2020 has been a tumultuous year that has rocked businesses right to their foundation and back again. In many ways, these last nine months have been a painful, but invaluable learning experience that has given rise to new forms of marketing and advertising. This has allowed many businesses to stay afloat, while others have even managed to profit.
The following year will signal a major shift in the way we do business, even as we return to a state of normalcy. What does that mean for digital marketing? Expect a number of key trends to take root and flourish in 2021, for the betterment of businesses around the world. Here’s the biggest of the bunch.
THE HUMAN TOUCH
The rise of technology was supposed to drive us further apart, but the exact opposite has happened. We have not entered the hyper-sterile, mechanical corporate future once envisioned in 1980s sci-fi films. Instead, we have leveraged technology to drive interpersonal relationships between companies and customers. The isolation forced on us by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already-powerful need for human contact and interaction. Expect this to jump to new levels in 2021, especially as technologies continue to expand. Naturally, there will be exceptions to this rule, but it’s safe to say that companies who foster the human touch will attract customers far more than those who fail to recognize its power.
VIDEO MARKETING WILL BOOM
The rise of video-based marketing initiatives was already picking up significant steam in the years leading up to 2020, but it’s going to take on a life of its own in 2021. There’s simply no better way to educate potential customers about your products and/or services, and that means an increased drive towards sales. Similarly, instructional and/or explanatory videos have cut down customer support requests across the board by a little over 40%. The power and potency of video marketing is undeniable, and the ability to provide easy access to this content will be a must in the coming year. Companies should also take note and make sure that their content is professional, polished, and presented in such a manner as to be accessible and easily digestible.
Various devices and platforms have already experimented with one form of augmented reality or another. This includes everything from comical video filters to smartphone camera integration, which allows homeowners to place furniture models virtually in their home in order to gauge aesthetics. The most common and recognizable form of augmented reality is the QR code, which has already become a hit with many companies selling particular products. Expect augmented reality to take on new and exciting forms not just in 2021, but beyond.
As customers migrate more and more to the mobile platform in order to buy and sell, voice search has become a must. Companies are now recognizing that busy buyers have no time to waste, and the convenience of voice searching allows them to quickly find the item they want, rather than fumble with a digital keyboard. The frequency of voice searching has shot way up in the last two years with an estimated two-thirds of smartphone users engaging in at least one search per day. Digital marketing companies will need to take this functionality into account when assisting with client websites in order to make sure they’re adding another layer of convenience for their customers. Being proactive is key to making your company website stand out against your competitors.
FLIPPING THE SOCIAL SCRIPT
Leveraging social media platforms to do business is nothing new, but the process is continuing to evolve well into 2021. Shoppable Instagram posts will take on a whole new life of their own in the new year, especially since the company integrated a checkout feature directly onto the app. Leveraging this function can drive plenty of customers towards your business. Facebook has taken a similar approach with their Shop functionality which has been steadily rolling out over the past year. Finally, Google Ads will continue to be a marketing mainstay thanks to Smart Bidding, a machine learning process that identifies user search behavior and geolocation data to predict whether a hit will turn into a conversion.
These are just a few of the key digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for in 2021. Each of them are guaranteed to grow and fuse into a larger network of tools that companies can take advantage of to drive untold new levels of business and growth. For more information about how to prepare your company for the 2021 digital marketing evolution, contact Operatio Marketing today. Let us get to know your company so we can equip you with everything you need to succeed in a post-pandemic business climate.