Some of the content marketing trends for 2021 are a reaction to some of the craziness we’ve seen over the past few years. Others are simply a part of the ever-evolving way people search for information online. But the more things change, the more they stay the same; this is particularly true of the purpose of content marketing.
As you consider these content marketing trends for 2021, remember that your brand’s content should always be intended to provide value to its audience. “Value” can mean any number of things—for example, reliable information, entertainment, emotional resonance, and so on. But all effective content marketing offers a targeted audience something they want.
If your content does that, it will build your brand awareness, authority, and credibility. It will increase your following, leads, and sales. In other words, it will help you achieve greater success in the new year and beyond.
2021 Content Marketing Trends
- Credibility. In the era of “fake news,” disinformation from foreign sources making the rounds on social media, unqualified opinions about a pandemic, and other problems surrounding the reliability of the information we consume online, establishing the credibility of content is one of the major content marketing trends for 2021. Much of the general public is learning to be more skeptical and discerning. Avoid sharing unsubstantiated information, and include links to back up what you say when it wanders outside your brand’s area of expertise. Trust is earned, and it’s more important than ever to do so.
- Sharing live video content. There are plenty of ways to use video for marketing your brand, and live video has been getting increasing use over the past several years. But the shutdowns, quarantining, and social distancing of the COVID-19 pandemic forced live video to replace in-person events of all types. Although a couple of vaccines are now here to help us return to normal, it’s still going to be a while till we get there. And even once we do, many brands have discovered the power of connecting with larger audiences via live video (especially on social media and for webinars), and they’re going to keep benefiting from it.
- Increased focus on the buyer’s journey. Obviously, people have been increasingly relying on the internet to research brands and their products and services for a long time now. But in the pandemic, consumers largely stopped going to brick-and-mortar locations as much as possible, and when they had to, they sought to limit their time there and their direct interactions with other people. This has made it even more important to have content that addresses people’s questions at all stages of the buyer’s journey. And even when the pandemic wanes, this will remain an essential function of a brand’s content.
- Optimizing for voice search. Voice search is rapidly on the rise on mobile devices, and it’s particularly important to how Gen Z searches for content. This means using long-tail keywords that are a phrase of at least four to five words, because people voice search just like they talk. They tend to speak in complete questions and sentences, and content optimized to match will often fare best in the search results.
- Accessibility. There’s been a push over the past few years to make the internet more accessible to people with disabilities. We’ve been revisiting the way we build websites, and even starting to pass legislation to help us get the web where it should be. Among the content marketing trends for 2021, there will be more effort to make content we create on a regular basis more accessible. This includes things like audio versions of written content, captioning for video content, descriptive alt text for images, and more. There’s lots of good information about this in Vox’s Accessibility Guidelines, which includes an Editorial section that’s specific to content creation.