Community Outreach Predictions

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Community Outreach Predictions

Key Takeaways

  • Some trends in marketing communications relate to a focus on content marketing and a significant rise in the use of virtual events to get customers' attention. 86% of marketers use content marketing for brand awareness, while 79% use it to educate audiences.
  • Several brands are now leaning towards using social commerce to sell goods or services directly to consumers. Social commerce offers more authentic engagement, more traffic, and better customer loyalty & retention.
  • Some prominent companies successfully keying into content marketing strategies for marketing and communications include Amazon, Indeed, State Farm, Slack, Spotify, Apple, and Mindbody, among other organizations.

Introduction

  • The following section contains three trends in marketing and communications relative to changes in how we galvanize support for an idea or communicate an idea effectively. They include a focus on content marketing, a significant rise in the use of virtual events to get customers' attention, and the use of social commerce to sell goods or services directly to consumers.

Focus on Content Marketing

  • Several studies, including a 2021 publication by the West Virginia University, a Tealfeed publication, and a publication by Allie Decker (a content marketing strategist), among other resources, have identified a focus on content marketing as one of the trends in marketing communications within the past two years.
  • Content marketing refers to a marketing strategy that attracts, engages, and retains an audience by sharing created content like relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. The content marketing approach often establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps a business top of mind when buying what they sell.
  • In her publication on the most important marketing trends of 2021, Allie Decker has identified the demand for creating and sharing video content, the need for "ephemeral and permanent social media content," repurposing content across various channels, and the demand for improved content experience as "new and emerging" trends in marketing and communications.
  • According to the West Virginia University, platforms such as TikTok now allow consumers to create the most prominent media trends. Individuals with smartphones often make viral videos or content pieces within 30 seconds. Brands and marketers need to keep up with the content types "ordinary" consumers are now producing to stay relevant within the media landscape.
  • Younger consumers are "cutting the cord" or abandoning content published through traditional radio or TV for online streaming services. The older population is not consuming content shared through social media or online entertainment streaming services.
  • About 47% of buyers investigate three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative, and most consumers expect brands to create content that is appealing to their interest.
  • 86% of marketers use content marketing for brand awareness, 79% use it to educate audiences, while 75% use it to build trust and credibility. 63% of marketers use content marketing to increase customer loyalty, 53% to generate sales, and 43% to create email lists.
  • 70% of B2B content marketers disclose that their brand's current content marketing efforts are somewhat or much more successful compared to last year. Compared to other strategies, content marketing costs 62% less yet generates three times more leads.
  • Some prominent companies successfully keying into content marketing strategies for marketing and communications include Amazon, Indeed, State Farm, Slack, Spotify, Apple, and Mindbody, among other organizations.
  • Amazon is one excellent example of a company using content marketing to acknowledge customer pain points and offer an alternative narrative. Amazon's marketing department's content strategy is difficult to beat.
  • Spotify's social media content-driven campaign, known as "Wrapped," experienced a 21% increase in user sign-ups in December 2020. This increase indicates that new users are eager to start using the influencer-driven social media content marketing campaign.

Virtual Events

  • Several resources, including a 2021 publication by the West Virginia University, reveal that virtual experiences will dominate marketing and communication to trends to watch for in 2021. Virtual events are often used as part of hybrid experiences and have several advantages like expanding the reach of brands, increasing accessibility, and offering unique opportunities in relationship building.
  • In her publication on the most important marketing trends of 2021, Allie Decker notes that there is a significant rise in the use of virtual events to creatively catch customers' attention due to the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Virtual events refer to events where individuals experience online content instead of gathering in person. Google Trends reveals that the world is sliding more and more towards virtual events.
  • According to John Hazard (founder and content strategist at digital marketing agency Lighthouse Creative Group), virtual events are increasingly replacing in-person engagement events as every business now tries to roll out virtual conferences and webinars, among other events.
  • The global market size for virtual events was estimated at $94.04 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach $114.12 billion by 2021. The virtual events market will grow at a CAGR of 23.7% between 2021 to 2028 to reach $504.76 billion in 2028.
  • The use of virtual events for sales, marketing, and communications across the United States will grow steadily between 2016 and 2028.

Social Commerce

  • One trend that is dominating the marketing and communication space is the use of e-commerce with social commerce. Social commerce involves selling goods directly through social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Several social media platforms are making moves to add shopping functions to their platforms. In July 2020, Instagram started rolling out a new app design that includes a Shop feature.
  • The global social commerce market generated $474.8 billion in 2020 and will grow with a CAGR of 28.4% between 2021 and 2028 to reach $3.37 billion.
  • Some advantages of social commerce include consistent audience growth, higher search engine ranking, more authentic engagement and traffic, better customer loyalty & retention, and readily available business metrics from social platforms.
  • Across the United States, over a third of internet users aged 18 to 34 have bought something through social media.
  • Nike, Patron (a tequila brand), Zimba, Joe's Jeans, SoulCycle, and several other brands are notable organizations leveraging social commerce. Nike recently partnered with Shopify, Darkstore, and Snap Inc (the people behind Snapchat) to make pre-release sales for the Air Jordan III "Tinker."
  • In 2019, the tequila brand known as Patron became the premiere liquor brand to provide direct ordering services via Instagram.

Research Strategy

Our research team has evaluated a few trends in marketing and communication. These include trends or changes in how we galvanize support for an idea or communicate an idea effectively. We reviewed academic reports, market publications, among other credible resources. We defined trends as insight published as trends across multiple resources, being implemented by several notable organizations, and having measurable metrics or indices to measure growth in implementation. There is sufficient information to identify 2 to 3 additional trends on galvanizing support for an idea or communicating a marketing and communication idea effectively.

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