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Content marketing trends in 2020

Content marketing has been around for a while now and it certainly isn’t going anywhere.

In 2020, content marketing continues to be the best way to engage with audiences through authentic and useful content.

This year, we can expect to see companies increase their focus on content marketing as a strategy to drive customer reach and engagement.

But even as content marketing becomes more important and effective for businesses, it is hard to keep up with the changes in audiences, tools and channels.

So without further ado, here are the eight key areas you should focus on in your 2020 content marketing strategy:

  • Video marketing
  • Voice search optimisation
  • AR powered visuals
  • Conversational marketing
  • Personalised dynamic content
  • Data driven content
  • Building subject expertise
  • Writing for the snippet
1. Video marketing

Video has been big for some time now and it’s only going to get bigger in 2020. Companies have seen the return on investment on video marketing increase year on year and there are a few reasons for this.

If your content is relevant and engaging, video is a surefire way to hold on to your audience’s attention. 62% of audiences will stay focused on video if they are enjoying it versus over 75% skimming through audio and written content. Not to mention, video lends itself well to mobile viewing which is the device of choice for most of us these days.

But you don’t have to confine yourself to sleek and polished video productions. Going ‘live’ on Facebook and Instagram is another great way for your business to utilise video content in a more authentic and engaging manner.

With 53% of audiences wanting to see more video content from a brands and businesses, video is definitely one area you want to be investing more in 2020.

Here are some platforms to publish your video content on:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Vimeo
  • TikTok
  • Your own website

And don’t forget to make your video work for you by posting on multiple channels and formats. For example, a video made for YouTube can also be posted on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. On your own website, a video can be expanded upon to create a long form blog article to go with it.

2. Voice search optimisation

How many of you have spoken to Alexa or Google in the last week? If the numbers are anything to go by, at least 30% of you would have. More people are searching online using their voice than ever before which means those numbers are only set to increase.

Smartphones and AI assistants have infiltrated daily life but not too many businesses have tapped into the power of voice search as yet.

Being as it’s still a niche, businesses have a chance to lead the way by creating content optimised for voice search.

What this essentially means is that because people speak differently to the way they type, to optimise content for voice search, businesses will need to write the way people speak.

Confused yet?

Think about how you might ask Alexa for the time. Perhaps you’d say “Alexa, what is the time?”

Now think about how you might type that same query into Google search. It might be something like ‘time now’.

To optimise your content for voice search, you will need to anticipate how your audience might phrase a question conversationally and create content using those long tail keywords.

For example, you might change a headline of a blog post from ‘Easy family dinner recipes’ to ‘What you should make for dinner tonight’.

3. AR powered visuals

If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you might have seen your friends finding out which Disney character they are or how old they look with various filters.

Augmented reality (AR) filters are massively popular with audiences as it is a bit of fun and allows for interactivity. Kitten ears, flower crowns, heart eyes etc, you’ve probably seen them all by now.

And now that Instagram has given users the ability to create their own filters and lenses, it has taken off in a big way.

If it’s appropriate for your business, you could create your own branded filters and lenses to get your name out there on social media.

It may be a trend, but it’s definitely one you should be jumping on if you want to have a little fun and engage with your audience.

For example, if you sponsor a cricket event, you could have a branded filter that allows users to find out their batting average.

4. Conversational marketing

As consumers, we’ve grown to expect things quicker than ever before. Whether it’s information or products, we want it and we want it now.

Traditionally, a consumer who was interested in your product might have filled in a form on your website, and you would follow up with a call (that they wouldn’t answer) or an email (that they wouldn’t open).

With conversational marketing, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to engage with the consumer at the point they have reached out. Doing this will keep them in the marketing funnel and give yourself a much higher chance of getting them to the purchase stage.

It’s beneficial in more ways than one. You’re personalising the experience and giving it a more human touch, plus you’re getting a chance to learn more about your consumer which will allow you to tailor future marketing messages.

Conversational marketing includes email marketing, live customer support, Facebook Messenger marketing, Whatsapp, chatbots and more.

As AI continues to advance, chatbots will continue to get better at having more human conversations with consumers. So the sooner you tap into conversational marketing, the better it’ll be for your relationship with the consumer.

5. Personalised dynamic content

As a consumer yourself, you’re probably very familiar with personalised content – emails using your name or offers catered to your specific interests etc.

In fact, as a marketer, you’ve also probably seen better click through rates and open rates when you deliver personalised content to your audience.

We’re actually now so familiar with this marketing tactic that we’ve come to expect it. 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalised to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand.

But in 2020, consumers will be expecting you to take it up a notch with dynamic personalised content.

Dynamic personalised content basically refers to web content that changes based on the user’s demographics, behaviours, preferences, and interests.

For example, say you’re an insurance company and you offer different products for individuals, couples or families. If consumers have told you what type of household they are in, they will now come to expect the content on your website to reflect information that is useful to them.

Dynamic content will allow you to take engagement with your consumer to the next level and provide them with the exact content they need to make their purchasing decision.

6. Data driven content

If you’ve been working in content marketing for a while now then you’ll know that the content you deliver shouldn’t be based on gut but on data.

Any good content marketing strategy will adopt a data-driven mindset and identify key KPIs to work towards. You have to be intentional about the specific value you are providing to a specific audience.

The question is how do you decide what is of value to your audience?

Firstly, look at what information you already have on your audience and then dive into what has worked in the past and what hasn’t.

Determine what it was about that specific content piece or campaign that worked and create more content that resonates.

For example, say you send out a monthly newsletter, take a look at which articles are getting click through and take a look at your scroll rates on the page as well. What about that content piece resonated with your audience? Was it the specific topic or style of article? Drill down and create more of what worked.

7. Building subject expertise

Google is now starting to look at websites more holistically when it comes to ranking instead of just paying attention to the quality of a single page.

Now, Google places more value on the overall content on your website instead of just what one page says.

You can make this work for you by building a solid foundation of content pillar pages around topics that are relevant to your business.

In creating content pillars, you’ll be able to cover a wide range of topics that fall under a single pillar and you’ll be able to build on this foundation to create category dominance.

This strategy will help your business build trust and authority on specific subjects and will go a long way in positively impacting your Google rankings.

For example, let’s say you write an article on ‘The best kitchen gadgets’ but your article is housed on a website for gadgets in general while a similar article is housed on a kitchenware website.

Even if the articles are of similar quality, the article housed on the website dedicated to all things kitchenware will rank higher.

This is because, Google now recognises that the rest of the content on the kitchenware website will also provide value to the reader than if directed to the other website.

However, if you’ve developed strong enough content pillars and created enough content, then you’ll be able to get around this and rank for terms that matter to your business.

8. Writing for the snippet

Google has an incredible ability to predict search intent and deliver relevant content specifically targeted to that.

This is why when you search for something in Google, they often present a larger snippet of information at the top of the results page along with the traditional list of web pages below.

Depending on the search term, the snippets usually provide a brief rundown of the key points within a content piece.

This is why at the start of the article I’ve listed the key focus areas in bullet point. To provide a concise and clear breakdown of what the article will cover which is both useful to my readers and Google.

Because Google does this, the number of people who don’t actually click on an article to read more are on the rise. Termed ‘no-click’ searchers, they leave once Google has presented them with a snippet that covers what they were looking for without them needing to click to read more.

If you want to create content that ranks on Google, you will need to adopt a question-driven content strategy. How you can do this is use more long tail keywords to create concise content that answers the consumers questions in a simple and clear format.

It’s also important to create a concise, yet descriptive, headline for your articles. In this case, being direct trumps word play.

Writing quality content that’s also written for the snippet will attract readers and encourage them to dive deeper and read the content piece in full.

Now that you’re up to date with what’s what in the content marketing world for 2020, it’s time to get started on your content marketing strategy.

Get in touch if you’d like to brainstorm and build a strategy with the team at Colony.