In recent times, people have been craving more authentic connections. With over a year of social distancing measures in place across the country, people leaned on digital modes of communication more than ever to stay in touch.
As if we weren’t connected to our phones enough, the pandemic left us little choice but to leverage chat apps, DMs, and video chats to chat with those who mean the most.
Our latest data report, The Media in Our Messages: A 2021 Holler Data Report, explores the different types of content and media people use across diverse platforms, why they’re sending it and to who, and even how brands can become part of the conversation. The report dives deep into usage of different kinds of media - from visual tools like stickers and emojis to rich media like web links and music.
When conducting digital interactions, we’ve found that people reach for content and media make chat more expressive, informative, and meaningful. Visual content and other forms of rich media help people deepen conversations that are happening between screens.
Authenticity is also top-of-mind, especially in the wake of the pandemic. In fact, respondents said that since the onset of the pandemic, they’ve been less heavily active on social media, but very active in chat. With less opportunities to travel and attend events, there has been less posting on social channels and more private conversations with friends and family.
Within these private chats lies an opportunity for brands to become part of the conversation by adding value and being useful instead of intrusive.
Our data study showed that brands are quite welcome in conversations. In fact, 69% of people said they’d share branded content they thought was funny or cool. And this stat skews even higher for Gen Z and Millennials, demographics that are target audiences for many major brands.
Brands also have the opportunity to help the chat; 71% of people said they’d share branded content useful to their conversations (this number is higher for Gen Z and Millennials). This is where Conversational Media comes into play.
Conversational Media is a new frontier for brands, giving them the chance to join digital conversations in a non-obtrusive and helpful way. Branded Stickers and GIFs are suggested in the right moment in chat based on the context of the conversation.
Messaging was previously an untapped space for brands. Traditional advertising, like banner ads and pop ups, would feel intrusive and downright annoying in a private messaging experience. But, expressive content that is useful to the conversation in the moment and is only suggested and not forced opens up a whole new opportunity for brands.
Now, if someone is discussing getting a beer with friends, a brand can enter the conversation and provide a Sticker or GIF to help add expression to the message. With so many people, especially in younger age brackets, leaning more and more on visuals in digital conversations, this is the perfect way for brands to enter the chat and add real value and delight in that moment.
Even as we move on past the pandemic, the importance of messaging won’t go away. And neither will the high-velocity usage of visuals and rich media in chat. Visuals and media allow conversations happening on screen to be more expressive, immersive, and fun.
The data shows that younger demographics are leaning on this content more than ever, and that they’re happy to see brands become part of the conversation, if they do it right. To learn more about getting in on the chat and discover how brands are already doing so, check out our Marketer’s Page.