Like anything else in ecommerce, entrepreneurs who continue to use the same strategy for content marketing that they used a year ago can quickly fall behind the competition.
The history of content marketing illustrates that today’s content marketing looks much different than it did in the past. What’s more, it’ll only continue to evolve as new technology arrives and consumers’ wants and needs change.
Perhaps you’re handling this area of your business, or maybe you have somebody else managing it for you instead. Either way, it’s advantageous for you to have a decent grasp of what the current landscape looks like for content marketers.
Why use content marketing?
Content marketing is an essential element for selling on the internet these days, regardless of the product or service that a business sells.
How content marketing works to grow your business is that, when done correctly, it can boost awareness of your brand and drive traffic to your website, ultimately leading to an increase in sales.
The content that you share can also do wonders for helping your website stand out among a sea of competitors.
However, these benefits aren’t achieved overnight! As you determine your strategy for your store’s content marketing, you’ll want to be sure that you have a good understanding of your ideal customer.
Note that your target market’s needs will change from time to time, so you’ll have to learn to adapt your strategy and the types of content marketing that you use accordingly.
Future trends to incorporate into your content marketing strategy
If you’ve only recently launched your store or are new to content marketing for ecommerce, you may not have yet noticed how quickly things can change in this area.
In fact, even those more experienced in this crucial aspect of ecommerce often find that developing a high-quality content marketing strategy involves some trial and error.
Nevertheless, seeing what may likely be the horizon can help you decide how to best create content going forward. Here are several of the most important trends that you should keep in mind for 2021!
1. High-value content will be more important than ever
Consumers are beset with all kinds of different content on a daily basis.
Couple that with the extremely low attention spans that many people have while browsing the internet, and it’s no surprise that high-quality content is essential for brands looking to achieve success in ecommerce.
This is likely to become even more critical in the near future as the number of online stores continues to multiply.
Shoppers are going to be choosier when it comes to which businesses they buy from. In addition, your site visitors are going to be less willing to give you their contact information to sign up for access to content, such as an eBook, if they’re not confident in your ability to deliver.
If you find yourself struggling to create content that actually has a noticeable effect on boosting sales, you’re not alone.
A survey done by Statista in 2019 found that 54% and 52% of respondents stated that their biggest issues in content marketing involved coming up with content that generates quality leads and increases traffic, respectively.
To ensure that you’re giving your audience the most value possible, you might need to put even more effort into the market research you perform before you create your content.
Really delve into what issues your audience might be struggling with and determine how you can help them find solutions.
Remember that to be successful with content marketing, you must go beyond advertising the advantages of your product. Consider how the content you share can assist your audience in the long run.
2. Content will require greater inclusivity
Incorporating inclusivity in content marketing has been a long time coming for many businesses, but it’s no longer something that they can afford to ignore.
Your audience members want to see themselves in your content, but they also want to feel seen and heard in your brand’s actions.
In addition, they want to ensure that other groups outside of those with which they identify feel included as well.
As a content marketer, you have the opportunity to advocate for diversity and inclusivity every time you share a post. To create content that resonates deeply with your target market, you’ll be required to think deeply about various aspects of your business.
This includes the user experience, the audience research you perform, your chosen style guide, how you structure your team, and more.
Remember that it’s not enough to say that you’re welcoming of all groups. You need to actually create space and show up for them.
3. User experience will be more heavily weighted
Many content creators currently opt to cater strictly to Google when deciding what information to post and how to share it. This is especially the case when they’re working on creating content for search engine optimization (SEO).
While it’s still going to be important for you to optimize your content for keywords, there are other factors that you should consider if you haven’t already started.
This is because, as noted by Search Engine Journal, Google will soon begin placing greater weight on the complete user experience that websites offer, favoring those that do well with this aspect.
What does this mean for your online store? Well, you’ll want to be sure that your website loads quickly and has a design that’s easy for visitors to navigate.
Fortunately, when you use WiziShop’s ecommerce website builder to launch your online store, it’ll automatically be created in the super speedy, mobile-responsive AMP format!
You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of templates to design a beautiful homepage that suits your brand and keeps your potential customers in mind.
4. Audiences will demand more honesty
Hopefully you’re already being truthful in how you’re portraying your brand and your product. Nevertheless, honesty will likely become even more important for future content marketing.
In this super-fast digital age, it’s very easy for consumers to discover when businesses share false information on their website, social media, or elsewhere.
Furthermore, once a lie has been spotted, it won’t take long for a brand’s audience to lose faith and share their distrust with others online via forums and social media.
As has been made quite clear by now, consumers have their pick when it comes to shopping on the internet. If your customers are dissatisfied, they’ll just move on to a different website.
It’s obviously best to share truthful information in the first place, but if you mess up, don’t be afraid to admit it!
Mistakes happen, and it’s very possible that even with the best research and intentions, you’ll discover new knowledge later that contradicts what you’ve previously written.
In this case, simply be up front with your audience regarding your mistake. People generally respect candidness and will appreciate an honest and rapid response to any issue that occurs.
5. Content creation will involve more artificial intelligence (AI)
As the demand for content that’s increasingly personalized continues to grow, so does the challenge of creating effective content on a regular basis.
Many marketers have already started incorporating AI in their strategies to make the content creation process easier and more efficient. This trend is likely to continue well into the future.
Note that AI still has a ways to go before it can be used completely on its own to write high-quality content.
It doesn’t quite yet have the level of cultural understanding required to create, for instance, an article personalized for a target audience. In addition, it doesn’t have that human empathy needed to connect and engage with readers.
Nevertheless, you can still use AI in a number of ways to benefit your content marketing, such as with software to track consumer behaviors and preferences.
When you track this data across different areas, you can more easily craft content tailored to specific users and improve the overall user experience for your audience.
You can also use AI to audit the content you already have to see what posts are doing well and which could use some improvement.
By discovering what kinds of content generate the most leads for your site, you can determine where your resources are best spent for future content creation.
6. Originality and creativity will need to increase
These days, it’s not always easy for brands to create fresh content on their own that stands out from the competition.
In addition, as the aim of content marketing is to provide an audience with engaging, useful information, your content needs to do more than discuss your product’s benefits.
For this reason, brands are going to have to get a little more creative with their content and what information they share. By performing original research, you can supply your audience with a unique perspective that they can’t get elsewhere.
Remember that even if you’re just starting out in ecommerce and have a limited marketing budget, you’re not limited in creativity!
If you don’t consider yourself to be a particularly creative person, consider holding short brainstorm sessions, either alone or with other people to get some new ideas flowing.
7. There will be a greater focus on the purpose-driven customer
More shoppers have started paying attention to how brands approach (or avoid) various issues. They want to know that the brands with whom they do business care more about gaining sales and are invested in making the world a better place.
You don’t have to be passionate about every topic out there and try to solve every global problem that occurs. However, note that your current and potential customers will take note of your messaging regarding societal issues.
In fact, if you miss out on addressing a certain matter that’s important to them, they may decide to shop elsewhere.
The “purpose-driven customer” is not just a passing trend, either. Brands must shift their way of thinking to a mindset that goes beyond just looking out for their bottom line and apply this to all aspects of their business, including content marketing.
They also need to ensure that they’re authentic in their approach, as customers can easily sense when a message isn’t genuine.
8. Content templates will become more popular
Think about the last time you decided to try something new, whether it was related to work or maybe a hobby. You probably performed some research beforehand to learn what other people have done to be successful.
After all, it’s fairly rare that somebody would start a task before first at least taking a quick peek to see how others have completed it in the past.
This is no less true when it comes to ecommerce. With the increase in online shopping, the desire for product-related templates is also on the rise.
When you create a template to share with your audience, consider different scenarios in which customers might use your product. Though templates might be more applicable to some ecommerce businesses than others, they can be a valuable tool for many customers.
Not to mention, high-quality templates have great potential to attract more-relevant traffic to your website, leading to a higher conversion rate.
9. Brands must move from being experts to visionaries
Well-crafted content that shows that you know what you’re talking about can increase your business’s authority online, also boosting trust in your brand.
While this is important, it may soon not be quite enough to make you as successful as you could be in attracting new traffic to your store.
With the large number of ecommerce websites present, that means that your target market is bound to come across quite a bit of expert-level information on a regular basis.
You therefore must be willing to approach topics in a different way to provoke interesting discussions, possibly contradicting ideas already established as the norm.
Note that you don’t have to “stir the pot” with every piece of content that you share. However, occasionally presenting information from a new perspective can assist in differentiating your brand from the masses.
10. Content collaboration will grow
While you’re bound to come up with tons of great ideas for content to create on your own, it can sometimes help to join forces with another creative mind.
The increasing need for originality and content that really connects with an audience has led many brands to engage in content collaboration.
Content collaboration simply involves working with other people to create content. This can involve collaborating with people both inside and outside of your own organization.
For instance, brands will often work with influencers in some capacity for content creation. Influencers are content creators who have developed a rather substantial following on social media or elsewhere and have usually established credibility on a certain subject.
These influencers will endorse or mention the brand’s product on their own social media channels, often after receiving the product at a discounted price or as a gift.
As their thousands of followers view this content, the brand’s marketing reach has the potential to skyrocket!
11. Content creation will become more intentional
It’s true that many content creators have felt a growing pressure to get an increasing amount of content online to compete with all the other brands out there.
Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for taking a step back and slowing down a bit. In fact, if you try to do too much too quickly, you might burn yourself out and start creating some less-than-stellar content.
When you’re considering the type of content that you’d like to share with your audience, think about why you want to write an article on a certain topic or post a particular photo.
Ask yourself if the content’s going to provide true value to your current and potential customers. Be intentional with your posts and only share content that will truly be useful for your audience.
Though this may mean you’re sharing content a little less frequently, that’s okay! When it comes to content marketing, remember that quality trumps quantity any day.
With the onslaught of content that consumers face everyday, a thoughtfully crafted post can really help your business stand out from the crowd.
12. Consumers will crave more authenticity
Similar to the demand for more honesty in content, marketers will need to accommodate an increasing desire for authenticity in the posts they share.
Online shopping offers consumers all kinds of benefits, including a larger selection of items and the ability to shop anytime. However, this added convenience comes with a significant decrease in human contact.
Content marketing gives brands the opportunity to share their human side and connect with their audiences in a real, honest way. Rather than just including constant endorsements of your product in your posts, try adding personal stories that can help you to better relate to your target market.
A blog article detailing how you struggled with an issue and came up with the idea for your product to solve that problem is more powerful than an article that simply states how great the item is.
Feel free to experiment with this a bit, but don’t think that you have to invent a completely new persona to connect with your audience. Be yourself, and your enthusiasm for your business and topics related to your niche should come through naturally.
13. There will be a boom in the use of content atomization
If you haven’t already gotten started with your content marketing strategy, you’ll soon find that creating amazing, high-performing content takes lots of time and effort.
Google’s ever-evolving algorithms have made it so you can’t expect your ecommerce website to do well by cranking out a bunch of mediocre content. You’ll therefore need the high-quality content that you share with your audience to be effective and as efficient as possible.
For this reason, many brands have begun incorporating content atomization into their content marketing strategies.
Content atomization is when you take a large piece of existing content or a complex concept and break it down into smaller, more concentrated segments. This will allow you to get more bang for your buck with the content that you know is already doing well for your business.
Say, for instance, that your store sells eco-friendly cleaning products. You may have already written a lengthy eBook on how people can integrate eco-responsible practices into their daily lives.
With content atomization, you could then divide this main subject into specific topics, such as how to use these practices when cooking, cleaning, commuting to work, taking care of pets, and more.
In addition, you could share this content in a variety of formats, such as via blog articles, a series of YouTube videos, Instagram posts, etc. This can help your brand reach a larger audience and keep a great piece of content effective for months or possibly years!
The rules for content marketing are always changing, which can admittedly make determining an effect strategy tricky.
Nevertheless, if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll find that creating high-quality content that speaks to your audience can be super satisfying with the various benefits it brings.
The key is to remain flexible in your strategy and never be afraid to change things up when you find that something’s not working for your brand.
Which of these trends are you most excited about adding to your content marketing strategy?
Are there any other content marketing trends that you think are likely to pop up this year or next?
Let us know in the comments below!