Digital is the future of the world we are breathing in, and we don’t even have to make any effort to prove it to you. We are sure COVID-19 pandemic has spoken volumes about it. Brands with good digital market hold were patting themselves on the back and the brands with no or less digital market hold were gearing up to jump into the race. 2020 has been truly a digital awakening brands never saw coming. Nonetheless, an awakening at its best! Isn’t it? With the turmoil of 2020 behind us, it’s time to think about what the next 12 months will bring to the plate. To say the least, the year 2020 was uncertain. As a result, while some of the patterns projected prior to the pandemic did materialize, others did not, with various forced modifications changing aspects of the marketing environment. Most notably, eCommerce sales increased dramatically, consumers spent significantly more time on social media, and video conferencing became commonplace. This has resulted in a significant change in the way brands interact with their customers.
What marketing trends will continue to pervade in 2021 as we turn the corner into the New Year?
Increased influencer content and live-streaming
Activities were canceled as a result of stay-at-home orders, and customers were unable to attend in-person events. They couldn’t even communicate with their friends and family. This resulted in an increase in the number of individuals watching live streams, whether they were branded live streams, live videos from their favorite celebrities, or online workshops. Influencer live-streams, for example, may build trust and tap into the ‘in-the-moment’ connection that 2020 customers seek. During live events, influencers used the platform to market their favorite products. Additionally, the live streams were shoppable, allowing viewers to make purchases while watching.
Brands will continue to post in a “less is more” manner
Many organizations spent less time churning out social media posts this year and more time creating content that felt thoughtful, meaningful, and in touch with the world around them. During COVID-19, businesses began to ask themselves a question they may never have posed before: ‘Does my audience even want to hear from me right now?’
Stories in content format
In the modern era where the digital realm has taken over the world, the brands have decided to take on a much more organized approach and plan for Stories as a content format for their publishing calendars. This has become a necessity for the brand if it hasn’t already become so. More importantly, the masses prefer video stories over static stories as it is more interactive, engaging and fun. If they haven’t already, brands will need to get more organized and plan for Stories as a content format in their publishing calendars. More importantly, the video will become more popular as a Story format as it appears to outshine photographs. Images have a 5.65% greater tap-forward rate than videos in Stories. The number of individuals that watched your Story but went on to the next one before finishing it is known as the tap-forward rate. The same data discovered that photos in Stories had higher drop-off rates than videos, indicating that individuals prefer to watch videos.
On social media, virtual reality will become more popular
People are looking for more meaningful virtual contacts in the midst of stay-at-home directives and the necessity for social separation. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the most recent technological advances to have gained momentum in the market and is penetrating deeper into the mindsets of the consumers which has brands on a roll to adapt them. When you interact with people through virtual reality, you get the feeling that you’re truly there with them, even if they’re halfway around the world. This is the type of encounter that people require when they must socially remove themselves. As platforms press forward with implementing this technology, virtual reality is projected to gain more popularity on social media in 2021. Take, for example, Facebook Horizon. Facebook is using the Oculus VR platform to beta-test a virtual environment that lets individuals explore, connect with others, and play games beginning in early 2021.
The worth of the content will outweigh the quality of the manufacturing
When many firms were forced to go totally remote in 2020, social media and video marketing teams needed to establish scalable, home-based production procedures. When customers continued to connect with videos, live streams, and other social media content clearly produced from home offices, marketers discovered that lower-quality content may still be appealing if it offers value. Many brands were compelled to get creative when it comes to creating content, particularly video production, as a result of COVID19. Because there was no studio or tonnes of equipment to work with, the production value became a little more lo-fi and, in the end, a little more human.
A media trend – augmented reality
Recent events, similar to those that have expedited the acceptance of virtual reality, have hastened the adoption of augmented reality (AR) experiences, notably in the social arena. AR, unlike VR, does not require any additional hardware beyond a smartphone, making it even more accessible. It’s also familiar from experiences like dynamic photo filters, which have been around for a year on a variety of social media platforms. Augmented reality experiences are by their very nature interactive and engaging. AR filters are quickly becoming a popular way for brands to promote new items or increase fan involvement on social media. This keeps your audience interested and delighted, and with the correct promotion, it may even help you attract new consumers.
The popularity of social commerce will continue to rise
We’re seeing more features and tools that assist quick and easy shopping as the social media sector adapts to improve the customer experience. For example, you may add product tags and enable easy checkout on Instagram without ever leaving the platform. You may create a Shop on Facebook that people can explore and purchase directly from the platform. Given the importance of social media in purchasing decisions, this could be the ideal tool for marketers to use in 2021. Keep in mind that 54% of social media users conduct product research on the platform. Furthermore, 71% of consumers are influenced by social media referrals while making a purchase. When you add social commerce to the mix, you have a customer journey that is simplified and shortened. When your audience sees a product they like on social media, they don’t have to travel to the website to find it. They can purchase it directly from the site, which is likely to reduce the number of transactions that are abandoned. In fact, simply having a buy button enhances the possibility of a purchase and aids in the progress of social interactions.
Are you prepared for the year 2021?
The unexpected nature of 2020 has compelled businesses to rethink how they interact with their customers. People were locked inside due to store closures and stay-at-home orders, which meant they spent a lot more time online. As a result, brands have been compelled to stretch out and develop more human-centric ways of communicating with their customers.
This trend will continue over the following 12 months. Live-streaming will become more common, purpose-driven businesses that advocate sustainability will ascend to the top, and user-generated content (UGC) will continue to play an important role in every marketing strategy.