The world is changing. Here are the top 7 content trends in 2021 that will help us adapt to those changes.
In business, we have to adapt to changing environments, economies and audiences all the time. And in 2020 those changes have been much bigger than normal. In fact, we’ve experienced a ‘business earthquake’.
When a physical earthquake occurs the entire landscape of an area can be altered. In the same way, when a major upset happens in the economy, the entire business landscape, and how we move around it changes as well. And that includes the content we produce and the way we communicate it.
So, here are few of the top content trends in 2021 that will help us all adapt.
Top 7 Content Trends in 2021
1. Online Courses
During COVID everyone had to go virtual, and this included online learning and courses. A survey of the members of my community showed that online courses are the number one thing that they want to do next year. This is, without a doubt, a growing content trend in 2021.
People love online courses because they’re generally self-paced and flexible. But at the same time, they struggle to be in front of a screen for long periods. When you’re putting together an online course you’ll have to work through the best learning platforms, administration, automation, storage and assessment, but don’t forget to keep it engaging so that your students are motivated to finish the course in full.
Tip: Keep the learning modules short.
Virtual training differs from online courses because it’s generally live, on a platform like Zoom or Google Meet, and it’s typically in a group format. The trend for virtual training is only set to grow in 2021. However, people are also moving away from full-day courses, to courses that are set over a series of days or even weeks.
The challenge here is around how to design a curriculum that has maximum impact and will lead to maximum retention and learning outcomes for the organisation.
3. Authentic Video and Audio
VOD and OTT
Drop In Experiences
Tip:Don’t rely on a video script. Study it for key points, then put it away once the camera or microphone is on.
4. Building Communities Around Content
Throughout 2020, a lot of experts had speaking gigs, keynotes and corporate training cut, so they had to look for different ways to generate revenue. This was the catalyst for the rise in virtual subscription or membership-based communities.
The challenge for experts during lockdowns and isolation was to start to see themselves not just as an expert in a particular niche, but as a leader of a group of people. Seth Godin put it well when he said, ‘A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea’.
In 2021, our challenge will be to learn how to increase engagement and retention and ensure that the people within our online communities feel like they truly belong and stay.
Tip: Create a sense of belonging with encouragement, engagement and empowerment.
5. Omni-Channel Presence
One of the biggest content trends in 2021 is increasing your content and web presence across all digital platforms and channels. This includes social media, SEO, images, website content and newsletters, among others that are particular to your business.
It’s not about trying to do everything, but increasing your presence in the places that it matters. So, for example, if you have a visual business, you might want to investigate and increase your activity on Pinterest or Instagram. If you’re a professional service provider, focus on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Tip: Pinterest is proving to perform better at funnelling visitors back to websites through content distribution.
6. Consider Where Your Audience Is
Think about this: if you had to focus on just one or two platforms, where would you spend your time, energy and resources? In today’s world, you can likely take location out of the equation. The market has shifted and we’re no longer oriented on brands and experts that are physically near to us. Today we can access them anywhere in the world. And that means your clients can access you from anywhere in the world as well.
But this globalisation means you have to narrow down who you are best able to help and how to reach them.
Tip: Remember to adjust your content timing to take into account a global market.
7. Speaking Globally
In a post-COVID 2021 world, conference organisers have access to more talent, and at a better price point, meaning there’s more demand for global speaking. But this also means that experts need to be able to present their content in both a live environment, in a virtual environment and in a hybrid environment, that has both live and virtual attendees. This can be quite a challenge because you have to engage both while still trying to deliver interesting and coherent content.
Tip: When speaking at hybrid events, especially ones with translators present, slow down your delivery.
Suggestions from here:
1. Consider the platform you feel most confident using and where your audience hang out. Don’t feel you have to be everywhere.
2. Consider registering for Clubhouse, even if it means to at least get your username secured whilst you’re checking it out.
3. Consider the lifetime value of your clients and how you might be able to create a longer-term community experience for them. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about a place that can feel like home to them.
The ‘earthquake’ that is COVID-19 has shaken the business world. Adapting is the only way forward.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.