2021 Marketing Trends: The Rise of Video-First Platforms

Written by: BreAnne Daly, Digital Content Specialist, Summit Creative Marketing

What’s the hot marketing trend for 2021? You’ve seen it, literally. The rise of TikTok, the prioritization of Instagram Reels, and the investment in Facebook Watch with celebrity featured shows.

2021, meet the push in video-first social media platforms.

So, where do we see this push in video content, and how can your brand take advantage of this trend in 2021?

Let’s break it down.


TikTok came on the scene and changed social media as we know it. Its video-only dynamic pushed current social media networks’ leisurely shift to video-centric platforms into overdrive.

According to app analytics provider App Annie, “TikTok has seen sharp growth in active users by amassing a sizable global footprint in 2020 — nearly tripling in size since 2018. In 2021, we expect TikTok to not only achieve a coveted spot in the 1 Billion monthly active users club, but to sail straight past to 1.2 billion.”

1.2 billion. That is a lot of eyeballs.

As with any social media strategy, you must understand each social network’s personality and how that correlates with your brand. If you’re considering investing in the TikTok space in 2021, ask yourself if your brand fits this criteria:

  • My target audience is Gen Zers and younger Millennials
  • My brand is fun, light-hearted, and has a “cool kid” persona
  • My product or service can be portrayed through visually appealing video demonstrations
  • I’m a musician, artist, influencer, or creative
  • I’m ready to invest the time, money, and resources to commit to adopting another social media platform into my strategy

If your brand checks these boxes, you might consider TikTok in 2021. If you are not sure, Summit Creative Marketing has your back and can help.


Did anyone else feel a little déjà vu when Instagram Reels emerged on the scene? That’s no coincidence.

If anything is signaling the push of video-first platforms in 2021, it is Instagram Reels.

As mentioned above, with the recent boom in popularity of TikTok, Instagram pivoted and introduced Reels to bring this video-centric dynamic to the platform.

Later.com breaks down Reels as, “Instagram Reels are designed to be fast and fun and are packed full of special effects that make creating captivating and authentic content seriously easy. This offers a great opportunity for businesses to show a more human, less picture-perfect side — which can be great for building genuine relationships and strengthening community.”

Are you still a little skeptical Instagram is no longer just a “photographer’s haven?” Open your app now. Instagram Reels has taken center stage in the menu bar in place of the create button.

Good news for your brands that are on Instagram, but still TikTok weary, Instagram is a GREAT place to start familiarizing yourself with this new way of creating content. It’s here to stay in 2021, so we suggest you do so.


To compete with YouTube, Facebook has gone all-in on its streaming feature, Facebook Watch. In 2020, we’ve seen the boom in Facebook Watch shows featuring notable celebrities such as Steve Harvey, Shaquille O’Neal, Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith, Bill Murray, and more.

As a brand, you’ve probably noticed when posting videos on Facebook; it automatically plays within the Facebook Watch hub. Furthermore, your video is put in a queue along with related videos in an attempt to keep you engaged within the Facebook Watch hub.

How can you take advantage of this as a brand? Incorporate video into your social media strategy. Facebook has made it clear it is beginning to prioritize video over standstill content.

If you’re looking for more creative ways to incorporate video into your marketing strategy for 2021, the Summit Creative Marketing team is always standing by, ready to help. Reach out to us today.



How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels