If 2019 was the year of letting it go, then 2020 is the year that we venture into the unknown. Before you think it, yes, I worked in not one but two Frozen references into the opening line of this post. Next thing you know, I’ll be working in terrible puns like the vultures who brought carrion onto the flight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride folks, but I promise we’ll get through this as we take a look at the most prominent marketing trends from this year, and look forward to the ringing in of the new year.
Social Listening for the Win
Assuming might make an a$$ out of you and me, but interrupting is a far worse scene. There is arguably nothing worse than someone who interrupts (except of course for interrupting cow because that might be the best knock knock joke for all ages). The challenge with interrupting in the digital age is that it has become second nature, and unfortunately, many organizations find that they are interrupting their customers’ journeys by failing to listen.
When we fail to listen, we fail to deliver content that engages with customers on any level. Fortunately, social listening has helped to save the day in 2019. Social media listening succinctly answer the who, what, where, why, and how of engaging with your customers. These insights include analyzing customer trends and conversations, so that your brand can build more impactful relationships with every single person who comes across your products and services. In 2020, you can expect social media listening to become even more prevalent as people continue to leverage the power of artificial intelligence and shoppable posts.
Artificial Intelligence and the Social Landscape
Content marketers have a host of tools available to help them reach their target audiences amongst the 2.7 billion active social media users. In 2019, Artificial Intelligence (AI) became one of the most prevalent tools, and it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s going the distance, or to reference another Disney classic, AI has every marketer believing that, “when I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong” (Hercules). While Hercules sings his triumphant anthem of self-discovery, somewhere an AI bot is plotting how to best send me Disney advertisements and content thanks to this post.
All Disney references aside, AI does have the ability to nurture leads, turn prospects into loyal customers, and enhance the customer journey at every stage. By 2020 organizations are expected to spend an estimated $57 billion on AI. The most common AI applications will continue to be on enhanced personalization if for no other reason than the fact that AI increases marketing generated revenues by an estimated 171 percent. It achieves the latter feat by creating more accurate buyer personas, which in turn are used to deliver an enhanced level of personalization that will leave a savvy marketer feeling as if, “I have crossed the horizon to find you. I know your name” (Moana).
3 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020
“If you’re faithful to your daily practicing, You will find your progress is encouraging” (Aristocats). No truer words than those sung in Scales and Arpeggios have ever been uttered when it comes to content marketing trends to watch in 2020. Innovation, adaptation, and a touch of evolution are needed if organizations want to create content that is truly “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious” (Marry Poppins).
Trend #1: Companies will Optimize for Voice Search
According to ComScore, voice search will make up over 50 percent of searches in 2020. The transition to voice search is one of the reasons that Google changed their algorithm a few years back. However, what makes this a new trend is the fact that companies will optimize for voice search based on reach not revenue. In other words, companies want to reach more audience members by making their content even easier to find. Once the intended audience has found the content, then the companies will worry about converting them into loyal customers. The most innovative companies will also use AI tools to optimize for voice searches.
Trend #2. Shoppable Posts will Become the Norm
It’s no secret that social media has become an integral component of content marketing. Social media makes all of us feel like we should “look at this trove, treasures untold. How many wonders can one cavern hold? Lookin’ around here you’d think, sure, [we’ve] got everything” (The Little Mermaid). Of course, while we might occasionally feel like Ariel when we are faced with a year-in-review of our profiles, we can’t help but also wonder at the number of purchases that we have made because of a hashtag campaign.
According to a recent study, U.S. Marketers spend 69 percent of their influencer budgets on Instagram. Additionally, Instagram will earn an estimated $12.3 million in ad revenue in 2020. 90 million small businesses use Facebook and the average user clicks on 11 ads each month. An estimated 72 percent of Instagram users make purchases within the app, while 70 percent of Pinterest users rely on the social media platform to find new and purchase new products. As seen through the latter statistics, businesses have bet big on social media, which is perhaps why shoppable posts will become the norm in 2020.
Shoppable posts make it even easier for social media users to shop directly from a Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook post. This innovative marketing tool will help businesses reach and convert prospects even more easily. It will also help to shorten the sales funnel, which we all know changed shapes in 2019. In 2020, expect businesses to work shoppable posts into their weekly or even daily social media line-up as they learn to “paint with all of the colors of the wind” (Pocahontas).
Trend #3. Automation and Smart Bidding will be Formalized Thanks to Google Ads
“There’s more to see than can ever be seen, More to do than can ever be done,” (The Lion King) which is arguably why automation and smart bidding will be formalized in 2020. On November 21, 2019 Google announced that Google Ads will include new smart bidding options, as the company strives to use machine learning to optimize bids. In 2020 savvy content marketers will leverage the latter tools to not only optimize bids, but to also choose the conversion action based on the campaign level. As ads become more targeted, this level of optimization will be vital in distributing funds between earned, inbound, outbound, and multi-channel marketing efforts.
The Bottom Line: Effective Innovation is the Name of the Game
In 2020, content marketing will continue to change at the speed of Lightning McQueen. From algorithms to new updates, to evolving technologies, 2020 will be the year that content marketers will have to adapt at breakneck speeds. Fortunately, it will also be the year that we discover “what dreams are made of” (Lizzie McGuire) as we successfully navigate existing and new trends.
If we want to succeed in 2020, then we will have to recognize that effective innovation is the name of the game and it starts when you find the right writer to help you “put your faith in what you most believe in” (Tarzan). So, “be our guest [and] put our service to the test” (Beauty and the Beast) with editors, writers, and content strategists. Everything you need to produce exceptional content in 2020 can be found at WriterAccess.
Laura P. has written 5,000+ articles, blog posts, product reviews, press releases, and website content for a multitude of clients. In the past 8 years, she has developed written, marketing, video, and web content for clients in the real estate, cyber security, health and beauty, information technology, restaurant, auto, finance, retail, medical, law, equine sales, fashion, marketing (affiliate marketing, digital marketing, in-print marketing, and the entire marketing industry at large), oil and gas, and public relations industries. Laura is highly proficient in SEO optimization, particularly in the real estate and retail industries.