Online consumers are bombarded with content constantly. Within the first few minutes of waking up, more than half of smartphone users are already on their phones, reading emails, checking social media, and browsing apps. We spend an average of 2.3 hours using apps daily, which as a content marketer, means lots of organic and sponsored content to compete with for consumer attention.
Scrappy marketers are turning to trends that have become popular among influencers and are seeing results. Video content has proven to have higher engagement rates and lead to better ROI, and IGTV is becoming the top place for brands and individuals alike to reach a new and highly engaged audience.
Content marketing in 2020 is all about engaging with audiences, being authentic, and using interactive content to empower your audience to choose the experience that is best for them.
Updating Your Content Marketing Goals For 2020
Vanity metrics are a thing of the past. Just as Google and social media algorithms have gotten smarter, so have marketing teams. Simple page views and raw traffic numbers are no longer enough to move the needle.
Rethink your content marketing reporting and metrics. With today’s consumer being as prepared and informed as they’ve ever been, most individuals have lots of content choices when it comes to gathering information and browsing for entertainment.
Content marketers should optimize goals for engagement and advocacy. You can have individuals who are prospects in your network and have never purchased a product with you, but always share, comment, and engage with your content. These people are almost just as valuable to you as your customers, since they are surfacing your content for free and helping to get exponentially more eyeballs on your brand than you would have without them.
Here’s How to Update Your Content Marketing Goals For 2020
Prioritize engagement over views.
The internet is so saturated with advertisements that it is no longer enough just to get views. Consumers are presented with things like banner ads so frequently that it is easy for them to go unnoticed. The only surefire way to make an impression on a modern consumer is to get them to engage—in fact, 85% of millennials have purchased a product after watching a video from the brand.
Focus on interactive content rather than static content.
Content like quizzes, videos, and IGTV are interactive and give your audience a voice. Instead of constantly pushing out content that you believe is what your audience wants, focus on them. Quizzes help you learn more about your audience and Instagram’s live video features allow your audience to ask questions live.
Use video content on all platforms.
Video content can be an animated or illustrated introduction to your product or services, a 360-degree, in-depth view of a certain technology or equipment you sell, or a friendly recruiter talking about your current job opportunities.
Some researchers predict that video will make up 80% of online content in the next year or two, so optimizing your content for video and interactive content will help your company stand out and better rank on search engines. Since search engines like Google update their algorithms to match with current user trends, videos are seeing more and more organic success. Videos are helpful and personal, just make sure to comply with certain tagging and subtitle standards!
5 Content Marketing Trends to Experiment With in 2020
Videos have higher engagement rates than other types of posts across all social media platforms. Video content can be highly produced, lending itself to marketing and brand videos, or on the fly and more informal, which is well suited for individuals on sales or recruiting teams to better connect with their network. Either way, over half of Google search results contain videos, meaning your business needs to get on board or risk losing your search rank to competitors.
Best practices for video content
- Include subtitles and an accurate transcript
- Add keywords to your title, description, and subtitles
- Use good lighting and a high quality camera or smartphone
- Reduce background noise
- Leverage YouTube as a channel and search engine
- Use a powerful graphic design software like Design Wizard to create professional-looking videos
Here’s an example of a Sales Development video from Wistia of their sales team members reading “Saasy emails.” It’s fun, relatable, and catches the reader’s eye.
Social media advertisements are an effective way to reach a targeted audience that matches your buyer persona. You can create simple, animated videos using free tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, or Facebook’s own features to customize your ads.
Best practices for animated ads
- Use simple designs animations
- Highlight the feature or action you want your audience to take and include a clear call to action (CTA)
- A/B test against a control ad
- Use design approval software to validate visuals and collaborate with your team
This ad for Owl Labs showcases product features and includes an attention-grabbing button that has been animated for conversion optimization.
Quizzes have become a form of both lead generation and lead qualification for many marketers. With much higher conversion rates than other channels (think 17% vs. one or two percent…) and a high completion rate, quizzes are an easy way to connect with your audience while learning more about them.
Create and Go, a blogging company, offers a free quiz to determine your blogger personality. In exchange for the quiz taker’s personalized results, they give their email address, then get advice and resources on how they can start their own blog.
Best practices for content marketing quizzes
- Make your results shareable. Quizzes are meant to encourage sharing and promoting themselves.
- Start with your highest performing content as a jumping off point, then convert your existing content into quiz format
- Ask straightforward questions (avoid things like double negatives)
- Mix up question formats to maintain interest
IGTV is Instagram’s longer form content platform, linked directly from the Instagram home feed screen. You can also download the IGTV app, which is Instagram’s long-form, video-only app. It offers a simple way to directly connect with your audience from your Instagram feed. With over 1 billion users, Instagram holds a core part of the social media market, and videos hold even more, with Instagram videos getting twice the engagement that photos do.
Best practices for IGTV for marketing
- Film vertically
- Use adequate lighting
- Share a preview of the IGTV content on your company’s home feed
- Keep videos short. IGTV videos can be up to ten minutes or an hour for certain users. See how long your audience watches for and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
- Include hashtags in the video description or comments
- Have a clear call to action for your audience
Proprietary data and benchmark reports
Your company’s data may be more valuable than you think. A few years ago, Spotify published their “Year in Music” data as a content marketing campaign. They had billboards, digital ads, and videos showing how many times certain songs had been listened to in certain countries, and top artists from different regions. Since then, they’ve done a year-end campaign using their data every year, even creating individual playlists for users with their top played songs.
By publishing your company’s data or any insights you may be able to gather and publish using what you know, you can create visual content pieces like benchmark reports, graphs, and statistics to be shared online. With your company associated with the data (which is innately shareable), you get free publicity and new visitors to your page.
Best practices for proprietary data and benchmark reports
- Make sure you’re using data that you’re allowed to use (seems like common sense but you want to check before it’s too late!)
- Take advantage of services like Google Surveys and collect data from specific groups online
- Publish data in visually appealing ways using tools like infographics and data visualization to make data trends jump off the page
With tools like Canva and modern social media platforms, content creation is easier than ever. If you have ideas and you aren’t afraid to experiment, you can be successful at reaching an engaged audience online. Try creating videos—show off your home office, answer questions from your customers live, or start an IGTV channel teaching tips you’ve learned over the years. Focus the content on your audience and ask for their help.
In fact, combine all of these tips for an incredible content campaign. Start by sending a survey out to your audience. Analyze the data and make a video, then share it on IGTV. Finally, create an animated data visualization to promote the campaign. Collaborating with your audience always pays off, and these strategies will help you grow your network and business.