This post originally appeared on Searchenginewatch.com
How can you improve your content marketing strategy in 2020? Here are five simple and useful content marketing trends to follow in the new year.
We’ve welcomed 2020 and it’s the perfect time to start thinking of the best way to maintain a successful content marketing strategy over the next 12 months.
New channels, tactics, and trends emerge every day but the challenge is to decide on the ones that you want to include to your own strategy.
There are many posts that focus on the latest big trends and how you could revolutionize your tactics for 2020. We’ve decided to go back to basics to review how simple tactics and trends that can improve your content success.
1. Focus on the experience
It’s not enough to increase the frequency of your blogs to improve your content marketing success. In a digital world full of new content, the challenge is to stand out from your competitors.
A good way to achieve success is to focus on the experience. Your content should be relevant and informative but it should also facilitate the user experience.
Content experience is a growing term that refers to the role that sits between content marketing and UX. It’s about reviewing how you can improve your content, your website and even your strategy to ensure that your readers are spending more time on your posts.
There are many ways to improve your content experience:
- Test the mobile version of your site
- Aim for short paragraphs that are easy to read on mobile
- Enhance the “readability” of your content by allowing your text to “breathe” with images and sub-headings
- Review your loading speed
- Aim for personalization
Not all changes require too much of your time. What’s important is to acknowledge how your team, your tools, and your processes can gear up towards improved content experiences in 2020, one step at a time.
2. Include visual data
Visual content can improve the reading experience. It can also help you get the main data to stand out. Infographics, for example, help you summarise your key points in a more visual way. They can even help you enhance the “shareability” of your post.
Visual quotes can also help you get your point across in a way that stands out to the reader. You can also include videos in your content to provide an alternative content format for your story.
Another idea that is very helpful in SaaS marketing is to include GIFs when talking about your product. It’s easier for your readers to understand what you’re referring to.
Using visual data in your content marketing can help you simplify complicated ideas and we’re seeing more brands using videos and GIFs to present their data.
Visual storytelling is growing stronger and it’s useful to experiment with different formats to find out what works best for your readers.
3. Write long-form content
There is a constant struggle on the internet to grab someone’s attention. Not everyone is spending a lot of time on a page, which pushes us to come up with new ideas of bite-sized content. This is actually a good approach in many ways but we also need to remember that long-form content is not dead.
There are many reasons to create long-form content in 2020:
- Build trust with your readers
- Go in-depth in the topics that you’re writing about
- Showcase your writing style and your personality
- Improve your SEO
Medium got popular as a platform that focuses on writing rather than distractions. You can find the content of great quality and many writers are not afraid to go in-depth in the topics that they’re covering. The Medium looked at their most successful posts to find out that the ideal blog post on their platform is around 1600 words and it takes seven minutes to read it.
Moreover, creating long-form content is also helping your search ranking. Long-form content is helping you cover in-detail a topic that you want to serve as the authority.
Not all your posts should be too long. But it’s still a good idea to dedicate some time every month to produce a few pieces of more than 1000 words.
4. Read your content out loud
A simple method to improve your content writing in 2020 is to start reading your content out loud. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts when writing content. What seems to be making sense to you might not necessarily do so for anyone else.
Everything you are writing should sound natural. Start creating content that feels more conversational to “hack” a more successful writing style.
Once you start applying this idea to your content marketing strategy, you start realizing that online writing should not be hard to understand. The idea is to help your readers enjoy your content in a simple and authentic way.
Reading your content out loud is pushing you to review the way you’re getting your message across. It is a practice that helps you improve your writing along with the reading experience. Next time you’re planning to create content for your customers, read it out loud before you publish it. You might be surprised by the difference it can make.
5. Make your SEO smarter
It’s time to make your search engine optimization smarter for 2020. How about being more strategic with SEO to focus on what matters?
You can start by making small changes that can have a long-term impact:
- Stop focusing on the most popular keywords and start discovering the long-tail keywords that can help you stand out
- Spend more time on improving your content rather than making sure that you stuff it with your focus keywords
- Invest in the tools that can make SEO easier
- Stop aiming for position one ranking in SERPs and explore the different ways to stand out (for example, visual ranking or featured snippets)
- Write more conversational content to increase the chances of showing up in the featured snippets and the question boxes
What’s important is to start thinking of SEO as another element of your content marketing strategy that addresses your readers’ needs. It’s not just about ranking at the search results. The end goal should always be to deliver a great experience.
Not every content marketing trend should be groundbreaking. Sometimes even the simplest change can lead to great success.
Look at your existing content marketing strategy and what worked in 2019. Start exploring the areas that you want to improve on and find small wins that you can implement.
Look at these five trends as the starting point to simple changes that you can make to improve the understanding of your audience and their needs.
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