A key lesson that 2020 has taught so far is to expect the unexpected. Rapid changes have been made to mitigate the challenges it has presented. Businesses have gone bust, concerts have been cancelled, and travel severely restricted. However, despite this, one thing remains constant – the need to communicate. Never has there been so much competition to get people’s attention. Platforms once thought ineffective are now competing with mainstay channels – Zoom is a great example.
Looking at all this, two things are clear. Firstly, digital communication is here to stay. Secondly, you need to up your game if you still want to be relevant. As 2020 heads to a close, here are 10 tips to help stay ahead in 2021.
#1 Appreciate what you have
Scrambling to get new followers is next to pointless. Instead, do all you can to know your audience inside and out. Competition for new audiences is going to be extremely high. Businesses will be scrambling to rebuild. Do your best to retain what you currently have, because getting them back is going to be difficult. Use the insights that they give you to come up with innovative methods of delivery.
#2 Content is more than just words
Content will no longer be words alone. Articles now feature imagery, hashtags, emojis and GIFs. The trend will carry on into next year and beyond, too. Familiarise yourself with the latest SEO copywriting techniques, and use what you can in your content to make it current. Learn how to communicate the same message in either format. Videos are now standard with all new online content.
#3 Know where you belong
The content industry is increasingly becoming specialised. Audiences are becoming wiser and know where they can source for specific content. You need to identify a niche and perfect your craft to become an expert. The mediums through which audiences are consuming information have increased. So, there will still be enough room for you in next year’s SEO content market.
#4 Compliance has taken precedence.
Include compliance as part of your SEO content strategy for next year. A lot of changes have been made to the legislation that governs information sharing. There is more emphasis on privacy and data security. Content that is not in compliance is now not available for viewership to audiences. Content creators who do not meet these requirements are slowly being pushed out of the market. Audiences have also become more enlightened, and they are no longer engaging with writers that are in breach of these laws.
#5 There is an increased collaboration across different mediums
Collaboration in content creation is not between writers alone. The barriers between social media and content writing are fading. Content that features both aspects is what is engaging audiences. You need to identify who to work within the social media space to maintain your relevance. Collaboration between writers will be more niche. It no longer a measure of how much traffic you can generate, but more how relevant the content is to the respective audiences.
#6 Be open to learning new skills and techniques
Search Engines are continuously developing better algorithms for SEO. What is working today may not work tomorrow. You need to be on the lookout for any changes and implement them to your content to maintain your ranking. To keep up, you need to upgrade yourself each time.
#7 Web content alone is not enough
Ever since social media came about, it has slowly taken over to become the primary source of content. If you want your message to be impactful, you will need to adapt it to these platforms. Your clients will be expecting the same each time they engage you for a service. An SEO agency that can transcend both platforms will always take the day.
#8 Your brand is your calling card
Being present and consistent across different platforms will get you more engagement – a simple blog site is not enough. You need to invest in the aesthetics of your website as well. Even if you are new to the industry, how you present yourself is what matters.
Optimise your brand as well to stay ahead of the curve. Review all the links to your website, both internal and external. Any broken link or affiliations with rogue sites will tarnish your credibility. Update your plug-ins and increase functionality to allow for better engagement. Your audience is taking into account the overall user experience when choosing to engage with you, and clients will want to work with writers whose brands are well represented.
#9 Premium content performs better
Quality content is what audiences want. Any material that will not conform to audiences tastes will fall by the wayside. Content optimisation tools are now part of every writer’s toolkit. You need to know which tools help you deliver premium content. There are specialised tools for each type of content. Learn to identify which one best suits your niche.
#10 The future is mobile
To succeed going forward, you have to make you content mobile-compatible. Computers are no longer the preferred medium for viewing content. Customising your content to be compatible on either platform will get you across the finish line.
There is a lot to look forward to next year. The market has grown in terms of audience, and the demand for content is at peak levels. Now that you have a guide for next year, nothing should stand in your way.