2021 Social Media Trends: Adaptation

2021 Social Media Trends: Adaptation

Time To Read: 3 minutes

2021 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: ADAPTATION

Last year has shown to rock the social media landscape. 2021 has brought unexpected changes that your business can use to its advantage. Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive into social media trends that your business should consider implementing. Some of the trends we will share with you may be foreign, while others you may have seen but with a new twist. Follow along with us as we make recommendations for your business digital strategy that will make your brand relevant this year.

Last month, we covered the marketing strategies of remixing, memetic, nostalgic, and conversational. This week, we are focusing on how your business brand and social media marketing should adapt to the changes large platforms are moving towards. In 2021, the dominant social media platforms of today will continue to be just as significant as they were in the past. Nowhere in sight do we see “dying” platforms as we experienced with MySpace. Because of their adaptations, their significance is unlikely to drop in the coming years. We recommend you take a page from their playbook and adapt your social media strategy as well.

Analysis of Social Media Platforms

Currently, the three biggest social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Hubspot shares that despite differences in audiences, demographics, and users, these channels hold similar positions in consumers’ minds, and it’s extremely unlikely they will lose that dominance. Hubspot adds that these platforms have the size and capabilities to adapt quickly to changing trends and consumer habits. Releasing new features helps large social media platforms react to trends, giving your business the opportunity to do the same.

Go All-In and Adapt

If you haven’t already gone all-in with social media platforms, especially using the new features they release, then you’re not using this free marketing tool to its full potential. The channels are growing in numbers and in reaching audiences. Your business needs to be a part of that.

Use What Fits Your Brand Best

It is tempting to use all the platforms under the sun for your marketing strategy because it is free. Resist this and instead find platforms that fit your brand best. Find where your target audience spends most of their social media time and place all your efforts there. If your audience has a larger spectrum of demographics, a safe place to push your marketing efforts would be in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These large platforms are the main places that large and broad audiences spend their time.

Adapt Along With Platforms

Study the platforms your business uses. If you become an expert at the features available, you’ll be able to use them more effectively. The strategy doesn’t stop at becoming familiarized with it; it comes from reviewing what features your audience engages more with on each platform. It may be difficult to adjust the strategy you’re used to, but it’s about being the most effective. Don’t place efforts in an Instagram post if your audience is mainly spending their time on Instagram stories.

Channel Monitoring

Channel monitoring helps if your audience is changing. According to Hubspot, “these analytics will give you vital consumer insights, which can help influence your content ideation and planning. While native analytics give you an overview of each channel, a complete channel monitoring solution makes the process much simpler.”

Paid Social Media Monitoring

Monitor paid social media if you are investing in it. Paid and organic social media are effective when they are aligned in your marketing strategy. Both should be included in campaign strategies. Monitoring provides data of what is and isn’t working, which then can provide adjustment recommendations for the campaign, social media strategy, and other marketing efforts.

Future of Social Media Platforms Adaptation

Hubspot states that you can “expect to see these major platforms continue to dominate the landscape, even encapsulating more elements into their structure (such as Facebook’s acquisition of GIPHY). Though things are unsettled now, they will remain a vital element of every marketing strategy, especially earned and paid marketing.”

Bottom Line

In 2021, large social media platforms will continue to have a grip on the social media market, adapting to new trends and implementing new features. Because of this, we highly recommend using these strong marketing outlets and adapting as they change. For your business success, adapting your business’s social media strategy to these social media platforms is a wise move for 2021.

2021 Social Media Trends: Conversational Marketing

2021 Social Media Trends: Conversational Marketing

Time To Read: 3 minutes

2021 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: CONVERSATIONAL MARKETING

Last year has shown to rock the social media landscape. 2021 has brought unexpected changes that your business can use to its advantage. Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive into social media trends that your business should consider implementing. Some of the trends we will share with you may be foreign, while others you may have seen but with a new twist. Follow along with us as we make recommendations for your business digital strategy that will make your brand relevant this year.

So far, we have covered remixing, memetic, and nostalgic marketing. This week, we are targeting your business’ audience engagement and retention through conversations and connections. Hubspot defines conversational marketing as a method of engaging customers through conversations—chatbots, social messaging, calls, and more. Building relationships through personalized, one-to-one content. In order to be effective in 2021, your business will need to shift its marketing strategy from prioritizing sales to customers to instead provide information and engagement that drive retention.

Analysis of the Conversational Trend

As Hubspot puts it, brands can no longer shout their messages into the void and hope for the best. The pandemic has made it to where consumers would rather have conversations, shifting your business to create sales by building relationships. Technology advancements are making it possible to have a more personalized conversation with your audience. According to Hubspot, technology is starting to catch up with the conversational marketing potential, with more AI-powered solutions, omnichannel conversations with hyper-realistic chatbots are now possible, enabling conversational marketing’s full potential this year.

Consumer Conversations

Conversational marketing has a lot to do with how you position the business brand. Content must allow a way for your audience to start a conversation with the business. Use chatbots, direct messaging, live-streamed demos, and even questions on Instagram and Facebook stories.

Listen, Understand, and Engage

Replicate an in-person conversation when it comes to your business marketing strategy. Traditional marketing had a way of hardly listening to the consumer. On the other hand, conversational marketers do not dominate the conversation and instead listen and strive to understand. Use the information taken in when listening because it makes the interaction feel authentic; each builds on the ones before it. The essential part of this type of marketing is engagement. Aim for intimate, personal trading of information.

Tone of Voice

Give your brand a human side! Lose the sales-talk and create a tone that is approachable, conversational, and engaging. Implementation of this combination will bring a human voice to your business social media. Your business audience will more likely connect with your brand if they feel like it’s an authentic conversation and it doesn’t feel like it’s sales-driven.

Single Source of Truth

According to Hubspot, it is beneficial to integrate your customer service data, from chats, emails, and calls, into your analytics platform. “This will provide additional insights into all aspects of your customer journey, from identifying key messages that engage consumers, revealing pain points causing speed bumps in the sales process, to postsales complaints that could cause impact on your brand.”

Future of Conversational Marketing

Hubspot predicts that 2021 will bring brands and platforms to engage more through AI opportunities to connect with more consumers. “Promotions will become less forced and derive more from natural conversations and established relationships with consumers.”

Bottom Line

Conversational marketing moves buyers through marketing and sales funnels by using the power of one-at-a-time questions, mirroring real conversations. Facebook AI suggests engaging use of personality, knowledge, empathy, and the ability to blend all three seamlessly has shown to be effective. For your business success, implementing conversational marketing into your business social media strategy is a wise move for 2021.

2021 Social Media Trends: Nostalgic Marketing

2021 Social Media Trends: Nostalgic Marketing

Time To Read: 3 minutes

2021 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: NOSTALGIC MARKETING

Last year has shown to rock the social media landscape. 2021 has brought unexpected changes that your business can use to its advantage. Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive into social media trends that your business should consider implementing. Some of the trends we will share with you may be foreign, while others you may have seen but with a new twist. Follow along with us as we make recommendations for your business digital strategy that will make your brand relevant this year.

We’ve already covered remixing and memetic marketing. This week, we are targeting your business’ audience emotions by using nostalgic marketing. In times of uncertainty or when things are not as they used to be, consumers look to connect with happier times. Distraction from current situations is what your audience seeks, so provide them with positive emotions relating to a time they remember as good and stable. As Hubspot puts it, “The appeal of nostalgia marketing is clear. It connects strong positive emotions to your brand, and gives it a sentimental boost.”

Analysis of the Nostalgic Trend

Studies show that as soon as the lockdown occurred in 2020, mentions of keywords to nostalgia or remembering the good-old-days increased significantly. According to Hubspot, mentions “shot up from a baseline of around 13M mentions to 24.4M (+88%).” Nostalgia marketing was used more during the 1920’s depression, the late 2000’s Great Recession, and your business should take a page from that marketing strategy. Hubspot suggests, “Connecting with positive memories from the past helps people disconnect from their current struggles. Connect that positive memory to your brand and that sense of positivity will build an emotional relationship with your consumer. You made them feel good, therefore they associate your brand as a good brand.”

Who Is Your Audience

You have to know who your audience is to determine how you will use nostalgic marketing. Referencing a GameBoy won’t have the same effect on a Baby Boomer as it will a Millennial. For nostalgia marketing to work, you have to discover your target audience. Once you know who your audience is, or where the range is, create a fun campaign that ranges between the 10-year bracket and keep it connected to your brand.

Research is Key

If you don’t fall into your main target audience generation, don’t be afraid to do some deep data digging! You want to know what was trending back in the “good-old-days” and what will connect with your audience. Think outside the box and don’t just stick to what was trending in your industry but also what was trending culturally. It’s easy to stick with items of the past, but consider foods, experiences, or even songs that can connect to your business and stir up nostalgia.

Make Old School Look Brand New

If your business has been around for years, or if your business is one that pushes new products consistently, consider reintroducing favorite products. It will be nostalgic to faithful customers as they see products they saw years ago, especially if it was sold out by the time they wanted to purchase it. This recommendation will also target your newer or younger audience since it will be introduced as a new product for them.

Future of Nostalgia Marketing

This year, you can expect marketing strategies to dip into nostalgic elements. Content and media will be presented more in old school ways. Hubspot even adds, “We may also see brands segment their audience further. Nostalgia marketing will only work for one generation at a time—we could see content themes being adapted to suit the targeted audience.”

Bottom Line

Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tactic because it has something special to offer all customer groups. As Libby Margo from AutoPilot puts it, “Through nostalgia marketing, brands are able to invoke positive emotions from their audience, put their products in the spotlight, and generate more revenue and visibility.” If fitting to your business, implementing nostalgic marketing into your business social media strategy is a wise move for 2021.

2021 Social Media Trends: Meme Marketing

2021 Social Media Trends: Meme Marketing

Time To Read: 3 minutes

2021 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: MEME MARKETING

Last year has shown to rock the social media landscape. 2021 has brought unexpected changes that your business can use to its advantage. Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive into social media trends that your business should consider implementing. Some of the trends we will share with you may be foreign, while others you may have seen but with a new twist. Follow along with us as we make recommendations for your business digital strategy that will make your brand relevant this year.

While last week we covered remixing, this week we are going to focus on memetic media. The new way to communicate is through memes, surpassing emojis and GIFs, because of its fun way to encourage engagement. The most successful memes are typically funny, timely, and relatable. With a reference to a relevant pop culture moment, make a connection to your brand, and bam! You have yourself a branded meme.

Meme Trend Analysis

According to Hubspot, “memes are big amongst younger generations, with 55% of 13-35-year olds sending memes every week. Over the last year, that number has grown. Mentions of memes increased over the last 13 months, from 19.8M mentions in August 2019, to 24.9M in July 2020 (+26%), with a peak of 28M during April 2020. Users turned to them for engagement and escapism while under lockdown.”

Monitor Your Brand Logo

Hubspot suggests you use image recognition to monitor and see if your brand is in a meme. This is a great way to monitor memes since they typically appear with little to no text mentions. You want to make sure you keep track of memes being created with your brand and keep track of your memes that are being shared.

Connecting to Relevant Memes

As previously mentioned, connecting your content to popular memes can help encourage engagement, while creating more virality for your business. Find memes that are relevant to your business and adjust them to fit your brand.

Sharing User-Generated Memes

When you find a user-generated meme that is relevant to your business, try to share it on the channels they’re effective on. Be sure to credit the creator. Hubspot advises it’ll build a stronger brand connection while encouraging others to create branded content too.

Challenges With Meme Marketing

Memes can be difficult to get right since culture moves fast. The last thing you want to do is jump on the trend too late. Be careful with what your business posts. Before creating or sharing a meme, make sure you are certain of what it means and how it can be taken. Humor can be tricky and your business needs to make sure it doesn’t offend or alienate customers.

Future of Meme Marketing

Meme marketing took off last year, but it has morphed into something larger in 2021. According to Komal Gupta, Head Content Marketing and Storyteller at Ferns N Petals, memes have evolved from simple stickers to GIFs and now video memes. The old school style of Satire is the new-age catalyst in marketing. Hubspot suggests that memes are sure to appear across social media in the coming years, even filtering into mainstream media. “As they arise, expect to see an increase in monitoring the format, for brands, and to minimize the propaganda potential of the medium. We may even see new regulations appearing as platforms attempt to mitigate the risk of challenging memes.”

Bottom Line

According to eMarketer, when done right, memes can help your brand achieve upper-funnel marketing goals, such as brand awareness, and deepen customer engagement. Memes are a fast and easy way for consumers to respond to your brand and business as a whole. If fitting to your business, implementing meme marketing into your business social media strategy is a wise move for 2021.

2021 Social Media Trends: Remixing

2021 Social Media Trends: Remixing

Time To Read: 3 minutes

2021 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: REMIXING

Last year has shown to rock the social media landscape. 2021 has brought unexpected changes that your business can use to its advantage. Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive into social media trends that your business should consider implementing. Some of the trends we will share with you may be foreign, while others you may have seen but with a new twist. Follow along with us as we make recommendations for your business digital strategy that will make your brand relevant this year.

First things first, remix! Remixing is the new user-generated content that adds a contemporary touch on how the content is created, shared, and sourced. Hubspot defines remixing as “the art of taking existing formats, templates, or ideas, and recreating them to express a user’s own personality or ideas.” This year has already brought many opportunities for remixing. Brands are engaging with new audiences and creating unique content that stands out through remixing. It has taken off and it is an ideal time for your business to implement the following remixing content strategies.

Provide Users the Right Assets

Provide your business’s audience with digital assets. Logos, branded templates, user-friendly formats that help people create or remix effectively. Encourage creativity and provide these assets complementarity. Be sure to brand every digital asset in a distinguishable way so that your brand is recognized if it isn’t tagged.

Monitoring Your Brand

Hubspot warns that “this type of user-generated content…could be missed by the brand themselves, especially if the brand isn’t tagged into the tweet. Image and brand recognition is essential in this case. Image and video recognition helps you track your brand across social media, even when it’s not directly mentioned in the text.” Through this recognition, your business will discover communities that are engaging and remixing with your brand.

Engagement with Creators

Discover the content your audience created and be intentional about engaging with it. Users will be encouraged to create more content. This will also improve brand engagement. Hubspot shared that “user-generated content drives 28% more engagement than standard brand-led content.” Assign someone to keep daily track of branded content and mentions to respond or share quickly. It will allow audiences to feel heard, seen, and make your brand reachable.

Channel Consideration

TikTok, Koji, and Instagram Reels are taking the lead for remixing and help connect your brand to a younger, more creative audience. Ask yourself if your brand fits these social media platforms. On embracing remix culture, Wilson Kriegel, CBO of PicsArt, recommends that businesses and creative environments should leverage trends, be open to experimentation, and enable fans to be creative and have fun with your brand.

Risks of User-Generated Content

As you may know, not all user-generated content is positive. Some negative content can be created with critical or off-brand design. Hubspot suggests that your business “monitor this remixed content continually, so you can react quickly before it goes viral.”

Future of Digital Landscape

This new creative outlet will be embraced by brands and social media platforms alike.
“Companies will look to provide users with more creative outlets, arming them with templates, tools, and assets to create original content,” shared Hubspot. More apps, and larger social platforms, will adapt by offering “other outlets for users to create beyond video—expect to see a greater number of games, 3D pics, and even VR and AR user-generated content led by Smartphone advances.”

Bottom Line

The remix trend is only just beginning. According to Hubspot, “there will be more co-production opportunities in the future, with brands providing templates for users to base their content off of. This will enable more organic connections between companies and consumers. Remixing makes content creation easier, with fewer technical restrictions.” Remixing is appealing because anyone can take a trend and recreate it into something new. Implementing remixing into your business social media strategy is a wise move for 2021.

5 Graphic Design Tips For Your Marketing Strategy

5 Graphic Design Tips For Your Marketing Strategy

Time To Read: 4 minutes

5 Graphic Design Tips For Your Marketing Strategy

The thing about graphic design is that it either captures your attention or it barely holds a quick glance. As a business owner or marketing director, you’ll have instances where you have to create designs. We know it’s easy to see a professional graphic and think, “I can do that,” but then get overwhelmed when you actually sit down to create it. To help you be successful, we interviewed our Graphic Designer, Chad Boyd, to provide graphic design tips for your business marketing strategy.

1. GRAPHIC DESIGN IS ABOUT PROBLEM-SOLVING

It is said that “design fulfills a need or solves a problem. So as a designer, you are the problem solver.” The first thing you must understand before creating a visual is that graphic designing is communicating. A graphic’s point is to communicate something, whether it is directions, a sale, information about a product, etc. For this reason, a graphic must be crystal clear. Chad states, “Less is more. You have a short amount of time to grab your audience’s attention. If it’s overwhelming, they will not continue to read it. Aim for clear, to the point, and not over complicate.” A 15-second rule states you have 15 seconds to capture your audience’s attention, whether it is a website, magazine ad, brochure, social media ad, etc. We encourage you to simplify information through visuals and content. Boil down to the highlights that are clear to the viewer. Your audience should not be confused after they see your graphic design. Strive for a visually pleasing, simplistic, and minimalistic execution of the project for a successful impact. Find a balance of what you provide between services/products, photography, and include a call-to-action for each channel.

2. MOBILE-FIRST DESIGN

Move from desktop-first thinking to mobile-first thinking. Ensure the graphics and images are saved in high resolution since phones have the capability to present high-resolution images. This is true for organic social media posts, paid social media, websites, and anything else that falls under the digital marketing umbrella. Chad also suggests keeping consistency across all channels, stating, “People need to be able to recognize your brand, your business.” Verify that your brand (logo, colors, fonts, voice & tone) are consistent throughout all graphics.

3. EMBRACE WHITESPACE

According to a Visme designer, Daniela Verduga, “overloading your design or trying to fill every space is a common mistake for non-designers or clients.” Be intentional with negative space so the project can provide aesthetic appeal, make it understandable, and keep from cluttering. As Chad puts it, “Have a good balance between whitespace and content. Avoid the need to fill every space.” Whitespace is typically thought of for visual appeal, but it also makes your message stand out. Research confirms that whitespace can increase comprehension by up to 20%. Let the graphic visually communicate the simplified information your business is trying to convey to the audience.

4. DESIGN FOR YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

This may sound like a simple tip, but as the Creative Director of Edge of the Web, Sam Orchard, notes, “This happens a lot with people new to the industry. Instead of thinking about the target audience and their preferences, they rely on their own tastes or current trends. You end up seeing promotional material for the local bookstore that looks like a flyer for a night club. While everyone wants their work to be right on trend, if that style doesn’t resonate with your target audience, you’re not doing your client any favors.” This goes back to branding. Identify who your target audience is and who you are marketing to. This doesn’t mean you can’t stay on trend; we highly recommend you stay on-trend, simply make sure it resonates with your target audience. As our graphic designer puts it, “Stay with what is trending within your business industry.”

5. ADAPT AND EVOLVE

Avoid stagnate graphics by adapting and evolving. Seek out and implement trends that are current for your industry. Consider using graphic creator apps and platforms that will elevate your graphics and photos. If you need graphics to display information for your business, we recommend using a drag-and-drop, easy-to-use graphic builders, like Adobe Spark and Canva. You will be tempted to use many templates, use all different logos, and colors that will steer you away from your brand. Refrain from this! Keep your graphics on brand. To keep your graphics on brand, you can subscribe for a monthly fee to upload your brand and make branded graphics, so your pages don’t look all scattered. There may be projects where you don’t have the photography needed to complete it or rather use photos than graphics. We recommended using stock photos, like Freepik and Unsplash.

Bottom Line

Our graphic designer, Chad, shares, “For me as a designer, something I am constantly trying to fight is not to overcomplicate it.” We understand that there is a struggle when creating graphics for your business, but you will successfully create professional visuals if you provide simplistic information to your audience, make it mobile-friendly, refrain from over-cluttering through embracing whitespace, and evolve with your business industry trends.