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How To Build a Craveable Brand in 2021: Top Tips

By NOW Marketing Group
How To Build A Craveable Brand in 2021

We all know that the world has changed a lot in 2020. It’s like it was the fastest, slowest year that ever was, right?

As a fun way to end the year -- and to start to look ahead to 2021 -- we made our last Magnet Marketers episode of 2020 special by bringing in some of our favorite (and yours) marketing super smarties to share their 2021 predictions on how to build a craveable brand

Jessika Phillips and Mike Gingerich were joined by Ross Brand, Nicole Tate, Brian Fanzo, Judi Fox, Jennifer Watson, Christine Gritmon, Troy Sandidge, Tony Christensen and Kate Volman - who shared their takes on what the biggest shifts and opportunities are for brands in 2021. 

The biggest takeaway? >>> Make things more human.

 

Here’s what some of our favorite marketers had to say when we asked them what their top tip is for building a craveable brand in 2021:


Mike Gingerich

mike gingerich headshot 18 - Mike GingerichMike 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

According to Mike, in 2021, businesses are going to build upon the trend started in 2020 which was that ecommerce exploded because of necessity. People now have higher expectations for the online shopping experience. 

“It’s all about creating deeper, richer, better experiences. People expect to see chat on your website. It’s about personalizing experiences to make our customer a part of it.” @mike_gingerich (click to tweet)

If you can help your customer get access to information better and easier, you’re going to be memorable. 


Ross Brand

Ross BrandRoss 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

Live-streaming and virtual events are huge right now, according to Ross. 

“The tools have gotten better and more professional and stable. @StreamyardApp is a phenomenally stable tool.” @iRossBrand (click to tweet)

Now is the time for businesses to really dive into creating interesting content; going live regularly and showing off what you have to offer! Because in 2021, it’s no longer about the technical tools anymore. Anyone can go live! 

And the best part? >>> It doesn’t have to be complex OR long. Short and simple content is effective. 

“You don’t need a lot of technical expertise anymore. It’s what you bring with your knowledge and expertise…” @iRossBrand (click to tweet)


Nicole 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

We’re all embracing virtual right now, which is fantastic, Nicole shared. 

“I’m not new to this, I’m true to this. I’ve been doing virtual for over 20 years. Virtual has been the foundation of my business.” - Nicole Tate (click to tweet)

When looking ahead to 2021, Nicole sees us having to make some pivots. The first pivot is because we’re all drained. Like, anyone else experiencing Zoom Fatigue? You’re not alone. That’s why Nicole stresses being creative and trying new things to keep people’s attention. It’s not easy, but it’s critical. 

“The second pivot is going to be when the economy opens back up. What happens then? DO we go back to normal? ...I hope that we don’t.” - Nicole shared.

The reason being? Nicole sees a huge opportunity right now in us evaluating a stronger balance.

We have the ability to incorporate some of these things (more time with family, a better work-life balance) that we’ve done during the pandemic into the “new normal” because it just makes sense. We’re more productive, and happier, working from home without the commute.

Nicole’s top tip when it comes to working remotely? >>> Treat it as if you’re going into the office.

“Exercise early in the morning and get dressed as if you’re going into the office. Treat it like a normal day; that will help you stay productive.” - Nicole Tate (click to tweet)

Because the reality is, when the world opens back up, we *might* return to our old habits but Nicole left us with a beautiful point:

“I want everyone to take a moment and remember the people who were with you in the trenches when things were hard this year, and continue to make time for them." 

Jennifer Watson

Jennifer Watson headshot

Jennifer is the Social Media Manager for Agorapulse, a podcaster and speaker. She has a diverse background from working on camera to executing digital strategies. Jennifer is a dynamic talent with a passion for every aspect of digital media from building brand strategies, creating content plans, to getting executive buy-in. She motivates audiences from the stage and drives engagement, including launching numerous Facebook Live campaigns for the biggest weather brand, garnering millions of views. She has been featured in Chief Content Marketer Magazine, and on stage at Social Fresh, Social Media Marketing World, Social Shake-Up to name a few.

Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What are the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

We loved Jennifer’s top tip when it comes to marketing in 2021: it’s all about inclusivity and putting the customer first.

“Help the customer problem-solve. Don’t try to sell. Create content, tell stories and share the stories of the people behind your brand!” @JWatson_Wx (click to tweet)

Right now, people are reevaluating their lives and simplifying. The important things - health and spending time with family - have grown more than anything, so right now it’s all about how we can be empathetic to people. 

“We’re all going about this differently. And during this time, people are more open-minded to try new things. Our routine has shifted so whereas before we had tunnel-vision, now they’re open to trying new things.” @JWatson_Wx (click to tweet)

Her point? >>> Now is the time to embrace bravery, try new things and just go for it! 


Brian FanzoBrianFanzo_BeAGoodHuman - 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

The change evangelist himself had some great points to make when it comes to looking ahead for 2021. 

“Not only trying new things but to ask questions about all of the old things that we’ve been doing.” @isocialfanz (click to tweet)

Now is really the time to reevaluate every single thing that our brand does across the board, even the things that have made us successful! And we totally agree with that. 

“Right now, it’s all about evaluating how we’re communicating. Instead of doing a daily check-in at @nowmg, we do audio messages back and forth.” @jessikaphillips shared during the conversation. 

The main point? >>> We know that we can’t be everything to everyone, so it’s about breaking it down and seeing what processes, and platforms, really work for us. Embracing the fact that doing LESS allows you to actually do more. 

“The big prediction is: how do we remove the mechanics of what we do and re-evaluate how to do them in this new world?” @isocialfanz (click to tweet)


Troy Sandidge

Troy Sandidge headshot

Troy Sandidge is a renowned marketing strategist, speaker, podcaster, and Chief Marketing Officer who empowers brands to increase social engagement, elevate brand authority, establish digital communities, and maximize revenue. With over ten year's of experience, his marketing systems and strategies have generated over $100 million in revenue.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Find his website here. 

What are the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

When it comes to 2021, micro-content is what Troy is focused on. 

“It’s really the psychology of knowing where things are going... the trend is that we’re being more human and you have to embrace that.” @findtroy (click to tweet)

The name of our brand doesn’t matter nearly as much as what we’re taking the time to articulate AS the brand. 

It’s about “VOLT,” Troy shared: Vulnerable, Original, Laudable and Transparent. This is the formula for the type of content that will build leads, community and authority online. 

“Make people feel something with your content.” @findtroy (click to tweet)


Christine Gritmon

Christine Gritmon-1Christine 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

Humanizing your marketing is the biggest tip that Christine had to share with us. Because the reality is, we’re developing relationships with brands now more than ever and we’re holding them to a higher standard.

“We need to feel like brands are aligned with our values and that we can trust them,” @cgritmon (click to tweet)

Part of the reason WHY micro-content is so huge right now is because it’s quick, less-polished and usually features a human. 

The point? >>> We need to feel like the brands ARE people. As a brand, it’s about showing the faces of your team. 

“If you’re not hanging with the humans, (and showing the people behind your brand,) your content is going to get ignored.” @cgritmon (click to tweet)


Judi Fox

Judi Fox HeadshotJudi 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 the biggest shifts or opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

Show your brand HAPPENING. The world has changed with influencer marketing because now, customers are the influencers. We don’t connect to brands, but we do connect to PEOPLE. 

The prime example? The Ocean Spray story.

“The best part was that the CEO of @oceanspray made his own version of the video. It was like the brand wrapping its arms around the creator in that moment.” @judi_fox (click to tweet)

The bonus tip? >>> The CEO of Ocean Spray had the opportunity to post that video to LinkedIn with a meaningful story that shows why caring for your customers matters. 


Kate Volman

kate volmanKate Volman is the CEO of Floyd Consulting. She and her team are dedicated to helping individuals and organizations become the-best-version-of-themselves by providing training, coaching, and consulting services, including Floyd’s cornerstone Dream Manager program based on Matthew Kelly’s bestselling book. With over fifteen years of consulting experience with businesses, executives, and having   been a business owner herself, she fully understands the professional challenges her clients face. She is committed to helping them grow. Kate has had the opportunity to work with both large and small businesses, and brands such as GoDaddy, Entrepreneur.com, and StartUpNation.com. She is also a sought after speaker locally and nationally.

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

Find her website here.

What are the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

Kate’s biggest tip was about embracing the power of connection and valuing your community because it’s easier than ever to create community online now. 

Pick the organic content that works for YOU and then keep up with the consistency!” @katevolman (click to tweet)

Her big takeaway? >>> It’s all about continuing to put yourself out there and see what works. Work on creating the organic content yourself, and work with an agency to execute the paid ads because they truly know what they're doing. 


Tony Christensen

Tony ChristensenTony 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 the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

It’s no surprise that when thinking about 2021, Tony’s got his mind on paid ads. 

“2020 made people realize we should probably have an online presence if we haven’t focused on it yet.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

Right now, businesses need to be focused on getting the information that their customers need to them in an easy, seamless way. As we look ahead at ads for 2021, we expect to see a ton of competition on Facebook.

“It’s going to get harder as a small business to know what to do properly when it comes to ads.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)

And that’s tough because we know that while Facebook is getting better and more responsive to its advertisers, the competition continues to grow and costs for ads are rising. 

“Pay the agency to do ads the right way. A lot of times when companies try to do it themselves, it doesn’t work and it’s not because of the ad. It’s because they’re not doing it right.” @katevolman (click to tweet)

Tony’s big takeaway? >>> Have an organic strategy that’s consistent. That will show us what content grabs attention and then we can turn that into an ad. 

“Focus on showing up consistently, read the data and see what works/what people respond to, and turn that into your ads as you move forward.” @tonydoesads (click to tweet)


Jessika Phillips

Dark social craveable brand

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 are the biggest shifts/opportunities you feel are coming for brands in 2021 as it relates to marketing their business?

When it comes to 2021, we need to think about the full buyer’s journey for our customer. 

“At the end of the day, it’s thinking about how we can create better relationships and use tools to do so. We can use tools to fine-tune the technique in the process.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

It’s about the findability (can they find us our website and social channels,) relatability (can they identify with us through our content,) and craveability (those rich, deep experiences that keep people coming back for more.) 

“2021 is around the corner, it’s waiting and there are opportunities. So, we’ve gotta go for it.” @mike_gingerich (click to tweet)


What do YOU think? What shifts or opportunities do you think exist for brands in the upcoming year? What advice do you have for building a craveable brand? What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Share it with us in the comments below!

We can't wait to see you building your craveable brand in 2021! 

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Tags: content marketing, content creation, craveable brand

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