Top five digital content marketing trends for 2020

When it comes to the fast-moving world of digital content marketing, you can never take your eye off the ball. With a constant stream of new digital innovations, apps and shifting algorithm rule, it’s not always easy to keep up. 

To give you a helping hand our digital marketing whizz, and Hattrick intern, Seb has rounded up our top content marketing trends for 2020 to help you stay ahead of the game. Read on as we take you through the top five digital content marketing trends for 2020.

1.  Embrace the blog evolution

Blog posts are a common piece to every digital marketing campaign puzzle, as they play such a crucial role in building search engine optimisation (SEO) and driving traffic to your website. And this doesn’t show signs of changing any time soon. However, the blog post format is evolving with more marketers enriching their blog content with podcasts, live streams and of course, video content. In fact, the latest research from Ofcom suggests around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years.  

So why is this happening? When podcasts first came about they were mainly targeted at younger age groups who spend hours plugged into smart phones. They looked to podcasts for entertainment, to fill time and give them a change from music. Now, however, this trend has spread across a much wider age demographic, with listeners looking for educational, inspiring podcast content. They see podcasts as a way to multitask, making productive use of time spent commuting for example. 

What does this mean for your business? Podcasts could be a great new platform for you to reach this engaged audience, giving them the inspirational or educational content they seek. This could be a truly effective way to create a closer, more direct and personal connection between your target audience and your brand. 

2. Say hello to voice search

Smart devices aren’t anything new, however this year they have become far more commonplace in households across the UK – and with this has come an increase in voice search. In fact, YouGov research suggests that one-in-ten Brits own a smart-speaker; this equates to approximately 6.6 million people. What’s more, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines.

So, what does this mean for marketers? When drafting content for your business’ website, voice search now needs to be a key consideration. Think about how you formulate the content and if this might result as an answer to a question your target audience might ask their smart speaker. Whether it’s educational, inspirational or useful – make sure you have all the answers available on your site so the smart speaker will lead the audience there. After all, if your company’s website content can be found via voice search, a competitive advantage could be gained. 

Who knows, it might not be too long before the trend transitions from homes to offices – and people stop typing into search engines altogether, opting for voice search instead! 

3. Cut to the ‘Snippet’

If your attention span is anything like mine then, like me, you’ll like the sound of this. Snippet is a widget that displays a run-down of key points within a piece of content e.g. a blog or a feature. It enables readers to skip down to the section they’re interested in (see example in this blog above!). 

We’ve seen examples of this in other sectors in the past. For example Blinkist is used by bookworms to give them a summary outlining the key insights of books in 15 minutes. In a similar way, ’snippet’ is a great way to make the journey as quick and easy as possible for your target audience to skip straight to what they’re looking for.  So, don’t take offense to the idea of everyone not reading through each new post on your website with a fine-tooth comb, as it’s a common theme for content creators everywhere. Snippet, however, can help get those thumbs tapping at a time where it’s needed more than ever. 

4.     Harness Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Ah yes, AI, that buzzword you’re probably tired of hearing about. But as we start to understand more about it, AI could be the answer to many of your marketing challenges. A Mintel report into online dating showed that AI developments can make better personality-based matches. In the same way, AI can also be used to help your business quickly identify the perfect match in terms of target audience. 

When it comes to search engines, for example, AI combines machine learning and algorithms to rank sites based both on the relevance of the content and the information it has collated about the user’s intent. By tracking users’ web behaviour, AI can be used to make predictions. We already see examples of this from online retailers like Amazon or Asos with their ‘recommended for you’ pop-up ads, or from online streaming sites like Netflix or BBC iplayer that compile recommended ‘watch lists’ based on users’ behaviour. 

Content marketers can harness the data provided by AI to learn more about their audience’s habits and intent, enabling them to deliver different types of content that will resonate with the audience. In the words of Sir Francis Bacon: “Knowledge is power.” By combining machine learning and data analytics with a human understanding, brands can gain the knowledge that is key to creating more impactful, user-driven marketing to truly increase your ROI.

5.   Navigate through the fake news

In recent years, ‘fake news’ has emerged as a growing issue in the digital content world. In fact, some Scandinavian countries have introduced this to the school curriculum to teach the younger generation about how to understand what is ‘fake’ and what is ‘true’. As we head into 2020, businesses will need to consider what this means for their content marketing plans too. 

Authenticity is key. Your target audience needs to trust in your brand and believe that what you are saying is genuine and true. This is where industry accolades, certified accreditations, membership with industry bodies, and key tactical brand associations become more important than ever to generate a real sense of authenticity and authority for your businesses. In other words, for a new or emerging brand to gain trust from their followers, it helps if key influencers or industry bodies have given their backing. 

As we head into 2020, with the public switched on to spotting ‘fake news’, businesses need to be careful of making any sweeping claims or statements unless they have the evidence or stats to back this up. When it comes to content, to avoid being branded as ‘fake news’, marketers should avoid ‘click bait’ headlines that will only lead to a high bounce rate and risk leaving potential prospects feeling irritated. So, if you’re sharing content to market your business, be clear and honest about what you are giving the audience, both in terms of services and content. 

Now, go and prepare for the roaring 20s! 

To see how your business can deploy these tactics as part of future campaigns, or to discuss a project, get in touch today. 

2020 is the start of a new decade. To see how your business can start on the front foot by putting strategic marketing high up on your agenda, check out our three-part ‘Roaring Boring 20s’ guide and discover how to supercharge your brand with a ‘plug and play’ planning strategy. Find out more and download the report here:

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