Prediction time again. As we edge closer to the new year and how bad we all want to forget 2020, let’s have a look at what 2021 has in store for us as far as digital marketing is concerned. But first, be prepared for another fragile year. That’s right, I am talking from the perspective of the country’s economy here. 2021 will still be another fragile year for us. I believe that the road to recovery post COVID-19 may not be that quick after all. From what I gather, these trends will definitely shape our 2021 preparation. Some of them are already happening.
Get used to self-promotion. As you can see nowadays almost everyone is broadcasting themselves for all to see on the internet. Despite the fact that the behaviour will help pile up more noise online, telling the world about yourself might make all the difference in getting your next gig accepted either by your future employer or customers. The breed who knows tasteful, humble ways to do this might land them to the world of opportunities compared to those narcissistic ones. Understand in depth on how your social media game plan is important if you wish to do it right. If you’re not sure where to begin, get help.
Start talking to yourself. Thanks to COVID-19, this behaviour will be more obvious from now onwards. Some people are converting bedrooms into a radio station sort of setup full of equipment in order to have a better angle when they start recording videos or doing a visual podcasting. As you can see now, videos are playing a major role as far as content production is concerned and this trend won’t go away anytime soon.
Purpose or Value. Why do you actually exist in the first place? No matter how technical or powerful your digital marketing play is, if your business or personal purpose or value isn’t significant, it will be tougher to survive compared to those stronger ones. What do I mean by having a significant purpose? To me, when you’re able to offer something that really solves some sort of problems out there and people see it as significantly helping them out in a way, that is a pretty strong value proposition right there. Your survivability this 2021 lies in the hand of people out there who will or won’t see you relevant to them. If they don’t see you relevant, you’ll be skipped.
Crystal clear message. Steve Jobs is right. We are living not just in an increasingly online world, but also in an increasingly noisy world too. And there is no way for people to remember brands unless the message sent is crystal clear. Each day, people are seeing thousands of ads everywhere they go. Thousands. If you’re not able to make people remember you at the crucial time when they want to make the purchase, then you will be in trouble this 2021.
Word-of-mouth. The nirvana of all marketing methods is word-of-mouth. Be it online or traditionally done, it will continue to play a crucial role for 2021. The best part of this word-of-mouth method is that it doesn’t require data, agile, artificial intelligence or any other so-called advanced technology or whatever tricks to make it happen. It only requires three things: great product or service quality, excellent user experience and the product or service offered really solves problems.
High quality story, visual play. These brands continue to strengthen their branding game tremendously and eventually gather a great number of followers online due to their very high quality content. Have a look at how Apple, Airbnb, Spotify, Netflix and GoPro play their content game. It’s quality inside out. The way they write their copy, blog, visuals and videos, extremely powerful unlike others. This 2021, if you’re able to improve the quality of content created, you’re set for the year onwards.
Content distribution platforms rule. Whilst more and more people are busy creating content, platforms that distribute them will make the biggest gain ever. That’s right. As those content creators need to acquire bigger traffic, they need to park their content somewhere. And that somewhere is obviously social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok and others. They also will utilise instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Line and stuff like that to distribute their content. And last but not least they will use content sharing platforms as well such as YouTube, ThriveGlobal, Marketing In Asia and Medium too to build traffic and SEO ranking on Google and other search engines.
Conversation. Two way conversational marketing will play a bigger role in 2021. It does in 2020 where many brands deployed chatbots within their digital assets such as e-commerce pages and websites for customer service. Chatbots are here to stay and will make even a better impact next year as people tend to settle things in real-time than wait for three days if things were to be done via email. Real-time is making more sense especially to younger generations as time is of essence in this internet era. I personally predict brands that master this two way conversational marketing will be better off than their counterparts who don’t.
Facebook and Google continue to dominate the online ads. It means that they will continue to dominate the online ads. It also means that local publications will have no chance in growing their in-platform ads. If the ads continue to decline, the local publications will need to find some other ways to monetise in order to survive. Else, 2021 will be the end of their journey.
As you can see, these trends are fundamentals. These fundamentals will determine the success of your digital marketing strategy and execution whether they’re able to secure results or otherwise. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you know how to create a great content for Stories or not, it doesn’t matter if you know how to create a powerful ads or not, it doesn’t matter how great you are embracing the new shiny marketing objects out there, yet without these fundamentals, your 2021 will be greatly affected.