If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world we live in has become reliant on digital communication. It is easy to become overwhelmed with information being thrown at us from an overabundance of platforms, people, and outlets. As a leader in our industry, it is critical to navigate the swarm of digital communications and engage appropriately on a variety of platforms, while continuing to discover new trends that ultimately encourage our client’s success. Below are a few digital communication trends we expect to see grow in popularity in 2021.
- Enhanced User Generated Content: User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content (reviews, images, videos, audio, etc.) that users publish themselves on online platforms stemming interactions and information shares that develop thought leaders. The onslaught of invasive online advertising techniques quickly lowered consumers’ ad tolerance. The rise in popularity of ad blockers and search engines like DuckDuckGo are indicators of the intrusive targeting of online consumers. UGC is now welcomed by many brands as an organic and trusted source to reach and gain credibility with their audiences.
- Increase in Influencer content: Throughout 2020, users flocked to social media platforms to engage with friends, family and people around the world. Influencers’ personal lives, reviews and opinions were consumed at a higher volume than ever before. The human interaction that users craved was tapped into through live-streams, videos and more frequent posts. Influencer marketing is a strategy that is effectively used to promote products and services through partnerships with popular social media users who have a large, highly engaged audience. Influencer marketing is a key strategy that increases reach across social media audiences, builds brand trust, grows following on social platforms, and increases social traffic and sales.
- Surge of Purpose-Driven Initiatives from Brands: As social media platforms progress, users become more knowledgeable. It is critical for brands to position themselves as sincere and trustworthy through goodwill efforts and community relations. Brands that give back, listen to the world around them and respond are more trusted by consumers than those that refuse to acknowledge the tides of change. Purpose-driven initiatives such as donations to non-profits, volunteer work in the community and sponsorships are pivotal for retaining and building trust in consumers. We always encourage our clients to highlight their community involvement as it is proven to generate trust and value from online followers, while also increasing reach and popularity from those who may not be committed followers yet.
- Expansion of video marketing: Community is key and the use of creative movement and audio through videos engages consumer viewership of products and services. Videos humanize brands by allowing products and services to become more tangible. Users engage visually and auditorily simultaneously which produces a stronger retention time. Another trend in video marketing is production simplicity. We see this through the increased popularity of shorter clips such as Tik Tok videos, Instagram Reels and live streams. Brands are engaging with consumers by sharing bite-sized clips of their products and services rather than publishing longer and professionally polished content. Organic video sharing has been known to increase brand loyalty and engagement, as it highlights the “realness” of products and services as it pertains to everyday life.