Regardless of the digital platform you use to promote your business, continually coming up with new content ideas to capture your audience’s attention can be a real challenge.
Popular content comes and goes before you even click “publish” on your last post, so how do you effectively plan your next big marketing campaign?
If you’re feeling stuck and looking for ideas, take a look at these 11 trends you can adapt to your retail brand.
1. Provide value to stay relevant
With every piece of content you create, you should always ask yourself, “what will a viewer get out of it?”
Fitbit does a great job here, posting tips and advice for their subscribers to improve their mental and physical health.
Cocokind balances their aesthetic content in the beauty space with informative posts on creating a skincare routine and step-by-step walkthroughs on how to incorporate their products into your existing regimen.
There are plenty of other brands to entertain your audience with their own content, so focusing on the value you provide will help keep your brand top of mind and relevant to your customers.
2. Involve your customers
No one wants to see a constant barrage of sales content from just any brand. But when you have a product you need to promote, how do you keep people interested and engaged?
You tap into your existing customer base to harness the power of word of mouth marketing.
And that’s exactly what Vacation Inc. did.
In April 2021, Holidays Inc. launched its Screen Now in partnership with Nordstrom and Ulta with an 80s beach vibe campaign.
Customers could generate honorary job titles and share their new business cards on their own social networks.
Within days of the presale launching, more than 10,000 people had “changed careers,” with roles like “Tequila Shot Salt Emergency Secretary” and “Catamaran Fly Fishing Specialist” (my personal role).
Vacation Inc.’s success came from capitalizing on an already growing fanbase on social media.
The fun and interactive content quickly spread with little effort from the brand after launch, leaving its customers to do the work and evangelize the brand for them.
3. Double the short video
It’s no secret that video content is becoming a major part of any good content marketing campaign.
As of 2021, Wyzowl reports that users spend an average of 18 hours per week watching video content across different platforms and, in particular, shorter videos.
This is hardly surprising given the rapid rise of TikTok.
But if you’re not using this type of content, now is the time to start thinking about it.
Luxury Italian fashion house Gucci is a great example of how video content works as a retail brand.
By balancing behind-the-scenes content from new collections with famous faces wearing their pieces, Gucci continued to adapt its marketing strategy to meet the needs of a more video-focused audience.
4. Create genuinely entertaining content
We all know that the purpose of marketing is to sell more products and gain more customers.
But there’s nothing stopping you from having fun while you’re doing it!
With such competition and an audience looking for instant gratification, entertaining content should be a top priority for any retail brand.
No one does it better than Aviation Gin.
Leaning heavily on the spirit of its owner, actor Ryan Reynolds, the company continually uses humor and satire to entertain its audience.
Their “alternative” to the Peloton Girl ad instantly bonded with viewers, thanks to its cheeky overtones and reminders of why the original went viral for all the wrong reasons.
Creating fun marketing content is one of the hardest approaches to master.
When you do, it can really pay off.
5. Highlight what matters most to your brand
In a consumer environment now highly concerned with environmental and social issues, relatability when it comes to brand values has never been more important.
One of the top performers in this space is DTC beauty brand, Jones Road.
Founded by makeup veteran Bobbi Brown, Jones Road quickly grew a fan base thanks to its cruelty-free products and body-positive content.
The brand’s TikTok account is a good place to look for inspiration if you hope to more clearly promote your company’s values.
The how-to and how-to videos serve an educational and informative purpose while weaving stories around empowerment to create emotional connections with their audience.
The brand has also captured the attention of non-traditional audiences on its social platforms, with videos aimed at customers over 50 on Instagram and TikTok.
By embracing who they are and what they believe in, Jones Road has quickly become a standout brand for successful video content.
6. Use influencer partnerships to educate your audience
Partnering with influencers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Strategically working with people your customers already follow is a great way to introduce your brand to new audiences and remind existing customers of what you offer.
TikTok educational content from wine expert and sommelier Amanda McCrossin has quickly seen her become a go-to resource for wine drinkers everywhere.
From product recommendations for different occasions to wine tours to engage vacationers, this channel is a great example of how to partner with influencers to create engaging educational content that viewers want to see.
7. Get on the audio train
For video channels like TikTok or even Instagram Reels, finding the right audio to set the tone for your content is key.
It doesn’t take much for a soundbite to go viral these days.
Having a catalog of video ideas that you can quickly shoot and publish is a great way to jump on these trends as soon as they appear.
Trending sounds can pop up out of nowhere, so you need to be prepared if you want to use these sound clips in your own videos.
Wine bottle brand Partner in Wine does a great job with this, staying up to date with all the popular sounds from TikTok and Instagram and posting their own content using them.
This makes them viewable in apps via these sound clips, opening up a whole new potential audience.
8. Build trust with subject matter experts
It’s one thing to create educational and informative content for your audience.
But if they find out about your brand, how do they know they can trust what you say?
One of the best ways to build your credibility here is to partner with subject matter experts.
This is a common tactic used in B2B marketing, but B2C retail brands are also starting to see success here.
Interior design brand Studio McGee uses its frequently updated blog to provide lifestyle and design advice from its in-house experts and guests.
From organization tips and tricks to design inspiration, the company makes it clear why they’re the one to trust when it comes to home decor.
9. Jump on pop culture moments
Just like trending sounds, you never know when a moment will come in cultural awareness, you can use it to promote your products.
Take beauty company Lemonhead LA.
Already a hit with notable celebrities like Beyonce and Lady Gaga, the brand cemented its place as a glittery makeup company thanks to its products appearing on the first season of the HBO show “Euphoria.”
The brand then released a limited-edition collection inspired by the show, which quickly became a hit with its customers.
Bloomingdale’s has also been successful with this approach, creating a pop-up collection of Regency-inspired merchandise following the success of Netflix’s Bridgerton.
It’s unclear what pop culture can inspire, so stay tuned with what’s going on.
10. Plug in outside your comfort zone
When working with a limited marketing budget, trying new platforms or channels is a risky decision.
For the most successful brands, however, it can really be worth it.
Whether it’s creating a new social media account or embracing an entirely different content format, experimenting with something a little different can quickly put you ahead of your competition.
Trader Joe’s launched podcasting in 2018, expecting to air a five-part series to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at the brand and its history.
You might not think many people would be interested in an in-depth audio dive into a grocery store.
But the podcast was so successful that they continue to release new episodes to this day.
Thinking outside the box is the telltale sign of a great marketer.
But remember to do your research before proposing big strategy changes like this.
11. Think beyond single-deck silos
With technology so firmly integrated into our daily lives, retail experiences are no longer strictly online or offline experiences.
Customers want and need an omnichannel experience, taking them from their phone to the store and back.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of omnichannel marketing, ranging from greater reach and customer satisfaction to higher profits across all areas of the business.
Target is one of the best for this type of marketing, forgoing their focus on individual channels and thinking across multiple platforms.
One of their most successful partnerships recently has been with Pinterest, specifically the Pinterest Lens feature.
In the Pinterest app, users can take a picture on their smartphone of products they like, and the Target app will show them similar products in their own collections.
While your retail brand might not have the budget and customer base of a multi-billion dollar company like Target, the same idea still applies.
Instead of building content strategies solely around a marketing platform, think about how you can integrate all of your efforts to provide a memorable and unique experience for your customers.
There are hundreds of possible options for creating engaging marketing content.
(And we’re certainly not advocating that you try all of these at once!)
But with strategic thinking, your brand can make any of these trends a success.
Effectively promoting your retail brand through content marketing is possible, so if you’re feeling inspired, it’s time to start working on your new content marketing plan.
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