The world is a global village, driven by the needs and expectations of consumers. Content marketing is a critical element in driving consideration for any brand within their consumers.
Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant are common applications, consumers are moving from consumption to conversations. With this shift personalization, interaction and engagement have taken center stage. The digital eco system is driving this change algorithms have changed to accommodate consumer demand, voice and new tech is leading this transformation. Here are the trends which will drive content marketing in 2020.
Voice search and the conversational brand.
By 2020 half of all searches will be driven by voice, its that amazing turning point where brands can use conversation search to drive brand conversations. Conversational search can understand and analyze entire sentences, not just pick keywords from sentences. The response thus is contextual, and marketeers need to focus more on structure, intent and context rather than keyword stuffing. Keyword stringing is therefore outdated. Building relevant context with natural language is the focus, that’s what google is doing.
Voice search needs to behave like people do in a natural environment, in a country like India that also means multi-lingual with a ton of local flavor (the ability to understand natural language processing behavior). Our consumer spectrum is wide which means we should be prepared to work with multiple personas in order to improve context and relatability. Content just became more important than ever before.
Personalization and the story brand
2020 is when storytelling and personalization play well together. Humans are hardcoded for stories, we remember them, we share them and we talk about them. It’s the basically the median of the effectiveness metric of marketing. Storytelling is also not easy, (not many of the good things are). Story telling is not new either, the difference is that digital allows stories to be told at scale, it allows for story progression to be increasingly personalized across mediums. Essentially marketeers can tell stories which are relevant to different persona groups and allow these to scale to similar audiences. It creates a lasting impact on conversations and consumer engagement. Another way to personalize story telling is interactive video. Video is at the helm of content marketing; interactive video is a great story told the way the consumer wants it. Interactive video enables the consumers to make guided decision that influence the story’s narrative.
Augmented reality and content marketing.
Not just AR, but technology is boosting content and engagement with consumers. Forward thinking marketers are already using technology to promote everything from makeup to motorcycles. Unlike VR which has headset equipment involved AR, visual programming and facial recognition is hassle free for consumers, a smartphone and a front facing camera is all they need. AR experiences help break the clutter and enable the brand and the product to stand out, that’s half the battle won right there. Technology in content marketing may not be for everyone but there are advantages for most brands. Virtual trials and consumer engagement is at the top of the list. There is a far larger chance that a consumer who tried on a lip color or saw how a couch will look in their room will buy it than someone who just saw a picture on social media. Technology drives engagement and enables personalization at a level which till fairly recently was not possible.
Building an augmented brand tour or augmented branding materials for retail, building in product video content into the packaging there are more than a few opportunities to improve content distribution and engagement using creative-tech in marketing. It’s not just a new frontier in consumer engagement but promises to be a driving force in sales.
2020 promises to be the year of different things, there will be a shift in the way that brands look at and use content. Content marketing will change with the bottom of the sales funnel being impacted by innovation and the top of the funnel being influenced by smarter content marketing.
The article was originally published in ET Brand Equity on January 18, 2020.
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