As we dive into 2020, it’s time to start thinking about effective ways to improve your content marketing strategy for the new year. 2019 was a bonding year for changing the customer relationship into the ongoing connection with brands, focusing on influencer content collaborations and interactive content, and developing multi-stream marketing campaigns.
In 2020, content marketing will become the most significant digital marketing tactic. Nearly 90% of B2B marketers include content marketing in each of their campaigns to reach their potential customers. Many brands will cement a content experience strategy as an essential need for success in the year to come.
Below are tips from industry experts for 2020—each of which has underlying ties to experience. So let’s organize your strategy around these content marketing tips:
1. Create quality video content
Video content is going to take center stage in 2020 as more marketers start leveraging it to engage their target audiences. Videos are the most engaging form of content and will be the most dominant content format in the future.
To get ahead of your competitors, include video as a key part of your content strategy for 2020. Experiment with different types of videos including live videos, ephemeral video content, IGTV videos, podcasts, etc.
Try these and then analyze their performance to see which type of video content works best for your audience. You should also post your videos on different platforms and cross-promote them to get more views.
- Shane Barker, Digital Marketing Consultant at ShaneBarker
2. Optimize for semantic search
Search intent is going to matter more and more because Google wants to give its users exactly what they need. So, the semantic analysis which helps content creators understand and optimize for search intent is something everyone needs to add to their content marketing strategy in 2020.
- Ann Smarty, Brand and Community Manager at InternetMarketingNinjas
3. Develop a content style guide
Creating a style guide for your content can bring you huge benefits in many areas. Having a unified approach to content creation will ensure that all of your branding efforts are aligned and consistent. This is crucial for ensuring that you’re sending the right messages related to your product and your target audience. Having all of your content rules in one place makes content creation a much smoother process. Make sure to include not only rules on formatting and visuals, but also guidance about what language and voice to use to write about different topics.
- Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix
4. Create data-driven content
The days of evergreen content that meets everyone’s needs are long gone. Living in an era of authenticity, modern consumers crave personalization more than ever. For content marketers, this means that they need to tailor content to a specific audience to hook and keep their readers’ attention. It’s important to know your specific customer from A to Z: understand their pain points, habits, and preferences. Figure out what works and what doesn’t work based on concrete data. Keeping this in mind, you need to produce content-creation decisions on-demand, adding personalization.
- Irina Weber, Content Marketing Enthusiast at SE Ranking
Building a business is like building a house. You must have a plan and a great foundation. You need a strong foundation to keep track of your leads and keep them organized. Try out our Keap demo and let’s build this business together. https://t.co/AqC0iCt71Z pic.twitter.com/MUpd2zwrEt— Keap (@KeapGrowing) January 21, 2020
5. Build a user persona
Create customer/user personas—Take a step back and identify four or five core segments of your target audience. Map out their journey and friction points. Build content around where they are in the buying lifecycle.
- Levi Olmstead, Director of Marketing at Your2ndKitchen
6. Adopt AI-powered chatbots
AI and specifically chatbots are gaining momentum and will become an even more accessible tool for marketers. Your customers expect a little more homework done than getting to first name bases. Customers want you to sell them what they prefer, what they have been looking for and for that, AI is your best bet.
Any content with a bit more personalization than their names would be intriguing for your customers. To tap these customers you need to know them and their preferences—with the help of a huge amount of data it can consume through machine learning. Chatbots can make that possible.
- Stephen Hasner, Director of Hasner Law
7. Create results and topic-focused content
In 2020, results and topic-focused content call the shots. With Google making E-A-T one of the top factors for high rankings, we need to think of user and search intent when creating our content. More than that, the battle for Google featured snippets runs on, and it’s important to focus on proper content quality and organization. Think of clusters and make each supplementary piece in the cluster solution-focused and long-form to answer the audience's question. Long-tail keywords and proper format will help to win a Google snippet and, therefore, influence your content conversion.
- Lesley Vos, Content Strategist at Bid4Papers
8. Use topic clusters
Topic clustering is what will keep rocking the world of content marketing in 2020. Exceptionally written and well-organized content will never go out of fashion. It's all about choosing a relevant pillar content (page) and producing supporting articles that explore your chosen theme in depth. In short, it's about exhausting the given topic and giving as much value as possible.
The next thing to pay attention to, once your pieces are published, is to interlink them and ensure that your readers can find them as fast as possible. This can be done by creating filterable list posts or categories. Providing your audience with the results-focused content will not only help you to gain their trust but also help search engines to crawl your website faster, therefore giving you more ranking points.
- Ryan Zavodnick, Founder of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC
9. Focus on the “Stories” format
Stories will be the biggest shift in content marketing in 2020. We already see them taking over the way people post on social media. Thanks to FOMO, ours is a culture of people who check their feeds frequently and with this much activity, we have multiple times throughout the day to get our messages in front of our audience. And, with the Stories format meant for "in the moment" content, it makes this an efficient way to post because we no longer need timely photoshoots and staging. Just snap, add a couple of stickers and Go!
- Allison Chaney, Content Marketing Specialist at Boot Camp Digital
10. Integrate quizzes
Quizzes will be effective in a B2B content marketing strategy for 2020. They work well for attracting and converting website visitors. There's always some type of content where a quiz could add value. For example, a well-performing article, a podcast or a video that gets a lot of eyeballs could all be improved with a quiz and help you convert more leads.
- Stefan Debois, Founder of Surveyanyplace
11. Promote every single piece of content
I'm a big fan of the strategy that requires as little content as possible. The main problem with content is that, in the majority of cases, doing more doesn't lead to getting more traffic and leads. Even though everyone knows that content requires a solid content promotion effort, many marketers don't promote their content. Promotion is not only doing a few SMM shout-outs and sending a newsletter to your subscribers, but it also includes acquiring links.
- Alexandra Tachalova, Founder of DigitalOlympus
12. Cut out the fluff of your content
The biggest content marketing trend in 2020 will be the decline and end of fluff content. Google's standards for ranking a piece of content are getting stricter by the day and not just any piece of content will do. I think fluff content written by generalist writers is going to die out because it will not make any tangible progress. Instead, companies will hire expert writers with niche-specific knowledge on a certain topic. This will cost more, but at the same time, the ROI of this kind of content will be much higher as well.
- Mile Živković, Copywriter for Chanty
13. Boost your live stream exposure
If there’s one kind of content that’s going to take center stage in 2020, it’s going to be live stream content. We’re social creatures: we love to interact with content. This is something only a live stream can provide. By using live platforms, for example, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, you can create engaging content and get customer feedback on that content in real-time.
Think about what a product video is supposed to demonstrate for the customer: they want to see how the product performs in action. When do we add the possibility of a customer being able to ask and receive answers to their questions immediately? You’ve got a potential goldmine on your hands. Not only are you building customer trust by creating live content, but you’re also offering a platform to build a community and allow that community to not only engage with you but each other.
- Whitney Blankenship, CM at Omnisend
14. Repurpose content in different formats
Content marketers always feel pressed for time and managing content on your own can be overwhelming. That’s why you should consider outsourcing and repurposing your content as appropriate. Especially, it works well for long-form content that takes lots of data mining, extensive research and time to write.
You can easily repurpose such content into different formats, such as podcasts, infographics, webinars, etc. Focusing on one type of content might exhaust your audience. Experimenting with different types of content that works for you will generate significant results.
- Ambrosio E. Rodriguez , Founder of The Rodriguez Law Group
15. Create a video or audio series
More marketers will start creating shows (audio and video) that will keep their audience’s attention and make them stay on your content. Engage with it and talk about it. Start working on a video series (documentary, daily vlogs, behind the scenes and others) that can be educational, informational or entertaining. Don’t forget about podcasts that will make your audience binge-listen the show.
- Robert Katai, Digital Marketer and Content Marketing Strategist at Bannersnack
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Check out Keap's 2020 Small Business Marketing Trends Report
16. Sponsor great content
Brands are constantly searching for new ways of connecting with their target audience. Sponsored content is on the rise, especially in the B2C niche. Marketers want to inform their potential clients about their new products once they're in stock which means that type of content should be delivered in a very specific time frame.
Sadly, well-known media outlets and blogs are not always willing to help on a non-commercial basis. That’s why you need to select the sites very carefully to avoid wasting your budget. Among the metrics, we highly recommend going through both the overall traffic of all sites as well as the number of unique visitors that your sponsored content is getting.
- Alexander Storozhuk, Founder of PRNews.io
17. Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content is one of the most successful ways to make customers feel engaged with your brand because it’s shared through word-of-mouth and organic. Often, those customers are fans who promote a brand instead of a brand promoting itself. Allowing them to talk about your brand online helps generate buzz and increases visibility. UGC can be content of any type, for example, blogs, website pages, images, social media posts, and testimonials.
- Michele Mirman, Founder of Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C
The world of content marketing can be a daunting process. Sometimes some mantras straight from the mouths of the experts can help you get things moving. I hope in this article you can find some good advice that resonates with you best.