The changing face of content marketing
Content is undoubtedly at the helm of an organization’s digital marketing strategy. The realm of content marketing is an ever-evolving one, demanding new strategies and new ways of thinking with each passing year. What worked a year back may be completely irrelevant in the current year.
As the marketing fraternity prepares for the closing of 2019 and eagerly looks forward to the new year 2020, let some numbers throw light on how marketers are leveraging content to achieve their marketing goals:
- 91 percent of marketers view content as an essential business asset.
- 56 percent of businesses want to increase their spending on content creation.
- 70 percent of marketers give priority to the quality of content than its quantity.
Top content marketing tips for acing the game in 2020
The above numbers give an idea of how dynamic content marketing is and how it’s becoming increasingly important for marketers to keep pace with the change. To get the best out of your content marketing efforts in 2020, here are a few tips you should follow:
1. Focus on storytelling
Storytelling has been a go-to tactic for content marketers for a while now. The trend is likely to become all the more popular in 2020. Research reveals that messages delivered in the form of stories prove up to 22 times more memorable than mere facts.
Creating brand stories that relate to your audience and boost sales depends on your efforts to become unforgettable in an already-saturated marketplace. You need to forge a deeper emotional connection with your audience, engage them and include them in your tribe.
To create memorable stories, you need to answer three questions:
- What is that your audience should remember about you?
- What exactly is the message you wish to deliver to your audience?
- What are the kind of emotions you wish to evoke in your audience?
Always remember that it’s highly likely that your audience will forget what you say, but they will not forget how you made them feel since emotions drive their decisions more strongly than logic.
2. Create dynamic content
The year 2020 will not be about creating any content, but dynamic, personalized content. Dynamic content is essentially any digital content that streams based on user behavior and preferences. This can be content in text, video or audio formats.
With identity resolution and technology enabling a collective customer view across multiple devices and platforms, creating streams of dynamic content has already become possible. At the same time, it is also now possible to customize an entire suite of content to fit the customer’s journey.
2020 will be about utilizing AI and smart recommendation engines to propel prospects meaningfully to make more informed decisions, using identity tags to show tailored content to returning visitors, and using response-based, next-best content over email to nurture prospects. You should fold these into your strategy too!
You will have to understand that each individual has many personas, which makes them behave differently when consuming content. The goal here is to create a content experience that’s personalized to both the website visitor and the real context of the interaction.
3. Use long-tail keywords
The world is now moving towards a reality of screen-less online searches. In 2020, content marketing will go in tandem with natural language search, meaning voice search will gain greater traction than ever before.
Voice channel is expected to be worth $40 billion by 2022. 51 percent of shoppers use voice search to research products, 22 percent to make direct purchases and 17 percent use it to reorder items. Moreover, Gartner also predicted that about 30 percent of all online searches will take place without a screen by 2020.
As such, 2020 will be about speaking more to Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. The lens now shifts to marketers’ keyword strategy, making it more focused on long-tail than on short-tail keywords. One of the best ways to ensure your content ideation efforts are successful is by using a Google trends API. This can provide you with detailed data about keywords for deeper topic research. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Write full-sentence Q&As in your content, and avoid your search term into several sentences.
- Always keep the conversational nature of voice searches in mind while selecting keywords.
- Develop a mobile-friendly site for making it searchable on mobile devices.
- Optimize your content for natural language to become visible on local “near me” searches.
By bringing together these tactics, your content stands a greater chance of appearing at the #1 position of search results and increase the visibility of your brand.
4. Treat interactive content as the king
Personalization and interactivity in content marketing are getting bigger and bigger with time. But it’s not just about dolling out personalized content, but also about having a relatable conversation with your audience. After all, you have to cut through the online clutter and grab the attention of consumers within a short time.
Interactive content formats like contests, quizzes, polls, surveys, and games, etc. are experiencing an engagement revamping owing to technologies like AI and chatbots. These technologies facilitate 24X7 access, as well as meaningful conversations and responses. From providing smart content recommendations to doing away with boring form-fills, the whole idea of ‘call-to-action’ is eventually transforming thanks to the present-day conversational content approaches.
The simplest way to create and deliver personalized content is by reaching out to customers and discuss the recent experience they had with your brand. The key to success, however, lies in building in-house content creation skills to direct these AI-driven technologies, thereby turning these programmed machines into something more like humans.
5. Use live video on social media
For content marketers striving to grow your business through social media or driving more sales, live video is set is drive the success of content marketing efforts. 13 percent of all internet traffic will have live video as a component by 2021. With almost every major social media platform now supporting live video streaming, you will have to make the best use of this content format to achieve success.
Having live video or podcasts in your arsenal of content marketing strategies will make your business more visible to new customers, portraying all your actions and provide ample learning opportunities by showcasing your expertise directly and in real-time.
You can also use the live video feature on Facebook and Instagram to craft interactive content that provides ample scope for personalization. You could also use these content formats to create Q&A sessions, interactive how-to videos, and many more. Not to forget 360-degree live video ads, which are claimed to drive 7 percent higher buying intent on mobile phones and a lead to a 12 percent boost in the faith that your brand tells a unique story compared to traditional video ads (Source).
6. Outsourcing content
Let’s face it: content creation is not a piece of cake. It’s a specialized job that requires a flair for wordplay and creating writing. Moreover, as a small business owner, it’s natural to face a crunch of time, making it even more challenging to manage content in-house.
This is where outsourcing content comes as a smart strategy, especially the creation of long-form primary content, which can be converted to other content formats. You should consider hiring freelance content writers from platforms like UpWork, Narrato or WriterAccess to assist you in the content creation process. The repurposed content formats can be created in-house using various tools like Lumen5, PosterMyWall and Canva.
As 2020 knocks on the door, you have to up your content marketing efforts by keeping pace with the latest content and digital marketing trends. It’s only by adapting to these changes that small business owners like you can stay ahead in this competitive game.
Aashish Sarma is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. His interests include social media and content marketing. Writing, travel, music and socializing are his hobbies which he pursues whole-heartedly.