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2020’s Top Content Marketing Strategies, Trends, and Challenges

Shawn Jordan

By Shawn Jordan

Content marketing has come a long way since John Deere launched its own lifestyle magazine, The Furrow, in 1895. By no means was this a product catalog. However, it worked rather well in increasing brand loyalty. By providing valuable content to its customers, the company also managed to drive sales upward. While this goes to show that content marketing conversion is not new, you need to understand that the means have changed in more ways than one.

 

Some Things Will Never Change

There is no dearth of marketing strategy articles on the internet. Why do many of these write-ups rehash the same information? This is because some highly effective marketing strategies have been in place for a long, and have withstood the test of time and changing consumer mindsets.

 

The AIDA model is a classic example in case. Devised in the late 1890s by E. St. Elmo Lewis, an American advertising and sales pioneer, it proposed that sellers should follow a six-step process. These include:

  • Securing buyers’ attention
  • Holding their attention by generating interest
  • Arousing their desire
  • Creating confidence
  • Securing their decision through desired actions
  • Creating satisfaction

 

What’s great about the AIDA model is that it remains relevant even in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace. It works in generating interest among consumers, highlighting aspects that are important to them, and then getting them to take action. The eventual action could be making a purchase or signing up for a service.

 

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Where Does Content Marketing Stand in 2020?

Google’s 2011 Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) study made clear the fact that word of mouth played a significant role during the discovery/awareness stage of a buying cycle. This aspect remains the same even today.

 

The study highlighted the importance of focusing on content marketing at the beginning of the last decade. It also pointed out that consumers were driving brand stories online, and it was in the best interests of businesses to try and shape those conversations. Just about any list of top 5 online marketing strategies you look at now, you will find mention of building conversations with existing and probable customers.

 

Businesses that wish to make the most of their internet marketing efforts need to provide content in one or more of the following ways.

  • Website
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Press releases
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • eBooks

 

Top 5 Online Marketing Strategies in 2020

There is no quick-fix marketing strategy that can help build an online presence overnight. On the other hand, consistency is the most important factor when it comes to increasing conversions. Besides, types of content marketing strategies vary based on the type of content being provided.

 

Web Page Marketing Strategies

Providing great content through website pages gives online marketers easy means to foster relationships, generate leads, and influence probable customers. Right from creating awareness to acquiring a sale, web copy should educate consumers about a business’ products or services, while also influencing their purchasing decisions.

 

Your website content should:

  • Define your customers’ pain points and provide the solution they’re after, while speaking their language.
  • Provide relevant information in a concise and well-laid out manner.
  • Deliver your value proposition in a simple yet effective way.
  • Build a unique brand personality by using consistency in tone and voice.

 

Blog Marketing Strategy

Blogging can be an effective marketing tool, provided you deliver content in the right way. The primary objective of a business blog is to educate existing and potential customers who have come into contact with a business in the recent past.

 

When done right, maintaining a blog helps with a website’s search engine optimization (SEO), it generates more organic leads, it helps build trust, it leads to consumers making well-informed decisions, and it helps to distinguish your brand from its competition.

 

Aspects that need your attention when formulating a blog strategy in 2020 include:

  • Search engine optimization. Blog posts need to account for SEO so they rank higher in organic searches and attract more potential customers. Optimizing a blog’s content includes using the right keywords, adding images that are named suitably and come with alt text, as well as adding effective headings.
  • Long-form content. When you provide well-researched and in-depth content, you establish yourself as an industry expert. Your blog’s content should address the problems your target audience faces, while also providing timely and effective solutions.
  • Using data. Information that is backed by factual data from studies, tests, and surveys works well in adding value to the content you provide. It also helps build credibility.
  • The Skyscraper Technique. The Skyscraper Technique, created by Brian Dean, gives bloggers a way to turn their content into high quality backlinks. It involves finding popular content across your business’ core areas, and then presenting it in a more effective manner. This can be through additional research as well as the use of images, infographics, charts, graphs, and videos.

 

Email Marketing Strategies

According to data released by the Direct marketing Association Ltd., a $1 investment on email marketing generates an average return of $42. Further data suggests that the average open rate for marketing emails across industries is slightly over 21%.

 

Email marketing strategies in 2020 include having a comprehensive and up-to-date email list of existing and potential customers who interact with your brand through your website, social media, or any other medium. In addition:

  • Use an emphatic call-to-action (CTA) in each email, driving your target audience to take the desired action.
  • The copy of your email should be brief, informative, and engaging.
  • Divide your target audience into segments based on factors such as habits, traits, and age groups; and then customize your emails accordingly.
  • Strive to offer high levels of personalization through your email marketing campaigns.

 

Strategies for Press Relations

The online world has given PR teams the ability to reach out to much larger audiences than before. However, the field of press relations has become wide-ranging, and encompasses the use of various strategies. These include:

  • Using press releases that link to the website of a business.
  • Increasing coverage by building relationships with bloggers and journalists.
  • Fostering relationships with influencers with the aim of increasing mentions on blogs and social media platforms.
  • Keeping track of and managing reviews.

 

Using a multipronged strategy works best when it comes to making the most of press relations in the digital world.

  • Create strategic ads to target highly engaged users through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, with the aim of increasing the return-on-investment (ROI) of your PR campaigns.
  • Formulate SEO-based goals such as increasing rankings for specific keywords, while building links to different pages of your website.
  • Repurpose existing content through the use of guest blog posts, videos, infographics, and newsletters.

 

If a business manages to get its PR efforts right, it can look forward to an increase in web traffic, an enhanced brand image, as well as a greater number of leads and sales.

 

Video Marketing Strategies

Data suggests that video-based landing pages can get conversion rates to increase by more than 80%. Around 90% consumers feel that videos give them the ability to make buying decisions. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that around 90% marketers make use of videos in their overall strategies.

 

By addressing video marketing challenges in the right way, you can build credibility and increase conversion. Videos are great for increasing social shares. They can also be used as effective tools that complement your email marketing strategies.

 

The top web marketing strategies for video-based content include:

  • Establishing a clear goal and measuring results.
  • Optimizing videos for search engines by making them crawlable, including meta titles and tags, and creating video sitemaps.
  • Using a CTA button with every video.

 

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Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2020

Content marketing remains a mainstay when it comes to boosting a brand’s online presence. However, it now requires a multidisciplinary approach in order to maximize ROI. Besides, content marketing trends continue to change with every passing year. Here are the top trends for marketers to follow in 2020.

 

Offering Personalized Content

A Forrester report suggests that more than 90% of marketers have witnessed a rise in personalized marketing. Businesses need to understand that consumer expectations have changed significantly in the recent past. As a result, knowing what they want is crucial.

 

Data plays an important role in personalization. You need to segregate the data you have based on factors such as demographics, interests, priorities, preferences, and objections. You can create personalized content according to the information you have, and then send your content to the desired audience via email. While you might not be able to start with much data, you get to build on it as more people interact with your brand.

 

Adapting to Evolving Technologies

Several businesses are already using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), chatbots, and interactive content in their marketing efforts.

  • AR amplifies reality. This enables consumers to get the information they need or look at virtual items while looking at real products.
  • VR gives users the ability to immerse themselves in completely virtual worlds. Using VR to create immersive content gives marketers a unique way to get their messages across.
  • Chatbots already handle a reasonable amount of interactions between businesses and consumers. The use of AI-enabled chatbots to communicate via textual and auditory methods is only set to rise.

 

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Optimizing for Voice Searches

Smart assistants such as Alexa and Siri have resulted in an increasing number of voice searches. As of now, though, smartphones account for over half of all voice searches. Given that most of the voice searches are locally-oriented, optimizing content for voice makes particular sense for local businesses.

 

Marketers who wish to optimize content for voice would do well by targeting question-based keywords such as what, why, where, how, and when.  Most people use long-tail keywords to complete their questions, and this is an aspect that needs due attention.

 

User-Generated Content Holds its Own

User-generated content (UGC) has been an important part of eCommerce marketing, and this is another trend has survived the test of time. Consider this – around 85% people trust content that is created by other users.

 

A business can take advantage of this marketing trend by encouraging its customers to create content that it can share through its website. This comes with multiple advantages. For starters, it gives potential customers a positive feeling about your business. It helps build a community. It gives your customers an indication that your business listens to their needs. Not to forget, you also get free content.

 

Featured Snippets Enter the Fray

Featured snippets by Google provide direct answers to users right on the search results page. These snippets already account for a significant percentage of clicks. Optimizing content to make the most of featured snippets requires that:

  • You have high ranging content to meet specific queries.
  • You provide the right answers in a concise manner.
  • You make use of facts, figures, and statistics.

 

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The 3 Biggest Marketing Challenges for 2020

Here are the biggest marketing challenges that marketers will face in 2020.

 

Being Customer-Centric

Content marketing should focus on the needs of customers and should aim to provide solutions to their problems. Putting customers first is the obvious way to go if businesses hope to achieve success in their content marketing campaigns. This, in no way, means flooding them with information about your company.

 

Zero-Click Searches

These happen when users find the information they need on search result pages, through snippets, SERPs, or Local Packs. While optimizing content for featured snippets is possible, you also need to take into account that zero-click searches are conducted by people who’re looking for easy answers, and probably won’t convert to being customers.

 

Matching User Intent

Marketers need to match user intent by determining how they look for solutions, how they carry out comparisons, and what motivates them to make purchases. The content that marketers provide needs to be based mainly on the intent behind searches carried out by its target audience.

 

Conclusion

The face of content marketing has changed considerably over the last two decades, and it’s no longer just about using the right keywords on your website. Videos have become all too important as a marketing tool, and technologies such as AR and VR are changing the online marketplace even more. It is crucial that businesses adapt to these changes, failing which, they might be left grappling in the dark.

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