7 Content Marketing Questions Brands Are Asking in 2020

7 Content Marketing Questions Brands Are Asking in 2020

By Carrie DagenhardAug 18 /2020

Ten years ago, content marketing was still a hot, new and often misunderstood buzzword. While attracting and engaging audiences by sharing useful, relevant information instead of leveraging disruptive, pushy methods is a concept that’s existed for generations — many brands were still uncertain.

Back in those early days, clients asked questions like, “Does content marketing really work?” and, “Should my company be creating content?”

Today, most brands have developed and published content for years with significant success. And at this point, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize its power. But as content marketing evolves, new questions have developed — particularly when it comes to strategies, tactics and platforms.

To help boost your ROI and ensure you’re well-prepared for the next era of content, here are answers to the most common content marketing questions plaguing brands in 2020.

What constitutes “content” in 2020?

In 2013, Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi defined content as any “compelling information that informs, engages or amuses.” This definition still holds true.

Content refers not only to written material like blog posts, eBooks, and case studies, but also social media copy and images, infographics, videos, webinars, and immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality.

How has SEO changed?

Search engine optimization still follows the same basic premise as it did a decade ago. Quality and relevance are still paramount to success. It’s still a good idea to center all content on a page around one primary keyword phrase and to include that keyword in the title, meta description, subheaders, image alt tags and body copy.

But today, you also need to consider the way people search. For example, about 56% of searches in 2020 are on mobile devices, according to data shared by Statista, so you’ll need to make sure your content is mobile-friendly.

And 27% of the global population uses voice search on mobile, according to data from Google, which means you need to make sure your content is optimized for voice search (check out this blog post to learn how).

Do I still need a blog?

Yes. Blog posts and articles still account for the lion’s share of search engine results and can be the biggest magnet for organic traffic. In short, so long as people still turn to search engines for answers to their questions, it still makes sense to have a blog on your company site. And if you embed other types of content into your blogs, like videos and infographics, you can generate even more engagement.

How can non-promotional content drive sales?

You believe your product or service is the best, most incredible offering on the market. We don’t blame you for wanting to shout its many features from the rooftops.But here’s the hard truth: your customers don’t want to be “sold.” The No. 1 thing they want to know is whether you can solve their challenges and meet their needs.

Educational content helps establish brand credibility, proves your value to prospects, and keeps existing customers engaged with your brand. Remember: Your customers are inundated with messages from similar brands all day long. If you want to capture their attention and get their business, you need to stand out from the competition and earn their trust. Useful content can help you accomplish both.

Should I outsource my content creation?

When deciding whether you want to outsource content or create it in-house, ask yourself three questions:

  • Do I have the resources to create and publish fresh content at a regular cadence?
  • Do I have the resources to ensure my content is consistently top quality?
  • Do I have the resources to scale my content marketing efforts?

Unless you can confidently answer “yes” to all three, it’s a good idea to outsource some (or all) of your content creation efforts. Just be sure you’re doing so to an agency or freelancer with proven industry expertise.

Which social media platform(s) should we focus on?

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Medium, Reddit, Quora… with new platforms emerging and rising in popularity every year, how can you possibly be everywhere? You can’t. And you shouldn’t. When determining where to devote your time and energy in your content marketing strategy, it’s best to focus only on the places where you know your audience spends their time. For example, if you’re a lifestyle brand targeting Gen Z, you may want to invest more heavily in creating content for Instagram and TikTok. If you’re a B2B technology platform though, LinkedIn and Facebook likely make more sense.

Why isn't my content gaining traction?

This might be one of the most important content marketing questions — and one of the most frustrating things brands experience. If you’ve published a high-quality piece or series of content assets and aren’t earning the engagement you expected, it’s likely due to one of these reasons:

  • You’re aiming too broadly
    Every piece of content you create should be targeted to a specific persona or section of your audience. If you’re trying to appeal to too many people at once, your message can become diluted. Try getting more specific.
  • You aren’t promoting or distributing it enough
    It’s a common misconception that SEO alone will earn all the traffic you need. And while it can certainly help, you still need to promote and distribute your content. For example, if you publish a blog post or video, it’s important to share it on social media, include it in a weekly newsletter, and link to it from other pieces of content.
  • It’s too challenging to consume
    Large chunks of text, complicated fonts, text on busy backgrounds, poor quality imagery, a page that doesn’t render correctly on mobile, a resource gated by a lengthy form — these are just a few examples of how brands ruin the content experience.

    Instead, focus on making copy concise and broken up into smaller paragraphs and bullets. Use reader-friendly fonts, avoid using busy backgrounds or low-resolution imagery. Additionally, ensure your entire site is mobile-responsive, and reduce any submission form fields to only the most essential pieces of information.

Find Success with Content Marketing

Content marketing is morphing and changing with the times, but many original fundamentals still apply. By prioritizing quality, understanding your audience, and focusing on solving challenges rather than promoting your business, you’ll be well-prepared for another ten years of content success.

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The Author

Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is a seasoned content strategist who worked as a department editor and music journalist before making her foray into inbound marketing as a content analyst. Carrie works hard at crafting the perfect content strategy for clients and using her hard-hitting journalism skills to tell your brand’s unique story.