If you’re familiar with the digital marketing landscape, you know that it’s constantly evolving, and content is generally at the center of it all.
To keep you up to date on the latest, we’ve compiled 5 content “trends” you’ll want to pay attention to throughout the rest of 2021.
However, we will note that all of these trends reference one familiar content truth that remains unchanged: Creating content that provides value to your specific audience will always win.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the specific content tactics that seem to be engaging consumers this year.
Trend #1: Write for people, not search engines
While this isn’t a new trend in content marketing, it’s one that becomes more important every single year. While there was a period of time where you could rank for content through “black hat” SEO tactics, Google has since demerited those types of “optimizations,” and focused on incentivizing content that provides clear value to users and fulfills their search intent.
That being said, it’s more important than ever to write content for people, not for search engines. To write compelling content, you need to understand:
- Who your audience is
- What their challenges and motivations are
- What kind of content would most benefit them at their stage in their buyer’s journey
If we could distill this recommendation down to one phrase, it would be focus on intent. Focus on the intent of the person you are creating content for and write in a way that will allow that persona to garnish the most value in the least amount of time.
Note: You might be asking yourself if this means you should still focus on optimizing for search engines. And the answer is YES! You’ll just want to make sure that you are also focusing on providing value to your reader.
Trend #2: Focus on video content
Creating video content has been a rising “trend” in the last few years, and its popularity continues to grow as time goes on.
To emphasize how important video content will be for marketers this year and in the future, we’ve compiled a few stats:
- Video content is predicted to account for 82% of all internet traffic, according to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report.
- According to a forecast by Zenith, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching video content in 2021.
- Mentioning the word “video” in email subject lines can increase your open rates by 19%.
We understand that video content is more complicated to create than other forms of content, like blogs or social posts. However, you don’t need a digital production team to create videos that will resonate with your audience. In fact, according to HubSpot Research, consumers actually prefer lower quality video content to high-quality videos, because they feel more authentic.
To get you started, here are a few different video topic ideas:
- Product or Service “How-To”
- Expert Interviews
- Employee Spotlights
- Educational Videos
- Culture/Brand Videos
Still feeling stuck? Reach out to us. We can help you develop a video strategy as well as execute on specific video content.
Trend #3: Share your brand’s unique perspective
Users don’t want regurgitated information that they can find from any other source online, they want your brand’s unique perspective.
If someone has taken the time to follow you or opts in to receiving your emails, they’re generally interested in what you have to say. So, share your unique experience and perspective.
Find a way to bring your brand’s unique voice, perspective and values into the content that you create. This will help you stand out from other competitors and content producers, and it will also resonate with those digesting your content, providing them with a consistent and clear brand experience across your digital portfolio.
Trend #4: Optimize your content for voice search
Voice search is a trend that’s becoming increasingly popular, and like video, shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to Perficient, about 55% of users choose voice search when asking questions on their smartphones, and research from PwC shows that 71% of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice rather than by typing their questions.
Optimizing your content for voice search is important, no doubt about it. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Here are a few tips:
- Start with the 5Ws (and 1H). According to SEJ, many voice searches start with who, what, where, when, why or how. When you’re doing keyword research, try to find phrases with volume that start with one of these, as they indicate basic information gathering intent.
- Use conversational long-tail keywords. Typically, voice searches tend to be longer than queries that are typed, and they tend to be more conversational. For example, a typed query may look like “brownie recipe,” whereas a question asked via voice search may be “How do I make brownies” or “What is the best brownie recipe?”
- Write for your audience. Last but not least, understand how your audience uses voice search. Voice search is generally most popular on mobile devices, but can be used on other devices. If your audience is mostly found on mobile, focusing heavily on optimizing content for voice search should be on your list of priorities. If your audience mostly resides on more traditional screens, like desktops, you’ll want to focus more on optimizing for traditional, typed queries.
Trend #5: Focus on UX
We normally talk about user experience in regard to webpages and apps, but user experience is just as important when creating individual pieces of content.
Not only is the content itself important, but the layout also should match audience’s behaviors, wants and needs.
There are two main tips to creating content that is optimized:
- Follow content best practices, such as including headers, implementing visuals and breaking content up into easy-to-read and digestible sections.
- Understand your audience. The best way to provide a user experience that will resonate with your audience is to understand how they digest content. For a certain audience, long-form content may be the best format, whereas for a different audience, short-form content, like social media posts or infographics may be the best content. Understand your audience, how they engage with content, and what information they need, and that will help you determine the best layout to present your content in.
Where to focus your efforts through the end of 2021
In summary, content trends come and go, but if we could leave you with one single piece of advice, it would be to focus on your audience. Focusing on who your audience is, their wants and needs, and the way that they interact with digital content will help you create content that is compelling, unique and satisfies the intent of the user.