In recent years, organizations that have made clear and sound investments in content marketing have confirmed that those investments have paid off. Marketers, on the other hand, must stay abreast of the ever-changing content marketing environment in order to sustain their growth.
What worked last year may not be sufficient in 2021. Being able to predict consumer behavior changes based on technological advancements and updates will help you refine your approach and stay ahead of the curve.
Before we get into some of the trends to watch in 2021, let’s take a look at why content marketing continues to evolve.
Content marketing is still changing to keep up with new technology, patterns, and customer demands. Increased use of mobile devices, voice search, and social media, for example, all necessitate staying on top of things. Then there are the networks themselves, which are constantly evolving. Established sites such as Facebook have begun to cater to an older demographic, while newer platforms such as TikTok appeal to a younger demographic.
Content marketers must change their strategies to meet changing trends in order to successfully reach their audiences.
Some trends are gaining considerable ground, while many current content marketing trends are a continuation or evolution of existing ones.
With up to 24 million e-commerce stores on the market, you’ll need to find a way to stand out. In such a crowded setting, you do this by forming a group. Community marketing isn’t about making a fast buck; it’s about interacting with consumers, establishing confidence and loyalty, and expanding the scope.
DSC (Dollar Shave Club) is a perfect example of this. DSC is a subscription-based organization that considers all of its members to be members of society.
DSC includes members in its monthly newsletter and ensures that its subscribers are at the heart of the company, in addition to having a social media presence and a blog to connect with customers.
There’s also ProBlogger.
You may be familiar with ProBlogger because of its work board or blog. Its culture, on the other hand, is an important part of the brand. The group brings together both young and experienced bloggers to learn and collaborate.
It also offers:
Long-form content was the subject of advertisers for a long time. However, content marketing has recently taken a step back from comprehensive, lengthy article guides. Instead, niche, long-tail keywords are becoming increasingly popular, as they are more descriptive and have less competition.
Furthermore, using long-tail keywords makes getting the content ranked on Google much easier. This translates to more organic traffic, which is good news for advertisers aiming for a lucrative niche.
It wasn’t difficult to find these long-tail keywords. There are a variety of free and paid resources available, including:
You can also use:
You can then focus on a specific segment of your business and create content around the subject once you’ve narrowed down your keywords.
There has been a consistent trend away from content churning in recent years. The companies that are having the most success with content marketing aren’t just dumping content on their audience. They’re going for a media publishing strategy.
Now, the method is just as critical as the content itself. Having a group of writers is no longer sufficient. To satisfy the demands of your audience, the business needs to develop a wider approach that includes a more diverse pool of talent and skills.
That is to say, good writing alone isn’t enough. For the coming year, the content team will need to expand and adapt, and it should involve people with expertise in:
Repurposing content saves time, exposes you to a new audience, and improves organic search results. Simply put, this entails repackaging it in a different format. Consider the following scenario:
ESPN demonstrated the power of content repurposing. When ESPN first unveiled “We the Fans,” it made the content available in a variety of formats. ESPN’s policy included articles, podcasts, videos, and social media.
“The concept was to take advantage of all of ESPN’s platforms,” says Chad Millman, VP/editorial director of U.S. digital content.
You should think about doing the same for your business.
In the future, advertisers will be required to change their marketing strategies, and we would expect to see a rise in current trends such as Google Discover and stories to attract readers and keep them on the page.
Let’s look at these content marketing patterns in more detail.
Google Discover is being discussed by Yoast, Search Engine Land, and HubSpot, to name a few. It was formerly known as Google Feed, but it has undergone major changes since its inception.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Discover, it is a service that blends news, evergreen content, and visuals such as images. Google uses AI and machine learning to consider a user’s search history in order to fill the feed, ensuring that the audience sees content that is likely to engage them.
Discover is available on Google’s websites, and when mobile Chrome users open a tab, they’ll see the feed.
Discover evolves over time to become more complex. Only ask the editors of Vogue and Vice.
If your content complies with the guidelines and has been indexed by Google, it is entitled to appear on Discover. However, Google notes that your content will not be guaranteed to appear in its Discover feed.
Google, on the other hand, has several guidelines that can help the content rank higher.
For a variety of reasons, stories are becoming increasingly common. For starters, they create fantastic social media content. Second, they’ll appear in smartphone searches and Google Images, boosting your chances of being found.
Other factors contributing to their increasing success include platforms such as Google Stories, which make story development open to everyone.
Google Web Stories, on the other hand, appeal to customers’ business lifestyles and provide news for people on the go, thanks to the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which enables readers to flip through stories in the same way they would on social media.
Instagram Guides are another example of story functionality. These websites offer curated video, photo, and text material. The aim is to make content more accessible, allowing brands and influencers to be discovered more easily.
Expert commentary will help you stand out by lending credibility to your content. As a result, including comments from a subject matter expert or a featured expert can help your content perform better.
Google does not include subject matter material when determining rankings (yet). In their quality rankings, however, evaluators take into account the competence, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) element.
However, Google isn’t the only one who cares about high-quality content. Consumers are as well.
According to a Nielsen survey, 85 percent of consumers search for expert content before making a purchase on a daily or periodic basis.
Furthermore, independent expert endorsements make 67 percent of consumers more likely to approve a purchase.
The survey’s sponsor, InPowered, claims there are three key takeaways from the findings.
Natural language generation (NLG) is growing in popularity, and so is the use of creative media. Generative media, like NLG, uses AI to generate content. The only difference is that instead of text, it generates computer-generated images.
It works similar to NLP:
The designer gives their instruction to the machine, detailing parameters/algorithms.
The machine uses these parameters to create an image.
Nevertheless, the designer nonetheless has some input and can alter algorithms to produce the complete piece.
Lastly, Studios Tyler Lastovich expected the rise of generative media a long time ago. While there has been an increase in use, as Lastovich points out, we have yet to see its full potential. For example, content marketers may use it in the following areas:
Trial versions of generative design, cloud-based generative design solutions, and the growing convergence of 3D printing with generative designs are just a few of the reasons for this content marketing trend, according to a senior analyst at Techna.
Content personalization, according to Yieldify, is the “method of tailoring visible content to the consumer based on their profile or preferences.”
Each visitor to your website is at a different point in their customer journey. Your content should be tailored to their particular requirements and should motivate them to take the next step.
A customer who visits your website to learn more about new kitchen units is a good example. When they return to your web, you might give them an e-book with advice on selecting the best kitchen cabinets for their home or a checklist for getting ready for the renovation.
If you want to keep your customer happy, content-driven personalization is a must. According to Salesforce research, 84 percent of customers believe that being viewed like an individual rather than a number is critical to winning their company.
Furthermore, 59% believe that customizing engagement based on previous experiences is critical to winning their big business.
While the trends mentioned here are supported by evidence, trends aren’t all. Do some study to see if they can help you develop your content marketing plan in 2021. There’s also a lot of historical data that shows how easily patterns can fizzle out.
Always do your homework before chasing content marketing patterns. As you move into 2021, keep an eye on top performers in your industry and use data, as well as experimentation, to fuel your plan.