Content is one of the most valuable and cost-effective ways any company can connect with their audience. It helps build reputation and trust and helps consumers get to know your company and what you have to offer. Content can also bring in new customers and can improve search engine optimization.
Just like everything else in 2020, content is evolving at what feels like the speed of light. To meet your consumers where they are, you must evolve as well.
The following is a list of five content marketing trends expected to lead the way in 2020.
Hopefully, you have some sort of formal strategy when it comes to your content marketing, but if not, now is the time to create one. It is not an effective use of time to create content for the sake of creating content. Your team should sit down and discuss your content goals for the year and create a strategy for how you plan to achieve those goals. Every piece of content should add a specific value for a specific audience.
Ural Cebeci, Vice President of Marketing at ScribbleLive, recently posted a blog on Convince and Convert, about the importance of using data to drive content.
Cebeci said that when it comes to strategy, most content marketers “go with their gut and generate content that they think will resonate. Sometimes they do so with a target audience in mind, but many times, they do so with the intent of reaching the largest audience possible. This approach is folly, and ultimately a waste of resources.”
If you haven’t already, take some time with your team and discuss what you think your audience would like to hear more about. If you have a good working relationship with some of your customers, ask them directly what they would like to know more about or what they would like to see on your blog, vlog, social channels, etc.
Data can be very overwhelming.. But data can also help you avoid wasting resources. It will help you identify target audiences, trending topics and potential influencers.
Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin with tracking data. A few of the most valuable indicators to track include brand awareness, customer retention and loyalty, engagement, traffic, and conversions. This data will demonstrate how effective your content marketing is at growing your target audience, getting that audience engaged, and ultimately leading them to become customers.
In a blog post on Convince and Convert, the author bluntly describes the importance of data, “Either tracking matters or it doesn’t. You’re in one camp or the other. EIther you’re analytical and data-driven, or you go by what you think work. People who go by that are wrong.”
The following marketing executives weighed in on the issue in an AdWeek blog:
“We are able to develop a deeper relationship with consumers because we have access to real-time data, allowing personalization at scale. This is motivation to raise the bar for the communications we put into the world. Marketers who understand the power of insights and data use it as an accelerator to create value for consumers through their work.” Mary Yee, Vice President of Global Marketing for PlayStation, Sony Interactive Entertainment
“I am excited about our newfound ability to leverage customer data for building brand, and not just for driving sales. What defines you as a person goes deeper than how much you spend: It’s your values, tastes, friends, personal features and overall identity. These are the data points you want to create an emotional connection with your customers.” Benjamin Lord, marketing consultant (formerly executive director at NARS Cosmetics).
Video has been the rising champion of content over the past few years and that trend continues in 2020.
According to a blog on Core DNA, consumers now expect and value video content. The blog cited a study that asked participants the following question, “When it comes to content, what do you closely pay attention to?” The results were as follows: 62 percent said video, 56 percent said social media posts, 44 percent said email content and 27 percent said blog posts.
So, how can you add video into your content marketing strategy? Here are just a few options:
Audiences also now look for live videos. According to a recent study by LiveStream, 80 percent of respondents said they would rather watch live video than read a blog post.
User generated content is content created by consumers about a brand or in a forum hosted by a brand. Often, it involves a customer reviewing an experience with a brand. The most common place user generated content is created is through social media.
According to a recent study, 85 percent of consumers find user generated content more influential than brand content. Convince and Convert calls user generated content the “holy grail of marketing.”
A blog by AdWeek, said that consumers are twice as likely to share user-generated content with friends or family.
User generated content is extremely powerful because people trust other people more easily than they trust a brand. People are more likely to interact with a brand if a friend or family member had a good experience with the brand. Think of it as the new and improved Word-of-Mouth marketing.
Here is an example. I have sensitive skin and am always on the lookout for body soap that will not cause issues with my skin. Last summer, a friend of mine posted that she bought soap from a local soap maker and that her skin had never felt better. Based on her comment, I tried the soap and also liked it. I am now a loyal customer of the New Harmony Soap Company.
So, how can you make user generated content work for you? You can create surveys and email them to customers and ask if it is ok for you to share the results. You can create a review option on your website and social media pages and share those results. You can also look for social media posts that mention your brand and ask the user if you can share the post. Most likely they will be happy to help.
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