Today, we're diving into the exciting world of marketing with 7 trends that are set to shape the landscape in 2021.
1- User Generated Content
The global health crisis in 2020 completely changed the way brands market their products and spurred an increase in the use of user generated content or UGC, as a practical way to engage viewers. UGC has been used by many brands for testimonials or endorsements from social media influences, or just that guy who bought your thing and loved it.
But while positive customer feedback is invaluable to a brand, it's not the only way to include your users in your marketing output. Brands have seen benefits from showcasing raw untouched footage and imagery from their customers in their advertising. And it's working, boosting the brand's credibility through authenticity.
A great example of the use of user generated content is the "To Those Who Mother" Mother's Day campaign by THE ICONIC and Australian online clothing retailer. This short video highlights touching moments from the day to day lives of hard working mothers caring for their children throughout the 20 20 lockdown period.
2- Branded Content
Quality is paramount if you're looking to build a reliable brand image that people recognize and trust, Apple have perfectly executed a highly relevant example of high quality branded content in their seven minute ad titled "The Whole Working from Home thing". You've got a team of people working remotely towards a strict deadline under challenging and entirely relatable circumstances. Regardless, they make it all happen with the help of their trusty Apple products.
Estee Lauder have also used high quality branded content in their innovativen retro "ANRCADE" campaign. They've replicated online arcade style games. But Pacman and Space Invaders have been swapped out for games featuring their own products. It's interactive, it's fun, and it's an ingenious use of a bold marketing trend.
In line with this trend, brands have also shifted towards templated video overlays to ensure consistency and brand cohesion across their video content.
3- Social Commerce
Social commerce refers to the incredible range of social media shopfronts, shockable posts and other e-commerce strategies we see on our social media feeds each and every day.
Hey Tiger is an Australian chocolate endeavor with a difference. They do the majority of their highly effective marketing via Instagram using social ads, shippable posts and an eye catching insta feed in order to use social commerce to its fullest.
4- Brand Activism
With so many social movements on the rise, brand activism took the spotlight in 2020 and is set to continue well into 2021.
As a result, brands are shining a light on their values and political view points and taking a stand with social activism through branding and sometimes even the products they sell. Ben and Jerry's took activism to the next level recently with their latest "UnFudge Our Future Flavor" exclusive to Australia.
Using the delectable product to spread the word, the brand has started a petition alongside climate change leaders 350.ORG that calls on politicians to create a clean and resilient Australia for generations to come. Support for current social movements has also been popular in photography.
5- Google Core Web Vitals
relating directly to search engine optimization, this is one for the more technical minded.
Google has always placed user experience as the top priority on their platform and shape their ranking factors around the goal to surface the most relevant and useful information for the searcher.
Announced in mid 2020, Core Web Vitals will be added to the new page experience signal, one of the hundreds of ranking factors used to determine what shows up in search results. Google says "Core web Vitals are a set of real world user centred metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience". They measure dimensions of web usability, such as load time, interactivity and the stability of content as it loads.
Nowadays, providing a great user experience can mean the difference between making a sale and driving your customers off to one of your competitors.
6- Nostalgia Marketing
Nostalgia is one of the most impactful marketing trends of the past few years and for good reason. Studies have shown that a hint of nostalgia can improve our mental state. So what better way to align your brand with positive thoughts and emotions than with a throw-back? The Super Bowl ads of 2020 did exactly that. Check out this one from Cheetos that takes us back to the 90s.
And this one from Jake that gives us the good old Bill Murray feels
7- Going Live
Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and many other platforms have provided businesses the opportunity to go live. This helps build a deeper connection with key target markets, allowing brands to get a little bit closer to their audience by prooving credibility with personality and authenticity.
National Geographic allow their viewers to experience the world through the eyes of their photographers on Intagram live
Youtube influencer and designer Jesse Showalter also uses the live format to connect with his followers on a more personal level.
You can see here, he takes his live streams to the next level, using a count-down feature prior to commencing the broadcast, an intro, lower thirds and a subscibe overlay to increase production value and professionnalisme and better influence his viewers to act on his calls to action.
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