2021 holds promise for small businesses – capitalise on it with compelling content

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Let’s just say 2021 may not entirely be the new start many of us were hoping for. But vaccine rollouts on the horizon aren’t the only reason for small businesses to feel optimistic.

In reality, this year can be a fantastic opportunity for many small businesses. Many Aussies realise that small businesses have been through the wringer in 2020 – and they want to do their bit to support the sector.

This creates an opening for small businesses across Australia to broaden their customer base and offset some of the losses caused by 2020’s lockdowns. With the pandemic continuing through 2021, our reliance and support for our communities will continue to prevail.

For those small businesses looking to make the most of this opportunity, here are three key considerations to keep in mind in 2021:

The value of video

Gotten to know Netflix on a deeper level during the pandemic? You’re not alone. By bringing more video into your marketing materials, you can more easily grab potential customers’ attention and keep them engaged.

Next step: Think about where video might be more effective than images to communicate your key messages for the year. If you find gaps in your content library, consider how you could fill them with stock footage or repurpose footage you already have.

Dive into diversity and sustainability

Between ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers bombarded by more digital media ever – up 19 per cent in 2020 – it’s an especially crucial year for businesses to get visual communication right if they want to stand out.

Our Visual GPS research suggests that while four in five consumers say they expect brands to be consistently committed to diversity and inclusion, only half of them feel accurately represented. Nearly 80 per cent of ANZ consumers feel companies need to do a better job at capturing the true lifestyles and cultures of diverse people, including those of different ethnicities, abilities and age groups.

When it comes to sustainability, small details – like avoiding single-use plastics – can reflect your business’s sustainable choices in ways that could pay dividends. After all, 85 per cent of ANZ consumers expect companies to be environmentally conscious in all their advertising and communications.

Next step: Run a critical eye over your image and video library to see whether you feel it is representative and authentic, and whether it reflects your values when it comes to sustainability.

Move with the times and inspire hope

Life looks pretty different for many of us than it did a year ago. It’s no surprise that in the past year, iStock has seen a whopping 2157 per cent increase in searches for “working from home”, and a 590 per cent increase in “video conference”. It is critical that your content in 2021 is reflective of your customers’ reality.

Next step: Look for imagery that depicts authentic moments that balance what life is like today, with hopes for tomorrow.

By taking simple steps to ensure your content connects in a genuine way, your small business can set itself apart, broaden its customer base and drive growth.

Kate Rourke, Head of Creative Insights – APAC, iStock by Getty Images