We are leaving 2022 behind with much less of a sigh of relief than we did last year. Admittedly, walking into work and stores without wearing a mask did feel strange, but it was a breath of fresh air.
2022 was rightfully hopeful, with one of the biggest reliefs being the re-opening of the South African economy. Diligence won out through Covid. In a more stable climate we move on to a new year, new mindsets, and novel ways of doing business.
Now is the time for South African brands to knuckle down and enter 2023 with fresh ideas, to take advantage of new ways of doing things, more effective ways of drawing in and engaging with customers.
How can your business take advantage of the ‘new normal’ we actually want to see taking place?
Digital media marches on as expected in nearly all industries and facets of life.
It has become more important than ever for brands to create an online presence, something that was hastened by the long-past lockdowns, which showed us the true potential that the digital world can have on business and everyday life.
We discovered the conveniences of online meetings, working remotely and ordering goods online.
We have attended virtual events, whether they be parties, weddings, funerals, or conferences.
We’ve learned to do banking online while staying in to simply ‘Netflix and chill’ instead of heading out to the cinemas.
We have had a taste of the transformations that the digital world has to offer, and most of us want the march of progress to continue.
That means your customers have been spending more and more time online, whether on social networks, streaming services, or on Takealot. They have come to engage more openly with online services and spaces, and as such, have come to expect to find anything they want online.
If ever there was a reason for your brand to finally get that website up, running, and optimised to be easily found on search engines, this is it.
Trigger words aside, online stores really have become the ‘new normal’. For many it has taken so much of the stress and hassle out of shopping that we couldn’t imagine a world without e-commerce.
The brick and mortar outlet does still have its place, whether that be due to the nature of the product/service offered, or through a very particular and personal way of selling. But more so than that, entities from industries of all kinds have been discovering ways to take their brand to the web.
But now that we’re free to go out and about, why are people still opting for online shopping?
For customers it is easy to see how the experience can be enhanced through convenience, security and a kind of variety that we haven’t really seen before.
For businesses, being able to cut out the costs of physical stores and offices in favour of websites and warehouses, has streamlined the selling and admin processes of daily business significantly.
Does your business have the kind of offers that can be sold online? Do a quick Google search of your services and you might be surprised at how many of your competitors are already doing it.
It is never too late to take your store online by setting up an e-commerce website.
We are inundated with an ever increasing amount of information each day. Blogs, videos, images, brands, ads and messages swim around us vying for our fleeting attention and the result is not surprising.
People want the elevator pitch, they want their advertising delivered as succinctly as possible. The rise in popularity of short-form video content that takes up mere seconds of a viewer’s time, is proof of this.
The trend may have started on sites like TikTok, but over time we have seen short-form video content, the kind filmed on smartphones, spill over onto nearly all social media and streaming platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and most recently, even YouTube.
Short form video is much easier and less expensive to create. They can be shot and uploaded on the fly, and you don’t need an impressively large film crew kitted out with million dollar equipment to make them.
But more important than that, short form video content is fast becoming the most consumed type of media on the web, particularly amongst younger internet users who have grown used to it already.
So, if you are thinking about using video to engage with your target market, consider short-form videos that run for under a minute, to get their attention.
People trust people who are just like them. The cognitive bias we all have leads us to value the opinions of those in the same boat as us over others.
Even the most carefully crafted corporate messages won’t win over everybody, a lot of your audience simply suffers from advertising fatigue, hence the rise of short-form video mentioned above.
The truth is, most people trust a human face over corporations. When they want to find out about a product or service, you can bet that they will scour the web to hear what consumers like themselves have said about it.
No business, after all, would advertise the latent problems with their offers, so we go to people who have tried them to find out about those.
This makes garnering online reviews on listings like Google My Business or on social media more important now than it has ever been.
The internet has created a seamless global community, and that global community has a thick grapevine through which they engage with each other and share experiences.
Because of this, reviews have even become an important ranking factor for search engines. They favour those websites that have a bit of community buzz around them.
What does this mean for your brand in 2023?
It's time to start gathering those reviews by engaging with your customers in online spaces, paying special attention to the quality behind your customer experience, and incentivising people to post positive but genuine reviews of your business online.
If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you have likely heard the term Web3, a new internet architecture that is expected to change the way we engage with the online world.
There are a lot of mixed opinions about the coming change, but it is coming. So much so that even the Google Chrome browser (and all other browsers that work off the Chromium architecture) will be phasing out preceding architectures in February 2023.
While this has caused some disdain around those who rely on ad-blockers, it will have remarkably positive outcomes for the average internet user.
The big thing here is the decentralisation of data. Where mega corporations currently own the rights to data about internet users, Web3 will allow people to claim control and ownership over their own data, instead of putting it into the hands of big tech companies.
With an architecture based on blockchain technology, Web3 will allow users to surf more securely than ever before while retaining ownership and accountability for their own data.
This will have a massive impact on how online advertising and audience targeting is handled, and advertisers and brands will need to adapt their approaches accordingly.
With so many changes due to come to the advertising landscape, now is an exciting time to be in the world of digital marketing, but it can also be challenging for many brands to keep up with the shifting landscape.
So, why not work with a digital agency that has its finger on the pulse of the industry and your brand?
Why not work with us at Atkasa Digital Agency?
Visit our website today to find out more about our full-service offers on professional digital marketing services.