“What growth channel are you betting on this year?”
Ahh, the million dollar question.
A popular Toronto growth marketer asked over LinkedIn “What marketing tactic are you betting on in 2021?”
And the overwhelming response to his question was *insert drumroll*:
SEO and content.
These are two mammoth topics with a lot to unpack. So we’re going to comment on the implications of these tactics and where the puck is going in 2021.
But what does it all mean?
First of all, if you only focus on SEO and content for content’s sake, there’s a good chance your blog won’t achieve the success you’re looking for. That is, unless you are 1) hyper contextual, 2) fighting marketing battles 1:1 and/or 3) considering asymmetric tactics to get your content in front of your target audience.
There is one, key underlying theme that will tie them all together in 2021, and I’m calling that: Community.
Community is and will continue to be the central theme to aim your puck at. You want to create for your community, engage with them and bring them into the fold of your brand, all of which can be achieved through a variety of tactics beyond, or more specifically to, SEO and content.
This brings us back to the tactics that we think will help buoy these overarching themes. So what do we mean by employing themes, including; contextual, fight 1:1 battles, and asymmetric?
Context, context, context
When it comes to content in 2021, context is everything – and we mean everything. Contextual means where possible, go as hyper targeted as possible. And that starts with your audience: Who are the stakeholders here? The key players? What do they do? What do they want? Find the conversations happening within your industry, and pinpoint the community you are looking for within that.
Then, create your content for them, i.e. write narrow, and address your audience as if they know what you’re talking about. Because they do. They want to be addressed on a bespoke, personalized level and they want to gain more knowledge or value in an area they are already familiar with.
Broad strokes are too expensive in an SEO arm’s race, especially, it would seem, for emerging companies.
You want to win the battle, too
To fight 1:1 battles means to double down on “contextual”, and provides a solution and way forward. In other words, “Sharing” is the hack; it’s your new currency. In brand marketing, building a Lighthouse Strategy (intensely narrowing in on your unique brand story and offerings so that even consumers who aren’t looking for you will know who you are) has been generally reserved for brands who are failing or simply for those that are, or want to be, very niche. And when it comes to content, that is exactly what you want your brand to be: so niche that your audience – as well as some outside of it – can tell it’s you just by the tone, voice and image that you have doubled down on.
Community, your audience, is what gives your brand value. That is why we need to approach them 1:1, because you give your audience what they want, and they in turn provide you with the loyalty that you want and, more often that not, long-term growth.
In other words, turn your community into stark-raving fans.
Asymmetry has its balance
If you can give context to your content and speak directly to your audience, then you can take it a level further. Enter, “Asymmetric Tactics”.
One of the best examples of how listening to your audience can lead to consistent, credentialing content is through the company, OpenPhone. Recently, they released a great blog post on How we grew our blog traffic to 30k monthly visits in 6 months, a theme with no obvious ties to what they do. These guys are not in the business of content creation. They sell business telephones. So why would they do that? Because it’s hyper-relevant to their audience.
OpenPhone provided value to their target customers by listening to the community conversations and creating content that was relevant to them. Instead of pumping out sales pieces through a thin veil of “content” (as in specifically about phones and what they sell to make money), they demonstrated to their audience that they give a shit, and they understand them and are excited to be part of the chatter actually happening on the ground floor.
And all of this while still maintaining their self-interest. Self-interest and creating value for your customers are not at odds, and if played right, can be the winning combination for long-term, sustained growth.
2021 is about to get real noisy….
And that’s what great marketing tactics are for.
This year and into the future, if everyone is building content (which they are) then it’s only going to get noisier (which it will). And you should definitely join them. Just do it in a smart, thoughtful way. We are here to help as brainstorming, sparring buddies and more too.
If you want to know where the puck is going, it’s to the consumer. To their interests, thoughts, feelings and not least, their purchasing power. The winners will be the brands with superfans. And not just superfans, but superfans that know each other and will spread your content like wildfire through word of mouth.
And the best way to do that? Through community. Build your community by niche-ing tf up through greater context, 1:1 battles, and asymmetric, creative growth hacks. Be the lighthouse in the storm, or be swallowed by it.
Ready to build your community? Schedule a call with Quinn.