Content marketing is set to undergo a massive change in 2020, and marketers need to prepare themselves well in advance.
The changes we will see will range from the subtle to the extreme—what looked like fledgling technologies in 2019 will see a massive update in 2020.
What are these trends that will change the content marketing landscape in 2020?
We take a look at the six most significant trends in content marketing in 2020 that you should know.
Visual Content Marketing
The importance of visuals in content marketing cannot be discounted and will continue to have an impact well beyond 2020.
With decreasing attention spans becoming the norm, while the amount of content being generated increases, marketers need visuals to tell provocative and memorable stories.
But slapping on any visual to accompany your content isn’t the best way forward. Marketers need to be aware of the graphic design trends that will impact the visuals they create.
For instance, while vibrant colors were all the rage in 2019, next year, muted color palettes are going to the fashionable trend—most likely as a result of the overuse of color in previous years.
We will also see more abstract designs that not only convey a story but also engage the reader’s attention—2020 is going to be a Picasso year, not so much Van Gogh.
These trends will impact how marketers design social media visuals as well as how they brainstorm infographic ideas.
Understanding the designs that people want to see will make it easier to create visual content that is attractive and relevant to the audience and will need to be prioritized accordingly.
Interactive Content Marketing
A content marketing trend that is already taking over the world is interactive marketing. And this trend is going to be a game-changer in 2020.
Interactive marketing includes augmented reality and virtual reality, both of which have become an unexpected mainstay on social media.
Snapchat, in particular, has taken AR into a new realm with its filters and Snappable games. It’s a feature that Instagram has also adopted to great acclaim.
But while organizations can create branded AR filters for followers to use on social media, the interactive content marketing of 2020 will have to go beyond the social sphere.
Customers expect that brands create an interactive experience in their website design—even if it is accomplished through simple scrolling—as well as in their live content and advertising.
In 2020, we are likely to see brands adopting QR codes or AR so customers can use their phones to access more interactive content.
We will also see brands implementing games—from pixel-based games to puzzles—on their websites.
Polls will become another interactive feature that brands can use across their marketing—on social media, on webpages, as well as in email marketing.
Marketers everywhere have been focusing their efforts on video production. Over the last few years, video views have been said to be far more effective in engaging audiences than other content.
However, video marketing is set to change in 2020. Not only have marketers recently found out that certain social channels inflated video metrics, but the production costs are too high.
But there is a way to have your video cake and eat it too—by creating live videos.
Live videos have fast become far more popular in content marketing circles than produced video content.
And there are reasons why—most importantly, the cost of creating live videos is far less. They are also easier to produce.
Brands don’t need the best video equipment to create live content—a phone camera in selfie mode is enough to keep audiences engaged.
But it isn’t just the profitability of live content that is making it the 2020 trend—live content has the bonus of humanizing a brand by putting real people in front of the camera.
Of course, live content needs to be planned—you don’t want it to be boring or make too many errors while speaking about or demonstrating a product.
Even with these aspects taken into account, live video is proving to be more engaging, more interactive, and more cost-effective than produced video content.
You will probably have noticed that chatbots have become far more sophisticated in the past year than they have been ever before.
This is because artificial intelligence has made a significant leap following a disastrous roll out a few years ago.
The AI that is now being used to create chatbots is powered by machine-learning software—these chatbots are learning as they receive more inputs.
This has resulted in not only more effective chatbots but also more human-sounding ones. This is great for customer service, as it allows brands to allow their customer service teams to focus on the more complex problems that require a human touch.
But in 2020, AI isn’t only going to be used for chatbots. AI will play a considerable part in data collection, content collation, and even in content and campaign distribution.
As with most new technologies, brands will have to spend a fair amount of time researching how to use AI if they are to make the most of the technology in 2020.
Content Marketing Micro-Moments
While most brands focus on the end goal of a customer journey, in 2020, marketers will have to look at optimizing each step of the customer journey.
The importance of micro-moments has undoubtedly risen because of the increasing popularity of mobile search and marketing.
Thus, consumers are often engaging in the buyer journey while still undertaking other tasks—which puts the onus of keeping their interest in the brands.
It won’t be enough to make your end goal—a landing page or checkout page—the core focus of your marketing campaign.
Every moment on the way to a sale has to be considered and exploited.
Marketers will have to ensure that their message is seen as far and wide as possible. They will also need to work out how to reach their target markets at times they want to be contacted.
AI will be a massive boost in this arena—using AI to study what has worked in the past and understand what will be needed in the future, will make the content marketing process more efficient and profitable.
Search engines have been adapting themselves since they were invented, but recent technological advancements have changed the way search engines are operated.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana—these have become household names, and they are changing search engine marketing and CRO in many ways.
Because of the popularity of voice-activated devices, voice search is now on the rise. This means that the kind of queries that are being sent to search engines has changed.
Instead of focusing on keywords or key phrases, marketers will have to adapt their content to long-tail keywords as well as complete sentences, such as ‘Where is the nearest Starbucks?”
Recent updates to Google’s search algorithm will also impact brands—Google no longer lists more than one link from the same site on a page, unless it is highly relevant.
2020 is going to see some significant technological changes, particularly in the realm of AI—in chatbots and data collection—interactivity in content, live content, and search engine marketing.
But we will also see changes in the kind of visual content people will find attractive—from colors to designs, marketers will have to be aware that they are on-trend visually.
Alongside these changes, marketers will have to focus and optimize the micro-moments users encounter in the customer journey.
The brands that can adapt to these changes will see substantial results in their content marketing campaigns in 2020 and beyond.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics related to digital marketing, visual content, and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about.