2020 feels like the year that will never end. But it will, and it will soon. Like any good businessperson, you probably have your sights on 2021 and your marketing plan. Before you start (or finish) that plan, take a look at the predicted trends for this upcoming year.
True. True. Predicting anything in these (I am going to say it) unprecedented times is a bold move, but they have gone and done it anyway.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Word of mouth is still a very valuable source of advertisement. If you are on any online community groups, you know this. Nearly every other post is someone asking for suggestions for a reliable plumber, the best bicycle for teens or a healthy and local vegan restaurant. We trust each other. And if your personal experience is not enough to convince you, the statistics support this. User-generated content performs better than brand- created content.
According to Tint, ads based on user-generated content receive 4 times the number of clicks.
This is what consumers are looking for so let’s give them what they want! Post your customer’s reviews. Be sure to pair them with catchy visual content! After someone makes a purchase with your company, be sure to send them a follow-up message asking for their feedback, a review, a tag or a pic of them using the product. This is marketing gold.
UGC is so popular because it is genuine and authentic, and these are increasingly important traits to consumers.
Genuine and authentic also brings us to conversation marketing. While this was trending before the pandemic, the pandemic definitely gave rise to this type of marketing. Consumers want to engage with their brands. They do not want to be spoken at; they want to have a conversation, a two-way conversation with their favorite brands.
For brands, this is time-consuming. But this is what will lead to sales. For companies, this means having multiple avenues for customers to communicate with you in real-time. Whether it is through social media messages or posts, chatbots or text messaging, consumers want real-time conversations and answers.
Consider the times we are living in. How many people do you know who answer their phone when it is an unknown number. Very few. Cold calling marketing is a thing of the past. Email marketing can still work, but these emails must be genuine, they must be creative and catchy and they must be sent at the correct times to ensure they are opened.
Being available to consumers when consumers want you is the best way to catch the sale.
What’s old is new. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. It has actually been proven to make people want to buy more. Nostalgia gives us feelings of meaningfulness and connectedness. Nostalgia has also been proven to relieve our anxiety about the future.
So as we look into the future of marketing, we should be looking into the past.
Everyone is watching videos. Tik Tok, Youtube, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories. We want more videos. Funny throwback dances (which also will trigger nostalgia), animal videos, and live videos are all so popular. People love to engage and laugh, and videos are great at making us do those things.
Especially during the pandemic, but even before, sending and sharing videos amongst friends and family was a great way to stay connected. Sharing a video you found impactful sent the message to the receiver: hey- this made me think of you. We love to be thought about.
Don’t take my word for it. Here are some stats. 1 million Instagram users watch live videos every day. 1 in 5 Facebook videos watched are live streaming. So video content is important, and going live on video is becoming more and more popular.
This is something the pandemic has really had an impact on. While we were all stuck home, many zoos, orchestras, museums and entertainers hosted live streaming events. And we were all so grateful we tuned in. Now it seems we do not want to tune out.
We do not know exactly what 2021 has in hold for us politically, globally or economically, but we can see the trends in digital marketing.