How To Improve Your Content Marketing In 2021

Content marketing is an important tool to help you build your brand and reach your target audience. But shockingly 63% of businesses do not have a content marketing strategy that is well documented. Whether your business has a documented strategy or not, chances are you’re looking for ways to improve your content marketing in 2021. 

It goes without saying that the companies who do have a good content marketing strategy feel that they have better results. When you don’t have the right strategy for your brand, you are simply working on a whim and you don’t know whether or not your efforts will be successful. 

Content marketing is crucial to any brand because it helps you answer the questions that your audience has. It helps you build trust with your audience and improve the amount of conversions that you have. It allows you to connect better with your customers and generate quality leads.

If all that is not enough to convince you that you need to improve your content marketing in 2021 keep this in mind: today, customers really do expect brands to provide them with consistent and high-quality content. And if they don’t they move on to the next brand that will.

The consistency in your brand messaging is one of the many things that decide the growth and the success of your business. Most successful brands got to where they are because they portrayed their brand with consistency, at every possible customer touch point. Your content marketing needs to have an identifiable and unique style, pitch, voice and tone. And this needs to be in place across all of your marketing channels. 

The new year always a great time for fresh starts. And we’d like to give you some tips that will help you improve your content marketing in 2021.

How to improve your content marketing in 2021

Consider your business goals

Before you think about your goals for your content it’s important that you have a firm handle on your business goal and how you want your content to support them. Not sure where to start? No worries. 

Here’s a list of goals that businesses often try to achieve with their content to help you get started:

  • Making use of content marketing to improve revenue. 
  • Acquiring better quality leads and getting more sales through the door. 
  • Getting more traffic to your site. 
  • Elevating how your business is perceived so that you are considered a thought leader in your industry. 
  • Gaining SEO success which will give you more traffic. 
  • Reduce your marketing costs by getting a higher ROI on each piece of content.
  • Make way for better social media engagement.
Determine your content goals and mission 

The best way to begin building or strengthening your content marketing strategy would be to make sure that your goals and the content marketing mission are as clear and direct as possible. This brief statement will help you focus on what is important and what really isn’t. This way, when you do create your content, whether it’s social media posts for marketing videos, you’ll always be reinforcing your brand clearly.

Your content marketing mission statement should outline the following: 

  • Who your target audience is 
  • The kind of content that will be used to connect with them 
  • The benefits your audience gets from your content
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Define what sets you apart 

What is it about your content that will help you stand out from all the other brands that are your competitors? There is already so much content trying to get your audience’s attention. And more being pumped out all the time! People are overwhelmed with the enormous quantity of text, image and video-based content that comes their way. How do you stand out then? Well you need to find ways to be a combination of the following at all times: 

  • Refreshing
  • Important
  • Relevant 
  • Useful 
  • Motivational
  • Informative 
  • Or entertaining

Look at how your brand can be unique and creative while adding value to your customers’ lives.

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Use hindsight for foresight 

Before you get to the specifics of how to approach your content marketing in 2021, take some time to look back on how your content performed in 2020. This is important because this year was challenging and it needed most businesses to take a completely new take on the way that they marketed themselves to their audience. Even in 2021, it is highly likely that we will be looking at the same scenario throughout the year. So here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself.

  • What steps did you take to adapt to the global pandemic? 
  • Where did you succeed and where did you fail or just miss the mark? 
  • What are the short and long-term effects of the pandemic on your industry? 
  • What should you do differently to move forward and get better results?

When you reflect on the positives and negatives of 2020, you will be able to determine what should be part of your content marketing in 2021 and what you should get rid of.

Do a creative talent audit

If you want to create content that will really stand out, you also need to have the right resources. In this case, you need high-quality creative talent. Are you able to go beyond just doing blog posts and make way for other channels and formats that your audience will find useful and entertaining? If you are still not ready for these, then you should think about what your scalability is and how fast you can adapt. Will you be hiring an in-house team? Or would you like to work with content marketers who specialize in helping brands launch and scale their marketing? Think about how you can maximize your budget and use creative assets in ways that are flexible enough to support your goals.

Look at what worked well for competitors 

If you want to plan out a strategy that makes you competitive in 2021, do the most efficient thing. Learn from what your competitors did. Not only will you find inspiration but you’ll see where they went wrong and know what you should avoid completely as well. Either way, this little bit of research is a win-win for you. Look into the following areas: 

  • What did your competitors do that was unusual and unique? 
  • How did their content stack up against yours? 
  • What are some ways you can position your brand differently from them even while using similar tactics?
Get to know your audience better 

Knowing your audience is the best way to create content that will resonate with them. And it’s only if your customers connect with you, that you’ll be able to get the results that you are looking for. To begin with, collect data about your different audience demographics. This could be your website visitors, email subscribers or your social media followers. Use tools like web analytics, social media analytics and email subscriber analytics that will give you all the insight that you need. Look for factors such as: 

  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Academic background/standing
  • Income levels 
Finding out your audience’s interests

You will also need to find out about what the key interests of your audience are. Use Google Analytics to get this done. Don’t have Google Analytics set up? Be sure to do so ASAP. And in the meantime, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites also offer similar insights. Make use of all these available resources. 

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Your actions should be data driven as much as possible. Sure a bit of experimenting is great. But with data on your side you’ll be able to aim for your target much better. And that leads us to some of the best data you can go off of. Feedback from your actual customers about the content that you are creating! 

This will help you decide what works and what does not work better. Ask them for any suggestions, any issues that they have had when reviewing it and where they think you can improve. Polls and surveys as well as calls can be very effective for this depending on how much time you and your customers have. 

Work on detailed buyer personas 

So, we spoke about getting to know your audience demographics. And asking customers for feedback. Now how do you organize all this data? Well, you create some great buyer personas.

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These avatars or customer personas will help you create content that gets results. If you want to do this really well, create avatars that include pain points, challenges, and any behavioral motivators. With all this you will be able to understand:

  • The kind of content that your audience will respond to and engage with. 
  • The ways in which your content can help your audience. 
  • What will motivate people to care about your content.
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Center your plan on key areas of growth 

You may want to see an improvement in all the possible areas of your business. But here’s the catch. If you spread your marketing efforts too thin, you will dilute the results and the effectiveness of your campaigns. The result? You guessed it – a much lower ROI. Instead, try and select just two to three areas where you need to see growth and really get into working them out. 

This will help you focus your efforts where you can see a better return of investment. And you will also be allocating your time and resources wisely. We know though that this can be challenging. If you are not sure about what areas you should choose, these questions will help you figure it out. 

  • What areas of the business or campaigns gave you the highest monthly recurring revenue or margins? 
  • Are there needs of your customers that you have not met yet? 
  • What are the changes in the marketplace that you should adapt to? 
  • Have you conducted any SEO, social media, and content audits to figure out where you actually stand in those areas? 
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There are more ways than one in which you can track the success of the initiatives that you have taken. Tools like Google Analytics and native social media platform insights can all help you. But however you get our insights, they’ll ultimately help you decide where you want to focus your efforts.

Be sure to audit and fix anything that’s broken

While you’re thinking about new directions to take your content marketing in 2021, be sure to check on what you’ve already launched. There are many factors that can take away from a solid brand experience. And more often than not, it is exactly these little things that will turn a customer away and create a negative impression about your brand in their eyes. 

A good example would be any broken links, 404 errors and contact buttons that actually do not work. Customers get frustrated very quickly when they encounter these things and in all fairness, this is frustrating for the marketer too. Typos and links that lead to the wrong resources also need to be checked and corrected. 

Be sure to run through your landing pages, contact information, and ad creatives as well as your other marketing creatives and tough points to make sure everything is as it should be. And while you’re at it test the speed of your pages as well. You can use one of the many freely available tools, like GTMetrix, to do this.

Make your resolutions for content marketing in 2021 

A new year is always a great time to start fresh and just like in your personal life, make your resolutions for content marketing too. Once you have gone through all of the ideas that we have mentioned, you should be able to reflect with clarity on what you need to do to get more out of your content marketing in 2021. 

Keep in mind though that we are still battling a global pandemic, so while your content strategy needs to have a solid foundation, it needs to be flexible too. This way, you will find it easier to adapt to whatever challenges that may come your way. Some strategies that will help you get going are:

  • Putting your content marketing strategy on paper. 
  • Stepping beyond your comfort zone and harnessing the resources that you have, like your team to make sure that you can dream big and make it happen too. 
  • Mix it up for good measure. In addition to the getting out of your comfort zone part, we also say that you experiment with the visuals that you create. You may be surprised about what your audience connects with the most. 
Stay updated and try new approaches

Things in the world of digital marketing, and content marketing in general, tend to change real fast. That is why it is very important that you keep up with trends, news and any new technology that will be important for your brand to reach your audience. 

No, you can’t launch everything at once, and you shouldn’t try to either. But you can put a little bit of time into experimenting with things like Tik Tok and Reels to see if it’s a new way to reach your existing audience or a way to tap into a new one. To help you stay on top of content marketing trends, try subscribing to helpful resources to keep you in the loop.

Keep analyzing your content marketing in 2021 

Even if you implement all the right strategies there is no guarantee that they will work with the same effectiveness on an ongoing basis. People’s tastes change and realistically speaking, your audience can change too. This is why you should invest time in tracking the progress of your content marketing in 2021 and be critical about how you analyze it. 

When you and your team are constantly reviewing the progress of what you have implemented, you give yourself the opportunity to grow as a brand and to continue to build trust with your target audience. 

And finally, don’t forget. Content creation can be a lot of fun. It requires you to be creative, innovative and also with all that research, you will learn so much. While this is a process you should approach methodically, don’t miss out on having fun with what you do. The more you enjoy creating your content, the more likely your audience will enjoy it too.