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Format and channel trends

25th February 2021

Kevin Claypoole-McCloskey

Managing Director

Sometimes, how and where you say something is as important as what you say. We identify the top format and channel trends that all financial marketers should be considering.

1. The rise and rise of video content

It’s no surprise that video content consumption has increased as a result of the lockdowns and new working arrangements. In fact, of the 68% of consumers that said the pandemic had impacted their video consumption, 96% said it had increased1.

There are too many reasons behind the success of video as a format to document here (simply Google the countless blogs for those), but with increased use and an ever-growing volume of videos competing for eyes, there are increased expectations when it comes to quality, levels of engagement and usefulness.

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2. UGC and ‘remixed’ content

A trend that originated way before TikTok or IG Reels, but really came of age in 2020, user-generated content is expected to be a key tactic this year.

By combining and evolving personalisation, interactive content and human-centric content, UGC harnesses all three ‘hot’ trends and encourages brands to facilitate content creation – creating a two-way conversation between brand and consumer.

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3. Rethinking FAQs and How Tos

FAQs and how-to guides are set to increase as consumers spend more time learning to do things digitally. With podcast and video content increasing in popularity, there is a great opportunity to deliver FAQs and how-to guides across a wider variety of formats.

Spotify has reported a 50% increase in streaming through TVs and game consoles, highlighting a significant change in listening habits – and opportunities for using audio in new ways4.

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4. Consider human-centric language and imagery

Human-centricity is moving beyond words to visual cues. We expect this to have a huge impact on the type of content we create across all channels and formats. Covid-19 has fuelled consumer need for warmth, humanity and empathy – all of which need to be adapted to the way brands communicate and, of course, how they’re seen6.

Key example: Brands are already starting to get ahead of the curve as they redesign legacy brand markers. Burger King and Pfizer have both redesigned their brand identity in response to growing non-physical interactions with consumers –  conveying the brand in a more human way7.

5. Get your event mix right

While events have had to move online out of necessity, like many changes that have occurred as a result the pandemic, the move has delivered obvious benefits. These include reduced costs (for organisers and attendees), the opportunity to access a wider audiences and easier audience interaction.

However, there are obviously ways that online events can’t compete with in-person events – not least being able to create unique experiences and provide meaningful networking opportunities.  As a result, we expect to see a new mix of events going forward, and getting the balance right will depend on having a clear understanding of the role and expected outcomes of each event.

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6. Be engaging in unexpected ways

Time is precious and not easily given up. What reward are you offering your audience? Being helpful is one option. Being fun is another. Yes, even for B2B brands. Your audience may be serious about their money, but they are human, and they like distractions. Content that is fun (how about throwing out a few memes or GIFs?), interactive (polls, benchmarking, quizzes?) and short and easy to digest, will all grab attention and be memorable. But… keep it relevant and rooted in your brand – be engaging but not flippant.

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About the author

Kevin Claypoole-McCloskey

Managing Director

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