I know most of us are more than happy to leave 2020 behind, but there are some habits and trends that we have picked up throughout the year that are probably going to follow us into 2021. One of the largest lessons 2020 taught us was how much we can get done from home, and remnants from the new skills we have picked up this year will serve us well in the future.
It felt like the popularity of online conferencing and Zoom in particular, happened overnight. Virtual conferencing was the new normal for a while there, and in many parts of the world still is.
Zoom showed us a whole new way of conducting business and taught us a thing or two about how much work can actually be conducted from home! We took all kinds of zoom calls in 2020, from lessons, team meetings and doctor’s appointments to gym sessions and catch ups amongst friends.
A lot of these meetings have transitioned back to face to face, but we can expect to see video conferencing still utilized in 2021, especially now that we all know how to do it and can still benefit from its convenience and efficiency.
The importance of being online
Customers are already online so it is and will continue to be crucial to be there too, regardless of the status of the pandemic. This year, it became imperative for businesses to be online as physical trade was uncertain and, in most areas, unsafe.
We witnessed a huge increase in online sales as it was just not safe to go out in stores. We saw lots of small businesses start-up or increase their e-commerce capabilities to keep themselves afloat.
Even though the worst lockdown is seemingly over, it is still important for businesses to be online, and increased e-commerce capabilities and online presences can only help the business and expand their reach from now on.
It is likely that increased online shopping habits will be a major habit taken into 2021 as consumers are familiar with the process and how it is an easy and safe option for shopping.
Baby Boomers are using more social media
Marketers may need to rethink the way they are reaching the older generations in 2021. Baby Boomers are a market who are often forgotten when targeting digitally, when in reality, they are more online than some other generations!
More than 80% of every generation uses social media at least once per day, including baby boomers. They are actually the most frequent users on Facebook of any generation!
They use it for connecting with friends, messaging and sharing content. They are also the most likely to share posts on social media to their feed than any other generation.
When marketing in 2021, it is important to keep in mind that the older generation are a lot more tech savvy than they used to be, and if they are part of your target market you will probably be able to reach them online. They’re not just watching TV and reading newspapers anymore!
The rise of ephemeral content
The use of ‘stories’ on social media is growing every year by millions and it is still on the rise! We first saw stories on Snapchat, where content was posted and would disappear after 24 hours. Now, Instagram and Facebook have jumped on board and so have social media users.
People have very short attention spans when it comes to social media, so it makes sense that short, limited time only videos are growing in popularity. Businesses can use stories in a variety of ways, and can use them to advertise products, link to their website, and create more casual content too.
Ephemeral content is the perfect opportunity to put out informal and human content that will help businesses connect to their audience on a deeper level. When posting stories, be sure to set up clear calls-to-action so it is easy for customers to follow through.
RIP to Instagram likes
In 2020, Instagram made their ‘hidden likes’ trial permanent and it’s safe to say this will be here to stay in 2021.
Users can see their own amount of likes but not anyone else’s, in an effort to reduce the harsh comparison-to-others that is very prevalent on the platform. The move to hide the number of likes is an effort to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Here in Australia, we have been without likes for quite a while as we were one of the first countries to trial it. We were proof that likes are really not so important, and it has become normal for us not to have them.
The hidden likes scheme has worked well as users aren’t able to compare their likes to others anymore, and they feel more liberated to post whatever they want without fear of failing in front of everyone. It will be interesting to find out who else follows in their footsteps… could Facebook be next?
Even though 2020 was an absolute catastrophe of a year, we have formed some habits when it comes to media and the digital world that will probably carry through for years to come. We realized a lot more can be done remotely than we first thought and continued some trends from previous years as well. I hope your 2021 is a lot better than your 2020!