What worked last year might not work now. You need to keep up with the pace to stand out and get better results.
2020 is set to be a big year for consumer trends and content marketing strategies to answer them. It will be a year of adaptation and agility for your own marketing team.
In this article, we’ll look at the ways you can best prepare for the content marketing trends to come and how you can better align with your overall business growth plan. This checklist will ensure you not only stay ahead of the trends but you’ll be able to adapt your content marketing efforts to answer them.
Ways to Prepare for Content Marketing Trends in 2020
The Year of Micro-Trends: Stay Agile
2020 will be a year of optimization and constant growth. 2020 is set to be a year that is ever-changing, both in business and in the trends that come. We’re set to see numerous trends throughout the year come, and leave just as quickly. Make sure you develop an agile team, one that is both proactive and reactive to changes in the content marketing game.
It’s fantastic to have a strategy and a plan to go to market. However, what’s better, is how you adapt your route to market when a new opportunity arises, and how efficiently you can do that. Set up plans that are adaptable and develop a culture that allows for change, both with your strategy and your team’s mindset.
The Year of Constant Change: Hire All-Rounders
Building off the first preparation point; focus on hiring talent that’s as adaptable and agile as your content marketing strategy. In your hiring process, look for people with skill sets that fall across different content areas, you’ll need omni-marketers in 2020.
This mix will give your own strategy fresh perspectives, as well as allowing you to hit those content marketing goals you’ve set, no matter how tight you are on human resources.
The Year of Visuals First: Focus on Core Skills
2020 is set to be a huge year for visual design and design thinking. Even with the constant change in marketing trends to come, there will still be specific skill sets you’ll need to hire. We’ll see the year championing video content, it’s been at a constant growth through the latest years and this year that demand is predicted to rise. You’ll need to accommodate the call for video with an in-house videographer.
We’ll also see a great need for talent within AR and VR, as well as illustration. If you’ve got this talent on board, or have the potential to train a current team member on the skill, then you’re set to be creating content that’s engaging as well as sought out, in 2020.
The Year of Championing Content: Build a Structured Content Library
If you want to stay on top of your game in 2020 you’ll need to stay organized. There’s nothing worse than remembering one image or video you know you have and then not being able to find it. If you’ve got a team of all-rounders on your content marketing team you can’t rely on one person’s knowledge to help find the content you’re looking for.
Content has been King for a long time now and there’s no stopping it in 2020. This year content is set to be King, Queen, and everything in-between. Prepare for it. Structure your content library well, use image tags, color codes and develop a search structure that’s not only intuitive but has a process that’s documented. Make sure your content library can be used by anyone and everyone.
The Year of Personal Goals: Plan for Campaigns and Key Dates
This year is set to be a big year focussed on “self.” People will be asking themselves more and more what their purpose is and challenging why they are here. They will be looking at brands to lead the way and set an example. It’s essential that, as a brand, you identify with your mission and vision this year and make purposeful strides towards that.
How? Identify dates that are important to your brand or product and make sure they’re in your yearly plan. It’s all well and good being agile but there will be certain campaigns and initiatives that you’ll need to focus on, regardless of current content trends.
Identify what your key dates are for your team at the beginning of the year and make sure you give your team enough lead-time to concept and create a fantastic content campaign to hit targets.
Don’t give yourself too much lead time for a campaign, though. For example, don’t plan a Christmas campaign in Spring. By the time it gets around to Christmas there’s a high chance your initial idea is no longer relevant or the tactics you were planning on using are dated. Perhaps there’ll be a better way to go to market and you’ll have wasted your time planning back in Spring.
The Year of Data Science: Read Your Data
Yes, 2020 will be filled with new trends. Yet, just because you’re hitting these trends doesn’t necessarily mean your content marketing efforts are going to be a success. Remind your team to be data-minded and brush up on how to read your data. We’ll have more tools and resources than ever before to understand markets, in 2020, so make sure you’re using them wisely. Every piece of data your team read should not only inform your content marketing plan but your overall growth plan too. Look for ways your team can inform and help to reach larger business goals.
Analyze KPIs, response rates and general statistics from within your own audience and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. Once you’ve identified your own customer trends you’ll be able to apply your learnings to content marketing strategies with larger, global trends in mind.
The Year of Micro-Communities: Cater to Them
2019 saw a huge push for authentic communities and consumers looked towards brands to help form them. This trend is leveling up in 2020, we’re seeing a need for micro-communities. These communities are smaller collectives within a larger group.
Consumers are now looking to forge genuine, online relationships with people who not only have the same love for a certain thing as they do but someone they can identify with on another level as well.
By identifying and appealing to these micro-communities you’re not only honing in on customer acquisition but customer retention too. 2020 will be the year that customers really assess the brands they choose to come back to and if you’re no longer appealing to them, then be prepared for an increase in customer churn rate.
Identify what and who your micro-communities are and cater to them. Make sure you’re answering your unique consumer needs with tailored content they’ll appreciate. Unsure of what they need? Ask them.
The Year of Voice Search: Knuckle Down on SEO
With voice-assisted aids like Alexa and Siri becoming more prominent in the home, SEO will definitely be changing in 2020. You’ll need to make sure you’re applying your SEO efforts thoroughly.
People will no longer be scrolling as much, so you can’t count on those Google brand search impressions as heavily for awareness, and those curious click-throughs for non-branded search terms will drop too.
Make sure you optimize and up-cycle old content as well as create new content that is searchable for 2020. Voice-assistants will continue to grow smarter in 2020 but they’ll still just be presenting one find to their searcher, make sure you’re ranking and the information presented is yours.
The Year of Conversational Marketing: Get Personal
If you haven’t done so already, 2020 is the year to flesh out a Brand Book and TOV Guidelines. This year we’re set to see a rise in conversational marketing and marketing automation efforts. In order for your brand to come across as authentically as possible among these new strategies, you’ll need to make sure that you’re consistent with your brand personality.
A great test to do with building your brand’s personality is the 100 question hot-seat. Turn your brand into a person and ask them 100 questions. Your brand/character should be able to answer those 100 questions. Everything from: What do you have for breakfast? through to what do you think about climate change? Make sure your team is as familiarized with the persona you create as you are.
When it comes to trialing new forms of communication in 2020, you’ll want to refer back to these resources and ensure you’re always staying true to brand.
Stay Ready for What 2020 Brings: Tool Up
New trends, new platforms, new strategies will often mean new tools. Ensure that going into 2020 you’re as prepared as you need to be with tools that will set you up for success. You’ll need reporting tools that help you grow and organize your efforts as well as tools that will help you with your marketing automation, so you can focus on larger strategies.
You’ll also need to start looking into tools that can help you stay on trend, too. With a demand for engagement and gamification in sales’ strategies look for online quiz makers, social media planners and find a WordPress development partner that’s right for your needs.
At the same time, perhaps it’s time to upgrade or cut tools that you haven’t been using and are no longer relevant. Use 2020 as a time to do some Spring cleaning and get rid of those tools that haven’t adapted to change.
Wrapping Things Up
This year will certainly put your marketing efforts to the test. Consumer needs are more prominent than ever and it’s up to brands to answer them. This checklist should help you to prepare as best as possible for the year ahead and the trends it will bring. Let’s wrap everything up in a bitesize list:
- Create an agile team
- Hire all-rounders
- Focus on new video formats and illustration talent
- Structure your content library
- Plan for key dates and campaigns
- Be data-minded
- Identify micro-communities
- Write for voice search
- Define your Brand Book & TOV Guidelines
- Reassess the tools you need
If you have ways that you’re preparing for content marketing trends or trend predictions of your own, for 2020, then please share them with us in the comment box, below.