Content marketing trends in 2021 you should try now

Content marketing is ever-evolving. Why?

Well, the way people consume content and technologies change frequently and businesses typically need to be able to meet their client base where they are or risk getting losing valuable business in favour of their competitors.

For example, the last few years has seen an astronomical rise in not just mobile use, but the increased sophistication of mobile devices. As a result, consumers are spending more time on their phones–whether it be streaming Netflix, on social media, or even shopping. As a result, organisations have had to adjust their marketing efforts to include mobile optimisation to ensure that users have a seamless experience.

In a nutshell, content marketing isn’t a one-and-done tactic. In fact, content marketing has earned its place in marketing plans and budgets, with estimates quoting about 18% of total marketing spend, according to a 2020 study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

While some trends are new, others may be evolutions of existing practices; either way, organisations and marketers should pay close attention to these trends and determine which best practice they can feasibly introduce into their marketing strategies in order to provide value-added content for their customers.

Here are 5 content marketing trends to know about and add to your own strategy for the second half of 2021:

Table of Contents

User-generated content (UGC) as social proof

Did you know that 85% of people trust content made by other users? Customers hardly just buy from a brand just because said brand claims that it’s great. Social proof is so much more than just a positive review. When existing customers create content showing off or talking about why they love a brand’s product, it cements that the viewpoint for prospective customers that your product is a worthy buy.

Including user-generated content as a part of your business’ content strategy is an incredible way to:

  • Build brand trust
  • Create a sense of community and help your customers feel seen
  • Have your customers serve as brand advocates
  • Give you access to free content Increase your visual pool, especially if you have a limited budget

Video, video, video (and a little live video, too)

While you might think that everyone’s live video’d out, and it wouldn’t make sense to add either to your content strategy, you’d be surprised to know that video is STILL the top form of engaging content. Video consumption increased by 120% in the last year and live video was trending even before the start of the pandemic. Why?

Well, video is the quickest way to communicate, educate, entertain and interact with your audience. Video marketing also makes it easier for users to retain whatever message you’re trying to convey as viewers retain 95% of a video’s message compared to 10% when reading text. Adding video to your content strategy also ensures that your organisation caters to a wide demographic including those who are visual learners.

From tutorials and product demos, live webinars, or even a weekly live Q&A where your followers can get to know you and your product a bit more, and build trust.

Evolved influencer marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new and appears to be a mainstay facet of marketing. In fact, Nielsen found that 92% of buyers trust an individual recommendation over the brand. Influencer marketing has a lot of potential gains for organisations, however, the struggle has been how it’s implemented.

Some businesses have not always approached it in a way that has brought a significant return on investment (ROI). As the trend grew, businesses sought out influencers with vast following with the belief that it would lead to mass sales. However, vanity metrics such as followers have little weight when said influencer cannot convert. Done right, influencer marketing places emphasis on quality over quantity.

In a time when marketing budgets have decreased in the wake of a global pandemic, organisations are being more strategic about how they spend and who they spend with. In working with an influencer/s, due diligence should be taken to research the potential. Establish a criteria and success indicators for an influencer to work with your brand.

Instead of focusing on influencers with tens of thousands of followers, consider micro-influencers as well. Micro-influencers are considered experts in their respective niches; these smaller, more focused niche experts connect on a deeper level with their audiences and generate greater engagement.

Personalised content

Understanding customers’ expectations is key to staying relevant and top of mind for your customers. Today’s buyers want a more total experience when interacting with their fave brands and that includes personalised content. Personalised content is basically using data to create a unique experience between a brand and individual customer.

Instead of generically posting content and telling your customers to buy, by using the insights from your social media and website analytics you can now deliver messages that are tailored to certain subsects of your audience. The more data you have about your customers, the better the chance to create more meaningful messaging. You’ll need to decide what type of information you need, including demographics, priorities, preferences, objections, and how they use what you offer.

This helps you better connect with your customers and drive engagement, loyalty and can also increase conversions. 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences, so it’s definitely worth investing time into diving into your current analytics and artificial intelligence technologies that can help you tailor your all of your content, from campaign timings, channels, and creatives.

Repurposing content across channels

For some, coming up with fresh new content every week and month can quickly lead to creative burnout and that can make it easy to fall off with being consistent (I can personally relate this!) With more focus on pushing out engaging content, there are ways to work around this and that’s through repurposing across channels. Content repurposing is the process of recycling — or extending the life of — a piece of content already published. Repurposing content can take the form of:

  • turning blog posts into an eBook or newsletter content
  • embedding YouTube videos in your blog
  • creating infographics from research and stats
  • converting talking points from a live or webinar into a blog or social media post

….and so on!

In addition to maximising on time and effort, repurposing content has quite of number of benefits including giving your work more longevity, re-introduces your work to new followers, expand your reach, diversify your content and increase your online presence.

So, which one of these trends will you be adding to your strategy?

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