Content Marketing Trends for 2020: Are we ready?
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There are over 4.4 billion Internet users worldwide. If you look at them collectively as a country, it would indeed be the largest in the world. With every click on the keyboard, there is content being added to this virtual infinite universe that is being created, trillions of pieces of content get created every day. It is being created in terms of updates, likes, comments, and of course the larger pieces—websites, videos and blogs, among others.
This is a borderless country, so this content is actually accessible to anyone online, and we are no longer competing with ‘India-specific’ content. Consumers are also easily shopping across borders today. No wonder there is a switch to the digital content piece as you can swipe across this vast network and choose what you want to.
Today, digital content is an integral part of the consumer’s journey, regardless of whether she’s looking for entertainment, information or exchange (EIE). As marketers, the amount of mindspace we are able to occupy is what matters to us. And the best way to do so is through creating different forms of content, such as:
User Generated Content
It is no secret that consumers trust genuine reviews by real users when making a decision to shop for a product or service. They want to know what influencers or experts have to say about the product. Additionally, they care to know what others like them are saying about the product. Let’s face it, the consumer is also smart enough to know what is influenced and what is genuine content. There is a big leap that marketers need to take in capturing this genuine feedback and presenting it at the right places in the omnichannel consumer journey where digital touch points have become integral at almost every step.
Storytelling or insight-led messaging? Are we touching the hearts of the consumer? And are we answering the key questions they have? There is and will be an increasing need to address search-optimized video content that addresses the consumer in whatever stage of the consumer journey they are in, when they need to see it the most. Brands that are addressing this are creating not just DVCs (the new age TVC that can say more, can be long format), but are also getting their products reviewed, creating explainer videos and making their brand visible in content that is relevant to the viewer, making the product play a key role in the story as opposed to building content around the product.
Marketers need to do a complete 360 degree shift in the way they plan their marketing spends. A TVC-led campaign with a multi-crore marketing spend will not give return on investment considering the changing dynamics of the audience. A digital content plan with a similar budget would do a lot more for the brand by driving organic reach, increasing brand love, and loyalty, while sparking a two-way conversation between the consumer and the brand.
Data Driven Content
Considering the omnichannel digital play, the ‘what, when and where’ is becoming increasingly important. Starting with something as simple as ‘find a store near me’ when the consumer is browsing from just about anywhere to ‘price of the product’ or ‘is this a good product’ right in front of the shelves at a store. Data on when your consumer is most likely to be looking for you and what at that time do they want to know can and will shape the future of how much and where you invest in content.
Let’s face it—we would rather Google than stop for directions. Digitally mooted abbreviations such as ‘LOL’ have now become part of our vocabulary. And yes, now we just tell Siri or Google to dial a number for us. And thanks to Alexa and voice-enabled Google, we can manage our music playlists, find online recipes, exercise routines or listen to the latest news. Creating content that Gen Z can consume is the big game changer, thanks to the rapidly growing adoption of digital technologies and option for the easiest and laziest way to get things done.
So are we ready? Maybe not. But it’s time to make the big shift in thinking digital, content-first and omnichannel all through the way.