3 Content Marketing Strategies That Work in 2021

Friday, May 21, 2021

If you’re not constantly looking for ways to improve your content marketing efforts, you’re losing money and being outpaced by more agile competitors.

Article 5 Minutes
3 Content Marketing Strategies That Work in 2021

No business can afford to waste their marketing spend. The stakes are simply too high. But fortunately, there’s never a bad time to rethink your digital marketing strategies. The influence of new technology, updates in search engine algorithms and changes in audience expectations mean that the content marketing landscape is constantly shifting.

It may seem intimidating at first, but savvy business owners can harness these trends to leap ahead of competitors. The key is to stay aware of shifts. It’s vital to keep your ear to the ground and be willing to respond to what you see changing.

Let’s take a look at some content marketing trends and strategies for the upcoming year.

Address pain points early

You have a very short space of time to grab your readers’ attention. If your content doesn’t instantly give visitors a reason to keep reading, they’ll lose interest and go to a site that does.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to give readers what they want early, although many content marketers are only becoming aware of it now.

People want their problems solved - they’ve googled a particular search term because there’s an issue they need an expert fix. Your job as a content marketer is to find a way to show how your content will do so right off the bat.

Save the wordy, abstract intros. Instead, lead with the pain point or risk that your reader is likely to be facing. Then, tell them in your intro how you’re going to help them solve it. Tell them what their lives are going to look like when it’s been solved.

Newsweek shows us how it’s done in their product review posts. They go straight for the jugular in the opening three sentences, instantly telling the reader what real-life benefits they can expect from buying a great mattress.

Sure, a “great night’s sleep” is a great thing to sell. But accompanied by “more productivity” and an “improved mood,” it becomes even more desirable. The content becomes doubly engaging when it’s positioned as the alternative to “sluggishness” and “unhappiness” – pain points most people can relate to.

Don’t hold back on imagery

Walls of text may work for diaries or op-eds, but if you’re writing content to generate or nurture leads, you need to break things up! People process content better when it’s been broken into chunks.

One of the most efficient ways of avoiding giant, unattractive, off putting swathes of text is to populate your posts with as many relevant images as possible.

How often should you use an image? Well, digital marketing guru Neil Patel says up to every 150 words!

Aside from making your content more readable and memorable, images also trigger powerful emotions with your readers. There’s only so much you can do with written words to make your audience crave your products. Images, on the other hand, are immensely effective at triggering emotions that even the most skilled writer would struggle to evoke.

Take this blog post by Gili Sports as an example. The purpose of the post is obviously not only to market the company’s range of paddle boards but also to sell the lifestyle associated with paddle boarding itself. What better way to do this than three beautiful, professionally-taken photographs depicting the kind of scenes a paddle boarder frequently sees?

Use of imagery on websites


Three times in 365 words, the reader is transported to a world that’s within their reach, far away from their laptops and the confines of their home offices.

Align your content with SEO trends

As every single digital marketer knows, the Google algorithm is constantly being updated. The search engine giant is on a never-ending mission to serve its users increasingly relevant search results.

What does this mean for content marketers?

Firstly, it means that Google’s role in content marketing success must be acknowledged. There’s no point in creating fantastic content if no one’s ever going to see it. SEO must play a fundamental role in any content marketing strategy.

Secondly, it means that your content needs to accommodate these two SEO trends:

1. Illustrate user intent in your content

Google is becoming amazingly good at recognizing the reason why a user searches for a specific piece of content. This is referred to as the user’s “intent,” and it’s becoming one of the key factors in SEO success.

When developing new content topics and creating your content, make sure you understand how to leverage this trend. It’s not simply a matter of covering the necessary keywords anymore; it’s become important to show Google that you know what their user wants from the content.

Is your content meant to simply provide information? Or is it meant to trigger a transaction? You’ll want to use peripheral keywords and phrases illustrating this intent.

2. Create topical authority

Ranking for a specific set of keywords is becoming about more than using them appropriately in one article and building a nice selection of credible backlinks. Nowadays, Google wants to see that the content being served comes from a source they regard as an authority on the topic.

How does the search engine do this? By seeing how deeply your site covers the keywords in more than a single post.

Final words

It’s easy to feel motivated to rethink marketing strategies at the beginning of the year – that’s why we use topic titles like this one. Each new year feels like a new beginning, a clean slate from where we can launch a host of improvements.

But the last thing I want to do is create the impression that modifying your strategy is something that needs to happen at annual intervals. A dedicated marketing professional will never stop looking for tactics that will improve their content’s performance.

Don’t wait for the calendar to motivate you. Assessing marketing trends is something that needs to become part of your routine.

John Hurley

John is a professional geek. He loves to overdeliver for his mostly SaaS & eCommerce digital marketing clients. Romantic comedies are his not-so-guilty pleasure. 


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