content marketing trends

Of the numerous quotes that could describe marketers and the future of content marketing, leadership author John C. Maxwell may have summarized it best when he said, “Change means traveling in uncharted waters, and this causes our securities to rise.”

COVID-19 has cast a huge shadow on content marketing strategies for CMOs planning strategies for the future. Consumers are stressed out, some big chains have gone bankrupt or have closed many stores, and hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers are waiting to see what happens. And although the pandemic is unchartered territory, it’s still critical that a viable yet flexible plan and one that’s proactive rather than reactive be put in place.

Content Marketing Strategy for 2021

Like a professional sports team’s winning season, it will require a team effort for brands to enter the victor’s circle, even with a good strategy. The difference with brands is that everyone’s input should be invited, gathered, considered, and agreed on in putting that strategy together. Sales and marketing also need to be even more collaborative than ever.

The content manager’s role will be key, as well. Having this position in-house instead of freelance is desirable to better ensure continuity during these important times. Plus, living and breathing the brand every day offers a much-needed deeper perspective and understanding.

Content alignment with sales is high on the list because sales will depend even more on these resources due to travel restrictions and bans on large gatherings in many areas. Sales will also rely even more heavily on available content materials as resources to send out to customers and reference information.

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Going Beyond Content Marketing

It would also be a good time to reassess the company’s goals. Is it one to simply get as high an ROI as possible, or might it have evolved or somewhat transformed? If that goal is a short-range one, might a longer one over three years be more suitable for the times?

Has the brand’s target audience changed or expanded, and, if so, how and in what way(s)? How might future content be changed to better satisfy their interests?

Because more people are using digital platforms, is there a need and reason to expand a brand’s offering to attract more consumers and keep them engaged? Might additions and/or improvements like an editorial calendar, self-selection tools, assignment selling, more video content, pillar pages, and historic optimization increase traffic and business?

Any marketing and content should always focus on the customer, but it sometimes gets sacrificed by generating more publicity to placate others in senior management. The need to focus on customer content is more important than ever today, as a previous article discussed how more consumers are willing to try new brands. Customer content needs to address and answer consumer questions by remaining trustworthy and balanced.

It would also be a good time to review current technology with the workload ahead to see if it will satisfy marketing’s needs for production and distribution over the coming year. Some must-haves include management software for social media, competitive intelligence software, a video hosting service, a reliable CMS (content management system), and other project management tools.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.