In these strange times of lockdowns and staying home as much as possible, we are more active online than ever. As human beings, we seek to connect, but we also know how to find services and products en masse. We don’t have to leave the house anymore. This has catastrophic consequences for many industries, but it also offers enormous opportunities.
New ideas require new content and strategies to distinguish yourself. How do you deal with the increased online competition in a forest of content? How do you position yourself and your organization during and post-corona? In short, what should content marketers and entrepreneurs in the ‘new normal’ take into account? What are the trends in content marketing in 2021?
Transparency and Reliability.
If the corona crisis has taught us one thing, it is the importance of transparency and data reliability. Transparency and reliability will play an increasingly important role.
You can see that Google is already working with E-A-T on verifying the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of authors. This will weigh even more heavily. Referring to reliable sources is becoming increasingly important post-corona.
Are you referring to a reliable source with an external link? Then that is a positive signal. On the other hand, links to different or even unreliable sources have a negative impact. That is the development we need.
Post-corona trust is the new credo. The virtual world has increasingly become a battlefield of fake news and misinformation. Clear, reliable, and consistent communication is a relief for the consumer. Therefore, ensure a clear brand image and brand value pattern. Work this consistently into all your communication. In short: prove the wording, win and strengthen the relationship with customer and prospect.
It is advisable to bet on well-written content and create the video, dynamic content, and other visual elements.
In the new normal, face-to-face contact has almost completely switched to online contact. This makes the video even more important in your communication throughout the customer journey. So make more use of it. Research from Google already shows that no less than 70 percent of B2B buyers choose a video on the customer journey.
And for a good reason, because another research from Hubspot shows that 62 percent of viewers watch the video completely to the end. Only 27 percent of those surveyed read a blog completely.
In addition to video, several experts also mention the increasing importance of the podcast.
Indeed, the podcast is gaining in importance. It has been on the rise in recent years, but I expect this trend to continue much further. When companies started experimenting with it, people still had to get used to the idea.
Meanwhile, it is well received, and more and more podcasts are blossoming. I expect the podcast to be increasingly interwoven as a supplement to blogs. Besides, the sites that do this are rewarded by Google, thanks to the higher engagement and longer session duration.
Listening to a podcast requires less cognitive effort for many people than reading an article. The podcast is becoming increasingly common for companies.
Many brands will show their expertise with podcasts. You can really distinguish yourself as a brand with a podcast. And if you are unable or unwilling to start a podcast yourself, you can appear as a guest at a podcast to show your expertise.
Versatile content with more depth.
Distribute content through other channels, such as social, your newsletter, et cetera. Do not forget to enable other expertise, such as a good remarketing campaign, or add a loft conversion. This ensures that you get more out of your content efforts.
As a content marketer, look for the floor. Content is in abundance, making it increasingly difficult to stand out among all the noise. In the new normal, we will probably create even more content. That makes it more important than ever to make sure you stand out.
Where do that versatility and more depth start with?
That starts with understanding the problems your company is solving. I still see too many content marketers around me who are happy to let other experts have their say. They do not put much effort into really understanding the organization they work for. Personas and customer journeys are created but never talked to (potential) customers or salespeople to validate them. The process is used to draw up a content calendar, but you actually only contribute to the noise.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target group.
As a content marketer, it pays to put yourself in the shoes of your target group. Is that a web developer? Then take a web development course. Is it a teacher in an educational institution? Come along for a day, read an education magazine, or interview someone in education.
Bottom line: if you don’t really understand what someone deals with daily, it will not be easy to create unique content. Fall in love with the content and the issues your target audience is dealing with. And always keep that voice in mind when you create the content or brief an external creator to create the content.
Calling in experts, for example, from within the organization, is not a bad idea. If you do not have a filter yourself to assess whether the content of the content makes sense, does it become a lot more difficult to create unique content that stands out in the noise?
Increase in online knowledge sharing and more webinars.
Corona forced us to gather our knowledge online. Conferences are digital, and there has never been so much variety of exciting webinars.
Of course, if the weather is possible, we will all be together offline to network and be inspired in groups. Having a drink behind your screen is different than with colleagues at a bar.
Nevertheless, I expect that everyone will also recognize the convenience of online conferences and that this online knowledge sharing will also remain popular post-corona. So there remains a demand for online meetings or hybrid forms. The significant advantage: it is too much more comfortable to participate in an international online conference than an offline variant.
Especially for companies with regular customer contact. They need to reach their customers in another useful way. This can be done through a complete and informative website, possibly supplemented with clear images and videos.
That’s about it! I think these trends will become very important in 2021, in the aftermath of 2020. The COVID pandemic will still haunt us, and we will still be mostly online.