Content marketing trends: What’s Content Going to Look Like and Sound Like in 2020?


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Why is Netflix being hailed as one of the most successful content marketers of all time? Not because of its fan-friendly and funny social posts… not because of its viral-worthy meme campaigns… and not even because of its experiments in moment marketing. It’s because of the vast data engine that it uses to understand its primary business — the AUDIENCE!

Netflix knows all of this about you:
  •  What kind of content you watch and when
  •  How you watch - binge, episodic, periodic, stop watching midway
  •  How do you rate each serial or movie
  •  Where do you watch - laptop, smart TV, mobile

And this data is what’s behind the binge-worthy, personalised-for-you, trending content UI interface that is the essence of the Netflix experience.

What does that indicate as a strategy for other content marketers? Simply put -- data is going to be the single biggest driving force behind content marketing in the coming year.

Data capabilities will drive communication imperatives. Data analytics married with AI algorithms will help marketers define, identify, understand, reach out to, and engage meaningfully with target audiences at a micro-level.

The corollary: The biggest trend we see in 2020 is going to be hyper-focused content creation as marketers start crafting narratives that appeal to micro-audiences.

What does that mean for content creation ?

The big picture of content creation remains the same, but the answers to key questions are being redefined by data and tech capabilities.

How does your viewer search?

Content creation will be optimized to meet keyword searches . The ideal: Having your page as the Google Snippet.

Headlines and intros that capture the essence of your message have become increasingly relevant in search. Fun fact: About 50% of Google’s searches result in no clicks, which means the viewer has got what they want from the first page results. To engage meaningfully with target audiences through this narrow window… that’s the holy grail of content creation.

The other big change is that Google algorithms now promote EAT (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) and check for context, so content creators have to work doubly hard to ensure that content is of superior quality, topical, accurate, relevant and credible.

What is your viewer looking for?

Personalisation of content will take centrestage. Content that is sharply focused and quickly delivers what the viewer is looking for will add value to brand communication. What is the age, gender, location of your viewer? Where are they based? What is the context of the search? The answers to these will be supplied by AI algorithms for profiling visitors. This deep understanding of micro-audiences will provide scope for creating increasingly targeted content that is designed to appeal to the viewer.

The other challenge is cutting through content clutter. In this scenario, contextual narratives such as moment marketing and meme marketing will gain credence in the fight for audience mindspace.

What is the engagement format?

Personalised content will be delivered on the back of social media platforms and immersive touchpoints (such as kiosks and AI chatbots ). Integration of digital communication will drive marketers into crafting and delivering consistency in brand voice and corporate storytelling.

Omnichannel management will take precedence. Marketers looking to provide consistent content across omnichannel touchpoints will want to invest in creating content for a headless CMS that can be picked up by multiple apps and platforms.

Who is your viewer listening to?

The answer to this one is simple: It better be you! Voice may well turn out to be the game-changer. Voice searches are on the rise, especially in developed markets, and all content has to be scripted and positioned to cater to voice assistants. More than half of US smartphone users use voce searches. The number of monthly voice searches in 2018 had crossed one billion. So yes, websites need to be sound-enabled.

Companies wanting to have fun with sound are adopting podcasts as an engaging route to deliver narratives.

What is your viewer watching?

Video , of course, is the right answer, but what kind of video? The range is immense: Live videos, thumbstoppers, explainers, interviews, user-generated video, gimmicky gifs and boomerangs, and so on. Better ante up the budget because studies show that viewers have greater attention spans and retention rates for video rather than text.

Apart from video, next-level visual content is going to be the big hit as data visualization software allows for crafting highly visual narratives that convert long boring text into colourful and bite-sized synopses. Audio visual content accounts for nearly two-thirds of content spends and is likely to increase.

To sum up…

Clearly, data, AI, video and voice are going to define content experiences over the next year. Which leads to an interesting question. What is the content marketing team going to look like?

Capabilities that are going to be in demand include the typical — strategy development, editorial planning, content creation, SEO, social media, design — but also the technological — AI, audience acquisition, data analysis, behaviour research, voice tech.

To support communication objectives, companies will increasingly look for both tech capabilities and customised and creative content from their communication partners.

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