What 2021 Content Marketing Trends Should Businesses Plan For?

7 Ways to Plan for 2021 Content Marketing Trends

Planning for 2021 content marketing trends is already underway but, do businesses know how much the state of the world has impacted them?

The pandemic is raging on, changing the way consumers operate. Many of the upcoming trends are extensions of what 2020 has already embraced.

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Graphic design trends – such as muted colors – will be spilling over to the next year. But there’s also a move towards serenity and positivity in marketing design.

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On the flip side, 2021 content marketing trends have been strongly impacted by how online the world has become.

We share seven trends that will be taking over content marketing next year.

Augmented Reality

With so many areas still under lockdown and flights in and out of countries – and states – restricted for the foreseeable future, people are looking for new ways to connect.

One of those methods is going to be augmented reality (AR), which Khaite employed for its 2021 Spring/ Summer fashion collection.

Khaite - Augmented Reality experiment spring 2021
Khaite – Augmented Reality experiment spring 2021. Image source: Vogue.

AR isn’t new to the content marketing world – we’ve seen AR lenses and filters used on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

The popularity of games like Pokemon Go brought AR into the mainstream – and the marketing sphere has followed suit, incorporating AR into campaigns.

Facebook is now in the process of designing AR glasses, which will eventually be rolled out to consumers. People are confined largely to their homes or neighborhoods – AR bridges the gap between companies and consumers while adding interactivity to marketing materials.

Move to E-commerce

As we mentioned earlier, there has been a distinct shift online in 2020. Stores and restaurants have had to close their doors or implement policies that reduce footfall.

As a result, more businesses have pivoted to eCommerce systems – and it’s going to continue.

Not only does this mean organizing packaging, shipping, and delivery to customers for the next year, but companies need to design eCommerce websites to promote and sell their products.

To do this, businesses must understand customer behaviors online. You can map out a customer journey, like in the below example for a news curation app.

Glide App - Customer journey map
Glide App – Customer journey map. Source: Venngage.

This customer journey map examines the various touchpoints a customer will encounter. Knowing these points will help brands encourage customers to the next stage in their journey. The shift to eCommerce will also lead to a greater focus on online marketing avenues in 2021, including digital PR and advertising since those are the channels consumers will access.

Search intent is changing how marketers create SEO-focused content. This is primarily because of Google’s featured snippet, aka the zero search post.

When searching on Google, the featured snippet shows up at the top of the page and is designed to offer an instant solution to searchers’ queries, like in this example.

How to do SEO - Google Search
How to do SEO – Google Search. Image source Ahrefs.

If your content isn’t chosen as the featured snippet, searchers may never even see it – after all, by elucidating on the topic, Google ensures that people don’t have to click through for answers.

This is why taking that featured spot is so important right now and in the future.

But how do you do it?

Your content needs to include long-tail keywords specifically designed to answer how, why, and who questions.

Add a section to your content that sums up your findings and answers possible customer queries – this makes it easier for Google to use your content in the featured snippet.

Live Streaming

Video has been taking over the world in the last few years, but 2020 has added a new dimension to video marketing: live streaming and it’s become incredibly popular.

What audiences expect from live video
What audiences expect from live video. Image source LiveStream.

Since people are unable to attend events in person – with so many being canceled or postponed – live streaming has become the way to fill the gap.

Businesses, both small and large, are employing live streaming to reach audiences, and to keep in touch with colleagues.

If you don’t already have an active YouTube channel, now might be the time to organize it.

But you can also go live using Instagram and Facebook – a less expensive proposition than YouTube.You also have the option of conducting webinars on video conferencing platforms, which helps to place you as a thought leader in your field.

Podcasting

Podcast listenership has steadily been increasing over the last few years – with more people creating and listening in 2020 due to being quarantined at home.

Monthly Podcast Listening Statistics
Monthly Podcast Listening Statistics. Image source ThePodcastHost.

As a result, podcasting has made its way into the content marketing sphere. Not only is this another avenue to reach customers, but it also helps to generate and share thought leadership.

The great thing about podcasts is that they offer up opportunities for diversity. 

Some people decry the proliferation of podcasters – but it’s also an avenue for formerly silenced voices to be heard.

Podcasts help to build industry partnerships – you can grow your business in new areas that you haven’t explored before. 

If your industry has a demand for your podcast, it is worth going ahead with it. You can learn how to start a podcast through online resources. There are numerous podcast hosting platforms available that aren’t expensive. Starting a podcast and reaching new audiences should be the focus of your 2021 strategy.

Increasing Visual Content

People spending more time online has had another side effect on marketers – an increased need for better visual communication.

Why are there more visual content marketing trends in 2021? Because of the amount of content available online and how many people are accessing it.

If you want to rise above the crowd, your content needs to be attractive and hold the user’s attention. Visuals can help you do that, as you can see from this strategy map below.

Visual Communication
Visual Communication: Source: Venngage.

Create designs based on the trends we will see in 2021 – flat icons and illustrations, geometric shapes, and social media slide decks, like this example from LinkedIn.

Anatomy of a great marketer
Anatomy of a Great Marketer

Use charts and graphs to visualize data for audiences, and illustrate points using icons and symbols.

There are so many text posts online that you need to do something different to be noticed – great visuals are how you can attract audiences in a busy online world.

Voice Search Optimization

We’ve mentioned how zero clicks and featured snippets are impacting SEO content, but there’s one more change in search engine traffic that marketers need to be aware of: voice search.

According to Google, 20% of queries are via voice search, with 31% using voice technology every week.

If you aren’t tailoring your content for voice search, you have to start now. The great thing about optimizing for voice is that if you’re aiming for the featured snippet, your job is halfway done.

Google uses the featured snippet to answer voice queries, it works on the same principle as a zero-click search.

So, use long-tail keywords and answer specific questions to reach voice technology users.

You should also update your FAQ page as more voice search queries are answered using FAQ content than other pages.

FAQ - Voice search queries
FAQ – Voice search queries. Source Search Engine Watch.

Tailoring your SEO for voice and featured snippets will be essential to growing your business organically in 2021.

The marketing trends we are going to see have been strongly impacted by our changing world.

To recap, here are the 2021 content marketing trends businesses need to plan for:

  • Augmented reality
  • Move to eCommerce
  • Featured snippets
  • Live streams
  • Podcasting
  • Visual communication
  • Voice search

By creating content around the above trends, you will be able to reach audiences and boost conversions in 2021.

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Image source: Freepik Premium

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