2020 was a whirlwind year for content marketing. Businesses worldwide all learned just how important their digital channels are for maintaining revenue, brand identity, and even relevance in a remote-driven world.
2021 is going to be an even more exciting year. We’re seeing many of the new technologies start to really take flight, like AI content generation, along with other new evolutions that are fundamentally changing the content marketing game.
Here are five of the most important trends for you to start embracing to ensure you have a successful 2021 and beyond.
1. It’s Time to Go Live
Though Facebook, Instagram and other live streams have been around for a while, they’ve finally hit critical mass now. Videos, webinars and other live content will continue growing in importance.
This is not just because of continuing social distancing restrictions, but because it’s just a great medium to communicate messages and educate your audience. Consumers want information quickly, and video is often the best way to do that.
2. Topical Authority Will Grow Importance
For years, link back building has been a staple of digital marketing. With the latest updates to Google’s algorithm, it’s become more important to demonstrate your depth of knowledge in an area.
It’s time to start showing off your expertise through long-form content and pillar pieces. These pages ground the foundation for your strengths in a given area. We also recommend working with subject matter experts to help further you produce content and start building communities.
These types of collaboration not only build your authority but can pay dividends in all kinds of ways you might not have imagined.
3. AI Has Pretty Much Arrived
AI has been on the content marketing side of the horizon for years. For the first time, tools like Contentyze and API GPT-3 are finally getting into the hands of mainstream marketers.
The first coming for ads. You provide key information and the media, and from here, they’ll generate summaries and even complete blog posts.
This is huge because it definitely is the beginning of the end for a lot of simple blog content. If you’re a blog writer, you don’t have to overly worry just yet. There’s still a way to go before these tools have the same information processing and writing abilities as you do. In fact, this will give you more time to seize opportunities like the one below.
4. 2021 Is the Year of Original Research and Studies
There is so much content online. Even if you do produce great content, it can be challenging to stand out.
Thought leadership is still an incredibly important area, especially for medium-sized businesses. Still, they’ll need to step it up and start producing their studies and research to support their ideas.
You don’t have to overly invest. You can begin with surveys and crowdsourcing ideas. The good thing about research is once you’ve done it, there are so many different ways to drive ROI through social media, email, and web campaigns.
5. User Experience Is Vital
It’s kind of a paradox. Most marketers cater to serve Google’s whims. But Google is trying to sort out who offers the best experience for users.
The result is a dissonance that often creates a less than ideal experience. That’s all set to change in 2021 as Google will focus more on important factors like UX design, site speed, content delivery, ad presence and other factors.
While keywords will still be important, if key information is found in-depth and presented well throughout the article, that will pay off in the rankings.
Now’s the time to improve your content experience. Check old pages and make sure everything is working well. This is also an opportunity to re-purpose and breathe new life into old content, which will net you SEO gains with minimal time investment.
Then set a gold standard by which you produce all future content that will guarantee the UX your site visitors and customers deserve.
The Top Content Marketing Trends of 2021
2021 is set to be one of the most dynamic years ever in content marketing. We are right on the edge of the traditional methods we’ve used for years combined with breakthrough new strategies and technologies.
As with any year, it will all be up to who’s ready to adapt and innovate at the quickest pace. But don’t forget the golden rule of content marketing. At the end of the day, it’s all about delivering value to your users. Remember, you’re not pleasing Google, but them. Put them first and continue delivering your best, and you’ll be rewarded no matter what year it is.