A new year invites new opportunities. In the content marketing landscape, marketers have the chance to explore new approaches and innovative methods for engaging potential customers. As you head into 2020, take a look at our predictions for emerging trends in content marketing and how the industry continues to evolve. You may just gain some insight into your next strategy.‍

Data-Driven, Personalized Content‍

Gone are the days where customers are unaware they’re seeing an ad. Consumers today are attuned to the traditional ploys of getting them to see your content. So why not let them know you’re listening and deliver something they actually need? And don’t be weird about it. 

By personalizing your content for viewers, you’re tapping into the humanizing aspect of marketing and showing you understand their needs. With data, you’ll uncover meaningful insights about potential customers that help you create more personalized content for them in the future. The new year brings with it further opportunities for brands to craft targeted messages for their customers, and serve up content that’s optimizing the customer journey. 

It’s all about delivering relevant, useful information. That’s the benefit of hyper-targeted content. ‍

Transparency‍

The call for data transparency has dominated the news this year, but 2020 is asking for even more authentic, transparent data. Those not on board will soon be left behind. Transparency is crucial for brands as they strive to be trustworthy and upfront with consumers, and it can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties involved. Consumers can obtain the security they desire and brands can craft more personalized offers with high-quality data.

Don’t forget: people are wary of companies abusing data privileges. Take into account what you’re measuring, and leave out what’s not truly necessary. Don’t be creepy. It’ll help in the long run. ‍

Live Video

More people are watching live videos, and more brands are taking advantage of these audiences. What began as niche, unpolished looks at your favorite Instagram stars and Twitch streamers has turned into a full-fledged industry. What’s more, it’s retained the authenticity and excitement with which it began. 

While it’s more polished, it still gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look. They feel like they’re peeking behind the curtain of businesses that usually serve them hyper-curated social media and advertising campaigns. Eighty percent of viewers prefer live video to blogs, and engagement on Facebook Live videos runs six times higher than an average video. 

It’s one thing to learn something from a blog or a video. It’s an entirely different experience to ask a question and get an answer immediately from the brand itself. It’s more engaging, authentic, and overall, fun. ‍

Interactive Content‍

People want to be involved. It’s a slog to read a blog about a subject you’re only half-interested in, from a company you don’t like in the first place. It takes much less effort to follow a simple quiz, or, say, a VR journey through a stomach to learn about gut bacteria. Or a raffle to win a surfboard. 

When a brand wows you with some truly engaging, interactive content it makes an impression. It takes hard work on the part of the brand but fosters a much stronger emotional attachment and memorable experience. ‍

Micro-Influencers‍

Get people talking about your product. When a message is coming from an actual person—not a brand or celebrity—other people take notice.

People trust niche influencers because they tend to have more curated messages and more meaningful opinions. They aren’t bending over backwards to satisfy flash-in-the-pan lifestyle fads. They’re thinking about what they would use in their daily life. And when they recommend a product, people listen.

To add to this, if you’re providing a great product or service, consumers will want to sing your praises. They will be energized advocates creating free content for your brand. And you’ll have their business for life. ‍

Content Marketing Investment‍

It’s an exciting time to be a content marketer. Brands are finally taking notice, and budgets are rising! Branded content is a critical component in audience education, engagement, and customer retention. With larger budgets, content can be more targeted. It can fit in more precisely as a component of the buyer’s journey, making sure prospects are being pushed through your marketing funnel.

If you’re looking for dedicated customers down the line, start off by serving them something simple, like an informative blog piece. Then keep it up with continuous relevant content. Over time, you’ll be their go-to resource.

But your content needs to be good. Increased budgets mean more resources and talent, and more felxibility to execute on your strategy.

Authenticity‍

Look. Preaching authenticity isn’t new—but some companies still don’t get it. Don’t underestimate your audience. Brands need to built trust, and consumers want to patronize brands whose values align with their own.

Showing a genuine brand story through content remains crucial. Make sure your output is relevant, informative, and rings true. Make sure you believe in your efforts, or your customers never will. 

As always, transparency is part and parcel to trust. You need to communicate with your audience in an honest and genuine fashion, even if it opens your brand up to scrutiny. While frightening, this is a necessary step to strengthening your company for the future. Those vulnerabilities will make themselves known eventually, and could be more harmful if not dealt with head-on.

What Content Marketing Trends Will You Take Advantage of in 2020?

We hope this list of trends will help you bolster your content marketing strategy in 2020. If you need more assistance, Knotch can help. Our Content Intelligence Platform can analyze your content performance from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective, and provide you with the insights you need to produce content that will maximize your ROI. To learn more, sign up for a free demo.