Content marketing has become a crucial part of every online business over the last few years. Today customers demand value, quality and they won’t purchase if you don’t convince them you are an expert and your solution is absolutely top class.
Similar to every other concept, content marketing has evolved. A few years back we could be talking about Content Marketing 1.0. However nowadays we are already in Content Marketing 3.0. And what does it actually mean?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing has become the topic on every digital marketers, advertisers and entrepreneurs’ lips over the past few years. However, the concept itself can be dated back to the beginning of 20th Century. Even though people didn’t even realise they were doing that.
Content marketing was like a counterattack to the traditional one. While the traditional marketing advises to focus on a single, repetitive message using a lot of channels and targeting a lot of audiences, content marketing’s idea has been focused on creating and distributing both attractive and useful content which is supposed to interest clearly defined group of recipients in order to cause a reaction.
Nowadays the digital marketing world is all about content. Hence, you are able to find so many useful articles online, free ebooks or webinars. Companies try to present their value by creating high-quality content as they know it will make potential customers more prone to purchase from them. But has content marketing always looked like that and put the customer upfront?
Evolution of content marketing
The term itself first appeared in late 90s and its first wave, Content Marketing 1.0, was all about free for everybody and trial and error attitude. At this time there weren’t any social media or digital publishing tools available so it was more troublesome to make the business grow.
It has changed with the slow emerge of social media madness around 2012 when Content Marketing 2.0 started to rule and it entailed mostly blogs, infographics, photos, videos and articles.
Content Marketing 2.0 was based on creating content solving customers’ problems, emphasizing traditional marketing messages like benefits of products and telling stories behind them. And it was an effective strategy for some time since 2012 but today it has started to slowly pass into oblivion. There are numerous reasons behind it such as:
- most content that was supposed to help solve customer problems was irrelevant to big groups of potential consumers and only relevant to certain groups of people,
- customers have started to recognize both explicit and subliminal marketing tactics what have made them distrustful,
- Internet and social media accessibility have made it possible for literally every business to create, publish and share content at any scale they like.
All of the above has contributed to the diminishing impact of Content Marketing 2.0 and moving to the next phase – Content Marketing 3.0.
While Content Marketing 1.0 was all about selling as much as possible to the mass, Content Marketing 2.0 has used segmentation, delicate personalization and differentiation, Content Marketing 3.0 is focused on customer interaction and relationship with brands.
Today the most important is how customers feel about the specific brand, not what they actually need. Content Marketing 3.0 tries to meet customers’ emotional needs and see them as individuals instead of segments. As Content Marketing 3.0 has just started to master the online business world there it is still under development. So how exactly it will look like? What will be the trends for Content Marketing in 2020?
3 hot trends in Content Marketing for 2020
Nowadays authenticity is valued more than anything else in the business world. Everybody hates fakeness and pretending to be something what has nothing to do with the honest truth. Being aware of that you have to make sure that the content you create precisely reflects your business’ mission and the value you would like to provide with your customers.
Most of the consumers unanimously state that authenticity is the key factor when they make purchasing decisions. And they also are more prone to remain loyal to the brand that is completely transparent and straightforward. Once they discover that a brand is neither authentic nor transparent they will most likely turn to other company.
Therefore, in order to give your business authenticity, transparency and value you need to create content that:
- goes together with your overall message, mission and vision,
- enables your target customers better achieve the goals which are relevant to your product or service,
But how can you determine, if your content is being received the way you intended? The answer is sentiment analysis. It’s a digital marketing technique that lets you gather and analyse social media and all other online mentions about your brand, products, company, or even your competitors. It requires a certain tool and a bit of time spent on setting it in order to get the most reliable results, but the outcome is far more than worth it.
First, you have to find the right tool for the job. If you already have one, it’s time to type in all the words you want to monitor (like the name of your flagship product or service, your company’s name or the CEO’s surname). Now, give the app some time to work. After a while, it should give you the results – all the mentions it can find online, together with their sources and… a sentiment rating.
Using this knowledge wisely is a key to:
- reacting properly for ongoing or upcoming crises;
- gathering customer feedback to improve your company’s products or services;
- finding out what’s your competition up to.
2. Personalization and interactivity
Even though personalization has already been used by Content Marketing 2.0, its impact will continue to increase and it will still boost consumer spending. Also – interactivity will become more crucial than ever as the possibility of brand differentiations make the customers engage and trust more. In a perfect world, the personalized content will not only be personalized per individual but per transaction.
In order to truly personalize your content and interact with potential customers you need to:
- use social media to engage with your potential leads,
- ask the targeted audiences about your brand, experiences with it and favourite products or services,
- organise live videos on Facebook or Instagram,
- create beneficial tools for your consumers, from very simple ones, like for example calendars with challenges, up until more advanced, like for example apps.
3. Developing multimedia content
In today’s digitalized world multimedia content has become rather a necessity than an option. In old days creating multimedia content was a sort of extravaganza but not anymore. Since today creating different types of content is way less expensive and more mainstream, not doing that increases the possibility of missing out.
Today, most of customer Internet traffic is caused by video traffic accounts. And it is still growing as today people are more prone to watch or listen to something instead of reading. No wonder Youtube has become such a big player over the recent years.
You don’t have to become a youtuber now to fit into trends. However, what you need to do is to try to develop and repurpose your multimedia content if possible. You may also create some podcasts or audio files based on your blog posts which will be a lot easier than coming up with brand-new ideas.