Time stands still for no one, or so the saying goes. This is never more true than in marketing techniques. So what is likely to occur..or continue for visual marketing in 2021?
Although many 'experts' have made somewhat accurate predictions for what would happen over recent years, no one can 100% accurately foretell the fickle trends. That being said, here are my predictions. You will see that they relate more to continuance, than innovation.
Continuance as a field clearly won’t be as big as innovation, but before we choose what will continue to be big in 2021, I will muse with you as to how I am feeling.
Way back in 2016 everybody seemed preoccupied with Snapchat. Their thoughts revolved around how big Snapchat would become, and how much return investors, both monetarily and emotionally would receive if they invested in it. Further to this, Gary Vaynerchuk was a driving force for this network and he tried to corral all and sundry into it. It certainly invoked a response from Facebook Instagram made who ran roughshod over and about Snapchat and showed to the world that they are still the biggest mobile platform . How did they do this? Well, they did this by herding their substantial base into Instagram who launched Instagram Stories.
Visual Marketing, brands aside has ridden a trend wave in 3 key areas:
- Real World Content
- Clean Sites and Pages
- Constancy of Content
1. Real World Content
You may wonder why Snapchat and Instagram have become so popular. Real World content is relatable. People interact and relate to what is produced in a way that would never have been envisaged more than a few years ago.
So, why can we relate better to Real World Content? Transparency. Transparency negates the agendas and motivations of corporations in a way that is hard to override. This trend, has muted the power of targeted product and services, and allowed to the user to see content for what it truly is!
As an example, what would appeal more...a carefully scripted comedic scene, or one that happens spontaneously and bears real consequences? I think you get the point.
And Facebook have not been blind to this. Their promotion of Facebook Live has included large sections of the globe in being able broadcast a part of their lives. Former viewers now become influencers, able to influence not only their community, but the entire planet as to what is 'cool' and what is not.
Marketers too have not been blind to this trend, and so they have, seemingly, spoken about the importance of being transparent with their audience, none more so than Social Media marketers who emphasise as a matter of urgency the need to be believable through reality.
Real World Content has been made available through technological innovation. It has unleashed a wave that will continue for this year..and years to come!
2. Clean Web Pages
The next area that web design marketers and bloggers have given much needed attention, is the area of having clean web pages. How often have you visited a site and wondered what exactly are they telling me? If you have, as I have, you have seen the need for clean web pages...web pages that promote, but don't confuse. Get your message across, and get it done quickly!
One way that bloggers have reacted to this is to compartmentalise information, for instance having better use of sidebars. Sidebars allow you to include less relatable content in a way that doesn't interfere with the message that the body is communicating.
As the internet has become soaked with just about every type of site, the focus now has clearly shifted away from marketing, and more to content..and about time too!
Getting a visitor to your site, who then forms an interaction through absorbing your information is the key. This won't be done by hard sell..it can only be done through communicating a clear, believable, human, message. A clean web page is invaluable at achieving this.
So, to get a relationship with your visitor, the basis must be with content, not on 'cashing in' on their visit by performing a quick sale.
Here are a few blogs where you can inspire from if you want to redesign your website:
So, how should your article page look to achieve this objective?
When your visitor clicks on one of your articles they need to be able to see a clean blog post, they need to see three things: a clear article, social media share buttons, and a discussion section where they can react to your post..reversing the communication that you have started.
Make sure that the page is uncluttered, well organised, and purposeful. Once you have achieved this, the clean web page that you have created will serve the purpose that you created it for.
3. Constancy of Content
To illustrate what we mean by this, allow me to stretch your imagination. Imagine that have two hardware stores in your street. You stop at the first one to buy some nails. You get the nails, so there is no need to go to the second store. However, the following week, when you need more nails, you return to the store where you purchased the nails. This time, however, they are out of nails, and don't know when they will be in stock again.
Your reaction? Go to the next store! And so it goes with sites. If you get a viewer base to your site, you could have the greatest content in the world, but, if the next time the visitor returns there is nothing new, that visitor will move to another site where the possibility of fresh content is higher.
Sites such as online newspapers, business listings etc are updated almost hourly. This is an absolute must! Why?
Vistors are fickle. As one rock band said " Here I am now, entertain me", and the net echoes a similar spirit. If your content is not updated with regular, quality content, you can kiss your visitors goodbye! They simply won't stick around.
No one wants yesterday's news....it belongs in the trash.
They impatient attitude of today's online visitors is not a knee jerk reaction, it is a trend that will continue...and likely grow for the rest of 2021 and beyond.