Is content still king? Sure, if relevance is queen and personalization is lurking, in a very Hamlet-like Machiavellian way.

Content will always reign supreme because it’s the stuff, the juice, the essence of the internet itself. But, in 2020, the importance of how you craft that content and how you engage with your audience will grow tremendously.

We explored how big brands are preparing for the 2020 content marketing revolution and we found one thing to be true: content marketing in 2020 will be all about personalization and presentation.

Let’s take a journey through the content marketing trends you need to look out for in 2020.

Google Answer Box

In 2020, the importance of the long tail keywords will again grow in importance with Google’s answer box, or Google Snippets. Google’s answer box contains the snippet of content that Google displays within the search engine results page (SERP), without you having to click. Google’s algorithm chooses what content to place there by judging what webpage most closely answers a user’s query (usually a question), and what website is visited the most in response to this question.

Screenshot of Featured Snippet for What is Google's Answer Box Query - LOCALiQ

The best way to craft content is with both your audience and how they search in mind. We recommend taking it a step further and breaking down your content into readable sections by adding:

  • Small paragraphs
  • Bullet points
  • H2 and H3 headers
  • Italics
  • Underlining
  • Call-outs
  • Tables

All these things can help grab attention on your webpage and help with your chances of having your content appear in the Google answer box. We also recommend you create content that is devoted specifically to a search query related to your product or service. We recently showed in Google’s answer box for “What to expect when you start SEO?“ by crafting content that directly answered that question and that was scannable, using a bulleted list.

Screenshot of Featured Snippet for What to Expect When You Start SEO Query - LOCALiQ

Experiential Marketing

Maybe the term “˜experiential marketing’ has been buzzing around your office lately, but 2020 will see smaller size businesses begin to shift their strategies to be more experiential.

But just what is experiential marketing? Experiential marketing, or engagement marketing, is all about building experiences around your brand. It is about making consumers feel the mission and culture around your product or service, more so than directly selling them.

Experiential marketing at its core is the essence of what real content marketing is all about: build loyalty around your brand by answering your audience’s questions and needs. The sales will come.

Big brands like Red Bull and Volkswagen have pioneered the use of experiential marketing to elevate the connections they have with their consumers by turning them into active participants. But, Refinery29 may be the most notable brand to do so, with their 29 Rooms event, “an interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.” The event consists of 29 individually branded and curated rooms with brands and personalities.

Over here at LOCALiQ, we’re going full-on with experiential marketing with our Growth Lab events. Yep, we’re creating real lab marketing experiences where you can actively build your customer journey, assess your marketing presence, and more…so, so much more.

But maybe your brand can’t create a full-scale event?

Experiential marketing is still easily obtainable within your content marketing strategy. Experiential marketing works because people trust consumers more than brands. Copy that effect by integrating User-Generated Content and influencer marketing into your 2020 strategy. Both offer real user experience to propel content and foster awareness around your brand.

Segmentation Within Content

Neil Patel has already gotten bold and said “the homepage is dead,” and in 2020, businesses will find it easier than ever to listen.

You may not even realize it, but when you visit websites like Nordstrom, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, the experience you get is 100% custom to you. Your entire experience is based on data, and thus these companies can cater specific content and goods your way, increasing the likelihood of you converting.

While this may seem like a massive feat, as small businesses get more sophisticated with their data, they will also begin to create personalized web experiences, making the generic homepage outdated.

There are simple ways you can implement this within your business. Start with your homepage and your email list and create two different versions based on if 1) they have already joined your email list and are somewhere in your nurture sequence, or 2) if they are brand new to your company. Something as simple as a “˜Welcome Back, Jaclyn,’ has been known to increase how someone feels about your brand by an astonishing 87%!!

Video, but for real this time.

Have you heard? Video content is the future! We’ve been saying it for years and years. But finally, what was once a costly, technical endeavor is now easily executed. Consumers prefer video content, and due to the onslaught of content living on the web, video content offers an opportunity for your business to stand out.

In 2020, it will be truer than ever: people are inundated with content on the web. Video content is easy to watch, scroll, retain, and share. SmallBizTrends reports that using product videos can increase product purchases on an online store by 144%! Why? Because video content is multi-dimensional and that aids in remembering.

Creating video content can seem like a huge undertaking, but there are websites and apps that have pre-created templates that allow you to plug and play to create videos. If that’s not your style, turn on your selfie mode! Personalization is the big takeaway in 2020 and what better way to create that vibe that film a video straight from your phone.

From custom first-person videos, to how-tos, to explainer videos, in 2020, video must be incorporated as a pillar of your strategy. For real this time.

Voice Search

Crafting content in 2020 will again take on yet another form as businesses begin writing with voice search in mind. Writing content for voice search requires your content creators to think about how people speak, rather than how they write. A good way to do this is to start with your existing content and work backwards by thinking about what phrases people may vocalize to end up at your page.

Another important thing to keep in mind when crafting content for voice search is organization. Just as when thinking of the Google answer box, it is important to note that voice results are not going to walk you through a chart, for example. Content like FAQ pages and short paragraphs that are crafted around questions are perfect for Voice Search.

The most important tip for writing content for voice search, and for 2020 in general is to keep it natural. While we do need to optimize our content and our strategies for the future of content, it is more important that we continue to write for our audience. Thought-leadership content that answers a question, sparks a conversation, and makes you feel something around a brand will always remain quintessential to any content strategy.

Advancements in Technology + Content Marketing

Content marketing has clearly evolved, even in the last year, due to advancements in technology. So, how will advancements in technology affect this marketing tactic?

You can expect to start seeing businesses incorporate augmented reality (AR) into their content marketing and overall marketing strategies. Bigger businesses like Burger King took advantage of AR in an ad campaign last year to take a shot at their top competitor, McDonald’s. But, we anticipate that smaller businesses will begin to be able to incorporate this technology, and other emerging technologies, as well.

At LOCALiQ, content is in our DNA. Literally, as the marketing solutions brand from the USA TODAY NETWORK, we’ve got a thing for content and storytelling. So, if you’re in need of some help with content marketing for your business, just holler!

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