2021 is the year of content. If you want to drive SEO, encourage conversion, and push sales, you need a foolproof content marketing strategy.
With 91% of companies already implementing a content strategy, it can feel like you’re running behind if you haven’t started yet.
However, 40% of SEO experts say that firms aren’t investing enough in quality content to get the results they need.
This means there’s plenty of opportunities to overtake the competition and hit those Google top spots if you’re focusing your energy in the right places.
But where do you start with your 2021 content strategy? Where should you target your efforts?
Read on to discover the most important continent marketing tactics to drive SEO and fuel conversions in 2021.
Content Marketing Statistics for 2021
Content is more important than ever.
This is because more and more customers depend on content to make informed product choices.
Data shows that when angling to make a purchase, 67% of buyers rely on content to research products and make informed choices more than they have in previous years.
Video is the most important content format of today, with 65% of buyers saying they use video to research purchases.
In fact, 36% of content marketers agree that video is the most effective content technique.
However, most content marketers (67%) agree that creating SEO-driven content has the best results.
Consider that 60% of buyers research products using whitepapers, 56% read blogs, and 48% look at e-books. That means there are plenty of opportunities to create in-demand SEO content to both educate your audience and increase search engine visibility.
Why is SEO Content So Important in 2021?
Right now, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content strategies.
But what is content marketing poised to achieve?
SEO content is your gateway to customers.
In fact, when making purchasing decisions, 77% of buyers say that they consume three or more pieces of content before ever talking to a salesperson.
In this respect, content provides an educational foundation for customers to understand what they’re looking for.
But that’s not all. 71% of marketers use content to attract organic traffic.
This is because content is one of the most effective search engine optimization (SEO) methods, driving search engine visibility to help you reach a wider market.
By optimizing SEO for search engine visibility, high-quality content fuels clicks, lead capture, and sales.
As Hubspot’s content manager, Christine Perricone, puts it: “When your business invests in content marketing, you improve your ability to engage your buyer personas, convert more leads, boost brand awareness, and connect with your audience”.
When you consider content marketing examples, such as this e-cigarette brand, you begin to understand.
Before implementing a content strategy, the e-cigarette company saw around 480 organic visitors hit the website each month.
However, once it executed its SEO-driven content strategy, everything changed.
The e-cigarette brand created keyword-driven SEO blogs and a robust internal linking strategy.
This boosted organic traffic by over 42K% and increased monthly sales by over 622K%
With all that in mind, it’s important to have a rock-solid content strategy for next year. Here’s where you should be focusing your content efforts in 2021.
7 Vital Content Strategies for 2021
The content definition is now broader than ever. Moving beyond the basic blogs of content marketing 2020, your content strategy now needs to include videos, data capture techniques, social proof, and more.
If you want to increase conversions and boost brand awareness with content in 2021, you must include these techniques in your content strategy.
1. Strong UVP
Your unique value proposition (UVP) immediately lets your customers know who you are, what you do, and how you’re different to the competition.
While your UVP may only contain a few words, it’s a powerful way to capture customer attention as soon as they hit your website.
Plus, by placing a strong UVP above the fold, your customers instantly connect with your brand while the rest of your website loads. This makes it a great tactic if you’ve got lots of heavy content that might take a few seconds to fully load.
Check out True Blue Life Insurance’s UVP, for example.
In just nine words, the life insurance firm pinpoints its target customers, highlights the exact problem it will solve, and defines how it’s different to its competitors.
Targeting customers on a budget, True Blue Life Insurance solves the issue of expensive insurance, while promising better value for money than the competition.
2. Educational, SEO-driven content
Over a third of customers are itching for more educational content to help them make better buying decisions.
It’s no wonder, then, that 36% of content marketers consider releasing more educational content, such as how-to guides, as their most effective content tactic.
The thing is, SEO-driven, educational content works on two levels.
Firstly, it shows the customer that you’re a trusted authority in your field. By solving the problems that customers search on Google, you demonstrate that you can provide expert solutions to help them out.
Showing your brand as a problem-solving firm persuades customers that your products or services will solve their problems too.
See how Legacy Healing introduces themselves: “The professionals at Legacy Healing Center in South Florida work with you to give you a second chance at life. We believe there is always hope after addiction, so we go the extra mile to provide you with the care, consideration, and support you need when you are ready to leave the influence of drugs and alcohol in your past.” They are here to provide a solution to a really big issue and showing themselves as a reference by using easy and comforting words.
Secondly, you’ll need to make sure you’re gracing the top of relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) if you want to increase traffic, since 50% of all clicks go to the top Google result.
By delving deep into relevant topics, you’ll rank higher on Google.
Take a look at this article from RealFX:
Just by looking at it, you’ll know the main keyword is “inspection contingency” and a secondary keyword might be “contingencies for home inspections” — a variant of the main keyword.
Another great example is this article on best credit repair companies:
The article provides a brief description of each company, the customer reviews, and the areas in which they excel.
Notice how the article is littered with relevant keywords to help optimize SEO. The website gets 8,200 organic visitors per month and growing quickly.
They’re not wrong. By personalizing your content, you can amplify conversation rates by 202%.
But content personalization has evolved beyond simply including customer names in subject lines. Nowadays, 88% of marketers agree that customers expect their online experience to be fully personalized.
Due to this, many companies tailor online experiences with quizzes and questionnaires that guide customers to recommended products.
By answering a series of questions, customers arrive at a completely personalized solution, customized to their precise needs.
4. Content to collect data
Your content should aim to convert organic visitors to leads.
Without lead capture mechanisms, you only get one shot to convert organic visitors to customers, otherwise they click away.
With lead capturing content, you can collect data for future marketing campaigns. This gives you plenty of opportunities to nurture leads through email or phone marketing.
One top tactic to achieve this is to give away free content on a lead capture landing, such as educational e-books.
Look at how this document signing software uses content that collects customer data.
PandaDoc provides a comprehensive educational e-book that both solves customer problems and captures leads.
Remember that nearly half of all consumers look at e-books before making a purchase. In this respect, PandaDoc is appealing to a large sector of its target audience with this lead capture mechanism.
Ebooks are an especially useful tool when your product or service addresses a complex issue. For example, this DCIM for Dummies ebook by Nlyte can appeal to a wide audience of people interested in the topic.
Although not everyone who downloads the ebook will be interested in their services, they may become relevant leads should Nlyte choose to introduce new products or services in the future.
5. Social proof
92% of buyers read reviews before making a purchase. Customers are looking for the highest quality products from brands they can trust.
In this sense, social proof is extremely important for sending trust signals to potential customers.
While it’s smart to encourage feedback on review websites, 90% of people will trust the reviews they see on your company website.
In fact, by including testimonials on your website, you can boost conversions by a third.
There are a few ways to include social proof on your website. Yes, you can include reviews and testimonials, but you can also try adding star ratings and trust badges.
Look how Somnifix exhibits social proof on its website:
Not only does Somnifix pull in Google ratings, it has also posted survey results and detailed customer reviews.
Some products or services can really benefit from social proof content to generate more leads. This workflow automation software, Frevvo, has a section on their website dedicated to their customers’ reviews and the uses they have found for their software.
This helps potential customers understand how Frevvo’s software can benefit them as well.
Another smart application of the social proof is the homepage of systeme.io.
They show how many emails have been sent, and how much was generated by their customers.
As their customers are online business owners, the message perfectly fits with the audience.
6. Video content
However, many content marketers worry that video creation is time-consuming and expensive.
While this may be the case to start with, studies show that 88% of marketers agree that video content brings a positive return on investment.
This is likely because people are 2x more likely to share video over any other type of content, making it perfect for viral marketing.
Look at how Herbal Dynamics Beauty incorporates videos into its content strategy.
The skin care brand embeds videos into the product pages to show potential buyers how it works and the benefits of making a purchase.
When you consider that 84% of consumers admit that they’ve been persuaded to buy after watching a product video, investing in product animation video seems like a smart move.
It’s impossible to ignore the importance of backlinking in your content strategy when the top Google search result has 320% more backlinks than results two to ten.
In fact, roughly 30% of SEO experts believe that backlinks are the most crucial element of an SEO-friendly website.
This is because backlinks work to validate the content on your website.
When another website links to your content, they’re showing that it’s useful for supporting or explaining their message. This boosts your search engine ranking, increasing visibility to your target audience and amplifying organic monthly traffic.
Just look at HubSpot, for example.
The CRM platform has over 34 million backlinks from over 200K referring domains. This is why HubSpot clinches the number one Google position for highly competitive keywords, such as ‘customer relationship manager’, ‘inbound marketing’, and ‘marketing automation’.
It’s also why it gets 1.5 million organic visitors a month.
Rock-solid content is a must for 2021. However, nowadays you need to go beyond the blog to make your mark.
It’s not enough to simply focus on keywords. You’ll need highly-personalized, educational content that both boosts SEO and helps buyers make informed decisions.
About the author:
Brian J. Greenberg, aka The Salesman Who Doesn’t Sell, has founded businesses in e-commerce, marketing, and financial services. He has generated over 50 million in revenue from his businesses and collected over 10,000 reviews and testimonials from customers. Brian is the founder and president of True Blue Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest and helpful to their customers without ever bugging or pushing them