Content strategies are something every marketer in 2021 must be aware of. In short-form, content strategy is using content as the main way of achieving business objectives. In long-form, it means centering your marketing campaigns on the quality and targeted reach of the content that you produce.

As content strategy and content marketing become more important, new trends will emerge. 2021 will prove this, not just because of the situation inherent in the pandemic but also because of the latest exciting technological advances that have been building up to this year.

Below we are going to discuss seven new trends in marketing that are especially relevant for content marketers. These trends may well be the ones that define the next year.

AI-Driven Content Creation

No article about eCommerce or marketing is complete today without some reference either to AI or cloud automation – this article is no exception. Artificial Intelligence is now a trend in content marketing.

This technology works by optimizing language rather than writing entire pieces of copy itself. It learns about the “voice” of a brand and can generate or improve low-level copy, liberating marketers and copywriters from the body of their work and letting them focus on content and creativity. AI-driven copywriting is already prevalent on eBay and is used to make ever more focused and brand-relevant content.

Some tools that help AI copywriting have been around for a while. Those that check grammar, syntax, and spelling; even tools that help keep a piece of writing “on task.” Their integration into a marketing strategy is part of a trend in progress that is part of a broader trend; automation to relieve repetitive tasks. These tools can either be standalone software or a web application.

The process of using AI in content creation. Source: Relevance

Interactive Content

Everyone is familiar with traditional content; pop-ups, ad banners, and so on. A trend that is becoming more common, though, is interactive content: content that a user can actually engage with rather than observe passively. 

A good example of interactive marketing content would be an ad that allows you to generate a quote by inputting numbers. Other examples would be dropdown boxes that tell you how much something would cost or any kind of interactive ad that would let users gain more information about the product by engaging with the ad.

Community Content Creation

Remote working is one of the most obvious trends in the past year. It means increasing the number of people hooked up to the digital world and spending more and more time online. One way that marketers have sought to take advantage of this is by getting the community related to their product or service involved in the content creation

In fact, entire communities have sprung up based on the content created by marketers. One example is Netflix – they have almost a million followers combined on their social media accounts, and they are using the input entered by that community to generate more marketing content.

In addition to getting the community involved by creating a discourse around the product, marketers can also utilize data analytics in the community to adjust and check their work: which strategies are working, which content is good, and which content needs reworking. They can also ask users what their experiences are – for example, a LinkedIn thread discussing the process of implementing headless eCommerce by people who’ve done it recently.

The days of marketers merely “delivering” content to a passive audience are probably long gone; getting the audience’s direct involvement, even if it’s just feedback, is a trend that is likely to continue well into and past 2021.

Personalized Remarketed Content

Personalized content is a new trend that takes advantage of advances in technology surrounding data collection and observation of how users interact with a website. It is part of remarketing, a relatively new marketing phenomenon that has become a must in all content marketing strategies.

Suppose a user enters a website but doesn’t finish reading it; they leave some pages untouched or they don’t finish filling out a registration or scroll too quickly through one page, et cetera.

Personalizing your content allows you to deliver ads to users based on their prior interaction with your website. That means that if someone only finished reading half of the documentation on your business VoIP solutions, you can send them emails with content summarizing those solutions to reignite their interest.

Digital marketing strategies need to focus not only on attracting new customers or simply maintaining existing customers but also on regaining customers that have lost interest. Personalizing content is one of the new trends in marketing strategies that address that exact problem.

Product-Based Content

Recent events have caused enterprises in almost all industries to look to tighten their belts. There is less money to spend. Being cost-efficient is more important than ever. One marketing trend that reflects this is the increasing centrality of the actual product or service, whether it’s something physical or even software platforms working with PaaS.

This means that rather than hyper-focusing on the customer, marketing strategies seek to create content that focuses on the benefits and features of the product or service and make those features applicable to as many potential customers as possible. 

Here, the emphasis is placed on the universality of products and services. Video call software is a good example because almost everyone can use it in any industry, as well as the home. And it has further obvious applications with many people switching to a work from home model.

While highly targeted and focused marketing campaigns are effective, they’re also costly. One trend of 2020 that we will see in 2021 is an emphasis on reducing costs. This trend can also be described as a “bottom of the funnel” marketing focus.

Source: Skyword

Live Content

Think about video content. It wasn’t all that long ago that videos weren’t being used for marketing on the internet because of generally low speeds. It’s only with the massive increase in internet speeds in the past decade that videos have become so common in the marketing environment.

The future for video in content is going live, especially as live video is a form of interactive marketing. Webinars, FAQ-sessions, interactive and instructive sessions, and other types of live video casting have become popular in 2020 due to the pandemic. And, now that their advantages have been established, their popularity will continue.

One example would be offering a question and answer session with a topic like- “Good customer service: what it actually means and how to deliver it” and letting anyone sign up. Email campaigns can help reach a larger audience, and recordings of the webinar can even be distributed.

They allow the audience to interact with the content by asking questions and seeking clarification – something that we don’t traditionally see with content. Try to work live content into your marketing strategy if you want your marketing to be up to date!

User-Experience Oriented Content

An example of how user-experienced ranking will work for content. Source: SEO Biz World

In 2015, Google introduced RankBrain, an algorithm that allows searches to be based on searcher intent rather than just pure keywords. This changed everything about using the internet. 

One of the main future trends is going to come from Google too. Google intends to include user experience (UX) as part of its ranking for searches. This means that content in the future will take the experience of the user further into account: Not just minimizing irritants like pop-ups but making browsing safer and more appropriate for mobile and tablet users.

Up to Date on Trends

A lot has changed in the last year, and a lot of that change will carry forward to next year. In this article, we looked at trends that we believe are here to stay; there are surely some unmentioned here that will die out with the pandemic.

Staying on top of trends is an essential part of the intelligence behind any marketing campaign. Advertising is all around us, and we interact with and observe it every day – it’s easy to become accustomed to, and especially bored of, stale and samey marketing campaigns. 

But like everything, the content – the real meat of a marketing strategy – can also be the most effective way to engage an audience and bring them closer to your product. Here too, innovation is neverending, and the market adapts to present and future circumstances. It would be wise for any marketing campaign not to fall out of the loop on future trends, not just ones that we are seeing unfold now. 

Every organization should have some apparatus to keep up with changes in the market, whether that’s getting the best inventory management software, training staff for new practices, or here, in content creation for marketing.

Author Bio

Sam O’Brien is the Director of Digital and Growth for EMEA at RingCentral, a Global VoIP, video conferencing and VoIP Phone System provider. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as G2 and DaVinci Virtual. Here is his LinkedIn.