The content marketing trends and landscape has undergone drastic changes in the past decade.
The rise of social media and the subsequent consumer awareness, coupled with the death of intrusive marketing methodologies, gave rise to a new approach: to impress consumers to buy, rather than force it in their face.
Looking back, Bill Gates’ prescience appears demi-godly as he proclaimed in 1996 what the marketing world totes in 2020 – “Content is King.”However, it hasn’t been all rosy.
Content has undergone a near-spiritual journey, from being a source of search engine traction to becoming the prime resource for consumers to gain valuable and actionable information.
Heading into 2020, the content marketing landscape appears to mirror the current world – stuck between the good and the bad. While the growing economy has led to increased investment, the potential growth has been set back by a fragmented media landscape and a gust of hindered consumer trust.
To encapsulate my entire prediction into one weather metaphor, I think 2020 will mostly consist of sunny skies with a few rainy days. Without further ado, here are my top three content marketing trends predictions for 2020:
More Of Buying Than Building
There is an overburdening pressure on organizations to scale and primarily monetize their audiences.
As content marketing continues to reap the rewards for commercial entities, the industry is rapidly reallocating resources to develop its content strategy.
Organizations continue to compete for the consumers’ trust, and there has been a rise in the trend of buying content vehicles to jumpstart content marketing strategies.
The increased saturation and fragmentation of the economy have perplexed businesses into either developing a strategy and risk losing or spending scarce resources on the acquisition of established content houses.
The examples range from the multi-billion enterprise Microsoft that bought GitHub to gain exposure to one of the core audiences for the software giant: software engineers; to the sports company, Volo City that purchased a blog for their content strategy expansion.
This trend continues to rise throughout 2019.
Brands are expected to gain consumer trust through valuable content, and successful content vehicles pose as the easiest route to start with.
The Industry Will Struggle To Adapt To Disruptive Technology
What is the scope of technology in content marketing trends?
This is one question that has eluded a comprehensive answer ever since it came into existence.
Be it analysts, content marketing gurus, or your independent blog experts – none have pounced upon this question to state the obvious and emerge victoriously.
Why? Simply because it is challenging.
Think about it – any medium used to produce, manage, optimize, promote, distribute, and display the various forms of content that can be covered under the vast spectrum of content marketing technology.
Content management systems? Yep.
Email marketing? Definitely.
Search engine optimization? Duh.
Even Adobe Photoshop can be quantified as part of content marketing trends in technology.
As stated by many before, the content marketing industry has grown multiple folds beyond the definition of a ‘niche.’
This sustained growth has led to the birth of several secondary markets that serve to streamline the various processes of content marketing.
There are various tools present for all kinds of content-related tasks – from content creation to content promotion, and even application suites that manage these unique technologies – enough to confuse marketers on just how much application and functionality is beneficial for their craft.
And that’s perfectly fine.
Research provides statistical evidence that more than 50% of content marketers think they don’t possess enough technology, whereas 35% state they don’t fully utilize the technology they have.
As I said, we’re all confused – and this is expected to rise in 2020.
As artificial intelligence and automated solutions continue to take center stage of modern inventions, technology will continue to amaze the world and confuse marketers.
The Unfortunate Rise Of In-House Content Team
Content marketing’s rise and replacement of conventional methods, effectively becoming a staple component of the modern organization’s marketing plan is no hidden secret.
However, organizations have mistaken marketing success to be the quantity of content created rather than the quality of the material that is created.
This dangerous approach has led to a sharp growth in the trajectory of in-house or internal content marketers.
AdAge reported 78% of the members in the Association For National Advertisers had developed at least a basic level of an internal content team.
To put that into perspective, the number was only 55% in 2014.
On the face of it, nurturing a team of content creators to serve organizational objectives looks to be a highly productive strategy that rakes in significant ROI.
But the truth cannot be further away from this statement.
There is a principle mistake in adopting this approach that hinders the desired objective of content marketing.
For content marketing to be creative and results-driven, it is imperative to understand that content marketers operate under a fundamentally different approach to the business – taking on a ‘leading’ initiative rather than a ‘serving’ one.
Devoid of independence to innovate and learn through interactions with new clientele, internal content marketing teams suffer from a lack of strategy and leadership.
And market leaders are beginning to note the pitfalls of this approach.
Take Intel, for example. It is reported that Intel has abolished the Intel Agency Inside – built to serve the content needs of the organization – to focus entirely on their B2B strategy.
While some have been prudent, the industry is collectively in a frenzy to push for in-house content – one trend I would like to see the end of in 2020.
Overall, the industry as a whole is expected to expand and grow in 2020. However, there are still roadblocks hindering marketers from achieving the ideal state of a value-based industry that only functions on merit.
Is your content marketing strategy up for 2020? Let us know!