15 December 2020
Each year the pundits declare the death of one form of content and the resurgence of another. A few years ago we heard that email is dead, and then that long-form content is dead.
However, both email and long-form content continue to defy the sentence delivered to them. They will remain a big part of your content strategy for 2021.
What has changed though is the mix in a company’s content strategy. If earlier marketers used only email, now they use social media more. They continue to publish long articles, but now they make far greater use of images and infographics in them.
Long-form content such as articles, reports and white papers are pillar content that add depth to your content strategy. They can then be repurposed into other types of content such as blog posts, short-form videos, infographics or slide decks.
In this blog, we have compiled the content formats that you will see more in 2021. By incorporating these, you can add more depth and variety to your content strategy in 2021.
The use of videos for brand storytelling has been around for a long time. But short-form videos, or video clips of 5 minutes or less, is a fairly recent format that is growing fast. This format began in China a few years ago with the launch of Douyin (known as TikTok outside China) and Kuaishou. It gathered a huge following among the country’s Gen-Z and millennial population before capturing a global fan base.
Among user-generated content, short-form videos are highly popular. Marketers report better engagement for short video clips on social media. With the launch of Instagram Reels in 2020, this content segment has become even more exciting.
Top 2 things to remember:
Infographics weave a story with data and visuals, and allow the information to come alive. Infographics are a smart way to pack in a lot but in a manner that is so simple and easy to consume that the reader does not get overwhelmed. You can condense an entire article into an infographic. They increase readability of articles and reports, and also work well as standalone visuals that are easy to share. Some infographics can be repurposed into explainer videos. Think of using the same story structure and adding animation to break down the information further into steps in the form of an explainer video.
As social media becomes a more integral part of a company’s content strategy, the use of infographics to attract attention and divert traffic to websites is growing. However, creating infographics needs a high level of visualisation skills. You need designers and content writers to work together to get the best results.
Short presentations that capture a little bit of text along with graphics and photos are becoming extremely popular among marketers especially on LinkedIn. Besides LinkedIn, you can upload the same presentation deck on other platforms such as SlideShare, Twitter, Facebook or your own blog.
Bite-sized slide decks are a great way to summarise the main points from a bigger presentation or keynote address, or an article or a report, and share it for the benefit of a larger audience. Think of them as attractive, easy to consume and shareable type of content that you can create without much difficulty.
Blogs continue to be at the heart of a company’s content strategy. Blogs help you establish and amplify your thought leadership on your chosen niche. They also provide fodder for your website’s SEO and social media campaigns, and create user engagement on a long-term basis. Read our blog on the benefits of business blogging and the different styles that have worked for our clients.
For a B2B marketer, business blogging will rise in importance as buyers are increasingly looking for recommendations and insights from blogs before making a purchase. As this study shows, B2B buyers read 13 pieces of content before buying a product or a service, with blogs rated as one of the biggest influencers.
As face-to-face communication comes down and the number of online activities goes up, email newsletters become an even more important way to stay connected, inform your stakeholders and engage with them. Teams are using newsletters more to keep one another abreast of developments across regions and share quick learnings on the new ways of working. Sales and marketing are using this platform for customer acquisition and retention – to inform them of new products and services, changes in service offering and to remain on top of their customers’ mind.
In this recent blog, we reported that 81 percent of marketers called email newsletters the most used form of content marketing tool. We see the trend going up in the coming months as the digital medium remains the most used form of communication for all purposes – sales, marketing, employee engagement, talent development and community building.
Stay open to new ideas and mix and match different forms of content in 2021. Keep an eye out for what your peers are doing and consider a new content format if it fits your goals. Experiment on different platforms and study the performance closely to understand what is working and what needs to change.
Want to know more about our expertise in creating a versatile range of content? Check out our article and blog writing services.