5 Marketing Trends Brands Should Apply In 2021!

Let the effective marketing do the talking

In a digital era today, social media plays a vital role for every brand. Brands should really not overlook the success that comes with owning a social media account. However, gaining traction on social media as a brand can prove to be hard especially for small or startup businesses. If you are looking to create a social media account for your brand, but are scared of not gaining traction; well, you’re on the right article.

Talkwalker, the leading social listening and analytics company alongside HubSpot, a leading growth platform have come together to publish their latest Social Media Trends Report. Although the global economic climate is struggling, it doesn’t mean your business cannot succeed. Here are the 10 social media trends that will take Malaysia by storm in 2021!

1. Remixing

No, we’re not talking about creating music like Zedd or Alan Walker. 

Remixing is the art of taking existing formats, templates or ideas and recreating them to express a user’s own personality or ideas. Typically, this can be seen mostly on TikTok where users use the same audio but produce different content within the audio.

Through remixing, you are more bound to appeal to more potential consumers. However, before creating your brand’s content through remixing, consider your channels. If you are targeting a younger audience, then TikTok is the way to go! But for the older generation, the concept of remixing may just go over their heads. Whoosh!

Also note that it is important for a content creator to engage with other creators, especially when the creators are among your audience. This will encourage the users to create more, while also improving engagement with your brand.

2. 4C’s of Covid-19

2020 is infamous for its neverending calamities. But the most hard-hitting challenge that affected the population of the world is of course, the Covid-19 pandemic. For the next couple of years, this pandemic will still be talked about.

Noticeably, brands are using the 4C’s of the pandemic to provide reassurance or information to consumers as it is still a trending topic. However, there is still a gap of communication between consumers and businesses that needs to be bridged. Whereas business brands believe in supporting communities during these tough times, consumers focus more on the subject of cleanliness.

According to ATC Digital Academy founder, Janet Machuka: “It’s not “Finger Lickin Good” anymore as KFC temporarily dropped its iconic slogan because with a pandemic going on, finger lickin’ is “not currently advised” and because of that, they have released a tongue-in-cheek campaign to go with it.”

Janet also mentioned that as the 4C’s of the Covid-19 (Cleanliness, Contactless, Community, Compassion) continue to be the new normal in marketing, it’s bound to change how a message is relayed and thus brands need to consider the 4C’s in future marketing and PR efforts.

3. Memetic media

Wherever you log on; be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, there will be a hoard of memes on the timeline. Yes, memes are the new way to communicate! Memes are big amongst the younger generation, with 55% of 13-35-year-olds sending memes every week. Of course, the numbers have grown over the last year. Especially during the lockdown due to the pandemic, users have turned to memes as a means of escapism and engagement.

They’re not all cute and fun, however. Memes can also be used as a way to manipulate the mindset of viewers such as normalising extreme behaviours such as ableism towards dwarfism and fighting.

Image via MEME

As memes are on the rise, they become more susceptible to being used for malicious intent. With disinformation on the rise, these memes can influence the mindset of consumers. Thus, in 2021, brands should really be ready to protect themselves from the misuse of memes.

However, they can be a huge contributor to engagements and promotions. Take the Playstation 5 (PS5) for example. When its design reveal was announced, users were quick to create memes of the gaming console. In this case though, the memes were more towards banter rather than a potential crisis.

4. Nostalgia marketing

Consumers love nostalgia, and we do too. Because it reminds us of the “good ol’ days”. In current times, consumers look to connect with happier times to distract themselves from current situations. Oh, how we love to look at things with rose-tinted glasses on.

But, it’s not easy to create nostalgic contents as not every individual has the same “good ol’ days” in mind. So, brands looking to create content that involves portraying better times should really know their audience and also a lot of in-depth research on what was hot and what was not in the olden days. But, you shouldn’t just look for trends within your industry, but culturally, too so your audience can feel more included!

Additionally, old can be the new “new”! Revisit your product catalogue and see what could be re-released. Not only will you hit that nostalgic spot for your existing audience, but younger generations could be tempted to buy, as the product would be new to them.

Take for example this Motorola Razr ad. In the early 2000s, the Razr was the phone prior to smartphones nowadays. In 2019, Motorola released a newer and improved Razr which featured a folding touch screen when opened. Of course, the brand gained buzz from nostalgic adults, which is a really great outcome on Motorola’s part!

5. Conversational marketing

Marketing is a two-way street. Sales and figures were never top priority for customers. Instead, it’s information, engagement and social issues that are driving engagement and future retention.

Conversational marketing is a method of engaging customers through conversations -- chatbots, social messaging, calls and more. Include a more conversational tone in messaging, one that brings a human voice to your social media and voilà, you have opened up your brand to active consumer conversations!

Aaron Kaufman, Director of Social Media and Community at Square Enix stated that: “Brands need to be more human on social media, inviting the world to your dinner table for a meaningful and engaging conversation. You are your fan’s greatest fans and need to embody that no matter what social media channel you live on. Emote, respond, recognise, relate, be engaging. We’re not robots.”

Image via Impact

The takeaway

Brands really shouldn’t turn a blind eye to trend marketing. What may seem ridiculous to professional brands such as making TikToks and memes, may turn out to be their cause for success.

After all, consumers love seeing a brand that knows their humour because it makes them feel like they can connect with the brand. A humanised brand with all its humour and connection does tend to have more brand royalty from consumers.

Cover image via DS Group

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