Are you in the midst of planning your 2020 content marketing strategy? The effectiveness of content marketing, the tactics, the channels and tools marketers use to create and distribute content will continue to evolve in 2020 and beyond. So, what content marketing trends should you watch out for? And how should marketers change their marketing strategy to keep pace with these changes?
Content Trend #1: User-Generated Content
According to a recent study, 85% of consumers find UGC or user-generated content more influential than brand content. User-generated content is a staple of most eCommerce websites today. Consumers tend to share their feedback and other shoppers often trust these reports about products and services. Consumers agree that user-generated content is more influential than brand content and therefore follow it more closely.
One of the studies of Instagram for tourism marketing found that UGC posts were the most engaging type of posts for tourism marketers. User-generated content is not only engaging but allows a higher volume of content creation with fewer resources.
In 2020, figure out what inspires your audience to share more content online and how you can successfully engage customers to create UGC content. This is, in fact, part of most content marketing planning processes for many brands today.
Content Trend #2: Continued Rise of Video
Video is a critical part of every stage in the customer journey. Surprisingly, in 2018, internet users watched in excess of 500 million hours of content on YouTube every day. Today video has become an essential part of every marketing strategy. And to do that marketers need the best tools in the market. From generating ideas to designing killer videos and deploying video content, there are numerous useful video tools you can use to generate interest, broaden your audience and create tons of converts, so start today. What’s important to note here is that product videos don’t have to be boring but super exciting to engage your customers.
Fundamentally, video is a widely preferred form of content compared to other types of content, especially when learning about new services and products. In fact, 80% of people generally switch between online search and video when deciding which brand or product to buy. On the other hand, 50% of shoppers are of the opinion that online video has helped them decide which specific product or brand to purchase.
For 2020, consider how you can make video a part of your content marketing strategy. If you’re afraid of the idea of creating a video, don’t be. Depending on your brand and audience, a simple video may just be the content you need to connect with your potential audience.
Content Trend #3: Voice
Voice content strategy is no longer optional and has become a necessity. Voice is the new interface that will soon surround each one of us in many ways and in many places. Voice content for Amazon Echo, Samsung devices and Google Home are extensively being developed by brands today. As per stats, smart speaker adoption grew 38.9% in the last year and more than 26% of all U.S. adults have access to a smart speaker. Marketers today are building voice-activated content strategies for their clients, helping them take advantage of this fast-growing consumer interaction opportunity. In fact, the voice industry has been reported to be the largest-ever growing industry – an increasing opportunity for voice content strategists, technologists, developers, vendors and hardware platforms.
Presenting compelling voice-activated content to consumers opens an all-new avenue for engagement. It’s an opportunity that will dominate the expensive and bulky websites, as well as the social media platforms that increasingly require ad budgets to reach customers.
Till today, most of the voice-activated content created for clients was rooted in information and helpfulness. As user and consumers get more comfortable with using smart speakers for more complex applications – API-driven interactions of voice-activated content is likely to grow in 2020. A recent survey of business decision-makers by Adobe found that 91% are preparing to make significant investments in voice, and 44% plan to release a voice app in 2019. It will be interesting to see how these two elements of content and voice are converged by every brand and business – thus driving increased customer engagement using voice-activated content.
Content Trend #4: B2C Behaviors Continue to Impact B2B Expectations
According to a survey, 61% of all B2B transactions start online and 51% of customers turn to social media to do their initial research. B2C behaviors indirectly impact B2B expectations. Even B2B decision-making is heavily influenced by social media content.
When it comes to marketing to B2B buyers, many of the elements considered for the content creation process remain similar to the B2C world. The only difference is that the B2B customer has a longer buying cycle. This is governed by more money spent on a product/solution, and the more time a B2B consumer is likely to spend researching the pros and cons.
Touchpoints that are seen as traditionally B2C like social media, chatbots, augmented reality, mobile, have become even more critical in B2B, considering the complexity of the purchase decision in B2B. In 2020, it’s time for B2B focused businesses to take a few steps back and reassess how they are reaching and engaging their customers. It’s a new world and digitalization continues to disrupt everything that has come before it. Therefore B2C behaviors broadly impact the B2B world, whether it is searching, problem-solving, purchasing or consuming.
Content Trend #5: Continued Proliferation of Messaging Apps
Messaging apps will continue to generate in 2020, which will include many aspects of ‘content’. The apps come with a bunch of new opportunities for marketers. Messaging apps continue to advance, setting new and innovative trends. Messaging apps today are constantly evolving and changing the way marketers do business. Living in the digital age calls markets to stay up-to-date with the latest trends to offer customers with the best service.
With more than 3 billion consumers spending a lot of time and sharing emotions on messaging apps, consider how messaging apps will impact content strategy in the near future.
Content Trend #6: No More Random Acts of Content
For 2020, think smart and try to stop all random acts of content that never work.
Instead of continuously reinventing the wheel, you should try to create less content and make each piece of content more compelling. Many content marketing clients have adopted this approach and in 2020 many more companies will as well.
What does this approach actually mean? You need to give your audience a chance to find your content in their preferred format and channel, delivered to them in a steady stream over a period of time. You can’t simply post an article in an unplanned manner and expect leads to contact you.
Try to think about this approach. The most effective marketing and advertisements are experienced over a period of time. Always remember, it takes about seven impressions for a display ad to sink in and about 5-6 emails to warm up leads. This is also the reason why you see the same commercials over and over again. The rules of content are pretty simple.
One must stop random acts of content and instead focus on a rich, nuanced plan to create less but quality content delivered more frequently to your target audiences.
Content Trend #7: Customer Journey Mapping
More and more potential and new clients are showing interest in customer journey mapping: how to create and improve them, and how to tie them back to their content strategy. In many instances, it can be challenging for your company to get into the minds of your customers. You may wonder why a customer spends so long to get from Point A to Point B when it should only take a few seconds. This isn’t something you can assume or should predict based on your internal perspective. It is where you need to understand the customer journey to enhance the physical experiences of your customers.
What exactly is the customer journey map? A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer goes through to achieve a goal with your company. With the help of a customer journey map, you can get a sense of your customers’ motivations, needs and pain points. Most customer journey maps start with excel sheets that outline key events, customer motivations, and areas of friction within the user’s experience. Then, this information is combined into a visual representation that describes the average experience of your customer with your business.
This customer journey map is a trend that will continue to grow in 2020, and if you haven’t done so already, try reading about a few great tips to get started with customer journey mapping.