The covid-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons and the importance of digital presence for businesses is one.
From maintaining personal relations to making sure that businesses keep running, it is the online sphere that has kept the world going.
But the internet has become a very saturated place. With uncountable businesses and options vying for consumer attention, standing out becomes hard. One needs the right amount of authenticity and innovation to remain visible. In other words, one needs the right content.
Content – The Digital Marketing Showroom
Before delving into strategies and trends, one has to understand content marketing definition and context.
In the digital sphere, content refers to anything – information, experience, or stories – that are aimed at capturing and sustaining audience attention.
The end goal is to attract customers who will engage with the business and buy its products and services. Content marketing strategy thus plays a very important role in the success of a business. In a world of competition and low attention spans, it is this creativity and uniqueness of content that makes a business stand out.
This includes both the medium of the content, such as video or written words, and the actual information or story that makes up the content.
While standing out is important, keeping in touch with the latest trends and patterns is also necessary. Digital marketing is a very dynamic environment. Keeping up with trends allows brands and companies to capture new audiences and play with new themes and ideas.
Sticking to older trends, or worse, not participating in trends at all can cost a business.
A platform that does not engage with trends comes across as obsolete, static, and out of touch. These certainly are terms nobody would want attached to their work. Thus, making sure that your digital marketing strategy has an actionable plan for hopping on relevant trends is very important.
Top Trends of 2021
2020 has forced the world and its people to reckon with some very hard truths, including those about our health, our societies, and our future. These notions are likely to influence people’s expectations and desires. This, in turn, means that digital marketing content trends need to be more attuned and sensitive than ever before.
According to industry experts, the following content marketing trends are likely to dominate this year –
Driven Missions and Not Empty Charity
Gone are the days when companies could donate, click a few photos, and call it a day. Consumers today do not want charity – they want activism. Brands are no longer abstract corporate entities. They are expected to be living, feeling agents, and are expected to take a stand for what they believe in.
Donations are always welcome, of course. But companies can have a much bigger and positive impact when they take up an issue that is close to their brand’s value and mission.
Consider Nike, the sports goods maker giant which took up a series of powerful anti-racism campaigns using both online and traditional media. The focus was especially on the #blacklivesmatter movement.
Considering the diversity in the most prestigious sporting events across the world, Nike’s stand was powerful, especially when the brand knew that backlash was inevitable. Despite this, Nike turned up a pretty profit, showing that action and stakeholder interest can go hand-in-hand.
Here, There, Everywhere
For a long time, market pundits have compartmentalised content depending upon platforms. For example, Tumblr was not a place many companies would venture into unless they worked in a pop culture or in entertainment. There was a good reason for this too. Posting everywhere was tedious and had no guaranteed returned.
Well, not anymore.
Today, numerous integrated platforms allow businesses to build a tailored social media approach and presence across all platforms. This has reduced the cost and effort and allows businesses to tap virtually all of the social media for their business. Thus those who do not get on such integrated platforms soon do stand to lose a lot.
Visuality and Interactivity Rule
Video marketing continues to be one of the most dominating forms of content online. A video can capture the essence of a brand, its mission, and its products within a few seconds.
Fun challenges, eye-catching visuals, and music have a way of reaching young audiences in a way captions and written content cannot. Read more about video marketing here
Alongside, greater interactivity is key. One of the best examples of this has been Netflix. Despite its massive catalog and originals, Netflix has been facing tough competition from other streaming services.
Its response has again been to innovate and stay ahead of the curve by releasing interactive movies and shows that allow multiple endings based on user choices.
Allowing consumers control over how they interact with a brand gives greater connection and possibilities. However, companies may have to navigate the tricky waters of data storage and usage when it comes to such types of digital marketing.
Age of Artificial Intelligence is Here
AI has been slowly making its way into our daily lives, and content is up for a big shakedown soon. While human hands are still needed to run the train, AI can solve two major problems that content faces today – personalisation and productivity.
Artificial Intelligence can create a dynamic and continuous process of data analysis and feedback. This helps content marketers to know what is working and what’s not. Thus, the result is that only the best shots go out of the door.
With the data collected, marketers can also create personalisations for customers, making sure that they are hooked from the word-go. Such a uniquely tailored experience can go a long way in making the potential onlookers into long-term customers.
Like most new changes in content marketing, AI too will also bring in the privacy reckoning for most.
Less is More (Meaningful)
With the overload of digital that most experienced in 2020, many are looking forward to tuning it down as things return to normal. Since many content digital marketing strategies are low-cost, companies tend to go overboard. However, nobody likes being bombarded with bland and boring content repeatedly.
Instead, the mantra for 2021 has been to create a steady, small supply of meaningful, personalised, and innovative content. Consistency, commitment, and quality need to be drivers, not volume. This strategy has often been seen on Instagram, where brands use individual posts to create an aesthetic feed.
In focusing on the bigger picture (literally), companies can make sure that their marketing says the most with the least.
Trends do not define businesses. But in today’s dynamic and cutthroat world, they are essential to survive in this environment and stay ahead of the competition. In the end, it is how marketers and companies adapt to these trends within their goals that will determine their success.
So, do you think that these trends are actually reflective of the current needs and desires of consumers? Any ideas on how businesses can make the best from these patterns? Or can businesses really do their own thing and eschew these content and digital marketing trends? Let us know in the comments below!