If content was king pre-pandemic, it’s going to grow to become the intergalactic empress with each coming year. CMOs have recognized the importance of content, with most companies planning to spend more on content marketing across the board in 2021. That’s no surprise considering the pandemic only stoked the consumer’s appetite for content as everyone stayed in, stayed home, and stayed connected. And unlike intrusive digital advertising, buyers continually show that they welcome good content that is relevant, useful, and engaging, and experts predict this to continue as the world emerges post-crisis.
Many significant trends will drive what, where, how, when, and why buyers consume content. We chose a handful to focus on because, well, we’re content marketers too (and while we have your attention, we hope you are finding this read relevant, useful, and engaging).
Here are just a few content trends to monitor and consider for your marketing team:
Honing in on buyer personas
Marketer, know thy buyer – as in stalker-level know them. Why? Because the more you know, the better the content. Understand what they need before they need it, where they will look for it, and with what content form they are likely to engage. Data is essential here – not just performance marketing data but also data analytics that generate insights to predict consumer behavior so that content decisions hit the mark each time. Practical relevance will eventually mean personalization. Individualized, personal content is the future (including personalized videos).
SEO is so NOW
With the explosion of content, profoundly understanding what and why your buyers are searching for will continue to be vital – like page ranking life or death vital. Since you’re going to be refreshing your buyer personas, make sure search intent is part of that profile. Search behavior is volatile – especially after the year, we have all experienced. What predictions can you make for search strategy based on past and current buyer searches? What other data can you apply to improve how you anticipate buyer search behavior so that your content – and not your competition’s – is what they find? Are you staying up to date with how search engines are evaluating and ranking pages? For example, Google’s introduction of Core Web Vitals has implications for every brand on the planet.
Optimizing Repurposed Content
Chances are, a robust repository of previously released content exists at most companies. Often brands believe that everyone has seen, read, watched that old stuff. The simple answer is no. So that means that the repository is a treasure trove of material that can be sliced and diced and served up hot and fresh in formats appropriate for various channels. Every piece of content can have multiple personalities – webinars, blog posts, emails, social posts, videos etc.
Collaborative content builds bonds and brands
One of the highest potential content opportunities is recruiting external brand believers for content co-creation. Loyal customers are already actively and informally promoting your company. Also, consider collaborating with external partners and vendors. Create a community for your most enamored fans, a space where content creation, engagement, and new member recruitment are likely to happen organically.
When everyone and their grandma is making TikTok videos, something’s going on. Video is the most critical content type that marketers need to plan for in 2021 and beyond (and this is where that repurposed content idea comes in – recut what you have and release on multiple platforms). Rough cuts. Or polished, professional productions. Stop motion. Animations. Live. All kinds of formats. Multiple channels – TikTok, InstaReels, YouTube, Facebook. Then, there’s Twitch and Caffeine quickly coming into view (see what we did there?). Why the popularity of video? Consumers love it for its digestible convenience and storytelling speed. And Marketers are fans too. A Hubspot research study found that 99% of current video marketers plan on continuing video use in 2021.
There’s never been a more exciting time for Content Marketing, with the mind-boggling number of potential combinations of formats and platforms. If you are looking to build out your team of content storytellers – whether freelance or full-time – few creative recruiters are connected to a vast swath of content talent than 24 Seven. Check out our guide to hiring marketers to learn more or contact one of expertMarketing recruiters today.