2020's Halloween festivities might be wrapping up, but we're already prepping our costumes, decorations, and content calendars for next year. Like the fiendish killers, fiends and foes who make the spooky season so great, we like to stay a step or two ahead of things, our industry included!
We like to think we have a killer instinct for where content marketing is headed, so here are our projections for 2021.
Know That Social is Still Killing It
The usage of social media around the world is ever-increasing...social media statistics show that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing. That equates to about 45% of the current population (Emarsys, 2019).
If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.
Social is not free, sorry! If you create incredible content and it goes viral, your business is going to love the results. Unfortunately, for most of us mere mortal brands, that's not going to happen but it sure is fun to create killer content.
The key to understanding this channel is to focus on the keyword "media," not social. Yes, it's highly interactive, free, and hugely shareable but for businesses to truly leverage message and positioning you're going to need to pay-to-play. It's definitely a great way for brands to connect with customers, showcase products and services, and show off your more human side. But not all social platforms will carry the same weight going into 2021.
We anticipate less emphasis on platforms like Facebook and more on up-and-comers like TikTok. It’s more important to understand that the answer here is “it depends”. When studying TikTok vs Facebook, the answer comes down to whether you’re targeting a particular audience and demographic or letting the algorithm (pixel) do the heavy lifting for you.
If you want to kill it with your content marketing, social's the place to be but choose wisely and invest a little budget into impression so you don't leave prospects on the table.
Take a Stab at Live-streaming
Perfectly curated and edited content has its place. But if you really want to whip your victims - er, the audience - into a frenzy, live-streaming is the place to be. Every major social platform offers some form of live-streaming, and audiences are hungering for the connectedness and freshness that comes with real-time delivery. Interviews, behind-the-scenes glimpses, product overviews, and audience Q&As are just some of the options for live-streaming efforts that will knock 'em dead.
Call Upon Your Users
Even serial killers get fan mail. Your killer brand has superfans, and they're out there spreading the word about what you do for you. Encourage your audience to post and share user-generated content (UGC) featuring your products or services, then give that content new life by serving it up on your own channels.
When considering user-generated content and its potential value, it is important to highlight some of the possible disadvantages of this type of content. These are the top three negatives to UGC to consider before your business gets started:
Need for Monitoring
There's nothing more authentic than the voice of your customers, so let them shout and share but make sure you monitor the process.
Admit Text is (Slightly) Dead
Okay, so that's some slight hyperbole. Text is still alive and kicking, but audio, video, and interactive content are going to amass the top body counts in 2021. Formats like podcasts, short-form video, and clickable gated content drive huge engagement numbers, are accessible and easy to consume in a variety of contexts, and encourage sharing. Additionally, they give your brand plenty of opportunities to go viral - making it game over for your competitors.
Stalk Your Way Across Channels
Killer content marketers aren't afraid to push buttons, test boundaries, and sneak up on unsuspecting audiences. We anticipate that 2021 will feature plenty of cross-platform marketing - whether that means repurposing content, adjusting your approach to the native audiences of each platform, or sending users from one platform to another to complete an experience. Practice stealthily slipping from IG to FB to Twitter to Tiktok and watch your brand make a killing.
Raise (and Amplify) Your Voice
Voice search is on the rise as users take advantage of the virtual assistants built into their phones, tablets, and IoT devices. Optimize your content for voice and you can make a killing here. This means taking into consideration how people speak when asking questions and tailoring your content accordingly, and creating content that reads fluently and naturally when read aloud. Get it right, and you'll be able to grow your (figurative) collection of eyeballs.
Need Some Help Killing it With Content in 2021?
Rethinking and adjusting your content marketing efforts to adapt to forthcoming trends can seem scary, but don't worry. The team at StellaPop is here to make sure you put a killer foot forward - and leave only the right kind of evidence behind. For help on building a branded 2021 content calendar that will have your audience screaming, get in touch!