2020 was challenging for many companies. Enterprises that have switched faster than competitors survived isolation and stimulated income growth. Quick adaptation to the new conditions has also accelerated e-commerce increase because many consumers moved from real to virtual shopping. To facilitate this problem, companies launched a digitalization process: small companies created communities on social networks and began to sell online, while giant companies improved the integration of their apps. All this has changed the market forever.
Content Marketing Has Changed As Well
Content marketing has passed through significant transformations: 54% of B2C businesses have changed their targeting and CMR marketing strategies, 80% of them consider their actions to be effective. According to Edelman, 62% of 12,000 people in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States believe that active participation is required to address the new challenges posed by the pandemic. Meanwhile, 71% of respondents said that if a company prefers income over customers, it will forever lose their trust. Specialists from aitarget.com agree with this statement.
The Most Relevant Content Marketing Trends
A year after the start of the pandemic, we can notice that a majority of businesses have adapted to new conditions. Nowadays, the key priorities of content marketing have become:
- Focus on the changing needs of the client;
- Empathy and willingness to provide support;
- Promotion of a product that solves certain consumer problems;
- Social responsibility;
- An accessible form (social networks, blogs, podcasts, streams, videos) adapted for mobile gadgets.
Now, let’s take a look at the most relevant SMM trends in detail.
1) Short Videos and Stories
With the rise in popularity of TikTok and the launch of Instagram Reels, it has become obvious that short videos will be among the hottest trends. Nearly 40% of those surveyed spend over an hour a week watching videos on social media, and by the end of 2021, consumers are predicted to spend 100 minutes daily watching videos. Meanwhile, various social platforms have their own standards of successful videos, which require content optimization for each platform. For instance, Facebook’s algorithm accepts videos longer than three minutes, but the same content can be split into several shorter ones and posted on Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, and even TikTok.
2) Live streaming
Live streams will become more popular in the future. They really attract the audience: many Internet users are fond of the formats of face-to-face communication via video calls. Live videos have become a useful method of attracting niche influencers and generating leads.
Stats say that 20-40% of seminar attendees grow into leads. Online trading platforms are actively using streaming. For example, the Live section was in the AliExpress app before, but it became in demand after the start of quarantine. This is also crucial for online sales.
3) Focus on usefulness
Focus on the values, the usefulness of the content for the user’s personal or professional life, and the social significance of the content are of great importance. These trends of the past year remain with us in 2021. Many brands realized the importance of useful content even before the pandemic and put together their case studies. For example, TigerFitness has built a loyal community by hosting fitness content and has grown organically over five years:
- 308,764 YouTube subscribers;
- 90,057 Facebook followers;
- 58,600 – on Instagram;
- 11,600 – onTwitter.
4) Development of AI
According to McKinsey, 20% of respondents are investing in AI. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to greatly impact digital marketing in the near future. Several SaaS tools are now available to help create content, and many of them use artificial intelligence.
The ‘Content is King’ statement is still valid. Users are still waiting for quality content. While the pandemic and rapidly advancing technologies are changing their focus and delivery, content marketing remains an effective brand promotion tool.
5) The power of mobile apps
Today, there are more than 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world. At the same time, 51% of online shoppers place orders via smartphones. It’s no longer enough to have a mobile-friendly website: mobile apps and in-game ads have become powerful tools. Even without investment, you can place CTAs into mobile versions of sites that will allow users to make a purchase in one click, optimize your geolocation search, use plugins to integrate functions that simplify interaction with the site from mobile devices and optimize pop-ups.
How Conscious Consumption Changes the Market
Conscious consumption is a trend that is replacing thoughtless consumerism all over the world. It goes hand-in-hand with numerous environmental initiatives: giving a good quality item a second chance to save the planet from unnecessary production, and your home from unnecessary things.
In addition to minimalism, the new trend also stimulates the development of the secondary C2C market (sales between individuals), including online. People prefer not to throw away, but to sell unnecessary things – and, on the other hand, they calmly acquire used household items or clothing, if they are in good condition.
According to a study conducted by EVO analysts, most of the surveyed Internet users buy secondhand goods. Men and women are equally inclined to C2C purchases. To shop safely online, experts recommend following three basic rules:
- Read the ratings and reviews of the seller carefully;
- Pay for the purchase after receiving;
- Never share your card details with third parties.
Analysis of the reasons why people are willing to sell and buy used goods confirms that it is not about money. 60% of people who sell used items want them to benefit someone, and few people do it just for the sake of money. At the same time, the willingness to buy secondhand goods does not depend on the financial situation of the respondents: this fact confirms that the engine of C2C trade is not the desire to save money, but the desire to consume consciously, choosing a good quality product at the optimal price.