You know the drill. Go big at Christmas on the festive food and fizz, regret it all for a day or two, and then return to work bursting with ideas and inspiration (if not mince pies and perspiration), ready to tackle the year ahead.
Well we thought we’d help you get ahead of the game this year, and really hit the ground running, with some marketing and design tips, trends and technology to look out for in 2021.
With Google’s BERT algorithm putting more emphasis on interesting and varied content, rather than just key words, and people naturally spending more time browsing due to COVID, and they’re converting more when browsing, we all need to produce more regular, more varied and more relevant content, that can deliver value and keep traffic high, and conversions growing.
While people are going to have to focus on their content, I think considering how people actually interact with that content has never been more important. Take the humble PDF, for example. With so many more engaging alternative formats, why opt for something static that doesn’t look great on a phone or tablet, and doesn’t make for easy updating? We’ve been having great results with platforms such as WebFlow, that can deliver so much more.
Over the years, I’ve lost count of the times my mum has said to me: “OMG… we used to wear that when we were young.” And I’m certainly noticing the same trend in digital design. A lot of old techniques are being adjusted and modernised for today’s market. It’s all down to technology, such as browsers, moving on at light speed, so we can adopt ‘old’ digital approaches far more successfully and effectively.
No-one can deny the influence of the environment and sustainability issues. Especially in the technology we’re using. Dark mode for browsers and devices was introduced at the end of last year, to save battery life and counteract the negative effects of bright white light. We should also be looking out for things like default low-def playback settings for online video, which can have a hugely positive impact on our collective carbon footprint.
One trend on the rise is a revival of 1990s culture, strongly reflected already in fashion, beauty and music. As this proliferates further, so does the opportunity for 90s nostalgia marketing. Pop culture references can take customers back in time and tap into emotional memories, and provide opportunities for humour, that will build associations and connections with brands.
From Google phasing out third-party cookies to Apple removing device identifiers for tracking and blocking cross-site tracking, there’s going to be a lot of change in how advertisers can get their ads in front of the right people. The optimist in me wants to believe that this will lead to fewer but better advertising but it seems more realistic that Facebook and co. will find new ways to track or amass more power by introducing similar solutions (e.g. Google’s Privacy Sandbox) – albeit with better privacy, which is a big win.
HDR content is going mainstream. The scales are starting to tip when it comes to consumers having access to the necessary hardware. Essentially, all new TVs and most smartphones these days can display HDR content and, increasingly, record it. Gaming consoles have supported it for years and YouTube has just added HDR support for livestreams. So consumers will increasingly expect the improved visuals. I think for high-profile advertising, brands will at some point have to up their game and produce in, and budget for, HDR.
If part one of our tips and trends for 2021 has got you thinking, look out for part two in early January. In the meantime, if you’ve got the beginnings of a marketing plan, and want a bit of help in making it come to life, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to put our heads together with yours and see where 2021 can take us.
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