Content marketing topic trends matter for a few reasons.
For one, we need to stay relevant to our audiences. What they care about may change over time depending on the state of the globe – think in terms of the economy, public health, cultural shifts, and important events.
If we don’t keep up, we risk becoming irrelevant.
And that’s the worst thing we can be when we’re trying to pull in leads and convert them into customers.
We’ve discussed content marketing consumption trends before, as well as hot pandemic topics. During the pandemic, in particular, more people than ever were online and consuming content. Internet usage grew by a whopping 70% during this time!
Not to mention, video content exploded – 87% of U.S. viewers reported consuming more videos in 2020.
The question is…
Have these content trends held steady?
Have they changed?
As the pandemic slowly ebbs away, what are people focused on when they consume content? 🤔
What content marketing topic trends are alive and well?
Let’s find out about both sides: content trends and content marketing topic trends.
3 Content Marketing Topic Trends
Let’s start with content marketing topic trends. What topics are snagging people’s interest?
Content Marketing Topic Trend #1: Work from Home (WFH)
WFH has been trending for a while – really, ever since internet and technology advances made working from home easy – but the pandemic pushed it into overdrive.
Obviously, the virus utterly transformed normal life. That included companies switching from office-only to hybrid work models, some changing to 100% remote work, and some closing altogether.
Of the companies that adopted flexible work models, 70% said they plan to offer hybrid work indefinitely post-pandemic. As for workers, as the pandemic ebbs, the overwhelming majority – 97%! – would prefer some form of remote work versus office-only work.
Just look at the keyword volume for “work from home”. Nearly half a million people globally search this term every single month, which adds up to almost 5 million searches per year.
Work-from-home has become incredibly desirable in these uncertain times, and the hot topics surrounding the subject reflect that. Specifically, people want help finding good remote or work-from-home jobs. They also want to know how to optimize productivity in the work-from-home environment.
What about content marketing and WFH? It definitely can be performed in a corporate office setting, but more often than not, you’ll find the people behind the profession working from their home offices. This holds whether you’re a small digital business owner who uses content marketing, or a marketer offering content services to businesses. In fact, “content marketer” or “digital marketer” is usually one of the top suggestions for work-from-home careers.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Is it any wonder content marketing skills are in high demand, too?
Needless to say, as tech advances, as more professions can be performed through the internet, and as more people see the benefits of working from home, this topic won’t be going away any time soon.
Content Marketing Topic Trend #2: Avoiding/Dealing with Burnout
Another content marketing topic trend that ballooned during the pandemic and has been trending ever since?
Indeed’s Employee Burnout Report particularly found some telling stats:
- 67% of workers think burnout worsened during the pandemic
- 53% are working longer hours
- 61% of remote workers find it more difficult to “unplug” from work in their free time
- 53% of Millennials were burned out before COVID – with the number increasing to 59% today
And, burnout is still a huge problem, not to mention a trending topic that’s on a lot of people’s minds.
As you can see, the global search volume for “burnout” is on par with the number of searches for “work from home” per month.
What do people want to know, specifically?
Sub-topics range from burnout recovery, the symptoms of burnout, the difference between burnout and depression, and even emotional burnout.
This topic has been so prevalent, on so many people’s minds including those in the content marketing industry, I even wrote a book about it (Create Content Without Burnout):
Content Marketing Topic Trend #3: Creative Storytelling in Content Marketing
When you post your 100th article about the same tired topic you’ve been writing about forever, it’s hard to get that content to make a splash, let alone a ripple. 💧
It’s even harder to differentiate from the competition when the race is so crowded. (Oversaturation across industries is real. 💦)
The way people are working around these problems is another content marketing topic trend: clever and creative storytelling to make your content stand out.
- Interactive content, including quizzes, polls, calculators, interactive graphics, etc.
- Diversifying the content types you publish (for example, adding podcasting to your repertoire if all you have done in the past is blog)
- Telling human-centric stories in content, not just repeating facts or spitting out statistics
- Getting more personal in your content, sharing your own stories and experiences (I’ve done this myself on YouTube – check out the video below for an example)
3 Content Trends to Watch
Next up, content consumption and content trends. What types are people gravitating toward in the 2020s, beyond the pandemic?
Content Trend #1: Video and Multimedia Content
If you’re only creating text-based content – for example, blogs and emails – you might need to rethink that.
Look at this comparison, for starters: 73% of consumers would prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service, while only 11% would prefer to read a text-based article, according to a Wyzowl study.
The same study found people are 2x more likely to share a video versus any other type of content, including social media posts and blogs.
Added to that, YouTube reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds in one week than all the cable TV networks combined.
Across the board, audiences are showing an overwhelming preference for multimedia content, including audio, long-form videos, and short-form video content such as:
- YouTube videos
- Instagram Stories and Reels
- Facebook Stories
Jumping in now, with a solid content strategy guiding your video or podcast creation, is, therefore, a very good idea. 💡
A content strategy should guide every aspect of your content creation activities, including audio and video creation. My course walks you though all of them, step-by-step.
Keep in mind, however, that you can’t be on every platform, doing absolutely every type of multimedia. Narrow down where your audience is hanging out, then invest in diversifying your content for that platform beyond text. Add on more only if you have one platform/format nailed.
Content Trend #2: User-Generated Content
User-generated content – literally content created/generated by users around a brand topic or hashtag – has gained a lot of ground in recent years, especially with the exploding popularity of TikTok.
A few examples:
- Customers posting video product reviews and demos on TikTok or Instagram Reels/Stories
- Customers posting reviews of your brand/service on Amazon, Google, or another review site
- Customers creating posts or memes around your brand or brand-specific hashtag
Here’s a specific example from @natgeotravel – they repost photos and captions submitted by their fans:
What’s so great about these types of content?
First off, consumers largely see other consumers who talk about a brand as more credible than the brand itself. This particularly applies to reviews and testimonials. 72% think these are more credible than a brand talking about its own products, via a Tint study.
According to the same study, 60% of marketers say their audience engages more with user-generated content than with branded content.
So, if you need more engagement, consider tapping into your audience:
- Repost brand-relevant creations from your audience on your social media channels – think photos, videos, memes, etc.
- Highlight customer stories and reviews
- Feature testimonials prominently on your website
Ultimately, user-generated content is about connecting with your audience, building community, and encouraging creativity. It’s no wonder this is a hot content trend.
Content Trend #3: Less Polished, More “Off the Cuff” Content
While we’re talking about video content, we need to discuss this next trend:
Less polished content – more “real life.” Less “I shot this in a carefully-staged professional studio.”
This is especially true for video content posted specifically to TikTok and Instagram. More often than not, you won’t see slick production or stylized imagery, here. Instead, you’ll see people posting their candid thoughts, participating in memes, or making quick yet pointed videos on a topic that interests their audiences.
Here’s an example of a Reel from my Instagram to show you what this can look like:
View this post on Instagram
Granted, there’s still a place for well-produced videos (hello YouTube), but on social media, people are largely preferring real-life to “precisely staged and edited.”
One big caveat for this trend: It does NOT apply to written content. Keep your blogs, emails, and articles edited and polished for clarity and ease of reading, please. 🙏
Jump on Content Marketing Topic Trends for Ultra-Relevant Content
Sprinkling a few content marketing topic trends in your publishing schedule is a great way to demonstrate your awareness and relevancy to your audience, but, most of all…
It’s a fantastic way to practice empathy in content marketing. ❤
More than anything, including “right here, right now” topics not only shows you’re listening to your audience, but also that you care about their concerns and problems. What matters to them matters to you.
It also shows your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but rather is connected to the wider world in significant ways.
And that’s a huge differentiator. 🦄
Ready to get going on your content strategy? Want to learn the ins and outs of planning, creating, and publishing profitable content? Enroll in the Content Strategy & Marketing Course now.