Content Marketing Strategy – Five Trends You Should Employ for 2021
Did you know that nearly 90% of business-to-business marketers use content marketing in order to increase brand awareness and to get more business leads? It’s true, according to Forbes.
Good, quality content, more than anything else is what businesses should be creating. Gimmicky content that doesn’t address the needs of a particular niche doesn’t get shared.
Any hopes of marketing to that niche would fall flat.
If you’re planning your content marketing strategy for the coming months, here are a few of the trends that are popular right now and will likely remain so for the remainder of 2021.
Defining Content Marketing
According to a Forbes article, content marketing focuses on the creation and distribution of content that users deem relevant and valuable.
It’s also content that marketers create for a specific audience. Consider this definition your marching orders.
Products & Services Without Content Are Meaningless
Well, more or less.
The best content marketing strategies for 2021 build brand awareness and have several stages to them.
The type of content that you use as a marketer will change with each phase. E-books and educational content, for example, work best at the awareness stage.
Videos and podcasts have more sway in the consideration phase.
Case studies and demos are the way to go during the decision stage. Knowing which type of content to use can make all the difference in how successful a business’s content marketing will be in 2021.
1. Content Marketing Isn’t Just Writing Anymore
Content marketer and media expert Neil Patel says on his website that 2021 will be all about expanding contenting marketing.
More specifically, content marketers won’t just be writing blog posts.
Content marketing trends in 2021 include video production and editing. They also include graphic design, audio production, and media buying and advertising.
Patel also reminds content marketing pros that the most successful content marketing campaigns have at least eight different content marketing tactics.
2. Be Sure to Include Video
According to an article on Inc.com, in the future 80% of online traffic will come from video.
What’s more, 90% of social network users are willing to share videos they like. Therefore, savvy content marketers like you will include plans to make videos that your audience will love.
You should strive to make videos that catch viewers’ attention within the first seven seconds. Otherwise, those viewers will click away to something else. Probably to your competitor’s site.
The best videos are short videos. There are a lot of things competing for people’s attention these days. Short videos are easy to watch, remember, and act on.
On a related note, live video streaming continues to gain ground as a content marketing staple.
An article on Outbrain suggests that 82% of people who consume content would rather watch a live-streamed video than read a blog post.
Nearly anything can become a live-streamed event. Dunkin’ Donuts showed off their test kitchen, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how things are created.
Arrow star Stephen Amell regularly live streams to his fans. Amell talks about everything from what will happen next in Arrowverse (without giving too much away) to chatting about his winery Knocking Point to trying to raise money for his pet charities.
Live streaming on platforms like Facebook also allows brand creators to interact live with their audience.
This gives them an opportunity to answer questions about their brand and to hear how their products and services have helped the people in their niche.
Be that kind of creator.
And finally, remember, the best videos are videos that run on mobile devices.
3. Expand Your Idea of Social Media
Most content marketing trends for 2021 will include some social media.
However, it’s important to expand the types of social media that’s being used. While Facebook might have been king not that long ago, its algorithms have changed.
That said, email marketing can do wonders for a business’s bottom line.
It’s still social, and it has the added benefit of belonging to the marketer. The issue that many people have with sites like Facebook or Twitter is that depending on a third-party site makes a business vulnerable, because when that social media site changes, the businesses using it gets no say in the matter.
However, a mailing list isn’t as vulnerable to the winds of change. Email marketing can be augmented by in-person events, including trade shows and speaking engagements.
Additionally, content marketing trends for 2021 include some up-and-coming types of social media.
The big one, of course, is augmented reality. With augmented reality, customers can try on makeup, test drive a car, or look through a home’s floor plan. If your company plans on investing in AR, it should plan on having an app created that connects users to the AR feature.
This capitalizes on people’s love for mobile phones, and if the app is useful enough, it means that a company’s potential customers could be using its app every day.
Every day use equals more sales because these folks are thinking about you.
Finally, it can’t be stressed enough that all videos should be mobile friendly: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the sites where video users most share their favorite videos.
4. The Game is Afoot
Gamification has become big among content marketers. One of the most recent examples of the successful use of gamification was the marketing campaign for “The Hunger Games” franchise.
According to a New York Times article, the head of marketing for the movie series Tim Palen capitalized on the built-in audience created by Suzanne Collins’s books.
His content marketing campaign included Twitter posts that contained game pieces that became posters when all the game pieces were assembled.
People playing the game followed a specific hashtag. Each time they found a post with that hashtag, they also found another piece to the puzzle.
There were also online communities developed. The people who joined the communities belonged to districts just like they would if they lived in the world of Panem and could run for mayor of their districts.
The more people that these fans got to vote for them, the more of the game’s goodies were unlocked. They shared more and they got more.
While your company may not have the budget that “The Hunger Games” franchise does, you can still capitalize on gaming. Platforms like Minecraft or Second Life can be leveraged to allow you to create games for the people in your niche.
You can also create special hashtags for an event that will unlock more prizes the more the hashtag is shared. This is just one way to include gamification in your content marketing plans.
5. Get To Know Influencers
Influencers are people who have clout with a respective audience. These people range from very serious social science thinkers like Malcolm Gadwell to the more culturally popular like the Kardashians.
Content marketing professionals would do well to take heed of the influencers in their niche. These people can open doors to an audience that would otherwise be closed to most, without a whole lot of work.
Online influencers today are like the celebrity endorsements for insurance and fitness equipment all those years ago.
People who trust the opinion of influencers often trust their recommendations. This includes trusting the influencer’s recommendations about which businesses that their audience should give its attention to.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, those who want to get to know the influencers in their niche should do their research. Approaching an influencer about something outside of their niche rarely earns the content marketer the result he/she desires.
It should be understood that if this person has any kind of influence at all, then that person’s time is valuable. The best chance that the content marketer has is to take it one step at a time.
As your company’s content marketer, you should also be able to offer the influencer something of equal value in exchange for the influencer’s help.
Finally, for content marketers to be effective in 2021, they need to approach the social influencer with a proposition that the influencer isn’t likely to get from other sources.
It’s one thing to ask an influencer to review a business’s product.
It’s another thing to ask that same influencer to be involved in an educational program or to be involved in a giveaway that benefits the influencer’s circle.
The savviest content marketing campaigns include a variety of different content types. While traditional content marketing vehicles like blogs will still be used in 2021, other types of content will also take center stage.
Among these will be videos and augmented reality as well as live-stream video.
These platforms typically pull more than many other types of content, including written blog posts. They also encourage engagement and allow your customers to share their hopes and questions with you.
Additionally, niche influencers should play a big role in your content marketing strategy. If you don’t know who the influencers are in your niche, it’s time to get to know them.
But take it slowly. You want the relationship you build with them to be mutually satisfying.
You should further be aware of the different stages of content marketing and plan your content marketing strategies accordingly. While video may be popular, don’t overlook e-Books, for example.
All of these modes of communication can have a place in your content marketing plans.
Finally, the best content marketing for 2021 will be content that is engaging and useful. All the attention you pay to content marketing trends for 2021 will be useless if the content you provide for your audience is deemed useless to them.
You should strive first and foremost to create content that is of good quality that your audience will want to share.
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Updated: Orginally published April 2nd 2018