Congratulations! If you’re reading this blog, you’ve survived nearly all of 2020, a year truly unlike any other, including uncontrollable wildfires and record-setting hurricane counts, a highly divisive U.S. presidential election, and of course, a global pandemic with unparalleled personal and professional consequences.

But 2020 has also been a year of incredible opportunity and innovation, with many businesses finding creative ways to stay connected through unique outreach and clever marketing. Now more than ever, it’s important to celebrate these successes, and learn how we can bring these new strategies to bear in the upcoming year. 

The new year is a new opportunity for growth and expansion, and we’ve got the inside scope on the top takeaways from this turbulent year that’ll set you up for a stronger 2021. Let’s dive into our recommendations showcasing the trends of 2020 for a year-end review! 

Video Wins the MVP Award During COVID-19

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: videos are vital! 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident, and guides their online purchasing decisions. Having engaging videos is a gateway to gathering an audience’s attention. When scrolling through websites or on social media, videos automatically cause viewers to pause and take a look. From live-streaming to showcasing fun uses for your products, it’s time to take the step into the world of video marketing.

In 2020, everyone has been searching for a way to stay connected. To meet that need, and provide marketing and business expertise at a critical time, mConnexions launched a special live Q&A video series in March on Facebook called Expert Connexions. With our heart for small businesses and startups, we shared these videos for free so viewers could ask questions and learn from top leaders in different industries. 

In the first 6 weeks, we had more than 35,000 organic views. The value of live videos on social media cannot be underestimated!

Screen time Increases = Better Email Open Rates

How much has your screen time gone up this year? It’s true for all of us! Part of the challenge in 2020 has been combating isolation, which is why virtual connections are more important now than ever.

Have you been lured onto a website through email lately? What emails cut through the noise of other promotions and interested you? From clickable buttons that offer additional promotions or discounts to messages targeted to your unique interests, every email that motivates an action specifically for the viewer is more effective. Even friendly, relaxed greetings can make an email seem like news from a friend, rather than a cold call. 

While we may be told to never judge a book by its cover or a person by their appearance, with email marketing, your first impression is key! Users anticipate and expect beautifully crafted emails. Think of how Instagram always consists of polished, almost professional-level photography, and consider how your visual content in every email has to be at that level to engage a larger client base.

One business that presents beautiful emails is LEGO! Their emails are colorful, eye-catching, and include videos. With so much time we’re all spending at home, they’ve capitalized on their product and how it’s a fun way to pass the hours, even for adults.

Interactive Content Leads to Engaged Users

Having content where users can click, play games, swipe, or interact isn’t just for emails. People love cutting-edge technology that’s immersive and exciting on every online platform. Imagine going to a clothing website and clicking on a wheel that spins, revealing what percentage discount you can add to your cart, or taking a quiz on your fashion style that reveals top choices that fit your personality and propels you into buying. There are countless unique and clever ways to utilize interactive content to drive sales. These fun, intriguing options are memorable and can lead to people both exploring your products or services, and becoming repeat customers.

Facebook Has Serious Competition

Facebook remains the most used and popular social media platform, but other, more niche social platforms are increasing their user base. Alternative channels are growing, gaining younger generations and becoming power players on the internet every day. Have you considered adding to your social media mix with other upcoming platforms? Look into secondary channels that could be ideal for gathering an audience now, and retaining them and expanding them as these channels continue to increase in size. For reaching a niche market, niche platforms will be the key. We recommend exploring Pinterest, Reddit, and TikTok, to name a few!

Diversity Must Be Represented 

It’s easy to say that we believe in diversity, but it’s another thing to promote it and showcase it within our business. As marketers, we are responsible for content that’s inclusive. The photos and word choices that we use have to reflect the times that we live in. Our brands represent so much to our customers, and each company has a podium to share messages of positivity and inclusivity. How you conduct yourself professionally and how your company portrays itself speaks to your audiences. Customers today are not only focused on finding deals, but on finding companies that represent the values and ideals that represent themselves as well.

Walking the walk for diversity, equity, and inclusion means moving it beyond the conversation and into action. Every person plays a role in building a diverse and equitable environment by encouraging accountability in individuals and the firm. Check out our recent podcast to learn how to build a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with representatives of the Legal Marketing Association International.

Onmichannel Marketing: Be Present In More Places 

Defined as the practice of marketing across multiple platforms, omnichannel marketing is all about being present in many channels. Email, social media, blogs, websites, and more are all areas for your business to flourish. Every digital touchpoint represents another spot to connect with your audience and potential clients. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket; instead, leverage your brand across multiple channels to reach diverse customers. As long as you maintain consistent messaging and branding across different areas, having a varied amount of channels can only benefit your bottom line.

Sustainability Stays Relevant 

Businesses affect the environment, and every person is accountable for understanding how our actions matter. The triple bottom line of businesses today are people, profit, and planet. It’s up to every person to protect our planet, and realign their business models to think of a greater ecosystem rather than only themselves. There are collective benefits when businesses reduce waste and excess. While there have been tremendous increases in generational efforts  to reduce  environmental footprints, Generation Z is especially involved in demanding purposeful brands that offer more than annual Corporate Sustainability Reports, but instead transparently balance their purposes and their profits to keep our planet a priority.

The trends for 2020 have pointed to a greater emphasis on interactive, online content, diverse and inclusive messaging, and increased awareness for how our business models  affect the world around us. As we look back on the most tumultuous year many of us have ever experienced, there were challenges we never expected, but through these difficulties, there have been opportunities for incredible growth and innovation. 

While we all hope that 2021 is smooth sailing, having a thorough understanding of these current trends from 2020 will help set your business up for whatever lies ahead! And no matter what the new year holds, our team will be here to provide you with the expert support you need to reach your goals. 

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