Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes? If 2020 was an animal, it would be a slug; useless. If it was a song, it’d be that Crazy Frog one from 2003; ugly, you can’t get rid of it, and seemingly longer than it actually is. If 2020 could be an ice cream, it simply wouldn’t be one... no ice cream is this bad.
But you might know that here at NetHunt we’re not about all these neggy vibes. We’ve all but forgotten the cold, wet year that was 2020. Instead, we’re looking into our crystal ball to see what’s going to be hot for content marketers in 2021.
1. CEOs and Sales Teams taking centre stage with content
Watch out actual marketers, because salespeople and CEOs are becoming the new content marketers of the world. Towards the end of 2020, we started to see a lot of alternative roles making the switch over to Content Marketing. It makes sense to have your CEO or Founder feature on a couple of guest posts a month. Having their name pop up everywhere makes them look important. It helps them look clever too, establishing themselves as a big voice in their industry.
Apart from also establishing industry expertise, content from your sales team establishes a continuous, conversational customer experience. They are on the front line of customer interactions and having a friendly, familiar face to deal with is only ever going to be a good thing. It’s got a name, Smarketing … see what they did there? We wrote a pretty nifty article about how we managed to implement it in 2020.
🔥 NetHunt’s Hot Tip 🔥
Our CEO and co-Founder Andrei is very actively helping Quora users, by answering their questions in detail. He doesn’t even specifically answer questions about CRM; he answers them about life too. Not only does this help break up his day, but it gets a lot of people reading his name and original content. He’s absolutely raking in the views.
2. Podcasts are going to be big
You might be sat there thinking ‘yeah but people have been telling me that podcasts are getting big for the last decade… and they’re still not mainstream’. Yeah, you might be right. But I’m also right when I say that in 2021… it’s actually going to happen. The truth is podcast popularity has grown, but it is still massively underutilised by modern businesses… and that means there are gaps in the market.
2020 was the first year in which Americans spent more time listening to podcasts than they did going to church.
[The Infinite Dial]
Again, podcasts are a fantastic way of positioning your brand as industry experts or leaders; a chance to go into tiny details about absolutely any topic. Once a user is subscribed, they are relatively easy to consume because they can have them on in the background whilst commuting or working. The reason they feature in this list is that the work from home (WFH) trend is going to continue well into 2021, and people are going to have more chances to tune into their favourite podcasts.
How to podcast: Anchor.
Anchor is an all-in-one platform which helps wannabe podcasters create, distribute, and even monetise their podcasts for free. It features easy-to-use creation tools that help you record and synchronise audio segments before putting them together, as well as editing tools such as DMCA-friendly background music and sound effects. Once you’ve recorded and edited, Anchor automatically uploads your podcast to different platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music providing a dashboard with analytics to help you grow.
I’ll say it again for those at the back… Anchor is free.
3. User-Generated Content explosion incoming
It’s 2021 and it's raining content. Content Marketing isn’t limited to your blog like it used to be, and it’s not even limited to you or your brand creating it. User-Generated Content (UGC) is any kind of content relating to a brand - videos, memes, reviews - that has been created by users rather than by the brand itself. Again, this is a trend that is going to get bigger because of the growing WFH culture. People are spending more time at home, so brands are looking for more digital pedestals to put their product on.
Sorry if I sound like a bit of an old man here, but back in my day everybody was a DJ. These days, everybody is a content producer. YouTube, TikTok, Instagram stories… everybody has a voice and some sort of platform on which to speak it. UGC is fantastic for a business in two different ways.
- It is absolutely free. If your brand can stick a nice review on their website it takes up space and the team doesn’t have to do anything but design it.
- It offers another voice. It’s comforting to customers to read somebody else’s unbiased opinion on a product or service before buying it.
I’m not saying we’re trendsetters at NetHunt or anything, but we’ve been doing this one since early...
4. Search Intent is the SEO buzzword
Search intent (or user intent/ audience intent) describes the purpose of an online search. It’s the exact reason why somebody googles something, and these reasons can be broken down into four main categories. It’s maybe not a burning hot trend, but it’s definitely something to remember when you’re putting together your content for next year. There are four different kinds of search intent…
- Informational. When web users are looking simply for information. They might google ‘What is Content Marketing’ to find out more about Content Marketing.
- Navigational. When web users want to hit a specific website. They might google ‘NetHunt blog’ to hit the NetHunt blog and all it’s red hot content marketing material.
- Transactional. When web users who want to buy something. They might google ‘Gmail CRM free trial’ when they want to buy… a Gmail CRM.
- Commercial Investigation. When web users are looking to research about different companies or products. They might google ‘what is the best Gmail CRM?’ when they want to find out more about our product.
That’s all good, but what does it mean for your business? Well, it means you need to optimise your landing pages for different categories of Search Intent; make your SEO content intent-based. When you’re selling something, you need to include transactional and commercial-driven buzzwords alongside your regular keywords. It’s also worth developing content that includes the names of direct competitors to make sure you appear on user searches for those products too.
Example. ‘buy NetHunt CRM’, ‘NetHunt CRM discount’, ‘NetHunt CRM deal’. ‘NetHunt vs. Streak’
5. Video Marketing is about to branch out from YouTube
YouTube has reigned supreme ever since Video Marketing became a thing. Why wouldn’t it? It’s simple, free, and has huge traffic. But, with the rise of TikTok, the introduction of Instagram Reels, and Twitter Fleets about to take off… short videos are set to be the video marketing trend to look out for in 2021.
In 2021, it’s projected that people will spend 100 minutes each day watching video content.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, long form videos are about to see a huge boost in popularity for 2021. Webinars were already popular, but with the World working from home, we’re spending more time on Zoom and people are getting used to it. Expect to see more brand live streams and more people tuning in for them, because they’re cheap, accessible, and they work.
Example. Lin Qingxuan is a cosmetics brand based in China. In an industry hit hard by the outbreak, the company’s sales dropped by almost 90% over a typically busy new year period, and management decided to close almost half of its locations. Luckily, they also had a trick up their sleeve; hosting live-stream recommendation sessions for their products and transforming their business model into a strictly online one.
An army of store workers turned themselves into online influencers overnight. It was a huge success, over 60,000 people tuned in for their Valentine’s Day stream; they shifted 400,000 bottles of camellia oil in just a few hours. Sales from a two-hour shift by an online advisor has been equalling that of four in-store advisors. Lin Qingxuan found new horizons for their business by accident.
Good luck to my business brothers and sisters out there. If you survived 2020, just imagine what you’re going to do in the next year.
I hereby proclaim that 2021 will be… normal.