Real talk: 2020 has been tough, challenging, and purely exhausting. While this year has drained our minds and bodies, it failed to surmount the indomitable human spirit. It’s amazing how we as a species are trained to endure, rise, re-emerge and soar! But let’s not forget that we do all of this with each other’s help and support. Which is why we decided to put together some of our favorites from content marketing 2020—pieces that made us break into laughter in moments of stress, tugged at our heartstrings, compelled us to think and act better, and most importantly kept us journeying on.
Here’s to gracefully ending a year that was messy and chaotic but came with significant (and overdue) learnings. Hopefully this round-up will leave you inspired and ready to take on 2021 head on.
A Celebration of Life
America’s first taste of COVID-19 was felt in the Big Apple. New York, the city that never sleeps, was put on an unending pause. To see the stillness of this otherwise bustling center of events was painfully surreal. Morale was dipping and people needed the reassurance that, like every other time, NYC will bounce back in all its glory. Just then, comedian Jerry Seinfeld rose to the occasion and wrote a heartfelt piece about his connection to the city and his faith in its resilience. While the tough times may not have passed yet, this piece will awaken and recharge your soul. Read now.
The pandemic has taken its toll in a lot of ways but the agony of staying away from family and friends is one that has been particularly difficult to deal with. The human connection is the lifeblood of our very being. The exchange of energy in a room full of people, the warm hugs, and even the awkward handshakes all being sorely missed. And the holiday season doesn’t make this any easier. Advertisements when done correctly can have a significant impact, and this Christmas ad by Amazon is a showstopper. The emotions packed in this spot are a happy reminder that even in the most challenging times, we can make the choice to spread joy and cheer. Watch now.
As is understandable, over the course of the last few months, most of us have gradually but surely accepted the “new normal.” With reality sunk in, and between juggling chores at home and meeting deadlines at work, it’s easy to forget the impact on healthcare workers, first responders, those with high health risks, the elderly, and essential workers among many others. With talk about the COVID-19 vaccine, this content marketing 2020 interactive by The New York Times is an incredible eye-opener. It compels you to take a scientific and practical look at the chaos of this pandemic, and subtly nudges you to be a more responsible individual not only for yourself but for those around you. The statistics are also a reminder to not lower our guards until vaccines have been administered. View now.
This year witnessed unification of people from all backgrounds to march toward a world of equality. There were protests and demonstrations around the world to support the Black Lives Matter movement. People came out in huge numbers to undo the wrongs of the past; however, to fully eradicate any issue, it’s crucial to understand its root cause. This animated map created by USA Today illustrates the heartbreaking reality of slavery through the years. The numbers reflected here are a wake up call to act now. It’s imperative that we work judiciously to uproot systemic racism and give the Black community the respect, opportunities and resources that they rightfully deserve. View now.
An Equal World for All
It cannot be emphasized enough that different groups of people are impacted differently in the same situation. Pick up any research paper or study and you’ll see that this year (read: pandemic, racial injustice, political unrest) has taken a massive toll on people of color, especially the Black community in the United States. This article on Dropbox’s blog makes for an incredibly fascinating read—it talks about emotional intelligence as a form of healing for Black workers. Learn about their struggle and how it led to the creation of a unique coping mechanism. Read now.
We’re pushing forward to create a more equal world for all. Too many hurdles, hiccups and naysayers and yet we’re determined to change it for the better—make it a place where everyone can dream and live a life true to themselves. And that’s why, more than ever, it’s crucial to analyze what role we’re playing at an individual level to meaningfully contribute to this change. Have we been “woken” beyond the realm of social media? This content marketing 2020 piece by Intuit on diversity, representation, and inclusion is a simple yet important read. Read now.
Let’s Tickle the Funny Bone
As we mentioned earlier, ads are tricky business. Audiences today are far more educated and aware, and the competition is stiff. But your one chance at making a memorable ad is by stirring up perfection using the ingredients of timeliness, relevance and humor. It’s not an easy feat by any measure but if you get it right, you have an ad that not only delivers ROI but also has the potential to go viral. This ad by the online dating site Match nails this idea. If you have an appetite for humor, you’ll love this one. Watch now.
If you're a parent of school-age children, then this video by comedian Dena Blizzard ("One Funny Mother") is just what you need to watch. The tales of horror about virtual education and learning have been making all the noise in the parents’ circle. From getting kids to focus on a tiny screen to ensuring they stay put in one place, the struggle, as they say, is real. Add to it the challenge of confused teachers still trying to demystify technology and all its glory (glory? really!). Well, the only solution to this problem as of now is to laugh it off as you prepare for another tedious day of homeschooling your child(ren). Watch now.
Tongue in Cheek
What does Vogue do best? It’s a no brainer: fashion! But fashion like everything else mirrors society. So in a year when you’re locked at home and suffering from bouts of anxiety and uncertainty, your soul needs to be rebuilt much like the world that we live in. This beautiful tribute to New York City by Vogue will spark positivity and joy in you. If there’s something you watch today, let it be this. You’ll thank yourself for it. Watch now.
What Lies Ahead
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could take a peek into the future (especially after the year we’ve had!)? Hang tight, it's the end of the year and predictions are in. While it may be hard to unravel what the world in its entirety could look like, it is possible to make some calculated assumptions. This piece by LinkedIn will help you reimagine what the world of work could look like in 2021 and beyond. Read now.
As this year draws to a close, let’s take with us the learnings that came from content marketing 2020. One of the many discoveries made this year was the rise in adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). AI helped people stay connected through these times, it helped businesses stay afloat and also strengthened customer relationships in a virtual world. Salesforce succinctly summarizes the role of AI now and into the foreseeable future. Read now.
Why Good Content Matters
Today, content is arguably the most powerful tool at your disposal. Words and visuals have the ability to start revolutions, and to create positive change. As a brand, it’s challenging to discover your voice and deliver good content consistently. But if you want to rise above the noise and be seen and heard, it’s time to invest in your content strategy. Let your content be known to start conversations that matter, and let it be recognized for adding value to your readers and viewers.
At Knotch, we help brands build a successful content journey using our Content Intelligence Platform. You can continue learning by reading 12 content marketing statistics based on 2020 data. If you’re a Content Leader, join the Pros & Content Community to meet fellow content professionals, and find more inspiring content like the examples above.