Developing Your 2021 Content Marketing Plan
In the world of marketing, content should always be valuable, digestible, and relevant. With endless content creation possibilities, having a great content marketing plan can help increase brand awareness, capture new audiences, and establish thought leadership.
Given the unique circumstances of 2020, it’s vital to assess what has worked for content marketing this year and what didn’t quite hit the mark. It’s also time to dive into the content marketing framework that will produce the most buzz, depending on your target audience and marketing goal(s) for 2021. Deploying a successful content marketing strategy ahead of time will help maximize your content and garner a surge in publicity and popularity, ultimately generating more prospects.
If you’re still in the beginning stages of planning your content strategy, here are some helpful tips and insights to help you get started. You may even consider outsourcing content marketing services to support your internal team.
2020 Content Marketing Trends to Continue and Leave Behind
It’s no secret that 2020 has impacted businesses in ways that we couldn’t predict. In the current environment, it is more important than ever to construct a content marketing strategy that incorporates the trends that dominated this past year and leave behind those that did not.
Just when it seemed like video content consumption couldn’t increase at a higher rate, it became essential for content and social media strategy. The global pandemic has left our entire lives almost entirely dependent on video. As the year comes to an end, this channel has proved to be a crucial tactic for content marketing. Visual content keeps audiences engaged longer than any other type of content and gives brands a chance to communicate more intimately with their consumers through Q&A sessions, product demos, expert interviews, and behind the scenes footage. When utilized in a “live” format, the level of interaction and engagement is highest. Google loves video, therefore from an SEO standpoint, video content will definitely help boost page rank, especially as consumers continue to demand video in search results.
Interactive Content and Personalization
Another content marketing effort that continues to drive results is interactive content, like quizzes, surveys, and polls. Its success is centered around consumer participation. Rather than passively reading, your potential customer has the chance to interact with your brand, further deepening the relationship.
Even better, when providing this content type, it allows your brand to further personalize the content. Content personalization involves using consumer behavior and preferences to show each person relevant content tailored to their needs. Incorporating these two elements into your content marketing strategy builds powerful insights and directly impacts purchase behavior.
A common misconception in the world of content marketing is the need to produce and post content constantly. This cadence isn’t necessary and, in many cases, can do more harm than good. The strategy behind your content production should always be based on quality, not quantity.
Today consumers are bombarded with more content than ever, and in order to truly make an impact, your content needs to be consistent, high-quality, and engaging. When you sacrifice quality for quantity, you actually dilute your quality content and risk ruining your audience’s perception of your existing content and brand. Leave this content marketing trend behind moving into 2021.
2021 Trends to Have On Your Radar
As we move forward into the new year, there are a few key strategies that will help your content stand out amongst the noise.
Supplement Rankings with Ads
Creating a content calendar with blog post ideas is primarily an organic strategy. However, coupling content with pay-for-play has been known to drive some serious traffic. How does this work? It’s simple. Find a keyword that is ranking organically in a prime position on page one of the search engine results page (SERP). Bid on said keyword via Google Ads, and watch the traffic flood in. Taking up more real estate on a user’s search results will likely win over their click and hopefully, in the long run, their business.
Share, Share, Share
The best kind of marketing strategy is one that is integrated. This means using all channels to uplift each other for the common good of brand awareness. One example of content integration is sharing a blog as social media content or via emails. This is a great way to get the most mileage out of your content strategy and make sure blogs are getting views as they increase rankings each month.
Tips for Planning
The first step to begin your 2021 content marketing plan and get a leg up on the competition is to think holistically about your marketing goals. You need a digital marketing strategy that focuses on the “big picture.” Once you have your foundation set, nailing down the technicalities will be much easier.
- Review the data of past performers — What content piece(s) consistently saw high engagement and page views? What articles received the highest amount of organic traffic and page one rankings on Google? What blogs earned you the most social shares and comments? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself before developing your calendar. By identifying the patterns that worked and didn’t work, you will be able to expand on topics and a content format that worked best!
- Talk to your current customers — Your customers, in many ways, hold the key to the types of content prospective customers are beginning to read. A quick email survey, phone call, or one-off email are just some of the ways to pick their brain and evaluate how you should approach your calendar.
- Get company buy-in — Start thinking about which in-house employees would be willing to help build out production. After all, your content strategy is only as good as the execution. Everyone in your company can and should contribute, whether that is producing the content, being interviewed as subject matter experts, sharing content on social media, or enabling others to contribute to themes that fit their expertise.
- Think ROI — Sometimes, you will need internal buy-in from the powers-that-be. An investment in content is essential to your bottom-line. A proof-of-concept internal report that showcases how the blog is contributing to overall traffic, brand awareness, conversions, assisted conversions, etc. may be necessary to have in your back pocket, so content is seen as a company-wide priority.
- Evergreen, Long-lasting Content — Your calendar needs to be timeless in order to perform well in 2021. Long-lasting relevance is key to today’s readers. Stats, trends, and figures can lose momentum fast and may cause people to lose interest, not to mention that the search engine will be quick to remove your content from page one once it loses its “freshness” — unless you are implementing regular updates.
Timeless content will keep viewers and search algorithms interested for a much longer time. Start thinking about topics and better content practices that serve value, disregarding time.
No one could plan or prepare for what happened in 2020. As marketers, we can only grow and continue to adapt to new circumstances we are faced with. While planning your 2021 content marketing plan, it’s important to look back and learn from what types of content worked and what types didn’t work from the year prior.
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B marketer, by implementing these valuable content tips and tricks, your business will cut through the noise and drive more organic traffic. At Power Digital, we serve hundreds of clients and drive maximum results. We are a B2C and B2B marketing agency that can help you scale your business. Contact us today for a free audit!