After last year, I’m not sure I should be writing a post like this.
But I’ll take my best shot at it.
I work with clients all over the world, own several businesses of my own, read several blogs and articles a week as well as follow many others, so I do have some interest and a stake in this topic.
First, let’s acknowledge that the world has changed and won’t be returning to the ‘normal’ we remember fondly…possibly ever.
But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad.
Many of the changes that happened have been happening over time but 2020 accelerated them:
- The move to online shopping (see last week’s article for a chart demonstrating that).
- Using Zoom and online meetings to connect.
- Working remotely or from your home. (Not everyone has a home office or place for one.)
One of the people I follow said something last month about predicting the future and it struck me. He said the place to start is with what’s not going to change. According to him, if you look back and see how long something has been a constant it will survive into the future about that long.
Since people have been getting together in person since creation, that’s not going to change. We’ve been reading books since written language was invented, that’s not going away.
I’ve thought about this since then and I’m basing my predictions on that bit of thought.
My prediction on wearing masks and the vaccine and travel and live events returning to past levels.
I’m reluctant to write this, but I think it’s going to take longer to get people vaccinated and moving again than many think.
While the vaccines being administered are helping convince people that it’s “safe” to go out it’s not going to happen overnight. So 2021’s beginning won’t look much different from 2020’s ending.
We are going to be wearing masks, or at least be asked to, to into the summer and maybe fall of 2021.
We are going to see more people venturing out more and returning to activities that we once considered normal, like school and sporting events, and concerts and trade shows but it will be later this year. And there will still be many not willing to venture out if they can skip it.
It will take most of the year for people to feel comfortable going out and about freely.
However, once they do, there will be a pent-up demand to answer for. Many have been working full time or more and are flush with cash, so the industries that suffered the most are most likely to be booming. It may be 2022 before that hits in full force.
My predictions on working from home or remotely:
This isn’t going to go away but neither are offices. As someone who’s worked from home and run a remote team, let me tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Making sure people stay connected and feel part of the team and, you know…stay productive takes different skill sets. Traditional managers will need help learning these.
And then some people just don’t like working from home.
There will be more allowed, but it’s not going to be everyone all the time.
Using Online Meetings, Zoom, Google Meet or others:
As more people work from home, online video meetings have become the norm. This isn’t going away.
However, it’s not going to eliminate travel for businesses or getting together in person.
A few weeks ago I had a chance to attend a live in-person 2-day event. Being in the same room with others and talking and eating together brought an entirely different energy and level of connection.
The video screens are flat. We use them when we have to and they are better than a phone call to bring people together, but there is nothing that replaces being in the same room together for creating a relationship.
Business travel will be back. It will start slow and over the next couple of years return to past levels.
This isn’t going back. Once people experience the selection online and the convenience of shopping online, they’re hooked.
Not that malls and retail stores are going away… but they’re going to have to step up their game.
They are going to need online and pick up at the store options. Both of these exploded in use this year and have been popular.
The entire experience, from customer service to what and how you offer it, in-store needs to be elevated and the ones who do this successfully are going to see growth.
Facebook and Online Marketing:
With people spending as much time as they do on their phones, tablets, and computers, it’s going to be more important than ever for you to be active online.
What that looks like will vary depending on your goals but you’re going to have to be there.
Those that have had their head buried in the sand and have been able to get by and even grow without much effort are going to be devastated by the changes because they ignored online marketing.
My predictions on Facebook:
Video stays important and grows.
The ads we run that have videos are getting the best results in most cases. Upping your video game is a game-changer for your business. Keep your eye out for what I’m going to be doing.
Follow the Rules:
Facebook is enforcing rules more strictly than ever. They’re evaluating your posts, your ads, and everything you do. Is it adding value to the platform or not? If not, you’re shut down and banned. If so, you get great results.
The rules aren’t hard to follow, but they aren’t always clear either and they change from time to time.
So regularly checking out Facebook’s rules and guidelines is key to staying in Facebook’s good graces and profiting from the platform.
The reason they can be this strict is that people are making large sums of money from the platform and they don’t want to lose access.
Have a plan:
Yes, you need a good story of your own but here I’m referring to Facebook stories.
These are listed across the top of the news feed both on mobile and desktop. People see these first and are interacting with them. How are you using them in your strategy?
This is content that users of your product generate. Facebook is all over this.
How can you get user-generated content for your products and services? Do you have a plan in place to get it?
This can be a driver of sales for your business.
Facebook is all about a two-way conversation. How can you work this in your ads?
Once you do, what system do you have in place to answer and respond to your audience?
Change is happening:
Along with all of the above, there are rumors of changes happening on the platform.
Facebook is rolling out new features for organic as well as paid advertising.
How are you staying up to date?
This is going to be an exciting year. For some, it will be far more challenging than it is for others.
Things are changing in the market overall and in how people respond to online marketing.
For those who are willing to change there will be opportunities to grow.
I look at these with anticipation and excitement, others may not.
Have a great day!
P.S. If you aren’t sure how you can take advantage of the opportunities that are available online, reach out to schedule a 30-minute discovery call with me. We’ll talk about your business and your goals and see how I can help you reach them. Click here to schedule