It’s time to put the past behind us and focus on the content marketing trends for 2021.
As challenging as the year has been, 2020 is finally coming to a close. Businesses and individuals alike have experienced tremendous shifts in how they work. Remote work, which was always growing, is now the norm. And businesses with little to no online presence have created online stores and ramped up their digital marketing efforts.
As we step into a new year, we need to plan ahead by preparing for trends that will shape our content marketing strategies.
Here are some of the major content marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
Being aware of the following trends will help you shape a content marketing strategy and give your business direction and outcomes to expect.
1. Documented Content Marketing Strategies
As more and more small businesses switch to eCommerce as their primary means of carrying out work, it becomes necessary to create organized and documented content marketing strategies.
Studies on content marketing show that one of the key differences between the most successful and least successful businesses is the use of documented content marketing strategies.
Even today, business owners approach content creation and distribution on an ‘on the fly’ basis. They have loose ideas about the kind of content they’ll create and many people do not use content marketing calendars or social media tools to help with their marketing efforts.
To combat the growing competition, we should see a rise in the use of documented content marketing strategies. However, it is also essential to have the flexibility and the ability to change baked into your efforts.
To create a more organized and documented content marketing strategy for 2021, do the following:
- Establish a clear goal like boosting your brand image, improving conversions, and more
- Create complete customer journeys with touchpoints
- Build customer avatars to have a clear picture of your market
- Use an editorial calendar for social media, ads, email newsletters, and your blog content
An organized content marketing strategy helps you by making your messages cohesive. You’ll also be able to track the impact of your work. When you have a documented and planned strategy, you’ll have a sense of control and a clear direction for your marketing campaigns.
2. Live Video
Although pre-recorded videos offer cleaner and edited experiences, they do not create as much engagement as live videos do.
Your audience’s experience of live videos compares to having a personal video call with another person even though you’re broadcasting to a number of people. There are several factors to consider when looking at why and how to develop your live video content strategies.
Here are the key points to consider:
- With 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world, mobile usage is at an all-time high. And the most convenient content format for mobile is video. Creating live videos gives your users a great mobile experience and it’s convenient to consume.
- The popularity of apps like Snapchat and Tik Tok, especially with the younger generation indicates that short and impactful videos will continue to matter in the future.
- Everyone can create content today. Videos made from a mobile propped on the dashboard of a car can have as much impact as one that’s carefully produced in front of a green screen. When making live videos, don’t hesitate to use informal backgrounds or ones that highlight your real work environment.
Live videos can take different forms. You can directly broadcast from virtually all social media platforms and set up live webinars and other events for your audience. The industry you’re in and whether your customers are in the B2C or B2B arena will influence the type of live content you’ll create.
So take these factors into account when planning your live video content.
3. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are a type of information box that appears at the top of a search result page. It allows a user to get almost complete answers to their questions in a snapshot.
Ranking at the very top of a result page can bring you more traffic and validates your site’s domain authority.
An important part of your content marketing strategy should include appearing as a featured snippet. There’s no way to know exactly how Google ranks and chooses websites to use as a top result, but the following tips will help. In general, you’ll also create web content that’s more user friendly and Google-friendly too.
- Structure your content to make it easy to read. Create short paragraphs, add headlines, and write concise statements.
- Answer a specific question and make step-by-step posts that meet a need.
- Use structured data, i.e. markups from Schema.org, which can help Google understand your content better.
Although landing a featured snippet spot won’t necessarily mean that you’ll get more clicks to your site (because people get all the information they need from the result), it’s how Google works now. Getting a top spot will help boost your brand image and have an overall positive impact on your website.
4. Dynamic Web Stories
Stories are a popular feature on social media where people can create videos or images in a vertical format which then disappears after 24 hours. They’re mobile-friendly formats and make use of the shape and functionalities of a mobile phone to help users consume and interact with content.
Web stories are the web-based version of social media stories. They blend images, videos, text, animation, and audio to create highly interactive content. You can interact with them by tapping and swiping on your screen. They appear on mobile searches, Discover, and Google Images.
Creating web stories is easy to do with Google’s free story creation website. You can also download its plugin to create storytelling content for your site. With the help of these tools, you can make attractive ‘cards’ with a profile image, your logo, title, and publishing info.
This can also be used as an advertising format that creates immersive experiences for your audience.
5. Mobile Experience
With billions of users relying on their mobile phones to get information, it’s essential for you to create better mobile experiences for site visitors.
Today, Google indexes mobile versions of your site first, making your mobile site a major ranking factor. So, it’s vital to use mobile responsive themes and to make sure that your site loads in 3 seconds or less.
Also, leverage UX principles, prioritize content, and make navigation on your site simpler to make better mobile experiences for your visitors.
6. Focus on Values
Now more than ever, businesses need to be sensitive and listen to what matters to their audience. As customers deal with uncertainty in their daily lives, it becomes necessary to focus on values like integrity and transparency.
And you need to build a credible online presence so that your audience trusts you and your offerings.
There are many ways that we’ll see messages from businesses take shape the next year:
- A greater focus on saving money
- Communicating low risk through trials, solid refund plans, and risk-free guarantees
- Reducing ad messages that encourage compulsive spending and splurges
In the next year, businesses will benefit from highlighting their community-building efforts and the support they offer to their employees and customers.
Being mindful of the common struggles that people face during the present time will help you develop content that’s thoughtful and provides practical value to customers.
Another power approach in your content marketing is to elicit emotions through your marketing communication. Emotions are the primary way to get attention in a digital space where you’re competing with a number of other businesses to get your users’ attention. As you build your content around values that matter, you’ll also create a content strategy that creates an emotional response to your marketing efforts.
7. Online Courses
We can expect to see the number of online courses increase in the next year as a direct result of the pandemic. Educational institutions and professionals like coaches and trainers in different industries now have to create virtual classes to continue making an income. People who have lost jobs or are working from home are looking for ways to develop relevant skills.
So, building online courses with the help of a plugin or an online course platform is a powerful way to create helpful content. 41.7% of Fortune 500 companies leverage online teaching platforms to train their employees. You can also leverage it to offer your clients more value by presenting information in a more engaging way.
Brands like SEMrush and Moz have online courses that teach their audience more about SEO. This works at several levels, but the main benefit is that users now know how to use these tools to improve their website rankings. In turn, they’re more likely to stay subscribed to these platforms over the long term.
Consider building your online course to help your audience gain a new skill or learn more about your industry. Offering it to them at a discounted price or for free will build goodwill and you’ll also be able to create a community around your product.
There you have it. We’ve looked at a few content marketing trends that you can prepare for in 2021. Although many areas in business came to a halt in 2020, one area that has grown is content marketing. By being on top of the major trends we can expect to see in the next year, you’ll be prepared to leverage these trends and grow your own business.