It wouldn’t be the new year without a content marketing predictions 2020 blog, now would it?
While we don’t think there’s going to be any kind of radical ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ overhaul in terms of content marketing, we’ve noticed some changes this year that we think spell the future for content and marketing.
How content marketing is changing
Many oflast year’s content marketing trendsstill stand; audio branding, podcasts and voice search need consideration as does video while the brands who invest in martech and marketing automation are the ones who will keep ahead of the pack.
Looking back at this year however and you can see that content marketing as an industry has certainly matured – TikTok anyone? – and forced to deal with more trying circumstances as the changes made by the big media players have started to take effect.
The volume of content and number of participants (everyone from your mum through macro, micro and nano influencers to big business) is creating content and jostling for your attention. As a result, it’s harder for anyone to have meaningful impact in those channels.
We’re entering a world where passion-driven brands will rule (circumventing those pesky algorithm changes), engagement vs views becomes the only-talked about metric and behavioural insight is increasingly key.
As a result, brands are going to have to work much harder to market themselves. Here’s how to generate cut-through in the year ahead…
Content + Advertising
Content and advertising are effectively merging. We know social media is important as it’s where audiences are and where they engage but the reality is that you’re going to have to pay to boost content to reach them. But it can’t be any old content; uniqueness, user-validation and added value for the consumer are still key for cut-through.
We’ve seen brands increasingly collaborating over the past decade; Go Pro and RedBull, Louis Vuitton and Supreme, Nike and Apple are the big stories but expect this trend to continue. The maths is simple: you get to reach double the audience.
And in a world where budgets and attention are squeezed, we’re likely to see much more examples of this; at a product level and at a content level. This tactic is obviously not without its challenges but bringing together two passion brands across multiple channels can ensure reach and engagement.
Arguably, the most contentious marketing tactic of the past 10 years, influencer marketing is unlikely to disappear but it is likely to mature thanks to an increasingly challenging social media landscape,as legislation gets tighterand brands realise which influencers really work for them and for what purpose. Expect some of these collaborations to turn into partnerships but whatever the approach, data insight is going to be key in getting it right.
With the challenge that the new changes in social media have put on brands’ retention strategies, expect brand communities to start taking centre stage as businesses look for other channels to engage their audiences in to turn them from buyers to advocates.
With budgets squeezed and according to Invesp, the cost of a new customerfive timesas expensive as retaining an existing customer, smarter brands will realise they have to work harder at retention. And the super-smart ones will realise that it’s the 16 – 24 year-old age group who are especially interested. In our forthcoming Brand Communities report, it was this demographic told us they were members of brand communities; one (21.25%) or several brand communities (28.75%).This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise; these digital natives who’ve grown up with the internet and for whom social media is a natural part of their daily lives.