It’s safe to say that the world has changed a lot in the last year and with Ofcom reporting that UK adults now spend more than a quarter of their waking day online, it’s never been more important to stay on top of your social media.
After the unpredictability of 2020, it left me wondering what 2021 will bring for the world of social media. The digital landscape has become all-encompassing and it’s impossible to ignore, so it’s important for brands to do everything they can, both on and offline, in order to differentiate themselves. To help you navigate this year’s digital landscape, I’ve pulled together the top 5 trends to provide you with some inspiration when building your digital strategy in 2021.
Live streams are a form of ephemeral content – digital content that can only be accessed for a short period of time e.g. Facebook Lives or Instagram Stories.
Due to the lack of face-to-face events, the popularity of live streams increased massively in 2020. In lockdown last year, Facebook live viewings increased by 50%, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Instagram Lives climbed by 70%! These impressive numbers show that there is a very clear need for this type of content, but why is it so popular?
The short life span of ephemeral content provokes a sense of urgency within a social media user by pulling on their sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This means that the user will want to access the content before their ‘time is up’ – more so than with evergreen content such as a website.
Not only that but with minimal planning involved and no costs for catering, goodie bags, or room hire, live streams are a really quick and affordable way for your brand to communicate with your audience on a more personal level in place of face-to-face events.
In the last couple of years, social media has become a key platform for driving social change. Social networks have accelerated monumental movements such as Black Lives Matter and Me too.
With movements such as these becoming a crucial part of many consumers’ lives, brands must be prepared to step up and contribute to the conversation. However, this shouldn’t just be seen as merely a ‘tick box’ exercise. We know that transparency is more important than ever before, so brands have to share their views authentically in order to be as sincere as possible. It’s worth looking at your own content and asking if you’re delivering it with a sense of purpose and if not, can you? But remember not to force a topic – relevance to your audience and your brand values should always come first.
The rise of fast-paced platforms such as TikTok has meant that consumers have reduced patience when it comes to long, drawn-out content. So, it’s important to remember that when it comes to consuming digital content, your audience has a shorter attention span than you might think.
Serving your audience bite-sized pieces of content at a time is a surefire way of engaging them from the get-go and putting exactly what they need, right in front of them. You can do this in a multitude of ways such as; short-form videos including Instagram Reels, insightful carousel posts on social media or, monthly email newsletters.
Personalisation is here to stay
Customer expectations from brands are higher than ever before, so much so that according to Boostify, 90% of consumers report feeling more positively towards organisations that treat them as an individual.
With a lot of digital marketing tools such as Campaign Monitor embedding these capabilities within their platforms, personalisation is easier than you might think. You can make the most of this by including an element of personalisation within your service offering, social content, and email campaigns. This will encourage a more intimate, valuable relationship between you and your audience and lead to increased brand loyalty if executed correctly.
The importance of trust
Like most relationships, the one between you and your audience is built on trust, so it’s important to be as authentic and as transparent as possible. As a consequence, you will need to assess how to position your brand as trustworthy through digital channels.
One simple yet effective way to do this is by sharing a regular, frequent stream of content on social media. This makes your brand look more authoritative and increases the number of digital touchpoints between you and your followers. More touchpoints mean that not only do you stay at the front of your customer’s mind, but there are also more opportunities for them to take an action – for example, liking, commenting, leaving feedback, or getting in touch with your brand as a result of its content.
If you want to discuss your digital marketing strategy for the year ahead or would like to find out more about our service offering, then get in touch by emailing email@example.com or calling 0115 077 0221.