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ONLINE TRENDS IN 2021

How are people finding out about your business? We take a quick look at the latest trends in the online marketing world.

 

Whilst no-one has a crystal ball, here are some of the key trends that industry experts believe will influence search and social media in 2021.

Although not a new trend, it is important to remember that smart phones are the dominant device for viewing the internet. GWI (Global Web Index) reports that globally nine out of ten internet users go online via their smartphones, but two thirds also say they use their laptop or desktop to access the internet. So whilst it’s always important to have a ‘mobile first’ outlook, don’t forget about the desktop experience.

There is an increasing move toward voice search (rather than typing in a search request). Recent research from GWI recorded that 45% of global internet users used voice search or voice commands in the past 30 days. This means that that when creating website content, it is important to consider what questions a potential customer might ask, and include that wording in the website copy. It’s always a bit of a balance, as the main body of the content should always be written in a style which allows for easy reading.

Perhaps the biggest area of change will be in social media. Industry experts expect that social media channels will become more important for selling and just not discovery. Users are not just looking for information and entertainment. With the amount of time they spend on social media, it’s not surprising they are increasing the number of purchase decisions that they make through social channels. More than half the world’s population uses social media (considerably higher in Australia) and the average social media user spends nearly 2.5 hours a day on their preferred platforms.

Percentage of internet users aged 16-64 using each search tool for online searches during Jan 2021

 

However, with considerable overlap in the social media audiences, the bigger companies are realising they don’t need to be on all social media platforms to hit all of their target customers. Whilst they are looking at reducing the number of social media channels they have a presence on, for small companies it may be the opposite. Some small companies don’t yet interact with their customers on social media but given the large amount of time potential customers spend on social media, they are missing out on potential sales and marketing opportunities. For small companies that only interact on one social media channel, it’s probably a good idea to have a presence on a second option – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Especially if that basket is Facebook.

Obviously, with the new media laws being discussed in parliament, the situation with Google and Facebook is very fluid. Expect changes over the coming year. Much like the arrival of Covid-19 last year, when considering the online world, expect the unexpected. Be ready to pivot!