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:
1. Users are Looking for a Quality Experience
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.
2. The Long Read
Online browsers have had time to spare over the past 12 months, and long reads helped to fill the hours. We would expect to see long reads becoming a ‘quality marker’ for bloggers.
3. SEO is Still Key to Content
So long as the search engines continue to be the main drivers for website traffic, SEO will remain key to 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.
4. More Platforms for Re-Purposed Content
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 into webinars, interviews, podcasts will feed out again to be chopped up and re-purposed. Digital marketers will become ever savvier 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.
5. Good Quality Writing Impacts Your Brand
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 importantly, the content has ceased to be an anonymous online form of expression and is demanding discernible authors who can express themselves uniquely and authentically.