There’s no denying that content marketing is and will remain one of the essential pillars of success in the way businesses attract and engage customers. If you’ve been in the digital marketing game for any amount of time, you know that boosting your content marketing efforts is essential for the growth of your brand.
And, as we all know, constantly learning about and incorporating the latest marketing trends is the only way to stay relevant in the eyes of the global audience. Today, one of the major forces shifting the tides in the content marketing game is the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially during extraordinary times, you need to adapt your content to make it relevant and engaging for your target demographic.
With all that in mind, here are the key trends you should take into consideration for your 2021 content strategy.
Video content is (still) on the rise
Let’s start with one of the most impactful trends: video. Video content is on a seemingly never-ending rise around the world. In fact, if Cisco’s Annual Internet Report is anything to go by, video content is predicted to amount to a whopping 82% of all internet traffic. Now that is what you might call a gold mine for marketers.
When you also take into consideration that, according to a HubSpot survey, over 54% of consumers would like to see more content from their brands, then it’s pretty clear what you need to focus on in 2021.
This isn’t to say you should ignore all other forms of content, but it does mean that videos must be at the forefront of your strategy. It’s important to use a variety of video formats that fit your brand, industry, and niche, and optimize them for every step in the customer’s journey.
For example, customers looking to educate themselves will benefit from explainer videos and product guides. On the other hand, customers ready to buy should see videos comparing different product options with direct links to the product pages.
And lastly, it’s important that your videos are branded properly. Make sure that the videos portray your brand and its tone of voice and values. This will make them more impactful and memorable in the saturated online world.
Personalizing content for the customer
The concept of personalization has been around for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant for the future of digital marketing. If you want to build effective sales emails, educate your audience, drive repeat business to your site, or achieve any other goal in the digital realm, you need to personalize your content.
However, personalization in 2021 goes beyond merely addressing the customer by their name in emails or when you’re talking to them via chat. In the years to come, technologies like artificial intelligence will make data analysis more efficient and effective, allowing you to achieve hyper-personalization.
AI solutions can help you choose the perfect email template for the individual, craft content and copy that fits their exact needs, and simply make better content decisions for the future. With that in mind, consider integrating artificial intelligence by using AI-driven software to take content personalization to the next level.
While you’re at it, use hyper-personalization to make each customer see an optimized version of your site based on their browsing history and past activity. It will make all the difference and skyrocket the customer experience.
Chatbots and artificial intelligence to supplement content creation
Speaking of artificial intelligence, it’s important to note that AI will also have an increasingly impactful role to play in content creation and delivery. According to a content marketing and SEO timeline by Four Dots, a leading agency in the field, chatbots and artificial intelligence are set to change the way we create and deliver content, and especially how we communicate with the global audience. In fact, they will become inextricable parts of the user experience.
What’s more, artificial intelligence will continue to evolve and help content creators build better-quality content. If nothing else, AI-driven software can fuel the content-creation process by supplying relevant data, sourcing info and references, and providing authority to everything your marketers write.
It’s also interesting to note that chatbots are becoming smarter by the day, and that they will be used to deliver information and support marketing campaigns more seamlessly.
Augmented reality to contextualize marketing
Augmented reality has evolved from a marketing gimmick in its early days to a powerful inbound marketing tool for today’s leading global brands. Now that mobile apps are more popular than ever and people are consuming more content via smartphone, why not combine the two to create a deeper interactive experience?
You can fuse content marketing and augmented reality together to guide people to your store, create a more engaging experience on your site, and boost your ecommerce success now that augmented reality allows customers to try on products digitally. In essence, augmented reality can give some much-needed context to your content and brand messages, thus elevating the customer experience – so make sure you start using it to improve your marketing in 2021.
Optimizing your content strategy for voice search
Another major trend that you need to prepare for is voice search. Sure, we’ve known that voice search is on the rise since 2018, but in 2021 and beyond it’s going to become massive. So much so, in fact, that right now, more than a quarter of the global population is using voice search on their mobile phones, according to a report from Microsoft.
People are expected to start using voice search predominantly, and one day text searches will even become obsolete. It won’t happen next year or in the next five years, but it’s important to know that voice search is taking over in a big way.
With that in mind, one of the pillars of your 2021 content strategy should be to start optimizing all content for voice search. Instead of integrating just phrase keywords like “best lasagna recipe”, try to weave more conversational queries into your content, such as “how to make the best lasagna” or “what’s the best recipe for lasagna”. It’s a delicious example and even if it’s not what you’re selling, you get the point.
Content marketing is constantly changing and new trends are evolving all the time. Today, content marketing encompasses much more than just amazing articles and beautiful infographics. If you want to take your company forward in 2021, be sure to follow the trends above to build a better content marketing strategy.