Lessing-Flynn is here to keep you up-to-date on the always-changing digital world. Check out what you might have missed in the last month that may impact your business.


AI trends to watch in 2021

Get used to hearing about AI for the next few years — the technology has seen extraordinary growth in the last few months. More and more companies have begun adopting AI in some form or the other, whether it’s a chatbot, autonomous driving delivery truck or something else. One of the big areas of opportunity: Marketing. Expect AI to continue optimizing targeting and customer experience. This article lays out the four trends you need to watch for in the next year.


Emojis solidify their place in communication

With so many people working from home, emojis have become more important in conveying tone and intent. As we return to the office, this trend is unlikely to revert back to pre-pandemic levels. What that means for brands is that it is definitely not unprofessional for a CEO to include an emoji in their internal communication or a brand to send an email with an emoji in the subject line. We’ve seen emojis pop up in advertisements, company core values and customer conversations this year. Explore the psychology behind using emojis in a professional setting. Are you trying emojis in your marketing?


Social media platforms all start to blur together

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the social media world was very flattering this month. Spotify has decided to get in on the Stories game with an initial offering featuring your favorite musicians.

Snapchat has launched a TikTok rival called Spotlight, and they’re incentivizing content creators in a big way — $1 million a day through the end of the year for the content creator that gets the most views each day.

An unlikely platform just joined the timeline feed party — Google Maps is launching a feed that will allow local businesses like bars and restaurants post updates. The goal is to help small businesses capture a captive audience already searching for nearby locations on Google Maps, and help the platform compete with tools like Yelp.

Last but not least, Instagram has added keyword search, which opens up a whole new world of optimization opportunities beyond hashtags. Instagram can already feel like a virtual mall, with highly targeted advertisements and shoppable posts. With keyword search and its new move to place the shopping tab prominently on the home screen, now is the time for your brand to start preparing your virtual storefront on Instagram.


Substack is creating a new era of newsletters

With unemployment high and media jobs hard to come by, a go-it-yourself route has opened up with Substack. This platform that allows paid subscriptions for newsletters. Email newsletters continue to grow in popularity as an alternative to the algorithmic world of social media content. This long-read dives into the Substack eco-system and what makes a good paid newsletter. For brands, there’s plenty to learn from these popular paid newsletters that could be implemented to reach prospective customers.


Creative ways to use influencers

The influencer industry is expected to be worth more than $15 billion within the next two years. Utilizing influencers doesn’t always mean cash or free product for a promotional post, though. As the industry has evolved, so have the brand partnership formats. If your brand hasn’t tapped influencers yet, take a look here for five creative strategies to leverage influencers and talk to Lessing-Flynn for help getting an influencer campaign started!