The marketing world has faced incredible change over the last few years. 2020 was the year that saw the spread of COVID whilst 2021 was the year of lockdowns. Sporadic lockdowns, confusing quarantine rules and closed borders – it’s been an interesting period for marketing. Over the last few years all industries have faced never-ending changes, which begs the question – what will happen next?
2020 and 2021 has left many marketers scratching their heads on what the future will hold. More travel restrictions? No travel restrictions? More time online? Less time online? With some in-depth research, accurate predictions and evaluation of current trends – here, we’ve put together everything you need to prepare for the year ahead.
Learning from 2021
“Look back to move your marketing forward.”
Although 2020 saw many consumers enter the online space out of necessity, these customers have stayed online due to convenience. With a great increase in online usage, businesses quickly adapted their products and services to meet the needs of online consumers. This paid off in dividends, as consumers have now developed new habits and routines based on these convenient online experiences. From online shopping, activites, social media and education platforms – the main take away from 2021 is the significant and influential growth of anything and everything digital.
Across Australia and New Zealand, online shopping increased by 20% Whether it’s buying pharmaceuticals, groceries, a new bike or even property – consumers are turning to reliable online platforms to make their purchase.
People soon realised that habits they changed temporarily due to COVID were in fact not temporary after all. With the help of technology, people were able to adjust easier to new ways of living. In Australia web searches saw a 120% increase in virtual experiences such as art galleries, foreign cities and seeing live music. With many not being able to leave the home, we turned to our screens for new experiences instead.
It was tough times to be in a different country, state and at times even suburb from your loved ones. In order to stay connected, many relied on the incredible tools hiding in their smart phones and laptops.
Many workplaces relied on Zoom video calls, which lead to the app being the 5th most downloaded app in 2020. For the many bored at home, YouTube saw a 30.4% increase in 2020 compared to the previous year and has continued to steadily increase. For social media users, Instagram crossed 1 billion users in 2021 and TikTok saw an impressive $4.6 billion revenue, a whopping 142% increase year-on-year.
Thirst for knowledge
With COVID (2020-present), global warming (ever present) and the Russian-Ukraine war (2022) – the world has been facing hardship after hardship. Although it has been a difficult time for people globally, it has awoken a passionate need to understand, educate and advocate. This is evident in the growth of reading online news for example, ABC’s streaming service ABC iview has increased by nearly 400% since 2018 as well as their ABC News on Radio seeing a record reach of 981,000 listeners. Online news platforms have made it easier for people at home to self-educate and discuss politics.
We’re in it together
Although times have been tough, building community through digital connections couldn’t be stronger. Consumers were determined to find new ways to nurture friendships and embrace meaningful moments in unconventional ways. 2021 saw a 55% increase in Google searches for gifting and an overall trend of consumers being driven by their emotions to make a purchase. Emotional connections have been put at the forefront of purchasing behaviour with more expectations on businesses to be people oriented.
Social media trends
COVID has without a doubt increased our screen time whether it be for connecting with friends, staying updated with news or simply just killing time. As customers looked to their social media platforms for just about everything, businesses needed to make sure they were active on socials more and more. What once was an insignificant activity, has now become an essential marketing tool for all businesses.
If you don’t have an Instagram account… do you even exist?
Social media trends you need to be doing NOW
With trends changing as quickly as the number of covid cases it can be quite the challenge to keep up with it all. To make it easier, here’s our must watch list that is stirring attention across all platforms.
- Help from creators – have you been wondering how your competitor suddenly went from blurry phone camera photos to clean and crisp photography… they’ve hired professionals! The creator economy is booming, with graphic designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators becoming highly sought after on social media.
- Social commerce – customers are now using social media platforms for every step of sale from the discovery, click to purchase and post purchase support. It was released that 60% of Gen Zs use Instagram to discover new brands.
- Short and sweet videography – it’s known news now that across all platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and of course TikTok – videos get more engagement than other formats. These videos are from as quick as 15 seconds to as ‘long’ as 1 minute. Any longer though and you face losing your customer’s attention.
Digital marketing trends
Alongside social media, there are now a multitude of digital marketing tools at your disposal. The options are truly endless when it comes to digital marketing, which is both exciting and also overwhelming. If you’re looking to step up your game this year, reflect on your business, the products and services you offer and see how you can apply one of the below trends.
The digital world is your oyster
- Online classes – as consumers spend more time at home, they’re looking towards online classes to fill their time. For example, teaching platform Domestika has become talk of the town with a valuation of $1.3 billion after closing a round of a $110 million Series D. Businesses are looking to the digital space to see how they can take advantage of the online educational platforms.
- Gamification – with the videogame industry growing by 14.4% from 2020 there has been rising interest in gamification (the process of adding game-like elements to a non-game environment). This is most obvious in loyalty programs where there are different levels and point systems to redeem offers. Smaller ways to incorporate gamification is installing the WP Optin Wheel plugin to your website or, running a poll over social media. This is a great way to get your customers involved in your marketing without them knowing they’re even being marketed.
- Loyalty app – loyalty programs are essential to your digital marketing strategy with consumers 62% more likely to spend more with your brand if they’re signed up to your program. Many businesses have taken this to the next level with developing their own loyalty app. Apps are incredibly useful as they allow for opportunities to communicate, sell and notify.
As the world changes so too does consumer trends. This can be both exciting yet also challenging. If you’re a business owner or even a marketer yourself and you’ve been struggling to keep up with it all – let us help! Marketing, digital advertising and website design and development is what we do best here. Ease off your workload and spend more time doing what you do best. Get in contact with our team today.