Discover what trends are shaping digital marketing in 2021, and what you can do to ensure you are not left behind.
1. Growth of Voice and Visual Search
Voice and visual search are transforming the way people look for information. Voice search has become one of the most frequent methods of search, and visual search is following suit. By adapting to this trend, you can increase brand exposure and keep customers engaged.
People are increasingly using voice search via their smartphones or virtual assistants to find what they are looking for online. It was recently revealed that 45% of U.S. millennials use a voice assistant when shopping online. As voice search continues to grow, businesses must optimise their content for queries from voice users. This can be done by creating content that is more of a conversational style, which mirrors how consumers ask questions.
Visual search is an emerging trend, with tools like Google Lens and Pinterest Lens enabling consumers to search for whatever they can see. As demonstrated in the video below, if you see a lamp that you like, you can take a picture, upload it to a visual search engine and look for matches. To optimise for visual search, marketers should focus on image alt-text, image sitemaps, and incorporating high-quality, optimised images.
2. The rise of the Nano-Influencer
Nano-influencers have the power to connect brands with engaged communities. They are the newest category of influencer to gain recognition, with between 1,000 and 10,000 social media followers.
Over the past few years, micro-influencers (10,000 – 100,000 followers) have become the stars of the influencer industry. However, as online engagement continues to decline, brands are looking towards their smaller counterparts, who have highly engaged followings.
A nano-influencer is a social media content creator with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers.
Why work with a nano-influencer?
- Engagement: Typically nano-influencers have a highly active and loyal audience. Nano-influencers are more engaged with their following, frequently replying to comments and direct messages. These high-quality interactions bring increased engagement, resulting in more impactful sponsorships.
- Authenticity: As nano-influencers are more like friends than strangers, recommendations often seem more genuine. Gen Z consumers, who are highly sensitive to brand authenticity, will be a driving force behind the growth of transparent nano-influencers.
- Cost-efficiency: Nano-influencers typically receive little-to-no pay; instead they receive free products in return for posting on their social media platform. As rates for micro-influencers have soared, nano-influencers can be a more cost-effective strategy.
- Scope for Growth: Some of the biggest social media influencers started as nano-influencers. By engaging with nano-influencers, brands can foster long-term relationships which can be maintained as their following grows.
Nano-influencers can be valuable additions to an influencer marketing strategy. Boasting authenticity and higher engagement than any other influencer group, nano-influencers provide a trusted channel for brands to connect with communities.
3. Augmented Reality goes mainstream
Augmented reality (AR) has become an increasingly popular tool over the past few years, and what was once a novelty looks set to become a widely adopted technology within marketing. AR is a powerful tool that can be harnessed to capture attention and drive customer engagement. As technology progresses and usage becomes more widespread, AR enables brands to differentiate themselves and reimagine the customer experience.
Examples of AR Brand Experiences
- Nike has launched an AR solution to help customers find the perfect shoe fit
- MAC Cosmetics has a feature that allows people to try on makeup virtually
- IKEA Place app enables customers to envisage a piece of furniture in their own homes
- Dulux Visualiser allows people to test different paint colours on their walls
- ASOS has created a virtual catwalk so users can visualise clothes on different body types
AR has the potential to take marketing experiences to the next level, and with it finally looking like it will gain a foothold in 2021, this is not a trend to miss!
Voice and visual search, nano-influencers and AR are key digital marketing trends that will increase site traffic and foster engagement. Brands that adopt these techniques will rise above their competitors. In order to stay ahead of the curve, marketers must keep looking ahead and striving to embrace these new tools and technologies.
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