It’s almost here. We’ve nearly reached the 2020s, a decade that once sounded positively futuristic to our ears.

As we draw closer to this landmark year, what can we look forward to in content marketing?  Here are some trends that will expand as we go into 2020.

1. Content Personalization

Content personalization is the process of gathering and analyzing data about your audience to deliver content that meets their needs or interests to a T. This the reason for the rise of data scientists on every marketing team, if you don’t have one, get one! If you are a startup, train yourself to become data based.

As you might guess, this uber-personal experience allows you to speak to the heart of specific visitors at their exact level of brand awareness. Everyone is selling something, in order for your company to be the one, you have to meet your customer where they are in their brand awareness.

customer brand awareness hubspot

In 2020, look for marketers to continue to hone their content personalization strategies and improve the way they target their readers. That means more and better data collecting processes; more in-depth audience research and analysis; and an emphasis on content created purposefully for specific readers.

2. Visual-heavy social media and virtual reality

instagram live

With the growth and popularity of visual social media networks like Instagram and Snapchat, we are seeing social move closer to image-dependence. People prefer sharing their lives through visual media, and they love having conversations through pictures and video, too.

Seventy-three percent of US adults say they use YouTube, which outstrips even Facebook (69%) as the most-used media platform. Instagram comes in third place, with 37% of adults reporting usage.

Shy about going live, use the filters and get brave! Your target audience is seeking video content and a live person behind the brand.

3. Building authentic brand voices

Traditional marketing tactics have been around for a very long time. All of us grew up with ads blaring at us from a TV screen, from billboards, and in magazines and newspapers.

consumer television ads

We know how it works. We know exactly when a brand is selling to us. That’s why, when a company instead pivots to help us, educate us, or entertain us – no strings attached – we feel a breath of fresh air.

In today’s oversaturated landscape of ads and content, the stuff we notice and appreciate is the stuff that touches our pain points and heals them. Everyone is selling something, and everyone wants to sell more. In 2020, the brands that will stand out are the ones who will instead authentically connect with their audiences through purposeful, useful, engaging content.

Sales are a natural byproduct of trust built and solidified with consumers. However, the most successful will put their customers’ needs first – not sales. That will be the definition of authenticity in 2020.