The global pandemic has turned our lives upside-down, made us question our values, and altered the ways we connect with each other. It’s a seismic shift that has played itself out on our screens, in real-time. There’s little wonder, then, that the content we share and develop for our online customers is also adapting to a new, and as yet uncertain, way of being.
What’s the post-COVID-19 content going to look like? We won’t know for sure until we get there, but here are 5 clear indications of the direction of travel:
Imagine snuggling up in an armchair with a book, only to find the print constantly moving and re-arranging to make room for pop-ups and ads. It would undoubtedly ruin your reading experience, and push a few stress buttons, too. And yet that’s what we’ve been serving up to our online readers, many of whom click through to content looking for an enjoyable reading experience.
How we experience content online is likely to come under the spotlight throughout 2021. Providers offering a high quality user experience, with minimal text disruption are like to find they attract a new breed of more discerning content consumers.
Online browsers have had time to spare over the past 12 months, and long reads helped to fill the hours. Checks out the ‘Best Long Reads’ lists to see for yourself how the long-form essay is growing in popularity and forming itself into a trend for 2021. We would expect to see long reads becoming a ‘quality marker’ for bloggers.
So long as the search engines continue to be the main drivers for website traffic, SEO will remain key all the content we produce. COVID-19 has had its impact on SEO too, though. Many High Street brands have moved online to avoid the vicissitudes of lockdown. This has had the knock-on effect of requiring existing brands to differentiate more creatively. Chances are that long tail keywords are about to become more important than ever.
Content will continue to adapt and re-purpose as the demand grows in every direction. Virtual and hybrid events are big, thanks to the events of the past year, so content that feeds in to webinars, interviews, podcasts will feed out again to be chopped up and re-purposed. Digital marketers will become ever more savvy at seeing the opportunities to extract a blog, a social media post or a newsletter item from existing material and set it to work on a different platform.
You could say that copy writing has come of age. As users consume a broader range of materials online, the demand for quality grows. Poorly written website copy reads as ‘scammy’ or not to be trusted. Blog posts lacking content or style are considered disrespectful of their readers. Most important, content has ceased to be an anonymous online form of expression and is demanding discernible authors who can express themselves uniquely and authentically.