Brand Stories Content strategy

What 2020 can tell us about content in 2021

We’ve said before that the best way to greet 2021 is to plan, not predict, for the future. A key part of planning? Taking a good, hard look at the events of 2020 and how they affected consumer behaviors. Today, we’re looking at some particularly astute observations about brands and consumers and how these observations might influence content strategy in 2021.

“Messaging around convenience will go a long way in attracting consumers to your brand.”

With millions of people staying home and/or traveling only in a small bubble, ease and proximity are of paramount importance. Your brand can convey its COVID-era value proposition through content that highlights:

  • Location
  • Usefulness
  • Quality
  • Investment value
“It’s important to identify your brand differentiators and make them known.”

It may seem like the world stopped turning, but people are still spending – and they have endless options. How do you stand out? Talk about what makes you unique. Here’s how.

  1. Clearly articulate your mission and values.
  2. Identify your key audiences.
  3. Define the problem(s) that your brand solves.
  4. Analyze the market to determine how your brand can outdo competitors.
  5. Craft messaging pillars and a content strategy centered on your standout qualities.
“Brands and influencers are becoming more vocal about the causes they believe in.”

Living in a topsy-turvy world has driven us to examine our conscience on a variety of issues, and that self-reflection has had a major impact on our day-to-day lives. How can brands acknowledge the sobering truths of 2020 in a way that’s honest, empathetic, and purposeful? Here are a few ideas.

  • Study the company’s past actions related to environmental, social and corporate governance, as well as socially responsible investing. These insights can help you plan for the future.
  • Use examples from the past to inspire employees and other stakeholders and foster transparency among internal and external audiences.
  • Acknowledge missteps within the context of learning and growth.
“Consumer behavior will change permanently post-pandemic.”

Zoom, TikTok, and DoorDash were here long before COVID, and they’ll be around long after the public health crisis ends. That doesn’t mean you should cut and paste your content strategy from 2020 into the template for 2021. If anything, you should throw out your old rule book and start fresh.

An effective content strategy acknowledges the unique variables affecting an individual brand, an industry, and the world at large. Those variables will change. So the content strategy itself must be a living document that can be adjusted and adapted as circumstances change, while serving as a reliable road map for teams to produce, distribute, and analyze content.


The insights here just scratch the surface of challenges that brands face as we enter 2021. Inevitably, more challenges will emerge. We have no crystal ball, but we have years of experience helping growing brands navigate bumpy terrain and find success. If you wish to plan (not predict) a winning content strategy for 2021, contact us today.

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