We’re almost at the midpoint of 2021, which may come as a surprise to those for whom time has lost all meaning due to COVID-19’s incessant lockdowns and assorted restrictions. If some part of your mind is still planning to reshape your content calendar in the new year because your social listening is picking up on negative feedback, take a deep breath and let it go: the first half of 2021 may have been a bust, but there’s still time to make some progress before we need to consider what awaits us in 2022.
After all, think of how many blog posts, tweets and/or website updates you can get through in six months. The world of digital media moves quickly and erratically, and your remaining 2021 output could grab enough attention to radically transform your fortunes. But what should you focus on? You don’t have the time or resources to try everything, of course.
Well, to give you some direction, we’re going to look at four potent content trends that you should trial before 2021 draws to a close. Forget the flash-in-the-pan fads, though: something likely to lose its lustre when the year wraps up isn’t worth considering. The following trends are going to stick around, making them truly worthy. Let’s get to them:
Leaning on informal social engagement
Social media is decidedly messy, but it’s fertile ground for brand growth. Companies tend to go wrong through being overly stilted, dispassionate and careful with their social content: they’re afraid of ruffling any feathers so they never say anything that hasn’t been triple-checked beforehand. The result tends to be a near-total lack of impact.
This isn’t to say that you should simply say whatever you want, though: instead, you should seek to be somewhat more informal with your engagement while being more professional and comprehensive with your overall approach. From a structural standpoint, you should assemble a dedicated social team to routing all your brand mentions through a shared inbox (something that centralizes all your messages from external channels so you can manage them more easily).
The more you can establish a rapport with your target audience, the better. It will steadily establish your brand as fundamentally memorable and incline them to do more to recommend you to others. In short, the businesses willing to drop formality come across as more confident and self-assured, and that has a lot of power.
Creating rich responsive infographics
Infographics play extremely well when used smartly, and they’re surprisingly easy to produce. All you need is some basic data on your chosen topic. If you find a stunning correlation, you can build your infographic around that, but even that isn’t necessary: it’s possible to take boring data and turn it into something visually arresting.
But what do I mean by responsive? Precisely that, in the same vein that every website should be responsive: a great infographic should dynamically reshape itself to fit the display used to view it. This is opposed to using a static image that might look terrible on a mobile screen. Visme, a company that offers an infographic creator, has a good list of examples here.
Hosting live training sessions and Q&As
Video is incredibly powerful. This is hardly a shocking revelation, of course (the biggest brands in the world have been spending vast sums of money on TV and movie ad campaigns for many years), but it’s notable in the context of online content production. Many online brands know that it’s possible to produce video on a modest budget, but they don’t know where to start.
What’s interesting here is that they don’t need to do any video production at all. They can get away with simply hosting live video sessions that can be recorded and released as valuable content afterwards. Training sessions are so effective because they draw people in very well, and they allow brands to improve their reputations through showing their expertise.
Q&As (along with general behind-the-scenes content) are fantastic at showing personality, something that matters to an increasing extent. People want to support companies that come across as likeable. And even if you’re awkward on camera, you should still give it a try. You might find that the awkwardness ultimately proves endearing.
Tweaking your content for E-A-T
E-A-T, despite how it sounds, has nothing to do with food. Instead, it’s a term that Google has used in the context of its search algorithms, standing for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It matters so much because Google has an ongoing commitment to delivering results that searchers can actually rely on, yet there are plenty of websites out there making grandiose claims that they can’t actually support.
Usefully, optimizing your content for E-A-T may not need you to radically overhaul it. Simply ensuring that every piece of expert content has a trustworthy author credited will make a big difference. You should also provide sources wherever possible, and focus on getting things right above all else. If you stick to the truth and never waver, you’ll eventually be rewarded.
Wrapping up, there are so many ways to alter your content strategy before 2021 ends, but prioritizing the use of these trends will surely work to your advantage. Use social media more broadly, provide responsive infographics, record live video, and tailor your content towards Google’s authority criteria. You’ll be glad you did.