There’s no doubt about it, 2020 was a rocky year, and for many businesses, things dramatically changed.
Companies downsized, workers went remote, and everything went digital.
In the last year, the world of content marketing and SEO has turned upside down.
In this blog, I want to share six content marketing trends we’re seeing in 2021.
In 2021, content means business
After a year like 2020, business budgets have never meant so much. Industries across the globe are in a constant state of scenario planning, and with no certainty on the horizon, every penny now counts.
Many businesses have refocused on digital with clever money pouring into SEO-focused content. It’s less expensive to produce than other types of marketing initiatives, builds brand trust and brand equity, and it meets your customers where they are.
This year, content performance will marry up even more to a business’s bottom line.
If you’re not moving the needle, then you’re in trouble.
Focus on real-person connections
This has never been so important. With the entire world now stuck at home, people want to feel a part of a community more than ever.
What’s more, new digital habits have solidified themselves and people expect more from content marketing, and in real-time.
Social media, video content and online events are your gateways to a loyal audience. Use them.
Speak for your community, not your business
Political tensions ran high in 2020, and that likely won’t change in 2021.
This year, ask yourself: Are you representing just yourself, or are you creating inclusive and representative content that speaks to your entire audience?
Microsoft Advertising unique research found 64 percent of people said they are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in ads and 85 percent of consumers said they will consider a brand they trust.
Start learning about what makes purpose-driven marketing, and start speaking to your entire community. Today’s consumers want brands to align to their values, not just their identity.
Focus on video
We’ve been saying this one for years, but it continues to ring true. In 2021, interactive content like videos and podcasts will play a huge role in content marketing. Without in-person events or any real way for brands to physically engage with an audience, you can expect them to turn to interactive (and often real-time) video content.
Google’s announcements at the 2020 Search On conference just confirm what we already know. Video matters.
Focus on audience insights as your marker for growth
Mindsets are changing rapidly as of late, and current events are a great way to interact with your audience and drive engagement.
To understand this, turn to your data for more. This will tell you what you need to time your next big push and get ahead of the competition.
Don’t neglect the power of meta content in 2021
We’re not talking meta descriptions, image alt tags and optimized H1 tags here. No. Instead, we’re talking about the content around the thing you’re promoting or selling, that helps provide a richer narrative for your products and brands.
Meta content is a great way to build hype for upcoming releases and can benefit brands with or without an audience. It adds a level of personal interaction with an audience that is unmatched elsewhere. For example:
- Cinema releases produce behind the scenes content and release cast interviews and set images to build hype.
- Companies releasing products launch Kickstarter promotional videos and the making of’ YouTube features.
- For service businesses, they can build hype by releasing demo reels, client testimonials, and content that promotes awards and recognition.
Spotify is a great example of a company that produces meta content to build audience engagement. Every year, they release a meta-analysis for each user. This feature is interactive and personal to each user and showcases things like top songs, favourite genres and most listened to artists.
In 2021, don’t neglect the power of meta content to help build hype around your releases.
Finally, offer a human touch
If we’ve learned one thing this last year, it’s that even CEOs have loud-mouthed children, dirty dishes and casual clothes. Humanity is exactly that, and the ‘ego’ of business has been heavily levelled.
For your content marketing efforts to succeed in 2021, you need to offer meaningful experiences that don’t try too hard. Think analogue experiences to counter screentime burnout. Think artisanal products to counter the rise of Jeff Bezos.
And finally, think authentic. Not #authentic, but actually authentic, because nothing beats showing the world that you too are just a human being (or collection of human beings!) trying to do something meaningful with the time that you have in front of you.