Indispensable – that is what content marketing is!
Time and again, content marketing has proven itself worthy of becoming a staple in the marketing strategy of every organization. It is constantly evolving, and it is important to be updated on what the latest trends are.
But first, what is content marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In other words, it is all about creating and sharing material (including videos, blog posts, social media posts etc) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to create interest in the brand’s products or services.
Content marketing evolves all the time. And in this article, we will showcase current and future trends, with a view to helping you, as well as other online businesses, marketers and content creators including bloggers to make the most of these trends.
So, here’s the deal…
If you want to stay in the loop, keep reading because we’ve listed the top five content marketing trends that will be huge in the coming years.
The Top 5 Future Content Marketing Trends Every Marketer Needs To Know
What does the future of content marketing look like? Here are my top 5 content marketing predictions for this new decade.
#1. The Rise of Voice Searches
Voice searches have developed rapidly in recent years and the trend is set to continue in 2020.
A voice search basically allows a user to speak into a device instead of typing keywords into a search engine. According to Forbes, “Audio technology uses speech recognition to understand what users are saying with extreme precision. It then delivers results orally to the user. Although it seems like a brand-new concept, voice search technology has been around for a while. Programs such as speech-to-text and voice dialing are great examples of voice search.”
Chabot and digital assistants changed the game when they made their appearance in 2019. Seeing how they affected the search landscape, voice searches are expected to rise by 50% in 2020.
Google’s Hummingbird encourages people to use phrases that are semantic and conversational, as opposed to just a set of keywords. Given this, people can now ask “what does the future of content marketing look like”, “what are marketing trends 2020?” instead of just asking about “content marketing trends 2020.”
One way of catering to this change is by doing alterations in the content strategy. Brands can start by using long-tail keyword phrases in the content they can benefit from.
This is important because voice searches are easier, as all the user needs to do, is to speak into a device to generate the desired results. Therefore, growth in voice searches is predictable in the coming years.
#2. It’s All About Content Experience
Marketers gain back their power through content experience. This is the harmonious blend of the content’s interface, structure, context, and content.
But why does this matter all of a sudden? Because it allows the audience to experience whatever needs to be experienced whether it be good or bad. It appeals to the emotions and the senses, which are crucial when it comes to conversions.
This is one of the challenges that most online businesses face. No matter how good their products are, some potential buyers prefer to see, touch, feel, smell, or even taste their product before buying. One way to address this is by getting other people to talk about their experience.
Was it good? Was it bad? Why did they feel that way? The answers to these questions can make or break a sale.
Most marketers spend weeks or even months waiting around and hoping that someone discovers their content. This trend changes that by shifting the focus on the brand experience than on what the company’s content marketing strategies are.
#3. Boost Engagement Through Interactive Marketing
These days, content marketers are faced with two challenges: to refrain from contributing to the abundance of online clutter, and engaging audiences with the attention span of a goldfish.
Technological and digital innovations mean people are not as patient as they used to be. They need to have access to everything, be it answers, games, shops, or images in less than three seconds. If they have to wait a second longer, they will click the close button.
This is why one of the content marketing trends is all about adding interactive content like polls, videos, games, surveys, contests and quizzes, to boost their online engagement.
The key to tackling this trend is by making a conscious effort to come up with content that sparks interest. Wow them with your story while sharing the message that you want them to receive.
Think outside the box and if you are up for it, see what the competition is doing. Take note of what’s missing in their strategies and use it in yours. Sure, you need to adapt to the trend but you also need to be efficient and smart while doing it.
#4. The Domination of Live Videos
Video including live streaming is huge. But it is set to dominate!
This is what I mean.
At the moment, 55% of all keyword searches in the U.S. return at least one video blended into Google’s web search results.
According to Digital Marketing World, 13% of online traffic will be comprised of live videos come 2021. Cisco goes even further. In its Annual Internet Report, Cisco predicts that by 2021, 82 percent of all consumer IP traffic will be video, driven by a boon in live streaming, courtesy of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This content marketing shift is expected to be felt by everyone starting in 2020.
Live Streaming Set to Sky-Rocket
The reality is this. Consumers have an increasing appetite for new forms of media to educate, entertain and serve them. And companies and brands need to take advantage of this trend. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to introduce their business, products, and services.
This is one of the content marketing trends that companies need to maximize because the live-streaming industry is set to be worth over $70 billion in next few years. Make use of Facebook live, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify.
#5. The Rise and Rise of Immersive Technologies
According to CopyBlogger, “Content marketing is the backbone of getting your company noticed, attracting prospects, and turning them into loyal customers and clients.” One of the ways this will happen in the future is through the emergence of immersive technologies because of a shift in content consumption trends.
But first, what is immersive technology?
Immersive technology refers to technology that attempts to emulate a physical world through the means of a digital or simulated environment. This happens by creating a surrounding sensory feeling, leading to a sense of immersion.
Mixed reality (MR)
Immersive technology enables Mixed reality (MR). MR is basically the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. MR is a combination of Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR).
VR immerses users in a fully artificial digital environment. AR overlays virtual objects on the real-world environment, while MR not just overlays but anchors virtual objects to the real world.
How did we get here? In two words, “Pokémon Go”. Pokémon Go is a 2016 AR mobile game developed and published by Niantic in collaboration with The Pokémon Company for iOS and Android devices. It is safe to say that the worldwide interest generated by Pokémon Go brought AR into mainstream consciousness.
5G is expected to reach its full potential in the next few years. And with 5G said to be 100 times faster than the current 4G technology—at its theoretical maximum speed, there is no doubt that immersive technologies will thrive in the next few years. In fact, PWC UK forecasts that VR in the UK entertainment and media industry alone will reach a value of circa $1 billion by 2021. This will make it the fastest growing and largest VR industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Taking Advantage of Immersive Technologies
In my view, the digital content trends presents a humongous potential to develop brand loyalty.
Businesses that are strategic will benefit greatly from this content marketing trend. I believe it is wise, prudent and tactical to plan to take advantage of immersive technologies. One way this can happen is to make prospective customers journey with the company while seeing their products and services through AR. This should lead to more sales, because when something appeals to the senses, the possibility of a conversion is higher.
Furthermore, AR is an effective panacea for asymmetric information. Again, resulting in more conversions and a boost in sales.
If you’re are planning to potentially incorporate emerging technologies into your business, my advice will be to:
- Undertake a future consumption trends research of your customer base
- Put yourself in the position of the user. Step into the virtual world and experience it for yourself
- Create content that increases brand loyalty.
The reality is you may not fully understand the benefits, and potential return on investment for your business unless you step into this make belief world that is set to be the new reality!
Best Practices For Optimizing Your Content Creation & Marketing
For better content marketing, it is important that you seek to produce the best possible content. Seek to amaze your audience through the quality of your content. If necessary, invest. Don’t hold back. A lot of brands have created better brand awareness by investing more in their content creation processes.
Many studies suggest that 56% of businesses and other content marketers are increasing their spending on content creation.
Content Creation Best Practices
To be effective, content creation must include the following:
- Seriously consider investing in SEO tools such as SEMrush, ahrefs or Moz pro.
- Researching long-tail, medium-tail keywords and topics
- The research of trending topics in your particular niche
- Consider content planning as part of your over all content creation strategy. A great way to do this is through a content plan. Your content plan should have deliverables, milestones and due dates, with a focus on content as the deliverable.
- A focus on content writing, editing and optimization. Think about creating compelling content that amazes.
- Creating graphics, images or screenshots (unique graphics influence more, so online graphic tools can be used)
Content Marketing Ideas
Quick question. What is the first thing you do after publishing your content? Promote it, right? But how? Here are some ideas to help get your content much needed traction:
- Consider investing in content marketing technology. Examples include social media publishing and analytics tools, email marketing software, marketing automation software. Others are analytics tools, content creation/optimization software, workflow/project management/calendar tools and content management tools.
- Utilizing content promotion best practices including:
- Influencer marketing
- The use of social media
- Use of paid methods to distribute content including sponsored content on social media and SEM/pay per click.
- Seriously consider content marketing outsourcing
Over the last few years content marketing has become a buzzword among B2Bs and B2Cs. It is essential because no matter how amazing your content is, if nobody knows about it, it’s no good. Therefore, focus on content marketing as part of your over all content strategy to get more results and traffic for your business.
Be inventive. Think outside the box. Implement ideas for creating high-quality content that both your target audience and the search engines love.
Undoubtedly, the competition is about to get tougher. It always does with new trends. So, meet with your team and talk about how you can make these trends work for you. If there are investments required, discuss that as well, so you can prepare your budget.
Some people tend to be weary when they learn about trends. They find it overwhelming when the truth is, it isn’t. Instead of seeing these trends as a challenge, see them as an opportunity. An opportunity to raise your game. Make it a time to find new ways to bring your brand closer to your target audience.
Aside from studying these trends, it would also be good to read up on how these trends will affect the online behavior of your target audience.
Voice searches changed everyone’s search behavior in 2019. Those who were prepared reaped the rewards. They appeared at the top of the search engine results pages, because they made the necessary adjustments. This is one of the advantages of doing your homework as a content marketer.
Be proactive. Be strategic. These predictions are released for a reason. It puts the ball squarely in your court. Your job then, is to undertake further research on these trends. Think about which of the trends can be part of your content marketing strategy.
If you’re aiming for higher numbers, be it traffic, conversions, or sales, think about how these trends can help you achieve that.
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Now Your Turn
What are your top content marketing trends for the coming years? In your view, what is the future of content marketing? What would you say are the future business trends, marketing technology trends, and the social media and content marketing trends that will shape 2020 and the new decade?