What does 2021 have in store and how can you make sure you’re ahead of the game? 

We’re big on positive thinking here at WalkTrue – our whole thing is making the impossible possible for boundary pushing clients so being solutions focused is part of the gig! With that in mind, we perused the Digital in 2021 report so we could share the main digital trends we see for this year and help you stay ahead of them.

1) Virtual is reality.

The line between the virtual world and the real world has been blurring for some time but over the past year the two have become inextricably linked. Consumers are now investing in their virtual appearance with add-ons for their Bitmojis, personalised backgrounds for video calls and even virtual versions of themselves to appear in their videos.

Smart brands have been embracing technology like VR, AR and CGI for a while but the key digital trend in 2021 is including personalisation options so users can represent themselves in your virtual environments as their true self (or an upgraded digital version). From show homes which allow potential buyers to change the décor and move their furniture around to branded AR filters on stories, there are so many ways for any brand to ensure their marketing experiences offer the customer a personalised virtual experience. The only limit is your imagination.

Speaking of imagination…

2) Don’t just think outside the box – throw the box out.

It’s tough to throw out your well thought out marketing plan. It’s even harder to come up with unique ideas with all those stress hormones coursing through your body. Fortunately we’ve got some top tips to make sure the digital trends you’re leaping on are the ones that will work for you.

  • Check in with your customers – pick up the phone and speak to them, ask them on social media, send an email. Find out what their challenges are, listen to where they’re at emotionally and financially, ask them what they need.
    Thinking outside the box isn’t about wild new concepts, it’s about letting go of what you think your customers need and giving them what they actually need, so let them tell you.
  • Don’t say something for the sake of saying something – it’s a recipe for bad PR. Unless you have something to add, some value to give people, don’t talk about it. You don’t need a public statement or social post for every trending topic and, if it’s something you do want to talk about, taking your time to put out a considered response will serve you and your audience well.
    See also: you don’t need to mention the unprecedented times in everything you do!
  • Give it a go! Was there ever a better time to try new things? Test new types of content for different demographics, change up your website, see if that marketing technique you heard about really is as good as they said.
    Whether you’re doing it in house or hiring in experts, trying some new ideas could expose you to a whole new audience or, worst case scenario, you learn what to avoid in future. It’s a win/win, really.

Get even more advice from us and our clients by downloading our 2020 in review report.

3) Mobile > desktop.

Between the huge rise in e-commerce and the pandemic pushing the Boomers who were avoiding the internet online, making sure that however your content is accessed it’s easy to use and fast to load on any device is key. 

Combine that with the fact that 92.6% of all internet users are using a mobile device to access the internet and you start to realise that, a few years ago, when everyone was talking about going mobile being one of the biggest digital trends, they really meant it. With our positive outlook we’re never going to say it’s too late but we will say that designing for mobile first isn’t just a sensible idea anymore, it’s essential.

Whatever you’re putting out online; social media posts, blog posts, websites, virtual events, videos, it all needs to be created with mobile at the forefront so while many are telling you to put down your phone, we say pick it up! Take a tour of your brand’s online presence on your mobile devices and ask yourself if that experience is what you want to represent your brand.

New doesn’t have to be scary.

If you’ve been resisting some of these changes it can be hard to take the leap, which is why it helps to have a safety net. We’d love to help you work out how your company can step into this new world, embrace the biggest digital trends and support you in doing just that.

Give us a call to discuss your ideas and fears and in the meantime,

Stay safe and think positive,

Patrick Lambert

Patrick Lambert WalkTrue