Consumers see content in various forms daily—from the time they log into their social media accounts to when they surf for answers to questions; brands target them with ads, blogs, memes, and more. Because of this proliferation of information, marketers must deliver value-driven content to attract, engage, and retain members of their target audience.
Remember, a brand’s content is more than the strategy a marketer puts together. That means, instead of trying to come up with catchy taglines or clever campaigns, focus on delivering content that establishes and nurtures ongoing relationships. With these details in mind, let’s dive into what the future of content marketing entails.
What is Content Marketing?
In its simplest form, content marketing is a strategy marketers use for attracting, engaging, and retaining their target audience. They achieve this goal by creating and sharing various content forms, including articles, blog posts, infographics, reports, videos, whitepapers, and more. By implementing this strategy, marketers can position the brand as an expert, promote awareness, and keep the brand at the top of mind when target audiences move through the funnel.
The Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing helps marketers answer their audience’s questions, boost conversions, build trust, deliver relevant information, generate leads, and more. Aside from those factors, content marketing also helps drive visitors to the brand’s website. The best way to sustain healthy sales growth is by using content to generate high-quality leads and brand awareness.
However, many brands aren’t embracing the importance of content marketing. Research shows us that it’s rare for companies to allot over 30% of marketing budgets to content marketing. That same research indicates that, out of 743 B2C and B2B companies surveyed, over 60% of them publish content at least once weekly.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Daily: 14% B2B; 24% B2C
- Several times weekly: 39% B2B; 46% B2C
- Once weekly: 13% B2B; 9% B2C
- Several times monthly: 20% B2B; 13% B2C
- Once monthly: 8% B2B; 3% B2C
- Less than once monthly: 6% B2B; 5% B2C
Up to 85% of B2B survey respondents also discuss how their main content marketing strategies include taking steps toward strengthening their brand and image.
In today’s digital age, content marketing enables a brand’s ideal customer to find them. Instead of using an “in your face” approach so often used in traditional marketing that pushes out over multiple channels, marketers can embrace digital. That means, as soon as someone from the brand’s target audience finds informative content, a connection occurs immediately.
The Future of Content Marketing: 2021 Trends
Companies like Unicsoft, TekRevol, and Deeper Insights take artificial intelligence (AI) to unimaginable new heights. While you might think AI is a new content marketing strategy, you’ll be surprised to see where it already exists. For example, the following content marketing tools use AI:
- BrightEdge: Optimize SEO with this AI tool
- Gmail: The Smart Compose feature
- HubSpot: Their content strategy tool
- MarketMuse: Build content strategies using their AI-driven assistant
You might see augmented reality as AR, and until recently, it’s been a lesser-known technology compared to virtual reality (VR). However, brands across the globe are using AR apps to launch mobile-friendly content. Here’s the difference between AR and VR:
- AR: Adds specific details to the user’s reality
- VR: Is completely virtual
For example, you might visit a furniture store online and, using AR, can see how various furnishings look in a specific room.
Influencers are all over social media, referring to themselves as self-proclaimed experts in specific niches. They post frequently, engage with their audiences regularly, and significantly impact their target audience. Survey respondents to an Influencer MarketingHub survey indicate that up to 90% of respondents believe influencer marketing is an essential part of their content marketing strategy.
Marketers can use influencers to:
- Drive the brand’s messaging to their target audience
- Expand marketing effort reach across the brand’s buyer personas
- Improve brand awareness
- Increase traffic to their website
Younger generations, including millennials and Gen Z, aren’t satisfied with ordinary text, no matter its entertainment value or relevance. The solution is to offer them attention-grabbing interactive content. Examples of interactive content include: (Below are links to real-world examples.)
- Interactive calculators
- Interactive eBooks, whitepapers, and more
- Interactive infographics
- Interactive quizzes
With the average American spending over five hours on a mobile device daily, mobile-friendly content is no longer optional – it’s a requirement. Because smartphones play an integral role in a consumer’s daily life, brands must feature content that’s easy to read, digest, and act on no matter what device their target audience uses.
Think of it this way – when you surf onto a site using your phone and can’t read the content, how likely are you to switch to a computer to see what’s there? Chances are, you’re not – and neither is your target audience.
Remarketing strategies involve targeting audiences who already know about or visited your website. Brands achieve this goal by displaying ads, offers, and other promotions to visitors after they leave the website.
This strategy helps target those who:
- Already visited the website at least once
- Stay on products for a lengthy timeframe
- Added items to their cart
- Haven’t finished shopping yet
The best approach for using remarketing is content marketing personalization. That means you’re stimulating return visitors to complete actions they didn’t during their first visit.
SEO and Organic Search Traffic
There’s an undeniable connection between SEO and content marketing. Think about content marketing as the way marketers create relevant and valuable content – and SEO is the catalyst ensuring its success. No matter how informative your content is, there’s a chance it won’t end up in front of your target audience without optimization.
That means understanding the three elements of SEO:
- Technical SEO: Ensure the brand’s website is completely optimized
- On-site SEO: Here’s where you create content specifically for your target audience
- Off-site SEO: This element includes backlinking and establishing authority
Video Streams and Podcasts
As of August 2020, 62% of U.S. adults were video stream subscribers, so marketers should not ignore this trend. While YouTube remains the leader, TikTok also sees rapid growth. Some marketers believe that live stream videos are critical for their content strategies due to their popularity and effectiveness. Marketers also love that, during live streaming, brands can make meaningful connections with their audience.
When looking at Podcast Industry Insights courtesy of Daniel J. Lewis, we learn that there are 2,326,098 podcasts monthly. Consumers love podcasts because they’re a convenient way of receiving information while on the go. An attractive format includes brands discussing what’s happening within their industry, including current news and trends.
With over one billion voice searches occurring monthly, it’s no wonder content marketers are embracing this trend. Some people don’t mind typing in searches, but others want quick and easy ways to find what they need – especially those who prefer using hands-free technology. It’s so much easier to say, “Okay, Google,” “Alexa, what’s today’s weather (or some other question),” or “Hey Siri,” to start a voice-activated search.
When marketers understand the nuances of their target audience, it’s easier to make those essential connections driving the brand’s success. It’s possible to create and execute an impactful content strategy when embracing the trends that we mention here and partnering with a company like nDash to help you get it done.
Why is content important for marketing?
Content is vital for marketing because it’s available in different forms and answers your target audience’s questions or solves their pain points.
Should you change your content marketing strategy?
Measuring your KPIs and metrics is the easiest way to tell if you need to change your content strategy.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
- Brand awareness amplification
- Conversion control
- Drive more sales
- Organic search traffic increases
- Increase authority, expertise, and trust
- SEO improvements
Are videos the future of content marketing?
Many marketers say, “yes,” because videos help:
- Create digestible content
- Create memorable content
- Entertain target audiences (more shares!)
- Humanize brands
- Improve conversion rates