Marketing Strategies to Try in 2020
Educate with your content
Content has long been king and 2019 was no different.
Citing figures from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 trends report, Robin Barendsen, head of digital marketing at office space rental company WehaveAnyspace, noted 77% of B2B marketers use content marketing.
“In fact, the majority of B2B content marketers use educational assets to nurture leads and build audience trust, which is absolutely essential for inbound marketing,” he said. “Think about informational blogs, white papers or quizzes.”
We’re likely preaching to the choir here, but, generally speaking, brands should create content that is relevant, authoritative and, of course, educates its audience.
Personalize your marketing messages
Peter Wilfahrt, managing director of digital agency Versandgigant, said marketers should personalize every single message in 2020 by digging into analytics and understanding demographics, affinity categories and in-market segments. More on that in a moment.
“Only very few brands execute a personalized messaging strategy,” he said. “And we’re not talking about adding the first name to your email greeting … really dig into your prospect’s mind and discover what they fear, wish and want.”
While Brock Murray, COO of digital marketing agency seoplus+, agrees consumers should be made to feel special, he argues automation is the way to go because it allows advertisers to create ads that dynamically change based on whoever is searching. And, Murray said, results show consumers want this type of customization.
“With that being said, timeliness also proved to be a critical part of any strategy as users proved they still don't want to be bombarded with content, particularly if it isn't even relevant to them,” Murray added. “Overall, all of your content and markup should be concise and easily understandable to ensure your users receive value with each interaction. Transparency and respect of users’ privacy should also be a critical component of any digital marketing strategy.”
Frank Spear, content marketer at WordPress contest plugin RafflePress, said personalization boosted his marketing strategy far beyond his expectations in 2019.
“We tried to implement personalized content in virtually every aspect of our strategy,” he said. “Our opt-in ads change based on the content users read before the popup was triggered. The relatable promotion is designed to show consumers that we understand their pain points and want to help. We allow our customers to pick the type of content they want to receive from us when they subscribe to our email marketing campaigns.”
Effective personalization is the result of efforts like behavioral segmentation, or separating audience members into groups based on their actions, like first-time purchases, abandoned carts, repeat purchases and page views without conversion, said Sam White, marketing manager at CBD site Soul CBD.
“Each behavior group can look very similar to each other demographically and then act in very different ways,” White added. “Behavioral segmentation is what allows us to speak to each group in a way that makes sense with how they interact with the brand.”
Vivek Chugh, CEO of checklist app Listables, agreed data-driven segmentation has worked well so far because it allows Listables to tailor its messages and make sure it is getting it in front of the right people, so this segmentation will be a big part of marketing in 2020, too.
Let data drive your creative
Let data drive your creative
According to Natalia Wulfe, CMO of digital marketing agency Effective Spend, platforms like Google and Facebook are taking control more control of audience targeting as they simultaneously move away from manual bidding capabilities. Meanwhile, their algorithms have become adept at understanding which ad images and copy will drive the best click-through and conversion rates.
“With these shifts, we’ve seen creative emerging as a serious performance driver, carrying equal weight to other key drivers like placement selection and audience targeting,” she said.
As a result, Effective Spend overhauled its creative design process to incorporate a data-first approach.
“We analyze the performance metrics of existing creative, identify where the gaps are, and then design new creative that directly impacts those poor performing metrics,” she added.
Invest in original research
One of the best marketing strategies of 2010 was investing in original research.
“This strategy worked because we came up with something new,” he said. “New data attracted links and it was beautifully presented, which made people share it on social media.”
Coding Sans plans to publish at least three new reports with original research in 2020.
Matthew Zajechowski, outreach team lead at digital marketing agency Digital Third Coast, agreed using proprietary data to create long-form content with graphics has been an effective 2019 strategy, resulting in backlinks from thousands of high-authority publications.
“Publishers want new story angles to cover on a subject even if they’ve covered it a billion times before,” he added. “Having proprietary data allows us to have that unique angle and presenting it with graphics makes it easy for them to share. We look for writers and publications who cover that subject and present it to them as new research or a study.”
Update your content
And don’t forget the content you’ve already published.
In fact, Cyrus Yung, co-founder of SEO company Ascelade, said updating old content is a strategy that has served Ascelade well as Google has a freshness ranking factor and most sites eventually see content decay.
“They have old articles that have ranked well previously and have attracted backlinks, but the search traffic for that particular article is on a downward trend,” he said.
Mark Webster, co-founder of online marketing education company Authority Hacker, said 2019 was the year Authority Hacker focused on this tactic of refreshing older content instead of just pumping out new, high quality content.
“After some testing, we found that making simple updates and tweaks and, most importantly, changing the date of the article to represent the newest revision [made] our rankings instantly [jump] up,” he said.
“It's no secret Google prefers fresh content but we had not anticipated this to be such an easy win.”