Around this time last year, I shared with you some of my predictions for businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
While we can’t yet say that the pandemic is over, it’s a relief knowing that so many individuals and businesses in Australia (and around the world) are now on their way to regaining a sense of normalcy again.
Day by day, we are building this “new normal” and reclaiming the life that has been taken from us over the past two years.
So, before we end this year and welcome the new one with a positive mindset, let’s take a look back at the year that was 2021.
Have you reflected on the year that was?
It’s been almost two years since the beginning of the pandemic, and while we’ve once again experienced a rise in cases and another round of lockdowns in Australia this year, the situation is slowly but surely getting better.
Today, we are moving along the path towards a full recovery and a life after the pandemic. However, we wouldn’t be here without all the ups and downs that we’ve experienced throughout 2021.
So, as we prepare for 2022, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve gone through - both as individuals and businesses - so we can learn from these experiences and take the lessons with us as we move forward into the new year.
What were our expectations before the year started?
Although we were in the midst of some tough times, my predictions for businesses this year were not all bad. I envisioned innovation, more emphasis on content marketing, and a united response to recover from the pandemic together.
So, after another big year, let’s compare our predictions from the start of 2021 with the reality that we’ve experienced over the past 12 months.
Prediction: Working from home will be the new norm.
As I’ve said before, the world was already heading towards a new reality where the majority would start to work from home. The pandemic was simply the catalyst for this change happening sooner than expected. I predicted that in 2021, we would see more organisations offering the flexibility to work-from-home to their staff.
Did this happen? YES.
According to The Guardian, prior to the pandemic, around 20% of all businesses had employees working from home. Last year, those numbers shot up to 44%.
The Productivity Commission has also noted that remote work options are still on the rise in 2021, even after the majority of lockdowns have ended. They highlighted that most workplaces are gravitating towards the hybrid model as it provides a good balance of human interaction and the flexibility of working remotely from time to time.
However, while remote working allowed employees to cut their commute and stay safe indoors this year, it still brought with it some disadvantages that need to be looked at and improved upon. In fact, one study determined thatthe average work day increased by 8%, due to a lack of boundaries between work and home. That’s 48 minutes longer than the average pre-pandemic working day!
As such, it has now become necessary for organisations to come up with new ways to adjust their business model to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic, to make working from home beneficial for both their business and their employees
Prediction: Businesses and customers will appreciate content more.
With people spending more time scrolling across the digital landscape, I expected an increase in the demand for valuable content, and subsequently, businesses allocating more of their budget to content marketing to meet their customers’ needs.
Did this happen? YES.
HubSpot recently reported that 82% of marketers said they were actively using content marketing in 2021, including text, images, audio and video across several platforms. Furthermore, they found that 47% of buyers now view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a relevant sales rep.
In order to improve brand awareness, increase sales and engage their target market, brands are utilising all types of content to help put them on their audiences’ radar. When the latest round of widespread lockdowns began in early July, people had more time to look up brands online and get to know them through the content that they shared, making content marketing an essential part of every brand’s overall marketing strategy in 2021.
This trend will continue to carry into the future, especially now that brands and customers have realised the true value of content. With that, all businesses need to step up their content marketing game and provide greater value to their customers in as many ways as possible.
With that, all businesses need to step up their content marketing game and provide greater value to their customers in as many ways as possible.
To help, I’ve listed some of the trends that we can expect to see in 2022 to help you with your content marketing: 10 Content marketing Trends To Embrace In 2022
Prediction: The economy will take a while to recover.
While I don’t pretend to be a financial expert, it seemed clear at the start of 2021 that the pandemic would continue to take a large toll on our economy, meaning it would take some time before it would fully recover.
Did this happen? YES.
The Australian economy is once again scrambling to get back on its feet after being hit by another huge wave of Coronavirus throughout winter. It’s hard to deny that this latest round of lockdowns has had a massive impact on businesses around the country, especially as many were still recovering from the effects of 2020.
Nevertheless, while there will continue to be bumps in the road, Australia looks on the path to making a steady recovery throughout 2022. Plus, as we start to open state and international borders and live with significantly fewer restrictions, we will see this have a positive impact on our economy as well.
Prediction: Innovation will be more highly valued.
While innovation in business is nothing new, I predicted that the pandemic is likely to highlight just how important innovation is. With ongoing restrictions and limitations, 2021 looked set to be the year we would be forced to innovate.
Did this happen? YES.
In a survey by Microsoft, they determined that the pandemic has led Australian organisations to embrace a culture of innovation and accelerate opportunities. Almost 69% of organisations in Australia are going digital to survive and thrive in the new norm, while 82% of business decision-makers believe that innovation is now a must, and no longer simply an option. In fact, more than two years’ worth of digital transformation happened within just two months to accommodate the circumstances that we once again faced this year.
Even when the pandemic is long behind us, we should continue to innovate as we go. Research shows that businesses across Australia are now capitalising on the business model changes that they adopted throughout the pandemic to discover even more opportunities for innovation.
Even when the pandemic is long behind us, we should continue to innovate as we go.
Prediction: More human unity everywhere.
As the pandemic affected us all, I ended last year with high hopes that we would all come together and become more unified, both as people and as businesses.
Did this happen? YES.
It was heart-warming to see the effort that people went to, to remain connected and help each other even when the pandemic forced us to stay apart.
We saw generosity and collaboration amongst many nations. Australia donated large amounts of oxygen equipment to South-East Asian countries to help in their fight against the virus, and as vaccination began, we saw the richer nations buying up stock purely to help supply their developing neighbours.
Virtual events were also held throughout the year on both a national and global scale, to continue to bridge the gap and maintain connections.
Plus, we must not forget to acknowledge the little things, too. This year, we have seen thousands of acts of kindness that have helped us all to remain positive through the tough times.
While the pandemic has taught us so many hard-earned lessons, one of my favourites is about being there for others – as it always helps us to get through the challenges that we face together.
Prediction: The brands that do Marketing NOW will be far better off AFTER COVID-19.
With customers more attentive than ever, it only made sense that those businesses who put the effort in to ramp up their content marketing campaigns during this time would rise up to gain more visibility and earn the trust of their audience.
Did this happen? YES.
Brands that remained visible and kept producing content even in the height of lockdowns gained more trust and loyalty from their customers over this time. As the world stayed home, the consumption of digital content continued to rise and all sectors of online advertising experienced double-digit growth.
A survey conducted by The Drum found that 71% of Australians will buy more from a brand that they trust, while 66% will provide a positive recommendation, 50% will join their loyalty program and 45% will post a positive review online.
Consistent marketing efforts have paid off for those brands that stuck with it as the media consumption habits of customers evolved over the last two years. This just goes to show that delivering value to customers, especially during turbulent times, will always provide benefits to your brand.
This year proved to be just as challenging as the last one, but again, we survived. At Melotti Media, we saw many of these predictions come to life in our own business this year, meaning it truly helped to start the year prepared.
So, what did we miss? Did you make any predictions for 2021 that also came true?
Now that we’ve made it through the year, let’s start looking forward.
Embrace what 2022 holds with Melotti Media!
The next year will be here before we know it and I have no doubt that it will bring more surprises and challenges along with it, so it’s best to start the year equipped with all the tools you need to propel your business forward.
To connect with your audience and turn people from strangers into advocates, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content.
However, I understand that you’re probably feeling a little time-poor or spread thin, and it’s possible that you still have a lot of unanswered questions. Or you may just hate writing!
That’s okay, because my team and I can help you by doing all your copywriting for you!
At Melotti Media, we utilise our tried and tested copywriting approach to help you with your content marketing needs while you focus on what matters most to you – growing your business.
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words to achieve your goals today.
For more information or to speak to a trusted copywriter, contact us now at email@example.com.
DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.