Keeping up with content — seven effective types of digital marketing in 2021

By Maddy Cooper, June 2021. Posts

We all know the feeling. Just as you’ve got to grips with the latest and greatest in content strategy for digital marketing, the next big thing comes hurtling down the trends track.

New platforms are always being developed, existing platforms are always launching new features, and your consumer’s interests are always changing with them. In this rapid cycle of newness and change, it might feel like your audience is always just out of reach. But the smartest brands are cottoning on, so don’t get left behind.

Luckily, we’ve cottoned on for you. Tik Tok, Reels, Clubhouse, LinkedIn? Is there still a place for email? What’s really popping in 2021? In one red hot list, we’ve compiled eight of the freshest digital content marketing tactics right now — and they’re all lining up to be part of your current content strategy.

We’re giving away top insider tips so you can waste less time catching up, and spend more making powerful statements and getting engaged with your audience. Sound good? Let’s go!

Reel-y good content

When TikTok surpassed eight million global downloads within 18 months of its launch, it made sense that Instagram followed suit — chasing that all-important Gen Z audience with Reels. With this competitive video creation tool, users can produce short videos with all the snappy transitions, music, soundbites, and special effects characteristic of viral TikTok content. But, on Instagram, you can meet your audience and their content needs, with anything from how-to guides to product launches, where they already are.

The way Lucy and Yak employs reels is a killer example. The sustainable clothing brand uses the feature to shout about their core values in a visually striking style – from vibrant promotional styling videos for their clothing collections, to influencer collaborations championing sustainable habits like recycling (always while wearing their iconic dungarees, of course). Lucy and Yak’s content strategy is obvious from this example: they’re using the platform to share clear, creative and collaborative content that’s heavily branded and highly shareable.

Only audio aloud

Been hearing about the Clubhouse app absolutely everywhere? Join the club. But what’s it all about? Unlike other live streaming platforms, Clubhouse is audio-only. Sort of like a conference room, sort of like a podcast, users tune in to listen to or join live conversations. It’s a great way to collaborate with influencers and spread brand awareness with a wider, curious audience. But there’s a catch.

The platform is weirdly exclusive right now — it’s invite-only and isn’t rolling out across device compatibility all that fast. Luckily, Instagram and Twitter are catching on fast with similar, more accessible updates ready to slot into your content strategy.

Instagram live now gives users the option to turn off their camera or microphone mid-stream, making livestreaming a more flexible content option with less pressure to look or sound a certain way.  So, now there’s no excuse to have direct conversations with your audience and make more intimate connections.

Update, update, collaborate

But wait, there’s more! Our faithful social platforms are always adding new features to their content tools, and it’s your job to keep up.

Twitter and Instagram’s focuses lately seem to be on simulating real-time social interaction as effectively as possible in a distanced world, so why not join the party? Thanks to Twitter’s new invite tool, you can now invite guests to your broadcast before you go live. And, as for Instagram, four users can now stream out to the same audience at the same time.

These updates make collaborating with your creative partners and influencers super slick and simple, easily incorporating those key authentic voices that advocate for your message into your content strategy. For example, Origins cosmetics have been using interactive Instagram livestreams to interview champions of wellbeing and sustainability from across the US, bringing both brand and influencer closer to the audience with strong values and voices. If distance can’t stop us, nothing will!

The future of FOMO

While we might be on our marks to get back out into the real world, you may want to hit the breaks and continue to focus on digital experience for your content production strategy. In a survey of 100 brands conducted by Any Road, 85.3% said that online experiences are here to stay, even after the pandemic subsides. We definitely don’t have a problem with a big night in, especially when it can save on brand resources and carbon footprint. Win-win!

Jameson is rocking it in the virtual events scene. Jameson Connects, featuring The Stay Inn virtual gigs, is a brilliantly branded online platform bringing international audiences together through live streamed music, experiences, and festivals. Their recent St. Patrick’s Day event supported local Irish venues and musicians, showing they really care about the survival of live events and recognise the value they add to their brand. Online events can be a positive move towards accessibility and meaningful connection with your wider audience, so don’t leave them out of your content marketing strategy.

Shop, don’t flop

Speaking of online events, e-commerce brands would be fools to miss out in 2021, too. Online shopping is now an integral part of daily life and consumption. So, more than ever, the pressure is on for your content strategy to make your brand stand out above the noise.

E-commerce brand, & Other Stories, have really inspired us. They hosted a live streamed virtual shopping event (recorded and still available to watch) to showcase their new collection.

Live online shoppers were encouraged to comment and interact with the host, asking questions about the products and immersing themselves in the experience. While physical stores are opening up again, this strategy demonstrates a real commitment to accessible digital content — taking what they’ve learnt from lockdown to create meaningful interactions going forward. That’s agile marketing strategy.

(Still) hot off the press

Yes, you’re reading this right. Email is still as effective as younger types of content in digital marketing. A lot of journalists and big publications are moving their pieces and opinions direct to their audience’s inboxes. And you should too.

According to Brandwatch, newsletter reach increased by a massive 267% between January 2020 and January 2021. Why? Newsletters encourage strong, long-term relationships with your audience based on habit and loyalty. When the consumer passively finds your targeted content in their inbox every day/week/month, they’re consistently reminded of your brand’s use, purpose and message and how it all slots into their life.

This can also be a subscription-based component of your content strategy, creating a more direct relationship with the consumer. Who doesn’t want to feel exclusively in the know? National Geographic’s range of inspiring and clearly sectioned weekly newsletters is a great example — from travel to animals, history to photography, each option offers highly curated, digestible and up-to-date content specific to what their individual consumers are into.

Get graphic

Another oldie but goldie. Highly shareable and easily digested, infographics are huge on social media right now. They’re a versatile tool for sharing any wordy content from lifestyle tips to social justice causes; Instagram and Twitter users are even sharing them as alternative viral news sources. So, why not resonate with your audience and create content they can’t wait to share with their own followers?

Infographics can generate an accessible flow of information designed to take your audience through an informative and activating journey. Done well, with great branding, eye-catching design and solid credibility, they’re a fun and snappy way to present anything from key data to your brand’s core values (super important in 2021). If you can keep the reader’s attention and drop that all-important call to action at the end, you’re winning.

This example from Volvo’s Instagram is definitely a winner. It presents reliably sourced, useful data that enforces the brand’s core message of family safety in a slick, absorbable and shareable way. What’s not to love?

Choosing the best ways to reach your consumer in the right place, at the right time can feel like a bit of a minefield. But keeping up with the freshest features is essential for any content strategy in 2021.

We hope this up-to-date view on what’s working was the inspiration you needed to give something new a go, but want to hear more? Get in touch to see how else we can help you get creative, overcome blockers and reach your content marketing strategy goals right now.