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Back to the Basics: What You Need to Know About Creative Services for 2021

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In life, creativity is the source of all the things we enjoy. From the food we eat to the shows we watch and the content we view on social media, all good things are the product of someone’s ingenuity, creativity, and expertise. Even the apps, websites, and software we use every day had to be created from an abstract vision. 

The same is true for business strategy. Last year, businesses were tested with an unprecedented crisis. Overnight, companies had to come up with creative solutions to pay their bills and stay afloat while still satisfying their customers and keeping them safe. When it comes to business, many people struggle to consider creative solutions. Instead, it’s easier to rely on traditional strategies and logical approaches that fail to consider the human experience’s nuances. 

When you choose 1SEO for your business’s creative needs, you can feel confident that you are choosing a creative services agency in Philadelphia that stays abreast of all the necessary tips and tricks for success in a fast-paced digital world. In the below guide, you’ll find out about what strategies we’re carrying over into the new year and the emerging trends in creative services for 2021.

What falls under the umbrella of creative services in digital marketing?

Creative services are the spice of the digital marketing world — but what constitutes a creative service? Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are based on metrics and concrete principles. In contrast, creative services are based on a softer and more intuitive approach. Creative services in the marketing world include website design and development, content creation, graphic design, and other visual components such as video and infographics.

Trend Predictions for Video Marketing in 2021

Live Videos and Real-Time Shopping

At 1SEO, we are an agency offering creative services in Philadelphia, but we work with global advertising titans, including Facebook and Google. What we’ve learned over the years is that Facebook is a great way to reach people. Facebook’s live-streaming function is great for building organic reach and engagement with your brand. According to a report from SocialBakers, long videos on Facebook performed better than the same video on other platforms. 

Live Facebook videos allow for a simulated in-person interaction that occurs in real-time to your customer’s experience. 2020 taught digital marketing agencies to adapt. With in-person events canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future, Facebook Live offers a unique alternative to in-person shopping and demonstrations. Facebook intends to grow its platform and expand its features to include more interactive experiences. 

Instagram is a Facebook property, so the two tend to introduce similar features at similar times. Since 2018, Instagram has had the IGTV feature to answer Facebook’s Facebook Watch. As of right now, Facebook live shopping experiences are limited, but we can expect to see more of these features emerge throughout 2021. With the surging popularity of TikTok, Instagram responded with the Reels feature. We can expect Facebook and Instagram to expand and offer new features to maximize the user experience. 

Cross-Posting Works

With the growing need for live and on-demand video content, it can seem impossible to keep up if you don’t strategize. On social media, the user is constantly refreshing and scrolling through new content. For this reason, social media content is typically only trending and near the top of your audience’s feed for a few hours at most. Compared to social media, video platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, and Imgur have a more lasting presence. Years later, videos on Youtube will continue to generate traffic and interest. 

To keep up with production demands, it makes sense to maximize your target audience by optimizing your video content for each platform. A trend we see for video in 2021 is that long-form video of 10 minutes or more is going to grow in popularity. The best strategies for long-form video content include chopping and splicing video content and distributing the pieces across your various social media channels. 

These chopped pieces of long-form video content are ideal for embedding in articles, posting to social media, and boosting your SEO ranking. The short-form content created from longer videos is also engagement friendly because it makes it convenient to produce memes, vertical videos, and other formats of content. 

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn all follow the same methodology for boosting ads and content. The golden rule on these apps is to create high-quality, long-form content that can easily be chopped up and recycled into various other forms across a variety of platforms. In 2021, we can expect to see an increased presence in third-party apps that mimic Tiktok and other fast-paced video production styles for easy distribution.

Social Media Algorithms Favor High-Quality Video Content

Another likely video trend for 2021 is that we can expect social media video content to rise to about 786 million uploads. In 2020, 428 million videos were posted across Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Twitter. This number is only expected to climb over the next several years. If the 2021 prediction of 787 million video uploads are met, it will mean that approximately 1.3 million videos were uploaded every day, which equates to 55,594 videos uploaded every hour for 365 days. In order to cope with the constant uploading, scrolling, and refreshing of users across every platform, Facebook and other apps have had to integrate algorithms into the way their feeds are generated. 

In order to understand the Facebook algorithm, it’s important to boil it down to the brass tacks. Facebook’s algorithm is informed by how many people react to, comment, save, and reshare posts. Based on these metrics, Facebook determines the position of content on the user’s feed. Though Instagram is similar to Facebook in many ways, its algorithm favors different things. Instagram accounts for the other posts its users have interacted with previously, the date the post was shared, and previous interactions with the brand or individual posting. 

Twitter takes a different approach using a relevance model. The algorithm scores tweets and predicts how interesting a particular tweet would be for a specific user. Typically, when a user opens the app, they will be met with a collection of the highest-scoring tweets for them with the rest of their feed below. 

To stay on top of all the current algorithms and the changes in video content over the year, our team is constantly monitoring trends and updates across all social media platforms. LinkedIn is going to embrace video in big ways in 2021, and it’s likely they too will introduce new features that expand the user’s ability to interact with brands and businesses. 

Brands will need to use video to engage in “unfiltered” conversations with their customers. 

After a year spent social distancing, brands will need to find new ways to connect with their customers in 2021. Consumers are seeking a sense of belonging and fulfillment from their purchases and brand experiences, and they are more interested than ever in how companies function and the culture from within. To build genuine relationships, customer loyalty, and sustainability, brands need to attract their customers’ trust.

Another trend we’ll see for creative services in 2021 will be a stronger need to form genuine connections with their desired audience. The expressed goals of video content creation in 2021 should be to tell authentic stories that highlight your brand’s unique personality and seek to build trust, pull back the curtain, boost awareness, and give consumers a sense of community. 

Video content will be more important than ever in email, landing pages, and product videos for eCommerce. Embedded video content will allow your brand to stand out, create a dialogue with your audience, and give consumers the inside scoop. 

With the new iOS 14 update, Apple users will now be able to choose to opt-in or opt-out of data tracking on websites like Facebook and Google. As a result, we will see human experience marketing take hold in 2021. This update will begin to roll out towards the end of February and continue throughout March. 

What does human experience marketing mean? Expect to see a rise in:

  • Messenger Marketing: Live Chatbots to increase your brand’s online accessibility
  • Dark Social: Real-time conversations in niche social channels in private or otherwise untrackable spaces
  • Boost in SEO and Page Experience Updates: In 2021, brands will need to develop websites that give users a reason to return to them. With SEO in mind, websites will need to become interactive resources.
  • Increased Personalized Content:  Ads will need to be even more tailored to the desired customer.

Graphic design is growing and evolving. 

Graphic design is seldom given the respect it deserves, but it’s utilized everywhere. From the websites you browse to the product packaging and the easy-to-read and share infographics that populate the internet, graphic design is abundantly necessary if you want to attract, engage, and build a relationship with your clientele. 

In 2021, we can expect to see a lot of the “old favorite” and reliable graphic design trends continue to flourish. We will continue to use the founding principles of Web Design 3.0. After the chaos of 2020, consumers are looking for a sense of familiarity and stability in their brands. In 2021, the growing trend will be graphics that bring out a sense of calm, understanding, and optimism for the viewer. 

Some of the graphic design trends we can expect to see throughout 2021 include: 

  • Low Saturation Color Palettes and Comfortable Hues
  • Simplified Data Breakdowns
  • Eye-Catching Geometric Shapes
  • Animations
  • Expect to see more shadows
  • Sleek and Simple Icons and Abstract Illustrations
  • Serif Fonts Will Continue To Pull Through
  • Instagram Carousels and Slide Decks will permeate other forms of media
  • Videos with a Lot of Text

For more information about graphic design from our Philadelphia-based team and how we intend to take it to the next level at 1SEO, contact us today! 

Creative Services for Specific Industries

There isn’t an industry on the planet that doesn’t benefit from creative services as part of its business strategy. In 2021, it’s more important than ever for business owners to come up with new ways to target their customers, meet their customers, and eventually convert their customers to sales. 

At 1SEO, it’s our job to stay up-to-date on all the digital world’s current events. As such, we consider ourselves trendsetters, thought leaders, and innovators on behalf of our diverse clientele. 

Creative Services for Home Services

Though inclusive and intuitive design is important for all industries, creative services are a core part of your home services business’s success. Trust, accessibility, and thoughtful interaction are vital to maintaining customer loyalty in the home services industry. 

In 2021, graphic design and video will need to come to the forefront in both advertising, blogs, and website design. When you work with a talented creative services team in Philadelphia such as 1SEO, you can feel confident that we are working to connect and interact with your targeted customer so that 2021 can be about growth, progress, and good values and less about treading water. 

Another trend for graphics in 2021 will be text-heavy content to easily reach the customer. This year, companies will need to look at how they can become a resource for addressing their client’s needs so that they frequently return for more.

Creative Services for eCommerce

For years, eCommerce has been rising in popularity, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that it became one of the primary forms of shopping for many cautious consumers. In 2021, it will be of growing importance to provide hands-on, interactive and inside information about your product to compensate for the decrease in in-store experiences. 

Websites should be eye-catching but subtle so that the customer feels welcome but not overwhelmed. Customers are looking for close-up imagery, easy-to-understand graphics, and informative video to tell them everything they need to know about the products and services they can’t see in person before they buy. 

Creative Services for Professional Services

Like the home services industry, professional service businesses must be built on a foundation of credibility and expertise. In 2021, the growing demand for engaging video— both live and pre-recorded— will give professional services companies a unique way to showcase their many areas of expertise. 

You can put a face to a name with video, and you can attract your customer’s eye with stellar graphic design. After you get your customer interested, you are able to engage with them on a personal level and display all the many ways you can support them with your interactive approach. 

Looking Ahead to the Future

At 1SEO, we know as well as anyone that 2020 was a year for the books. We learned a lot, and we are still learning. In 2021, we will take everything we learned and implement it into our way of life and our way of business. Online presence is more important than ever, and creative services like those offered by our Philadelphia-area agency are the key to long-term success for your business. 

Next time you’re doing anything on the internet, pay close attention to the graphic design and video elements surrounding the content you engage with. It’s everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere.

About the Writer:

Ally Sabatina is a dog mom first and a writer always. When she’s not playing fetch or illuminated by the blue light of her computer screen, she’s making dinner, engulfed in reality TV, or taking a break to unplug on a camping trip with her dog and partner.

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