With 2020 winding down, what’s in store for content marketing in 2021? While we can’t do anything to predict or prevent a second wave of COVID-19, we can prepare the best content marketing plans for our brands. Content Marketing World asked some of the experts who’ll be presenting at their December virtual conference for their outlook and suggestions. Here’s what they had to say.
Brands that listen and follow their research and development around consumer needs, and then tailor their content to them will still have a place next year, according to Barkley’s Jessica Best. Because of the increasing focus on justice and social issues, Andi Robinson of Corteva Agriscience said content marketers will be asked for their advice on how to best use content to speak to these issues. She said content managers need to know where their brands stand in order to align their messaging to consumers.
Because of heightened awareness brought about recent incidents this year, many consumers are also interested in maintaining relationships with brands that share their values in areas like sustainability, equality, and inclusivity, etc. Brands need to identify customer values and invest in content that communicates their positions where they align, said Jacquie Chakieelis of Quest Digital/Great Lakes Publishing.
Sales – Content
Not only will salespersons become more strategic with their presence on social media, said Chris Luecke of Manufacturing Happy Hour, but they will, out of necessity, become content marketers. Luecke explained that the pandemic has forced salespeople to use digital reach since they can’t travel and meet with prospects in person. He added that he even sees salespeople creating videos and employing content calendars.
Adobe’s Matthew Rayback sees silos between product teams and UX (user experience) content marketers and strategists breaking down, because they’ll be forced to talk with each other more often and collaborate.
As written in earlier articles, current events have reshaped consumer attitudes and values. Content managers also need to track these changes and be flexible enough to adapt to what Inga Batur of Zavarovalnica Triglav called the “new reality.”
Kathy Klotz-Guest from Keeping It Human took it a step further in saying that she expects to see rule-breaking and more experimentation by content managers. She urged brands to foster teams that think big and who are not afraid of failure.
Expect the unexpected in 2021, said Dennis Shiao of Attention Retention. He added that content marketers will need not only to be flexible, but also open-minded in adapting to all kinds of situations.
And on a somewhat similar note, Michelle Park-Lazette from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland said innovation will become necessary as brands move forward. She viewed COVID-19 as creating a new ground level.
Rachel Mann of American Fidelity Assurance said she’s seen an increase in formal and informal organic video productions since the pandemic. She predicted a continued increase, including at-home videos, which are especially welcome now because they humanize brands.
The final prediction for content marketers in 2021 came from Adobe’s Adam Morgan. He characterized the biggest challenge as “not being prepared enough for growth.”