Content Marketing in 2021: What to Keep in Mind

Has the landscape of content marketing changed over the COVID-19 era? The pandemic has had an undeniably large impact on how people consume media, conduct business, and generally live their lives. Businesses closed, brands scaled-down and millions of people were rendered jobless. Business survival is now predicated on how visible your business is online. 

There is a fresh wave of content creators, a new wave of users and customers who have migrated from physical shopping to online shopping. More people are now conducting business in the interwebs. So content marketing, as a result, has also adapted to address the ever-growing and changing demands of this age of the “new normal.” 

What to expect in 2021

More Artificial Intelligence (AI) involvement

Remember a time when people’s perception of AI translated to talking robots and the fear of a robot uprising? AI has actually been used in various areas of business — skincare, health services, and hiring, to name a few — especially in advertising and addressing customer needs. 

We’ve seen automated chatbots replying to customer queries in the absence of a human customer care agent. You’ve probably seen them when you've tried ordering your organic pantry staples online in the middle of the night and an automated message pops up when you place your order. Or maybe you’ve more than once said “Hey, Siri” or “Alexa, could you …” These are all examples of AI-driven technology being used today. 

In the content marketing sphere, AI tools assist not only in analyzing customer data but also in pointing businesses in the direction of more potential customers — online tools that help creators make better quality content for their target audience abound. AI and machine learning will continue to significantly influence how we conduct business in the coming years. It is best to take advantage of AI-driven systems in content creation and drumming up customer interest and ride the AI wave. 

More focus on customer experience

With more people migrating their commercial transactions and activities online, consumers now have a certain expectation and tolerance level when it comes to online browsing and shopping. No one wants to wait minutes for a page to load, and customers have little patience for errors especially when they check out to pay for their orders. 

People now expect more from online businesses, so when you are creating content, don’t just focus on the quality of your content but also on how long the page loads if your website is optimized for both mobile and pc environments. Focus on how your users experience your page. 

Mass media is slowly phasing itself out as more consumers demand a more personalized user experience, so try to make your users feel that you are catering to them one-on-one instead of making them feel as if they are just part of your customer demographic. You can do that by paying attention to your customer’s history with your page. Show them content relevant to them first without bombarding them with things they have no interest in. The more you cater to your customer’s individuality, the more you get repeat customers, and more repeat customers drum up more business. 

Greater leverage on social media

People are stuck inside because of the pandemic, and people tend to ease their boredom by scrolling through social media platforms. Right there is your chance to get seen and to establish customer contact. 

This technique has been used for years but it hasn’t been more effective as it has until the pandemic. More people are spending longer hours on social media, so advertising on social media platforms gives you greater chances of pulling customer traffic to your page. 

But don’t just post and think that customers will arrive in droves. Promote your content, and more importantly, measure the impact of your social media campaigns. It’s no longer about how many likes and favorites you get. Not every single like or favorite translates to a customer. 

What is more important is how people are sharing and discussing your content. This is what truly drums up interest and traffic to your page. Engage with your potential customers, be part of a broader discussion. Measure these interactions so you can study your metrics and make changes accordingly. Feedback is king. Listen to what your customers want and address them as best you can. 

Video content and live streaming becoming more popular

It seems like everyone and their mothers have tried doing live videos, perhaps a way of coping and getting through this pandemic. However, this fun little activity of filming yourself and posting the video live is an excellent way of reaching your customers, as well. 

Because the pandemic has us staying in instead of visiting our favorite shops, brands from all over have hosted live events for their customers. Even conventions are being held online now, through live video streaming. 

Doing live streams and posting video content allows you to interact with your customers “face to face.” — or as face to face as we can get while in quarantine. This addresses the need of customers for immediate answers to their queries and for content creators to reach their customers as quickly as possible. This also could generate a new stream of income if you get enough views and enough subscribers. 

More people using voice search

That simple “Hey, Siri” to start your search on your iOS device is called voice search, and more people are doing it. We now have Google and Alexa, as well, plus a bunch of other devices and tools that consumers use to do their voice searches for them. 

This is why optimizing your content to cater to voice search is an important step to start this year, if you have not done so already. Optimizing your page or blog for voice search could be as simple as focusing on normal conversational sentences instead of one of two keywords as you would when typing: “Where is the nearest pizza place?” instead of “pizza near me.”

Though voice search may not necessarily oust text searching, the upward trend of people using voice search is an important thing to keep an eye on.

Key takeaways

Content marketing is ever-evolving. In order to keep thriving, you need to monitor the trends in content marketing. Anticipating changes and getting a headstart is a good way of staying competitive and keeping yourself ahead of the pack.