10 Content Marketing Trends You Should Actually Follow

10 Content Marketing Trends You Should Actually Follow
Whether you're a seasoned marketer, a fresh face in the field, or an eager outsider looking to get into content creation, you should care about content marketing trends. In the grand scheme of things, digital marketing is still new, as it's less than 35 years old. But already, we've seen dozens of trends come and go in this period - from microblogging to Vine. These trends have taught us one important thing: change is inevitable in digital marketing. As audiences are always looking for new and exciting content, trends that are effective today may not engage your audience forever. Naturally, the consequences of ignoring trends can be dire, as your audience may disengage if you don't adapt your content. And in this article, we want to help. Read on, and you'll learn ten top trends in content marketing right now. But first...

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1. The Growth of Content Communities

Though you may not be familiar with the term 'content community,' you're probably a part of one. Maybe it's the New York Times Podcast club or the Instant Pot Community.
Content community instant pot
Source: Instant Pot Content communities are precisely what they sound like: groups for people to discuss products, services, and experiences in a private and friendly environment. Some content communities focus on professional topics, including career development, work-related questions, and general industry discussions. Other content communities focus on hobbies or games.
Where to find content communities
Either way, content communities are a trend you want to leverage for three reasons:
  1. They give you a direct line of communication with your most loyal customers
  2. They build a community around your brand
  3. They help you get feedback from customers in real-time
Or, as Juro's Director of Content Tom Bangay recently told us, "Some people just kinda like what we do and aren't ready to buy, but if we can get them into the community group, then it's just really strong nurture, and they just stay there forever. And we'll always be front of mind if they decide they do want to buy."

How to Implement this Trend

While you could try and infiltrate an existing content community and advertise your brand subtly, this could backfire easily, as you will lose the trust of your customers if they catch you. Instead, consider cultivating your own content community with these steps. First, choose a space for your group. This space could be:
  • A Facebook group
  • A Slack channel
  • A Discord Server
  • A subreddit
Ideally, it should let people post User-Generated Content (UGC) freely (as customers find UGC 2.4 times more authentic and 90% of customers value authenticity).
User-generated content stats
Once you've set up a group, create a list of rules and standards and elect a community leader from your brand to oversee the group. Next, market the group through your social media posts, email marketing, or content marketing. Once you've got some members, ask them what they want and build a space that delivers it.

2. Going Live With Video and Webinars

In 2021, Youtube has 2.1 billion worldwide users, and TikTok has 689 million worldwide users.
YpuTube has 2.1 billion users
These platforms are popular partially because video content is highly engaging. As videos include audio and visual elements, they capture and hold the audience's attention better than text-based or image-based content. Video also is more persuasive, as a human presenter can convey tone and emotion more effectively. Naturally, video is a great content marketing tool. And there's no better time to embrace video content, as its Return-on-Investment (ROI) is increasing. According to a Wyzowl study, 87% of marketers reported a positive ROI from video in 2020. This is up from just 33% in 2015.
Video marketing ROI has increased

How to Implement this Trend

You can integrate videos into your content marketing by developing a video strategy. When designing this strategy, you consider three things:
  1. What topics your content will cover
  2. How frequently you will publish your content
  3. The standards you will apply to the content (including editing standards, how you structure your Call-To-Action (CTA), and how you present the video)
Then, start experimenting by producing basic videos and adjust your content based on reactions from your customers. Alternatively, you can host webinars. Webinars are video presentations that educate viewers on a topic. Starting your own webinar is pretty straightforward, as you simply need to download webinar software, set it up, create content for your presentation, and go live like this:
Host a webinar to intrigue and inform your audience
Source: Black Dog Institute

3. Becoming More Product/Service Focused

Have you heard of Product-Led Growth (PLG)? While it may sound like a buzzword, it's a trend worth paying attention to.
Product-led growth definition
Source: OpenView Partners A PLG strategy builds your marketing and sales efforts around the product you are selling. In essence, it allows you to focus on your niche and put your products and services at the forefront of your marketing. This is a very customer-centric approach, as you redesign your marketing to deliver customers only the most crucial information about your brand. And as customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable, this is a trend you want to embrace.

How to Implement this Trend

One way to embrace the PLG philosophy is to redesign your content marketing strategy to focus on your niche. You can do this in four steps. First, write down a list of topics your content marketing covers. Make sure you include all of your content marketing, including video, podcast, tutorials, eBook, social media, and blog content. Then, sort these topics into two lists: topics that are product-focused and topics that aren't. Next, take your product-focused topics and create a brainstorming map for each. Under each of these topics, list as many sub-topics as you can. Don't be afraid to get very specific.
How to create a brainstorming map
Once you have your product-focused topics, review your current content strategy and adapt it using your list of sub-topics as inspiration.

4. Leveraging AI-Powered Copy

AI-powered copy is exactly what it sounds like: text-based content written by an algorithm. AI-powered copywriting tools use Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools to learn the nuances of human language. Then, they generate content based on keywords you enter into the program. For example, if you enter "new blog post" into an Instagram caption tool like Copy.AI, you'll get copy like this:
AI powered copy from copy.ai
Source: Copy.ai AI-powered copywriting tools are a great trend to embrace because they can enhance your work. Specifically, you can use them to:
  • Generate social media captions
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Research a topic
  • Fix writer's block
  • Generate product descriptions
  • Generate basic sections of blog posts

How to Implement this Trend

To get started with AI, simply sign-up for an AI copywriting software. Some potential options include: Once you've generated your content, you'll need to edit it manually. This includes verifying any statistics and information in the content, as machines can't assess the quality or validity of data. You may also want to add emotional elements into your text, as software can't wholly mimic emotions like compassion and empathy.

5. Content Repurposing

If you've been a content marketer for a while, you're probably familiar with this situation: you sit down to plan out your content, open your brainstorming list, and wait, but no thoughts come into your head. You need to create content, but you have no ideas. Thankfully, there's a solution for your dilemma: content repurposing.
Content repurposing process
When you repurpose content, you take old content, freshen it up, and publish it as new content. Content repurposing is a great trend to embrace in your marketing, as it allows you to:
  • Put out fresh content without increasing your workload
  • Get better mileage out of your best content
  • Re-use content that didn't perform well but had great promise
  • Repurpose content for a fresh audience

How to Implement this Trend

To recycle your content marketing, try following these steps. First, make a list of content to recycle. This should include your top-performing, best quality, and most underrated content. Then, take each piece of content and determine what sort of recycling work it needs. You could refresh it using these strategies:
  • Change the graphic design
  • Add new images
  • Give it a new title and CTA
  • Give it a new introduction and conclusion
  • Cut it into smaller pieces of content (for example, you could cut a video into 10-second clips or a blog post into a 100-word social media post)
  • Adjust the copywriting
  • Update the links
  • Update the statistics
  • Add new examples
  • Expand it with new information
  • Add an infographic or video
  • Add new internal links
  • Re-record the audio (if it's a video or webinar)
Finally, schedule your recycled content into your content calendar and revitalize each piece one-by-one.

6. Original Research

Picture this. You're researching how the pandemic impacted the work-life of salespeople for a new podcast. But you can't find any tangible data. Then you stumble on this: a 'State of Sales 2020-2021' report published by Pipedrive. In their report, Pipedrive interviewed 1,702 business owners and salespeople. .
Original research from pipedrive
Source: Pipedrive As part of their study, they asked salespeople whether their work habits changed. And from their results, you learn that 60% of salespeople have adjusted their work habits, and 41% now work from home. That's the power of original research. When you create and publish original content, you provide readers with value they can't find elsewhere. Thus, this trend will benefit you by:
  1. Attracting backlinks to your research, as other content creators will use your research and credit you
  2. Lending you authority and credibility that will boost your other marketing efforts
  3. Giving you a powerful lead magnet to win new email list subscribers with (as people will join your list to get access to your data)

How to Implement this Trend

While designing your own research may seem tricky, you can carry out an online survey in a few simple steps. First, select an online survey delivery tool like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms and use the tool to generate 5 - 15 questions centered around your niche. Next, bring participants into your study by advertising it on your social media platforms, website, and email marketing. If you have trouble recruiting participants, offer them an incentive like a 10% off discount voucher. Once you've collected responses, use a tool like Microsoft Power BI to analyze your data and produce a report. Ensure you add infographics and quotes to make your report engaging.

7. The Beginning of Content Atomization

If you're familiar with the work of digital marketing experts Todd Defren and Jay Baer, you might have heard of a new trend called 'content atomization.' First coined by Defren, 'content atomization' refers to the practice of breaking large pieces of content into smaller and more specialized pieces of content. For example, suppose you need to create a video on "everything you need to know to get started on Instagram." In that case, you could atomize it by breaking it into subtopics like "how to set up a business Instagram account," "how to build a content schedule for Instagram," and "how to market your Instagram." Here's an example of atomized content from Score.org:
Atomized content from Score
Source: Score.org Content atomization is an excellent marketing trend to embrace, as it:
  • Allows you to cover the nuances of a topic in great detail
  • Helps you break complicated topics into easy-to-digest subtopics
  • Increases the mileage you get from each topic

How to Implement this Trend

You can embrace content atomization by designing new content as a series. Here's how. First, take an idea for a new piece of content and create a list of potential subtopics. When generating subtopics, ensure you cover everything someone could potentially need to know to become an expert (even if it seems minor!). Next, rearrange your subtopics, so they follow a natural progression. Each topic should build on the last topic as much as possible. Then, build each piece of content one-by-one. Once you've finished, assess your content from start to finish and edit it. Keep these tips in mind while editing:
  • Insert links to the previous and next installments of your series at the end of each piece
  • Include a disclaimer at the start of the content warning people it's part of a series
  • Use the same voice and style for consistency
  • Use a standard format

8. Introduction of Core Web Vitals

There are currently over 1,884,400 websites online. Naturally, search engines need to search through this content carefully to determine which pages are informative enough to show search engine users. One of these sorting methods is known as 'Core Web Vitals.' Core Web Vitals are three factors that Google considers markers of a good web page. They include:
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) = How long it takes for the majority of a webpage's content to load
  • First Input Delay (FID) = How long it takes for a user to interact with a web page
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) = Whether page elements move when a webpage loads
Applying the Core Web Vitals to your website content is crucial, as it will improve your on-page performance, boost your Search Engine Optimization visibility, and draw more organic traffic to your content.

How to Implement this Trend

To see how your website performs against the Core Web Vitals, go to the 'experience' tab on Google Search Console. This tab sorts your web pages into "poor URLs," "good URLs," and "URLs need improvement." It looks like this:
Core web vitals on Google Search console
Source: Google Search Console Once you understand which URLs need work, try these strategies to improve them:
  • Remove large elements that slow down the webpage (like graphics)
  • Use lazy loading
  • Minify your CSS and Javascript with a plugin like W3 Total Cache or Autoptimize
  • Remove third-party scripts
  • Use standard dimensions for videos, images, infographics, and Gifs

9. Voice search will grow

In 2016, just 15% of Google searches were voice searches. In 2020, this number grew to an estimated 50%. These statistics make one thing clear: voice search is a trend worth embracing. When you embrace voice search, you increase the reach of your content, as search engine algorithms rank voice-search-friendly content higher in voice search results. And as 33.8% of the US population alone uses voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, people will keep making voice searches.

How to Implement this Trend

There is no "one way" to optimize your content for voice search. Instead, try to:
  • Optimize your content for local search results (as 46% of voice searches are for local businesses)
  • Use long-tail keywords and questions
  • Use dialects and colloquial language from your target audience's region
  • Design content for featured snippets
  • Create an in-depth FAQ page for common searches related to your niche

10. Content-Driven Personalization

Research shows that 70% of consumers prefer learning about a company through content, not advertising. Consumers also prefer that content be personalized to them, as 90% think custom content is helpful, and 78% view it as a relationship-builder. So while content personalization isn't a fresh trend, it's undoubtedly worth embracing, as it will help you:
  • Build a relationship with new leads
  • Market products to customers based on their preferences and habits
  • Deliver a better experience to customers
  • Improve your content's performance
  • Meet customer's expectations (which 66% of consumers expect companies to understand!)

How to Implement this Trend

Before you can personalize your content for customers, you'll need to understand your customers through buyer personas. Buyer personas outline trends in your customer's motivations, behaviors, and preferences. Once you've built your personas, design content for each buyer demographic. To do this, you could:
  • Segment your email marketing list and target each with a personalized campaign
  • Design series of blog posts or videos for a specific segment (like a series of blog posts for salespeople)
  • Adjust your content channels based on your customer's regions (for example, create one Facebook page for US customers and another for UK customers)
  • Use cookies to recommend personalized website content
You could also embrace personalization by implementing a feature that allows people to control content themselves. For example, the Rainforest Arkivert website enables users to navigate around a rainforest as they browse.
Rainforest Arkivert content personalization
Source: Rainforest Arkivert

It's Time to Embrace What's New in Content Marketing

Embracing new trends in your content marketing may seem daunting, but it's easier than you think. Using the steps we outlined, you can implement all of the trends covered in this article with some work and creativity. And putting in that work will benefit your marketing long-term. As Elon Musk puts it, "Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster."
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