It is no longer enough to just offer a quality service or product to customers and the audience.
Alongside products, everyone expects quality content from you, so this has become one of the main ways to attract a large number of people. Many marketing experts even say that content is the most important thing for your business and that you need to pay as much attention to it as possible.
Some think it’s hyperbole and that content isn’t the most important thing, but everyone agrees that content is among the top 3 things you need to pay attention to for your business to be successful, no matter what your niche is.
With quality content marketing you will improve brand awareness, boost sales, impose yourself as one of the leaders in your niche, and so on.
But there is one problem. And the problem is that without a true understanding of what content is, what content marketing is, what strategies and ideas you need to implement, as well as to be familiar with all the current trends, you cannot have successful marketing campaigns.
And how do you learn and implement it all in the right way?
It is very simple, you just have to keep reading our guide where we will explain everything you need to know about content marketing, guide you to new trends, give you ideas and present the best strategies. And also we will point out all the mistakes that are most often made when it comes to content marketing, thus you can avoid it.
So let’s get started.
1. What is content?
Everyone is constantly talking about content marketing and that hype is completely understandable because of the importance of that form of marketing.
However, before we move on to everything you need to know about content marketing, let’s pause for a second and talk about what content is.
Content is so broad term, that probably 5 different people would give you 5 different answers/definitions.
First of all, the true meaning of the content is difficult to define because it varies depending on the context.
Definition from Wikipedia states that:
“In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experiences that are directed towards an end-user or audience. Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts”. Content can be delivered via many different media including the Internet, cinema, television, radio, smartphones, audio CDs, books, e-books, magazines, and live events, such as speeches, conferences, and stage performances. “
We can certainly agree on that, but we would also add that the content is “high quality, useful information that conveys a story” and “anything you produce that your audience can consume with its senses” as those two definitions are closest to our opinion on what content really is.
But certainly, it is such a broad term that there is practically no wrong answer. In any case, we think these few examples of defining content have helped you better understand the term before we move on to content marketing.
2. What is content marketing?
Content marketing has been especially present in the last few years, and although you probably have a vague idea of what it all involves and why it matters, you still need to know much more details for your marketing campaign to be successful.
Content marketing can most easily be defined as marketing for which you use content and is intended for a target audience online.
It sounds very simple and we can’t say it’s much more complicated than it sounds in theory, but in practice, you need to do a lot of things in the right way to have quality content, campaigns and to reach the audience you want.
In essence, it is marketing like any other and aims to advertise you, but the difference is that you do not advertise yourself and your products directly, but do it with the help of content.
Also, it’s part of inbound marketing, which means it’s primarily that people come to you in a so-called natural way, not that you reach out to them and impose yourself on them. But in the end, goals are the same as with any type of marketing, just the approach is different.
Statistics show that content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid advertising, and 55% of marketers say that creating content for blogs is their biggest marketing priority.
Content must be likable, meaningful, and relevant to the one for whom it is intended. Everything must be tailored to the type of people for whom it is intended because only then will you attract their attention.
Today’s people generally have extremely poor concentration, so you will only be able to attract their attention if they are interested in it in the first few tens of seconds, for example.
Why is content marketing better than traditional marketing?
Times are changing, and so is marketing. Traditional marketing isn’t personalized and doesn’t allow contact with the customers, which is a huge disadvantage.
Some forms of traditional marketing include printed media, such as magazines, newspapers, and fliers, advertising via phone calls or telemarketing, billboards, and maybe the most popular type: TV ads.
But younger generations aren’t watching TV anymore because of the rise of streaming services and unskippable TV ads.
Traditional marketing just isn’t the number 1 marketing choice anymore, especially for brands whose audience is young people. Instead, they’re choosing other marketing strategies that enable them to interact with their customers and form a relationship with them.
Content marketing is one of those strategies.
Why is content marketing important?
Now that we have explained to you what it is and why it is much more effective nowadays than traditional marketing methods, you need to know why it is so important and what you will achieve if you implement this form of marketing in the right way.
Building trust with an audience
A loyal customer base is something invaluable to any business. A business that manages to build relationships with customers and gain their trust is a business that will almost certainly not go bankrupt.
With the help of relevant and entertaining content, you will succeed in exactly what you want, and that is that customers trust you and are loyal to you. Attract them with different types of content and explain to them why you are the right choice for them. You should do that seamlessly so that they don’t even notice that you are actually advertising through that content.
Besides, you will be able to interact with them in the comments below. All this will give them confidence in you because you give them knowledge and information and do not ask for anything in return. Your reputation will constantly improve that way.
In none of our blogs will we fail to emphasize to you the importance of search engine optimization.
The position of your website in search is crucial and there are many different ways you can influence this. Yet no other SEO technique has proven to be as effective as creating well-optimized content.
All those who constantly update their blog and other types of content have experienced a position improvement on the search engine significantly.
The more content you have, the better. This will affect the number of keywords as well as the fact that visitors stay longer on the website while browsing all the content. It is important to know that quantity is not the only thing that matters.
Content MUST be of good quality and optimized in the right way to influence SEO. For content to be well optimized you need to use the right keywords, backlinks, and so on.
Building brand awareness is a long process and very often expensive. Content marketing allows you to significantly improve brand awareness quite cheaply.
If you compare other types of advertising or hiring a PR service and creating content, you will see how affordable this option is, and also very effective. Of course, it is best to combine all these approaches if you have a big enough budget.
Word of mouth type of marketing is becoming less and less popular, and you need to impose yourself with content. You can do this in very unique ways, which is exactly what is necessary for someone to remember your brand and connect it in their head with all your products.
Whatever you write/talk about, and it concerns your niche, of course, you will always be able to seamlessly mention your brand and thus engrave it in the mind of customers.
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, content marketing is one of the very cost-effective options.
To generate quality content, you certainly need to invest significant time and even resources, but these are far fewer resources than for some other types of marketing campaigns.
That’s why you should use it as much as possible and focus your time on creating content, and you can invest the rest of the money you have at your disposal in other types of marketing.
Content marketing is directly related to social media marketing because you can post and share your content on your social media profiles.
This provides you with additional platforms where you can interact with your customers, both publicly in the comments and privately, in the direct messages.
By having social media accounts, you’re enabling people to ask you questions, to which you can respond as quickly as possible, which further cements your relationship with your customer, makes them trust you more, and come back for more of your products and services.
By constantly creating content that people find useful and interesting, you’re nurturing your current customer relationships and attracting new ones.
Stand out from the crowd
In every niche the competition is huge. That is why it is difficult to stand out among the huge number of similar small and medium-sized businesses.
Content can help you with that. Tell them a story about your company or give them valuable information and they will probably choose you and not someone else.
It is not uncommon for a small company to be more successful than a large one, because a small company, unlike a large one, works a lot on the content it offers and thus attracts potential customers and builds a brand personality.
Boost organic search
In all web search engines, there is a difference between organic search results and those that result from paid advertisements.
Organic search results are, according to Wikipedia, “distinguished from various kinds of sponsored results, whether they are explicit pay-per-click advertisements, shopping results, or other results where the search engine is paid either for showing the result or for clicks on the result.”
Content marketing will help you boost organic search by having many people who follow your content repost some part of your blog or something else on their Facebook, for example. Then that link will be clicked by a few of their friends and that way you will achieve a boost of organic search results.
3. Types of content
There are various divisions of content, and most types will be mentioned in the next section where we will talk about content marketing trends for this year.
However, the easiest way is to divide the content into written ones, videos, social media, and audio which is usually a podcast.
When it comes to written content, there’s the title of the article, which needs to capture interest without being clickbait, the content, which needs to be optimized and informative, and the form, which needs to make sense to the reader and make their reading experience as easy and pleasant as possible.
When it comes to videos, they need to be filmed as professionally as possible, have good sound and explanations, be informative and solve the problem in the simplest way that anyone can follow. Pay attention to the resolution of the video, which should be at least HD. But maybe even more important is sound because people tend to give up watching a video faster if the sound is not clear than if the video quality is not amazing.
Other content marketing forms include images and posts on social media. They can be either funny or informative.
It’s a common and effective title tactic for both videos and written content to include words such as guide, free, tutorial, tips, x steps, ideas, examples, etc.
The most important things about content marketing are its usefulness and delivering on what you promised to the readers/viewers.
4. The best content marketing trends in 2021
Now that we’ve seen what this type of marketing is and its benefits, as well as types, let’s take a look at the content marketing trends for 2021. In the following paragraph, there will be the word of all kinds of content marketing, as well as the content itself.
Remarketing or retargeting is a well-known marketing tactic that focuses on targeting people who have already visited your website by displaying your ads, offers, and the like as soon as they leave your website.
This tactic has proven to be very useful because people who have already visited your website once, especially those who have stayed on a product for a long time, even added things to the cart and have not finished shopping, are the ones who can be counted on to return complete the action.
Since the competition is fierce and it won’t be easy to improve sales, you need to pay attention to something called content-driven personalization.
This means that you have to stimulate all those returning users to do what they did not for the first time. Or to repeat the purchase, if they have already done so.
How are you going to do that? Based on the content they have watched or read, offer them some similar guide, checklist, and so on.
In parts of the content, implement the so-called “call to action” and you will create a CTA based on their past actions on your website. That way you will encourage them to become customers.
While writing this article, I came across staggering information that the average person in the Western world spends between 4 and 6 hours a day on their smartphone and tablet. And this is not information that is based on assumptions but based on analytics provided by the smartphone itself and concerns the average screen time.
We will not discuss how good or bad it is for people now, but we will concentrate on the fact that the smartphone has become an integral part of our daily lives.
That’s why every, and when we say that we mean literally every content MUST be mobile-friendly. And if the content you post is not mobile-friendly you are risking that content being seen just a few times.
When people try to see that content using their smartphone and are unable to do so, the number of those who will turn on the computer to check it out is very small. So focus on mobile-friendly content.
Augmented reality known by the acronym AR has until recently been a much lesser-known and represented technology compared to virtual reality (VR).
However, the world’s most famous brands are increasingly launching mobile-friendly content in the form of AR apps.
Augmented reality is incorporating digital data into your real environment. Unlike a virtual thing that is completely virtual as the name implies, augmented reality only adds certain details to your reality.
For example, Ikea made it possible to see what a certain piece of furniture would look like in your room. And there are many such examples. Augmented reality is very useful and if you have the resources to create one such app, take advantage of it.
Artificial intelligence is something that is becoming less and less science fiction and more and more a part of our lives. Many research labs like Deep Mind are working to develop artificial intelligence to levels we can’t even imagine.
When we talk about artificial intelligence and content marketing, you will probably be surprised at how much AI is already present. Many opening lines, and even complete content, are generated by artificial intelligence.
It is also used for summaries and reports and is used by some of the world’s largest companies, especially in the field of news media. Implementing AI in content marketing has proven to be very useful because AI generates objective and informative content. It is certain that in the future, AI may become the main way to generate new content, especially when it comes to written content like blogs and so on.
Natural language and voice search
Voice search is another content marketing trend that is on the rise.
People are tired of typing and they just don’t have the time for it anymore. Instead, they’re using voice search and using the time they would have spent on typing for more useful action. According to some predictions, up to 50% of searches in 2021. will be voice searches. Also, content optimized for voice search will very positively affect SEO.
You can do several things to optimize for voice search. Read your content out loud and make sure it sounds natural. Avoid using complicated language and long and over-complicated phrases that no one knows.
Additionally, where you can, use long keywords and questions as titles, because this is how we speak.
When talking to a voice assistant, people aren’t saying ‘content marketing’. Instead, they’re forming questions as if talking to humans and saying ‘what is content marketing’ or ‘Alexa, show me examples of content marketing.
In the second example, the keyword would be ‘examples of content marketing’, a longtail keyword, one of the most important things about voice search optimization.
In the last 5 years, we have been flooded with influencers on every social network. As social networks have become very important, so a new profession called influencer appeared.
These are people who are self-proclaimed experts for some niche and have a very big impact on their followers. People say that the recommendation of an influencer they trust has the most impact on what they buy.
That’s why influencer marketing is something you need to incorporate into your content marketing but you need to do it wisely. The audience knows that influencers work with brands and are paid by them, so they are often skeptical of what they say.
You need to create content that seems relevant, and also work with influencers who have built their reputation on doing honest reviews and the like, not just working by promoting those who pay them.
Podcasts have become very popular in recent years and are one of the most popular content marketing trends in 2021, as well.
They’re pretty convenient: not only because they’re informative, but because they allow us to get informed while on the go.
People listen to podcasts while taking walks, driving, and walking on treadmills. They’re also pretty great if you need something to fall asleep to.
They can be about literally anything: entertainment, history, sports, books, and maybe most importantly, industries and the events related to them.
More and more businesses are creating podcasts where they discuss what is currently happening in the industry they’re part of. The format is very attractive: they star well-informed people who sit down and have friendly discussions about the current news and trends.
Producing a podcast can be quite expensive because of quality audio equipment, but if you have a huge following, it pays off. You can always ask your readers and followers whether they would be interested in hearing your podcast and you can record a few to see how they do.
You can also hire specialized companies to do everything necessary for your podcast, which includes equipment, so you can save on the purchase of equipment, preparing the place where the podcast will be recorded, and the like.
Don’t forget about something called a video podcast either. As people today rely much more on the visual than the audio, video podcasts have become very popular.
You can see this by the fact that all the world’s most popular podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience are actually video podcasts. Although a podcast in its basic meaning is an audio file, a video podcast combines video and audio.
So you can listen to it as a regular podcast, and you can also watch it. In addition, video podcasts significantly expand your potential audience, because you can upload to YouTube, which is the most popular search engine in the world after Google. And since it’s owned by Google, YouTube videos will also appear on Google Search.
Live video streams
Live video streams are becoming more and more popular and owe the popularity of social media. They’re one of the most recent content marketing trends and will be one of the main ones in 2021.
Gone are the days when live streams were only suitable for gamers.
Some digital marketing experts even say that live video is a must-have for marketers.
The reason for this is that video is by far both the most popular and most effective type of content when it comes to marketing. There’s a reason why YouTube and TikTok are so popular.
YouTube is the second most visited website in the world and TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform yet. The reason behind this is what we have already mentioned, and that is that people liked video content the most.
The reason why digital marketing experts see live streams as a crucial strategy is that it enables businesses to connect with customers directly and in real-time. It also allows companies to show the so-called human factor and prove that they’re much more than just a name.
In live streams, there are no scripts, thus enabling more natural conversations.
Live streams can be Q&A, where people ask questions and you respond or vice versa, they can be streams of presentations, announcements, events, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and so on.
Use this content marketing trend to maximize interaction with your customers and to show them how genuine your business is and how it works.
You can no longer satisfy people, especially the younger generations, which include millennials and Generation Z, and then Generation A and all other generations to come, if you give them only the most ordinary text, no matter how relevant, informative, and entertaining that text is.
You need to offer them interactive content to keep their attention for a long time.
Otherwise, they get bored very quickly. Creating interactive content is certainly more expensive and demanding in terms of time and knowledge, but it will be well-worth once you launch it.
In addition to lacking concentration, people today are also very self-centered. We do not want to belittle anyone by what we say, because we are all like that to some extent, we just want to say what the real situation in the world is like.
People have been “instructed” from an early age to feel very important and special, and that is why you can no longer satisfy them with some general content where they are can’t found anything to relate to. So you need to focus on creating content that is as personalized as possible.
If you treat a person as just another one in a long line of your customers, you will certainly not create a loyal customer from that person. It is even very possible that he or she will find such behavior repulsive and does not want to have any contact with your business.
To achieve a competitive edge, start by sending personalized emails, and then work on minimizing generic content and increasing the number of personalized content as much as possible.
Although it is very demanding because you need a lot of time to create such diverse content, it is necessary.
5. Content marketing strategies in 2021
Everything we’ve told you so far probably sounds great to you, but you’re wondering how to get started.
Like everything you do, you have to start by creating a strategy if you want to be successful. In case you do not have a clearly defined strategy, you limit your potential at the beginning. Before you start creating content yourself, let’s first help you create a strategy.
You will spend some time on that but it will pay off many times over later.
Set a budget
Some leave this step for the end, and then set a budget following all the other steps.
While this is a legitimate tactic as well, we think it’s better to think about the budget right at the beginning.
Likely you do not know exactly how much each step costs, so if you determine the budget at the end, you will certainly have to change parts of the strategy.
Once you set a budget at the beginning, then you will shape the strategy according to the resources available to you.
Many factors affect how much money you will have to spend. For example, what software and other technologies you will use, do you need content writers and similar professions, do you need equipment for recording videos and podcasts, and so on.
Content marketing can be both cheap and extremely expensive, it depends on what you choose and the budget available to you.
Determine how much money you have for this purpose and how much more you can spend over the budget and stick to it.
Define short and long-term goals
You need to think about what your short-term and long-term business goals are.
Content marketing will certainly have an impact on both short and long-term goals.
For example, your short-term goals can be a boost sales, attract partners, and increase customer engagement. These are all goals that you can meet within a few months.
And long-term goals can be to improve brand awareness, to build a loyal customer base, and similar things that require time and cannot be done overnight but you have to invest significant effort, time, and even money to achieve them.
Define your audience
After goals, define the audience.
We’ve already talked about everyone wanting personalized content, and for you to be able to provide them with the content they want, you need to know which audience you’re targeting for the entire campaign.
There are various ways to collect this information, such as Facebook Pixel and other tools, and what you need to know are, among others, age, gender, education, income, geographical location, and so on.
Based on this data, you will be able to create a target audience.
Decide on types of content
It would be too demanding and expensive to create all types of content. Not even the world’s largest companies have that.
So you need to decide what types of content to focus on. It is advisable to have video content, blogs, and podcasts as the primary ways to cover as large a target audience as possible, without putting your budget under big strain.
Decide on channels
You can’t use the same content for your blog, Facebook, and podcast. It’s the wrong approach and then you won’t thrive in any type of content.
So decide which channels will be your primary and which secondary. On the primary channels, upload your premium content in which you invest most effort and money, and secondary channels update periodically when you have the time.
Create a schedule
It is a big mistake to randomly publish your content. You need to make a detailed schedule according to the channels you use and the types of content.
Create your content calendar and mark when you publish each content. It is very simple and effective.
If you publish a lot of content, then you will need more planning and you will have to rotate more in your schedule, but be sure to have a due date for publishing each content.
That way, your audience will know exactly when they can expect a new blog or video from you, and then they will return to your website at that time.
While if one day you publish 3 blogs and then you are gone for weeks, you will give the impression of unprofessionalism and you will fail to build a relationship with your customers.
6. Ideas for content marketing in 2021
Many people, are not creative and do not know how to create even basic content, and not to mention some unique one that will set them apart from the crowd.
If you are one of the people who lack creativity, but you realize that content marketing in 2021 is a must, we will give you some ideas for creating interesting and relevant content that does not include only basic things.
Present one day at your company
One of the very interesting pieces of content that you can provide to your audience is a presentation one day in your company.
It is best to make a video that will last 5 to 10 minutes. Have it show you how things are going in your company. It should include serious things like meetings, but also fun activities in the chill-out zone, for example.
It can also be a blog, but the most effective way is to make a video.
Make everything entertaining
Of course, not everything is fun. Most things aren’t even remotely entertaining.
But you have to do your best to make them entertaining even when they are not. No one will want to read, listen to or watch content that deals with some tedious and exhausting topics.
To inject at least a certain dose of entertainment into everything, you have to be creative. If this is a problem for you, contact us to do it for you. It’s just important to avoid presenting annoying and boring content.
People love lists. They are easy for them to read and also instill confidence in them because it seems that you have researched the topic you are writing about.
These can be very different lists. You can start with a list of benefits that is in some way related to your niche.
Then make lists of what to do or need to buy, and yet make it in some way affirmatively related to your business.
What-not-to-do or what-not-to-buy lists are also useful because you can use them to indicate what they should not do/buy and thus, very seamlessly, instruct them that they should need something which they can buy from you or they need to do business with you.
Use Instagram stories
Instagram stories allow you to do just that, to tell a story.
That is why they are very useful and as you may have noticed, all influencers, companies, and celebrities use them very much.
Instead of posting Instagram posts with 10 photos or videos, make them part of your story.
Since the stories are shorter and more presentable, more people will certainly watch them than when you are publishing them in the form of IGTV. You will also know the exact number of people who have watched your stories, although you also have such insight for regular posts if you have a business account on Instagram.
If you are worried that Instagram posts are being removed after 24 hours, don’t forget that you can highlight them on your profile and thus make them permanently available.
Feature someone famous
Of course, it would be ideal if it is some major celebrity. Then it is certain that many people will be attracted to your content that features such a celebrity, not even the content itself will matter that much.
But it’s something that’s probably too expensive for you unless you know some star who’s willing to help you.
But it is much easier to reach a local celebrity, at the level of your country or even city. There is certainly at least some famous athlete or singer near you. Try to contact him or her and arrange an interview which can be conducted as a video podcast, for example.
7. Most common mistakes
Don’t think that every content is good content. There are a lot of mistakes that can make content marketing counterproductive, not something that will bring you great prosperity.
The first and biggest mistake you can make is to do everything without a strategy, but we have already talked about that.
The next thing you need to take care of is not to focus only on SEO. As important as SEO is, if you focus only on improving SEO you will be doing something called Spamdexing or Black Hat SEO. Some of the signs that you are doing this are overuse of keywords, hidden links all packed into very bad content.
Also, avoid spamming people by acquiring their email addresses in some barley legal way such as buying an email list. That way you will not achieve anything, and all those who receive spam mail from you will never trust you. Only those who voluntarily give you their email address are someone worthy of your attention.
Of course, your content has to be of high quality. And don’t try to do too much. You can’t do everything in little time. If you push and try to achieve your goals as soon as possible, you will do just the opposite. So be patient.
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies, even more effective than traditional marketing. It allows for more personalized ads and gives businesses a chance to connect with their customers and form lasting relationships with them.
Content marketing trends for 2021 are numerous. We told you some of the most important trends for this year. We also give our best to help you create a sustainable strategy and give you ideas for content creation.
Don’t forget that it is equally important to avoid mistakes, as to create a great campaign.
Hopefully, this article has given you insight into everything you wanted to know about content marketing.
Thank you for reading!