What Does 2020 Look Like for Content Marketing?

Content will continue to reign as king in the digital marketing landscape from 2020 onwards, if the string of developments from Google and changing consumer behavior are any indication. The search engine giant has been focusing on quality content in the last decade, demanding the compliance of the global online community by rolling out massive, content-centric updates.

Below is a timeline of the major, content-centric updates that now influence the content marketing climate in 2020 onwards.

Major Google Algorithm Updates: A Quick, 9-Year Review

  • 2011 February: Panda. Targeted “link farms” and websites with thin, keyword- and link-stuffed content.
  • 2012 April: Penguin. Targeted sites and pages filled with spammy keywords, irrelevant links, and other “black hat SEO” tactics.
  • 2013 August: Hummingbird. Targeted keyword stuffing, low-quality content. It also started Google’s latent semantic indexing (LSI).
  • 2014 July: Pigeon. Ranked pages that matched local search intent.
  • 2015 October: RankBrain. A machine-learning system that was a part of the Hummingbird update, it ranks pages with relevant and comprehensive content.
  • 2017 March: Fred. Targeted websites with advertisement-heavy content.
  • 2018 March: Mobile-First Indexing. Ranked mobile-friendly sites with high usability.
  • 2018 August: Medic. Targeted websites with poor UX and thin, duplicate content. Sites in the health and wellness industries were the most hit, hence its name.
  • 2019 October: BERT. Google’s biggest update in the last five years, it finds the most relevant content for search queries and does not rely solely on keyword mentions.

These developments make it clear that websites need to focus on producing quality content from here onwards. Back-end SEO best practices like optimizing metadata and snippets are still essential for content marketing, but they will not be enough to ensure that your sites will rank.

For content marketing campaigns to succeed in 2020 onwards, they must take the following approaches:

User-Centric

It’s important to be strategic with content marketing, but marketers can no longer afford to focus solely on satisfying the algorithm. Content marketers need to develop content with the end-users in mind — the very people who’re logging into Google and doing typing queries on the search engine.

What does this mean in practice? Content marketers should still use keyword research tools like Analytics, SEMrush, and Moz. They shouldn’t however, end things there. They also need to find out why people are looking for those specific keywords and phrases, understand their intent, and find the answers to their questions. This is the key to ideating themes and topics for content generation.

Quality Over Quantity

Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on producing quality content, whether they are articles, videos, or infographics. It’s better to dedicate more time for writing long-form content, for example, than churning out several short blog pieces with thin information. Bear in mind that Google’s algorithm can identify both duplicate and similar content. Additionally, users crave value, accuracy, and authenticity online. Websites that fall short on these expectations will fall behind those that excel at providing them.

Explore Different Media

Content marketing evolves along with Internet users. The former takes its cue from the latter’s behavior and preferences. For instance, in 2017, 54% of Internet users said they preferred videos over other forms of content. Surprisingly, emails and newsletters came second at 46%. Digital marketers then modified their strategies in the next two years, raising their investments on video creation and email marketing.

This trend still persists in 2020. Videos dominate on social media, and the world’s most visited website is YouTube. Modified versions of video content, like the 15-second, consumer-generated short videos on TikTok, are also on the rise. Content shouldn’t be restricted to articles, blogs and emails, and marketers who can evolve with the trends raise their chances of success.

To recap, here are our main takeaways for content marketing in 2020:

  • Produce content for the end-users.
  • Quality trumps quantity.
  • Video continues to be trendy even as its format evolves.
  • Content marketers who can adapt to Google’s updates and consumers’ changing tastes are more likely to succeed.

At Waypoint Creative, we have the tools and expertise to help you plan and implement your content marketing strategies. Chat with us today!

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