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Content Marketing in 2021

Attention brands! In 2021 your content should flow freely within the feeds of your fans and followers, and be part of their voluntary content intake. Here's how we're looking at Content Marketing and its future.
Ariella Torv

Picture this. It’s the first of the month. It’s time to finalize and receive that “OK” on your content plan. The plan that was so carefully crafted to fit the brand voice, guidelines, and company/team goals. Let’s zoom out for a minute before posts start getting scheduled. 

Your content, like always, appears in the colorful feeds of your fans and followers. And when you think about it, your followers are most likely following other accounts that don’t necessarily fit into the guidelines and voice of your own brand. And that’s okay! That’s the beauty of social media. The ability to follow accounts that someone personally resonates with and wants to engage with. 

The challenge for brands is fitting into and at some point, competing with content that an audience is simultaneously engaging with. And if Twitter taught me anything, it’s that people don’t want brands to try so hard.


Sixty four percent of consumers only want a brand to chime in when they’re being directly addressed - which can explain the above tweets. And even though tweets like the above happen, and sometimes go viral, brands will always have followers and high engagement in digital spaces. They’re offering something - products, tips, insights, coupons - that their followers want to know and learn about. In 2021, brand loyalty extends to the digital space. And they want to show that loyalty with a follow, with a like or comment. In a majority of cases, people will follow a brand page before purchasing, as a reminder that it’s there, as a first step before taking the plunge. Brand pages on social media are one of the few that can have both active and engaged audiences where not everyone is a consumer of the product. 

That’s why we don’t think brands should be quiet, not at all. We just think they need to stop playing it so safely so that the content fits organically and flows within the feeds of its fans and followers. Which can be achieved when data is utilized to create content plans that tell the story of your brand, its offerings, its solution, in a way that your followers want to see- in a way that’s personal to them. 

Let’s Start with Likes

While we refer to likes on social as ‘anonymous engagement’, they do tell a story about the type of content that’s performing well. If you round up the last 6 months of posts and rank them from most liked/engaged with to least liked. Which posts included links? Links to specific landing pages? An online store? Take that into consideration when analyzing the data. Do you know which fans clicked on which links? What specific CTA interested Marcie from California versus Tom from Maine? 

Sure, you can measure the CTR, and your pixel will track that specific person, but in the big picture, it’s nearly impossible to know by name-by, an identifying factor, who clicked on the link unless they entered their personal information. And the remarketing efforts will focus on the same copy and creative to be served to anyone who triggered the pixel. Not very personal and to be honest, not in fact very targeted. 

If we take it to the sports world, as an example, a fan could live in Florida but go hard for their team that’s based in California, or New York. Why should they be served the same ads as fans that live in New York? It doesn’t make the most sense to offer the same discounted tickets as a fan based in New York, because logistically it will be harder for them to attend that game. But, if you personalized the content and offering they received,  there might just be a conversion. 


Consider digital activations that create a cool experience for fans while also enabling an organization to learn more about each fan on a 1:1 level, in a safe way. Chances are, your fans want you to know about them to serve them the most relevant content and offers. And it’s not intrusive in the way that one day you’re talking about something specific, and the next day, there’s an ad for that specific thing.

Digital activations create an opportunity for fans to provide their data, their preferences, their wants and desires in an organic way where they are able to choose what they share and what they don’t want to share. It’s taking content that’s already being engaged with and turning it into something that truly benefits both parties, in terms of experiences, data-capture, and relevant marketing. From just 5 activations, Major League Soccer Club, D.C. United, have collected data and gauged purchase intent from thousands of fans for tickets, season passes, merch interest, and much more.  

Content plans can do more and bring more to an organization than what they’re currently doing. They can actively benefit multiple departments across organizations if paired with the right solution, with the right method, and with the right digital activation. They can tell the story behind the fans. And they can be used to safely capture and store first party data with Pico. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your content plan for next quarter, we are happy to chat.



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