The 8 Content Marketing Trends That Will be Taking Over in 2020

As marketers, it’s crucial to keep up with industry trends in order to drive positive business results, and more importantly, create trust between consumers and the companies they use. Current content marketing trends are a reflection of consumers’ expectations of the brands they’re working with – and we know giving people what they want is the first rule of inbound marketing

This year’s trends highlight two main ideas: brands will focus on individuals while becoming more automated at the same time. Moving forward, brands will refrain from using formal jargon to speak to their audiences and will start casual conversations instead. These strategies are all about impactful marketing that will influence consumers. 

In terms of automation, Artificial Intelligence solutions – such as chatbots – will become significantly more popular. Advanced chatbots are being programmed with canned responses that are conversational and personal, almost as if it was human. When a consumer engages in conversation with a chatbot, they’re likely to see a response like “I love what’s in your cart!”, rather than the generic “how can we help you today?”.  

Overall, content marketing will shift toward a greater focus on high-level automation and a relationship-first philosophy. Businesses will surely benefit from implementing these strategies into their marketing efforts. 

Continue reading for this year’s content marketing trends and ways to implement them into your business. 

1. Brands will engage with customers through human connection

As mentioned earlier, companies will interact with consumers on a deeper level by creating engaging content that fosters human connection. This type of content is influential to your audience since it shows clients you’re trustworthy and understanding of their needs. 

How to gain human connection through content marketing: 

Avoid using flashy marketing terms in your content to impress consumers. Instead, leave a lasting impression by creating content that creates a story. A good rule of thumb is to only put out content that is emotional, unique, and simple.

2. User-generated content outperforms brand-generated content

It’s a known fact that user-generated content produces more engagement than brand-generated content. Utilizing UGC is one of the easiest ways to foster human connection between brand and consumer. 

How to benefit from user-generated content:

Gain customer loyalty (and curate content for your company) by sharing photos and videos provided by your own customers on social media. Reposting these types of photos on your brand’s social media shows your audience you listen to and are interested in them. Remember, delighting your customers is still a key role in the buyer’s journey

3. Visuals will stand out amongst the noise

Another content marketing trend to implement is the use of attention-grabbing visuals that piece together an interesting or applicable story to the audience’s personal lives. This type of content directly taps into the consumer’s emotions, which is essential to capturing (and keeping) their attention. 

How to create stunning visuals:

Create high-quality images or videos that are simple, beautiful, and fit your brand or the message you’re trying to convey. Outsource this job and hire professionals if you must – this is a critical component of content marketing that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

4. Ethical marketing will play a large role in creating genuine relationships

Ethics will come into play this year with brands committing to putting consumers first. Marketers will speak to audiences more naturally, as they begin to see customers as people – not prospects or targets. In the end, this will create genuine relationships between both parties.

How to use ethical marketing to your advantage:

Show your audience you’re an ethical company with their interest in mind by being transparent in everything you do. Don’t keep secrets from your audience and you’ll quickly gain their trust. 

5. Companies will focus on distinct audiences throughout the buyer’s journey

This year, you’ll notice a heavy focus on the individual person – rather than the audience as a whole. Companies will begin to laser-focus on distinct audiences, rather than using generic blanket approaches within their content.

How to focus on distinct audiences to provide a personalized experience:

Keep in mind, personalization isn’t simply automating the reader’s first name into the greeting of an email. Rather, pay close attention to your demographics ever-changing interests, past behavior, and any corresponding data to create a personalized experience for them. 

One of the most successful personalization campaigns of 2019 was Spotify’s Year in Review, which showed users their top artists, albums, and songs based on what they streamed the most. 

6. Less clickbait, more authentic content

Companies must come off as trustworthy to consumers, and clickbait does the opposite of this by producing negative feelings of distrust. This type of content is sometimes irrelevant (which might work for a site like Buzzfeed) but can be irritating to consumers depending on the subject matter. 

How to create authentic content that doesn’t deter audiences:

Providing audiences with misleading information comes off as dishonest and can push consumers away from your brand. Create authentic content by staying true to your company – if your content has no connection to what you do or sell, don’t post it. 

7. Know your audience like the back of your hand

Take into account the wants and needs of your clients and how your content can help them achieve these. This relationship-first thinking automatically creates meaningful content consumers will relate to, which will eventually convert to leads. 

How to get to know your audience better:

Fully understand your audience by creating buyer personas that will give insight into what they want. By doing so, you can provide personalized content your audience will respond well to. 

8. Automated processes will help organic content

Brands are hoping to create a streamlined, high-quality experience for their consumers with the use of automated processes through AI (such as the chatbot responses mentioned before). Fortunately, highly-specialized AI systems will complement organic content, not replace it.

How to make the most of automated processes:

AI can help content writers by doing some of the tedious work for them. Marketing tools exist to help research trending topics, collect crucial data from target audiences, and so on. Embrace AI and use it by implementing strategies in creative ways. Try designing emails that act as web pages with forms that can be filled out and submitted directly in the email, rather than a form link that redirects to a website. 

Why You Should Evolve With Current Content Marketing Trends

Embracing these trends will help your company find new opportunities and improve current strategies when trying to reach target audiences. Additionally, if you’re interested in one of these trends but are unsure of how to apply them, read our blog post on why you should be watching your competitor’s strategy

Here at Pinckney Marketing, we offer free marketing resources to help develop your inbound marketing strategy. Follow these eight content marketing trends – along with using our free marketing tools – to drive the business results you’re looking for.

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