2021 Predictions for Content Marketing


Tuesday, December 15, 2020 7:20 PM

The wild ride of 2020 quickly coming to a close, and while it may not have been the “best of times” it was certainly a year of major and growth for everyone. As we see the light at the end of the tunnel of this tumultuous year and a vaccine is finally being distributed, it’s time to start looking ahead to brighter times in 2021 and what may be in store for the content marketing industry. Content Marketing Institute was kind enough to publish a list of their “Top 2021 Predictions for Content Marketing” last week and included inPowered’s very own CEO and Co-Founder, Peyman Nilforoush. We’re rounding up a list of our top 12 favorite forecasts for the coming year from fellow thought leaders in the content industry:

  • “Artificial Intelligence will solve content marketing’s ROI problem. As companies need to deliver tangible results from their content programs, they can use AI to better understand the consumer mindset during the pandemic and deliver business outcomes like leads and conversions efficiently. This will lead to bigger budgets and an expanded market share for the entire content marketing industry.” – Peyman Nilforoush, inPowered
  • “The focus in 2021 will be on the bottom line – what creates value for the business. Content marketing can create value, leads, and sales for businesses in multiple industries, we must prove it. We need to speak a language that the CFO understands, and the most important word in her dictionary is ROI. Focus on determining what business goals you need to achieve with the content marketing effort, and then plan the route. Make sure to measure your efforts and report your progress to the right stakeholders within the business.” – Alexander Højfeldt Lund, Brand Movers
  • “Yes, content rushed in to fill the chasm left by canceled in-person activities this year. And, sure, that might translate to more content investment in 2021. But those new dollars arrive (if at all) with added scrutiny. Be ready to show how everything you’re doing has a real impact – whether building an audience, motivating one, or mining their activities for insights that help the business (hat tip to Robert Rose for the building/motivating thought).” – Kim Moutsos, vice president of editorial, Content Marketing Institute
  • “I expect content marketers to have a critical lens towards inclusion and inclusive marketing. Are they representing just themselves, or is what they are creating inclusive and representative of their users and audience? In our Marketing with Purpose Playbook, Microsoft Advertising unique research found “64% of people said they are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in ads and 85% of consumers said they will consider a brand they trust.” I expect content marketers to start learning more about creating inclusive strategies and purpose-driven marketing as the hero behind their work. Thinking outside of their traditional boxes and strategies to reach consumers by understanding, “Is this Brand for me?” “Is this brand like me,” and ‘How is this brand engaging in a way that is meaningful to me and my values?’” – Christi Olson, Microsoft
  • “In 2021 we’re focusing on creating rewarding customer experiences using contextually relevant content. Our fundamental belief in high-quality content remains, but the focus will be on ensuring the right content is served to the right customers at the right time to create measurable momentum towards ultimate objectives. Every piece of content should have specific measurables tied to real client ROI.” – Andrew Nunneley, New Media
  • “We’ve long discussed the need to genuinely connect with our audiences, but now more than ever, people crave connection. The best type of content for that level of depth is a show. More brands will create original series in audio and video in 2021 than any year. After all, great marketing isn’t about who arrives. It’s about who stays.” – Jay Acunzo, Marketing Showrunners
  • “In 2021, only committed brands are going to win in content marketing. What did they do differently? They published consistently based on keyword research. They mixed in long- and short-form content. They profiled customers, executives, and partners. They focused on building subscribers. They put paid promotion on their top performers.” – Michael Brenner, Marketing Insider Group
  • “The most successful content marketers will develop deep insights into their customers’ changing mindsets and buying patterns at this pivotal time. How do current events impact the way they interact with your people personally and your brand/company professionally? That knowledge will be the foundation for all your content-related efforts.” – Lisa Murton Beets, Content Marketing Institute
  • “Grace, empathy, and newfound creativity will blossom among content marketers in 2021 as enduring silver lining gems of the pandemic. These qualities will fill the coming year with unique new opportunities for the sympathetic marketers who embrace them and take us all on exciting post-pandemic content marketing adventures.” – Lane R. Ellis, TopRank Marketing
  • “2021 will be the year that the content marketing world puts significant emphasis on content distribution and amplification. Optimizing the creation of content is largely solved. Now, the difference between winners and laggards will be getting content seen, read, watched, and heard. Increasingly, content marketers will begin to turn away from paid ads and turn toward influencers to gain necessary reach and exposure. 2021 will see the first major convergence of content marketing and influencer marketing.” – Jay Baer, Convince & Convert
  • “Since cookies will be going away into 2021-’22 as data concerns mount, brands will need to find other means by which customer identification (and nurturing) can happen. Enter permission marketing and first-party data. A content-first approach is the best – and only truly viable – mode of marketing ideally suited to collect truer data and cultivate more meaningful relationships.” – Michael Becker, Emarsys
  • “We’re going to see a lot of marketers aiming for a fewer-things-done-better approach and returning to fundamentals. Lots of brands are being forced to really examine what makes them unique and how to make content that their customers want vs. what the marketing team wants to prioritize.” – Amber Naslund, LinkedIn
  • “We will see a rise in the use of new tech. Online audiences will ask for not only better but also newer ways to interact. The shift to working from home had an accelerating effect on the digital transformation companies went through, leading to a quick learning curve for content marketers in using new technologies.” – Tim Hanse, Crossphase

Which one of these resonates most with you? Comment your thoughts below, and cheers to a happy and healthy 2021!

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