Content marketing in 2020 was characterized by dramatic and swift changes in strategy and how quickly brands could adapt. In 2021, that adaptability could prove to be just as relevant.
Content has become the essence of lead generation, sales campaigns, and branding, even, across inbound and paid channels, primarily due to one thing – its effectiveness. The content marketing landscape is always changing. It’s not something brands can set and forget, especially in an age when all marketing is going digital. Boosting content marketing efforts is essential for the growth of the brand.
One of the biggest forces shifting the tides in the content marketing game is the coronavirus pandemic. Especially during extraordinary times, businesses need to adapt their content to make it relevant and engaging for their target demographic.
Chris McLaughlin, CMO, Nuxeo, says, “Digital strategy and experience are important at the best of times, but have taken on a new importance in 2020. This will continue into 2021. It’s tough, but not an impossible task and with careful content management, firms can deliver a first-class digital customer experience and offer the personalized and valuable content that will improve consumer loyalty.”
Here are some of the top content marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
The Rise of Interactive Content
It is becoming increasingly difficult to engage today’s consumers, with the attention span getting shorter with each day. Some brands are now opting for interactive content to make a lasting impression on their target audience and drive more engagement.
Interactive content that requires consumers to participate and be actively engaged more than just watching or reading will rise, but to reach a wider audience, brands will probably throw in a few rewards in return for that engagement.
Demand for Brand Transparency
When it comes to marketing – transparency, authenticity, and value have always been important. 2020 has bought an absolute demand for transparency from business to consumers.
Not being transparent is usually seen by consumers as a red flag. Any discrepancy between what a brand says and what it does is going to cause significant problems among its customers.
Tonya Chin, Chief Communications Officer at Nutanix, says, “One trend that has recently seen an uptick is local publications being bought, not by larger media conglomerates looking to consolidate, but by firms producing sponsored content. This is a completely different publication model and one that might be more financially viable (although only time will tell), but it will sometimes put transparency at odds with financial stability. While sponsored content can absolutely be just as valuable to readers, I also expect a growing need and reader demand for transparency”, she adds.
Brands benefit hugely by showing transparency, especially on social media. Customers seek out brands they can trust more frequently, so being transparent helps immensely in the trust of more users.
Companies that don’t provide this transparency and perhaps even go as far as to create inauthentic content may face negative consequences moving forward.
Repurposing Content is the Way to Go
2020 has seen brands trying to create engaging content with fewer resources. In 2021 there will be a bigger focus on repurposing content across channels. Brands are spending a lot of time and effort to create high-quality, engaging content; it only makes sense to share it across as many platforms and as many people as possible. The best way to do that is to repurpose.
In 2021, brands and their content teams will start figuring out how to effectively use content from round tables, webinars, conferences, and podcasts to stoke the content bonfire.
Personalized Content to Rule
With customers getting increasingly savvy today, brands need a sophisticated way to communicate, one that speaks to the customer on an individual level. It is extremely important as expectations have changed, and being relevant to what a customer wants and needs, is key. Personalization offers companies an edge against the competition, too.
Richard Jones, CMO of Cheetah Digital, says, “If Content is King, then Context is the Queen of the marketing chessboard. Having a more detailed understanding of the customer, from zero-party-based interests to a more detailed view on customer interactions, makes next-generation personalization much easier and hence popular. Applying machine learning and analytics to your personalization strategy will allow marketers to drive efficiency, effectiveness, automation, and optimization”.
Personalization depends entirely on data; the more data companies have about their customers, the better the chance to create more meaningful messaging.
Influencer Marketing Will be Bigger Than Ever
The buzz around influencer marketing continues to grow. It has been a source of great results for brands. Having an influencer create content for the brand on their channel certainly adds some credibility to the brand in the eyes of their followers.
Influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down, with more brands integrating into their core digital marketing strategy.