If there’s one key lesson 2020 has taught us, it’s that brands need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to digital trends to remain relevant in an increasingly online world. While the past few months have shown us just how unpredictable life can be, there are some clear emerging trends to keep an eye out for in 2021 if you’re looking to up your online presence…
1. Socially Conscious Marketing
Socially conscious marketing is nothing new, however the devastating repercussions of Covid-19 have emphasised a global need for humanity and compassion. As neighbours came to the aid of isolated community members and households across the nation clapped in support of the NHS, the spotlight soon turned to businesses as consumer expectations surrounding brand ethics soared. Research suggests as much as 53% of consumers now look for brands with strong sustainability credentials – compared to just 37% in 2015.
As we move into the new year, brands will need to go beyond the traditional brand-consumer relationship, connecting with customers on a more human level. One brand who did a great job of socially conscious marketing at the outset of the pandemic is BrewDog, who paused their in-house production of craft beer in order to make hand sanitiser, which was then delivered via their distribution vans to hospitals and NHS keyworkers up and down the country.
2. Short Form Video
This year, we’ve seen short-form video content dominating our screens. From Tik-Tok to Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight to IG Stories and now even Youtube Shorts, we expect that the demand for short-form is only set to increase as we enter into 2021.
These engaging, easily digestible videos provide snackable content that goes beyond your polished social media feed and helps keep you front of mind. Requiring minimal time commitments and just a smartphone, embracing the new age of video content has never been easier!
3. Nostalgia Marketing
Following an emotionally challenging year, it’s no surprise that more and more consumers are seeking content that helps to make them feel good and evoke happier memories. With this is mind, we expect nostalgia marketing to be a key marketing tactic in 2021 and beyond, as brands look to reignite the good times through association. A great example of nostalgia marketing is Coca-Cola’s famous ‘Share it Forward’ campaign, which brought back their iconic 20-ounce glass bottles with the hope of reenergizing the nostalgic packaging with consumers and subsequently driving sales.
4. Live Video Streaming
Widespread lockdowns and social distancing measures left many people craving the next best thing to real life interaction – live-stream video content. While we know that the reality of ‘Zoom-fatigue’ is rampant, there’s still no denying the effectiveness of a well-executed live video. Live-stream content is a great way to allow audiences to interact with their favourite people and brands in real time, however this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared. Before hitting that ‘Live’ button make sure you’ve thought out the purpose of your video – is it educational, is it showing something they haven’t seen before, is it bringing key people to the forefront of your brand? Also think about how you can promote your live before it happens to ensure it gets the traction it deserves – have you launched a countdown, do people know when and what time it’s happening and on what channel? Be sure to give your followers all the information they need and consistently remind them to tune in.
5. Innovative Ecommerce
Social media has never been just about likes or popularity. It’s always been about driving brand awareness and increasing leads and sales through visual storytelling. As we head into 2021, more social media platforms are putting a major focus on eCommerce and we expect that the brands embracing these innovative solutions will come out on top.
From shoppable tags on Stories to checking out directly via the Instagram app, social media has become the new storefront and it’s never been easier for consumers to make a purchase. Be ready to embrace a new wave of eCommerce developments such as live-stream promotions and purchasing options, and new eCommerce integrations within apps – facilitating more immediate purchase behaviour in response to your social media posts.