As we approach the end of the decade, content marketing continues to take centre stage. Here are Probella’s predictions for content marketing in 2020.
Filter friendly or results-based content
Search isn’t just about google, Bing and Firefox, it’s also about how your users find the content they’re looking for when they arrive on your site. Include a search functionality allows people to enter the key terms they are looking for, without having to trawl through pages of irrelevant information. Sites that don’t do this will notice a significant drop off in traffic eventually as the sheer volume of written content online means that most users simply don’t have the time to spend “exploring” your site. They want to find what they’re looking for in as few clicks as possible and they don’t want to read any more than they really have to.
If you don’t feel that a search bar function is necessary on your site, you could allow users to filter your content by keywords. Marking blog posts and articles with hashtags and keywords means that users can find everything on that subject with a single click. Driving engagement in 2020 is all about making your users feel as if they are in control. Allowing them to view the content that is most relevant to them and giving them the option to skip over anything they don’t have an interest in.
The Podcast Revolution Continues
As traditional mediums such as broadcast television and radio continues to decline, the podcast is still growing in popularity. From a business and marketing perspective, this is excellent news as they’re relatively inexpensive to create and very easy to distribute. In the last decade, the number of people who regularly listen to this kind of content has tripled. That means, if you aren’t using podcasts for marketing yet, its time to start thinking about ways you can make them work for you. Whether its presenting your brand as a sponsor or starting your own, industry specific podcast yourself, we can no longer ignore the potential of this unique type of audio content. 2020 will no doubt see this trend continue.
Conversational Language is Still a Powerful Marketing Tool
Customers respond well to conversational language because it feels more human than the marketing and management speak that dominates many offices and workspaces. In our every day lives, we don’t talk about margins, verticals or getting our ducks in a row. Engaging with customers in a way that makes them feel comfortable and ultimately, as if they are speaking to a real human being means that they are more likely to respond positively. Getting the balance right takes a little practice and being too familiar can be just as negative as presenting yourself too formally, but generally speaking, a relaxed, welcoming tone will always be preferable to a stiff, authoritarian message in 2020.
Live Streaming and Video is Now Commonplace
Once considered something of a novelty, video and livestreaming content is now the central focus for many businesses, with written content often taking a back seat. This trend will continue well into the next decade and is already starting to evolve. Though blog posts are still the most dominant form of content creation, video-based material isn’t far behind, making up around 60 percent of both business to business and business to customer content. Production values continue to improve as good quality HD cameras become more available and the host of free and low-cost editing software means that things like aftereffects and post production trickery are on option for novices and professionals alike. Expect competition to ramp up severely in the first few years of the next decade, as platforms like tiktok and twitch begin to gain more traction.
Voice Search and Smart Devices
The way we use the internet is changing and content needs to be as easy to find for smart devices such as Alexa as it is for a human user. Last year, the number of recorded voice searches per month was in excess of 1 billion and we expect this figure to rise exponentially during 2020. To make sure your content is easy to find, be mindful of the difference between the way people talk and the way they type. Though they may search for “Top 10 restaurants in New York” if they’re using a keyboard, when they’re speaking, they’re more likely to say something like “What are the top ten restaurants in New York?” Adjusting and adapting your content to incorporate both lexical styles is important if you want to make sure you are getting maximum reach from all of your content.
The Personal Touch
Personalised content is here to stay and after a degree of resistance from some older consumers, the idea of submitting data in return for a specially tailored set of results is now something most people are comfortable with. The fashion industry does particularly well from this style of marketing, with users receiving tailored ads for jackets, sneakers and accessories in the midst of their social media feeds. Similarly, customised email marketing is now possible, as companies can present products based on their customers previous purchases or searches. This trend looks set to continue in to 2020 as users begin to realise the benefits of personalised content. Suggested content is something YouTube and other platforms have been using for years, so we can expect to see this model creeping into online shopping platforms, too. Businesses can recommend certain garments, electrical products or accessories so that their customer’s shopping experience feels intuitive and simplified.
In 2020, we can expect the shift towards personalisation, video driven content and less formal language to continue. Content marketing continues to evolve based on new technology, too, so expect voice search and device specific terms to play a large part, too. Audio content is also very likely to become as commonplace as video over the next decade, too, as podcasts continue to eclipse TV and radio.