As you adapt to the new environment and prepare for 2021, it’s important to recognize digital trends in order to stay ahead of the competition and better connect with your audience.
Closures and social distancing shaped 2020 and made digital-first connections between consumers and brands an absolute necessity. Therefore, delivering meaningful and authentic digital experiences is a strategy that will help you meet your goals in 2021 among the prolonged periods of social distancing and new expectations from customers. To successfully appeal to your audience in the digital landscape, you must understand some key digital trends and changes that will affect your marketing in 2021.
Who is creating your content?
A vast majority (86%) of consumers believe authenticity matters. So, writers must possess industry expertise to deliver the authenticity and connection that audiences take as a sign of trustworthiness. Additionally, consumers value social proof and user-generated content, and micro-influencers could become just as important as the content created by your marketing team.
As brands continue to vie for visibility online, it’s crucial to adopt a strategic approach to marketing and SEO. You should also seek multi-talented content creators who possess the right mix of writing and SEO skills. However, the gig economy, which supplies many companies with their content creators, has taken a major hit that may cause you to switch up your writer recruitment process.
The gig economy might no longer be the go-to cost-effective solution for content creation. Indeed, California adopted bill AB5 on January 1, 2020, requiring companies to replace freelancers with full-time hires. More states could follow suit, leaving businesses to choose between establishing an in-house content department and turning to an agency.
New content formats for 2021
Keeping up with the latest digital trends will require your company to incorporate new content formats into your marketing strategy. These are some trending formats you should think about adopting:
- Visual content. Users process images faster, and visual content leads to better information retention.
- Voice search. In 2019, voice search ranked second behind mobile browsers for searches issued on mobile devices. Voice search will continue to grow and call for content optimized for short, conversational responses.
- Featured snippets. Google’s new feature selects short answers to immediately satisfy a query with on-page SERP content consumption or a voice answer. It’s time to optimize for featured snippets to your SEO toolbox.
- Dynamic content. Dynamic content is suited to mobile navigation and encourages content discovery. Formats like Facebook carousel ads, which let users swipe through a slideshow, are a good example of digital trends that will shape content consumption in 2021.
Context-specific messaging is one of the defining digital trends for the coming year. Between the multiplication of distribution channels and “always online” users, companies must be reactive and deliver contextual messages at the right time.
The following strategies can help with context-specific messaging:
- Develop a strong content creation and delivery strategy to be more reactive. Roll out new pieces of content as needed.
- Invest in new technologies like AI and chatbots to deliver personalized content.
- Create and distribute content that is relevant to customers in each stage of the marketing funnel.
- Keep content pieces short, and prioritize Q&A or problem/solution formats to address specific needs.
- Facilitate immediate content consumption by crafting content that is easy to skim. Additionally, place important messages above the fold on your landing pages or in your email previews, and incorporate visual elements.
Adapting to 2021’s digital trends means creating content that is authentic, easy to access and relevant for immediate consumption. Keeping up to date on the recent changes in the industry as well as the evolving needs of your audience is crucial to staying competitive and driving success in the years to come.
If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs. This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.