2021 is just around the corner which means it’s time to get ahead of the game. As we approach the end of each year, marketing trends for the next start to emerge. So, we’re going to take a look at what you can expect to see in the world of marketing in 2021.
User Generated Content
Since the rise of influencer marketing, user generated content (UGC) has become a highly effective marketing strategy for brands all across the world. As such, the value of UGC has increased exponentially due to consumers’ inclination to trust messages from fellow users over those from brands. The main appeal of UGC is the increased level of authenticity and reliability it provides consumers – essentially, it’s the new-school word for ‘word of mouth’.
Due to lock-down and social-distancing restrictions, 2020 saw a HUGE increase in UGC. Photoshoots and filming were put on hold and so brands had to get creative. And so, they adapted to the evolving digital landscape by looking to their customers to create content they want to see. We’ve seen more collaborations, influencer take-overs and real-life consumers using products on brand profiles on social media than ever before. In 2021, expect to see the trend continue because, let’s face it, there is nothing more trusting and enticing to see someone using and enjoying a product or service.
High quality branded content has also been on the rise in 2020. Although, it’s no longer a one-way conversation when it comes to branded content. When brands communicate messages across any channel, consumers are increasingly expecting an experience. They don’t want to be told that something is on sale. Consumers want to connect emotionally with brands and get to know the brand’s personality and values in order to establish a relationship which aids purchase decisions.
And so, branded content in 2021 will be about creating a unique, unforgettable experience for customers. Jen McKinnon, Video Marketing Specialist and Envato says,
"With businesses, brands and individuals creating new content by the second, it's becoming harder and harder to stand out, which is why the quality of what we publish is so important.”
Some brands are using AR features of Instagram filters to give users branded experiences. Below are a few examples we love. Gucci jumped on board with a filter to help 2020 high school and uni graduates celebrate, which was extremely popular as graduation ceremonies were cancelled around the world. We MakeUp has used filters to give users the opportunity to 'try before thy buy'. And Taco Bell ...well we aren't sure if we love it, but it's certainly an experience for the user! You've likely seen brands engage on Instagram filters with games as well, and all of this is high quality branded content that creates memorable experiences for users.
Social media is now the biggest and most beneficial platform for digital marketing, and makes up a large part of marketing budgets. With the introduction of Facebook and Instagram shops, product tags and Pinterest shopping ads and catalogues, social commerce has made its mark in 2020. 55% of online shoppers making purchases through social media channel and a whopping 71% of us turning to social media for shopping inspiration.
As we move into 2021, its more important than ever to make your brand, product and services are shoppable on social media. Additionally, consumers are starting to expect a more streamlined shopping experience, so having products shoppable on social media channels delivers on their expectations.
With everything that has happened in 2020, people have turned to social media to share their viewpoints on political, social and environmental issues around the world. It is no surprise that we are now seeing a big increase in brand activism, especially on social media. Today’s consumers are no longer out to get a good deal, instead they are becoming loyal to brands that aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, are committed to making change and have values aligned to those of their own.
In 2021, to help consumers feel connected to your brand’s personality, to build trust and loyalty you need to share your brand’s view points on certain issues in the world. Not all of them, of course! But the main ones that resonate with you and your brand.
Described as the ‘advertising-equivalent of comfort food’, nostalgia marketing has really taken off in the last year. And this is probably because we are all craving familiarity, comfort and safety in 2020. Additionally, in a fast-paced world, looking back on the good-ol’ times always a welcome comfort.
Nostalgia is incredibly powerful, and it’s been proven to make consumers more willing to spend money on products and services, making it a perfect fit for any marketing strategy. When you combine nostalgia and marketing together, you get a force that cannot be reckoned with. Mixing emotions and connections to brands from people’s childhoods with persuasive messaging has a strong effect on purchase decision-making. Nostalgia Marketing forces us to focus on the things we already know and uses the familiarity of the old to sell the innovation. Its familiar, comforting and safe, and who doesn’t want a bit of that right now?
SERP Position Zero
SEO will remain an integral part of a digital marketing strategy in 2021, especially now that we are witnessing one of the biggest shifts in the industry in the last decade. Due to the increase use of mobile and voice search, the way in which people use search engines is changing. Think about how you use your phone to search on Google, versus how you use a desktop computer. As such, to rank first on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is no longer the ultimate goal. There is now a Position Zero to aim for. Position Zero is when text from a website is shown above search results. This snippet is pulled from Google’s algorithm as it is believed to be the most accurate answer to a certain query. Position Zero is what Google uses to answer voice searches, which is why it is becoming increasingly important.
In 2021, ranking first in search results will still be essential to a successful SEO strategy, but being featured in Position Zero will be just as important, if not more so.
2020 has been a wild ride, but with these tip-offs on the marketing trends to expect in 2021, you can get planning now. Because, fingers-crossed (all of them!) 2021 is going to be a better year than the ones we’ve just had. Keep note that trends evolve and change, so these top tips aren’t anything set in stone, but they are a guide you can trust!