Content is king

After devoting so many years in SEO, we can probably say that SEO techniques turn on a dime (you all might be aware of it). A slight miss in incorporating an SEO hack or not paying heed to the latest algorithm can badly hurt your website’s ranking. And in no time, you will see your competitors zoom past you in SERPs, website traffic, etc.

‘Content is king and the audience are the king-makers!’- This often-used quote is known to all but does your content consistently solve your user’s problem? Does your content meet quality standards set by Google? Here, an adequate SEO content marketing strategy comes into the picture!

Before heading towards these trendy SEO Content Marketing strategies, it’s important to step back and understand the basics. As rightly said by Steve Jobs, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”

Stay with us as we plunge backward!

According to Philip Kotler, there are five eras of marketing:

1) Simple Trade Era (the 1880s)

Simple Trade Era

Also, known as a pure subsistence economy wherein excess household production was brought to town and sold or traded for other things. People made the most of what they consumed. There was very little for marketing, all the surplus products were exchanged for another required product. Everything was hand created and available in limited supply.

2) Mass Production Era (the 1860s-1920s)

Mass production

It all started in the industrial revolution era where products were mass-produced at low cost. Just one product was produced at one time with just one thought ‘if produced someone will buy’. Everything produced was sold easily during this time.

3) Sales Era (the 1920s-1940s)

The great depression hits in the late 20s and everything becomes about selling. It was all about ‘what am I paying’, ‘what am I getting’ and ‘at what price’ mattered the most. In this era, everything was just about earning while very little attention was given to the quality or customer needs.

4) Marketing Department Era (the 1940s-60s)

Market Department Era

Here, the 4 Ps (place, price, promotion, product) were invented keeping the product or service at the core. The marketing strategy focused more on how we can make our products aspirational so that people buy it.

5) Marketing Company Era (the 1960s-90s)

Esso Advertisement in the marketing company era.

Marketing Company Era

Marketing departments were introduced in this era to help guide a company’s direction. You could see a huge shift in mindset from producing in bulk to satisfying customers. The customer became the king and businesses strived to identify and fulfill the needs, pricing strategy, and distribution strategy.

6. Relationship Marketing Era (the 1990s-2010s)

Marketing Company Relationship Era

In this era, more focus was given on creating a long-term relationship with the customer. Products were created to not only satisfy customer needs but also make sure that they come back. This era perfectly defined the term ‘customer loyalty’.

In the mid-2000s, social media started to enter into the picture but the idea remained the same. Marketers wanted customers to like, engage, follow, and connect. Slightly more (26% versus 21%) of customers said they tend to feel more loyalty to brands versus products. (1)

The next question would be where is content marketing in these eras? Well, content marketing has been around for centuries. The best example of this is John Deere’s 118-year old magazine ‘The Furrow’. This farming magazine is an epitome of content marketing.

The Furrow Magazine
Sears Roebuck

The first issue was printed in 1895 and has millions of consumers in the U.S.A and Canada. The journal consisted of farming hints and tips to run a business successfully. While in the 1920s, Sears Roebuck and Co. started with an entire radio station to attract their audience into their retail store business.

After the radio, it was the television that created a stir and was a great platform for conveying messages instantly. With the onset of the Internet, there has been a huge transformation.

Let’s quickly move towards the top 9 content marketing trends that need to be fitted into your marketing strategy for 2020. As the new year approaches, how much are you prepared to understand this consumer-driven content marketing strategies? There are many brands that have been implementing some of these.

We bring to you top the 9 content marketing trends to get the right skills and execute major trends that will help you to stay one step ahead of the curve.

1. Data-driven creativity

Data Driven Creativity

Data, technology, and storytelling are powerful tools for driving brands into new territories in terms of relevancy, creativity, and personalization.

Data is heralded to be the new oil since it can change how we think and evaluate creative problem-solving. Also known as ‘programmatic creativity‘- it is known to increase the relevance of creative work by leveraging on customer data insight to understand trending topics, channel preferences, influencers, and likewise.

This concept will combine the analytic abilities of data systems and algorithms with human intuition to bring a creative solution.

Great content needs to have the right proportion of creativity and data, to value and build a relationship. This type of approach will help in preparing consumer-centric campaigns and bring in good engagement.

Example: L’Oréal started a campaign for their Vichy sunscreen product in summer. The campaign focused on two sunscreen products, one for women and other for women with children. To create relevant ads for each segment, it used audience-targeting lists wherein they were able to understand and approach the right audience.

 

Data-driven creativity

2. Conversational content marketing strategy

AI and AI-powered chatbots are a real-time makeover of traditional interactive content like quizzes and tools. These interactive tools are available 24/7 to ensure that the consumer gets help around the clock.

It allows meaningful conversations and purposeful responses with intelligent content recommendations and easy conversational content marketing approaches.

Fact Sheet: “Automation isn’t going anywhere. Up to 85% of all customer-business interactions will take place without a human intermediary by 2020.” (2)

Size of the chatbot market worldwide, in 2016 and 2025 (in million U.S. dollars)

Chat Bots

While for the eCommerce companies, 34% of respondents said they choose to answer questions from AI via chatbots or virtual assistants, as cited in Chatbots Magazine.

With all the worthy progress, all we need is to build in-house competency in our content, train these AI-driven technologies and get ready for the next generation content marketing strategy.

It is a win-win strategy for eCommerce companies! How?

International fashion brands like British luxury brand Burberry has so much in store for their tech-savvy customers. There are a plethora of things from checking behind the scenes, sending push notifications, buying products directly from the store, live chat with company agent and much more.

Another Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet is the first to use a bot that allows users to freely browse through its latest watch collections, assess all the features and visit the store in real-time.

Coversation content Marketing

3. An influx of dynamic and personalized content

Netflix is the pioneer of dynamic content. They have smartly introduced personalized tactics to attract and engage their potential customers. It believes in creating value by combining personalization with content variety. The streaming giant has adapted to the power of dynamic content and has changed its content strategy based on the user’s taste.

Fact sheet: In 2018, Netflix released about 15,00 hours of original content including original series, movies, and other productions.

That’s about 9 consecutive weeks of binge-watching!

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Netflix

Here’s an example of how Netflix has categorized its content to target their audience according to their watching preferences.

How do they do it?

  • It provides a variety of top-level categories like binge-watching, trending.

  • It uses an advanced product recommendation engine that allows customers to navigate more than 7000 movies and shows available.

  • It retains the titles and personalizes the titles based on previous viewing history.

  • It personalizes product images to maximize CTR.

Lessons learned from Netflix:

  • Marketing companies should know what type of data they need to add to their product catalogs.
  • Netflix is active in testing offer variations through title images. Test site-wide offers to present your products creatively.
  • Use product recommendations throughout your site to bring the most relevant products for each user.

4. Omnichannel content strategy

Amazon

An effective omnichannel retail approach is something every eCommerce marketer has been struggling to adapt. The biggest challenge here is data unification wherein you need to collect and connect data. But it is not the case with Amazon. The online retail giant has been a leader in incorporating an omnichannel marketing strategy wherein it understands customer preferences, fuels their recommendation for a seamless buying experience.

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Started with a vision statement ‘ to be Earth’s most customer-centric company’,

Amazon focuses on two things:

  • To provide better customer experience, it uses data to create a user-friendly, personalized, and responsive interaction across all channels.
  • They integrate their channels in the backend. It focuses on fulfilling their audience’s wants in the channels they prefer.
  • It has the right partner ‘Amazon Prime’ that helps in creating a single customer view. The analog provides you the luxury to get membership discounts, avail benefits, and much more. Anyway, for all the Prime Amazon members, Amazon is the only destination for shopping.

Key takeaways:

  • Amazon uses three types of customer data- reviews, sales data, and customer data.
  • It has established direct touchpoints with customers.
  • Select the right technology partner to create personalized touchpoints with your audience and connect both online and offline.

In the talks…

Amazon says, “We’ve designed our stores around our customers – what they’re buying and what they’re loving. We’ve used customer ratings, reviews, and sales data from the hundreds of millions of products online to curate our store with features like ‘Most-Wished-For’ and ‘Frequently Bought Together.’

5. Partnerships and Collaborations

This is a leading trend in B2B marketing companies wherein two companies come together on a mutual agreement to help one another to increase brand exposure, venture into a new market and add extra value to their products. Here, companies with the same target audience but complementary value propositions come together to host webinars, co-author guides, books, organize events, etc. to garner more audience to their existing ones.

The right brand collaborations can open the window for new audiences and drive significant revenues.

Slide over for some examples:

1. Dove and Dunkin’ (2018)

Dove and Dunkin’

The brand teamed up to offer women the chance to win free coffee and dry shampoo for about a year. Coffee and dry shampoo are considered to be the ultimate hacks for women who are juggling between the office and household work. To commemorate National Coffee Day, women were asked to share their secrets on why they run for coffee and dry shampoo. Social media was filled with women sharing their photos from the gym, office, house followed by hashtags.

Along with this, commuters were treated with a small size coffee and a mini-styling appointment.

With this, they have been able to drive social and experiential engagement.

2. PlayStation and Nike (2018)

The Nike PG 2.5 x PlayStation collaborated when Nike launched the second edition of its PlayStation themed signature basketball shoes, specially designed for NBA player Paul George.

The collab was a hit as it was targeting the older millennials who have grown up playing the original PlayStation rather than PS4. It was a smart move targeting athletes and gamers.

This is not the end, there are many such collaborations!

6. Micro-moments marketing

Amul

These intent-rich moments are very crucial when decisions are made and preferences are reshaped. Amul’s topical campaigns have had an impact on all of us since 1990. The next one to follow the micro-moment trend was Paytm, who started with its ‘Paytm Karo’ campaigns in 2016 when demonetization hit India.

Twitter has also started with their new feature ‘moments’ wherein you might have been familiar with moment marketing campaign by several trending topics, be it the Chandrayaan launch 2, Rahul Bose banana row, Hima Das winning gold, etc.

Micro moments

It is classified into three categories:

  1. Leading the trend by smartly placing one’s brand as you introduce your product in a humorous yet effective way.
  2. Make yourself visible when the intent to buy is at its peak. Voice searches play well here.
  3. This strategy works great when you understand your audiences’ emotions and expectations.

It is a great approach to improve customer experience, brand awareness, company growth, and revenue.

7) Live Video

Videos are found everywhere from social media platforms to YouTube. It is appealing and about 80% of audiences would prefer watching a video rather than reading a blog while 82% like live video than social posts. Digital marketers are taking huge advantage of this and showing their products in action. Many people are switching to this medium as it is cost-effective and can attract huge traffic, engagement, and increase sales.

Live Stream videos
Source: Livestream, New York Magazine

With more than 10 years of the digital revolution and serving 3000+ clients, we can say that brands are moving more towards live videos to broadcast their events, live demos, behind the scenes videos and a lot more to give a better understanding.

We will be able to experience more Q&A sessions, live AMA (Ask me anything) sessions, interviews, webinars from prominent industry leaders. VR ready videos are in rage today opening revenues for VR applications. Not to forget 3600 videos that have created an altogether different niche for brands.

Internet is no longer a luxury in India; instead, it is a lifestyle. You would be shocked to know that online video consumption has doubled to a whopping 3.7 billion per month in the past 2 years. The industry is all set to grow at a CAGR of 21.82% to reach Rs. 11,977 crore by 2023, says a report by the global accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

For example:

Professional sports and live video are a great combination. Ultimate Fighting Champions (UFC) are setting a great example for other brands by streaming live videos, press conferences, Q&A sessions with fighters, and such.

UFC
Source: UFC

8) Establishing an Original Brand Voice

The Internet has turned into a landscape of oversaturated content and ads; your brand needs a unique, authentic tone, style, and voice to make yourself seen in this industry. Yes! Every marketer is out there selling his/her brand saying it to be the best of all. But, in 2020, your content needs to be useful, purposeful and engaging to stand out of the crowd.

Nike 2
Dove

Many brands are killing it! Isn’t it?

Always remember: To give voice to your copy, your company needs to have its authentic voice. Just like this:

Just like all its ad and campaign, Nike is known for its out-of-the-box copy, smart slogans, and clever writing. This ad featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Lebron James, Serena Williams, etc. resonates the company’s voice i.e. powerful, motivational, encouraging, urgent and positive.

The above video titled “Dream Crazy” earned the Outstanding Commercial Award during the 71st Annual Emmy Awards this year.

If you are willing to join the bandwagon and create a tone for your brand, then ask yourself these questions:

Q.1) How do you wish your product to be seen by your audience?

Q.2) How do you want to relate it to them?

Q.3) What is your role in their lives?

Q.4) How will your product help them?

Pro Tip: Search for adjectives that suit your brand.

9) Voice Search

Voice Search

“By 2020, voice and image-based searches are going to make up at least 50 percent of all searches,” said Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, Mary Meeker at the Code Conference 2019.

It’s probably true as more than 50 million Americans own a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa, according to Statista.

Voice search is all set to be the next big thing in digital marketing with rapidly increasing speech recognition technologies.

People have started using their voices to perform tasks. Digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Assistant, and Cortana have seamlessly integrated into our lives. Here, the way of getting information has become more direct and super easy. This technology is only going to expand and you need to ensure that your marketing company knows how to optimize yourself for the future.

Make your web presence effective by creating a mobile-friendly user interface, responsive design, and quality content. Also, make sure your mobile pages don’t take much time in loading.

Take full leverage of Google listing. Provide up-to-date information in your Google listings that may be helpful for your customers. Include items like business description, brand pitch, inclusive deals and additional details like parking hours and likewise along with loads of HD photos. Also, request for reviews and keep a close eye on customer feedback.

Bottom line

Before the calendar hits 2020, learn these 9 content marketing strategies and stay ahead of all. Many high-tech strategies will pave the way for in the future, but before that are you ready for this one? If not, then you have our back!

e-Intelligence is a top content development and marketing agency in India that will offer results-driven content creation strategies to take your business to the next level. We make sure to walk with the trend to get you the best results. Contact us for more!