Getting the results you want out of your content marketing strategy is a moving target for any company, no matter your industry. That’s always been the case, and it’s driven by both the changing nature of connectivity on a web that is becoming more and more app-focused as it ages and the herd effect that popular new strategies tend to create.
If you’ve never noticed the herd effect before, it’s probably because you have never fallen far enough behind it to see what happens when you stop keeping up. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s simple. When a strategy works, it provides the first wave of adopters with clear competitive advantages, and that creates an incentive for their competition to follow the same practices, to retake their dominant positions. This continuous jockeying for position drives innovation in, and working with content developers who understand those trends is essential to developing the material that appeals to them.
1. Relevance and Timeliness Dominate the Conversation About Quality
Ad content continues to be important for brand awareness, but if you’ve ever seen how dense ad service is across the internet these days, you’ll understand why most ad content is skipped or ignored by end-users. The content that has reached is the helpful, high-quality work you put out through your social media channels, blog, and website. The more you can do to provide useful and timely discussions of subjects that your customers really care about, the further your content travels.
So what does Google view as high quality in its current iteration? With today’s contextual web crawlers, you need more than the right keyword density. You need to provide answers to on-topic questions that fit brand and product placement into the conversation more naturally while providing real knowledge customers can use to solve problems.
2. User Experience Is the Center of Competition
Along with high-quality content, user experience is vital to your success in content marketing going into the next year. So what is user experience, other than serving great content?
- Fast page service on web sites
- Accessible video content with captions for customers who need them
- Alternatives to visual media that meet web accessibility standards
- Up to date secure connection service that protects customer connections
- Complete page metadata to better inform search results
starts the moment your page appears in a search result, so your site updates and social media approach in 2021 need to keep that in mind. From snippets and meta descriptions to alt text and screen reader compatibility, it all adds up when you’re competing for a customer’s business.
3. Video Content Is More Vital Than Ever
Facebook’s missteps around their pivot to video pitch are well-documented, but don’t let their misinformation cloud your vision. Video content is popular, and the hottest social media services today make full use of its capabilities. From short personalized artworks and snippets of social commentary on Tik Tok to entertainers making an entire career out of YouTube, it’s clear there’s an appetite for video content.
What’s often less clear is that there’s a huge base of learners who useto expand their skill sets. From blacksmithing to scrapbooking, today’s web searches for practical solutions are becoming more and more focused on approachable visual content that blends demonstration with an explanation. Keep that in mind as you develop your content marketing strategy for the next year because while people are still reading a lot of resources, they’re also watching videos and using multiple approaches to learning new information more than ever.
4. Maximizing the Use of Featured Snippets
The introduction of featured snippets provided new opportunities for maximizing the visibility of relevant and useful content. These short, direct results appear above the first organic search result and account for a large number of site clicks from searches. It’s not hard to see why, since the answers often provide most if not all the information needed for basic questions, and the full page content tends to add context and fill in the important background. Unfortunately, you can’t use page content in the snippets, so developing unique content to make the most of them is going to be important if you want to dominate your chosen keywords and content topics.
5. Influencers Continue Expanding Their Role in Content Marketing
Last but not least, with the popularity of video and the large audience carried by most social media influencers, it’s easy to understand why they continue to provide excellent results to companies that know when and how to use them to their best advantage. If you haven’t explored influencer partnerships yet, you need to investigate it before you are left behind by the herd.