As the New Year is here, it is clear that content creation is the way of the future for online business. We can safely say that creating high quality, custom content will become more important moving forward – but just like everything, it will also continue to adapt.

There is no doubting the efficacy of content creation, but knowing which type, channel and medium to use can be difficult. Use this article as your helpful guide for the top 10 content marketing trends for 2020.

1: User Generated Content (UGC)

According to Convince and Convert, “85 percent of consumers find UGC more influential than brand content.”

What exactly is user-generated content? According to Tintup, “User-generated content, or UGC for short, is any content that has been created and published by unpaid contributors. Often, those contributors are fans who promote a brand instead of the brand promoting itself. UGC can be content of any type, including blogs, website pages, images, social media posts and testimonials.”

For example, when Coca Cola launched its Share a Coke campaign, it encouraged users to find a coke with their name on it and share it on social media, providing free viral content marketing for the brand as people showed off images with their Coke.

How can you make UGC work for your brand? You need to identify what your audience likes to share and then ask them to share it. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

2. Video Content Creation

As we have discussed before, video content is the way of the future. According to Core DNA, “The modern consumer increasingly expects to receive video content from their favorite brands, and video keeps audiences engaged longer than any other type of content. Live-stream audiences continue to grow as well, with 80 percent of respondents to a Livestream survey saying they’d rather watch live video than read a blog post. Moreover, Livestream found that 81 percent of respondents watched more live video in 2016 than 2015.”

Video content encourages your audience to spend time and engage with your brand. Search Engine Journal reports, “In 2018, 85 percent of internet users in the U.S. watched video content monthly on any of their devices.”

You can create video content in a number of ways, from culture videos, behind the scenes and more. To find out more content creation types, read our past article about finding the right type of video content for your brand.

3. Quality Over Quantity

This trend is also more of a general rule for all of your business’ digital content, but one that will continue to be relevant until the end of time. According to Forbes, “When it comes to digital marketing, quality trumps quantity and makes your brand more personable in the long run. We live in the age of transparency, and consumers crave authenticity.”

Consistency and quality are the pillars of any successful original content. If you post too much you can easily overwhelm your audience. According to Content Marketing Institute, “We’re getting good at dialing in the audience focus. We’ve finally all agreed to quality trumps quantity, but we’re still trying to do too much all at once. As content marketing gets more established, we can’t get away with cobbled together operations or haphazard processes.”

It’s important to share new content consistently, but it’s even more important than the content you’re publishing is well-done.

4. Visuals

One of the most appealing parts of online media is the way it can use the visual medium. According to Search Engine Journal, “From entertainment to communication, people are going all-in on the power of dynamic or interactive imagery. Among the next generation of soon-to-be-adults, visual social media reigns supreme. Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are the most popular platforms where teens hang out, according to Pew Research. For adults, YouTube is the most-used platform, topping even Facebook. To this end, visuals in content are going to get more interesting in 2020.”

To utilize this content marketing trend, create and share interesting graphics that will captivate your audience. Your audience will be exposed to endless feeds of social media posts, so make sure your posts stand out from the crowd.

5. Utilizing Your Content Creations

You can create the best content in the world, but if you don’t share it and optimize it, it may go to waste. There are a ton of social media platforms out there and trying to create content for each platform can be overwhelming. Make your content work for you! Share your content on all your platforms but stagger it out and introduce it differently so your audience doesn’t get the same content twice. This will give you more bang for your buck.

Podcasts have exploded in recent years.

6. Podcasting

Podcasts have exploded in recent years. Statista reports, that the number of podcast listeners has tripled within the last decade and this number is projected to continue growing as time goes on. This could be the perfect time to start a branded podcast for your brand; what are you waiting for?

According to Core DNA, “If there’s a clear demand for audio content in your industry, you need to make it happen. But, it’s important that you do so intentionally. Creating a podcast for the sake of doing so isn’t going to be effective; neither is whipping up an episode whenever your team has some free time, or whenever the mood strikes. Instead of haphazardly creating podcast content from time to time, approach your podcast initiatives as you do the rest of your content marketing efforts.”

While some podcasts cover broad topics, it is better for your brand to focus on one. This can contribute to niche marketing and help your brand establish its credibility within your field of expertise.

7. Data-Driven Content

As with all types of content marketing out there, it is important to pay attention to trends and use data to back up what works and what doesn’t.

According to MarTechAdvisor, “With everything in business being data-driven today, can creativity and storytelling be far behind? Whether it is the use of data to execute a creative ‘big idea’ in an unexpected but effective way; or whether it’s the more widespread use of data to personalize content or offers, data’s place in the creative process is here to stay. ‘Data + technology + great storytelling’ has come to form a powerful engine that are taking brands into new territory with both relevance, personalization, and creativity.”

To take advantage of this trend, just follow the data. Identify the content that your audience engages with most and create more of that type of content. We recommend reviewing your analytics every 4-6 weeks or so.

8. Voice Device Content

Smart devices have taken hold of the marketplace, so it only makes sense to capitalize on this with content marketing.

Smart devices have taken hold of the marketplace, so it only makes sense to capitalize on this with content marketing. The latest smart audio report from NPR and Edison Research estimates that there are now nearly 120 million smart speakers in U.S. homes, representing 78 percent year-over-year growth.

To utilize this trend, think about how your audience would search for your content using voice search.

To accomplish this, follow Core DNA’s advice: “Understanding the nuances of this slight difference can enable you to craft more effective headlines and focus on more specific long-tail keywords within your content.

Secondly, by looking into the voice queries your audience members conduct, you’ll gain even more insight into the type of information and content they’re looking for. This, in turn, can help you not only tailor your existing content for voice-SEO but also inform your future content-creation initiatives, overall.”

9. Personal Content

The modern consumer is looking for more than your standard content marketing experience. According to Core DNA, “Your audience doesn’t want to receive the exact same collection of content that all of your other customers are getting. Rather, the individual consumer wants to receive content tailored specifically to their interests and needs with regard to your brand.”

The goal of dynamic personalized content creation is to deliver exactly what a consumer is looking for; this encourages them to take more steps to engage with your brand further. Thanks to marketing automation, personalized content isn’t as difficult to deliver as it used to be.

To find examples of ways to create personalized content, check out this article from Core DNA.

10. Topic Focused

You can build up your topical authority through strategic content creation.

Search engine algorithms are always changing. As Core DNA states, “Google considers the context of a given page within the entire site. In a sense, Google now assesses the holistic value of a web page and website from the perspective of the individual searcher.”

You can build up your topical authority through strategic content creation – specifically by creating various posts about one certain topic. The idea is to cover a wide range of topics that fall under a single umbrella. Showing that your brand is an expert in your field will help build brand awareness and improve your credibility.