Posted at Nov 17, 2020 8:18:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share
Proving he is a man with tremendous foresight, Bill Gates, in 1996, said, “Content is king.” He envisioned a future in which the internet was a marketplace for content. Fast-forward a few decades, and Mr. Gates was, of course, correct. This king still rules the digital space. So what can we expect when it comes to content marketing in 2021?
5 Content Marketing Trends for 2021
1. Seizing the Micro-Moment
The concept of a micro-moment is built on the notion that brands need to offer content at the specific moment a prospect needs it. Google posits that there is a spectrum of customer needs including:
I want to know
I want to go
I want to do
I want to buy
Develop content for each need, or stage, of this journey. In 2021, it's about understanding the context behind each of these interactions, or touch points, and being useful to consumers.
Utilizing your content marketing and SEO strategies to support each other will lay a strong foundation for getting found via search engines. Creating quality content with a strong internal linking structure on your site will show search engines that you’re covering a topic in depth and will most likely answer a searcher’s questions.
This doesn’t mean you can disregard off-site SEO and forget about earning back links. These are still just as important, but optimizing your site’s content for a valuable and useful user experience is the first step to creating content that not only ranks, but engages.
When creating content in 2021, you want to continue targeting long-tail keywords and covering topics in depth. In essence, expand the scope of your content to dive deeper into whatever you’re trying to tell your audience.
Shifting the focus to provide deeper coverage will allow you to do a couple things:
Create more indexable pages on your site
Answer user’s questions completely
Establish thought leadership
Earn wider range of keyword dominance
Remember, focus on creating quality content instead of as much content as you can. Focus on search intent and creating useful content for your audience. And, while words are important, don't forget about the power of video to grow your business!
2. Lights! Camera! Even More Video!
Chances are, the more quality video content you have on your site, the longer people will stay. It’s easier for people to watch a few minute-long videos than reading a single blog post.
Investing in video will empower you to and it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive either. You can shoot quality videos from an iPhone and a $30 tripod just fine. Unless the videographer had too much coffee that morning and is shaky, no one is going to be thinking about the type of camera you’re using. They’re interested in the content.
However, just because you have video on your site doesn’t guarantee you the level of engagement you’re looking for. Circling back to SEO and content, you need to make sure you’re creating quality content that focuses on search intent.
Your video needs to have a purpose and it needs to be optimized for organic search. YouTube is the second largest search engine, and it uses algorithms similar to Google’s to rank your video content. Make sure you’re including relevant tags, descriptions, and links to your website.
Another thing you can expect in 2021 is the creative use of video marketing. Instead of uploading hours of video to YouTube and hoping people stumble across it, these clips can be embedded almost anywhere in your marketing.
Share them on social media. Include them in emails. Send personalized video messages to contacts who you think are ready to become customers. You can expect videos to become a central part of content marketing in 2021 and using them creatively and effectively will sky rocket your engagement metrics.
3. Smarter Content
The tools at the fingertips of marketers are getting much more advanced. It’s weird to think that just 13 years ago there was no such thing as an iPhone, yet here we are eagerly anticipating the 12th version. Clichés about advancements in technology aside, content is moving towards interactivity.
In 2021, we can expect to see the trend of organic micro animations explode. These moving pictures capture audiences’ attention and make them look twice. In addition, we’ll likely see an influx of interactive infographics that combine motion with valuable information.
Utilizing augmented reality will also allow brands to create more of an experience for users who increasingly live through their smartphone viewfinders. For instance, in 2019 we saw new 'try on' ads for clothing and accessories show up in Instagram.
For companies that have the budget to invest in the technology, we can expect to see branded augmented reality showing up across even more of the apps we know and love.
In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a must for live chat, as well as interactive content tools, such as quizzes. They are always “on,” and they facilitate rich, meaningful conversations. AI-aided features can keep people onsite longer and engage them more effectively. Intrepid marketers will focus on creating content that enables bots to interact more like humans. The good news is that most consumers love the convenience and ease of use associated with chat bots and other AI elements.
In fact, using artificial intelligence in your marketing can help you create content that feels more human to your audience. It's weird, we know, but through algorithms that match up with neuroscience and massive sets of data, machine learning can create content tailored around a certain response you wish to evoke from your target audience.
4. Omni-channel Strategies Are a Must
The buyers’ journey is not linear. Today, people are everywhere - websites, Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube… they go from point A to B to Z back to A to M. They’re all over the map, but regardless of where or how they engage with content, you need to provide a consistent experience.
When it comes to content marketing in 2021, brands are best served by understanding the channels their target audience prefers to use, for what purposes, and at which stages of their journeys. This way, they can create content for those micro-moments, as we mentioned above.
This is how you create a one-of-a-kind user experience. Tailoring the content for the individual based on their stage of the buyers' journey will create more of a one-to-one conversation instead of your typical marketing messages. The most effective digital marketing does not feel like marketing. Instead, it feels conversational.
5. Community-oriented content
Consumers are creating and joining subject-specific communities on platforms from Facebook and LinkedIn to Quora, Slack, and Reddit. This not only offers a place for like-minded people to gather, it gives them a valuable resource with which to access reviews, feedback, product recommendations, and more.
Leverage these communities: you will need to prioritize real-time responses to questions and comments - and focus on being brand-neutral. It’s not about selling. It’s about being part of the community and adding value.
Speaking of community, don't neglect other brands! Brand partnerships and collaborations are prominent content marketing trends, especially in the B2B arena. Essentially, two brands who are targeting the same audience forge a strategic relationship. The two brands are not competing, but rather their products or services complement each other. In terms of content, you can create guides, eBooks, video series, podcasts, webinars, and other assets that deliver value to your prospects and customers.
These are some of the top trends for content marketing in 2021. It’s an exciting time to review your strategy and revamp it to capture the promise and potential of these techniques.
If you’re looking for a strong partner to grow your business with content marketing in 2021, we’d love to schedule some time to discuss your goals and see how we can help you achieve them!