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2021 & Content Marketing Trends

LET’S INTRODUCE

More than ever, 2020 will have been the year of the Content Shock: that famous moment when the number of solicitations from targets far exceeds the time and attention available to those same individuals. While your audiences have consumed just as much content, you and your fellow creators have continued to create more and more content. It’s been known for 15 years that an individual, regardless of age, origin, or social characteristics, consumes 8 hours of digital content every day. The only notable difference with the years? Your grandmother is still watching TV, while the typical middle schooler is consuming content on TikTok.

But remember this: for the past 15 years, your targets have had the same “available brain time” to dedicate to your brand. With this in mind, your question for the year 2021 ahead should be: How to create a differentiating content strategy, which will provoke emotions memorable enough to
memorable emotions to your audience so that they dedicate a portion of their attention time to your brand? This article will help you understand what your audiences expect from your content in 2021. To meet these expectations, all you need to do is remember 5 keywords that will guide you to a successful content year.

 

SIMPLE: The trend Less is More

2020 will be remembered as a year marked by social and economic upheaval, which disrupted consumer habits. This strange year will also have been a key moment to learn to go back to basics. The result of these upheavals is coming in 2021: in the new year, your customers are hoping for a return to serenity and simplicity. This trend even translates into the world of content creation.

In 2020, content creation has exploded. On your Twitter and LinkedIn news feeds as well as in your Facebook or Instagram stories, you’ve probably noticed this influx of content, often not very qualitative, but which has had the merit of massively occupying the channels of expression of brands. In 2021, more than ever, the slow content trend is making its way into companies’ marketing strategies. The principle? As its name suggests, it’s about producing less content, taking more time to dig into their subjects, their angles, to really please the targets. We are no longer looking for the detail that is missing: we focus instead on moving on to the content distribution phase. And this even if your call-to-action is not in the right shade of color.

Also, favor clean designs. You may have noticed it in recent years: the web is becoming more and more streamlined. Content publishing platforms, such as Notion,

implement simple graphic environments. In short: successful brand universes apply this Less is More concept to their designs. So, in 2021, your web pages, infographics, or ebooks have very little frills, and adopt white backgrounds or solid colors. Your content should be based on text and impactful words.

Finally, use video. This format, simple to consume and very popular with targets, has given rhythm to the confined lives of audiences, bringing a human touch that was missing in their daily lives. The video trend can only continue in 2021. So why? First of all, because it follows the concept of Less is More. Gone are the over-optimized videos, shot with expensive professional equipment and requiring hours of editing for a pixel-perfect result. Instead, the format is spontaneous, imperfect from a marketing point of view, but perfect for the engagement of targets who are fond of authenticity. But the content strategies of 2021 won’t be able to do without video either, because it is both engaging for targets, differentiating for a brand, and fundamentally recyclable.

UNIQUE: The Fear of Missing Out

Today, your targets consume content at any time. With the democratization of streaming platforms or social networks, spontaneity seems to have lost some of its aurae. Is FOMO, the famous Fear of Missing Out, which consists in fearing to miss great content, doomed to disappear? There is nothing less certain! In 2021, content is becoming an object in its own right, living its own life, disappearing as quickly as it appeared… but continuing to provoke the FOMO that engages your targets and builds loyalty. The proof, through these platforms and formats, to invest in during the year.

Tiktok, for example, is one of those communication channels whose potential impact many professionals initially scorned. But as the phenomenon has grown, especially in 2020, more and more content creators are seeing a good reason to get involved. Indeed, TikTok is the king of FOMO: 90% of its users open the app at least once a day, and TikTokers visit it on average 8 times a day.

Live: without a doubt, the year has been marked by the explosion of this content format. However, in 2021, to ride the Fear Of Missing Out, the most ingenious content creators will go live. No replay available, no slick PowerPoint presentation, no repeats
no polished PowerPoint presentation, no endless rehearsals of the presenters beforehand: make way for the live, more spontaneous, and its very authentic bumps.

REASSURING: The great return of the written word.

Until now, the decade was placed under the sign of the visual teaser, which titillates the retina of users in the media, the news feeds of social networks, the display banners on third-party sites. But for a few months now, it’s the written word that’s making a comeback.
Get out your best pen, and dust off the Larousse: it’s high time to boost your content strategy with engaging texts, in the editorial content formats your targets are looking for.

The newsletter: You regularly complain about the number of emails you receive every day? However, there is a good chance that you are still subscribed to at least one newsletter, which you discover with happiness in your notifications, and which you reserve for you alone. Time To Sign Off, TechTrash, Below the Fold, TLDR, Stay Hungry

These successful newsletters of 2020 have reinvented the format, making it more intimate, more personal, stronger. There’s no doubt about it: in 2021, email marketing still has a bright future ahead of it, as long as you know how to handle the art of the newsletter. This one is signed by the hand of a real person from your company, full of emotions conveyed by beautiful storytelling. A real missive sent to your audience, like a love note, in short. And above all, it brings value.

But there is also content that plays with the LinkedIn algorithm. Marketers have already understood this: as on other social networks, the LinkedIn algorithm likes posts that trigger reactions, and make the user want to stay a few minutes longer, to converse with a colleague. In 2021, LinkedIn content continues this trend, with current best practices:

Authentic, self-written posts: because your employees, customers, or partners are your best brand influencers.
Discussion-oriented posts, rather than conversion-oriented posts: even if the “pinned link in comments” may direct your targets to your favorite landing page.
Structured posts: emojis or line breaks structure posts, and break the “pure text” effect that can put off some targets.

PERSONAL: Personal branding

It’s a proven fact: humans connect more easily with another human than with a virtual entity and have more impact than any organization. Fortunately, your brand does not stop at its products, services, and communication supports: it is the agglomeration of your collaborators, your customers, your partners, each day
It is the agglomeration of your employees, your customers, and your partners, renewed every day. What if, in this ecosystem that is your company, each individual could be a brand in his or her own right?
This is the bet that content is making in 2021, by surfing on the personal branding trend. And the good news is that this trend is as beneficial for your marketing as it is for the individuals who participate!

If 2021 heralds (a priori) the return of human contact, the personal branding initiatives that we have seen flourish continue to be democratized. Executives and other top managers are becoming visionaries on social networks. They inspire, as much by their leadership position as by the personality they show. Or when the human element reveals the brand’s values.

Conversational content: What could be more inspiring for an Internet user than listening to two lively personalities exchange best practices, ideas, and trends? It’s because these human-to-human exchanges produce a strong commitment that podcast or interview-type content is proliferating on the web today. And if it is always the managers or employees of a company who speak, their corporate role disappears in these contents, in favor of a real personality. The individual comes before the company, as a real “social proof” of the brand’s strength. In 2021, you won’t be able to do without :

  • Employee interviews for your internal communication or your employer brand.
  • Interviews with your customers to provide proof by example.
  • High value-added podcasts to inform your targets

Finally, LinkedIn has become more than an online resume. If you regularly check your LinkedIn feed, you’ve probably noticed the change that has taken place in a few years. From a simple agglomeration of company and job search posts then, this feed has become a place of powerful individual exchanges. As the social network’s algorithm favors personal profiles rather than company pages, organizations have understood: it’s all about letting the personal branding of their employees express themselves. In 2021, dare to motivate your employees to talk about your brand in their LinkedIn posts… but always with their own words and emotions, without constraints.

AUTHENTIC: The more spontaneous content

In 2021, content creation isn’t just for your company’s marketing and communications departments. Your brand influencers, from across your ecosystem, are taking over, helping you create an authentic and engaging image of your brand.

Taking a stand: You’ll have noticed that 2020 was a year full of opportunities to take a stand on social issues, both for individuals and for brands. In 2021, brands should take an even stronger stand. Just like an ordinary individual, the brand expresses opinions, based on its values, its reason for being, its vision. And this is where one of the main challenges for marketers and communicators lies: it is not simply a matter of seizing a subject to make a “boat” marketing campaign, but rather a question of It’s not just a matter of seizing a subject to make a marketing campaign, nor of rushing headlong into the controversy of the moment to gain a little visibility. No: taking a stand for a brand, through engaging content, goes hand in hand with real work, internally and externally, around the defended opinion.

Another challenge, and not the least, is to understand that an opinion is potential, by definition, controversial. When brands assert their position, they cannot please all their targets, and must therefore accept to engage in a discussion with their audiences. The time of the ostrich policy where “embarrassing” comments were deleted is over. It’s time for a solid positioning strategy in these live discussions, which must equip content creators on the front lines of these debates to discuss, moderate, and broadcast the right messages while exchanging.

Let’s talk about social content: No doubt about it: at the end of 2020, what your targets missed the most was the human-to-human connection. The social fabric that individuals shared in physical settings before confinement has shifted to the web, which has become more than ever a place for exchange, sharing… human in short. Branded content in 2021 will continue to be inspired by this “human-first” concept. Branding is taking over from conventional marketing, with companies listening to their targets to find content that is really useful to them.

LET’S CONCLUDE

Simple, Unique, Reassuring, Personalized, Authentic: these are the 5 keywords that will drive your content strategy in 2021. After the year 2020 marked by isolation and fear of a dark future, your branded content must come and warm the hearts of your targets, by putting the human and the emotion at the center. In short, in 2021, your brand also becomes a media in its own right: your best content format, your best themes, your best distribution channel, your best engagement lever.

The success of your strategy is more than ever in your hands. It’s up to you to make 2021 a year rich in engaging and effective content!

Don’t hesitate to come back to us for more details, the team Gonnected will be, as always, delighted to exchange with you on this PlayPlay Report.

Greg

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