2020 marked the year where digital marketing trends accelerated, and companies adapted their strategies to meet the new digital age following the global pandemic’s effects. As businesses prepare to enter the second quarter of 2021 with the ripple effects of the coronavirus still present, there are no signs of digital advances slowing down.
Companies have welcomed some of the top digital marketing trends as consumer behaviour rapidly changed, forcing a new approach for many that will likely alter the way they work forever. Brands and marketers have been busy moving products and services online whilst managing employees to work remotely. The last year has been spent preparing for technology and regulatory changes as well as gaining insight into the top digital marketing trends we can expect to see in 2021, and how companies should be using them moving forward.
If you want to find out more about the key trends and what your company needs in order to increase engagement and retain existing customers, then we’ve listed a few areas below. Whether you want more traffic to your website, looking to generate leads or trying to increase revenue, these are some of the digital trends you should be investing time and money in.
Virtual reality (VR) and CGI
By introducing an interactive marketing strategy, companies are able to offer a more immersive experience. The new age of technology showcases an omnichannel approach when it comes to satisfying customers. Whilst people are isolating, and brick and mortar stores remain closed, virtual reality, thankfully, provides a real-life experience to those wanting to try companies products and services. VR not only gives people a unique encounter but is hugely beneficial when it comes to utilising consumer analytics – and data will undoubtedly be at the forefront of many business strategies in the future.
Many sectors have recognised the value of VR and CGI, including renowned beauty retailers L’Oreal who created the ultimate in-store experience for customers looking to digitally apply makeup products to test different shades before committing to buy. Homeware companies such as IKEA have also applied VR technology to their marketing plan providing people with the opportunity to visualise their flat packs in 3D as they look to make improvements to their home.
Since the initial lockdown last year, other businesses have too experimented with this type of technology. Property investment companies such as RWinvest quickly adapted to the ‘new norm’ and implemented virtual reality viewings for new and existing investors wanting to visualise their investments. By offering virtual tours, property companies have allowed the market to remain open, resulting in some of the highest sales the industry has seen in several years. Another form of technology used is computer-generated imagery or CGI, which literally brings a floor plan to life. This is particularly useful for property developments sold off-plan as photo-realistic technology gives companies an innovative tool for marketing to architects, investors and potential buyers who wish to comprehend the design.
Social media marketing has been around for many years, and in 2021 companies should dedicate more resources to this marketing strategy if they wish to reach a wider audience and keep up with competitors. For many businesses, social budgets increased during 2020 as marketers looked for new ways to capture their customers’ attention. It’s no secret that the pandemic has significantly increased the amount of time people spend scrolling through apps and browsing online. This is prime time for companies looking to re-engage with previous customers and acquire new people to interact with their brand and buy their products and services.
Whether you have a social media marketing team in house or you’re looking to hire a freelancer part-time. Depending on your company’s size and budget, you can devise a social plan that works for you to drive customer responses and attract new business. Companies may start small with a content plan and develop regular posts to stay consistent with advertising and informing their customer base. Others will look to produce social videos – a big hype in 2020 and will, without a doubt, continue in 2021.
For those experienced with creating videos, the trend for this year is a lot more relaxed. Companies are encouraged to take a casual approach when it comes to video marketing and connecting with people. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram skyrocketed in 2020, where individuals embraced hashtag challenges to impersonate celebs and dance their way through the lockdown. With over 500 million users, it’s no wonder TikTok is the channel of choice when it comes to marketing companies effectively. What’s more, laid-back videos don’t have to be beautifully shot and edited to capture people’s attention. It can be an inexpensive task recorded straight from a smartphone. So, it’s time for companies to let their hair down and have fun when it comes to staying connected.
A key takeaway for 2021 is for companies to put people at the centre of everything they do. It’s about presenting innovative experiences that are exciting and engaging to form personal relationships between brand and customer. Customers want to be valued and welcome platforms where they can voice opinions. Companies shouldn’t be afraid to start conversations. Break the ice by portraying valuable light-hearted messages and branding across all channels to connect with users on a new level. People want to laugh again as we embrace the positive changes that are coming.
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