Our Blog

Check out our insights into the world of media and marketing, along with project spotlights, featured blogs from our client pages and other musings on how to optimize brand recognition in today’s technologically-driven environment.

Six 2021 Marketing Trends That We’ve Got Our Eyes On

Last year threw us a curveball that none of us could have predicted. The result in the marketing world was that many of the trends defining where marketing was heading were rapidly accelerated, if not immediately pushed in that direction. It was all about adaptation to a changed world. Now, marketers are embracing those rapid changes and are anticipating how to best adapt them wholeheartedly. Here are a few 2021 marketing trends that we’re paying particular attention to.

Virtual events are king 

Virtual concerts, virtual 5Ks, virtual product showcases. It’s all gone virtual! The novelty of the webinar is now the norm of event marketing.  This trend that event organizers and marketers were rushed into in 2020 is not going anywhere in 2021. It’s a necessary means for brands to engage with their customers and will be even after in-person events resume. That’s because not everyone will be on the same page about returning to public at the same time—and some may prefer virtual indefinitely.

Opting for online interactivity

Given the barrier to in-person interaction, it’s all about interacting online in 2021. You might be thinking, “Wait, everyone was already online—why is this different?” It’s because whereas before, interacting online (with customers during a virtual event, for example), was an optional perk, now it’s a necessity. Marketers will need to determine the best way across multiple avenues to reach their clientele digitally as a standard, rather than an option.

Continued investment in digital marketing

Given the 2021 marketing trends we just mentioned, this one might seem like a no-brainer. It’s important to note, however, that scaling up digital spending is a must for brands who want to keep up with the competition. Digital marketing is no longer an option. In fact, according to a recent article by HubSpot, digital advertisers plan to spend 25 percent more on average in 2021.

Curating brand culture

In times of hardship, we tend to unite as a society (think post-9/11). Dealing with the Great Pandemic of 2020 (who knows what it will end up being in the history books) is no different. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Strangers are helping strangers. And ultimately humans are helping humans.

What is your brand doing to help (customers) at this time? People want to know, and the way to tell them is through your marketing efforts.

Presenting a human side to marketing

People want to be treated like people, not just numbers in the system. This means starting conversations (and actually listening to feedback). It means appealing to human emotions. And it means going beyond the traditional sales pitch to try to help people better their everyday lives.

Turning frenzy into innovation

Marketers, like the world as a whole, were forced to adapt—rapidly—to the circumstances thrusted at us in 2020. Now that the shock of this adaptation has somewhat minimized, it’s time for marketers to innovate. Embrace the change, and take intentional steps to strategize new ways to broadcast effective, engaging content.

Summary

No one can predict the future, but we can speculate. These 2021 marketing trends have us excited about the year, and the outlook on marketing in general.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

The Pros and Cons of Using Dark Mode on Your Devices

We’ve got a lot of options in this world. One that affects us every day, multiple times a day, is whether we are using dark mode or light mode on our electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. With its more recent release across multiple platforms, dark mode has become a popular option in terms of user interface. The question becomes: is using dark mode on your devices actually beneficial for our bodies and minds?

Defining dark mode vs. light mode

Distinguishing dark mode vs. light mode is all about contrast—specifically, the contrast between the text you see on your screens and the background.

Light mode is when you see dark text on a light background.

Dark mode is when you see light text on a dark background.

The (historical) background

Apple introduced dark mode on its interface with the iOS 13 update in September 2019. Then, in May 2020, Google announced the rollout of dark mode for its app on Android and IOS.

Though these time stamps make it seem like dark mode craze is relatively recent, the concept actually dates back much further. Some of the first home computers and word processors displayed green text on black screens. Word processors eventually switched to dark text on light backgrounds to mimic the look of ink on paper.

The supposed hook to using dark mode on our devices involves combating the increased amount of screen time we as a society have realized. Too much screen time can lead to eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and other not-so-good side effects.

The pros of dark mode

According to Android Authority, 81.9 percent of people they surveyed said they use dark mode on their phones “as much as (they) can.” That’s a pretty solid stat.

One of the advantages of using dark mode on your devices is that it reduces blue light exposure. Blue light is light with blue wavelengths, which promotes alertness. This can be good during the day, but blue light conversely can inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, impeding the ability to sleep at night.

Another pro has to do with your device itself rather than your body (though lessened stress from not having to charge your phone as often could be considered a physical plus). Put simply, using dark mode on your devices uses less of their battery.

The cons of dark mode

Now let’s touch on the dark side of dark mode. It is generally believed that dark mode is better for our eyes. But is it true?

Many medical experts say no. That’s because when we look at white text on a dark background, our pupils have to dilate to take in more light (since there is less light available in front of us). This widening of the pupils causes more effort for our eyes, meaning they are actually more strained.

Conversely, when viewing dark text on a light background, our pupils remain narrow. They do not need to widen to absorb more light (since the light background provides plenty of it).

Some people have also reported that after using dark mode for prolonged periods of time, their eyes have become more sensitive to bright screens or brightness in general as a result.

It’s all relative

Deciding whether to love light mode or be dedicated to dark mode? Keep in mind that the “right” choice depends on the individual. Individuals with certain eye conditions may fare better with one or the other (ask your eye doc). The ambient light in the environment where you are using a screen and time of day in which you are using it can also be a factor. And then there’s just good old personal preference.

There’s not yet a significant amount of research showing that using dark mode on your devices is better for your eyes. In fact, eye discomfort due to prolonged screen use is thought to be cause more by a lack of blinking (whether one is using light mode or dark).

Summary

If you’re deciding whether to live your digital life on the dark side or bask in the light, weigh the pros and cons of each and factor in your personal comfort level when making your decision. With a lack of long-term research, there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution. Just remember to take screen breaks!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

Why We See Digital Ads After Talking About Something

We’ve all been there. You’re having a conversation with a friend about a product he or she wants you to try. Later that day, you’re scrolling Facebook and bam! Eerily, there’s an ad on your timeline for that EXACT product. Your flags are raised. You look over each shoulder, crouch in the shadows, and suddenly, you feel vulnerable. Is Facebook listening to us? Seeing digital ads after talking about something may lead you to think so.

There’s a reason this is happening, but “listening” is probably not it.  

Talking about something and seeing a digital ad for it. Thinking about something and seeing a digital ad for it. Even dreaming about something and seeing a digital ad for it.

Peoples’ collective experiences like these have led many to ask the question, “Is technology listening to us?” It’s a question that has been blatantly posed to social media leaders like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Adam Mosseri (Instagram). Time and time again, they have adamantly denied the fact that their apps are “listening” to users via smartphone microphones and the like.

The general consensus among industry experts is that they are telling the truth. For one, doing so would be illegal. Secondly, the logistics of actively listening to, recording and storing conversations just don’t make sense when you really think about it.

Tracking, not listening

So if Facebook and Instagram aren’t listening, then how do our conversations and thoughts about products magically turn into ads?

In a way, social platforms are “eavesdropping,” but just not in the way we think.

We see digital ads after talking about something because social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are extensively tracking our actions, both online and off.

A hypothetical scenario

Let’s say you are at a birthday party, and your friend tells you about this new meal service he or she has tried and loved (let’s call it “Yummy Time.”) You have never texted about Yummy Time. You have never Googled Yummy Time. You and your friend simply have a conversation about it out loud.

Hours later, you’re at home scrolling the News Feed and whoa…there’s an ad for Yummy Time.

How they track

No, Facebook didn’t hear your conversation. They are just so good at tracking you in other ways that it can feel that way.

We know that Facebook surveils our online behaviors: i.e., what websites we visit, what terms we search for, what we purchase online, etc. These tracking methods (which get extremely sophisticated beyond what we’re describing here) have a direct influence on the ads that we see.

In the case of the conversation with the friend, we can thank location tracking for that. Even when one is not signed in to the app, Facebook (given permission by the user) can track the location of our mobile phones.

Therefore, Facebook was able to determine that you and the friend were in the same location at the party. If the friend had previously had any online interaction with Yummy Time, then there is your connection. Facebook knows you’re friends on Facebook. It knows you were together. If that friend is bringing up Yummy Time, it’s likely that he or she has had some kind of recent interaction with it—Googling it, visiting the website, etc. Even if the mentioned product was one your friend purchased in a store, Facebook location tracking can be privy to the fact that your friend was at said store.

Let’s take it a step further. Even if your friend (Friend A) had only had a conversation about Yummy Time with another friend (Friend B), then Friend A could have been the one on the receiving end of the ad prior to talking about it with you. That’s enough for Facebook to try the ad with you as well.

In other words…

Beyond just being together, Facebook’s algorithm compares your interests, demographics, places you’ve been, groups you’re a part of, hashtags you follow (the list goes on) to that of your friend. If you and your friend are similar, and the friend has already left a trail of breadcrumbs to that product, then Facebook will serve you up an ad to see if you feel the same.

Fueling the algorithm

So what about those times when you just think about something, and then you see an ad?

It can be difficult to wrap your head around, but it likely is less of a coincidence than you think. Any piece of information Facebook picked up (even just semi-related to the thought), either before or after your thought, could have led to the ad being served.

Every move you make online fuels Facebook’s algorithm. Engaging with a post, liking a person’s photo, or even using your Facebook account to sign in to another online service are all examples of this.

Essentially, a complex algorithm is “listening” to us, just not using microphones.

Can I stop being tracked?

There are permissions you can play around with to limit how Facebook tracks and uses your information. However, if you are using the social platform in any capacity, then it has enough information to go off of to “learn” your potential interests for advertising purposes.

The only true way to stop being subject to social media marketing algorithms? Quit altogether.

Summary

Seeing digital ads after talking about something is no coincidence. Though we don’t think anyone is sitting in a warehouse with a pair of headphones listening to our conversations, technology is actively monitoring our behaviors to make suppositions about our future buying inclinations.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

7 Tips for Combating Camera Shyness on Social Media

A fear of being on camera is one of the most common aversions known to man. Ironically, when it comes to social media content, images and videos featuring “real” people (i.e. the business owner, staff and customers) are the best-received. This puts us at a bit of a crossroads. Making a video post featuring yourself for your business can be intimidating, but these tips for combating camera shyness on social media are here to help.

Why you should put yourself out there

We cannot stress enough the importance of building a human connection with your brand followers (re: “Why Sharing Personal Content to Your Business Page Pays Off”).

Consumers want to meet the face behind the logo. They want to see the humans behind the products. And they want to hear the story behind the business as a whole. As followers of your brand, they deserve to be privy to this information. Build that trust and make them feel connected!

Unless your brand is big enough to speak for itself, it needs your personal voice to do so. Start with these tips.

Tips for combating camera shyness on social media 

Plan out what you want to say ahead of time

Some people are masters at freelancing a speech, but most of us aren’t. Write a short script or list of bullet points ahead of making your social media video—and practice. There’s also no shame in using a teleprompter or cue cards. Everyone on TV does it!

Choose a setting where you are comfortable.

No one said you have to be broadcasting from a crowded street corner. If you are in a comfortable setting while recording your social media video, you’ll come across as more relaxed on camera. Think of places like your desk, your couch, your kitchen—even your car!

Pay attention to personal appearance

If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you’ll sound more confident on camera. We’re not telling you that you have to dress up. Wear what makes you feel comfortable!

Position the camera at a flattering angle

Now that you’ve got your appearance handled, it’s up to the technology to make you look good. Position your smartphone or webcam at a flattering angle, like above you and angled down, or right above your line of sight. In addition, make sure you’re setting up in an area with good lighting.

Know that it’s OK to do multiple takes

Unless you’re doing a Facebook or Instagram live video, keep in mind that multiple takes are an option. It’s rare that anyone gets it just perfect on the first run.

Get a friend or family member to help

Combating camera shyness on social media could be as easy as asking a friend to help. You might feel better having someone in the room who you are already comfortable with. Pretend you are just talking to that person, or even get him or her to join you on camera!

Make it a regular thing

The more you do it, the easier it will get! Get into a regular schedule of recording yourself or your staff in social videos. Start with doing it once a month, then increase to a couple times a month, once a week, etc.

Summary

Putting yourself on camera can be admittedly unsettling; however the payoff of building a social following for your business that connects with you on a human level is worth feeling a little awkward. When it comes down to it, there is no replacement for a familiar face!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

In the News: A Beneficial Change to SEO in 2021

Change can happen at any time. The turn of the new year, however, is typically a standard checkpoint for inciting change we would like to see in our lives. At McNutt & Partners, we like to see change that involves making SEO goals more attainable for our clients. Appeasing Google and its ever-changing algorithm is no clear-cut task, which makes this beneficial change to SEO in 2021 all the more welcomed.

Keywords 101

Back to basics: keywords as they relate to SEO are target words or phrases that appear on your website pages. These words or phrases are ones you intend for Google to notice, and therefore rank your page as a result when a user types a similar keyword into its search box.

When paying attention to SEO on your digital assets, it is important to identify multiple keywords (a main keyword, and then variations of that keyword) for which you want your content to rank.

The back story

Though we are associating this change to SEO in 2021 with the new year, it’s actually something that has been developing over time.

Google’s old way of ranking content for keywords involved website pages with long, long blocks of text. On these pages, you would identify a target keyword (as usual), and then, by creating subheads, incorporate many, potentially hundreds, of keyword variations on that same page within that long, long block of text. We’re talking thousands of words on a single page.

For example, if our target keyword was “how to play guitar,” variation keywords could include “how to pluck guitar strings,” “how to hold a guitar,” “how to play guitar for children,” etc.

Being able to rank this way, with a never-ending, thousand-word blog entry, hasn’t changed. The problem with ranking this way? Long blocks of text are not user friendly. They also require more effort on the part of the content creator.

Shorter is better

The beneficial change to SEO in 2021 that we are referring to offers more flexibility. Now, instead of creating one gargantuan block of content on a single page, Google is actually favoring multiple, focused pages with smaller areas of content. With this shift, you’re more likely to rank by having multiple pages with different answers to questions within a subtopic, rather than one long page with many.

This is a benefit because it allows for a greater volume of blog posts, rather than needing to consolidate them into one page. This can possibly lead to users being drawn in over time, keeping interest sustained.

In other words, lengthier copy on web pages is now not necessarily better for SEO—a shift from the way things used to be.

Summary

Google’s algorithm has changed over time to favor a new way of ranking for keywords. This beneficial change to SEO in 2021 will help content producers to simplify their strategies while making content easier to consume.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

The Anatomy of a Marketing Social Post

The word “anatomy” may conjure intimidating memories of sitting in high school science class. But don’t be scared. The anatomy of a marketing social post is pretty simple—(and involves a lot fewer parts than the human body).

Speaking of intimidating, using social media for marketing can be just that. Scores of ad options, an infinite audience, the ability to post ‘round the clock. But these same qualities that can make social media marketing daunting are also the qualities that make it such a viable advertising option for businesses.

Never posted to your business’ social page before? Posted, but not sure if you’re doing it right? We’ve broken down a marketing social post into some of its most base parts to help get you started.

A quick reminder

A social post is copy, an image/video, or copy paired with an image/video (the latter being the best option, in our opinion) posted to your business page’s public timeline or feed. Your page’s followers (and beyond, depending on the format of the post) can view, react to, comment on and share this content.

Here, we are specifically talking about social posts used for marketing purposes. This is not to say that every post on your business’ page must be marketing-related. In fact, we suggest having a healthy mix of marketing posts with posts that showcase the culture of your brand.

The anatomy of a marketing social post

Any effective marketing messaging has a few key parts, and the anatomy of a marketing social post is no different.

Attention grabber

Do we have your attention? Every marketing social post should start out with an attention-grabbing statement or question. Reel them in with something that makes them stop their scroll to read your post.

Quality offering

Now that you have their attention, let them know what you’re bringing to the table. Describe your offering, whether it’s a specific product/service, special discount, upcoming event, etc.

Call to action

They’ve got the message. They want what you’ve got. Now tell them how to get it! The anatomy of a marketing social post would not be complete without the critical call to action. Direct people to your website, urge them to send you a private message—whatever makes sense for your brand.

Other tips

  • Keep copy brief. Shorter posts are easier to consume.
  • Always include an image or video. Consumers are visual!
  • Add your own flair. People respond better to posts with personality. Don’t hesitate to insert yours into your content.

Summary

We told you it was simple! Follow this outline for the anatomy of a marketing social post to set up a strong foundation for your brand’s social media content.

As always, if you don’t have the time or means to do it yourself, the McNutt & Partners team would be happy to help!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

 

McNutt & Partners’ Top 10 Blogs of 2020

Hey, 2020. You’ve thrown us some curveballs. But it hasn’t been all bad! McNutt & Partners’ Top 10 Blogs of 2020 are helping us reflect on the year—including the knowledge we’ve been able to put to good use and share with the world. See what made our Top 10.

There is No Magic Bullet: The Problem with SEO Guarantees,” Jan. 20, 2020

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely received emails from “marketing” companies making lofty promises, such as getting you to the top spot on Google. But there’s a problem with SEO guarantees like these. In the reign of Google, there are no guarantees. Read the blog.

Social Media Glossary: 20 Terms to Know,” March 9, 2020

Educating yourself before delving into social media can help you feel more confident in the messages you are wanting to communicate to your audience. Use this glossary as a guide! Read the blog.

Stay Connected: Using Social Media While Social Distancing,” March 23, 2020

A global pandemic restricts our ability to safely interact with one another face-to-face. Using social media while social distancing can benefit you by not only keeping you in the loop, but by keeping you connected to your fellow human beings. Read the blog.

FAQs Answered: Why Reusing Passwords is Bad,” May 4, 2020

Along with the desire to use passwords you’ll remember comes a major security threat. Reusing passwords not only makes your accounts more susceptible to hacking, but it also promotes poor cyber security habits. Read the blog.

Spam Alert: Tips for Spotting a Scam Email,” May 18, 2020

Like it or not, spam happens. However, recognizing a scam email can make the difference between simply deleting the wayward message and getting taken advantage of. Read the blog.

McNutt & Partners’ Social Media Wish List,” June 15, 2020

If we could rule the social media realm, these factors would already be at play. Maybe by putting this out into the world someone will hear our concerns? Hey, it’s worth a shot! Read the blog.

Digital Expression: Using Emojis in a Professional Setting,” July 13, 2020

In marketing, emojis can be a useful tool for livening up your content; however, at the same time, knowing when to avoid them is key for maintaining your professionalism. Read the blog.

How Social Media Has Changed During a Pandemic,” Aug. 3, 2020

Like everything else, social media has changed du ring a pandemic—and it remains to be seen which changes are temporary and which will become the new norm. Read the blog.

McNutt & Partners’ Guide to Logo File Types,” Aug. 17, 2020

With such an important role to play, it’s critical that your logo always looks its best—whether it’s being displayed digitally or in print. Use this guide to logo file types to help clear up the alphabet soup that is logo files. Read the blog.

5 Reasons McNutt & Partners Is Thankful in 2020,” Nov. 23, 2020

It’s true that we’ve had a lot to complain about in 2020. But instead of spending time being down about many things out of our control, we’re pointing out a few things we’ve been thankful for this year. Read the blog.

Adios, 2020!

Wrapping up McNutt & Partners’ Top 10 Blogs of 2020, we want to wish you a very happy new year. From establishing new beginnings, to expanding upon the foundations we’ve already laid, let’s embrace 2021 wholeheartedly. Happy New Year!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Deck the Halls with McNutt & Partners

Earworm, brainworm, sticky music—they all refer to those songs that get “stuck in our heads.” This happens all the time throughout the year. During the holidays, however, it seems that those festive carols “stick” in our brains just a little harder. From “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” we could sing them in our sleep (and probably do). Since we know them so well, it’s always fun to shake things up a bit and see our favorite songs in a new way. We’ve done the “12 Digital Marketing Days of Christmas,” but this year we’re highlighting another favorite. It’s time to Deck the Halls with McNutt & Partners.

Singing isn’t our best talent, so we’ll leave that part up to you as you follow along!

Deck the Halls with McNutt & Partners

[Verse 1]

Deck the walls with fresh new content

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

‘Tis the time to claim your digital presence

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Don we now our brand new logo

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Trolls online are just a no-go

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

[Verse 2]

See your search engine rankings flourish

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Website traffic is its purpose

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Trust us with your consistent branding

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

While we watch your reach expanding

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

[Verse 3]

Say goodbye to your old school website

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Replace stale graphics and give it a rewrite

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Find us now on our social pages

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Let’s make next year one for the ages

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Happy holidays from us to you

Nothing like a holiday classic with a marketing twist! Maybe Deck the Halls with McNutt & Partners won’t make it to the top of the charts, but it was fun for a few minutes of entertainment.

As we observe the holiday season, we wish all the best for you, your friends and your loved ones. May you experience peace and contentment now and into the new year. Happy holidays from the McNutt & Partners team!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Shopping During a Pandemic: The Shape of E-Commerce in 2020

Kicking your feet up with your laptop, iPad or smartphone and knocking out all of your holiday shopping in one sitting is a luxury. It wasn’t always the case that we could make purchases in our pajamas from the privacy of our homes, and we have e-commerce to thank for that. In 2020, the line between shopping online as a luxury and shopping online as a necessity has become a bit more blurred. As we’ve navigated a global pandemic, e-commerce has skyrocketed—and we have the statistics to prove it. Let’s take a closer look at the shape of e-commerce in 2020.

Five years ahead of schedule.  

The rate at which a larger volume of consumers have shifted from physical shopping to online shopping has accelerated approximately five years thanks to the pandemic. (CircleID)

Start of the pandemic stat.

In the United States, more money was spent online in April and May 2020 than the last 12 Cyber Mondays combined! (SocialMediaToday). This was during the time that most of the country was first under some sort of lockdown or quarantine.

A record-shattering Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday was THE biggest U.S. e-commerce day ever. Retailers garnered $10.84 billion on Cyber Monday 2020 compared to last year’s $9.4 billion. (Business Insider)

Early cyber shopping trends.

Though Cyber Monday 2020 was a record-setting day for e-commerce, it still did not meet anticipated spending projections, which were between $10.8 and $12.7 billion. With e-commerce being an extremely accessible option, experts suspect that this may be due to the fact that shoppers started taking advantage of holiday sales that were happening as early as October. (Business Insider)

Brands prioritizing mobile commerce.

Another trend worth mentioning when considering the shape of e-commerce in 2020: mobile commerce. In 2019, 53 percent of e-commerce sales happened on mobile devices. By the end of 2021, that percentage is expected to be around 73 percent. Many brands are now designing their e-commerce platforms with “mobile-first” in mind. (CircleID)

Social commerce gaining traction.

A few stats to consider: in a recent survey, one in four companies was currently selling its products/services on Facebook. In addition, the same survey showed that brands with at least one active social media account make 32 percent more sales than online retailers who are not active on social media. (ecommerce guide) This type of selling, known as social commerce, is another type of online shopping.

A shift in consumer expectations.

Take note! This is important. Sixty-eight percent of consumers say the pandemic has heightened their expectations of retailers’ digital offerings. This includes being able to make online purchases. (SocialMediaToday)

Wrapping up 2020 and beyond.

The future is not only bright for e-commerce. The future is e-commerce! E-commerce sales are expected to reach more than $4 trillion in 2020. Jumping ahead to a little ways down the road, experts predict that more than 95 percent of all purchases will be conducted online by 2040. (ecommerce guide)

The bottom line.

E-commerce was already slated to grow and keep growing. But thanks to the pandemic, e-commerce in 2020 has not only grown, but has set new standards for how our society conducts business.

It’s important for brands to note this trend, as offering e-commerce options may now be expected of businesses sooner than they originally thought in order to appease consumers and keep up with the competition.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

A Quick List of Holiday Marketing Ideas for 2020

Yes, everything has changed in 2020—from the way we interact (or don’t interact) in public, to the way we shop, dine, travel—and pretty much do everything else. But the holidays are still the holidays! Take comfort in the holiday season as a constant in our lives—a time to reflect on the highlights of the year and look forward to what’s next. As you ramp up for the holidays and wind down for the year, we’ve put together a few marketing ideas that are just “oh-so-2020.” See if you can incorporate any of these holiday marketing ideas for 2020 into your next few weeks!

Gift branded items for the times.

Putting your logo on little takeaway items at events and as gifts with purchases is not a new concept. However, think about new items to brand for 2020: face masks, door pulls and mini hand sanitizer, to name a few.

Create a virtual holiday card.

You’ve seen those “yearly update” holiday cards, where people hit the highlights of what happened in their families or businesses over the past year. Instead of or in addition to mailing physical cards, consider doing a virtual year in review instead. Record a short video talking about some of the highlights your brand experienced in 2020. If highlights are few and far between, try mentioning a few things you are grateful for instead—including your loyal customers! You can post the video to your social accounts and/or send out in an email blast.

Provide online shopping options.

At this point, it may be a stretch to up and transition to a fully-functional e-commerce site before the end of the year. But there are other ways to provide online shopping options for the holidays. Social commerce, for example, allows you to sell products and services to consumers directly on social networks themselves. It may be something to play around with, as consumers are more inclined this year than ever to skip the in-store shopping and buy online.

If possible, play Santa.

Along the lines of shoppers not wanting to leave their homes, this one among our holiday marketing ideas for 2020 may only be possible for certain types of businesses. We’ve seen businesses in our local area offer to hand-deliver items purchased from their stores to homes nearby. It’s a personalized way to help those who may be hesitant or unable to come shop in-person.

Show what you are doing to play your part.

Providing sanitizing options for both customers and employees is now a standard that businesses are expected to meet. Use this fact to your advantage in your marketing strategy. Products like Sanitation Station allow you to display your branding while providing sanitizing materials to patrons—a win-win for everyone!

Offer loyal customers something to look forward to.

Having something to look forward to is the spice of life! As 2020 turns into 2021, give customers something they can be excited about in the new year—like a special offer or discount during the month of January, an upcoming exclusive shopping event on the calendar, or even something they can use when we are back to business as usual.  (For example: “Shop online now, get in-store savings later.”)

Summary

Use these holiday marketing ideas for 2020 as a springboard for successful outcomes over these next few weeks. With all the changes 2020 has brought to our world, all we can do is make the most of them and move forward! Wishing you a very happy holiday season.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.