Content Marketing Trends That Will Continue to Make an Impact in 2021
2020 has been a year of significant change in the world of content marketing. Unlike every other year, 2020 brought to us a global crisis that changed the way marketers approached content. With an unexpected financial strain across sectors, brands and organisations have had to look beyond their traditional audiences and broaden their reach. With the end of the year around the corner, we’ve decided to review what 2020 has offered content marketers, but more importantly, what the key content marketing trends for 2021 are.
Content Marketing in 2020 – An Overview
With more and more organisations moving online this year, along with the inevitably longer hours being spent in this space, 2020 presented content marketers with an audience that was now much easier to penetrate. Due to various COVID-related restrictions, people all across the world were confined to their homes for the longest time. Unable to step out, the luxuries of daily life became all the more appealing, thus making the job of marketers easier.
In terms of actionable trends, however, 2020 continued to build on various aspects. Long-form content, for example, saw immense popularity across industries as marketers aimed to provide their audiences with comprehensive and engaging content, thus bringing them a step closer towards a final purchase.
Additionally, the increasing use of voice search further ushered in the need for content that’s tailored for the audience, rather than for search engines themselves. Furthermore, content was tailored to be more visually appealing and readable, ensuring that readers get the information they need through crisp snippets, rather than through unusually long paragraphs.
Looking ahead to 2021, content marketing is poised to see further growth across the aforementioned aspects, apart from several others. So let’s dive right into it and find out the top content marketing trends for 2021.
Top Content Marketing Trends for 2021
1. Greater Focus on BoFu Content
The pandemic has led to brands and organisations moving all their operations online, including sales. The accompanying uncertainty of these times means that brands will increasingly focus on creating content that generates leads or sales, or in other words, moves them further down the sales funnel. This is the end game, after all, and is what all content eventually leads to.
Your buyer has done their research and is weighing their options at this stage. What they need from you as a marketer is that final push leading up to a purchase. Your content needs to be convincing enough to make them take this step.
2. High-Quality SEO, Based on User Intent
SEO has always been a content marketing essential. However, what 2020 changed was the need for more high-quality SEO, and this is only going to be true for 2021. More importantly, all SEO efforts will have to cater to user intent if they’re expected to yield results. This will involve researching the most effective keywords, and also drilling down on long-tail keywords as part of a comprehensive effort to fill in a content gap in your niche.
This further goes hand in hand with another aspect that will influence content marketing efforts in 2021 – the increasing use of voice search. Statistics predicted that by the end of 2020, almost 50% of all searches will be voice-based. What’s more, is that its convenience is only going to ensure its continued growth. It’s thus crucial that marketers create content and use keywords that cater to patterns emerging from this trend.
3. Building Content Communities
One of the biggest changes that 2020 has brought to the world of content marketing is the formation of content communities. With the sudden challenges brought on by the pandemic, building communities was seen as a surefooted method of increasing a brand’s reach. The benefits of these communities are varied, from engaging writers and their audiences with your brand to increasing contributions and word-of-mouth marketing.
Fostering a sense of community among your audience is one of the best ways to keep building on your brand’s engagement, along with doing wonders for your brand’s awareness across various channels.
4. Building Content Hubs to Generate Trust and Brand Awareness
With the extent of competition in the market across sectors, it’s essential that a brand builds on its awareness and generate trust in its audience.
Every company needs to be a media company they say, it is perhaps the most effective way to build customer loyalty and trust in your brand. It’s also a great way to build content ‘hubs’ that continuously educate audiences and further build their trust in you.
Recently, Cipla, a pharmaceutical company, created a content hub to educate people about Asthma and Inhalers. Iconic brands are created with consistent efforts to build trust and help customers. And with Breathefree, Cipla is leading from the front.
Doing so requires consistency. Your brand’s messaging must be consistent across channels, and it must continue to educate its audiences with their best interests in mind. Remember, content is no longer created for search engines, but for the audiences themselves. Ask yourself what it would take for you as a customer to attach yourself to a brand, such that your continue to purchase their offerings without much thought, and then work on implementing a similar strategy for your brand. After all, wouldn’t it feel like a victory if your audiences recognized themselves as your loyalist? The boost that such trust could give your brand is tremendous.
5. Target Google’s Featured Snippets
Over the years, Google has continuously tweaked its algorithm with the aim of providing users with the exact information they search for. This is often presented to them in what’s known as a featured snippet. However, to have a part of your content featured on top of Google’s web page requires an effort to create content that’s targeted to the user’s intent, clearly answering the question they’re asking.
These featured snippets can be in the form of how-to lists, summary paragraphs or even tables. Regardless, your goal must be to create content that’s crisp, clear and is structured as logically as possible for it to stand a chance to be featured.
6. User-Generated Content
There’s no way you can go wrong with this. Using user-generated content is perhaps among the best ways of building your brand’s awareness and generating further trust in it.
UGC leads to network effects and reach scale without doing significant efforts. If you are a B2C brand, moving towards UGC could be a smart way to reach scale and grow your organic traffic.
And if you are B2B company, take some inspiration from how Cisco got content generated by their employees for their campaign “We are Cisco”
2021 is going to be the year in which one gets the opportunity to hone the changes made to their content marketing strategies post the pandemic. And those who do this best will see the success they aim to achieve. At the core of a brand’s content marketing efforts is a keen understanding of your buyer persona to thus create content that helps drive them further down the marketing funnel. We hope this piece on the top content marketing trends for 2021 answers the ‘how’ of this mission!
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