As we wave bon voyage to the whirlwind that was 2020 and settle into the new “normal” of 2021, it’s important to take some time and reflect on all of the changes last year brought to the world of digital marketing. 

This new, virtual normal isn’t going anywhere, and as a result, businesses have had to become more reliant on digital marketing to help reach their audiences. Businesses need to meet their audiences where they are — online. And with over 4 billion people using the Internet regularly these days, businesses can no longer get away with slacking on their digital presence. So if you’ve been thinking about downloading TikTok or revamping your email newsletter – this is your sign.

2020 brought a huge shift, not only in user behavior and online habits but in priorities for many people. Users are paying more and more attention to which brands are embracing things like empathy and innovation (and which ones aren’t). Companies that take the time to understand the new normal and acknowledge it within their digital spaces – like Nike did with their Play Inside campaign last year – are definitely being noticed.

The shift in user behavior was a massive one. New habits started last March with the weeks-long quarantine and have continued into 2021. These days, people are spending hours online every day, from working from home to scrolling social media. They are more connected than ever before. Ensuring that your content, social media, and email strategies are on point is one of the best ways to make sure you’re reaching your audience.

If 2020 taught us one thing about the digital world, it’s that taking your business online, beyond just having a website, is crucial.

Now, more people are consulting the oracle (a.k.a. Google) before venturing out. They want to know information like operating hours, safety policies, or if a business is even still open. This is where, partnered with strong content, you can utilize things like schema markup and other SEO practices to help increase your chances of ranking higher in search. 

Ensuring that people can easily find this kind of information will not only be extremely helpful but might also help someone make the decision to go with your brand over your competition.

What else is here to stay in this new normal?

    • E-commerce/Payment Processing – Online shopping skyrocketed during the pandemic. Ensuring your website has e-commerce capabilities is essential – once again, it could be the deciding factor for someone giving you their business over the other guy. And, even for those in the B2B space, this still matters greatly, giving people the opportunity to process payments and register for or purchase programming. 
  • Virtual Events and Webinars – Virtual events took their place in the spotlight in 2020, forcing companies to find innovative ways to keep their audience’s attention. You can expect virtual events that are personalized, multifaceted, and accessible to customers to become the norm, at least for the time being. 

Advertising in Games – This is a huge opportunity to get ahead of the game (pun intended) and up your paid advertising strategy. Brands are starting to advertise in apps like Among Us or larger video games like Fortnite. A lot of people play video games –  244 million people in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of eyes on your product or service.