Predicting trends in content marketing is never easy, although compared to the past, data and statistics help us get a much more empirical idea of where we are heading.
2021 will build on the acceleration we experienced in 2020. We are not just talking about a digital acceleration, but the gathering momentum of individual reinvention and a true collective - that has led us to reconsider contents and its various forms.
The key phrases for 2021 are:
Infotainment: this term encompasses and defines very specific marketing channels like podcasts, live webinars or even newsletters;
Storytelling: content marketing is increasingly moving towards a narrative dimension. No sales funnel can survive for long without a brand narrative and shared values;
Blended (or phygital): this is a term you might have heard often, especially in education. It defines a hybrid of physical and digital and fully represents the year we are about to live. These three key themes form the basis for our ultimate content marketing trends for 2021.
PROFESSIONAL STREAMING 2020 was definitely the year of webinars. Many of these were unexpected: no one could have predicted that we would witness a huge number of events in online mode. And yet, due to the pandemic and thanks to the digital acceleration that is still going on, we have pushed ourselves into platforms that were unknown until a year ago. Today, platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and Microsoft teams allow companies to create real dialogue with multiple guests. This certainly represents a significant innovation for companies, and will continue in 2021.
PERSONAL BRANDING The term is not new. Personal branding has been discussed for years, and many interesting books, essays and articles have been written on exactly how to nurture it. What is new is that for many companies it will become a real strategic lever this year, as well as an extension of their editorial calendar. Creating social posts for CEO profiles, marketing directors, communication managers and other strategic roles within the company will have a twofold purpose: helping grow the reputation of professionals in the company who, do not have the time to take care of their personal channels; as well as matching the manager’s tone of voice with the brand’s, to reinforce both and strengthen common objectives.
NEWSLETTERS Newsletters again? Aren't our mailboxes full of them? We are not talking about commercial offers, the ones we unsubscribe from after three mailings. In 2021 what matters is the format. Like anything the first thing you need is an idea that works. You wait for a good newsletter like you wait for a letter from a friend. It arrives on time, it arrives on a regular basis, but not too often. It is not intrusive, it informs without being an endless list of events, it needs to be personal and personalised.
PREDICTIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLGENCE Before the pandemic, artificial intelligence (AI) was already one of the most relevant technological trends, as demonstrated by the spread of the Amazon Echo and Google Home voice systems. The large amount of data that went into the cloud in 2020 - to buy a product, to watch a TV series, to work or to study – has been exploited to 'train' AI algorithms, which afterwards have been used to develop predictive models capable of anticipating consumer choices. 2021 will therefore be a growth year for AI. 2021 holds many possibilities and tools for creating outstanding content marketing. The real challenge for this year will be to choose the right mix of content and adapt it to the target audience so as to enhance not only the image of your company but to create a real interactive community.