The digital marketing landscape has witnessed a variety of changes and new trends in the last couple of years. With the arrival of the pandemic and shutting down of markets and outdoor life in general, the digital landscape gained more prominence and became an inseparable part of lives all around the world. The increased dependence on the internet for meeting most of our immediate needs has irreversibly impacted the way marketers approach digital marketing.
The changes in consumption patterns, combined with the shift in how users perceive things, have created a craving for more engaging interactions between them and businesses. The value of brand trust has never been more important before and this trend is here to stay. In the same sequence, the process of content creation, from planning to sharing, has also undergone many changes. Adding to the traditional motives of content marketing (i.e. convincing prospective customers to take the desired action, creating awareness for a brand, and generating revenue) are the requirements of improving user experience and adding value.
Content marketing is always in the loop of changing and evolving but the pandemic-driven changes stand out because they have brought in some trends that will not change drastically in the near future. Quality content is the backbone of all marketing activities including but not limited to effective branding, driving organic traffic, generating leads, and planning ad campaigns. The improvements in technology have equipped marketers to get access to more comprehensive data on users and their preferences, which allows them to make more effective and targeted content.
In case you want to learn more about the newest trends in content marketing, you have arrived at the correct destination. Keep reading.
In this article, we are going to analyze the new developments and trends in the content marketing landscape. Our approach will be focused on equipping the reader with the required knowledge to give an edge to their content marketing strategies and keeping them in sync with the said trends. So let’s begin.
Here’s a list of the newest content marketing trends with a comprehensive discussion on each of them:
1) Hyper-personalized content will be a game-changer
As buyers are becoming savvier, marketers need to develop a more polished communication style, one that speaks to a buyer on an individual level.
Speaking to the interests, likes, desires, and needs of customers is an art that marketers are required to master. The expectations of buyers have changed after the pandemic and staying relevant to these expectations is the key.
Personalizing content for buyers is not a new practice but it sure has assumed a new meaning of late. The need for creating more meaningful messaging, which is aligned to the context in which prospects search for queries on the internet, has boomed in the last few years.
Knowing what the customers want is the first step towards personalizing content. Collecting and compiling data on user interests and behavior is vital for starting the personalization process. A detailed analysis of available data allows content creators to gauge what a customer is looking for. Using AI-powered tools eases the process of data analysis.
The process of data collection and analysis can be made easy by using specialized third-party software such as Google Analytics. Once data analysis is sorted, it becomes easier to draft personalized content including emails, targeted digital ads, blogs, videos, and everything in between.
2) Content Communities will continue to grow and thrive
All content teams inevitably run the risk of peaking in their content velocity. There comes a saturation point for team members in creating high-volume quality content. At the same time, output demand is incessantly increasing, and keeping up with it is a challenging undertaking as is. In the wake of such a dilemma, the biggest trend in content marketing for 2021 has emerged to be – building and nurturing content communities.
The idea of content communities is to expand the reach and scope of collective ideas for creating quality content. Communities built specifically around content creation allow overworked content marketing teams to regroup and collaborate with similar-minded people. Content communities help in increasing the rate of output without falling short on new ideas or compromising on the quality of content. All with the utilization of minimal resources.
Not only new ideas, but content communities also help brands to expand their reach within the contributors in these communities. Reaching out to all these professionals opens the window of gaining insights into their audience on various platforms. This can be beneficial when it comes to diversifying operations.
Community building is not limited to content writers. Brands need to focus on building a community of their buyers and prospects. This is to foster trust-building and increase brand loyalty. When the target audience feels like a community it drives constant traffic and helps in increasing revenue.
3) Content Diversity is a must for bringing in new audiences
Homogeneity can be detrimental when it comes to content marketing. Users have a tendency of losing interest when they get to consume the same type of content over and over again. There was a time when homogenous content worked but that has vastly changed with shrinking attention spans.
Today users expect websites to offer content with a combination of different types of media such as infographics, short videos, podcasts, image galleries, and more. Such a demand directly calls for diversifying the content offered on websites. Along with learning new skills to do justice to it.
Another advantage of diversifying content mediums is the possibility of rejacketing and repurposing pre-existing content. This is to make it suitable for the user in any required form. In this way, content that was successful in attracting organic traffic can be reused. That said, the need for new content is not going to cease.
The idea behind diversifying to different content mediums is that all individuals don’t have a homogeneous preference when it comes to a preferred medium of consuming content. Offering a mix of all popular mediums to push content provides something for everybody. A brand escapes the predicament of missing out on prospective buyers.
4) SEO will become more important than ever
Even after mastering all aspects of creating regular content without any compromise on its quality, the guarantee of it gaining the required traction in the digital world can’t be guaranteed without proper optimization for search engines. Thus, SEO is one trend in content marketing that has remained constant throughout, and rightly so.
It’s crucial for content marketers to focus on optimizing their content in accordance with the latest SEO techniques. Otherwise, even the most relevant content won’t even reach the target audience. Ranking on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) is not an option, it is a necessity. Surveys of internet users have reflected that they click on the first few organic links on the SERP.
In such a scenario, the competition to reach the top few results of the SERP is cutthroat. It requires expert optimization of any and every content to allow search bots to crawl through it and index it among top results to relevant user queries. With the rising availability of relevant content, the importance of SEO has only increased with time. It’s essential that content marketers consult SEO experts. Only if they want their content to achieve its goal of driving traffic and conversions.
5) Live Streaming, Webinars, and Podcasts will have a greater impact
Audiences are a sucker for authenticity and try to steer clear of heavily edited, unrealistically polished content. Live streaming videos is a step in the right direction for maintaining an air of authenticity about a brand and its products and services. Naturally, live streaming offers a sense of immediacy which allows audiences to connect more.
Similarly, combining live streaming with webinars and virtual events helps brands interact with their audiences in real-time. The concept of webinars saw a resurgence as the pandemic disrupted lives and confined us inside our homes. Now that safety measures and lockdowns have been eased globally, the paradigm shift in favor of these virtual mediums is here to stay. Content marketers need to pay heed and adopt these mediums to their benefit.
Podcasting has slowly become a mainstream medium for propagating content to interested audiences. The reason behind the rise of podcasts is the availability of something for everyone. On average, multiple thousand podcast episodes get released every day across topics and interests.
With such a large volume of content available in the form of podcasts, users can plug in and listen to relevant content even as they work. Therefore, content marketing needs to embrace the boom in the podcast industry. They need to start creating quality podcasts that bring in the target audience and keep them hooked to your brand and its services.
6) Quality will trump quantity: Value-Driven Content will be more popular
The most challenging task facing content marketing is standing out in a sea of the readily available content on the internet. A large volume of new content, ranging from blogs to videos, finds its way to the internet every day. Naturally, this has made internet users pickier than ever before.
There’s no shortage of generic information on any topic. That’s why content needs to be appealing and provide value to the target audience. The biggest advantage of creating such content is gaining the trust of the audience and cementing your position as a reliable source.
To start with, content creators need to understand how a given product or service is going to affect the lives of buyers. The next step is to creatively build content around this understanding and make the audience believe in the product/service. The idea is to think from the perspective of the audience and refrain from directly promoting a product. The trick is to embed the product within the body of content while appealing to the emotions of the audience.
Pushing mindlessly produced bulk content won’t do anything to drive sales or attract traffic. Therefore, it’s crucial for content marketers to master the art of focusing on the quality of the content.
7) Visual content, especially Video, will drive more traffic and conversions
Visuals add value to content because they attract the attention of the audience in an instance. Visual content has the ability to appeal to the eyes and helps in establishing a connection with the audience. Video content in particular is a great way of pushing relevant content in the form of stories. The human brain craves stories and videos come in handy for that purpose.
The basic function of visual content is to make the audience interact with content without losing their interest. It is effective in appealing to the short attention spans and hooking the audience to stay till the end of the message. When it comes to interactivity, elements such as gamified visual content absorb the audience in and challenge them to interact with the content which is in the form of quizzes, multiplayer games, etc.
Ephemeral content is also gaining popularity and is a great way to capture the attention of the audience. It is any content that is available for fixed time periods, generally, 24 hours. For example, snaps on Snapchat, Instagram stories, etc. The short-lived nature of such content creates a feeling of urgency and prompts viewers to view it before it disappears.
8) AI and machine learning will aid Content Creation
The search algorithms keep changing rapidly and have been incorporating AI and machine learning-based models of late. These changes have aimed at favoring long-form content and semantic search. The role of AI in these algorithms is to pull up more suitable searches for long-term search queries.
Models such as Knowledge Graph and RankBrain Algorithm are based on machine learning and get better with time. The ability of these models to preempt user queries and understanding the user intent behind particular queries make them highly efficient and helps in improving user experience. Which is a basic philosophy at Google.
The sensibilities of AI and machine learning are also becoming popular. This is because AI-based tools for checking backlinks, finding relevant keywords, and more, are revolutionizing the way we approach content creation for attracting organic traffic — by doing SEO right.
9) Carefully designed Written Word will stay strong
Despite the rise of multiple content forms, social media platforms, etc., content marketing continues to rely mostly on the written word. The only issue with writing is its quality. Which often fails to meet standards and is therefore ignored by the target audience. The problem arises because many content writers are not trained in the art of creative writing.
In the wake of the above observations, it is safe to say that there’s a need for learning the technicalities of writing and approaching it more like an art form. Content writers need to be aware of the expectations placed on their shoulders for producing well-structured, high-quality content. The quality of the written content determines how many people read it and drive traffic to a blog or website.
It’s imperative for bloggers and content writers to do justice to their work and take all necessary help required to ensure that blogger outreach tactics can drive insane traffic, given that the content writers bring their A-game and deliver quality content.
10) Topical Authority will gain prominence
The latest trends in search algorithms point towards the increased importance placed on authority and expertise while ranking websites on the SERPs. Topical Authority is a reflection of the depth of knowledge on a particular subject or topic on a website. The prerequisite for ensuring that your website commands topical authority is long-form and high-quality content.
The logic behind favoring long-form content is that it allows the content creators to delve deeper into topics. It also makes it easier for the audience to get a grasp over them.
For businesses, this ensures that more information about products and services can be supplied to the target audience. This allows them to make a more informed decision. It also helps brands to gain the trust of the prospects. Good quality content is also great for generating quality backlinks. It can be shared by the readers in the form of references.
We have successfully covered all important trends in the content marketing landscape for the year 2021. Following these trends and adhering to them while creating content for your website will ensure its success. It can also help you achieve the required traction in the digital world. Content is the backbone of any digital marketing endeavor and you need to pay attention to its efficacy.