While the turning of the new year may not magically cure all of 2020’s ails, it certainly is a welcome mental break from the lurching carnival ride that was last year. If nothing else, the new year is a chance for us to regroup within ourselves and prepare for the salvo 2021 is readying for launch.
2020 brought a whole heap of change with it. And much of what has changed may never go back to the way it was before all the madness broke loose. However, as times change so must we. To help you ready up for what 2021 brings our way, here are some of the digital marketing trends we think will play a big role in the coming year.
Caring is Cool
Marketing is all about creating and maintaining a positive public image so customers new and old can establish bonds of trust with your organization. This means great marketing isn’t just about marketing, but is related to everything your organization does. Whether it’s a poor customer service experience or an investigative journalism piece about how a company mistreats its employees, every negative association customers create with your business leaves an indelible mark.
The core tenet of getting along with others was taught to us all as children, though many seem to have forgotten the importance of treating others as you want to be treated. While many people have mixed feelings about “cancel culture”, it’s clear that today’s consumers are no longer willing to suffer in silence while companies take advantage of their positions of power. Being kind and caring for others is not only good for the whole world, it’s also just smart business.
Social Media Matters
Humans are inherently social creatures, but 2020 put an abrupt halt to in-person events and gatherings. While social media is certainly nothing new, the new world we found ourselves in last year caused a massive surge in social media activity as people sought out human interactions in a world suddenly devoid of them.
Organizations that already had an established social media presence found it quite easy to leverage their standing and grow larger followings. Surprisingly, a lot of organizations found success in the social media landscape of 2020 by scaling back their breadth of social media channels and focusing on enhancing the depth of the experiences they can provide across a smaller, more targeted selection of channels.
Instead of going for a machine gun spray into the dark approach, organizations started to focus on social media channels that best matched the type of content and audience that was most in sync with the organization’s identity.
Virtual Events on the Rise
Many companies also looked to social media and newly forming digital landscapes to create virtual events as stand-ins for the face to face meetings they would have normally held. A key aspect to these events is enabling live interactions that simulate, or at least approximate, the experience of attending meatspace events.
While there is always the potential for mishaps and technical difficulties when it comes to live virtual events, the potential benefits far outweigh the risks. Virtual events can have an enormous ROI thanks to their relatively low cost and vastly superior accessibility compared to in-person events.
Attendees can experience virtual events from the comfort of their home without having to shell out cash for travel and accomodations—thus enabling a much bigger or more diverse audience to attend. Live virtual events also make for excellent content that can be repackaged and redistributed across organizational outlets. This adds even more value and further increases ROI, making the effort well worth it.
While there was a notable uptick in social media activity and online events in 2020 due to COVID-19, the fact remains that the world was already headed in that direction—pandemic or no. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that virtual events and social media will continue to play a large role in the coming years even after vaccinations have been successfully administered across the globe.