In 2021 content marketing will again face the landscape that began in 2020. This landscape includes what I call pandemic content consumption (PCC). PPCP refers to the adaptations we made to adjust to life at home, in lockdown, and specifically the ways in which we consumed content from our homes, mostly digitally. While we became insatiable for content during this time, we also became extremely discerning about that content. According to Farnaz Maters, Executive Director and CMO for Principal Global Investors, brands are now competing in a content war and grabbing someone’s attention in 2021 will be more difficult than ever, especially for B2B’s.
To create content that rises to the top, content marketers must differentiate in some way that is important to their consumers. In 2020, because people clung to the brands they loved and got very selective in what they consumed, in 2021 only the most attention-grabbing content will reach them.
HERE ARE 6 CONTENT MARKETING SCENARIOS THAT WILL NOT WORK IN 2021
1.Long Form Content
2020 may go down in history as the year consumers lost the last of their patience for long form content. As valuable as the content might have been for them, they did not spend time reading 10-page white papers, listening to 2-hour podcasts or even watching long movies on broadcast and cable tv. Instead, we watched 30-minute reality shows, 1 minute TikTok videos and Instagram stories, and read short blog posts. So, in 2021 ditch the long form content and focus on digestible bites of content to reach your target users.
2.Content Without a Plan
With a captive audience quarantining at home, some brands went all in on creating content in 2020. They put out blog post after blog post, created video after vides, social media campaign on top of social media campaign, all in throw the pasta against the wall to see if it sticks fashion. But in a market that is extremely segmented, selective, and niche-focused, this approach misses the mark. Instead, plan your content, and for every piece created, identify the purpose of it. Then every few months look back on which content achieved its purpose and which did not, and ditch what did not. Let user feedback inform your future content. In other words, plan, evaluate and tweak as needed.
3.Content all on one Channel
Putting all your content into one channel will typically not result in reaching your target audience. A wiser approach for 2021 is to use multiple channels to maximize customer acquisition.
consider speakers series etc. (sponsored content, partnerships) – builds integrity and reaches new customers and sense of credibility when you partner with thought leaders and experts
4.Not Having a Blog
If you do not have a blog on your website, you are leaving money on the table. According to the State of Content Marketing 2019 Report 86% of content marketing takes place in blogs and businesses that have blogs receive 97% more links to their websites and 434% more indexed pages for SERPs. Moreover, 77% of internet users read blogs. This one is a no-brainer, yet many businesses still do not have blogs. Some believe they are too difficult to manage or too time consuming or they simply don’t like writing but with so many content agencies for every price point, this is no longer a smart decision this is not a smart decision.
5.Forgetting about Infographics and Checklists
Website viewers spend more time looking at visual content than reading text. If you are not using Infographics in content marketing, you are missing your market. An infographic can be a simple checklist or pictorial representation of a complicated process. This type of content is particularly well suited to businesses that are focused on financial, technical, legal, and medical. They usually combine text and graphic elements and are used to summarize, break down complicated information, and make boring data consumable. Below is an example of an infographic related to blog engagement.
6. Not Hiring A Content Marketing Agency
Many businesses are overwhelmed by the prospect of the work and research that creating content and a multiple channel customer acquisition strategy. But many do not realize that a content marketing agency can take the reins, employing experts in paid search, social media advertising, website and landing page optimization, and email marketing campaigns, all at a price point they can afford. Having a professional on board to develop and disseminate content as well as track campaign results will greatly increase your chances of reaching and engaging with your target audience. Most brands will agree that outsourcing marketing to an agency helps them stay abreast of the competition.
Before you start calling or emailing random content marketing agencies, visit their websites and see what types of marketing campaigns they do. Experienced agencies have seen trends come and go and weathered the storms of internet content marketing. They leave no corner of content creation unexplored and dispose of vast data on producing content that stands out by sending a clear message.
The next year promises to be one in which only the best content is consumed and the rest sinks to the bottom. Notions of what worked in the past should be set aside and in 2021 it is more important than ever to build into your content marketing a solid planning component, a focus on short form content, a multi-channel strategy and the incorporation of blogging. If you cannot focus on one or more of these strategies for 2021, then you should hire an agency to help.
Iris Writing International is an international agency currently working with over 40 writers, journalists, editors, and SEO professionals. We have seen trends come and go and weathered the storms of Internet content marketing. We have not only survived but grown and flourished. In our time on the market, we have left no corner of content creation unexplored, and we have learned a lot about producing content that stands out and sends a clear message.