Trends to look out in 2022: Brands will look for simple impact through social media

One of the major cultural trends we foresee will be nostalgic marketing

A key impact of the audience craving for nostalgia is a need for simplicity
A key impact of the audience craving for nostalgia is a need for simplicity

By Aashna Iyer

Social media has become as routine in our lives as fitness or skincare. With marketing teams taking advantage of the platforms, new formats and content keep coming into our feeds. To fuel the marketing efforts, even the platforms themselves have kept churning out new technology to amp up their offerings and to build a great use-case for users and brands alike.

However, sometimes, the simplest solutions create the most impact. In recent times, we have seen platform features being used in new and creative ways that lead to lasting brand value and continuous recall. And in the coming year, we foresee a lot more of these simple platform hacks being leveraged by brands to create resonance.

One of the major cultural trends we foresee will be nostalgic marketing. Triggers like music and strongly rooted visuals will become rallying points for consumers to reconnect with brands at a personal level. Content formats like Reels and Shorts will become crucial in furthering nostalgic marketing as remixing content creators’ work, or branded content has become as simple as tapping a few buttons. In fact, Madhur Sugar recently leveraged the nostalgia element of holiday cooking experiments and launched a #MerryWithMadhur campaign that gave users seasonal recipes to try out, and added a challenge element to drive participation and excitement. For an audience that fondly remembers weekend mornings with Khaana Khazaana, this is something that instantly strikes a chord!

A key impact of the audience craving for nostalgia is a need for simplicity. And the easier it is to connect with brands, products, or services, the more ready the audience will be to buy into them. A great example is a recent campaign HDFC Ltd. undertook on Instagram. Leveraging the platform’s capabilities, the brand created an “Insta Branch” where users can access services right from their Instagram channels. This works on multiple levels – catching the user where they are most comfortable, and creating a seamless experience out of something that would otherwise require physical manual effort.

Another major trend that Hootsuite also calls out is the need for consolidation. With more than enough apps for users to explore, there is a certain saturation and exhaustion that sets in. A consumer is more likely to engage with a brand or a campaign, if they can explore all there is on offer in one place. Hero MotoCorp recently launched a digital publication on Instagram called the Hero XMag picking up on the same thought. The XMag is a monthly publication that brings user generated content, riding tips, and influencer content into an easy-to-browse story format on Instagram. This means that the consumer doesn’t have to browse multiple channels or sources to find content that engages them, and thereby can enjoy the content itself with more ease.

Of course, the authenticity and trust factor of brands like HDFC Ltd. and Hero MotoCorp feed strongly into the consumer’s delight with the end product. However, in today’s day and age, authenticity is non-negotiable for the brand that aspires to become a market leader. And in itself, the audience’s search for this authenticity is a key driver of marketing teams pulling back to rethink the simplicity element of their campaigns. Especially after the last two years of worry and stress, consumers do not want high-tech brand efforts thrown at them every few days – sometimes, the familiar is the best, and what better than social media to deliver comfort, impact, and ready engagement?

The author is a strategist in BC Web Wise. Views expressed are personal.

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