The New Year has arrived and now it’s time to make all those business resolutions like a reality, starting with content marketing trends.
We hope you’ve set your digital marketing goals for 2020 but just in case you haven’t, let us share with you Tenba Group’s list of 11 content marketing trends you need to know about in 2020.
No matter, where in the world your business is, and which products or services you offer, digital marketing in China and around the world is a must in today’s world.
Content Marketing Trends for 2020
Before we take a deep dive into this topic, let us give you a short overview of the trends we will cover in this article:
- Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
- Focus on Niche Content
- Publish Original Content
- Be Authentic & Transparent
- Provide Personalized Content
- Build a Community
- Use Mini-Influencer Marketing
- Use Chatbots
- Utilize Alternative Media Formats
- Optimize Your Content for Voice Search
- Use Email Marketing
Without further ado, let’s get started, so you can lead your business into the new year with these 11 amazing digital marketing trends.
1. Develop a Killer Strategy
The days of lazy marketing are over and every move your business makes online and on your social media channels needs to have a clear purpose. The key to having a content strategy is to align your business goals with the information you put out online.
Sounds logical enough, but what exactly does that mean?
What kind of posts do you have? Product or service descriptions? Testimonials? Motivational pictures? Industry humor? When do you make each posting? How does each piece of content tie into your business strategy and short-term goals?
The answers to these questions are just the tip of the iceberg on what it means to develop a content marketing strategy. Your content strategy should aim to make people:
- aware of your brand
- informed on what you offer
- interested in how your services apply to them
- develop a preference for your brand when compared to similar brands
- purchase your product
If your content is solid enough to do that then turning customers into loyal customers becomes a much smaller mountain to climb.
And what about China?
Keep in mind that in the Middle Kingdom, new social media platforms have emerged – to surpass internet censorship and to strengthen the local economy. The most important Chinese social networks are WeChat (the superapp for literally everything), Sina Weibo and Douyin/Tik Tok. Click here to read the full list and analysis.
2. Find your Niche
With 3.1 billion active users of social media, it might be tempting to market your product to as many people as possible. With the boom of social media platforms in the last years, that strategy would have served you well in the past. But now that the dust has settled and the web is oversaturated with businesses, it’s time to dig around and find an untapped market.
Let’s look at it from a more practical angle. For example, instead of a fashion brand – become a minimalist fashion brand for young business professionals. Instead of a fitness brand – transform into a fitness rehabilitation center for former army veterans. 2020 is all about honing in on a smaller audience to provide quality information and content. Think of it as being a big fish in a lake instead of a small fish in the ocean.
Is it the same in China?
Currently, the trends in China revolve around safe and high-quality household and baby products, as well as luxury and exclusive fashion and cosmetics. For example, organic food and health products, baby formula and skincare products (keep in mind, the Chinese love white skin). Surely, there are plenty of niche opportunities there, depending on your existing business model, network and ideas.
3. Be Original
Although the attention span of an internet user is remarkably short, research shows that users value websites with quality original content. Long-form blog posts and video content such as educational videos and webinars are all great ways to provide users with original content and added value. Based on which you can offer premium paid options if you like and choose to.
Our last article “4 Benefits of Blogging for Your Business” explains all about using blog posts to be an authority in your industry. And just remember, although clickbait content is tempting to put out – don’t risk alienating your audience with dirty tricks for cheap clicks.
This is very much universal advice, so don’t be tempted – neither in China nor elsewhere in the world.
4. Let Your Audience See the Real You – Authentic & Transparent
Your content needs to reflect the values and voice that your company represents. Whether you stand for sustainability, ecological friendliness, or profit transparency… if your company talks the talk but can’t walk the walk, you can bet that consumers will go elsewhere.
This means that anytime you create content, whether it’s a video on your company’s YouTube channel or a LinkedIn article, you need to be straightforward and honest with the information you present. Consumers want a reason to support your brand, so give them a good one.
5. Make it Personal
Online consumers are careful about where they spend their money and prefer brands that value them as customers. Providing personalized content online gives your brand the opportunity to engage with your target audience. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Using the “poll” function on Facebook to get customer feedback
- Adjusting the home page of your website for logged in members based on their preferences
- Creating interactive tools to educate your audience on a subject related to your brand
This year is all about delivering bespoke experiences and engaging with your audience, and providing personalized content is just the first step.
6. Connect and Collaborate with Your Community
Besides engaging with your target audience, your business will benefit from collaborating with other brands. Think about what your business offers and what products or services are related but aren’t your direct competitors. Collaborations like Nike & Apple and Uber & Spotify show that businesses can expand their customer base by examining how consumers use their services.
Not ready to create a full new line of products? Not to worry… collaborative blogs and videos, podcast interviews, or social media “guest posts” are all easy places to start.
7. Use Mini-Influencers
Another way to build a community is to connect with social media “influencers” to spread the word about your company. At first glance, influencer marketing might seem like celebrity endorsement but it’s not just offering someone (with a lot of followers on social media) money to say nice things about you.
An influencer is someone who becomes successful by fostering a personal and authentic connection with their followers. This allows them to be seen as trustworthy and is a status that every company seeks. In order to reap the benefits of this delicate status, you need to identify influencers that are an “organic” match for your company and agree on cooperation that will be mutually beneficial.
In China, influencers play a particularly important role in digital marketing as consumers are more interested in the experience of real and authentic buyers of products and services rather than official brand and company information. So-called Wanghong, KOLs, and KOCs are gaining importance significantly. To read more about the latest trends in the Chinese ecommerce world, where KOCs play an important role, click here.
8. Robots are Taking Over Anyway, so Use Them
Studies have shown that being responsive is the leading cause of “sealing the deal” and getting consumers to purchase a product (even when compared to offering promotions). Can you guess the average response time of business to get back to their customers? It’s more than 12 hours! That’s way too long.
To avoid employing staff that fields customer questions 24/7, employing chatbots can help your business stay connected and responsive at all times.
Chatbots have been developed as a result of natural language processing and are able to engage in simple conversations with customers to solve simple issues. They can answer open-ended questions, maintain a friendly tone of voice, retain customers’ information.
Chatbots together with machine learning and AI are THE trend in China at the moment. So, jump on the bandwagon and stay an industry leader.
9. Be Creative & Think Out of the Box
Having a social media presence is a great start but you are doing your company a disservice if you are not utilizing all the tools at your disposal. Posting photos, videos, articles, and promotions are just the foundation. 2020 is a time to branch out and try these new marketing trends:
- Facebook live videos
- Instagram’s Stories and IGTV
- 360° photos
- Augmented reality
- Live-streaming on your website
It can be intimidating to try new formats but don’t be scared to test the waters. Find out which format helps you tell your company’s story (trend #1) and run with it.
10. Voice Search is the Future
Sales reports on the Amazon Echo and Google Home show that people are thrilled by the idea of speaking to a machine that responds back. In the US, every household owns 2.6 smart speakers. Can you believe that?
These machines, mobile personal assistants, not only talk back but provide users with information that would have previously been sought after on a computer. Add in Apple’s beloved Siri and it’s clear that using voice-activated services is a trend that is sharply on the rise.
So what does this mean for your website’s content strategy?
For one, you need to adapt your content to a natural language search. Instead of only breaking up questions and answers into keywords and phrases, be sure to include full-sentences that reflect how users would search for something if they spoke rather than typed the query.
Remember that spoken and written English are different and include phrases that are natural when selecting your target keywords.
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your website for search, we have compiled the most important information for you here.
11. Skyrocket your Sales using Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for a long time because it’s cost-effective, simple, and easy to analyze. It’s certainly worth it to continue using this strategy but just as internet users evolve, you need to evolve how you use it as well. This year, focus on:
- Minimalistic design – include the minimum to carry your message
- Visual storytelling – use white space and color theory to guide the reader’s attention
- Mobile optimization – divide blocks of text and include limited images and video
If you are looking for a smart email marketing automation tool, try „Mautic managed by hartmut.io“.
Are there China specifics?
Email marketing in the Middle Kingdom has a few own rules. Keep these most important ones in mind:
- Be aware of local regulations
- Mention your brand
- Optimize for mobile devices
- Stay away from CSS – many email service providers will remove it
This brings us to the end of the 11 trends in content marketing in 2020. Let’s look at the summary!
Taking your business online and onto social media was a great first step. But if you really want to let your business get ahead of the curve, be sure to follow these exciting content marketing trends in 2020.
If you are looking for a digital marketing agency or a China marketing agency to be specific, send your friends at Tenba Group a message. We are happy to discuss this topic with you further and develop smart strategies for you to conquer the Chinese market.