As content marketers/creators get out their calendars to start brainstorming and prepping for next year.
So we asked a number of industry experts what content marketing trends they’re most excited about—what they want to try, what they expect to see, and why—so that you can use these tactics in your 2021 planning.
Here are the seven biggest content marketing trends you need to know about going into next year:
1. Building content communities
The biggest content marketing trend to try in 2021 isn’t a surprise. With the rise of Slack communities across tech and the focus on personalization in marketing during the pandemic, building communities has been a push for marketing teams all year. But building communities specifically around content sharing and creation will allow marketing teams to continue to expand their reach, even with fewer resources.
2. Going live with video and webinars
With events out of play this year, video and webinar content has been even more important—and it’s not going away.
“My guess is video marketing including the boom in live video will continue to grow in 2021,” Masooma predicts. But it’s not only because of in-person restrictions; there’s a reason why live video was trending well before the pandemic. “The reason? Video is a quick and effective medium to communicate your message and educate your audience. Consumers want to get information/learn quickly and there’s no better way to do so than with the help of video marketing.”
3. Improving content experience
Ever click on an article you want to read only to get to a page filled with pop-ups and ad panels? It’s awful, and most of the time I close out of the page without reading anything. At the same time, I’ll spend clicking around tools like I Miss the Office because they look interesting—even though I definitely don’t miss the sound of coworkers chewing.
The bottom line is that sometimes how you’re interacting with content is just as important as what content you’re interacting with. That’s why a focus on content experience is going to be a key content marketing trend, whether it’s new, interactive content or better UX.
“In order to drive ROI with content, you need to focus on content experience. That means you need users to stay on your website, love what you write about, find exactly what they’re looking for, and enter a sales funnel,” explains content marketing expert Adam Enfroy. “One of my favorite examples of an amazing content experience is Pat Flynn’s learning pages. They include not only text content, but courses, webinars, videos, podcast episodes, and tactical calls-to-action sprinkled throughout. If brands aren’t already creating content silo pages like this to drive leads, they need to start right now.”
4. Focusing on products and services
Another content marketing trend experts are expecting to continue is the tighter focus on bottom-of-funnel content related to core offerings.
Part of this will be motivated by limited resources or conservative marketing plans. “I see businesses trying to stay lean as much as possible over at least the next 6-9 months,” Patrick says. “And that applies to content marketing too. So for starters, I think content marketers will try to stay laser-focused on their key buyer personas and core topics. This isn’t the time to go exploring the whole new horizons.”
That laser-focus means more attention to content at the bottom of the funnel, specific to key buyer personas and closely related to the product or service offering. But it can also help with a better understanding of content ROI.
This is already in practice at places like G2, according to Lauren. “Recently, we’ve put much more emphasis on creating content pieces that directly tie into product launches, user-integrations, and much more,” she says. “This makes it much easier to attribute content marketing directly to influenced revenue, plus it supports so much of the amazing work our other internal marketing teams produce.”
6. Improving SEO
Some trends never go completely out of style but for fall in and out of focus. For fashion, it’s corduroys. For beauty, it’s blue eyeliner. For content, it’s SEO.
“I expect to see high-quality SEO continue to be a critical piece for content marketing in 2021,” says Sales Hacker Head of Content Brooklin Nash. “Second-movers will continue to figure out how to differentiate themselves from the big SEO titans—capturing niche and long-tail keywords and creating content that’s more engaging than all the ‘Ultimate Guides’ and ‘Top 55’ lists.”
That means spending time creating a solid SEO strategy and digging into keyword research to find those long-tail opportunities is going to be even more important for your content strategy next year.
Article by: Céillie Clark-Keane