COVID-19 has created a new halo of importance around content marketing. Business is down and companies simply don’t have the budgets to spend on paid marketing. So, who can they turn to, during these times of distress? Content marketing, of course! Never before, has the power of organic marketing been this profound. Organic marketing is the new focus for organizations across the globe because they realize that content, after all, still remains king.
A solid content marketing strategy plays a pivotal role in every business strategy to expand and communicate their products and services with the masses. Keeping this in mind, here are the top 7 content marketing tips and trends to leverage this 2021, to help your brand reach new heights:

1. The rise of content communities:

A content community aims at breaking the barrier between brands and people. It acts as a bridge that fosters human, personal interaction between brands and their target audience. A great example of this is how Netflix creates their own troll accounts on YouTube and Twitter to ask questions to their audience and even make fun of their own content. Nykaa also has a thriving content community that brings together make-up and skincare enthusiasts together under one roof. Content communities significantly reduce your outreach cost, allow you to interact with thousands of people through funny, topical content, improve content promotion and tap into community trends on a regular basis. Community content marketing is definitely a top content marketing trend to look out for!

Here are the Hows and Whys of content communities for content marketing:

Start your own community:

Is your brand just starting out, and you’re looking for interested folks? Start your own content community. This can be on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social media platform. Use this community to invite people and share insightful blogs and articles.

Content communities build loyalty: Picture a situation where your content community gets deleted on a social media platform. Awful, isn’t it? Don’t worry. You can bank on your army of loyal content community members to defend you and restart the conversation elsewhere. Use these communities to build camaraderie, loyalty, and strong relationships.

Content communities ultimately drive traffic:

Imagine you have 5,000 members as part of your community. That’s 5000 more people rushing to your website every time you launch something new or have interesting news to share. They are great drivers of organic traffic, thereby increasing your reach.

How we built a content community for Mfine to drive app installs:

Mfine is a healthcare consulting app, through which patients can directly consult with doctors through video, voice call, and text. Mfine wanted to focus on app installs and consultations specifically for pediatricians. They wanted to reach this goal by creating organic awareness among parents, the main target group.
To achieve this we developed a child care and child nutrition microsite with authoritative content to build trust around the app. We created an in-depth vaccination chart and food chart for infants, as well as tools such as a child BMI calculator.

We achieved:
  • 700 app installs through organic traffic
  • Ranked for 500 organic keywords in Google

2. Demand for more visual content:

Let’s get real. Our attention spans have drastically dropped in recent years, and most of us prefer content that is visually stimulating and gets our endorphins running. Videos have become the most consumed form of content today, with streams running into the millions and billions of views every day! Thus videos are going to play a very important role in driving engagement in 2021. Brands simply cannot stick to traditional written content. They must transcend beyond and make active efforts to create both short videos such as thumb stoppers and long-form visual content optimized with SEO to enable maximum content promotion. Video marketing for visual content is a content marketing tip worth considering very seriously!

Here are some ways to bring make videos the focal point of your content marketing strategy:

Get your intros right:

If a video doesn’t capture a user in the first 15 seconds, be sure that he/she is not going to watch the video fully. When it comes to creating a great video, you absolutely need to nail the intro! The first 15 seconds decide if your video is viral-worthy or not. Some ways you can do this is by using hyperbole, dumping fascinating facts and numbers, jumping right into your content, and avoiding long-winding animations and logos.

Use YouTube smartly:

YouTube is a slippery slope. Your videos can take years or get views or even less than a week to touch a million. One sure-shot trick to get more views is to use the suggested video option that shows up when you’re uploading a video. While optimizing videos for SEO is absolutely important, tagging videos as suggested, and using catchy titles and descriptions goes a long way.

Stick to a script:

Not all of us natural speakers. In fact most of us fumble and bumble in front of a camera. If you suffer from stage fright, simply record a neat script and practice till you nail it. Even the best YouTubers stick to a script.

3. Listening is the new reading – Podcasts:

Apple had over 43 million episodes on its podcast in January 2021. And that’s just one platform. So you can imagine how many people around the world are listening to podcasts every day. Podcasts have become extremely popular because of their ease of use! You can listen to anything of your choice while walking, cooking, driving to work, and even in bed. Podcasts for meditation and news especially have gained a lot of traction lately. Brands too, need to jump on the bandwagon and leverage this content marketing trend to engage with new audiences. Brands can talk about market updates, provide educational content and even stream interviews through podcasts. There’s room for so much opportunity for content promotion and content marketing through podcasts! It’s one content marketing tip, you simply cannot ignore.

Here are some ways to leverage podcasts as part of your content marketing plans:

SEO optimized podcasts:

Did you know that you can ever optimize your podcasts to increase rankings and searchability? You can distribute podcasts as individual landing pages on your website and optimize titles, descriptions, and static content to drive enthusiastic listeners to your podcast.
Explore new content formats: Podcasts can be very interesting when done right because it allows you to explore a variety of formats while communicating with people. You can have interviews, short stories, episode-based content, free vs paid content, etc. The choices are endless.

Provide valuable content:

People want to hear what’s relevant to them. Hence choosing your podcast topic becomes very important. Include content that is fresh or topical. Keep listeners updated on the latest developments.

4. Personalised content marketing:

What does personalized marketing mean? It simply means catering to a person’s most individual self through your content. Personalization will be a very important aspect of your content marketing strategy this 2021, because, among the barrage of information available to a consumer, they want to connect and engage with content that really hits home. So, how can brands create personalized content for better content promotion? How do they figure out what each of their consumers like? It’s all a numbers game at the end of the day. Personalization lies in data analysis and figuring out, through numbers, what your consumer is engaging with the most. Try to receive as much information as you can from your consumer, and then accordingly, start observing trends and patterns to figure out what they like and don’t like.

Here’s how you can send out personalized content to your audience:

Good old email marketing:

If there’s one evergreen content marketing trend, it is email marketing. It just never goes out of style! And it’s here to drive traffic up your sleeve this 2021 too. Try different email styles. Use punch lines and minimalistic content that pushes users to go straight to the CTA.

FOMO personalized marketing:

FOMO stands for fear of missing out. And brands are leveraging these very emotions to create personalized content. By showing people what has currently captured people’s attention, you can instill curiosity and drive searches towards the same. Smart copy with the right keywords can help drive FOMO marketing.

Custom video messages:

Brands can use customized content in videos to help reach out to people. For example, if your company is planning to send out a video message about a new product, make sure it comes from a very personal place, such as your CEO directly addressing the target audience. With the right automation technology in place, you can achieve this in no time. Such is the power of personalization.

5. Domination of Voice Search:

Have you ever talked to your phone asking to find “The best Italian restaurant around me”? You’re not alone. All of us have asked Google and Alexa to do favors for us because it’s just that simple, isn’t it? Voice search has burgeoned like anything over the past year, and in 2021, there’s no sight of it going on the down-low. Voice search accounts for almost 20% of all the search queries today. So, how can businesses tap into this? By creating content that is voice search-friendly. If you’re a healthcare provider, and someone searches for “Thyroid test around me”, make sure you show up. With the right optimized content, you can certainly rank high on search engines for voice too. Voice search marketing is definitely one of the top content marketing trends this 2021.

Here are some interesting facts to keep in mind when leveraging voice search for content marketing:

Focus on voice SEO:

Most voice search results show up from featured snippets, pieces of content that Google believes are the most relevant and accurate description of what you search for. Thus your voice search SEO is very important. Find out how you can make your answer better than the existing featured snippet, but using keywords that make your content visible.

Website SERP results should be high:

Voice search is a combination of many things that Google deems important and your website’s current ranking is one such factor. If your website has a good ranking and is well recognized with all SEO checkpoints in place, your content will receive recognition on voice too. This how you layer and present content throughout your website has a huge impact on voice SEO.

Focus on FAQ pages for voice:

Does your website have a comprehensive FAQ page? If not, it’s time to make one. FAQs are often a favorite among Google when it comes to picking up answers for voice searches, so make sure you answer every question possible with respect to your content. Also, FAQs are picked up as featured snippets, which as you already know, is super voice-search friendly!

6. Diversification of content and content amplification:

People get bored with just one type of content. We’re constantly looking for content that engages us in different ways. Brands cannot continue to stick to a single format of content. Brands must diversify their content, in order to meet their consumer needs. If you’re in charge of the content marketing strategy for a brand, you should try out long-form blogs, short copy, podcasts, videos, thumb stoppers, interactive tools, infographics, pillar content, and more. There’s so much scope in content marketing for content promotion and content amplification. All you need to do is explore. Here are some content marketing tips to diversify your content:

Picture Perfect:

All of us love visual content. It’s savvy, catches your eye, and keeps you hooked. Create attention-grabbing content for platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest that have millions of followers around the world. They include topical posts, infographics, and even GIFs with succinct content that convey your message.

Deep dive into Q&A:

Quora is a great platform for content marketing! There are gazillion questions you can find on the platform that you can answer, thus spreading your expertise to many people at once. You can create a brand account and even answer questions from there to build credibility.
Brochures and Ebooks:
If you want to go beyond blogs and pillars, take a shot at creating brochures and Ebooks that are not only comprehensive but also great assets to easily share across social media platforms. They are easily downloadable too. And of course, they should always be optimized with the right keywords!

Case Studies:

Case studies are a great way to connect with your customers and build trust among them. Remember, case studies need to be extremely detailed and as factual as possible. Back it with some images, surveys, graphs, and statistics to add variety to your case study.

How we used Content Amplification for ZestMoney:

We wanted to reach out to a huge potential target audience of noncredit card users for their business with an outlook of ROI.
We aimed to significantly increase organic traffic to ZestMoney’s website and encourage more people to explore Zest’s no-cost EMI service to make their dream purchases, interest-free. We did in-depth keyword research and optimized all existing content with relevant keywords. We also created new product pages and in-depth no-cost EMI guides, and a user-centric blog that became one of the biggest drivers of organic traffic.

We achieved:
  • 12% increase in overall traffic in 2 months
  • Non branded keyword positions between 1-2 up by 40%
  • 1200+ additional keywords started ranking
  • Site health and optimization increased by 35%

7. User-generated content(UGC)’s rising popularity:

User-generated content is content that is created by people, rather than by the brand itself. UGC marketing has one big advantage. It is extremely authentic and trustworthy because it’s directly coming from the user himself. UGC marketing is largely positive, creates a de-facto community, gives you free publicity, and attracts new users on board because of its authenticity. Content marketers must focus on creating as much UGC as possible. UGC marketing starts discussions online, leading to higher engagement and visibility.

How can you use UGC in content marketing to drive results?

Reviews:

According to a study conducted by The Consumerist, over 70% of users look at reviews before buying a product. If you have bad reviews, you’re in for some serious trouble. Good reviews act as vital UGC that can make or break your business. This 2021, garnering good reviews should be on your checklist!

Hashtag contests:

One way to get more UGC is by creating quirky and fun hashtags on social media. Users can share statuses, photos, and more using your hashtag as part of their captions. Branded hashtags build awareness about your brand and help set you apart from competitors too. While hashtags are extremely short-form content, they’re highly effective!

Gamification:

Here, users are basically asked to complete a set of tasks and are rewarded with a badge of achievement. You can also offer special discounts, coupons and more. Swiggy does this all the time if you’ve noticed. Small steps inspire people to participate and engage, thus building your outreach and paving the way to a loyal customer base.

Content marketing has so much to offer and is true, one of the cornerstones of any successful business strategy. Your blog page can make or break your business. Aligning your content and SEO efforts in the right direction can do wonders for your brand. Content marketing will see exponential growth this 2021, and with these marketing trends and content marketing tips on board, it will only reach new heights.

These are the top 7 content marketing trends to watch out for this 2021. If you haven’t leveraged them yet for your content promotion, what are you waiting for? Get started!