convenient for instantly answering the bulk of general questions people have, improving engagement, customer retention, and even increasing sales by assisting customers in navigating your site and finding more products they may be interested in.

We've talked about chatbots in some of our previous blogs, and you can find those here:

Why Real-Time Messaging & Chatbots are the Key to Unlocking Customer Engagement

Social Media Customer Service Strategy: 12 Reasons You Need One in 2020

That's a Wrap

Here are some more resources for those who want to explore further!

Using the 70:20:10 rule in your digital marketing - How to use the power of the 70:20:10 rule as a marketing model to prioritize your digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing trends in 2021: A different post-COVID look - This article discusses some interesting potential trends of 2021, such as shoppable posts and de-personalization.

Using The 70-20-10 Rule to Build Effective Content Strategy - The key to effective content strategy is finding the perfect balance between promotional and brand-building content. This article breaks down the 3 sections of the 70:20:10 rule.

2021 Global Marketing Trends: Find your focus - Constant technological change and increasing reliance on digital can leave people wanting for human connection. These seven trends can help build connections to drive engagement and growth for brands in an unprecedented 2021.

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