8 content marketing trends that will dominate 2020

You’re over a month into 2020 and you’re still going back to the well of content marketing inspiration you drained dry in 2019. There are loads of things your managers are going to be asking you about this year, and you need to be prepared. Consider this your guide to surviving 2020 in content marketing.

Stay on top of your game with these top eight content marketing trends to watch for in 2020.

1. Voice search tailored content

More of us are opting to use voice search to find out an answer to a question, rather than exhaust ourselves typing it into Google. Voice search has been around for a while now, but from ordering groceries to checking weather, people are using the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant as part of their everyday routines.

How to implement

It’s important to remember the search terms we spit into a virtual assistant are more nuanced than those we tap into Google.

For example, where we might write ‘time France’ on Google, we would say to Alexa: ‘What’s the time in France?’ The content we produce needs to be mindful of this by incorporating long-tail keywords and entire phrases. It’s essential that we research long-form questions our customers might ask and include exact phrasing of these queries in an article’s title. It might be appropriate for you to schema mark up your copy so that it’s easier for your voice assistant to read.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts have been around since at least 2004, and although it might seem like every Tom, Dick, and Harry hosts a podcast these days, brands have been hesitant to ride the wave as publishers. Although quite happy to buy ad space. An exception includes Red Bull, who have managed to rival media outlets by delivering engaging podcasts on a subject their listeners love: racing. Instead of going down the traditional advertising route, they have transformed into a reputable sports authority thanks to their imaginative story-telling capabilities.

Podcasts clearly have the potential for massive brand visibility and engaging a customer base. So, if you know your audience has an appetite for podcasts, get on board before your competitors beat you to it.

How to implement

Don’t just create one for the sake of it. A podcast should be used to share meaningful, valuable material that resonates with your audience. It’s important that it is relevant to your brand. Either concentrate on a specialist subject related to your brand or do what Red Bull have done and talk about something you know your audience are interested in.

If you’re not keen on being a producer, you could contribute to podcasts you know your audience enjoys. View it as the modern equivalent of guest blogging.

3. Short-form video

Short-form video is enjoying a moment thanks to the rise of video social media platform TikTok, plus Instagram has been forcing creators to stick to a minute or less since 2016. Instant gratification is nice. Short videos are that.

Depending on what you’re saying, if you want someone to listen, your video might need to end shortly after it begins.

How to implement

Creating engaging short-form videos is all about knowing what works. And what your clientele aren’t willing to spend long on.

Study which topics on your website or social have resonated with your audience in the past. Look at your analytics to find which content gets the most amount of traffic and shares. Use that for ideas. Is there a topic people like but don’t spend long with? Could be your short-form video key.

You could also look at Buzzsumo, Facebook’s ‘Pages to Watch’ or Instagram’s ‘Explore’ tab to get an idea on trends that have recently gone viral.

4. More live streams

Livestreaming is definitely a thing. On Facebook, one in five videos is now a live broadcast. The signs are abundantly clear: it’s a service you should be engaging with and fast. A successful live stream can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

How to implement

An easy way to get on board with live streaming is to use social media platforms with integrated live streaming such as Facebook and Instagram Live. You could do a Q+A, a behind-the-scenes tour, an interview with an expert or influencer, breaking news, webinars or even a product demonstration.

Make sure to promote your event to create hype, whether that’s through an email campaign or via social media, and always choose your time slot wisely. When is your audience able to engage and are you targeting people in different time zones?

5. Dynamic content

Also known as adaptive content, dynamic content changes to suit a customer’s behaviours, preferences and buying habits etc. In dynamic email, the pictures and text will vary according to the customer segmentation. The result is a personalised experience for the customer.

How to implement

The key is content that doesn’t just suggest something in the ball park of what the customer might be interested in but instead offers direct recommendations. How? Data. You’ll need to rely on it heavily to deliver content that perfectly matches your users’ desires and pushes them closer to purchase.

6. Evergreen content

Timeless content is on the rise. Copy needs to stay relevant to your users. Stats and figures quickly expire and interest, and potentially traffic, can die off when the post is no longer relevant. But evergreen content, or work that’s updated regularly, survives long after it’s published.

How to implement

Repurpose and update content regularly so it doesn’t lose its value. It could be as simple as embedding a new supporting video or giving an old article a quick refresh and republishing it. Some editorial is hardier, though. Guides and tip-style articles tend not to lose their appeal over time, and potentially require less upkeep.

7. Featured snippets

The coveted featured snippet continues to make its mark. These are the boxes of information you often see at the top of the page after you make a search. (Not to be confused with rich results or rich snippets, which are pretty much anything on a search results page that aren’t a plain organic or ad listing.) A featured snippet could be things like:

  • A how-to list.
  • Summary paragraph.
  • Information table.

It saves users time and Google will link to your full page. So landing a featured snippet is quite the accolade and can drive a good chunk of traffic.

How to implement

Structure your content clearly and make it easy to digest. Go back to basics. Create an article that provides crystal clear answers to burning questions and give it an attention-grabbing headline unlike anything else out there. The content should also fully satisfy the user’s intent. Using structured data won’t hurt, either, but it’s more for rich results.

2020 will go better for you now you know more about all the above. It’s set to be a busy year for us content marketing professionals. Now you know what’s trending, start implementing some of the above tactics to stay ahead of the curve.

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