December 2 | 2020

Key Marketing Trends 2021 – Part 2: Content

Author: Geoff Desreumaux, Head of Strategy, New York

In this series of articles, we look at what key marketing trends will shape 2021.

After a year of digital transformation, what are the key trends that will impact content marketing in 2021?

If 2020 has taught us one thing, is that producing branded content IRL is a challenge. On the contrary, influencer sand creators of all kinds have proven to be highly efficient at creating content for brands. But for that, brands will need to learn to let go of their control over content creation.

Content is now in the hands of a brand’s consumers, championed by the influencers and creators they follow. Successful brands will learn to grab opportunities to engage everyday Creators who will, in turn, bring more cultural relevance and authenticity to the brands they love to represent.

Live video rules

If your brand used to rely on events to promote itself, 2020 will have been a tough year. In fact,  87% of events were canceled in 2020.  So what can you do? You can go live.

In 2019, internet users watched a whopping 1.1 billion hours of live video. 1 in 5 Facebook videos are live streams and over 1 Million Instagram users are watching live content every day.

And the trends accelerated in 2020 as people were forced to stay at home. This is why more platforms are now pushing for live content to rank higher in their algorithmic feeds. Most platforms now offer some kind of live video support, including Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and more recently, LinkedIn.

It’s time for a UGC strategy

User-generated content has proven to almost always outperform branded content. That is because UGC is perceived as more authentic, trustworthy, and reliable by consumers. In fact, 90% of consumers say they trust UGC to influence their purchase decisions.

While most brands are already using and repurposing content created by their followers, many marketers continue to struggle with letting go of creative control. Would it help if we told you that UGC generates 5x more click-through rates? Or that it happens to be 10x more influential than branded content?

Nathan Apodaca, FleetWood Mac, and Ocean Spray have shown us the way. Can you think of another campaign that had such a positive impact on music downloads and in-store sales for the cranberry-based juice?

When Nathan, skateboarded home after work on an evening in September 2020, he had no idea he would become the symbol of a new way to advertise to a generation that grew insensitive to traditional advertising. Short-form video is the new norm

Make it short

Live video, UGC, or even branded content, all share one commonality: the shorter, the better.

Before 2020, most bets were on long-form video to take over social media. YouTube hoped for it, Facebook forced its algorithm to like it, and Instagram launched IGTV to host longer videos on its platform.

But, like for many other things, 2020 surprised us all. TikTok exploded, Stories took over as the best way to reach audiences on Instagram and Reels became more popular than IGTV within days of their launch!

Easy-to-make, easy-to-watch, short-form video is a trend that’s been amplified by the global crisis, with social distancing rules and the switch employees working from home leading to an increased number of people creating and consuming content on their phones.


Want more? Check out our Key Marketing Trends 2021 for Platforms.

An initiative by SuperHeroes, The Attention Academy is a collaborative platform where research, innovation, and international creativity help brands win, retain, and convert a digitally native generation—you know, the ones with micro-attention spans, and millions of options at their fingertips.

If you are looking for solutions to really grab the attention of your audience, contact us now.

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