January 2, 2020

What’s Next for Content Marketing in 2020?

This is something that seems to come up every year, but in my opinion 2020 is going to be the year when content marketing really steps up its game.

It used to be good enough to post to a blog every day, create an ebook or two, and keep up with social posts, but now that approach is too scattershot. Smart content marketers in 2020 will be…

  • Planning, planning, planning: A unified content strategy (one that follows set themes over time and across platforms) takes planning. It takes forethought. But, despite all the work that goes into it, this kind of strategy can be powerful, uniting brand messaging and themes in a big way.
  • Video-focused: I’m primarily a writer, so this is tough for me to admit, but writing isn’t everything anymore when it comes to content strategy. Video, in particular, is becoming the #1 way that people want to interact with content online, and a smart strategy will not only include video elements (back in the day, my strategies would often include video “versions” of my blog posts, which were little more than reading through it and expounding on the topics) but go deep with native video. There are things that video simply does better than text; explore those.
  • Starting to ignore the quantity over quality debate: One of the bigger trends in content marketing for 2020 is a renewed focus on the user and what they want / need from your brand. That means higher quality, more engaging content. And that often means sacrificing quantity of posts for fewer, better options. This is good news for users / readers, and great news for content marketers who get to do high quality work (and get paid for it) again.

The big picture trends are…

  • Voice search
  • Video
  • User-generated content (still…)
  • Individual messaging (as a distribution platform)
  • and content as part of the customer journey

But the main best practice that I expect to see going forward comes down to one thing: quality.

Quantity of content and reach still matter — you still have to be everywhere — but the days of basic, boilerplate content getting the job done are effectively over. Today’s users want deep, insightful, data-driven content that not only entertains but informs. It has to be conversational, it has to be accessible and it has to be approachable.

Easy, right?

This will be particularly striking in B2B, where content is becoming more and more B2C-like every year. Blog posts, ebooks, white papers are still great, but it’s time for content marketers to step up their game and bring real authority to the content they’re creating.

For me, this is great news.

We get to be real writers again, digging in deep on topics and delivering thoughtful, engaging content that’s more than just a checklist of SEO factors.

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