Content tips for 2020

The past decade saw massive changes in how marketers think about — and generate — content. Based on those changes and where things seem to be heading, here are some content survival tips for 2020:

1. Get in their heads, then get personal.
Because people’s time and attention are limited, all content needs to reflect what matters to the audience right out of the gate. Listen first, get clear on your stakeholders’ struggles, and don’t start talking until you know why they should care about your thing. Personalization will hit whole new levels soon with the growth of AI and machine learning, enabling unprecedented precision in campaign targeting.

2. Reuse, recycle, repurpose.
We’ve talked a lot about “content mileage” in recent years: giving existing content new life in a new form to keep up with the demand for output. Take a webinar and turn it into an e-book or several blog posts, or extract quotes for social media. The idea of repurposing content itself is by no means new — Disney, for instance, has done it for years, famously recycling footage in many of its animated classics. (Search “Disney reused animation” on YouTube to see.)

3. Write like a human.
Google’s latest algorithm is better able to interpret and process natural language, meaning web writing will become less keyword-driven and more reflective of how people actually talk. This is good news because your audience is made up of humans. Write with heart, not jargon, and you’ll forge stronger connections. Remember that even the most substantial topics can be covered in light and engaging ways.

4. Bring your content alive.
Not everyone in your audience wants to read a 600-word blog post, so when you’re planning content, think about how to make it experiential. Different media affect people’s brains in different ways, which can influence what they do next. Video, dynamic text, side-scrolling frames, full-width imagery and more are all being increasingly blended to immerse readers in stories. The use of these techniques will continue to grow and approaches to content creation will evolve to seamlessly integrate them.

5. Think like a marketer.
That’s easy for people who are marketers, but the need for constant communication and thought leadership is getting everyone involved in marketing efforts. Content experts have to think like marketers to produce readable, meaningful content that aligns with marketing goals. Content creation, as a result, has become highly collaborative. That’s only going to evolve and grow as global enterprise teams gain opportunity to connect within the “virtual workspaces” of the 21st century.