Andrew Flynn Pixel Kicks
Pixel Kicks

Member Article

Andy Flynn – Digital Marketing Manager at Pixel Kicks – on what DM trends to look out for in 2021

I don’t need to state the obvious but … 2020 was a monumental year for us all. Most people were pleased to see the back of it; and 2021 is already shaping up to be another challenging one for us all – both on a personal level and also commercially. However, the individuals and companies that are prepared to adapt, learn and plan are the ones that will thrive in a post-COVID world.

For marketers and business owners, last year came as a shock which none of us could have predicted; but off the back of it came a surge in demand for – and need of – commercially effective digital marketing strategies as more and more of us turned online and shunned the high street.

Famous brand names crumbled whilst others posted record profits. There are, of course, many reasons for this, but those who boomed tended to be the ones who fully embraced digital and really understood what drove their markets. They were, in short, ahead of the curve. For many, this shift to online was a welcome trend and delivered new growth opportunities, but it also meant competition was ramped up and it became more and more difficult to cut through and be heard.

Moving forward, the first - and most fundamental - piece of advice that I could give to any client this year is to carefully review what they stand for; what they’re offering; who they’re targeting; whether they’re relevant and if they’re communicating in the right way digitally. If you do all of this then the foundations for growth will be set.

There are other factors and trends which, I believe, will be important and could make the difference between success and failure.

Maximum transparency and openness post-COVID

Be as open and insightful about your company as possible. Not only is it personal and helps potential customers to form a connection with you, but there’s an added need to create authentic human connections at a time where we’re all so far apart. This poses a challenge for those who are big on automation, but one that shouldn’t be ignored.

Equality

Equality is obviously not a ‘trend’ in itself, but marketers have a responsibility to ensure that their content fairly presents and includes all races, genders and sexualities. Thankfully, we’re seeing more businesses becoming more mindful and inclusive, but it needs to be both external through the work you do and internally via your company’s culture.

Social Media

I’m really looking forward to seeing which social media platform makes the next move with an upgrade to their ‘Stories’ function. In 2020, we saw Instagram push Reels, allowing users to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos for their Stories, and Twitter launched their own story function with Fleets. However, I’m thinking there will be a big update or upgrade somewhere in 2021. It’ll be exciting to see which of these giant platforms come out on top of the user retention war!

SEO

SEO needs to remain central to every direct marketing strategy because sites that aren’t optimised and responsive on mobile devices will see a decline in search results. It’s important to remember that sites need to be user friendly on mobile to stand a chance of big success as Google now crawls websites mobile-first (called Mobile-first Indexing) meaning it analyses and indexes the mobile version of your website before desktop.

Despite the challenges we face, there are opportunities for growth but I’d implore everyone to really analyse their place in their own market and challenge themselves to ensure they’re communicating in the most effective way possible. Now is not the time to rest on your laurels or be complacent - it’s a time to innovate and be ahead of that curve.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Pixel Kicks .

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