Moving into 2021, the content marketing trends are changing significantly, and it requires a systematic & thoughtful content marketing strategy that will bring distinctive yet resourceful content performance.
Marketers globally have started viewing content as their brand’s pivotal asset and plan to expand their spending on content marketing. Still, the challenge they are facing is not having a functional content strategy.
So, this article addresses the depths of content strategy, its necessity, and valuable ideas to create a content strategy for 2021.
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
Content strategy deals with what, how, why, and when around the creation, curation, management, guidance, analysis, and governance of any content owned or created by the business, mainly for marketing purposes.
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. – Michael Porter
Content strategy in its authentic self is about how you will leverage the content efficiently and effectively to attract, engage, and convert consumers with your marketing.
Content marketing strategy and content strategy both these terms are almost similar when used in the context of marketing, but beyond this context, the content strategy goes deeper comparatively. So, here we have used these terms identical sense without much difference.
Why Do You Need A Content Strategy?
In today’s digital age, content marketing is a massive attribute for any marketing strategy & the overall brand. It is the defining factor for the success of any marketing campaign.
Marketers are investing huge portions of their budget in content marketing & management. Besides, content is the flag-bearer of a brand’s mission, vision, and objectives.
Also, content is a channel of communication, engagement, interactions, and conversions for any business. All these aspects show the risk associated with the content and its agenda.
Without Strategy, Content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff. – Arjun Basu
So, the expectations make it necessary for any marketer to create a content strategy that will lay the path to success for content marketing leading to maximized returns on investments.
20 Incredible Ideas For Content Marketing Strategy 2021
1. Define Content Marketing Goal & KPI’s
The rookie mistake that you want to avoid at the outset is to create & curate content aimlessly without any supreme objective for your content marketing.
Plan the Work, Work the Plan. – Robert Rose (CMI)
So, define your expectations clearly as to what you tend to achieve from the content as well as your ultimate business goal. It will give uniformity to the content creators & curators about what they should produce.
2. Gain Insights Into Target Audience
The next step into the content strategy is to know who will consume your content, i.e. the target audience. Knowing the target audience will give a more clear & concise picture of what content should be created & its aesthetics.
Everyone is not your customer. – Seth Godin
Get to know what are the interests of your target audience, what kind of content they consume most, their search queries, social engagement metrics, etc. and analyze this information to gather insights into your audiences’ behavior & engagement.
3. Focus More On Research & Brainstorming
In your content strategy, the focus should be mainly on research and brainstorming about the topics, audiences, and other relevant areas, not on the content creation & sharing.
There should be a 2:1 ratio between content research & brainstorming and content creation. When you spend more time on research, the quality and impact of your content and its marketing will escalate automatically.
Research is about creating new knowledge. – Neil Armstrong
Brainstorming & research will ensure premium quality, unique content distinctive from your competitors.
4. Infuse Life Into Old Content
Just because you are creating a content strategy for the future does not mean your existing content will become irrelevant & unusable. This old content has been the reason for your past content marketing performance.
So, start with content-mining to filter the best pieces of content that have been performing well for you. Add necessary updates to the content be it factually or informationally and make it relevant to your upcoming strategy & goals.
The story always changes. That’s why our content marketing strategy evolves.
It will also save you time, labor, and investment for fresh content creation & curation.
5. Unification of Content With Brand Personality
You must unify your content with your brand’s personality, its core mission, vision, and values. At the base level, your content creators should be aware of the ultimate reason for your brand’s existence & the purpose it serves.
Aligning your brand’s voice, style, guidelines, themes, and agenda with content will help in brand awareness, exposure, recognition, and what solutions it delivers.
Your content marketing is a promise to your customers. – Joe Pulizzi
The key outline is that in search of results & success, you should not deviate your content marketing efforts from your brand personality.
6. Carry Out A Content Audit
Content audit here deals with a detailed assessment of your existing content inventory. Archive & manage your content based on themes such as topics, date, future relevancy, language, characteristics, or any other metric based on your requirement.
Once you create an archive, start with the deeper auditing process to identify the patterns, behavior, and gaps that led to either success or failure (whatever relates) of the content among users.
Almost 2/3rd of the marketers reuse content 2-5 times.
Make use of available tools & techniques to manage the data and make it easier for further understanding.
Also Read – Content Marketing Automation Tools
7. Go Beyond The Basic Boundaries
One thing that will come out as a gap from your content audit is that you have contained your content creation capabilities in a boundary.
It means that you are revolving around the basic content topics that are saturated & outdated. So, for your content strategy 2021, bring-in new ideas and topics for your content.
But out of limitations comes Creativity. – Debbie Allen
Try correlation analysis to see the lengths & depths of topics you can cover while still being true to your content marketing objectives. It will widen your content hub bringing in new audiences & opportunities.
8. Play With Content Formats
The content itself sounds like blogs & articles written in textual format, but in the last decade, marketers have understood that content footprint is much bigger than just text.
So, for your content strategy 2021, leverage all the formats of content such as videos, images, gifs, infographics, audio, or any other along with the text. Users are consuming visuals much more compared to any other formats, especially video content.
Over 90% of the people like visual content over written content.
So, create a perfect mix of different content formats for your content marketing strategy and drive your content growth.
9. Channels Of Distribution
In extension to the last strategy, channels of distribution are also a key influencer to your content strategy. There are diverse channels at your disposal for content marketing dispersion such as Social media, website, offline, emails, and many more.
List every channel your content is in and put a big “WHY?” over it. What is the purpose? – Joe Pulizzi
So, you should give special attention to what channels would be your primary focus and what will be secondary, what type of content works with which channel, the relevance of content format with channels like social media is a visual-heavy channel.
Align your content formats, strategy, and channels of distribution for effective and efficient dispersion of content.
10. Bring Content Curation Into Focus
For a long time, marketers have been focusing on content creation strategies, but now the time has come to curate the content.
Curation is about gathering relevant content about a topic and hand-picking the best out of it that perfectly serves your purpose. Digital channels are filled with such content created by global creators be it brand, influencers, users, or any other.
Over half of the buyers strongly agree that if brands packaged relevant content together, it would help expedite the research phase.
Billions of active users on social media are creating a tremendous amount of content with their creative minds and distinct perspectives. So there is enough relevant and valuable content available for curation.
11. Delegate Content Creation To Users
As a content marketer or content strategist, it is a hefty task to create content that is impactful, unique, and reliable content that will engage the users. But it requires huge investments into content creation with minimum certainty on returns.
Over 95 million photos are posted daily on Instagram alone.
That is why it is best to delegate power to users to create all authentic, reliable, and trustworthy content for your brand. User-generated content helps in building social proof, awareness, engagement, and conversions for any marketing strategy.
12. Manage Content Rights & Digital Assets
Content privacy and security are massive issues in this digital age and their importance in rising constantly. Managing content rights and digital assets are solutions that content strategists & marketers are resorting to.
Brands are built by people, not by products or services. – Juntae Delane
Content rights & digital asset management should be a crucial element in your content strategy. It will ensure that you curate and repurpose content owned by others, especially UGC, in a rightful and permitted manner to avoid any legal hassles & brand damage.
13. Explore Affinity Publishing Opportunities
More straightforward than it sounds, affinity publishing is similar to affinity marketing where two brands of similar interests or attributes collaborate to form a unified base and leverage the goodwill & reputation of each other.
Similarly, affinity publishing could be a great strategy where you could reach out to content marketing & relevant business entities for collaborative content creation.
This strategy can unlock the doors to higher traffic, leads, engagement, and even conversions. Also, it is distinctive from guest posting.
14. Address Social & Seasonal Trends
When it comes to content, it is vital to acknowledge the trends as these trends are compelling & beneficial, but at the same time volatile with a shorter life span.
There are various trends in different content formats that arise continuously on social platforms such as dance videos on the latest songs, image memes around news, humorous viral videos, and many more.
Over 50% of web traffic happens on mobile.
So, you should have a separate action plan for leveraging these social or seasonal content trends that hugely attract & engage the audience.
15. Humanized Conversational Content
Coming back to the textual content, blogs and articles are still immensely popular in today’s age, but the concept & strategy needs a refix. Audiences are looking for content that they can relate to and can interact with.
Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust and trust drives revenue. – Andrew Davis
The humanized conversational content is what we are talking about. So, don’t impose content on audiences but add conversational elements, emotional quotient, and value additive attributes that immerses the user into the content.
Even the digital algorithms are innovations such that they only encourage the use of humanized content.
16. Opinionated But Protective Content
Nowadays, the brands are perceived as humanized entities and audiences expect brands to have opinions about the crucial noteworthy topics of the news. So, your content should reflect your opinions perfectly and effectively.
If you don’t like what is being said then change the conversation – Don Draper
But there is a catch to having opinions as you might end up opposing the audiences or certain groups that will damage your brand’s identity and business. So, it is essential that while being opinionated, your brand should also use the protective content strategy against damaging content.
17. Mobile Responsive = Better Engagement
Every marketing strategy is designed, keeping in mind the mobile users as over 2/3rd of the world’s population is heavily using mobile and accessing content through it.
Similarly, content marketing strategy should also focus on delivering an incredible mobile experience to the users with engaging but optimized quality visuals, easy-to-view text, intuitive, simple navigation & discoverability, and screen compatibility.
Over 50% of web traffic happens on mobile.
As 2021 will also follow the footsteps of 2019, where the mobile user interaction and engagement will continue to rise along with its usage.
18. Assign Key Performance Indicators To Content
Not all the content you create will serve the same purpose of your content strategy, and the objectives will vary from time to time and content to content.
Thus, you can associate a success key performance indicator (KPI) to the content about its objectives, such as whether you want traffic, engagement, acquisition, or conversions.
Only 25% of marketers are proficient in tracking their content marketing metrics.
You don’t need to assign KPI to each piece of content, but you can divide and organize the data based on time, season, demographic, format, channels, goals, or any other suitable metric.
19. Performance Measurement
Last but not least is measuring the performance of your content marketing strategy. Start with outlining what your goals and objectives were, how you executed the strategy and the results that you received from it.
More content is not better. What’s the worst case scenario if we slow ourselves down and do some analysis. – Kristina Halvorson
It will help you identify how accurate you were to plan and what were the reasons for the outcomes that you received. You can analyze the content to know what your audience engaged with and what they disregarded.
You can measure performance by dividing the content into their key performance indicators such as traffic, engagement, leads, conversions & sales. Identify the gaps and success metrics to assist your future content strategies.
20. Encourage Feedback & Resharing
Who is the best person to describe the advantages & disadvantages of any product/service – The user for which it is created. Similarly, you should gather feedback from your audience about your content.
As a part of your content strategy, provide functionality for the users to interact and respond to your content in real-time to capture their honest and accurate feedback.
It takes humility to seek feedback. it takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it. – Stephen Covey
Besides feedback, you should also have functionality for the users to reshare your marketed content as you will only be able to reach a limited audience with limited resources but resharing will ensure maximum exposure of your content with enhanced possibilities.
There are the best 20 ideas that appropriately define what important attributes should be taken into considering before delving into content marketing or digital marketing activities.
All of this might seem comprehensive and complex, but at ground level, it is quite simple and highly beneficial to bring maximum returns on your investments.
Take these ideas to your content strategy and let the content be the reason for your marketing & brand’s success.
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