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We’re only a few months out from the roaring 2020s, and you know what that means: it’s marketing budget season! Across the nation, marketers from companies big and small are putting their plans in place to kick off a stellar year of growth. With more tactics available to marketers, it can sometimes feel like a tricky proposition to choose which marketing channels you should dedicate your budget too. However, there’s one marketing tactic that no marketer should ignore in 2020 – content marketing.

Here are five 2020 content marketing trends to make sure your strategy is aligned with the year ahead.

First Off: Broaden Your Definition of Content Marketing

We’re moving into a new decade, so if it’s been a while since you updated your definition of content marketing, now’s the time to shift your perspective. 

Content marketing is more than just blog posts and whitepapers. Sure, blogging is still essential (See Exhibit A – this blog post right here). But content marketing is far more than 500 to 1,000 written words. 

In the following examples, when we talk about content marketing, we’re including:

  1. Videos
  2. Animations
  3. Podcasts

Essentially, any form of media created by your brand to be consumed by your intended audience.  

With that out of the way, let’s start talking about what’s new in 2020 for content marketing. 

5 Content Marketing Trends for 2020

1) More Personalized Content

Why is content marketing not going away in 2020? Because brands are getting smarter at personalizing the content they create for their audiences.

Content personalization is all about knowing not just who your audience is, but also where they are in their buying journey. By understanding and anticipating the type of content customers are searching for, you can better anticipate their content needs and present them with that “perfect piece” that pushes them to the next level. 

This type of personalization (segmentation) is the most common form of content personalization (62% of marketers are currently using this tactic according to Evergage). As brands become more adept at analyzing consumer data and (and learning more about their customer’s content needs in the process), you can expect brands to explore even deeper levels of content personalization.

2) A Greater Emphasis on Storytelling 

If your brand hasn’t yet mastered their storytelling prowess, then get on it in 2020. Strong storytelling can be a powerful tool for engaging your customers. Why is storytelling so compelling? Because stories connect with their audience on a more fundamental level. Stories tie emotion into your message. Which, in turn, causes that message to become more memorable.

Want to start storytelling? Try focusing on any of the following: 

  1. Your brand story – how did your brand come to be?
  2. Your customer stories – how are customers using your product or service to drive success?
  3. Your product/service development story – is there anything interesting about how you develop your product or story?  
  4. Your employees – who are the people behind the brand? 

3) Give Your Content A Voice

As the market for smart speakers continues to grow, so too does the need for your brand to create more voice-activated content. Voice provides your brand with an opportunity to engage with your customers on the new devices that are now part of your customers’ everyday life.

So, what voice-friendly content should you create?

Most of the content queries made to smart speakers center around requests for information. So, if you want to connect with your customers through voice-friendly content, focus on creating content designed to answer the specific questions regularly being asked by your audience.

4) Focus on the Omni-Channel

Your customers don’t stick to one channel when they’re engaging with your company, so why should your content? An omni-channel content publishing strategy makes it possible for your content to reach your audiences on the platform of THEIR choice (and not assume they’ll come to your central content hub). 

On top of publishing your content across various platforms, you want to ensure that you’re creating content that meets the needs of your audience ON that specific platform. Sure, the content has to be formatted correctly, but it also needs to make sense for the publishing platform.

No one goes to Instagram to read 1,000+ word blog posts, but Instagram could be the perfect place to share an image-based stat or fun factoid that teases your blog post. 

5) Are You Ready for AR? 

In 2019, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology took a big leap forward in 2019. You can expect an even stronger presence in 2020. And, while we’re bullish on VR, for the time being, AR is where brands will see the most traction in 2020.

Instagram and Snapchat have both made AR more accessible to the average consumer. Both also offer brands a paid opportunity to create and support AR content. Mobile browsers and applications are also helping brands up their AR game. 

Bonus Tip: Artificial Intelligence Helps Align Buyer Personas With Content To Increase Share Rates

Whether it’s a blog post on your website or a new video on YouTube, the only way to ensure that your content is driving a strong ROI is to ensure your target audience is seeing it. The more visibility, the more opportunity for engagement, the more significant the impact your content has on your bottom line.

The obvious option to increase visibility is to pay to promote your content. Besides being the expensive choice, nobody enjoys “liking” a post that features the “Sponsored Content” tag.

The less obvious choice is to use artificial intelligence (AI) to find and categorize your marketing content, match it with brand ambassadors who are historically likely to engage with that type of content, and then distribute it automatically to them.

For brands looking to simplify their content marketing discovery and distribution process, SocialToaster has developed ContentToaster, our artificial intelligence-driven content marketing automator. Its only job is to increase your marketing content’s visibility. And it works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

On top of automating your content distribution process, SocialToaster helps you organize your organizations’s SuperFans, or people who are so in love with what you do that they’re willing to spread the word about you to their friends and family.

Integrating your content marketing with a SocialToaster advocacy marketing program your brand’s biggest fans self-select to become content champions. They’ll have the opportunity to share your latest content directly with their family, friends and other members of their personal social networks.

Is Your Content Marketing Plan Ready For 2020?

We’re less than 60 days away from the start of the new year. Is your content marketing plan ready? Now’s the time to ensure your content plan is ready for the new year, and SocialToaster can help.

Schedule a free demo of our award-winning content marketing and fan advocacy software and see how SocialToaster can drive engagement and strengthen your content marketing ROI in 2020.