2020 has certainly been a rollercoaster year. The widespread uncertainty and high number of restrictions have made things very difficult for businesses where their business models previously relied heavily on face-to-face interactions. Many business owners have had to quickly adapt their offerings to fit into the ‘new normal’.
We have heard a lot of new language used this year which has now become commonplace. Increased use of the internet and social media has enabled experts to identify these new commonly used terms and how frequently they are used, such as ‘social distancing’, ‘furlough’, ‘remote working’ or ‘working from home’ and ‘lockdown’.
It is interesting to examine how cultural events can have an impact on the way businesses market their goods and services. For example, many large retail chains have taken a ‘Covid-19 approach’ to their marketing by including the wearing of masks in their Christmas 2020 advertising. What has also become commonplace is that most adverts we are seeing, where a large number of people are grouped together, now feature small print warnings which state that the footage or photo was taken prior to the pandemic so not to be seen to be encouraging behaviour that does not conform to the new safety guidelines and rules.
Marketing has a huge impact on the way we live, so it is important to be ‘in the know’ about upcoming trends and what the future may hold, to enable businesses to take advantage of opportunities for growth and not get left behind.
What marketing trends are we likely to see in 2021?
- Voice Search – Many people are now using their mobile phones to search the internet. But they are not just typing keywords into a search engine, they are now speaking their commands into their virtual assistant, and so the way that we structure keywords and meta data for our sites is changing. You should focus on re-wording website content into asking and the answering a question, to match the behaviour of a customer seeking an answer to the question they are searching for.
- Micro-influencers & Reviews – It has become clear that word of mouth recommendations are a very useful tool for prospecting new business across all kinds of industries. This is not a new concept, but what we are seeing now is the use of digital reviews across platforms like Google, social media and reviewing sites which can have a huge impact on the way that people shop for products and services. As the shopping behaviours of people change, your online reviews could be the difference between getting and losing a sale, so make sure you are asking people for testimonials and always answer your bad reviews with a resolution. The use of micro-influencers is similar to the regular type of influencers that you may have heard of via social media, however a micro-influencer is thought to have a smaller circle of ‘better quality’ leads that are more likely to trust the person’s opinion and therefore turn into another new customer for your business.
- The use of automation and AI – Many businesses this year have been impacted by an increased use of technology. What some have found is that by automating some of their in-house services such as automatic customer emails, customer service chat bots and applying technology to help them with in house processes, you can alleviate time to help your team focus on more important tasks such as creativity and business development.
- Live streaming – Many business owners are now taking to social media to speak to their audience directly. This is an effective tool because it is highly engaging and encourages an open and direct conversation between your brand and your customers. You are showing your customers that you are a real and trustworthy person whilst also addressing customer needs and promoting your business at the same time, which can have a huge impact on your business. Trust and transparency are important as we move further into an online world.
As well as these changing behaviours and trends, there are also a number of trends from 2020 that are not changing and are still an integral part of the way consumer behaviour has changed throughout the past year. These include:
- Social media marketing
- Using video to target customers – as the content is quick and easy to consume and holds the viewers’ attention more so than wordsChatbots
- Personalised email campaigns
- Mobile website optimisation – if you do not have a website for your business that is optimised by now then you could be missing out on a large chunk of customers that could be trying to view your products and services online
- This also goes for Apps. If you operate a store and want to make the most of eCommerce, you may wish to consider an App as well as a fully optimised online store.
Planning Your Strategy for 2021
At Blue Bee, we are all about staying ahead of the curve and encourage all business owners to take a pro-active, not reactive, approach to marketing. Planning is everything and could be the key to your 2021 business success. We have put together a marketing strategy planning guide to help you, which you can request by visiting our website page here. For any marketing help and advice, our team are always here to chat – please call us on 01722 775500 to speak to a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team.