Last year was a rollercoaster, with a whole host of unexpected ups and downs. During this time we’ve been forced to adapt to new ways of working, and new ways of reaching customers.
In this blog, we want to talk about some of the trends that have emerged over the last 12 months that we expect will shape the face of digital in 2021 and beyond. Some of these we would recommend onboarding yourself in your own company to help you stay ahead of the curve.
A rise in eCommerce and shoppable social platforms
Now lockdown number three has started, it’s clear that online shopping is here to stay. Many of the initial barriers that prevented people from shopping online have been broken down. The forced closure of shops sent consumers online, and now their accounts are set up and they are increasingly comfortable with eCommerce, it is very likely that online shopping will have a bigger share than it did pre-pandemic.
In fact, experts have projected annual revenue to climb all the way to $6.5 trillion in just three years. Digital strategy is no longer just a conversation topic, it’s embedded into the way businesses do commerce.
With a rise in shoppable platforms, users can buy direct from SERPs or social media. Instagram is a prominent and successful example. The updated layout change highlights a push towards this in-platform shopping, and we expect to see other platforms adopt this too.
In April, to help both shoppers and retailers, we saw Google announce that retailers could list for free on Google Shopping. As physical shops were closed because of the pandemic, it helped bring millions of shoppers and retailers together so they could continue to thrive online.
Becoming an ‘informed brand’
2020 was a year of change for so many sectors, with racism, economic inequality and issues related to public health being at the forefront of public discourse. As a result, many businesses have had to adapt their messaging and their actions as companies to be ethical, sustainable, and generally just more aware of the world around them.
One of the most important things marketing teams can do in 2021 is a review of company practices to ensure that your messaging aligns with your brand. This really helps a company to question their message, whether they are speaking appropriately to target audiences, and whether they are emphasising the right issues and aspects of a product or solution.
Your customers will definitely be looking out for it.
Out with the old, in with the new — auditing your content
This links to the previous point about ensuring that your company messages align. One thing that feeds into this is your content, so it should be a priority to assess the quality and effectiveness of everything you put your name to.
If an asset doesn’t enable or enhance the customer journey, and can’t be improved or repurposed, it should be archived. This could be because it’s outdated or it simply doesn’t align with your company messaging.
Create a detailed spreadsheet with everything you’ve created, that includes articles, blogs, whitepapers, social media posts, and their accompanying stats, so you have a better overview of what’s working and what’s not. Here’s a template you can use.
Ask yourselves the following questions about your content: Did they achieve the engagement you’d hoped they would? How could you improve them? Keep your spreadsheet updated throughout the year, and you’ll be on track.