It’s the start of a new year, so it’s a good time to look back and analyze this past year’s most effective marketing trends. In the preceding year, content marketing was defined in large part by how quickly brands could respond to an unexpected pandemic economy. Necessarily, marketing approaches and strategies needed to be able to pivot and adapt in real-time. In 2021, that sort of adaptability in marketing could prove to every bit as relevant.
Here are the ten biggest content marketing trends you should bear in mind as you seek to put the best marketing foot forward for your business in 2021:
Do you possess the right level of expertise for the subjects you’d like to be able to speak to on your website? This year, Google will place more emphasis on depth of expertise, as compared to how it sees other traditional ranking factors like link building. This doesn’t mean you should stop link building, but it does mean you should increase your focus on speaking from a place of greater authority.
Showcase how well you know a topic by publishing some long-form content on your website, in the form of pillar pages. These pillar pages can help to pave your foundation of expertise on a particular topic, and they also offer you the ability to enhance your content with other connected and related content pieces.
Assuming you’re not an expert on everything, you should also think about how you can collaborate with some subject matter experts (SMEs) when creating content, and have them weigh in on certain matters. Partnering with SMEs can also help you to repurpose your original content into other formats, which can help you in your efforts to further grow your digital community.
There’s an old marketing rule of thumb which says content is king. That will continue to be true this year, as well! Your customers, users, and target audience will be pickier than ever when deciding who or what gets their attention in 2021. They will also not be interested in sharing their personal information in exchange for access to anything less than exceptional content. Businesses will need to step up their content creation game, and will also need to showcase the value of their content immediately – on the front end of the user interaction.
Create valuable content by taking the time to truly understand the needs of your customer, and why your customer might want to interact with your brand in the first place.
Offer practical suggestions that will help your customer, rather than simply talking about your own product features and benefits. Your content must be designed and created with a real intention to help customers solve their problems. How can you achieve this? You must start by thinking of your end-consumer first when creating content, and constantly ask yourself how the content you’re creating will actually benefit your reader or viewer in the long run.
You heard it right; original research and studies will be immensely popular in 2021. As companies seek out ways to help their customers, they must identify what their customers’ relevant problems and pain points are. Then, it’s incumbent upon your company to help your customers discover some original answers, or help lead them to find some original solutions.
Actively start planning for surveys to be issued to your audience – ask them what they think, or what they need. Then assign your subject matter experts to share their valuable insights in helping your audience to address their real issues and problems. Take the research-based content you’ve created and publish it in various formats, including graphs, charts, social media posts, videos, etc. Find as many ways as you can to share your content out with your audience or community in meaningful ways.
Everyone wants to be able to smile and laugh! Folks also like to relish in “aha!” moments whenever encountering an answer to a felt problem. And in 2021, the more interactive your content, the more it will catch your user’s attention.
Plan for more interactive and engaging content that takes advantage of different formats. Things like quizzes, videos, and infographics are effective ways to send your message without boring your audience. Plus, you don’t have to turn your entire content strategy upside-down in order to become more interactive. You can start by simply adding some new content types to your overall strategy.
The impact and growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will continue to help alter the content marketing game in 2021, simply due to the fact that computer applications are changing the way that target audiences – and businesses – think.
Start using AI and ML in your content marketing for tasks like content analysis, optimization, and A/B testing, for starters.
In a sense, Google has always catered to its users, but it will do so with greater focus and intentionality in 2021. So rather than simply optimizing for keywords, Google will give more weight to the user experience by factoring in the overall web experience itself. This will include things like UX design, site load time, and how the content is being delivered to users.
Focus on improving your page load speeds, the positioning of images, and the mobile responsiveness of your pages, all while continuing to deliver high-quality content. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you want to make your content as personalized as possible; this will have a positive impact on UX. Conversational marketing is a strategy which should play a stronger role in your marketing approach for 2021.
The businesses that are able to create product-related templates are more likely to flourish in 2021. This is because the search intent tends to be stronger, which also drives more relevant traffic to your website, thus increasing your overall conversion rates.
Plan for creating examples of how to use your product in some specific, relevant scenarios, and then share those examples out with your audience. Once you have enough examples, then you can really start to build a bona fide content library, which will also help you to build a stronger online community.
Another facet of AI is something known as machine-generated content. Content that has been created by smart applications – independent of human input – will eventually impact all creative fields, but it will be sharpened first on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Invest in some tools that can help you to pick up the slack in areas where your team may not be as well-versed in terms of content expertise. AI provides an excellent avenue for content creators to be able to continue creating large amounts of quality content, while also saving them valuable time and resources.
Getting content out there will be different in 2021; one “secret ingredient” that businesses need to add to their wheelhouse is content atomization. Content atomization means that you take one significant, large piece of content, and break it down into many smaller pieces or content elements. In a nutshell, this entails reimagining and repurposing your original content as a primary form of content creation.
Reimagine something that’s already familiar, and present it in a new way, with a new angle, in a new place, or through a different application. Focus on a one really great piece of content you have, and then break it down into smaller pieces, which will allow you to extract even more out of it.
Google has indicated that it will give more priority to the user experience when it comes to ranking sites. Google wants pages to load more quickly, become more interactive, and stabilize more quickly. And it isn’t just Google that wants these features; your users want them, too. A user anywhere, on any device, should be able to get a quick-loading experience with your page. If not, your organic rankings will most assuredly take a dive. These are some of the ways in which Google’s Core Web Vitals will have an impact on search results in 2021.
Use the Core Web Vitals reports, which are available in the Google Search Console (and from other related sources), to make sure your digital design team is aware of where your website needs to be “fixed.” It’s about more than simply driving traffic to your site; it’s also about driving engagement and a positive user experience.
Keep these trends in mind when planning out your 2021 content marketing strategy. The overall focus this year is on creating high-quality content that does more for your business. You’ll be amazed at how implementing the insights gained from these trends can boost your business revenue – if it’s done right! But how can you do it right? We understand that planning for an effective content marketing strategy can seem a little overwhelming. But you don’t have to sweat it – the content marketing experts at Cibirix are here to serve! Partner with us, and we’ll help you stay ahead of the marketing curve in 2021, and beyond! You can connect with us through this simple form, or just give us a call at (336) 415-3534!
Richa Mukati serves Cibirix as a Brand and Content Strategist, where she’s passionate about how creative concepts and targeted marketing messages can create positive, game-changing images for our business clients among their intended audiences. How does Richa help make this happen? She wields a crisp, compelling business sense that is backed by sharp, strategic thinking which aims for the target of meeting desired market success for our clients. Richa has extensive experience in marketing communication, and clients continue to seek her advice and trust her branding and content strategies which have resulted in measurable results. When not hard at work developing brand and content strategies, Richa enjoys meditating and binge reading.