10 Must-Know Small Business Content Marketing Trends in 2021

Feb 24, 2021 | Blog, Content

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2020 was certainly a year to remember.

Businesses, big and small alike, had to shift their way of working, in order to stay afloat, and stay ahead.

But with a new year comes a new start. In 2021, it is time to start preparing for the content trends that will shape your content strategy for the months ahead.

To keep you ahead of the pack, we have been deep-diving into the content marketing trends 2021 has for us. So you can feel confident about all you need to make an amazing impact on your content marketing plans.

Content Marketing Trends

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As you are brainstorming content marketing ideas for the next few months, it’s worth think about content marketing trends are happening now.

The pandemic hit hard (and continues to do so) at small businesses. And even though we cannot predict the future, one thing that is certain is that digital content and content marketing will continue to play a big role in reaching your ideal customers and clients. 

So, just what does 2021 look like in the world of content marketing?

What Trends Are Ahead in Content Marketing?

While you are planning out your content marketing plans for this year, it is important to take note of the trends that are being forecasted. 

The old adage “Content is King” is still very much true, even in this day and age where there is so much!

In 2021, consumers will be looking for even more in your content. They will want to connect and maintain a relationship with your brand or business and know your brand’s perspective on relevant topics. 

As part of your content marketing plan for 2021, you need to be prepared to invest in the areas that will provide them with this service.

Here Are 10 Trends That We Have Identified

If you want your 2021 to be ahead of the game, then make sure you factor in these key content marketing trends.

1. Live Video and Webinars

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If you haven’t tried out live videos, virtual events or webinars, then 2021 is the time to start. 

Even though pre-recorded videos are cleaner, and offer a more edited experience, a live creates far more buzz and engagement. It is a brilliant opportunity to have a personal connection with your ideal audience. They get to know you and can form a better opinion of your services, and the person behind the services.

Video is a quick and impactful way to communicate your brand and educate your consumers on what you do and how you can help them.

When thinking about whether a live video strategy should be a part of your content marketing 2021 plan, it is important to consider the following:

  • As mobile usage is at an all-time high, the most convenient, and popular, way that people are consuming content is videos on mobile devices. 
  • As the likes of TikTok, Stories, and Reels are continuing to grow in popularity, it indicates that short and engaging videos are the way of the future.
  • Lives and video content are so easy to make, You don’t need to have professional lighting and equipment. Simply filming on your mobile device can create a big impact on your audience. For small businesses, authentic and done is better than professional and expensive!
  • Don’t be afraid to mix up your live and video content. Create informal lives on your Facebook and Instagram and a slightly more thorough piece of content on your website. 

Just about every brand and business has hosted some kind of live virtual event this year. We have been forced to adapt to the changes in our world, and as such, our audience and customers expect us to be able to provide this kind of content for them.

2. Audio Content

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As well as seeing a big content marketing shift into visual trends, such as webinars and live videos, as talked about above, another trend we are seeing in 2021 is the move to more audio content.

The most noticeable audio content trend we are seeing is podcasts. These have always been a popular choice for content, but over the last year, this has grown dramatically. With so many businesses and brands launching their own podcasts, audio is becoming an even more popular content marketing vehicle.

Podcasts are seen as effective tools for content marketing, because they help brands or businesses (big and small) reach a very niche and targeted audience. Your ideal audience. They create value to listeners – one of the key components of good content marketing – by offering helpful information and education.

So, if you do decide to try a podcast, make sure the content is helpful, and targeted to your ideal clients and customers.

If audio is your thing, then you might want to check out Clubhouse (more details on clubhouse below…). Clubhouse is a new social media app that is still invite only and only available on iPhone (sorry Android users!). There is a lot of buzz around Clubhouse at the moment and it is still early days, so it will be interesting to see if it is here to stay or if it goes the way of Periscope.

3. Repurposing Content

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We are such huge fans of repurposing content across all channels. Creating super engaging content with fewer resources.

Just think about it. You spend all this time and effort creating an amazing podcast, webinar, or blog post. You invest time, energy, research, and money into it. Now, wouldn’t it be great to get even more bang for your buck?

This is where repurposing content comes in.

High-quality, engaging content should be shared with as many people as possible, and repurposing is the best (and easiest) way to do this.

How can you turn that awesome webinar you did into several pieces of engaging content?

When you put so much effort into a great piece of content, getting the most value from it is essential. That webinar is filled with helpful information, valuable content, great ideas that will make interesting graphics and quotes, and so much more.

Think about how you can shape it to become; a series of social media posts, a live Q&A, a series of blog posts, maybe a great lead magnet, and even a newsletter.

Grab a notebook and jot all your options down. Once you have a list of possible repurposing sources, go through your content and start filtering it to apply to each option. You will be amazed at how much you can create from something you already have. 

4. Optimised for Mobile

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It isn’t just enough to have a “mobile-friendly” website. When thinking of content marketing trends 2021, you need to put mobile at the top of your priority list.  Over 50% of all online content is now consumed on mobile.

The more mobile assets you have, the better it will serve your customers and clients. 2020 has been the year where being connected on mobile has never been more prevalent. In 2021 it will be even bigger.

Make your content as mobile optimised as possible…

  • Optimise your site and your content for local searches. “Near me” is a popular mobile search query, and by optimising your content for local listings, you’ll get discovered much easier.
  • Create “Buy Now” one-click options. This clutter-free conversion funnel makes mobile browsing and purchasing so much easier.
  • Create mobile-focused call to actions and lead-generation forms. When we say mobile-focused, we mean to make them simple!
  • Check your content on a mobile device and make sure it is displaying properly – it’s really easy for these things to get messed up
  • Don’t use crazy font or light colours for your text as it makes it hard for people to read it on a mobile

5. Featured Snippets

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Have you heard of featured snippets? Well, for your 2021 content marketing plan, you need to get to know them. 

A featured snippet is that little information box you see at the top of a Google search engine result page (SERP). What is the purpose of a featured snippet? Their objective is to provide a snapshot answer to the user’s question. If a user sees this snippet, it will provide them with the information they require, and they won’t need to carry on Googling.

Featured snippets have the ability to take the spot of Google SERP 0 (search engine results page). Meaning that you can knock all of the competition out of the way!

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Therefore, a content marketing trend 2021 must-have is appearing as a featured snippet. Although we cannot tell you exactly how to appear as a snippet, or exactly how Google chooses websites to appear as the top result, these tips will definitely help:

  • Create user-friendly content (Google loves that)
  • Use structured data. This helps Google understand content better
  • Google loves numbered lists for their snippets
  • Structure your content, making it easy to read, scan, and understand
  • Answer specific questions and create a step-by-step post. Keyword research can help with this

Remember, getting yourself onto the top of a search engine results page (SERP) will help boost traffic and leads to your site.

6. New Social Platforms to Grow Your Audience

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Using social platforms is a great way to grow your audience and flex your content marketing. Including the hot social platforms in your content marketing strategy is a key trend that we are seeing in 2021.

But which platforms are we talking about? If you are on top of your content game right now, you have probably been overwhelmed with opinions about the arrival of Clubhouse.

Invite-only Clubhouse is the social app of the moment, sparking open and honest conversations among marketers, PR mavens, social influencers, and lots more. It’s a way to get involved in real audio discussions with people who you might not ordinarily get a chance to converse. You can listen in, or get called on as a participant in the chat. You can broadcast your own live shows and attract an immediate audience.

As a marketer or small business owner, Clubhouse has the potential to boost your credibility as a thought leader. Enabling you to expand your audience within your niche. This is a long form approach to growing your audience, and we recommend lurking and participating before launching your own chat.

For a short-form approach to building your audience through a social platform, we have one word. Well, kind of one word. TikTok. Tiktok has exploded. If your brand or business includes an audience between the ages of 13 and 50, then TikTok is something you should be looking into.

Of course, it isn’t for everyone. This is purely a video platform, so you need to ensure you feel comfortable with the editing and bells and whistles that are involved in creating a video. But you can cater your TikToks to appeal to your niche audience, and potentially gain a whole array of new fans and customers.

We are starting to see our Garden Centre clients starting to find creative ways to use TikTok in their businesses. What could you do?

7. Interactive Content

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Another key trend to take note of is interactive content. Interactive content allows your audience to form a connection with you or your business more easily. How? By engaging with the information they need.

Interactive content drives better engagement. Customers want to interact with brands, and engage with them before deciding to make a purchase. They want to see images, take quizzes, watch videos, and use other kinds of interactive content, to get a real understanding of what it would be like to buy that service or product.

This can be:

  • Calculators
  • Quizzes
  • Interactive infographics
  • Videos
  • Polls
  • Games
  • Live Chats
  • White Papers
  • Spreadsheet tools
  • Diagnostic tools

All of these require and encourage users to engage with the content, as opposed to passively reading it.

Interactive content helps nurture a target audience. From brand awareness all the way to sales pages and funnels. Visually engaging and interactive pieces of content are enticing for an audience. Especially if it is presented in a easily digestible, bite-size format.

8. Improving the Content Experience

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As more and more of us have been forced to stay at home, our need for technology to stay connected to the world is more important than ever. Because of this, consumers are going to naturally be more tech and web-savvy – whatever their age. 

This is especially true when it comes to digital content playing a bigger role in the customer’s journey. As such, your audience will expect quick answers to their questions. This means your content has to provide those answers clearly, and concisely, otherwise, they will bounce off of you and head to the next option on the list.

Your marketing content should fulfill the immediate needs of your ideal clients. If you have the answers to the questions they are looking for, then make them easy to find. Improving the content experience is a trend that will not only improve your rankings on Google, but it will provide a better experience for your customers (and potential customers).

Also, remember that it is about the user experience (UX). Users that stay on your website, enjoy your content, and enter your sales funnel are more likely they are to convert into customers.

9. SEO Still Matters

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Some trends just never go out of style – and SEO is one of them. Even as a small business owner or an entrepreneur, it is vital to understand the basics of SEO to create more engaging and valuable content. Getting on the first page of Google for relevant search terms can be a game changer.

Understanding how to capture those niche and long-tail keywords, that is going to provide an amazing content experience for your audience. Providing them with definitive answers and goods that will differentiate your services above competitors. 

This does mean that you need to hone your SEO skills, understand the basics, and spend time creating a strategy to find those keyword opportunities that are going to work for your business. 

Google’s algorithm changes are rewarding websites with quality long form content and a good user experience. What does this mean for you? Spend time creating high-quality blog posts that are clear, evergreen and high value.

This will help you achieve search visibility, and help you snag new customers and clients.

So, cut the fluff out of your content, optimise it with relevant keywords, and have high-quality backlinks.

It might be worth going through old content and giving it a bit of a refresh to make it SEO friendly for 2021.

10. Use Your Content to Capture Leads

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Your content has to be valuable. But, it should also create converting customers for your business. This is a challenge with users who find the answers they are looking for in your content, but then click off before heading down the next stage of the sales funnel.

That is why we also recommend looking into content-driven personalisation to improve your services, your content, and ultimately, your sales.

This is a way of encouraging your users to continue what they were doing when they first left your site. As an example, if you are a therapist for troubled teens, and a user has read a piece of content you have written about how to handle a teenage meltdown, then offer them a lead magnet about teen behaviour when they next come back.

Finteza is a tool that you can use to create this unique functionality. It helps you to create a more personalised experience for your users, in order to engage them further with your content, and encourage them to return.

We have put together a list of 68 different types of content that you can create for your business. Click the button below if you would like a copy.

Have a Successful 2021

Now that you know the content marketing trends 2021 has in store, you can start planning out an amazing content marketing plan, and get ahead of the game.

Just remember, that as the world of marketing changes, it is important to always evolve your strategy to stay ahead, and stay confident in your content marketing efforts. As the world of content marketing in the new year will focus on high-quality content, always think about how you can make it do more for your business.
What trend for 2021 has caught your eye? How will you be applying it to your strategy? Join in the conversation over on our Facebook page and let us know.

Julie Hall

Hey there, I’m Julie.  I’m the founder of The School of Marketing where we help small business owners with their marketing. I also have my own site at Julie Hall Online, where I help experts and coaches to grow their business with online courses and products.

 

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