The unpredictable nature of 2020 has forced brands to think long and hard about how they connect with their customers. Shop closures and stay-at-home orders meant people were stuck inside, which also meant that they were spending a lot more time online. This has pushed brands to branch out and create more human-centric ways of reaching their buyers.
Over the next 12 months, we’ll see this continue. Live-streams will become increasingly common, purpose-driven brands that champion sustainability will rise to the top
So, as we turn a corner into the New Year, what marketing trends will continue to permeate in 2021?
Here are some key 2021 Digital Marketing Trends to consider:
1. Live-streams and an increase in influencer content
Stay at home orders meant events were canceled, and consumers were unable to attend in-person events. They weren’t even able to socialize with their friends and family.
This led to an uptick in the number of people tuning into live-streams, whether it was a branded live-stream, a live video from their favorite celebrity, or an online workshop. Human-drive content like influencer live-streams can create trust, and tap into the ‘in-the-moment’ connection that 2020 consumers crave.
2. More goodwill and purpose-driven missions from brands
At the core of this is the need for transparency.
It’s impossible for consumers to connect with brands that they see as ‘shady’ or insincere. Why would they want to invest in something that they can’t trust or don’t believe in? This is why connection will be pivotal for brands that want to remain trusted sources in 2021.
Now more than ever, brands are having to dig deep to find out how to flourish in turbulent times.
3. UGC to enhance the customer experience
Customer experience has never been more important.
Consumers crave enjoyable experiences with brands that are easy and memorable. They want proof before they buy and they want to be reassured – after all, no one wants to make the wrong decision.
User-generated content (UGC) ticks all the boxes when it comes to connective content:
- It builds and strengthens communities
- It’s relatable and uplifting
- It enables brands to meet customers where they’re already hanging out
- It helps brands generate tons more content against a backdrop of stay-at-home orders and restrictive measures
UGC has long been an effective way for brands to forge relationships with their customers and provide social proof, and this will be a common theme in 2021 as well.
4.Increase in voice and visual search
An increasing number of consumers are searching via voice-activated tools like Alexa. Perhaps that’s due to people have been stuck at home, with limited opportunities for conversation, or perhaps it’s simply because this type of technology is more readily available.
But it’s not just voice search that will prevail in 2021 – we can also expect other creative search methods to rise to the top, like visual search.
Tools like Google Lens enable consumers can search for whatever they can see. This means marketers will need to focus even more on image alt-text and sitemaps for images.
5. Easy-to-consume content
2020 also saw people leaning on easy-to-consume content – things like podcasts that can be consumed on-the-go or newsletters that land directly in subscriber’s inboxes.
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