Brand growth Content strategy Leadership

Plan, don’t predict, your 2021 content strategy

The year 2020 is nearly over, and not a moment too soon. Experts are predicting another tumultuous year for brands and content marketing. These predictions reflect months of unease, as well as the rapid-by-necessity reframing of the sales funnel (and sometimes business models as a whole). But are they helpful when it comes to content strategy? Do they tell us anything we don’t already know? Let’s take a closer look.

“The uncertainty of 2020 has taught us the importance of content as a tool for reaching our audience when many of our typical engagement points are closed, canceled, or unavailable.”
Melanie Deziel, StoryFuel (via Content Marketing Institute)

Remember “content is king”? Content marketers have lived and breathed this credo since 1996, long before “content” became our industry buzzword. However, many companies neglected to see the business imperative – until now. As long as people are here to create and distribute content, your brand development factory can continue humming.

“We have to create teams that are not afraid to fail and think big. . . . The time is now.”
Kathy Klotz-Guest, Keeping It Human

Content is an investment – in people, ideas, and technology. Failure is a part of growth. Brands that understand their content teams’ vital role are more likely to build experimentation into their growth strategy and their budget.

“Just like the prospects we’re targeting, our trust in anything is waning – and that includes the trust in ourselves.”
Jen Barrell, IMPACT

This observation isn’t as fatalistic as it sounds at first. Rather, it’s a call to action: The stakes are too high not to deviate from what’s safe and familiar. We’re all moving forward into unfamiliar territory, so let’s move boldly and with the best intentions toward our people and our customers. This can and will engender trust and loyalty.

Ultimately, planning your brand development and content strategy for 2021 is about taking smart risks and yielding gracefully to the unknown. How? By crafting a plan that makes wise use of the resources we know we have – people – and accepts that evolving customer needs, platforms, and world events may have an impact on that plan.

Here are a few key components to consider when drafting your 2021 content strategy.

  1. What went well in 2020? What didn’t?
  2. Where did you allocate your content budget, and why?
  3. How did customers engage with your content? Did your content’s performance reveal significant insights?
  4. Will your content and brand voice stand the test of time? Audit your content for business, political, and cultural sensitivity.
  5. Which competitors stood out, and why? What lessons can you learn from your industry peers?

Consummate Prose can help you make the most of 2021. Contact us today to start planning the next chapter in your brand playbook.

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