January 12, 2021
There’s no doubt that 2020 was an unpredictable year, forcing many businesses to rethink their services, products and marketing strategies in some way. In all the chaos, new trends emerged that should now be the focus for your business as you plan your 2021 digital marketing strategy. Here are the key trends you need to know for success.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced teams and bricks-and-mortar businesses as a whole to go 100% online with remote working and digital storefronts. As such, many found themselves with a new challenge to maintain interactivity, both at a company and at a B2C level.
At the end of the day, people crave human connection. It’s important that businesses provide the avenues to keep those connections thriving. Such avenues may include:
- Live streams
- Influencer marketing
- Online communities. (Especially relevant if you’re hosting events and engaging with a targeted audience. Groups provide great listening insight, too.)
2. Human-led approach
It seems as though we’ve been talking about an audience-led approach for years now, but what does this mean in 2021? Customer-led marketing in a pandemic and post-pandemic era calls for more transparency and authenticity. As audiences enter a ‘recovery mode’ they seek deeper, more meaningful relationships as well as safety and convenience.
How can businesses rise to the challenge? Start with what lies at the centre of the human experience: conversation. In what ways do you currently communicate with your audience?Are there other avenues to consider? How long is your response time? (Hint: the quicker, the better.) How frequently do you engage with existing customers? How meaningful are those conversations? Maintaining conversations – be it by phone, Messenger, comment threads or email – not only helps with brand affinity and customer sentiment, but also provides more natural opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell where appropriate.
3. The rise of social commerce
Yes, Instagram’s new keyword search function is a game-changer for the platform, but it may be that Instagram is simply responding to the changing nature of social platforms themselves – as holistic discovery and purchase platforms.
Social commerce is projected to grow to a $600 billion market within the next seven years. While keyword-heavy blogs and articles are still key content drivers for brand awareness and consideration, consider driving those customers to your social channels to convert.
Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest already offer social commerce functionality, blurring the lines between a social and shopping experience. But allowing audiences to make purchases directly on the platform isn’t just a matter of convenience – it’s also about connection. On social media brands can interact more naturally with consumers, and consumers can easily discuss recommendations with their connections before making a purchase, feeding in to that more human experience audiences crave.
4. Personalised, data-driven experiences
Marketers are spoilt for choice with the level of audience insights available to them. It’s easier than ever to target your ideal customers at touchpoints that directly follow a more natural path to conversion.
Personalising a journey for a customer demonstrates that you know them, what they want, what else they might be interested in, and that you really care about their business. It makes for a pleasant experience for the customer as you’ve delivered value to them at just the right moments, which builds up positive sentiment and increases chances of retention.
Need help with your customer strategy in 2021? Get in touch!
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