Through the past couple of decades, marketing has become increasingly personal and increasingly technical at the same time. On the surface, services and shopping experiences have become more and more personalized, as people entrusted more of their information and preferences to online retailers and advertisers. This data has been used to tailor ads, offers, and experiences specifically for the people it belongs to. But behind the scenes, catering to this ever-expanding audience, with increasingly-diverse needs and wants, has created an unimaginably complex system for marketers and website design services.
There’s never been so much that we can do, and yet we’ve also never been so overwhelmed with information and options.
For better or for worse, people have come to expect this level of personalization, and this trend will be continuing in 2021. In fact, with jobs and businesses becoming totally technology-dependent in 2020, the business landscape is even more digital, virtual, and personalized than anyone could have predicted before the pandemic.
2020 hasn’t just been a year for technological change, however. It’s also placed renewed attention on political, social, environmental, and economic issues, not to mention problems in our health systems which were put on full display. While these may seem like unrelated issues to things like website design services, they will nonetheless play a part in determining what trends are significant in 2021.
As society pushes on from the chaos of 2020, these are some of the trends we’re expecting to see in the world of marketing.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
People in 2020 have become more sensitive than ever to perceived corporate corruption and they’re interested in supporting ethical, responsible businesses as a result. While no one really believes or appreciates big businesses’ attempts at so-called “woke marketing,” there’s an opportunity here for smaller companies to stand out.
After a year like 2020, people are tired of supporting big corporations with questionable ethics. So if you can prove that your brand is socially and environmentally responsible, you shouldn’t have any trouble attracting fans. However, “prove” is the key concept here. Consumers are more shrewd than ever, so transparency and authenticity are absolutely essential.
Featured Snippets and No-Click Searches
Blogs are among the most common forms of media used in content strategies, largely because they are perhaps the best way of getting organic traffic through SEO services. But the search is changing, with featured snippets and no-click searches becoming more common. As a result, fewer people actually leave the Google search page to visit other websites. And with tools like voice search, there may not be ways to conveniently visit the websites in search results at all.
As no-click searches have become more common, marketers have had to find ways to keep their websites and resources relevant without losing visibility in search results. One way to do this might be to prioritize video content. While blog posts can have points extracted and displayed directly within search results, people may spend more time interacting with a brand through video.
Other tools gaining popularity are ad blocker plugins, which automatically detect and hide ads so people browsing the web can’t see them. Not all businesses rely on ads for their revenue, but for bloggers and web-only businesses, this could be bad news.
Fortunately, for now, the percentage of people actually using ad blockers is fairly small. One strategy that might help keep that number from growing is to place greater emphasis on ads that are unobtrusive and well-designed. Most people don’t mind tasteful ads that are relevant to them, but they get annoyed by ugly, distracting ads that aren’t targeted well. As we move into 2021, website design services will certainly explore new ways to prevent or discourage people from using ad blockers on websites that rely on advertising.
People aren’t content to simply find answers for themselves anymore. They want businesses and websites to show them what they need, sometimes before they even have time to realize they needed it. The businesses that thrive in 2021 aren’t going to be the ones that spam people with uninteresting, irrelevant ads. They’re going to be the ones that take the time to learn about their audience and cater to individuals specifically.
This trend towards increased personalization is particularly evidenced by social media’s increased focus on shopping. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube have connected with e-commerce services to offer merchandise sales to their users, either directly within the apps or just a click away. While this may at first pose a challenge to social media management services, it’s also an exciting opportunity for businesses to sell valuable products to interested consumers more easily.
Fewer Social Media Channels
While the importance of social media marketing has been a major focus within digital marketing for the last decade or so, the strategy surrounding social media is changing. Rather than having a profile on each platform, businesses are choosing one or two social media channels to focus on. Not only is this easier to manage internally, but it allows you to really perfect your presence on your chosen platforms.
Each social media channel caters to different mediums, allowing businesses to choose the ones best suited to their industry. If you run an interior design company, for instance, using Instagram would probably be your best choice. The photo and video-based platform will be the best way to showcase your stunning designs and services. If you run a law firm, however, you may want to utilize Twitter more, as you’ll be able to easily share relevant news and stories about the cases you’ve won. Whatever it is you do, there’s a social media platform that’s right for your business and it will help you attract new clients.
From social media to website design services, these are some of the biggest trends that will impact digital marketing in 2021.