Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

By Alison Pfaff Nov 13, 2020

There’s nothing worse in marketing than coming off as out-of-touch. As quickly as everything shifts in today’s world, it’s more important than ever to stay abreast of the latest trends and movements. Since keeping your content current is key, we’re getting you ahead of the game for 2021 with our complete guide to the freshest content marketing trends for the upcoming year ― and just how to keep up with the shifting digital marketing landscape.


Gearing Up for 2021 Trends

In content marketing and the fast-paced world of digital marketing, you’re behind if you’re not a step ahead. That’s why now is a better time than ever to start preparing for the upcoming year’s trends. 2020 has been a year like no other, which means that in comparison to other years, you should be preparing for a bigger shift in cultural viewpoints and increased digital usage overall. Luckily, there are effective ways to capture these movements and use the latest trends for a boost in branding success.  

With so many surprises in 2020, preparing a content marketing plan for 2021 now can help your brand better analyze any changes in specific consumer thoughts and plan ahead with the information gained. To capitalize on 2021’s content trends, here’s our list of top movements to watch and implement in the coming year’s marketing mix or plan.

Addressing “the new normal”

Putting your audience first is a standby in content marketing, and it couldn’t be more important in 2020 and 2021. Brands that aren’t addressing this “new normal” or the views of the world around us are catching serious flack with the rising “cancel culture” of consumers. Addressing the shift caused by health and safety concerns is vital for brands looking to remain authentic across audiences.  

Memes are here to stay

Memes are an online digital tool that knows no bounds. Practically everyone loves a good meme, and the content appeals to a wide range of generations. While some consumers might browse past a graphic that looks like an ad, they’re likely to stop to glance at a meme that might just pique their interest or make them laugh. In comparison to nurturing comfort and community through compassionate types of marketing, laughter can be the best medicine of all. By implementing the use of memes in your content marketing strategy, you can increase your audience and trigger a share-ability factor if the content is clever enough.

Time to TikTok

Gen Z is the latest generation to become big purchasers, and there’s one surefire place to find them ― TikTok. Even after narrowly escaping a country-wide ban, the platform continues to host a wide range of consumers seeking content they’re interested in viewing. Short-form videos like those popular on TikTok and Instagram Reels are a hit with younger audiences who thrive on interacting and engaging in the communities they feel comfortable in. Many brands are combining a mix of humor, educational content, and the latest trends to successfully target this niche.


Digital vs. everybody

In 2021, digital marketing is destined to grow as an increasing number of consumers are living a more online life. Now more than ever, work and play can be found online, and visitors are less likely to be visiting brick-and-mortar spaces. This means content marketers should keep a close eye on performance metrics and KPIs as both the online market and competition for that market grow.

The Zoom generation

Sharing or providing value is a key part of content marketing, and the new “Zoom” generation has a fresh way to get it: webinars and online events. Many brands are shifting toward offering easily accessible, education-packed presentations that anyone can join or purchase from their phone, laptop, or tablet device. This expands marketers’ ability to convert a new audience by reaching target markets they might not have been able to connect with so simply offline.

Online relationships  

Speaking of value and Zoom, 2021 will continue the trend of building relationships digitally. It’s likely you’ve “met” someone on Zoom this year or connected on social media platforms with new personalities who were simply craving human contact. Consumers are feeling the same and are more apt to interact and engage with conversational content in today’s new digital world. You can use this to your advantage by going “live” on social media platforms, writing content asking your followers to answer a question or performing Q&A sessions to get to know your market that much better.

What’s old is new again

Nostalgia marketing is on a come up in 2021, after returning slowly over the past couple of years. Long-time advertisers refer to nostalgia-type marketing as “comfort food” for consumers, and consumers are likely to lap it up ― especially after a year like 2020 when most of us feel like we’d love to go back in time. Notably, nostalgia marketing is extra effective among millennial consumers, which can help you tailor campaigns or content to fit this generation. Many top brands are rejuvenating past ad campaigns to resonate with these consumers or putting a retro spin onto their current graphics and style.

Going Digital in 2021

Since lockdowns began, many digital marketers have been busy helping offline clients come online. As the digital boom continues, experts in the industry don’t expect that to change. The digital marketing landscape for 2021 looks like it will keep pushing to survive ― and thrive ― with content marketing reigning supreme in the growing online world of e-commerce and communication.

So take the time to look at how your brand and your customers have transformed over 2020 and how you can implement these 2021 trends into a strategy that’s best suited to your company. Because, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we could all use a little more stability and a lot less of the unexpected ― especially when it comes to digital dollars going toward growth.

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