More demanding, informed, and fast-moving than ever, consumers are in control. They run your brand now. We've been in the Consumer Era for some time now, but the pandemic has accelerated their empowerment and they're firmly in control for 2022. They want more personalized content, faster service, better experiences. For your brand to survive, you'll need to listen and respond to their demands.
Marketers have had to adapt to the content trends that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging existing rules of customer communication and brand building. Social networks were already an integral part of our lives and the pandemic dramatically increased their use worldwide. Over half a billion more people are using social networks worldwide than at this time last year, indicating an increase of almost 14% in one year. To stay visible to potential customers, brands need to communicate in a local and detailed way, targeting specific audiences based on their key interests. This can mean creating content specific to a generation, location, genre, or hobby. Now that companies have their data, users expect them to provide personalized experiences throughout the customer journey.
While there are more mentions of branded text, video and image content get more engagement per mention. July 2021, Talkwalker, Consumer Intelligence Platform.
While text conversations get the most results, engagement per mention tells a different story. Textual results receive 0.91 engagements per mention, while images receive 2.85 and video results 1.5. Media consumption trends have been accelerated by containment. With consumers stuck in their homes, they have been using the internet more for information, entertainment, and connection. This has led to an increase in content creation to meet the growing demand. Consumers expect stories that are tailored to them, containing not only the information they want but also in a style they like to consume. This has led to a particular increase in live audio and video - a format that was already popular but now with added interaction and engagement. Brands will need to develop their content strategies in 2022, identifying the content and style of content that their consumers need.
The rise of Clubhouse has caught everyone's attention.
The experts' point of view
"The global pandemic is forcing brands more than ever to reinvent their engagement and content strategies around three pillars: #NoMoreBullshit: More transparency and authenticity in speaking out. #GoGreen: CSR, CSR, SDGs, SDO, CO2, ESG, COP22, if you need a decoder you're probably behind... #ActionableData: Brands that can turn raw data into 'Actionable Insights' to make strategic decisions will have a real competitive advantage." Joachim Belmin, Marketing Manager at BNP Paribas Wealth Management & Business School Teacher.
"With the rise of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, audio content is a social media trend to watch in 2022. It's a great tool because it allows you to share valuable content and connect with audiences through live conversations. And you don't need to be in front of a camera or have fancy equipment." Madalyn Sklar, Marketing Expert at Twitter.
"Long overlooked, audio opens up unprecedented opportunities to engage in conversation, gather feedback, extend an experience or reassure. It's also an ideal compromise: less restrictive and less intrusive than video, more interactive and more immersive than text." Caroline Mignaux, Co-Founder & CEO Reachmaker.
The agile acceleration of audio
Live audio platforms are a natural evolution of podcasts. Brands can offer an exciting experience to listeners, with reduced production costs, but now with an interactive aspect. Another step in building a community. Conversations around audio platforms, such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, have been largely about users trying to draw attention to their 'rooms' (a space where you can create or join a discussion).
Key phrases have emerged in the conversations around the new audio platforms. Many consumers are talking about their favorite topics on these platforms. The market continues to innovate and social networking platforms continue to adapt to this new format. These applications are particularly popular, as they bring together both "celebrities" and positive messages. In particular, they allow people to meet to exchange ideas, in similar situations or with whom they can personally identify.
Key expressions have emerged in conversations around new audio platforms. June 2021-July 2021, Talkwalker, Consumer Intelligence platform.
The consumer's contribution to trend-setting
Content requirements have adapted to the evolution of people's lives. The shift from working in the office to working from home has led consumers to focus on more personalized experiences, tailored to their lives. The situation is changing again and the economy is recovering. Yet the traditional 5-day workweek is no longer a certainty. Brands will have to offer a wider range of experiences to cover a wider range of lifestyles. It is in their interest to listen to understand their consumers.
Solutions for integrating this trend into the brand strategy
Knowing how to target the right audience
Good targeting requires research and access to consumer information: age, location, language to be able to create content that addresses a specific audience, characterized by generation, location, or even language.
Tapping into the world of audio
Many channels and types of content have exploded in popularity this year due to the constraints imposed by the pandemic. It's worth expanding into audio and podcasting to highlight live conversations with your audience.
Prepare more 'quick' content
Time is money; the pandemic has created consumers who are particularly time-conscious and ever more demanding about the content they find worthwhile. Your content must be of a length, form, and style that is digestible. And of course, it must be exclusive and personalized.
Enhancing the consumer experience
Getting a potential consumer to discover and buy your brand can involve including virtual reality features. Your product will be easier to visualize, without the need to physically handle it.