Digital Somerset’s predicted trends for 2021

Welcome to Digital Somerset! Whilst many of you know us better as Digital Taunton, throughout lockdown we have been busy working behind the scenes to bring you Digital Somerset.

With the new year comes new opportunities and we have decided to take it up a notch and expand our network across the county! We aim to provide you with a one-stop shop for all things digital relating to Somerset, digital news from across the county, digital tips, tricks, and advice as well as hopefully bringing back our regular networking events!

Within the last 12 months, brands have had to drastically change the way in which they reach customers. A recent Hootsuite report for 2021 revealed that more than half of all businesses (60%) are planning to increase their Instagram budget, and almost half are planning to do the same for Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Notably, for all the hype of TikTok, it has not increased in importance in the investment stack.

For 2021, it is predicted that the following trends are predicted to rise:

Live stream and video content:

In the remote and virtual world we now find ourselves in due to COVID-19, it comes as no surprise that both live stream and video content will continue to soar over the coming year. Live streams provide brands and business owners with the opportunity to connect with their customer base behind closed doors, whether that’s PT’s offering IGTV gym classes or hosting Q&As. Video content on the other hand, although it maybe a little more legwork upfront, provides brands and businesses with the opportunity to create a deeper connection between the content, the brand, and the influencer, meaning that customers will resonate with it more. Video content is simple, engaging, easy to understand, digest and share.

Baby Boomers:

Pre-Coronavirus, these silver surfers spent 27 hours a week online, only two hours less than teenagers. With the help of lockdowns, this figure has of course increased as the generation use social media to combat loneliness and stay in touch with their loved ones. Data from 2018 discovered that Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation and 58% more likely than millennials to click through to a brand’s website from a social media post.

With restrictions likely to continue for a few more months, we would expect to see a surge throughout 2021 with Baby Boomers taking to social media in increasing droves. Baby Boomers are much more active online than they are given credit for, so brands need to start using online platforms to speak to them, if they are a core part of your target market.

Influencer marketing:

Influencer marketing has gone from strength to strength in recent years with the rise of bloggers, Instagram stars and reality TV shows hitting our devices. As brands search for new ways to reach their audience, find new customers, and have a wave of fresh content to use on their own social media channels, influencer marketing is set to become a central element for many businesses’ marketing strategies. 

Social commerce:

It is forecasted that this year, the global social commerce market will increase by about 34%. With the help of Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, brands are now able to use their social media channels to directly run an entire shopping experience.

Within the UK, many shops have had to close their physical stores due to COVID-19 and therefore being able to provide a shopping experience via social media has given many businesses a lifeline. A recent survey revealed that 87% said that they acted after seeing product information on Instagram, such as following a brand, visiting their website, or making a purchase online.

WFH

It is safe to say that for many of us, working from home will have become a trend that is here to stay. Since the pandemic began, many businesses have realised that their team are able to work just as effectively from the comfort of their own homes as they were from an office.

A decade ago, working from home would have largely been unheard of because employers would have been concerned about productivity levels, and the technology to do so effectively would not have been available. Working from home not only enables businesses to make savings where they once would have been paying for an office space, it also provides staff with more free time, improving work-life balance.

The average daily commute within the UK would have taken 59 minutes, that is a whopping five hours each week on average! As a result, working from home enables employees to save money, which would have been spent on fuel and lunches, as well as the spare time it has enabled. Not to mention the eco effect – it has been estimated that if those with remote compatible jobs worked at home even just half the time, it could result in saving 54 million tons of greenhouse gas – the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road.