Content? It’s king. So the question is how do you command the throne of 2021 with your content?
Here’s the low-down on changes you need to be making with your online content to excel this year.
Tone & Voice
The tone and voice of your blog writing should be in terms of ‘I’ or ‘we’. The ‘I’ is especially effective if your writer is an authoritative expert in your field – a staff member or CEO or founder, for example. And since not everyone is confident with setting pen to paper, your expert could set out bullet points for a ghost writer to work with, or write the article themselves and give it to an editor with SEO expertise to curate it for its final form.
But the key takeaway is that the writing voice must represent the business as a field expert.
As you’ll read about in more detail in our Haystack How-To: Get your SEO up to date for 2021 blog, the information you need to offer in your blogs and web copy is content which will add value and solve the reader’s problem as far into the future as possible.
With regard to SEO keywords, this means you should be looking at an 80/20 split of targeting evergreen keywords versus trending keywords. This keeps your topics relevant but not obscure when looked back on in a year’s time.
Titles and Headlines
- should be 40-60 characters
- do better when they include numbers and/or brackets
- should include the target keyword
- should be engaging but not lie or elicit clickbait
- should be short and choppy and well segmented for easy scanning
- should contain more than 1200 words where possible
- should be written naturally to include keywords, not in a way that has obviously forced keywords throughout
- should always include bullet points and emphasised words in the various paragraphs by use of bold or italics
- should have accompanying captions within the blog
There are 6 up-and-coming trends for 2021 when it comes to the content being consumed on the daily. Here they are:
Video, including live video, is gaining popularity at a significant rate. And there are many different types of videos you can be uploading as a business – from traditional ads to staff interviews, tutorials and so much more.
Podcasts have become the ideal background ‘edutainment’ as something you can listen to while washing the dishes and doing other mundane tasks. It is also an alternative for those who are not ready for video just yet. Also in line with the growing need for convenience, voice search is on the rise – so content needs to cater for audio search results, too.
More and more brands are including user-generated content (UGC) in their marketing strategy. What is it? According to Christina Newberry from Hootsuite, UGC is ‘any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands’. Brands can then share the UGC on their own social media accounts and website. Why is it effective? Because people trust other people more than they trust a brand or business.
This is a tricky concept, and maybe the word ‘trend’ doesn’t cover it. Brand activism is about businesses and brands taking social responsibility and standing behind causes which align with their values. Examples include eco-friendly products and openly showing support to the LGBTQ community. The catch here is that it must be authentic – it cannot be done just to get likes or followers – and it is even more effective when the business actually does something more than just a social media post.
Given the uncertainty of both 2020 and 2021, content which inspires nostalgia, fond memories and a strong emotional connection offers comfort to audiences. So if you can find a way to associate nostalgic marketing with your product or service, your audience may start associating those good feelings with your brand.
Not to be confused with product placement or even conventional advertising, branded content utilises storytelling, events or entertainment to convey a message other than that of trying to sell the brand’s product or service. By disregarding what you are selling, you are creating brand awareness and an emotional connection in a more subtle, nuanced and trustworthy way. The Lego Movie and the plethora of soccer teams and stadiums owned and named after Red Bull are prime examples of this.
The final puzzle piece
The bigger picture is always paramount when it comes to content. You can write award-winning content, but it is SEO and PPC which can help your content be found by the right audience.
Read more about that in our Haystack How-To blogs:
Get your SEO up to date for 2021
Get your digital marketing strategy together for 2021
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