With the recent developments in online marketing, content remains to be a vital element in the marketing strategy of companies from different parts of the globe. It is, after all, a marketing approach that’s “focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience,” according to the Content Marketing Institute. The year 2020 has led so many advances in the marketing strategies when both creators and audiences felt the significant change in content marketing. It is clearly visible that more and more companies have now been using content marketing to boost brand awareness and brand health. It’s seen as a cost-efficient and effective way to drive revenue, while giving the best customer experience possible.
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Defining Content Marketing
What do we really mean when we say content marketing? Most people are under the impression that content marketing is all about writing articles. Well, there’s more to it that meets the eye. Content marketing comes in a variety of forms such as marketing with the use of visuals, videos, infographics and gifs are essential. These all are said to be effective and creative tools that can be used for your consistent marketing approach which will ultimately help driving profitable customer action.
With 2021 fast approaching, companies are keeping their eyes open for trends that are set to dominate the year ahead. We listed some of these trends for you:
#1. The Importance of Targeted Content
Well before we talk about the importance we should know the term “targeted content”. For any content marketing to be successful, it has to be defined or personalized to the specific target audiences. This is the only way by which you can get the audience you actually look for.
There are millions of content out there each day, all fighting to get everyone’s attention. Given this situation, how does one can stand out? How can you convince your customers to pick your content over that of your competitions in the industry? Simple. Make your content useful. Customers these days are more focused on getting the results that they want, so make sure your content is worth their time.
Know more about your customers by conducting research and find out what’s important to them. Once you have all the answers, create a targeted content that revolves around the results of your research. A classic example here would be Unilever that made the wise move of partnering with Google, for their All Things Hair campaign. Google analyzed more than 11 billion annual global searches that were linked to hair care and salon styling. Unilever then came up with targeted content based on the analyses and uploaded it on their social media accounts.
Content that contains well-designed images get more shares and likes. Estimated from a survey that: Facebook posts with images get 86% more engagement, and tweets with Gifs get 55% more clicks, and 150% more retweets). Images are said to be a resource to strengthen your brand identity.
Bloggers and readers both love long-form content, but what about those who are not interested to read every word. For them images are interesting, engaging and something of their choice.
Well-optimized images are need of a content marketing strategy. So to get an effective benefit of content marketing you need images. Not only that but if you are already using images in all your blogs or social campaign, you could still probably do it more excellently. A tip to do that – is by following your top competitor’s ideas.
Ideally, it is recommended to create your own images, graphs or take snapshots of your findings. If you have hired a professional designer it is great otherwise just use a tool like Canva to develop infographics or social images. As you are using images for branding too, use your logo on the image for exposure and allow people to promote more.
#3. The Reign of Live Videos
According to Digital Marketing World, it’s highly possible that 13% of Internet traffic will be comprised by live videos come 2021. Using live videos to your marketing strategy makes path for the target audience and brands communicate all over the world. This is because almost all social media platforms now allow streaming of live videos.
The only way left for it to go is up, especially in the years ahead. Scott Gifis, the president of AdRoll mentioned, that the forecasts show that the live-streaming industry will be worth over $70 billion come 2021. If that’s the case, then you should use live videos to your advantage. Take advantage of this opportunity to let your customers learn more about your company, and the products and services that you offer.
It is great to target medium-tail keywords as they are more specific than short-tails. They are also termed as less competitive, but they still have more search volume than long-tail keywords. Not specific to the voice searches, focusing on a single medium-tail keyword allows us to put time on a single piece of content instead of multiple contents. Thus it makes that content piece highly effective. Moreover if we are able to get inbound links to the content, medium tail will work exceptional.
We all know that the search landscape changed when the conversational artificial intelligence (AI), like chatbots and digital assistants, gained popularity. This indicates that by 2020, voice searches will dominate more than 50% of the queries on various search engines. Google is ready for this, since their Hummingbird update allows people to use semantic and conversational phrases as opposed to the usual keyword phrases.
To cater to this content marketing trend, companies need to use semantic, long-tail keywords when creating content. The sooner these adjustments are made, the wider the audience reach will be.
#5. The Importance of Personalized Customer Experience
Another item on the list of content marketing trends 2021 is customized customer experience. With the evolution of digital marketing, content has become something that’s experienced and not just consumed. Content marketing trends that appeal to the senses are seen as the most effective way to encourage users to take action. Gone are the days when our target customers are satisfied with just reading articles online. They want something more, and the only way to do that is by delivering a customized experience to let these customers know that they are important to the company, and their opinion matters a lot.
Personalized customer experience is also about using interactive content, which requires customers’ active engagement. In return, customers get hyper-relevant, real-time results that matter to them. These interactive content may come in the form of sweepstakes, animation, games, surveys, quizzes, and the use of AR lenses that allow companies to reach out to a wide audience.
5G is expected to be at its highest potential in 2021, requiring marketers and brands to come up with content that’s compatible with it. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the biggest beneficiary of this immersive technology. Clifford Gross, the CEO of Lucyd, mentioned three benefits that AR brings to the table:
Buyers will have a deeper and more personalized customer experience.
AR will make it easier for buyers to make purchases, since companies can reach them in real time.
Improvements in information asymmetry, causing an increase in sales.
Knowing what content marketing trends are set to dominate will help companies adjust their strategies to adapt to these changes. While innovations mean a wider audience reach, it also means coming up with the content that are compatible to these technological developments. Most of the premium won’t be placed on writing in the Year 2021, rather, it’ll be on the delivery and format of the content.
Having a deeper understanding of your target customers is still remain key to coming up with great content. Once you’ve got that down pat, it’s time to do the necessary adjustments so you can keep up with the content marketing trends 2021. It may seem like a task too daunting, but trust us when we say that you’ll reap the fruits of your amazing efforts before 2021 ends. With the competition being so cutthroat, it all boils down to content creativity and knowing how to appeal to your customers’ emotions.
Are you ready to welcome 2021 with a bang? We hope you can do this by staying up with the trends. Good luck!
About Rekha Pant
Rekha Pant, is an IT professional, B.Tech from RGPV University, Bhopal. Along with her IT profession, she has also evolved herself to become a fluent writer covering different topics in Digital Communication, Education, Marketing and IT. With her rare talent, she has published ace blog pieces as a guest on many websites. For more information about her, you can check her profile on LinkedIn.
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