2020 was the year nobody could have predicted. If anyone had “global pandemic shuts down the world and forever changes the way we live” on their 2020 prediction list, they should consider buying a lottery ticket.
With the year not going how anyone had planned, marketers everywhere had to quickly adapt to the changing climate, evolving their content strategy to centralize (or strategically not centralize) around the pandemic. During the time of quarantine, working from home, or job hunting, media consumption has catapulted—according to Nielsen, there was a 215% increase in time spent online from March 2019 to March 2020. Because of the sheer amount of content people are consuming, 2020 has reiterated the importance of meeting them where they are.
If last year taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict the future, but there’s no harm in trying (and if we’re lucky, we’ll get ourselves a lottery ticket). We’re looking at some content marketing trends you can expect to see in 2021.
More Than Purchases
One of the (several) unique things about 2020 was many businesses’ delicate balance of being empathetic and sensitive while still trying to sell.
This shift has been a developing trend for a while but became prominent during the pandemic. People don’t just care about your product or service anymore; they care about your company and your brand. They want to know your company’s values, ideas, and response to community and global news.
This mindset became especially true during the pandemic—when a company’s response would either make or break their reputation. For the first time in the rememberable past, businesses had to press pause on their selling strategy to focus on empathy, compassion, and selflessness. This transparency is something that we can expect to see for a long time going forward.
Taking it Virtual
With virtually everything going virtual this year (sorry, but it was just too easy), content is reaching a broader and more diverse audience than ever before. This phenomenon allows brands, businesses, and senior living communities to increase exposure and engagement exponentially.
By offering unique online experiences, you can position yourself as relevant, knowledgeable, sensitive, and fun. Whether you want to host a seminar offering the latest industry insights, a virtual tour of your community, or an interactive Q&A with an executive, these online experiences can offer a gateway into other aspects of your content and business.
Even though virtual gatherings were a trend that emerged solely from the pandemic, we expect it to be part of successful content marketing strategies moving forward.
Adapt Your Content
As mentioned, 2020 was the year that marketers were forced to quickly evaluate and adapt their content marketing strategies. Industries directly affected by the pandemic, like travel, hospitality, and events, had to review their content strategy with a fine-tooth comb to ensure there was nothing insensitive or untimely. In some cases, this meant scrapping a years’ worth of effort and swiftly coming up with new campaign and strategy ideas.
While this kind of quick-thinking content marketing may not happen again to the extent it did in 2020; it has shaped audiences’ expectations so that moving forward, businesses will be expected to quickly adapt and be flexible to current events and reality.
Take Advantage of Video (Especially Live Video)
At this point, video is no longer a groundbreaking addition to a content marketing strategy—it’s essential. According to Cisco, video content accounted for 80% of all internet traffic in 2019, and according to Hubspot, 87% of all marketers use video in their digital and content marketing strategies. If you fall in that 13%, now is a good time to start thinking about incorporating video into your strategy.
We know it can be intimidating to create a video strategy, but with the right planning, it can be done successfully! In 2020, video—and especially live video—boomed during the months when everyone was quarantined at home—giving audiences an up-close and personal look at their favorite people and brands. Besides, live video itself can be less intimidating, as it’s typically less about the production value and more about the content itself.
New Year, New Strategy ✨
2020 was undoubtedly the year that was unpredictable, unexpected, and difficult for most businesses and marketers. There was a silver lining, though: several content marketing trends emerged that have shaped content strategies for the years to come. As we (finally) say goodbye to 2020 and enter 2021, we can safely assume that we’ll see more virtual content offerings, brand transparency, live video, and more.
Markentum is a full-service agency offering digital marketing services to help you and your community build a successful content marketing strategy for 2021.