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Top 5 Content Marketing Skills That Are a Must to Build in 2021

The content marketing industry worldwide is slated to grow by nearly $269.24 billion during 2020-2024. This statistic puts into perspective the importance of this domain, and it would only be wise to tap into it with the best content marketing skills in 2021. Some of the perks of using essential content marketing skills are to improve your brand visibility, build authority and credibility, and mark your business as an expert in the industry.

Did you know: 90% of marketers have adopted content marketing for the generation of inbound leads. Lead generation increases 3 times more with content marketing compared to conventional marketing strategies. 56% of businesses plan to increase content creation expenditure as of 2020.

Here are five of the most important skills that need to be harnessed for content marketing in 2021:

1.UNDERSTANDING THE RANKING ALGORITHMS

There are millions of web pages available for every search query. This means Google has to prioritize all these results in terms of value and relevance. A content marketer’s primary goal is to ensure that every page under his/her supervision aces the SERP results. This is only possible if one possesses a deep understanding of all the ranking algorithms developed by Google.

According to Google, the key ranking factors that one should keep in mind are:

  • Search query
  • Content and site functionality
  • Web page’s authority

Here, understanding the meaning of search queries is crucial. One needs to be clear about how a word’s placement can affect your content. Smart use of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) and long-tail keywords can help your content rank higher. LSI keywords, for instance, improve your content’s relevance and help provide an improved search experience for the users.

LSI Keywords

Algorithms like RankBrain, Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin, etc., rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to Google, it took almost five years to improve more than 30% of query results across languages.

That means you need to keep in mind that the deciding factor is an ever-developing AI which requires constant updating of your content.
In 2020, Google had four confirmed algorithm updates along with numerous unconfirmed ones. Thus, the best way to develop your algorithm-based content marketing skills 2021 is by regularly learning about their nature and functionality and implementing the changes in your content accordingly.

While talking on these lines, it would be wise to discuss how SEO factors in for a content marketer in detail.

68% of the website traffic that is trackable generates from organic paid search. It is a search engine optimization technique that drives 11 times more traffic than organic social media.

Visualizing Search’s Dominant Channel Share

The figure above shows that 53% of the search’s dominant channel share pertains to SEO. On the contrary, traffic driven by organic social search, paid search, and others comprise the remaining 47% share.

You may be wondering how exactly does content marketing and SEO work together?

The answer lies in the extent of outreach.

Your business may be heavily reliant on email marketing and social media for the promotion of content. No doubt, such digital marketing channels can leverage your marketing strategy. There is a catch, however.

These cannot ensure that promoted content can reach the targeted set of customers at an opportune time. SEO plugs this gap, and hence, is one of the key content marketing skills in 2021.

Consider this; whenever you have any question about a service or product, you are most likely to turn to search engines like Google and find out the required information. So, SEO ensures that your targeted customers can reach you when they need, and through content marketing, their queries are solved.

If we look from the other end of this spectrum, content also goes a long way to impact search engine optimization. That might be the most effective way to improve SEO.

If the content is framed around the targeted phrases and keywords that the relevant leads may be searching online, your visibility will automatically improve over search engines. For example, searches with long-tail keywords have a click-through rate to the tune of 3% to 5% higher than that of generic search. Moreover, the average conversion rate of long-tail keywords is 36%.

The distribution of search demand is evident in the following figure:

Long-tail keywords have better conversion rates

Hence, whenever a potential customer searches for something related to a specific brand, the content can be easily found on the search engine.

If one content ranks high on a search engine, it stands to enjoy immense exposure online. The result of this entire exercise is that more traffic is diverted towards your website, which further enhances brand awareness.

It is the ability to extend the right content at the right time that makes the combination of content marketing and SEO potent.

 

2.BOOST BRAND IMAGE WITH A ROBUST STRATEGY

To begin with, what is brand strategy?

Brand strategy is not to be confused with branding. While branding is primarily the quantification of the authenticity and value of a service, product, or organization, brand strategy relates to certain clearly executed rules and guidelines. The guidelines regulate the manner in which brand messages are to be communicated.

The creation of a brand strategy usually goes through the following stages:

Stage 1: Articulating mission, vision, purpose, and values of the brand
Stage 2: Aligning content with brand core
Stage 3: Creation of personas consistent with the targeted customer base
Stage 4: Determination of the internal and external perception of the brand
Stage 5: Identification of brand positioning vis-à-vis industry competitors
Stage 6: Crafting brand message through taglines, value proposition, brand stories, etc.
Stage 7: Creation of brand identity
Stage 8: Creation of content marketing strategy

As you can see, this is how content marketing fits within the ambit of brand strategy. In other words, content marketing strategy makes up for an integral component in the scheme of executing the larger brand strategy.

Thus, understanding the brand strategy becomes crucial as it is one of the essential content marketing skills 2021.

Naturally, the next question arises as to how to align the content with brand strategy.

Among the various methods available, using brand stories is one of the most productive options. The underlying objective of messaging architecture is to undertake the communication of brand identity. It would include the components of brand positioning, value proposition, tagline, along with supporting brand stories.

The blueprint would look something like the following figure:

Use Brand Stories

Content marketing can be aligned with how the services/products, employees, and business are to be portrayed. Be it on the company’s official website or on the Twitter bio.

 

3. UNDERSTANDING THE TYPE OF CONTENT IN VOGUE

When Bill Gates asserted way back in 1996 that “Content is King“, it became the mantra for marketing in no time. Irrespective of the format – blogs, webpages, product descriptions, emails, video scripts, or case studies, quality of the content becomes non-negotiable for brands. Thus, make sure you are on par with these content marketing skills 2021.

Of course, the certain content format gains popularity over others from time to time.

Content Strategy

The figure above shows the primary forms of media that are utilized in content strategy.

Video content is found to be the most sought-after format, which has overtaken infographics and blogs. The most common types of videos include brand storytelling.

The popularity of promotional videos is reflected in the numbers as well. For instance, around 80% of video marketers have affirmed that such content has directly increased sales. Also, 87% of marketers claim that video content has enhanced traffic towards a website.

Notwithstanding the type of content, there are certain parameters that are necessarily met by great online content, with respect to the marketing objectives.

Here are some of those parameters:

  • Ranking high on the search engine results pages
  • Successfully increases brand awareness
  • Generates leads
  • Improvement in click-through rates
  • More social shares

While these are the main pointers that indicate great online content, certain aspects are to be kept in mind while churning out quality content.

What are those?

Innovative ideas and research go hand in hand. Once the right content idea is developed, it should be enriched with further research. Remember, boring, half-hearted, and forgettable content does more harm than good.

Identify a unique perspective that would make the content stand out.

Back it up with data whenever possible. Also, one must not go overboard with data and clutter the content.

 

4. ADD VALUE TO YOUR CONTENT WITH RELEVANT DATA

More the research goes into the creation of content, better is its quality. Needless to say, research skills are imperative for anyone seeking to be engaged in content marketing.

However, apart from the inclusion of information, it is more important than the content is high on credibility and authenticity. The mere mention of run-of-the-mill statistics would not suffice anymore.

One needs to develop the content marketing skills to locate the original study, and more importantly, nothing outdated should ever be linked to the content. For instance, if your primary source was a research study undertaken in 2017, it is entirely possible that the findings have become outdated in the present scenario. There may have been significant developments in the relevant industry since the publication of this report. Reference to such sources will in no way render the content piece to be authoritative.

It does not mean that statistics or data has to be done away with.

You need to hone your research skills, one of the key content marketing skills, to go a little deeper than an average person. That way, the latest statistics can be found out. It would go on to enrich the content, to a large extent.

Data and facts lend credence to the content. More so when trust is one of the most important elements in consumers’ purchase intention.

 

5. INTUITIVE AND CONSISTENT CONTENT MARKETING APPROACH

In content marketing, a piecemeal approach rarely works. Apart from the nature and quality of the content, commitment to the campaign is absolutely crucial for making it a success.

As stated by a noted author, Joe Pulizzi, it usually takes 12-18 months for a content marketing campaign to show results.

It is in such instances that consistency becomes the key to ensure that the marketing campaign does not flame down. A pre-determined strategy should be put in place to ensure that the campaign is not pulled off before its time. More often than not, time is of the essence.

To wrap it up, apart from these skills, one needs to inculcate a bird’s-eye view as a necessary content marketing skill. It is only then that one becomes tenacious enough to produce such content that enhances the brand image and meets the marketing objectives.

Thus, with these 5 content marketing skills 2021, you can increase your brand visibility and develop a lasting relationship with your target audience. With a proper brand strategy and by implementing superior SEO strategies, one can generate loyalty and trust in the audience and also magnify brand awareness and recognition. Let us know if you have any other crucial content marketing skills in mind. Drop a line in the comment section below.

After all, “Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left” – Seth Godin.

How true is that?

Ashwani has been actively involved in SEO services since 2005. His expertise and distinctive work approaches have made him one of the most experienced and trusted SEO experts in the industry. He is a certified SEO and Google Ads professional. He also has strong business development skills in advanced SEO, PPC, and digital marketing strategies.

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