6 Content Marketing Trends For 2021
When it comes to online marketing, content has been king for a while now, and it doesn’t look like it will be passing on that crown any time soon. In fact, content marketing trends for 2021 prove it’s just getting bigger and better.
Among the types of online content you can use are articles, whitepapers, blogs, videos, live streams, memes, and infographics. Really, anything goes, as long as it’s engaging, informative, and relevant to your audience.
With a skillful use of content marketing, you’ll be able to attract the attention of your target audience and convert them into customers. So that you can stay ahead of the game (and the competition), we’ve compiled a list of six content marketing trends to consider in 2021. Of course, not every trend will be applicable to you or even necessary for you to follow. Just choose the ones that best suit your business and its goals.
1. Building Content Communities
One of the most popular content marketing trends emerging in 2021 is the use of content communities, where online users with a shared interest can gather and interact in a private space. Some of the most common examples of content communities are those run by gamers, hobbyists, or book and movie enthusiasts. Using platforms like Discord, Reddit, or private groups on social media, these communities help to bring like-minded people together.
But you don’t have to be a Trekky or a hardcore gamer to have a content community. Through content marketing, you can build one of your own that’s specifically related to your business and targeted to your audience. For example, if your business sells cosmetics, you might consider creating a forum where users support each other on choosing the right product or chat about their experiences of certain products.
Content communities also allow the users to engage with your brand more personally, giving them a chance to ask questions and share ideas. Sephora did this with “Beauty Talk”, a members-only forum that beauty enthusiasts flock to for product recommendations, member benefits, and a more personal shopping experience.
The same can be done for virtually any business out there; where there’s an audience, there’s the potential for a community. Building an online community and filling it with unique and informative content will help you establish an air of exclusivity, which will attract specialists or enthusiasts in that area. When deciding which platform to use, take a look at your customer analytics and gauge where your audience spends most of their online time. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Reddit, you’ll be able to leverage your content marketing in a way that drives people to your community. You can do this in several ways:
- Feature community content on your website or social platforms to give people a taste of what they’re missing
- Create infographics or videos that enlighten your audience on the benefits of joining your community
- Offer incentives for why people should join, such as discount codes, free shipping, product samples, and so on
2. Videos, Live Streaming & Webinars
Video related content, and particularly livestreams, will be another heavy-hitter in content marketing trends of 2021. As working from home and distance learning becomes part of the new normal, videos are becoming even more relevant as they provide a quick, easily digestible, and entertaining way of consuming content.
Video content is a key way for you to communicate with your target audience. If you’ve already established an online community and are looking to connect with it in a more personal way, you might want to try live streaming. This will enable you to interact with your audience in real-time by answering all of their questions as well as showing the more human and approachable side of your business.
Another great idea for video content in 2021 is to offer freemium webinars about your products or services, with the option for customers to upgrade to more in-depth content. You could also release a series of YouTube videos that give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business. However you decide to use it, video content should be at the top of your content marketing list for this year. In fact, according to fellow marketers, the return of investment from videos has skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic – so make sure you catch this wave!
3. The Increasing Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This year, the role of AI in marketing will expand beyond providing mere analytics and customer behavior predictions. Instead, AI technology is now beginning to be used by marketers as a way to increase their reach without increasing their budget. Here are some of the ways AI will be used in 2021 to maximize marketing potential:
- Optimizing product pricing for dynamic markets: AI can monitor and track competitor pricing to help you optimize your pricing strategy and set competitive benchmarks for your products.
- Content Automation: Using software like NLG technology, AI to transform data, such as product specs, into readable human text, like product descriptions.
- Machine vision: Machine vision techniques are being used to improve things like image tagging and visual search capabilities, improving your digital placement in the online world.
- Digital transformation enablers: Using technologies like biometric sensors, machine vision, and NLP sensors, AI can discover how users respond to your content, how you can leverage context-aware advertising, as well as how you can retarget interested customers.
Using AI effectively is becoming increasingly crucial in acquiring new leads and maintaining customer loyalty because it provides accurate, data-driven insights into nearly every aspect of marketing. AI can also help you improve the quality of your articles and other content. In fact, there are AI products, such as Grammarly, that can help you in your content marketing campaigns.
4. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose
Repurposing your content means converting it to other types of content that are either shorter or longer versions than the original. It can also mean converting one type of content into another type using different platforms. For instance, you can repurpose long research papers into a series of shorter articles or even videos based on your research paper.
Conversely, you can repurpose short articles or blogs into comprehensive guides or research papers. Written content can also be turned into podcasts and videos. The possibilities are wide and far-reaching, meaning that you should never again have to worry about constantly coming up with new content.
5. Competing for Attention in a Crowded Online Village
The online competition for sales is becoming steeper as the online global village grows exponentially. According to Statistica, since the inception of the World Wide Web Project in 1991, the number of websites has grown from 1 to 1.72 billion in 2019:
Facebook alone has 2.8 billion users, all with subpages of their own, from status updates to photos and videos. Indeed, the digital village is truly becoming overcrowded. Now more than ever, marketers need to go the extra mile if they don’t want to get lost in this digital ocean.
As of June 2020, the total number of individual online users was equivalent to 62% of the global population. If you want to be noticed, try using multiple platforms and unique strategies in order to stay competitive. However, remember that you don’t need to sell to everyone; you only need to find the right market niche and focus your efforts on that.
6. Using Content-Driven Personalization
Content-driven personalization is about encouraging your customers or visitors to continue consuming content on your website. For instance, if many of your visitors or customers are reading articles about a particular topic, you can offer a free webinar or guide on that topic that will be published in the near future. This acts as an incentive that will encourage them to come back.
These types of strategies are great because they encourage customer loyalty and help you to build trust and relationships with your customers. Your brand persona will also be more well-known and appreciated by your visitors if you tap into their interests like this. You can further personalize your content through:
- Email automation
- AI-based writing tools
- Creating on-request content
- Leveraging the advanced advertising options on social media
Social media and search engine algorithms can also be used to learn more about your customers. Their online behaviors are predictors of their purchasing tendencies, which you’ll be able to capitalize on in your content marketing strategy.
Want to find out how to take advantage of this year’s content marketing trends? Let’s talk.