We’re not even one month into 2021, and far too many of us are already reconsidering our content marketing strategies looking for the next big thing. The world of content marketing is ever-changing, and every expert has a different idea of what the most significant trend of 2021 will be.
Instead of chasing trends that won’t work, keep your eye on the changes that will keep you and your brand top-of-mind the next time your followers need your product or service. We’ve done the hard work looking for the trends that will help you make the big moves before they become mainstream.
The rise of user-generated content as one of the most effective methods of social proof is likely to continue well into 2021. 59% of us are using social media to get inspiration on what to buy next, and there’s no better review than an authentic post from one of our favorite content creators.
If you haven’t tried to harness the power of social proof yet in your content marketing, it’s easy to incorporate into your 2021 marketing plan! Think outside the box for easy ways for your followers to become involved. From uploading a picture with a brand hashtag a requirement for a contest to creating a video campaign with a user-submitted video, there are a plethora of ways you can promote user-generated content that gets people talking about (and sharing!) your stuff.
Outside of the occasional giveaway or holiday contest, your user-generated content strategy should be organic. Follow topic trends on the platforms where your target audience hangs out, come up with ideas to match your current products or a new launch, and keep an eye out for creative ways your customers are already creating content related to your brand.
Now more than ever, users crave authenticity in their content. So much content written today sounds like cheesy ad-copy, and it’s only natural that users prefer story-driven content. By making 2021 the year you focus on content that tells a story, and more specifically content that tells a story your audience cares about, you’ll tap into that craving for honest content.
How do you add authenticity to your content marketing? Well, for starters:
- Stop polishing your ad-copy to perfection; let honest storytelling make an impact.
- Make improving your customer experience one of your content marketing’s top goals.
- Consistently deliver valuable, informative, and entertaining content to your followers.
- Remember the people behind the screen. Address their problems, fears, and ambitions.
- Reach more people with one-on-one conversational style marketing.
Go beyond the sales-speak in your communication with your followers in 2021. Instead, look to talk about and frame your content marketing strategy around the issues, ideas, and dreams of your audience.
Video and Visual Dominance
While audio and written content still has an essential place in sound content marketing, the hottest forms of media right now are video and visual. As it becomes more natural to start writing ‘2021’, expect the dominance of visual content to continue. There’s nothing we love more as consumers than watching something – our brains get to take a break from constant thought and reading to simply look.
Don’t sleep on the old favorites of visual media. Keep your brand photos, infographics, videos, and vlogs up to date and consistent to keep your audience engaged. One fast-growing area you can consider branching out into is the beautiful world of live-streaming, which helps you in reaching your audience so personally that it’s a huge boost to brand loyalty and engagement.
Drive for Engagement
In the same way that user-generated content and authenticity will be important in 2021, your content marketing strategy should have a moment where you’re all in on driving engagement. The key to utilizing social media has always been in getting social. It helps when that social interaction is driven by your users, rather than your marketing team.
So, how do you get your followers to engage with your brand organically?
More than anything, you need to bake that call for engagement into every delicious piece of content you create. Include a call to action as often as possible. Because calls to action come in so many different flavors, it’s incredibly hard to overdo asking your followers for feedback, stories, or answers to the latest blue vs white dress dilemma.
Another popular method for driving engagement is to use augmented reality. This blending of the real world and virtual worlds is extremely popular and easy for consumers to have a lot of fun sharing, so it’s a no-brainer to add it to your content marketing strategy. Popular examples include Snapchat and Instagram filters.
Finally, 2021 is the year to get personal with your followers. From taking the organic approach in engagement to employing one-on-one conversational marketing tactics, there are more ways than ever to reach each follower in a unique way. That personalization leads to each of your followers having a unique and positive story to share about your brand, leading to enthusiastic word-of-mouth advertising that’s still just as powerful in the digital age as it ever was.
Dynamic content is also key to personalization and reaching your audience on a level where they feel more comfortable. This type of content will change to reflect the behaviours or interests of users. When used sparingly, dynamic content can lead to great results in converting followers into customers.
How the Trends Come Together
You’ll notice how the majority of these trends share a common theme: the idea that content marketing should take a step back from the sales-orientated way of thinking, and look at content from a genuine human-interest angle. How does your content benefit your followers? How can you make it so interesting, entertaining, or vital to their lives that they feel compelled to share it with their friends and loved ones?
Once you take a step back and approach your content as your audience does, you’ll be one step ahead of the curve for the rest of 2021.