It's now 2021 - and we're all finding the makeup of our working day a little different to what it should be. If you're finding less and less of your usual daily tasks coming in, don't sit around - look for ways you can improve the way your business works, take a look at the processes, strategies and tools you rely on daily and see what you can change for the better.
One such strategy is content marketing - this is where you create regular content to achieve your marketing goals, whether that be brand recognition, SEO, sales or retention. Generally, types of content can be broken down into text, images & video - but you can get a lot more granular than that, believe me.
Content marketing has been a huge part of many online strategies for businesses for a long time, so it's probably something you're familiar with already - but if not, don't worry - it isn't going anywhere soon. Here are some of the top content marketing trends to look out for in 2021:
Some trends come and go with the winds of change - SEO is not one of them. Whether you're a huge multinational or a local service - SEO is always high on the agenda and something that never can be ignored.
But while the big boys out there will keep trying to dominate that all-important money keyword with a singular focus, it's the smaller businesses we'll see targeting more niche terms and long-tail keywords to get their slice of the pie through more engaging content.
This is why it's more important than ever to have a well thought out SEO strategy based on thorough keyword research to back up and inform your content marketing.
Keep putting out the same types of content and you'll only ever reach the same people - or worse, your audience will get bored and move on. The expectation these days is that your website puts out a variety of content across different mediums - that's just how it is now.
That means taking advantage of, not just blogs and articles, but also infographics, video, podcasts and dare I suggest - the odd cheeky meme. This might mean expanding your skillset, or finding someone else to work with who can plug the gaps in your knowledge - if you're an active blogger, that might be graphic design.
That might sound like a pain, and expensive - but it doesn't have to be. When you diversify your content mediums, you can actually spend less time thinking up new ideas for content. Keep this thinking in mind when planning your content and you'll find opportunities and angles for topics that can work across multiple mediums - actually reducing your thinking time.
The reason this works so well is because people have a preferred way to consume their content media - some prefer video, others images or long form blog posts (hey, like you!). This means they naturally gravitate towards the type of content that suits them best, which means most will never even notice that you've used the same content ideas more than once - how's that for a bang for your buck.
On the same lines of thinking as content diversification - you shouldn't forget about your past content. That blog post that performed really well, may also work well as an infographic or a discussion point for a podcast.
This means digging through your analytics, whether that's for your website or social channels, and finding what worked. What topics engaged people the most, what ranked the most - and what grabbed people's attention. This is a great strategy when trying to create engaging content with fewer resources - new content can be expensive, after all.
Another way is to revisit those old, high performing, pieces of content and give them an update for 2021. This is something already commonly done for blog content to freshen it up and has great SEO benefits. But you can also update infographics and videos too as new information, new ways of thinking and design standards come to the front.
Basically, just because you've covered something before - don't ignore it, going over old ground can be a really cost-efficient way to produce new, highly engaging content for your audience.
If 2020 will be remembered for one leap in a type of content creation it will be live video streaming - something we've been doing for a while, but even we didn't expect things to blow up quite like this.
People have moved to live streaming, mostly through necessity - but as 2021 progresses we think we'll find it's here to stay. After all, with live video streaming you can reach a much wider audience, for a fraction of the cost in the way that suits them best.
Now, what that means is that live streaming will go from being an extra, to an expectation for your customers - we've seen it before with social. So, before you start planning your own live concert to appease the masses (it won't) - for a business this is more to do with smaller scale broadcasts.
As a business, you need to be thinking about webinars, presentations - but also live video discussions and chat (a phone call isn't enough anymore). From a content marketing perspective - think about what kind of live video you can put out that reflects the way you work, what can only you share with people? You'd be surprised what people find of interest from their favourite brands.
Another trend being predicted by experts for 2021 is that as budgets and resources tighten, businesses will put a greater focus on the bottom of their funnels and their core offerings.
This is a result of marketers being more conscious of the ROI from their content marketing - so expect to see more sales driven content from your favourite brands.
Content more aligned with strong buying personas that is closely aligned with specific products or services tends to have a clearer path to ROI.
As a content creator, this just means you should always have a clear message within the content you create as you guide your prospects down the conversion funnel.
Ever click through to read a piece of content only to be bombarded with ads, pop-ups - or worse, that thing where they split it over multiple pages to get more ad views? Annoying.
Arguably, this is more of a web design issue depending on how an organisation runs its website. But the point is the same - how we experience content when we interact with it is as important as the content itself. That's why a key focus on content experience is going to be a growing trend for 2021.
If your goal is to use content to drive potential customers down the conversion funnel, then you need to keep them on your website, or to keep coming back because it's an enjoyable experience. Not bouncing straight off because you can't find the next paragraph amongst all the ads (news sites, I'm looking at you).
Ultimately, if you create useful, engaging content that's a pleasure to read then it will have the desired effect.
While you plan your content marketing strategy for 2021, keep these trends in mind. The overall focus is going to be creating less, but more varied content, of a higher quality that achieves your business goals without necessarily taking on more resource. This means it's more important than ever to work with a digital marketing agency that can offer the full package, to keep your strategies and resources consolidated and all working towards your business goals.
Get in touch to see how we can help.