Content Marketing Trends

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Content Marketing Trends

Personalized content, video and voice search are three of the biggest content marketing trends forecast for the US in 2020.

Personalization

  • Personalization was identified as one of the biggest content marketing trends in the US for 2020 because of the nearly ubiquitous mention of personalized content marketing as a top trend for next year by industry experts, including by online search trade Search Engine Journal, social media consultant Convince & Convert, digital consultancy G2, technology trade Techfunnel, marketing publication The Marketing Scope, digital marketing blog Intro to Digital, content marketing firm Social Toaster and digital platform company Core DNA.
  • According to CMI’s 2019 B2B report, approximately 90% of the most successful marketers are currently employing this trend.
  • However, a report by research firm Evergage indicated that only 32% of marketers believe that the advertising industry is currently succeeding in delivering personalized messaging.
  • Personalized content marketing not only refers to the customized development of content for targeted groups, but in many cases includes the delivery of messaging in a way that is "customer-first," by considering and prioritizing an audience's needs over a particular sales message.
  • In many cases, marketers are able to personalize their content by engaging with the community, asking questions, mapping customer journeys and ultimately learning who an audience is so that their preferences, perspectives and needs can be reflected in the messaging that is created and delivered.
  • Ultimately, the resulting "uber-personal" advertisements are more effective in attracting and retaining potential customers.
  • Meanwhile, an early yet highly effective example of this personalized content marketing trend is beverage company Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which allowed consumers to personalize their own coke bottle with their name through the company's website or purchase a pre-named bottle at a retail location.
  • Additionally, internet retailer Amazon and online streaming service Netflix are commonly highlighted for their effective use of personalized content marketing.

Video

  • The continued rise of video in content marketing was also selected a top content marketing trend for the US in 2020 given its mention as a 2020 trend by a plethora of experts including Search Engine Journal, Convince & Convert, Techfunnel, The Marketing Scope, Core DNA and marketing technology trade Martech Advisor, among other experts.
  • At present, approximately 85% of US internet users watched video content every month, while the majority of US consumers aged 25 to 44 want to see more video content from brands.
  • Additionally, 80% of consumers generally switch between video and online searching when considering potential purchases, while over 50% have used online video content to determine which brand to buy.
  • Overall, video content marketing seeks to combine this consumer preference for video with advertising about a brand and its services.
  • Ultimately, this video-based advertising often translates to greater customer engagement and brand connection, given that the large majority of consumers also pay greater attention to video content as opposed to more traditional forms of advertising.
  • Meanwhile, there are a variety of approaches that marketers can take to implement this trend, including creating do-it-yourself video storytelling or engaging a third party to produce content.
  • Additionally, the use of live video streaming such as demos, interviews or two-way communication with customers is becoming an increasingly prevalent tactic in delivering video content marketing, given that consumers have been found to spend 300% more time viewing live videos as compared with traditional videos.
  • Meanwhile, software company Zendesk and leather goods manufacturer Saddleback Leather are two examples of different types of companies have achieved tremendous success through the use of video content marketing.

Voice Search

  • Finally, voice search was identified as another top content marketing trend for next year in the US based on the fact that Convince & Convert, G2 Techfunnel, The Marketing Scope, Intro to Digital and Core DNA, among other experts, reported this theme as a top 2020 content marketing trend.
  • Notably, voice and image search is forecast to account for half of all searches on the internet by 2020.
  • As such, marketers are increasingly adjusting their content to make it compatible with the increasing prevalence of voice search, by creating engaging and "Youtility-oriented" and voice-activated content for consumers.
  • Not only does voice search transcend the more "clunky" website experience, but it helps reach consumers without relying on increasingly expensive alternatives such as social media.
  • Meanwhile, experts recommend that content marketers implement this strategy by adjusting their content to be conversational, so that it sounds similar to the way target customers might talk.
  • Additionally, marketers should use long-tail keywords and location-specific information or tags such as "near me" within anchor text.
  • While the use of voice search in content marketing is still in its infancy, companies such as Papa John's and Domino's are already collaborating with tools such as Amazon's Alexa app to better reach, engage and marketing their products to customers.

Research Strategy

Please note, for the purpose of this analysis, the biggest content marketing trends for 2020 in the US were defined as those content marketing themes that were identified as top trends for next year by six or more industry experts.
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Content Marketing Case Studies

Grant Thornton and Blendtec are examples of US brands that achieved tremendous success through the deployment of a single content marketing strategy.

Grant Thornton

  • Chicago-based accounting firm Grant Thornton, which offers a range of audit, tax, and advisory services, has been recognized by a variety of industry experts for the company's Access Granted content marketing campaign.
  • Specifically, Grant Thornton had the goal of increasing brand awareness by partnering with the Tony Awards.
  • To do so, the accounting firm created unique and exclusive "behind the scenes" content which featured pre-event shows, live event features and post-event roundups.
  • Examples of this content include those from social media as well as photos and videos.
  • Notably, this single marketing strategy helped Grant Thornton exceed 11 of its 12 social media goals, including a 1039% increase in Twitter impressions with over 3.7 million impressions on the broadcast day specifically.
  • Additionally, the firm reached its 2nd highest ever impression level on Facebook with over 53,000 impressions and exceeded its YouTube goal by 311% with 37 engagements.

Blendtec

  • Utah-based blender company Blendtec, which manufactures a variety of commercial and residential blender products, is lauded by some experts as the "most successful company" in content marketing.
  • To this day, the company is continuing to produce video episodes of its now viral Will It Blend content marketing campaign.
  • This marketing campaign was similarly created to help increase brand awareness for Blendtec and its products by featuring inventor and Blendtec founder Tom Dickson putting the company's products to the test.
  • In particular, Blendtec and its founder produced and distributed unique and highly engaging videos (examples here) showing how the company's products could blend items that aren't meant to be blended.

Research Strategy

Please note, for the purpose of this analysis, three examples of content marketing published in 2016 by Grant Thornton were included as examples of the firm's highly successful marketing strategy. Although these examples were published prior to 2018, they remain currently accessible and were paired with more recent publications which also featured related content from the same marketing campaign. Considering the continued integrity and availability of these marketing samples, as well as the fact that imagery from the campaign continues to be discussed and reproduced in 2019, it was deemed reasonable and appropriate to include this slightly older material.
Sources
Sources