“Content is King.”
This phrase was originally penned in an essay by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1996 when he described the future of the internet as the marketplace for content. While times have certainly changed, the adage remains relevant today, even amidst a pandemic.
As people and businesses around the world continue to migrate towards an online presence, we see first-hand how the consumer’s thirst for content is quickly influencing not only the evolution of technology but also the ways with the ways in which content is delivered.
As we move into 2021, it’s imperative that businesses examine and evolve their content marketing strategies to keep up with current needs and trends.
What is 2021 going to look like for content?
Now more than ever, given the protocols and restrictions in place, consumers are turning to the internet and technology to fulfill an immediate need while in the middle of particular tasks. People now expect content that will deliver quick answers and solutions; otherwise, they will simply navigate to the next page on the search engine.
Chatbots are quickly changing the dynamics of content marketing. This type of A.I. is built to create a number of personalized experiences for the user while automating and presenting a wide range of solutions upon request.
Chatbot technology allows for not only instant engagement, but it allows for the creation of characters who not only provide customer support but reflect the business’ voice and values while responding to customer needs.
Keeping up with Google and Voice Search
According to Google, nearly 20% of mobile queries were prompted by voice search, as of 2016.
With the rise of mobile device users, it is safe to assume two things:
- Voice search is growing in popularity.
- Voice search users are on the go and likely to be searching for solutions and answers while in the middle of the task.
Given these factors, voice search users are in search of clear, concise answers right away. Since more than 20% of voice search queries are triggered by a combination of only 25 keywords, business must ensure their websites are optimized for this type of search.
Voice search optimization can include:
- Adding related keywords to text
- Updating old content
- Utilizing Google’s “Featured Snippet” tool, which appears at the top of Google’s search results
With more people working and learning from home, it’s obvious that value-driven and rich digital content is becoming an increasingly important part of the consumer’s journey.
In previous years, it was enough for businesses to simply rely on eye-catching videos and other forms of visual content on their website/social media to keep the consumer engaged. Moving forward, businesses will be tasked with finding additional content formats and new channels to differentiate themselves from their competitors. This is where branded content becomes useful.
In short, branded content is content that does not utilize traditional forms of advertising. This type of content is often produced by a business (or consulting agency) using a distinct brand identity and voice. It is usually published on a business’ own channels.
Branded content can include:
- Short-form video
- White Papers
- Long-form articles
When it comes to content marketing, there are various ways for businesses to maintain and strengthen their online presence; however, they must start by understanding their target audience’s patterns of behavior and needs when searching online. This type of information will not only aid with strategic content planning, but it will also help to optimize the businesses marketing plans at large.
Along with an effective advertising strategy, an updated content marketing strategy may help business build momentum for the inevitable changes to come.