Thanks to COVID, the digital marketing landscape has changed A LOT! It has shown just about every business, if you are not online, you do not exist. Harsh, but true.

During these extraordinary times, it is important to adapt your content to make it relevant and engaging for your target audience. 

So, what does the next year have in store for us (other than more social distancing)?

Personalised Customer Content

Personalised content, isn’t a new concept. But, that doesn’t make it any less relevant for the future of digital marketing. If you want to educate your audience, build an effective email sequence or drive repeat business, you need to personalise your content. 

Now, I don’t just mean setting up an email with “Hi {first name}”, that’s not personal at all. You need to craft emails and copy that match their exact needs. Understand their pain points. Solve their problems.

Here are a few small changes you can make to personalise your content:

  • Create a tailored headline that references the customer’s action
  • Give people a way to reach an actual human with any follow-up questions
  • Embrace advanced advertising with Google and Facebook ads
  • Personalised video messaging
  • Include a quick thank you note as part of the email sequence

Voice Search Optimisation

“Alexa, what are the best restaurants in Dublin”. Sound familiar? According to Statista, more than 30% of UK and US households have a smart speaker. And more than a quarter of the global population is using voice search on their mobile phones.

With that in mind, part of your 2021 content strategy should be to start optimising your content for voice searches. Instead of integrating just phrase keywords like “best pizza recipe”, try to weave in more conversational queries into your content, such as “how to make the best pizza” or “what’s the best recipe for pizza”. 

Improved Writing Quality

Sure, Instagram and Snapchat are trendy and exciting, but for the most part, content marketing still relies on the art of the written word. The issue that has become blatantly obvious to anyone who pays attention, is that the quality of the writing is often very poor.

This is why 2021 might actually be the year technical aspects of writing finally get the recognition they deserve. If you want to learn more about improving your website copy, check out this post.

Position 0 on Google

We all know that the main goal of SEO is to get your listing to the number one position on the search engine results page (SERPS). Going into 2021, marketers are now shifting their attention to “position zero”.

What is position zero? It refers to Google’s “featured snippet”.

Featured snippets work differently to the other search results entries—for one thing, it’s separated by a small box positioned at the top of the SERP. It displays relevant information with the attempt at answering the user’s search query.

Why is it important? Because it actually shows higher on the page that ranking first. Common types of Featured Snippets include definitions, tables, steps and lists.

Building Honest Relationships

During lockdown, did you buy a gift from a small business just to show your support? Or order take out from your favourite local restaurant, even though you had food at home? 

The big boys (aka faceless brands), would give their right arm for that kind of loyalty!

The pandemic has caused distrust towards the mainstream information. The only way to gain that is by building genuine relationships with your audience. The more you communicate with them and show them you appreciate them, the more likely you are to keep the relationship alive.

Increase in Social Media Advertising

More time at home has meant more time scrolling social media. And marketers are well aware of this!

Social media is one of the best places to advertise and market your brand or product, especially as we know many people have switched to online shopping now rather than going into the local town centres.

The key to social media marketing is to identify where your customers are, and what content they are most likely to engage with.

The Importance of Storytelling

Content marketing trends change year on year, yet storytelling continues to be important. If your audience is presented with the right story and the right emotions are given to them, the likelihood of converting them into a sale is increased. People make their purchasing choices based on emotions, and the most effective way to reveal these emotions is through storytelling. 

A lot of content marketers confuse long-form content with storytelling, but a story is not defined by its word count.

You could write a 5,000-word blog post about “Top 10 things to do in London”, but without a definite beginning, middle and end, characters and an overarching theme, it will just be a long blog post – NOT a story. Genuine “stories” tend to be longer than the typical blog post, but they are most definitely not one and the same.

Increase in User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) exploded onto the marketing scene during 2020 thanks to the popularity of TikTok. 

What is UGC? It is any content (text, video, image, review, etc) created by people (the user), rather than the brand. You will often see brands sharing UGC on their social media and website. 

And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels. This is because consumers trust content that centres around brands if it is made from their peers

Final thoughts

The old marketing adage “Content is King” is still very much true. Consumers are still driven by the thirst for content. But the pandemic and fast-evolving technology is changing the ways content is delivered

It’s hard to say what 2021 will bring, but many of the shifts in priorities and processes we experienced in 2020 are likely to follow us into the new year.

It is so important to have purpose and meaning behind EVERY piece of content. They not only need to serve your ideal client but serve you too!

In my 90 minute intensive sessions, we will plan out a whole month’s worth of content which focused on daily, weekly and monthly takeaways. We take a look at the bigger picture and bring focus to your content. 
Sounds good? Book a call with me here to kick start your content marketing for 2021.

Content Marketing Trends 2021

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