**This post was selected as one of the top digital marketing articles of the week by UpCity, a B2B ratings and review company for digital marketing agencies and other marketing service providers.**
As we welcome the new year and new decade, it’s the perfect time to make predictions about what we can expect in the coming months and years. Content marketing has gone through quite an evolution, and we don’t expect that to stop being the case any time soon. Let’s take a look at some predictions from industry experts.
Before we dive in, though, it’s important not to lose sight of the basics – you must spark conversation rather than throw marketing speak out into the world. Review the fundamentals of creating and delivering your messages. While flashy new technology and trends may catch your eye keep your eye on what really matters – personal communication.
Work Smarter – Not Harder
This year and beyond, look at the content you’ve created and how it can evolve. If you’ve created a bunch of webinars with thought leaders in your niche, what else can you do with them? Transcribe the webinars and turn them into ebooks. Create blog posts from sections of the webinar. Create audio clips to use on social media or as podcast content. Create guest content that you can use to link back to the webinars.
Getting More Personal
Though content marketing is already leaning personal, 2020 will make it even more so. Content marketers will start behaving more like journalists. By shifting their focus to real people and weaving authenticity into the content, the aim will be to make the audience feel as close to their stories as possible.
The internet is home to lots of high-quality content that doesn’t get read because it can’t be found. The title is weak. The meta description is missing. Marketers have to keep writing effectiveness as one of their top priorities.
Content Distribution and Promotion
Integrating Influencers Into the Content Creation Process
Brands will spend less money with emerging influencers, yet engage them more effectively. They’ll start to involve the influencers in the content creation process and create situations that allow the influencers to be the heroes in their own stories.
Doing More With Less
Marketers will shift their focus to how much time they are spending on their content and distribution. As their time has become more valuable, they will shift to strategies that allow them to grow distribution in less time. More attention will focus on the strategies that make it possible to do more with less.
A Surge of Multimedia Content
We’re seeing multimedia work its way into content, but in the coming year, we’ll see it move, reorganize, reply, and customize more than ever before, in interactive charts, audio, and video. The more hands-on the content is, the more meaningful it will be to the audience.
Fluid, Adaptable Content Strategy
Marketing is constantly changing, which makes your strategy key. When it comes to content marketing, your strategy must be able to respond to changes in consumer behavior, technology, and industry. Develop a strategy that is fluid and adaptable, with content that’s sophisticated and centered around a single idea anchored to the medium’s native function.
Brand marketers will continue to humanize the brand by attaching people to the content they are creating. Brands will power their content with people to build relationships at scale.
Emphasis on One-to-One Conversations
Using the content libraries they create, marketers will focus efforts on building one-to-one conversations. We’ll see marketing departments and customer service departments align more closely to establish the infrastructure to see strategies work at scale.
Content Tools and Technology
AMP for Email Changes the Face of Email Marketing
AMP has changed how the mobile web works, and we can expect it to transform how email works, too. Using AMP for email will allow marketers to create interactive and dynamic email marketing messages that behave like web pages, reducing friction and ultimately boosting conversions.
Leveraging AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are being used in content marketing today, as some brands are toying with using it to completely replace the need for human content creation. However, because it remains out of reach for most brands, we can expect this year to be the start of figuring out how to leverage the technology as a complement to content creation, rather than a replacement for it.
It’s also important to use these tools to promote a relationship and personal engagement with your audience. There are brands out there using it to blast their messages in spammy ways to prospects who aren’t ready or willing to hear it. Quality matters more than quantity.
Embracing Voice Activated Content
Though some brands are working on it now, most haven’t developed a voice strategy. As the prevalence of these smart assistants continues to grow, businesses will have to get back to the basics and review their content. At that point, we can expect to see companies working to optimize their existing content to support voice search.
Focus on Ethical Marketing
Beyond complying with regulations, the focus will shift to marketing with respect and earning audience attention. By asking their audience for the information that they need and protecting the details that are shared, and helping people rather than targets or customers, marketers will see better results.
Doubling Down on Trust and Transparency
In the age of fake news and tons of political noise, trust is becoming even more critical in marketing. Content marketing will need to work harder to establish and maintain trust with audiences.
More marketers will start to see that all the content marketing advice out there for brands is good to follow for their personal brands as well. As such, they’ll begin to regularly market themselves too, instead of when they are seeking a new opportunity.
What you think we can expect to see out of content marketing this year and beyond? I’d love to hear your thoughts.