As we step into 2021, most of us realize that the new normal is here to stay for some time now. If you are a small business then it is time to revisit the marketing strategy – if you haven’t already, and focus on the low hanging fruits like content marketing; to get organic reach and more leads into the funnel.

Content marketing is something that most businesses do knowingly or unknowingly, however in the past few years it had dropped off the radar of marketers for a faster and quicker paid marketing solution, but 2020 saw some major upheaval in these aspects. As the budgets were cut, it became important to look for organic ways to capture the attention of the audience.

  1. Community Content that encourages connections
  2. Conversational marketing that has customer centricity
  3. Learning and co-creating will reinvent virtual events
  4. Video content is on the rise
  5. Greater integration of tech like AI and ML
  6. Accelerated diversification in search tools –voice, image

Let us see each of it in detail

Content Marketing Trends 2021: What should small businesses focus on

Leveraging community content to encourage connections and organic reach

Community content and learning will continue to be a popular content marketing trend in 2021. Marketers can find important insights and small businesses can engage the audience in a meaningful way with the community approach. Another advantage is leveraging this community to create UGC (user-generated content). The community can create content and work as collaborators for your brand. Don’t mistake this for influencer marketing. While influencer marketing too taps into the influencer’s community, it is off late focused on a number of followers, likes, engagement etc.

In a community, the conversations are naturally around a common goal or topic. Tapping into this collective wisdom is much more laser-focused. Businesses that have invested in building engaged communities will benefit in terms of brand awareness, audience loyalty and greater participation in the feedback loop.

Conversations will be at the heart of marketing

Consumers today do not want to be talked to. They want it to be a conversation – a two way communication. Another fact is that a user is coming to your site in search of answers – they do not have the patience to search for it or go on a wild goose chase while you ask them to click the next tab or search in FAQ’s etc. This brings us to conversational marketing. Small businesses can provide personalized content and more sophisticated ways of communication. As our behavior and buying habits changed in the past year, so have our expectations from the brands. A consumer is not happy with just a website or a phone number to contact.

Deliver personalized content versus a blast of emails. Integrate chatbots that can help resolve 50% of the queries while capturing information that can be used later to respond to the consumer’s queries, creating personalized deals or even providing a sneak peek into the latest offering. Building conversations with the consumers by having social media chats, community forums and even surveys. This will also help improve brand loyalty and referrals – a necessary stream for small businesses.

Learning and co-creating will reinvent virtual events

If we have learnt anything from the 2020 zoom meetings and webinar marathons, it is that learning and co-creating is here to stay. Even as people and companies find ways to get back to offices and be productive in the new normal, learning online and participating and interacting in webinars or other platforms for value creation for the customer is here to stay.

Small businesses should focus on imparting learnings that will help their consumers use the product/ service better or stay productive using products and services from an allied field or business.

Co-creating content for the end-user – be it with allied businesses or industry experts is a great way to establish your brand and reach a relevant audience quickly. This is a great way to reach a larger ‘in-market’ audience with lower costs for marketing.

Video content marketing is on the rise

If you haven’t looked at video creation as a serious marketing option till date, it is time to rethink. Video content consumption is on the rise and it will continue to grow in 2021 as well. This is a great time for small businesses to explore a variety of possibilities and create share-worthy video content. Think repurposing blog content, interviews, webinar excerpts, Tips for Wednesday Wisdom – you get the drift?

Video’s that communicate value without being promotional are meant to have a greater possibility of sharing. Video in marketing is a powerful content marketing trend that continues to grow since 2018. If the focus of the content is consumer and their needs, then the audience will keep coming back and share your message as an authority voice in the industry.

Greater integration with tech like AI and ML in marketing

The words AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) might have been fancy jargons till about 2019 but come 2021, these tech abilities will be your ally as you market your business to prospects. CRM tools and marketing hub’s built with AI’s predictive tools will help you identify leads that have a greater probability to convert, suggest personalized messages in your marketing automation sequence and respond smarter with Chatbots. AI-based content creation tools can help you create content faster and at scale.

Accelerated diversification in search tools – voice, image and more

Online marketers were getting to terms with creating content for a ‘mobile-first’ world, but now with the rise in voice and image searches the marketers need to be up to speed in terms of creating content for voice searches and image.

People spent more time online and voice assistants saw a greater usage as well. There will be 4.2 billion digital voice assistants in use around the world by 2020 and this trend continues to grow as homes get smarter and people combat screen fatigue.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is the impact of advertising in native languages. 2020 pushed a whole new segment of audience online. With voice assistants built-in phones, there was no hesitation when it came to searching in native or conversational long-tail keywords.

These were a few content marketing trends that I believe will be in focus in 2021 and push brands to success. The businesses will pivot towards creating more personalized content for the consumer than for the search engines. My advice to any business would be “Keep the customer as your focus and pivot towards creating more content that will engage them and lead them further into the buying cycle without burning you out.”

Need help in creating a content marketing plan for your brand? Fill in your details, and I will get back to you. I can help you in creating websites, content for your digital assets, running paid campaigns and more.

21 Replies to “Content Marketing Trends 2021: What should small businesses focus on”

  1. Omg so much to learn. Here I am sitting with a blog for which I took a simple domain name after 6 years. I have no knowledge about anything. Thanks for sharing this. I can apply in my blog.

  2. You have pointed out a few valid information. This is surely going to help the bloggers who are starting anew and also the ones who don’t know how to grow. The technology is growing rapidly and have nice we need to move forward too. Thanks for the post

  3. My blog domain was taken last month and since then it is not coming in search console. I can’t even figure out what happened. Now after reading your post I think it is related to complicated AI. I am pursuing this further. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is really informative and I feel that it is always wise to know thing ahead. yes, I had observed personally that video marketing content is one the rise and help a lot in grow you faster. thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information, will surly help small business owners to plan accordingly.

  5. This is really one of the most enlightening posts Neha, I am glad you explained it so well, going to be very helpful for all new small businesses!!

  6. Great insight into content marketing trends Neha . I agree things which used to alien to us some time back have become imperative part of our lives. The earlier we accept the better it is going to be. Connection with customers is the key for any successful business.

  7. You’ve shared some excellent points here. Video content is gaining popularity and will be a big help for small businesses. Virtual events will ensure that the physical connection remains intact with customer base too.

  8. Thanks for your informative mail, good to know about latest marketing trends. Really agree with your point on conversations – can totally understand being a customer myself.

  9. Superb post, Neha! Your insights into the content marketing trend for 2021 are quite legit and will be helpful for small businesses to decide on the agenda. I agree that keeping the customers as the focus of the marketing campaign would bring in more engagement.

  10. Small businesses are definitely going to helped of they use all of these new techniques and video marketing is definitely blooming the most in all forms possible and on all platforms. It is good to keep up with the trends and stay ahead of the game.

  11. I am technically challenged. Although I am a freelance content writer, I have no clue about whatever you have shared in detail. Maybe I am too old for all this now. I am struggling to find work. I dunno how to pitch, where to pitch either. My blog is doing well i dunno how but I dunno how to monetize it. 🙁

  12. That’s a good info. As a content creator such posts always bring new insights for me to understand how to leverage digital in the best way possible in coming times.

  13. Your observations are so true. Video content consumption and creation both have increased exponentially. If only thr demand also matches to the supply then we can ride the waves appropriately.

  14. Content creation is booming with creativity and so is the field, using the content in various ways and reaching people genuinely is the key here. All the pointers in the post are very helpful for us to understand the market better.

  15. It is interesting to read about the trains of how things are changing in the current environment. I do definitely feel that people focused or connection focused content will definitely be a Priority over mass-produced content.

  16. This is such Well detailed blog post. I am sure it will help all small and big businesses to make an informed decision. Even I have observed a shift towards video marketing. I feel it connects well with the audiences.

  17. Thanks for these valuable inputs. I think Video content and podcasts too will be a trend in 2021. What do you think about podcast content do share?

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