As this year comes to a close, you’re likely to be inundated with a flurry of articles and think-pieces on business trends to consider. While we definitely see value in understanding social media updates and marketing trends in general, we want to draw your attention to more significant shifts in how we’ll do business, in 2022 and beyond.
(Just About) Everyone is Online Now
Once upon a time, online-only entrepreneurs were more exceptions than rule. In the wake of major changes in our economic landscape, more businesses have shifted to an online-heavy or online-only footprint.
According to the Census Bureau, over 4 million Americans filed paperwork to start new businesses in 2021. While this statistic does not necessarily translate to 4 million new online-only businesses, the rise of platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans does indicate rapid growth in the “Creator” sector.
That rapid growth also means more competition in the digital sphere. Which means your offering has to show up and stand out online.
Getting Anti-Social (Media)
Of course we’ll see exceptions to how businesses show up in the online space.
Remember the great Facebook outage of 2021? While it wasn’t connected to an increased number of users, we can say with certainty that more than a few small business owners felt the pinch of lost exposure, engagement, and sales.
We’ve talked before about ensuring you have more control over your digital audience. With concerns about security, privacy, and misinformation, there’s no time like the present to consider changing how you show up online.
Blogs, email newsletters, videos, and podcasts are all viable digital tools to introduce you to new audiences and keep you in touch with your tried-and-trues – all while allowing you greater control of how you engage with these folks.
If you can’t imagine doing business today without Instagram, remember that companies like Lush have already cut the social media cord! That could give you the nudge you need to rethink how you show up online.
Less Work, More Life
Let’s think about those 4 million-plus new businesses. You likely recall the myriad changes in our work worlds that gave rise to this influx of entrepreneurship. Mass layoffs and furloughs, as well as shifts away from in-person business, had many of us rethinking our notions of work-life balance.
Nowadays it’s not enough to pay lip service to ideas like family-friendly work policies and unlimited PTO. Workers want to know they’re being legitimately respected and cared for by their employers. If that isn’t the case… well, we clearly see they’re unafraid of striking out on their own.
If you manage a staff, there’s no time like the present to establish – and practice – workplace values that will help your business stand out. (Shameless plug: we actually know a pretty rad agency hiring right now!)
Before you get too stressed about adapting to all of the new trends on the horizon, keep in mind that not every trend will be as impactful or lasting as predicted. Some of those trends may not make much sense with how you do business, either!
We’ve said it before: it’s better to pick and choose what works for you than to try to be everywhere and do everything–and if you could make it work for you with some outside help, start exploring what that support could look like.