2021 is in full swing, friends!

And if you want to make this the year you start getting noticed online, then there are a few content marketing trends you may want to incorporate into your strategy.

In this #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about Google’s YMYL standards, whether or not video is still worthwhile, voice search, and more.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021 with Cathy McPhillips

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Cathy McPhillips, the VP of Marketing for our friends over at Content Marketing Institute. Cathy had some great advice to share with us, so let’s dive into the recap for all the tips!

Q1: Why is it important to consider the latest trends when it comes to your content marketing?

You don’t want to overlook what’s popular in the moment. That’s why it’s smart to watch the trends. Here’s how it can be helpful for you:

Cathy says it’s important to stay one step ahead of your customers. You always need to be thinking about their needs and wants, while also solving their problems. Pursuing the latest trends can provide plenty of opportunities to get exposure to a wider community, which could take your brand to the next level if it goes well.

Trying what’s “trending” could be the key to your success. You never know when something new might improve your brand and help you better serve your audience.

Q2: Creating valuable content is timeless when growing your brand online. How can you be sure what you create delivers what your audience needs?

These tips will ensure your content is always high-quality and super valuable for your audience:

Analytics are important, but as Cathy said, nothing beats actually talking to your audience. Have conversations with them in the DMs or hop on a Zoom call for some market research. The better you know your audience, the better you’ll be at creating the content that addresses their needs.

Rachel agrees that talking to your audience is the way to go. Ask people what they want to see from you. It doesn’t get any better than getting answers straight from the source.

You also want to make sure you’re building your content marketing strategy with your buyer persona in mind. This goes back to knowing who your audience is and where they need help. Then, you can create the content that solves their biggest pain points. But if you’re having trouble creating that buyer persona and planning out content, you can always ask for feedback.

Also, make sure your content aligns with the purpose you’ve set for your brand. You always want to keep your bigger mission in mind.

And remember that this isn’t something that can be done in a day. It will take you some time to learn about your audience and what they like. Commit to doing the research though and you will pick up on what they like and what they don’t like.

Q3: In 2021, meeting and surpassing Google’s YMYL standards are a must. What does this mean and how does it impact your content creation?

Here’s what you need to know about the YMYL standards that are important for all creators:

Ensuring that your content is quality material that presents accurate information is a must. That’s something that Google and your readers will always appreciate. You never want to mislead your readers in any way.

Authority and quality are a must when creating content!

As Rachel said, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. This is why you should always check your source and read the content in its entirety before sharing. Don’t just share something based on the headline, as they aren’t always truthful.

Q4: Is video still a worthwhile format to pursue in the year ahead? If so, what makes a captivating video that will hold the attention of viewers?

Is video overdone or is it still a good way to get recognized? Read these thoughts from the chat:

If your customers enjoy video and find value in it, then Cathy says to go for it. Not only that, but there are so many ways you can experiment with the video content you create.

The team at PitchGround is all over video content! Live video and Reels are pretty popular right now on Instagram.

If you want to make sure your videos shine, be clear and concise, add subtitles, and grab attention early in the video.

A great video will evoke some emotion in your audience, which often inspires them to take action. You also want to make sure you communicate your purpose and keep things accessible with captions.

Another reason that video content is great is because a chunk of your audience may be visual learners, which means video will really appeal to them.

Q5: 50% of all Google searches are done with voice search, which is why you need to optimize your site for it. Do you have any tips on how to do this successfully?

Don’t forget about people using voice search! Here’s how you can make sure you’re optimizing for this effectively:

Cathy’s advice is to consider how people are asking questions in their voice searches. This way, you can tailor your content and keyword accordingly.

Rachel is wise to test it out for herself. She asks the question that she hopes her content will answer. Then, she can review the articles to come up and tailor her content accordingly.

Q6: When trying out different trends, how can you determine if it’s working for you? How will you know when it’s time to move onto something else?

Don’t keep forcing something that’s not working. Here’s how you can tell whether or not you’re getting the results you want from certain trends:

First, you need to know your KPIs so you know which metrics are important for you to track. This will help you determine if your efforts are working when implementing content marketing trends or if you need to pivot.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can learn something from it and try again. If it’s not performing how you hoped, ask yourself if it’s the content, the medium, the distribution, or a combination of all those. Figuring out where things are going wrong allows you to change course.

Analytics will always show a clear picture of how your content is performing.

Kushlani said don’t be quick to determine if something is a success or a failure. You may need to give it a little time to properly gauge how things are working out.

Positive feedback is a sign that things are working well for you. And if you aren’t getting any feedback, ask!

Dana knows that sometimes things can feel “off.” If that’s the case, revisit what you’re working on and ask why. A gut feeling can help you decide whether or not something is worth pursuing.

Q7: Do you have any go-to resources for learning about what’s new in the content marketing industry?

Bookmark these resources for later!

All of these resources that Cathy shared are worth checking out! From Content Marketing Institute to Ann Handley, and BuzzSumo… These are all essentials!

A good podcast is always helpful!

And of course, Twitter chats are definitely valuable. There’s so much to learn from and they provide a great opportunity to connect with others.

Come hang out with us during the next #ContentWritingChat! It takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.