2019 was a rollercoaster year for content marketing. Other than trying to keep up with regular SEO algorithm updates, content marketers have also been adjusting to a number of new trends and technologies. The seven trends below are expected to define 2020 for content marketers – they are the ones you really need to know about.
Video and Live-Streaming
Platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok have helped to prepare the world of live streaming into the mainstream consciousness. The last few years have seen an explosion in growth in the live streaming industry, and as this trend is set to continue throughout 2020, content marketers can capitalize upon it. The rise of live stream content has given video content a new pedigree and has encouraged many people who habitually avoided video content to finally engage with it.
You aren’t just limited to the aforementioned platforms when it comes to distributing video content. You can use your social media profiles to distribute video content – you can even embed it in your main website as long as you do so sensibly. If you produce your video content the right way, and you distribute it using the right channels, it can form a very effective part of your content marketing strategy. Remember that videos of different lengths will favor different platforms. For example, social media is best used to distribute shorter videos whereas YouTube can handle longer videos.
Going Beyond Text-Based Searching
Most of us are searching for something online, which means typing a query or series of keywords into a search engine. However, there are now a lot of different ways that you can search for information and content online; you are no longer restricted to using text. The existence of these different methods of searching means that SEO specialists need to be aware of how these differing search methods affect their craft.
A well-rounded modern SEO strategy needs to optimize for search methods other than text. The most popular alternative is currently voice search, although there are numerous other types of research that are now available. Because people speak differently to the way that they write, there are a growing number of search queries being executed that are formulated very differently to the words and phrases that SEO has traditionally targeted.
Optimizing content for voice search requires you to think about which questions it answers and how those questions would be phrased by the audience in a conversational manner. You can then base your long-tail keywords upon these specific questions.
Augmented reality is still in its early stages, but we are starting to see the technology being introduced into a number of areas of everyday life. For example, Google’s Maps app now includes augmented reality features that enable the user to hold up their smartphone and see directions superimposed on the world around them using the phone’s camera. Snapchat users have embraced the platform’s myriad filters, further demonstrating how popular AR tech is becoming.
Augmented reality presents numerous opportunities for content marketers, especially as the number of AR capable devices continues to rise. Snapchat enables users to create their own custom filters, meaning you can launch your own branded lens. When Taco Bell launched its own custom lens for Snapchat, it was viewed more than 220 million times, making it by far the most successful campaign in the history of the app. Throughout 2020, we can expect to see many more businesses attempting to cash in on this trend.
Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective tools available to marketers, and one of the quickest ways of getting word about a product or service to spread. In today’s world, word of mouth is still an important channel for marketing online content. Viral content is not just spread far and wide online; it also generates real-world conversations and lots of people’s first encounters with viral content will be in the offline space.
Encouraging users to share your content online is still an essential step to take, but it is also worth considering how you can encourage more offline reactions as well.
Personalization is the trend that just won’t go away. Ever since we gained the ability to address people by their first names in emails, personalization technology has proliferated and is now more or less expected by audiences in many scenarios. In order to achieve the levels of personalization that many audiences have now grown used to, you will be relying upon numerous data sources.
Already we are seeing the proliferation of services that offer to automatically collate data for the purposes of personalization. Throughout 2020, expect to see similar businesses beginning to crop up providing services to content marketers.
Content generated by your own users is often far more effective and resonant than the content you have put together yourself. For one thing, user-generated content will seem much more organic and authentic. This not only makes it more trustworthy to audiences, but it also increases the chances that it will be shared with other people.
People are much less likely to share corporate branded content on social media, but organic user-generated content might just have a chance. Perhaps the best example of the power of user-generated content can be seen in Coca-Cola Share a Coke campaign. This campaign encouraged customers to find a bottle of Coke with their name on it and share a picture of them with it on social media. This quickly gave Coca-Cola free viral content and one of the most successful and memorable marketing campaigns of recent times.
Quality Over Quantity
In recent times, many marketers have opted for a scattergun strategy whereby they simply try and get their content in front of as many people as possible. However, instead of purely playing the numbers game, you should focus on the quality of your content. It is important to maintain a regular upload schedule and keep regularly producing content, but you should never be uploading subpar content just for the sake of it.
High-quality content is not only easier to market, but it will also market itself to some degree. It stands to reason that better-quality content is more likely to be shared by readers, and you will receive an organic SEO boost from content that is more widely shared and linked back to.
With regular algorithm updates from Google and the ever-shifting social media landscape, content marketers have a lot to keep up with. We think the above trends will prove to be the most important throughout 2020, setting the stage for the years ahead.