Marketing mastermind Seth Godin calls content marketing ‘the only marketing left’ and he’s totally right, it’s unique, useful and an ideal technique to target the internet generation.
Whether you think you’ve nailed your content marketing during 2019, or know you need to take things up a gear, 2020 is going to throw more tech, more competition and more complex targeting at you than ever before; are you ready?
We’ve scoured our sources to bring you 20 essential considerations for your content that will ensure you smash your metrics into submission. You might want to grab a brew; this is a long one…
We recently wrote a post about the importance of a content marketing strategy in business so won’t wang on too much about this. Needless to say, though, a thought-out strategy is really flippin’ important in order to achieve optimum success from your marketing efforts and in turn sell loads of your product or service, to the people you want to be buying from you. Content is king after all (if you know, you know).
Most brands or companies are constantly churning out content, on a variety of subjects, trying to attract their target demographics like moths to a powerful marketing flame. However, why not occasionally take stock, stop churning and reassess what has performed well over the past couple of months. By regularly checking in you may ultimately be able to save yourself time, money and effort.
For example, you published a post listing tips for finding a bargain in the January sales and it performed excellently (well done you). Why stop there? If you know, via data, that this post was successful why wouldn’t you get creative and see if there’s more that can be produced on that topic? There is a plethora of content mediums to consider, so how about a series (more on these later) of Instagram videos on specific items that shoppers can save big on? Don’t forget to add a sentence at the end of your blog post though, driving that engaged audience to your videos that are also relevant to them.
There are literally hundreds of marketing tactics, channels, tools, metrics and audiences out there waiting for some juicy content to be thrown their way. 2020 will really be the year that quality over quantity is more important than ever. Choose your focus’ carefully, be where your customers are, giving them informative, creative and entertaining content.
No amount of research and persona creating is as beneficial to you as eyes-on experience. Writing for your audience is one thing…we happen to have written a post on this too, but actually understanding the lives of your demographics takes your ability to market to them up tenfold.
Creating a super-cool infographic featuring obligatory handwritten font and sketchy style illustrations is all well and good, looks great, does the job- excellent. However, they don’t say much about the views, messaging and morals behind your brand. When you’re brainstorming content ideas try to put your spin on it, this is what will make you stand out and be understood and respected by readers which in turn, drives sales and trust from your consumers.
The first 3 to 5 seconds of a video is either going to capture your audience or lose them, so make it snappy. You don’t have to spend loads to make engaging video content, but you should ensure its going to give the viewer something usable to takeaway. Visual story telling is enormously popular, and only set to increase, so utilise this format to your brands advantage.
So, most of us have gotten to grips with understanding how content appears differently according to device, but what about emerging technologies and online advancements such as artificial intelligence, experimental user experience or virtual and augmented reality? These are all considerations which in the next year will become imperative. Shoppers are able to view content and make purchases as though they are physically instore when actually they’re on the sofa at home wearing a high spec headset…who’d have thunk it!
There are a few brands who still really don’t understand SEO, and after reading somewhere once ten years ago, that content would improve their rankings are wondering why they’re not on the top spot yet. As we mentioned in point 3, getting your head, and those you work with, around the quality not quantity concept is key, ultimately by doing this you will be better placed to improve rankings as Google values relevance not spam, preach.
Remembering way back when, a content series could be viewed as a bit well…cringe. Quite the opposite now my friends, so get on board. If you have five core messages why create five pieces of content to address them when you could triple that and really drive those points home. The perfect vehicle to do this would be a series. We’re not saying create lots of series’ so that consumers get confused, more just to consider when creating your strategy that a series per quarter, to help push a product, service or issue could be advantageous.
We have seen a few filtering options creep in over the past few months, more often as part of service led websites, but the aim is the same as within other content, to get the user to the information they need, as quickly as possible. Possibilities could include introducing clickable options on your blog that then filter content applicable to the visitor’s requirements, or maybe interactive videos which take the viewer to the section which addresses their concerns, instead of having to watch the whole thing. Similarly to what we said earlier about understanding video before using it, you don’t have long to retain that consumer or visitor so make their journey as simple and able to be personalised as possible.
Perhaps showing our age with the 90’s tv show reference (it was awesome fyi), but live streams are set to be big in the new year. What better way to make your audience feel on board than allowing them to join you on the regs in meetings, conferences or in the studio? Video content is second only in popularity to blogs, in both B2B and B2C environments, and is proven by Livestream to keep viewers more engaged than other tactics, so brush up on your camera skills, you’re going to need them.
As of January 2018, the number of voice searches taking place reached over one billion, so you could say it’s kind of a big deal. Even more surprisingly, it’s estimated that during 2020 over 50% of ALL searches will be conducted by voice. How does this effect my content marketing you might be thinking…
You must optimise your content for this change and preferably before your competitors’ cotton on, to really reap the benefits. An example of this is that you might type in ‘Content Marketing trends for better results in 2020’, whereas with voice search you might ask ‘What are the Content Marketing trends for 2020 that will achieve better results’. Yes, it’s only a slight difference, but it’s an important one to consider. Keep a close eye on what your visitors are voice searching to allow you to concentrate on a select few long-tail keywords.
Emails from brands tailored to what they know you’ve browsed on site or opened previously are no new thing, however during the next decade dynamic content delivery is going to take centre stage. Tools that facilitate dynamic content are automated to serve your audience with exactly what they want, whether on site, via email, or on any other channel. All you need to do is create the content that all demographics are going to want to watch, read or interact with.
Statista reports that the number of podcast listeners has tripled over the past decade and this is only set to increase. If you can rustle something up that is relevant for your industry, colleagues or customers then get on Amazon and buy the necessary equipment immediately. If your business doesn’t lend itself to a pod (as those in the biz call them) then why not consider sponsoring or advertising on one that will also get your brand out there.
In Googles never ending journey to provide users with ultra-relevant pages, it is now showing visitors additional information as well as the traditional list of search results, known as a snippet. This is partly down to a rise of ‘no-click’ searchers who are people that know Google will present a snippet, thus requiring nothing more than typing in their search query. The key to getting your content to be shown in this widget are to make titles concise yet descriptive and content solution focused. Similarly, to what was mentioned in point 12, concentrate on long tail ‘how do I..’ questions to succeed in your search of the snippet.
Huge brands invest in data analysis and insight teams, most others don’t, and sporadically look at Google Analytics information which may or may not influence their content strategy. For 2020 you and your teams are going to have to worship data and more than that, act upon it. To know what data should be most influential to your bottom line you might have to work backwards to begin with. For example, look at spikes in traffic or purchasing and see if it can be attributed to specific marketing efforts. Once you know which metrics to concentrate on, you’re cooking on gas.
According to a recent AdWeek study, they found that user generated content is 85% more influential than brand content. UGC is genius really, as it is not only more engaging but also requires significantly less resource to utilise. Grow your community by using your best asset, your invested existing community!
Facebook messenger, Snapchat and Whatsapp are all being used by brands, especially those who are chasing millennial and Gen Z audiences. With over 3 billion consumers spending time on all of these messaging apps, the rise of dark social will be in full force next year. Think about how you can use these for live chat, customer service, delivering campaign messaging or offers to your customers. Psychologically consumers are more engaged when using social media and messaging apps as it is an environment, they are familiar and comfortable with, maximise this to market your company.
Comparing your own efforts with those of your competition will allow you to outmanoeuvre them as well as learn from their successes and missed opportunities too. An easy way to start is to Google the search terms you want to target and see what sits in those top spots and therefore what you could produce to outrank it. Ultimately to see a detailed view of your competitors’ strategies you would need to invest in tools such as SEMrush, Buzz Sumo or AH Refs, which will also show you what’s trending across all sectors and demographics.
Finally, if you haven’t dipped your toe into the pool of ever-growing influencers, you’re missing out. Nowadays, whatever your niche there is a blogger, vlogger, Insta-model or YouTuber who can push your product or service harder than you ever could directly to the audience you want to buy from you. Spend big on this, it’ll pay off we promise.