Each year brings something new and exciting to the world of content creation and marketing. 2020 was all about finding what works in uncertain and unpredictable times that the pandemic has brought to the world. 2021 is the year of knowing what works in this new situation and using this knowledge in the best possible way.
There has been a major shift in the way brands connect with their consumers, and we are going to explore the top 6 content marketing strategies and trends that you can use today.
#1 Growing Potential of E-Commerce
We‘ve all witnessed last year‘s expansion of online shopping and online goods due to the COVID-19 situation that has changed the whole world practically overnight. More and more, people started to offer their services online—Zoom meetings of all kinds, online gym instructions, wellness sessions, etc. Not to mention that the majority of people are still in quarantine or have some moving restriction. So, this trend isn‘t going anywhere. In fact, it‘s only going to rise.
The majority of these online goods need an effective e-commerce solution. This is to say they‘ll need a good web design team that will be up to date with the latest trends. It’s sometimes best to tap into your local talent pool to avoid any potential communication issues. So, if you live in Miami, compare online the companies offering web design in Miami.
A highly qualified team of web designers can create personalized and unique e-commerce shops with all of the latest features like asymmetric layouts, dark themes, interactive design, 3D, and more.
What‘s most important is that they can also provide an easy-to-navigate site that will allow customers to find what they are looking for easily. They‘ll create an attractive landing page with big and bold fonts, etc. But probably the best feature of all includes the necessary information for the customer to say “yes“ to your product.
This is all a part of a conversion strategy that, simply put, converts the person exploring your page to purchase whatever it is you are offering. With a good design, this can be done in a non-invasive way.
#2 User & Brand Generated Content
Some of the most authentic and creative content the last year was created by non-other but by the users themselves. User-generated content includes all types of content usually posted to social media. It can consist of photos, videos, reviews, etc. And with the increasing growth of influencer marketing, it doesn‘t come as a surprise.
Although this is not something completely new, it is however very effective. From time to time, people get tired of picture-perfect staged ads and want something “real.” They want to hear experiences and opinions from real people. Sometimes people want unfiltered content, especially in times of crisis. It‘s authentic, relatable, and in the digital world, the best word of mouth strategy.
On the other hand, we have brand content. What‘s interesting about brand content, and something that most business owners often forget is that brand content should offer a unique experience to their audience and not always try to sell a product.
With new and exciting features like interactive content, video, storytelling, etc., business owners can really create a one-of-a-kind experience for new audiences. Did you watch the Lego movie? That is probably one of the cleverest brand content created ever. After the first Lego movie, sales increased by 25%. And what did they do? They created an adorable and hilarious movie that both adults and kids can enjoy.
You don‘t have to shoot a movie for a similar thing to happen. But try to think outside the box and stand out from the crowd.
#3 Instagram Reels & Short Videos
Some of the most consumable content is Instagram reels and short videos that can be found on various social media platforms. This type of content is usually entertaining, simple, and to the point. It‘s no wonder people spend hours and hours watching these types of videos, not to mention that one of the most influential social media platforms is none other than TikTok.
Although TikTok is usually described as a platform targeted at young adults and teenagers, it is an all-inclusive platform with one of the most developed algorithms. More than one billion videos are viewed on TikTok every day. This is something business owners and marketers should definitely keep in mind when creating a marketing strategy.
Instagram Reels is a major trend. It‘s at the forefront of the platform‘s algorithm. Making sure you create Reels will be key in making sure your content is being seen by the majority of your followers as well as being featured on the explore page. This will increase your engagement, shares and ultimately will lead to even more followers.
#4 Purpose & Brand Activism
It‘s not enough to just offer a good product. People want a meaningful story, something they can relate to. And with the rise of political activism surrounding some of the world’s burning topics, such as environmental issues, feminism, Black Lives Matter, and so on. People want their favorite brands to take a stand and to have support from them.
Some of the most recognizable names such as Netflix, Ben & Jerry, Reebok, Adidas, Nike all took a stand and supported the Black Lives Matter movement. A lot of brands also take part in speaking about environmental issues and want to see a change as well. Not only do they want to see a change, but they are also a part of the change. Some of the biggest names include Ford, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, etc.
Brands taking part in such important issues show initiative and support and result in people feeling inspired and enthusiastic about what they are fighting for. Every brand, no matter how small, can contribute in some way.
Businesses that are animal lovers donate a small percentage of their earnings to local animal shelters. Others choose to advocate banning plastic bags and plastic in general. There are many ways you can show initiative and show people that you care. That your purpose is bigger than just selling a product/service, it‘s about change and progress.
#5 Nostalgic Content
Nostalgia marketing is often compared to comfort food. It‘s what we know, what we love, what makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In this day and age, when everything seems to be moving so fast and changing even faster, looking back to the past might just be what people need.
Nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions people can experience. And marketers are very well aware of that. This type of marketing urges its audience to focus on familiar things, and this familiarity is what sells. This is not a new tactic, but it is very powerful.
Last year the majority of big brands chose this type of strategy because, as we all know, things seemed out of control and that the world was navigating to some pretty uncertain times. Although true, familiar content brought a little sense of assurance that everything in the world will be just fine.
People love to romanticize the past, especially if they are certain that those were the best days of their lives. When creating content, consider adding some spark of nostalgia. VHS filters, oldies music, brand history (if possible), etc., will all have the same effect on your audience.
#6 Social Shopper
Most of the major social media platforms have introduced their shop options. Now you have Facebook shops, Instagram shops, Pinterest catalogs, and so on. These features are currently one of the biggest trends on social media.
Due to the current situation, more and more people stay at home, scrolling through their favorite social media apps, and are shopping. More than 50% of online shoppers make purchases through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. These are the platforms people also go to find inspiration for their shopping list.
This is a fantastic feature that allows your customers to have easy access to your goods and provides a new type of shopping experience that is most certainly the future of shopping. You should definitely check out these features and set your shop across various social media platforms.
Although the past year was pretty tough on all of us, it at least taught us how to be more creative with our marketing solutions. All of the current trends are the fruit of last year, and most of the trends are probably going to stay for a while.
To sum everything up:
- Find a good web design team and up your eCommerce game.
- User & brand-generated content are here to create an experience for your audience.
- Reels and short videos are the perfect bite-sized content.
- Activism and purpose can get you a long way.
- Social media platforms are becoming the future of the shopping experience.
Tony Watson is the author of Digital Silk, and Design Rush. He’s a marketing professional by day, and a writer by night! A Los Angeles native, also a lover of naps, lemonades, and beaches, currently residing in the borough he loves, most likely multitasking.