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November 27, 2020

Predictions to Building a Craveable Brand in 2021

By NOW Marketing Group
Predictions to Building a craveable brand in 2021

We all know that a lot has changed in the past year in online marketing and the world as a whole. When it comes to the future of business sustainability, we feel, brands must focus on shifting their mindset from "buying to belonging" with their audience and focus on building a craveable brand. 

For earned attention and sustainable brand growth we must build a brand that's "Craveable" (ie: keeps our audience wanting to come back for more). 

So, we asked some of our favorite digital smarties on what their predictions are on what they have to say. We asked for their best tips/insights and predictions on how you build a #Craveable brand in 2021. 

Here's what they had to say: 


Gavin Bell build a craveable brandGavin Bell

Gavin Bell is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, speaker, podcast host & director of Fat Pony, a Facebook advertising agency that works with brands across the world. His work has been featured on the likes of Virgin.com, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur on Fire, KissMetrics and Social Media Examiner.

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable ie- keep their audience coming back for more?

1. Stop sharing on social media for the sake of sharing. Posting random, value-less content will achieve nothing. People are craving connection more than ever, and want to see the real, authentic "stuff". Posting content that provides no value has always been a no-no, but I think it'll really start to have a negative impact on your online presence. People will switch off to your content, making it harder to share anything of worth in the future.

2. Start focusing on people. and when I say that, I mean the people within their organizations. Consumers in 2021 will no longer want to engage with logos and brand names, they'll want to engage with the PEOPLE inside of those organizations.

"The best brands will help their people build personal brands, thus elevating the brand overall." @MrGavinBell (click to tweet)

Bernie Fussenegger

Bernie Fussenegger build a craveable brand with crmsDirector of Digital & Content Marketing possessing 15+ years of digital and social expertise in performance marketing, ecommerce, and web content development. Demonstrating high-level proficiency with targeted relationship building and marketing, personalized 1:1 communications with customer journeys, CRM and eCRM, and omni-channel (CDP) consulting. Expertise includes the ability to collaboratively identify innovative technologies to reach new audiences and exceed revenue targets.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable ie- keep their audience coming back for more?

In 2020, there has been many changes that have impacted not only customers/audiences but also the brands themselves.

There are three areas of focus that I see for 2021:

Shift in Customer Expectations: Expectations are changing, solutions need to meet the new behaviors especially with many people still remaining home or limited when they go out of the home.

"Brands should be looking for ways to build better relationships with social channels and Voice assistants and Voice experiences." @B2the7 (click to tweet)

Digital Focus & Transformation: Audiences need to see the value and a convenience proposition. Digital is how customers are engaging, you either stand apart from other brands by looking at your UI/UX experiences, developing new solutions and make changes that will benefit your customers long term.

Personalization: Customers are saying they want to be talked to and not talked at. I see personalization, more 1:1 communications and a focus on building better communities and relationships with audiences/customers as a way of building long term loyalty but also to understanding the wants and needs of your audiences. Data and Insights become more important to help drive the knowledge of The Who and the What. And then understand the MarTech solutions to drive the experiences.

Judi Fox HeadshotJudi Fox

Judi Fox has generated over 5 million views on LinkedIn in the last 2 years, and is featured in Inc Magazine, CEO Magazine, Vidsummit, Video Marketing World, People of Video, Top 100 Marketing Podcasts and more. With over 18 years experience in business development and sales, Judi Fox developed the LinkedIn Business Accelerator Method. Clients are implementing this LinkedIn method to achieve more business and over 1 million content views in 90 days.

Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Find her website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable ie- keep their audience coming back for more?

Because 2020 fast forwarded businesses converting to working from home and hybrid work models are on the rise, I predict that even more companies will lean into employee and user generated content. Allowing their customer story to be told through a more real and raw frame of reference and connect more deeply with the audience.

"Social media budgets, which rose over 10% in 2020, will continue to rise as the necessity to connect virtually is now seen as a dedicated resource to reach markets and customers." @Judi_Fox (click to tweet)

Finally, to keep an audience coming back it's critical to incorporate more interactive content; including, live video, stories with polls, podcasts that may include a twitter Q&A, GIF's the audience can use. This interaction with your brand creates a stronger bond and connection that is #craveable and #foxrocks approved.

Brian FanzoBrianFanzo_BeAGoodHuman1 - Brian Fanzo

Digital futurist, pager-wearing, Millennial keynote speaker, translator of geek-speak, change evangelist and podcast host.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

I believe our 2021 focus should be on creating "shared experiences" which requires us to go beyond social networks, connecting deeper than the online data and extending beyond offline events. 

"So much of 2020 was about pivoting and embracing virtual that our tendency will be to drop that and go back to the old ways or keep going with it till it stops working."  @isocialfanz (click to tweet)

I believe both of these methods will end in failure or another forced changed.  Instead we must think what did we learn about our customers, employees and community during this 2020 pivot and the "everything is virtual" that can help us deconstruct and rebuild in other aspects of our business and marketing. 

Lastly we've heard a lot about authenticity and empathy being essential in these current times but I believe what is often over looked and ultimately will be the enabler of these concepts is transparency!  Customers today are demanding it, employees are living it and if leaders want to create an authentic culture that embraces a purpose of being empathetic then that first must take a transparent approach to reinventing themselves.  

Mike Gingerich build a craveable brandMike Gingerich

Mike is President of Digital Hill Multimedia, a web development & marketing agency. Hi is a noted business blogger offering marketing and tech resources. Mike’s passion is to see businesses and people grow into their highest potential. Mike has the unique ability to dive deep quickly, understanding businesses, social networks and trends, and integrating strategies for success. Mike has 10+ years experience in Internet Marketing, a Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership, significant international experience from over 25+ countries and a proven track record of providing innovative strategy consulting for businesses.  Mike hosts a regular podcast at HalftimeMike.com.  He lives with his family in the eastern part of the US in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and loves to compete in half marathons and triathlons!

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

With COVID-19, the year 2020 cemented in the routine of doing online shopping for the masses. 

First: it was by necessity but that forced adoption and it has now "stuck."  No longer is shopping online done by "some", but rather it has grown by leaps and bounds and has become part of the daily culture for so many worldwide. This means businesses need to be sure they are offering products and services online first and foremost. Requiring people to come into a store or having antiquated shopping carts and check-out processes will be huge barriers to growth. 

"Businesses must invest in their online infrastructure to offer fast search, easy checkout and a smooth communication process." @mike_gingerich (click to tweet)

Second: this means savvy businesses will go deeper with their web experience than merely just offering a way to buy online. To differentiate from the competition you will see businesses offering more tools to create a richer and trust-building, question-answering powerful experience on their sites and in their social media.

A few areas of grow will be instant chat, social media chatbots, and experiential tools on sites that enable the visitor to know, like, trust, and buy confidently online!  For service businesses this might mean adding tools like calculators, simulators, and online assessments that give results to help inform decision-making and build the trust necessary to take the next leap in buying a service.

As well, we'll see bigger ticket items being sold online. To do this businesses need to invest in web software that allows the user to customize their product online.  We've seen this with cabinets selections, entire kitchen remodels, home exteriors, boats, RV's, trailers and more.  Allow the user to not only select the color but visually see the product change. Leading edge businesses will incorporate AR so that users can upload their photo and see the cabinets added to their kitchen, etc. It's all about more power to the visitor through web tools while they are on the site. Make it a rich experience, a smooth experience, and one that answers the key questions users have.  

2020 was the shift to full-on ecommerce. 2021 is about making those experiences easy and fulfilling as people plan to buy higher cost items online without needing to visit a showroom any longer.

Julia Jornsay-Silverberg

Julia Jornsay-Silverberg-large - Julia Jornsay-Silverberg

Julia Jornsay-Silverberg is a social media enthusiast who loves to excite, inspire and motivate people to cut through the digital clutter by being authentic and vulnerable online. She has a diverse background working for The Buffalo News, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Telesco Creative Group. As the 2018 recipient of the “Emerging Alumni Award”, granted by the University at Buffalo School of Management Alumni Association, Julia has more than 10 years of experience working in digital marketing and is known for delivering powerful presentations that leave people feeling excited and empowered.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Find her website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

I think incorporating more vulnerability and humanity is the biggest advice I have for what brands and marketers should focus on in 2021. People aren't attracted to, and don't resonate with, perfectly styled photos anymore. People want to see something real and human. They want to hear stories that tap into emotions. I am definitely focused on storytelling and authentic content creation.

"I think the best kind of content is human, inspirational or educational, and meets people where they're at mentally." @jbethjs (click to tweet)

 Bella Vasta build a craveable brandBella Vasta

Bella Vasta is the dynamic personality behind the one-woman coaching company, Jump Consulting. She is an expert of Facebook Groups and leadership and sales. Since 2002, Bella has been a trailblazer in the pet sitting industry consulting with multi million dollar companies all the way to hundreds of small businesses. She is an author, podcast host, blogger, and been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, NPR, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, and Social Media Examiner. After the birth of her micro-preemie daughter, Bella sold her pet sitting business and now lives out her passion to inspire, motivate, and challenge business owners through her speaking, coaching, and consulting.

Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Find her website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

"To keep your business craveable, you really have to create hope for the future and promote positivity in the current times in your marketing." @bellas_pets (click to tweet)

This means showing your company wearing PPE, addressing mental health… that some might be anxiety ridden, depressed, scared, and even becoming addicted to things.

I think by being compassionate to those who work with us and our customers will show the human side of our brand. This will make people relate to us more and want to align with our messages and services.

Louisa Garrett

Louisa Garrett

Louisa Garrett is the architect behind the movements #MakeKindLoud and Pass the Love... something that was born from her own frustration with the world, the politics, the negativity, the hatred towards others. Louisa examined her own story to discover things she didn't like and made a conscious decision to change the way she was showing up in the world.     

"Go Be the Change You Wish to See in the World" -- That is what Louisa is doing.

Now, she speaks to corporations, groups, organizations, schools and challenges them to find ways to #MakeKindLoud. She hosts weekly online Conversations, and interviews the heroes among us who are making the world better with their own kind ways.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Follow Make Kind Loud on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

2020 has taught us so much about branding and marketing. And especially connecting when we weren't allowed to physically connect.

Here are a couple of tips for brands to focus on in 2021:

  1. Be more visible. Content. Content. Content. Even if you aren't sure, put it out. Your audience will tell you what's working and what's not. Trust them and have faith in your brand.
  2. Be more vulnerable. People want to feel connected. That means stepping outside of your comfort zone and allowing your audience in. 2020 has been messy.

"The brands that have soared are the ones who embraced the messy and allowed their audience to come on the journey with them." @Lou_4_Real (click to tweet)

Tony ChristensenTony Christensen

Tony Christensen aka "Tony Does Ads" is the Advertising Manager at NOW Marketing Group. He’s created and optimized advertising campaigns for businesses around the world with budgets as high as the millions a month in advertising spend.

Follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021?

In 2021 brands need to focus on listening to and embracing their customers. Brands need to be nimble and must take action based on feedback their customers give them.

Customers expect a personalized and frictionless buying experience. They expect transparency. A lot of this happens on brand websites, but more and more conversations are sliding into the DMs (Dark Social). Brands must ensure they have a customer service team that can quickly respond to help customers.

Disclaimer: I'm tired of copy/paste messages from a service team with no personality... brands should have empathy and make customers feel understood and appreciated in the DMs. I don't want to feel like I'm holding a number in the DMV line, I want to feel like my best friend is helping me out (and Brian always has my back).

"Customers want to order from companies that give them a phenomenal experience. This could be via a brand's service + followup or from the unboxing experience." @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

People want to share how brands have overdelivered for them in unique ways. (Note how I said unique, don't be the same as your competitors.)

Focusing on an incredible customer experience can help a brand's messaging and awareness increase organically. Additionally, brands can leverage social proof, reactions and reviews from customers to use for their paid advertising strategy in 2021.

Where can brands show up to be #Craveable online?

Where their audience is. Brands need to focus on developing a consistent organic strategy on the platform that their audience is on the most. Being consistent is the most important part of the equation to becoming #Craveable.

Brands should encourage people to come back and look at the content they are creating. They should think of making episodic content at least weekly, which can be amplified through social channels + email. The key is to keep showing up (and yes it better be entertaining, educational and engaging).

Dorien Morin-van Dam

Dorien Morin-van Dam

Dorien Morin-van Dam is a social media strategist, organic Social Media specialist, certified Agile Marketer, community manager and keynote speaker. She has been a social media professional for over 10 years. She thrives on networking and loves building relationships with fellow marketers and business owners all over the world. Dorien has spoken at many marketing conferences, including Inbound, Social Media Camp, Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Strategies Summit and The Agents of Change Conference. You'll recognize Dorien online and on-stage by her signature orange glasses, a nod to her Dutch heritage.

Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021?

The future of social media, and what's to come in 2021 is private. Therefore, humanizing your brand and refocusing your attention (as well as your budget and resources) on direct message apps, chatbots and private groups are all great strategies to create an intimate setting for real conversations. 

This includes creating more stories, which now can be shared not just on Instagram, but also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest - and YouTube as well! 

"Video is still the preferred content type to get (re)actions on your content and will continue to dominate images well past 2021." @MoreInMedia (click to tweet)

One last tip is to use the power of others to amplify your content - content created by and for your online community, your brand ambassadors and your influencers. Your audience will not only love seeing content created by peers, they will self-identify as your next brand ambassador and super-fan! 

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

Andy is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, an award-winning 40-person digital agency in Chicago.  Over the past 20 years, Andy has provided digital marketing advice to 1000+ businesses. He speaks at national marketing conferences and writes for big marketing blogs. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.

Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? 

Full-Time Influencers: Life has changed for a lot of influencers. They may be open to new options, including a full-time gig. So in 2021, if you find yourself looking for a social media marketer, at least consider this idea: hire an actual social media influencer. 

If their audience and relevance are a fit, your new team member will bring something no typical employee can: reach. They bring an audience. They bring fans. They bring expertise. And you bring something that they may crave themselves: a steady paycheck.

"Influencers are one of the few short-cuts in digital marketing. And having a legit full-time brand ambassador on your team could be a huge win." @crestodina (click to tweet)

After all, they know exactly what their audience craves. It's how they became influential!

Christine Gritmon-1

Christine Gritmon

Christine Gritmon empowers small business owners and solopreneurs to tell their own stories on social media. You CAN do it – she’ll teach you how! She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as hosting her own weekly live show.

Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Find her website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? 

Keeping it professional, neutral, and appealing to all will appeal to basically no one as it now reads as cowardly and ingenuine. 

Sure, some will still want brands and professionals to “stay in their lane”—but, increasingly, consumers see the brands they follow and support to be as much of a reflection of themselves and their values as the actual humans they choose to spend their time with, especially as we move into increasingly intimate conversational channels with audiences such as text, DMs, and special notifications for inner circles.

"Personal brands are also an increasingly important part of consumer brands. People want to know who they’re talking to." @cgritmon (click to tweet)

Brands who use this to their advantage, and encourage their employees to develop their own strong personal brands and voices, will see increased loyalty from both audiences and employees. Brands who feel threatened by their employees having strong personal brands will lose those employees and the social credibility they could have afforded them.

Amelia Tran

Amelia Tran-1

Named “top 30 women in digital you should be following” in 2019 by NOW Marketing, and currently the Head of Digital at iSpot.tv, Amelia has 9 years’ experience managing startup & global Fortune 500 brands (Google, Bayer, Shell, L’Oreal). Her mission is to help you think smarter, not harder. Passion for education & trendspotting led to features in eMarketer, Business Insider & related publications, as well as speaking engagements at Social Fresh & Social Media Marketing Summit. She’s also had the pleasure of teaching Social Media Marketing & Analytics to post-grad students at New York University, and at Baruch College since 2017. In addition, Amelia was recently accepted as part of the AD CLUB of NY’s Women’s Leadership Fellowship, and became the sole recipient this year at MediaCom.  At the core of it all, she is a Connector & lifelong learner. Since 2012, Amelia has been a Board Member & Events Lead for a non-profit, invite-only networking group for marketers, Mosaic, and enjoys helping others foster relationships & share resources.  Amelia is a native New Yorker from Brooklyn, and now resides in Queens with her husband and 2 cats. She enjoys traveling and learning from different cultures. 

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

Marketers should continue to invest in 3rd party data solutions with partners such as Oracle or Nielsen if they want to continue targeting relevant audiences to their business, without much CRM (owned data). These partners provide segments based on users’ transaction data -- highly targeted & relevant, in comparison to Facebook’s native targeting data, for instance.

On that note, recommend brands create a system for collecting and segmenting their customer data, and performing regular audits in order to build lookalike models. Across digital platforms: social, search, display, Lookalike modeling allows a brand to effectively reach users who are similar to their seed audiences. The more “cleaned up” the seed audience is, the better.

Be empathetic. It’s been a challenging 2020.

"Don’t jump head-in first with “sales” but instead continue to run awareness ads to inform your consumers that you’re here for your employees, their families and the mass public you service." @AmeliaTran (click to tweet)

A new year doesn't exactly mean a new beginning. Display your company’s stance on challenging topics, if allowed, and make it known how are you solving a cultural challenge. 

70274781_10157571117904935_1878717470928273408_n - Bryan KramerBryan Kramer

Proud Father of H2H, Business Performance Coach, Virtual Speaker, CEO at H2H™ Companies. 

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Find his Linktr.ee here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

The whole world is moving to automation, bots, funnels, sequences, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the list goes on. There couldn't be a better time to stand out simply by being more human.

When was the last time you got a handwritten note in your mailbox? Being human in everything you do, in all major and micro-moments will be your competitive advantage. In order to make that happen, try not to take the world on.

"Humans aren't scaleable. Create smaller shifts in everything you do in order to obtain more epic outcomes." @bryankramer (click to tweet)

Nicole B Tate 

Nicole Tate

Nicole is CEO and Founder of NBT Consulting Group, LLC- a solutions-based consulting firm that provides advice to clients in the areas of marketing, business growth, and process improvement. For the past 15 years, we have helped businesses create their brand presence and achieve their goals. She currently serves as OMBI Group’s Marketing & Engagement Consultant, specializing in Social Media Management. She is responsible for connecting and engaging OMBI Group with key markets as well as promoting company events and highlighting client accomplishments. In addition, Nicole is instrumental in acquiring sponsorships and partnering with like-minded corporations whose strategies align with OMBI Group especially in the area of Philanthropy.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Find her website here. 

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

Nothing new here folks!

#1: Be AUTHENTIC!!! Nobody wants to be sold to! Show up as your unique, original, quirky self. As a matter of fact, I will DARE you to be DIFFERENT! #Dare2BDifferent

#2: We will make at least 2 pivots in 2021. In the first pivot we will continue to learn to do online better.  In the second pivot as the economy and world opens back up, we will pivot again to take in our "new normal".

#3: Kindness Wins! Truly including team members who represent the world around us will set apart the winners from the well... not-so-winners...

"Being on the side of compassion, empathy, diversity and inclusion never grows old!" - Nicole Tate (click to tweet)

#4: Learn, Teach, Grow, Live! Continue to learn, continue to share your knowledge, continue to stretch yourself and grow, and most importantly... don't forget to LIVE!  Take advantage of this down time to nurture relationships, but as the world opens back up; don't forget about the people who were closest to you during the crisis.  Make time for them…

Mike Allton Mike-Allton-Headshot-2020 - Mike Allton

Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

Word of Mouth... or WORLD of Mouth, as Jessika says... is more important than ever. Your customers are bombarded with advertising and branded content from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. 

The voice they trust is the voice they know.

The good news for brands is that trusted voices don't necessarily have to be voices from people we know personally. In fact, influencer marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways for brands to reach new audiences and persuade those audiences to want to learn more. Which means if you aren't already developing relationships with key influencers in your industry yet, now is the time to start!

"Because the thing is, good influencer marketing has nothing to do with buying an Instagram post, and everything to do with establishing trust and rapport between the brand and the influencer." @mike_allton (click to tweet)

That way, when the influencer chooses to talk about you and do business with you, they will authentically and enthusiastically endorse you to their audience.

building a craveable brand- Ross BrandRoss Brand

Ross Brand works with high profile business and entertainment clients seeking to produce live video content that is both engaging and professional.

Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Find his website here.

What are your top 2-3 tips, predictions and or advice for what brands/marketers should focus on in 2021? What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

Vendors that have relied on in-person events and conferences to engage with their customers and answer questions about their products on the showroom floor need to find new venues to reach audiences virtually.

"Live streaming is a powerful way to create and participate in interactive video content to replace the on-site contact with customers that’s no longer available." @iRossBrand (click to tweet)

Brands should examine the online video landscape within their niche for opportunities to create their own live video content, host virtual conferences delivered via live streams, have reps appear as guests on live shows and serve as speakers at summits. Reallocate funds that would’ve gone to on-site events to leveraging live streaming creators with audiences who need your  products through sponsorships, affiliate programs, cross-promotion, giveaways, and special offers.

As live streaming platforms integrate new e-commerce features that make viewer purchasing possible without leaving the live stream, those brands who invest in their own live content and support creators in their niche will find themselves poised to profit regardless of whether in-person events make a comeback.

Dark social craveable brand

Jessika Phillips

Jessika Phillips is on a mission to make relationships the forefront of business marketing. She’s known for this outspoken dedication to Relationship Marketing. She lives by her statement that “Relationships will always be more powerful than marketing,” and she believes in being a magnet vs a Bullhorn to truly connect with your tribe.

As a social media strategist, Jessika founded NOW Marketing Group in 2010. The company works with more than 100 clients across the United States and beyond, choosing to serve – not sell. NOW is also a Forbes recognized Agency Partner and a certified inbound partner with Hubspot.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What social media channel/technique/tactic do you feel must be focused on in order to be #Craveable?

I believe in 2021 brands are going to see a rise of the “Unfiltered” conversation. Meaning the veil between brands and their customers will be thinner, providing access and insight into what is at the brand’s core and the impression their customers have as it relates to their relationship with the brand.

The name of the game will be creating a sense of belonging > buying, in our approach to marketing if we want to build a sustainable brand without the constant pay to play model.

Why? Even with buying Ads, aka attention, community and loyalty isn’t something for sale. Anyone can buy from a brand once but unless the brand is delivering above & beyond their promises, that customer most likely will not be back. Not to mention, brands will have to work even harder at growing new sales if they don’t have positive social proof and people talking about them via unfiltered reviews & dark social conversations (conversations in the inbox brands can’t see or measure).

We will need to focus less on the tools and more on our technique. Building better #Hxperiences (human experiences) will be the battleground. Our customers want to feel that they have the inside scoop, instant access, on-demand service and VIP treatment when, where, and how they want it.

Let’s face it, 2020 just sped up the rate of customer adaptation to a self-service approach to doing business online. Our customers want speed, accessibility and ease-of-use of doing business with us, not just buying from us. Therefore, this has to be a mindset shift. Everything we do should revolve around building and enhancing our experiences, not just to gain the sale the first time. It will be a huge contributing factor to our customers continuing to buy from us again and again.

Human experience trends we will see skyrocket:

  • Messenger Marketing | Automation via Chatbots in the inbox for process and accessibility more than marketing broadcasts.
  • Dark Social | Foster and participate in niche social channels that customers go for real-time conversation & information in a place that is comfortable to them.
  • SEO via Page Experience Updates | Brands will look at ways of turning their website into an interactive resource hub that gives their visitors a reason to return. 
  • Personalized Content | Brands stepping up their game in providing content specific to their audience- using personalized video emails, audio messages and sharing a means of direct access when communicating with their customers.
  • User-Generated Content Moments | Brands will focus on ways to create moments, opportunities, and rewards for their audience to share UGC of their brand with photos, videos, affiliate links, etc. Brands want to get their audience to help amplify their story. 
  • Relationship Marketing (YAY!) | Brands will step up their customer-first culture and workflows of how they approach marketing and sales messaging. I believe that they will really focus on stories around their customers.
  • Personalized Ads | Brands will invest a lot more on improving their ads management skills - developing ads that reach the right people with the right message.

Internally, brand marketing will also shift. Brands will work to reinforce their culture internally and build a strong foundation so their team, customers and community want to support them organically and unfiltered. Brands will realize their most valuable influencers are their current clients, community members and team members. They’ll have to work their marketing by starting from an inside - out, mentality. The stronger the core brand message, the stronger the culture will be and the stronger the attraction to the brand. All aspects of the brand identity will create a growth momentum in a flywheel effect.

"In short, the rules are simple. In order to win business now and in the future, we must present our brands in alignment with our core message." @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Which must resonate with our customers on a personal level and have a service-over-selling approach, FIRST. Then, simply use online tools to amplify that message in a way that is more accessible. In order to build and scale business we must be comfortable with showing up unfiltered and continuously work to out-care the competition.

SO, there you have it -- our predictions to building a craveable brand in 2021.

What do you think? Anything that surprised you? What tools or tactics do you think will be big in creating a craveable brand in 2021?  Share with us in the comments below!

We hope that you finish the year strong and we can't wait to see you building your craveable brand in 2021! 


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