Trends in marketing come and go but being aware of them is essential if you hope to remain relevant and successful. Other than the quality of your product and your dedication to hard work, marketing is key to the success of any business. Staying on top of the trends that are dominating your own industry and the world of digital marketing in general should be part and parcel of your overall strategy if you want to succeed. Here are 10 current content marketing trends you need to know.
1. Voice Search
Though still in its relative infancy, voice search is becoming more popular and accounts for around 20% of all search activity on Google. For marketing professionals, this means simple key words and shorter phrases are important when it comes to SEO. Though you cannot simplify everything, using phrases that are likely to spoken rather than typed in your content means that you are improving your chances of potential customers finding you with a single search. Be mindful of pronunciation issues and also accents, though. This technology has advanced exponentially in recent years but there are still facets of real-life human speech that it cannot quite cope with.
2. Content Marketing for Other Professionals
Digital Marketing is still growing and as the world continues to shift to online activity over real life interaction, this trend looks set to continue for some time yet. A result of this is that there is now a significant need for content marketing that is aimed directly at other professionals in the industry, rather than consumers or laypeople. To write this kind of content effectively, you need to be aware of what marketing professionals are looking for. This could be stats and figures, insight into new practices or just opinions on the current state of the industry. Though this is the very definition of “meta” writing content for content creators can be a great way to expand your own knowledge and establish a presence in the industry.
3. A.I is Beginning to Understand Context
One of the main stumbling blocks for search engines has always been the rather metaphysical concept of “context.” Words can have different meanings, depending on how they are used, and this is something that needs to be factored into your content. Though repletion alone used to be enough to trick the algorithms in to thinking you had plenty of genuinely relevant content, this is no longer the case. Using synonyms (alternative words) rather than repeating the same keyword over and over again is a good tactic, especially where titles are concerned. Similarly, taking the advice that Grammarly and Hemmingway offer you with a large pinch of salt is highly recommended. Original, human sounding writing generally performs far more effectively than robotic, over simplified text that merely “does the job.”
4. Individuals Can Have More Reach Than Businesses
Since the golden age of the influencer dawned a few years ago, the voice of the individual is something that many audiences value over something that seems conspicuously corporate. Reaching out to influencers or even engaging with the marketplace as one yourself means that you can deliver any messages that are relevant to your business in a genuine, relatable, and more importantly, human way. This is not anywhere near as easy as it sounds. Learning how to talk to your audience, insert advertising slogans and mention particular products without breaking your flow or spoiling the feel of your content takes practice and experience. Reaching out to influencers is probably your best bet if you are new to that world as it means you can allow them to worry about the presentation and delivery, while you focus on running on your business.
5. Video is Still King
Written text will always be essential but in terms of popularity, video is still the most preferred medium in 2020. Attention spans are getting shorter and reading abilities differ significantly from person to person, meaning that video content has become the preferred method of delivering messages for businesses and individuals alike. Of course scripts, descriptions and even things like specific directions for tone of voice or body language all need to be written down somewhere, when it comes to what most customers actually want, clear, easy to understand videos are the most popular type of content across pretty much every industry today.
This point comes with a caveat as some concepts and ideas cannot be simplified too much without losing their initial meaning, but generally speaking, audiences prefer short, easy to digest pieces of content. Bite sized chunks of text, quick videos and simple diagram-based flow charts are often used to ensure audiences remain engaged. Simplifying information so that it can be easily understood in just a few paragraphs is a skill, but one that most professional copywriters will be able to provide for you. Be mindful of oversimplification, though. Clarity is always a good thing in marketing content but clarity at the cost of essential detail is definitely not.
7. Data Driven Content
Data is essentially the most valuable commodity available at the moment and content based on a person’s search history, preferences and even their dislikes has proven to be the most effective type of material you can publish. Using analytics tools to reflect what your customers are searching for and how they are spending their time online allows you to tailor your campaigns to their needs. Targeting hungry home workers in the late afternoon or early evening is popular strategy for fast food and ready meal companies whereas manufacturers of earplugs and sleeping aids often focus on the twilight hours when most of their potential client base are likely to be awake.
Content trends move fast and change with customer behaviour. Ultimately, the trends we have discussed here point towards a more reactive, targeted approach to content creation as opposed to the more traditional, campaign driven approach many of us are used to seeing. What is certain, is that creating material that reflects the current trends will always help you to reach more potential clients than if you stick to the old ways of doing things. It may seem unfamiliar and even a little risky, but it is likely to pay dividends in the end.