In 2020 marketers realize that the war for the customer’s attention has gone way beyond your target niche. Due to the overproduction of marketing materials, a company today has to compete not only with its direct competitors but basically with every other company that produces content.
After all, people have limited time that can be dedicated to consuming content!
Thus, your primary goal this year, as a B2C marketer, will be to first capture your user’s attention and then proceed to acquire his trust, his time and eventually - his loyalty as a customer.
In fact, this poll from the Content Marketing Institute shows us that more than 80% of marketers are concerned with creating content that inspires customer loyalty. According to the same source, B2C marketers reported an increase of 56% in their marketing budget for content creation compared to the previous year.
What these trends show us is that now, more than ever, quality, eye-catching content is imperative, no matter what other marketing channels you may deploy.
Luckily, this also means that improving content can be an excellent way to increase revenue as well. While traditional advertising keep losing its grounds in the past few years, content is here to create a deeper connection with our customers, ensuring their loyalty (and therefore, their purchases).
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the B2C content marketing trends for 2020 that will help you increase your revenue and marketing ROI.
1.Deeper research of the customer’s behavior
There’s hardly anyone who isn’t following the stats of how their content is performing, but many times it seems to be in a slightly superficial manner which doesn’t allow you to understand what’s going on.
Analyzing in details your customer’s behavior will allow you to discover:
- what are your customer’s „friction points” i.e. what pushes them away
- What is the general behavior of your target audience and how to adapt your content to it
Finding out what stops your customers from consuming your content or purchasing your products is absolutely crucial. Some of the common crucial friction points can be
- low awareness of your product
- low level of brand recognition
- UX/design issues
- Bad onboarding process with complex products
- In order to identify your problematic area, you need to take a deep dive in your customer’s behavior.
For example, a very high bounce rate, especially combined with short session duration from your social media PPC traffic can be a signal of poor targeting or low relevancy of your content.
A low CTR in Facebook Ads can indicate bad creatives, but also low brand recognition. A big difference between the CTR and LPV on the other hand usually points to problems with your site speed.
A customer leaving too quickly might be also low relevancy, but also, a strong signal that something design-wise might be wrong.
An example of design where the pop up covers part of the text on the left yet the X button is hidden for some resolutions and therefore, the visitor can’t close it.
If you haven’t installed Hotjar yet, we’d strongly recommend that you do so. Hotjar is excellent when it comes to identifying friction points with your customers. If they skip too quickly on your blog page, perhaps you need to reconsider your formatting and see if the text is readable enough, if you insert enough visuals and so on.
If you see them stuck on a lead magnet page and behaving erratically, it can be a pretty good indication that your form is either unclear, badly created or too long to fill.
if you’re a Youtube creator or use it as a channel, take a look at the Average Percentage Viewed; a low percentage is probably indicative of your content not being able to retain your viewer’s attention.
Moral of the story - don’t just look at your traffic amount and page views/visit duration/ bounce rate in Google Analytics. Search for (a combination of) metrics that can show you more on your customers.
2.Personalization isn’t optional anymore
While this isn’t a new concept, the importance of personalization grew immensely in the past few years. The company Accenture reported that 41% of customers switched companies last year due to poor personalization.
This means that you need to do way better when it comes to personalizing your content. Firstly, a buyer persona/journey will greatly help you with this - if you’re part of the 49% of business that still doesn’t have one, now it’s the time to create it.
image source: Lean Labs
Segmentation is a big part of your B2C content personalization, especially when it comes to email marketing and PPC remarketing. If you’re betting on email marketing, go for a tool that will allow you detailed segmentation and management of your lists.
An example is MailChimp, the popular platform which offers an incredible amount of detailed segmentation. This way, you can segment your potential readers into users from a specific campaign, language, device, location, activity, level of activeness, and pretty much anything you can think of (here is a full list of their segmentation options)
This way, you will be able to send hyper-relevant and super-personalized content to each of your subscriber lists.
Personalizing your remarketing ads is equally important. Try to be as specific as possible - if you have visitors of a specific category/product, either remarket those products directly or cross-sell just relevant products.
Say you have an e-commerce site selling luxury watches. You may think it’s niche enough, but of course, there is something very specific that has attracted your visitor to the page they landed - maybe it’s a brand, or color, or a specific feature. Whatever it is, try to identify (through behavior analysis of course) it and use it for personalized remarketing ads.
If you’re promoting content, you still need to highly personalize the ads based on your persona AND journey. An example of this can be a Facebook Ads funnel, where you create a topic cluster with a logical sequence (How to launch an online business) and remarket each article to the visitors of the previous one.
3.Authenticity will make you more attractive
Once upon a time, people made a lot of money with sketchy sites and sketchier promotions online. These times are long gone, as today’s consumer is more educated than ever.
People almost never buy anything (big) without making proper research first. Furthermore, customer loyalty cannot be acquired with anything less than truthful and consistent branding.
From a practical standpoint, this means that a good content strategy is to be as transparent and authentic as possible. First of all, don’t mask yourself as someone you’re not - if your importing products from China, creating content about local shopping (or worse, pretending you offer it) it’s not a great idea.
If your visitors don’t discover your deception immediately, rest assured it will happen sooner or later and all it takes is one scandal to ruin your brand.
A very awkward example of this is the case of the popular vegan YouTuber Rawvana; she was caught eating animal products and her reputation (and business) suffered as a result.
On the other hand, being truthful about who you are is a good way to win customers, as people are naturally drawn to authenticity (and we all know marketing often lacks it).
A great example of good brand authenticity is Patagonia, which often based its ads and content on their core values - consuming less.
Patagonia’s ad for Black Friday in 2011
When you create your content, think about what you’d like to express about yourself through your B2C content. You can talk about
-How you started - What values does your company have - What you’d like to achieve - What makes your product/service different
“Behind the scenes” type of content is a great format for this, but of course, it can be a case study or even a simple Facebook ad - the important thing is to be inline with who you really are.
4.Go for the experience, not the product
It’s really interesting to take a look at how advertising developed in the past 50-60 years. Up until a couple of decades ago companies advertised products or their benefits, but the most successful campaigns are always designed to invoke an emotion.
Coca-cola is one of the pioneers in the lifestyle ads, and their campaigns have been revolving around friends and family for years.
So, this isn’t exactly a new concept, yet many marketers disregard it entirely. When creating content, they are still focusing on the product/service, and forget to associate the respective emotions with it.
Think about what can be connected with your product/service when it comes to everyday life.
According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, people have five primary needs:
If you want your content to be appealing to them, it’s highly recommended that you do a little research and think to which part of this hierarchy would your product be relevant.
For example, if you’re selling a VPN service, you may appeal to people’s need to feel protected and safe (and also, to protect those they love). On the other hand, if you’re selling an online course, you may try to relate to their desire for self-actualization. You need to translate these feelings into messages and then incorporate them everywhere in your strategy (or at least, in a particular campaign)
A good example of content creation is Nike, a company clearly dedicating their campaigns to the Esteem needs category. Their message evokes emotions of empowerment and when people buy a pair of sneakers, they actually buy the experience of feeling more free, assertive and confident in themselves.
5.Focus on User Generated Content
People are usually well aware of the user-generated content power, yet so few of them use it. Aside from testimonials (which, let’s be real, are hardly trustworthy from user’s POV) marketers often disregard their most valuable assett - their loyal fan base.
GoPro have mastered this fine art, which is truly admirable, especially considering that video content requires a LOT of resources.
Of course, they have a distinctive advantage; their product is literally a content producing machine. By itself, however, this isn’t enough otherwise all camera-related products might have had the same success - clearly, their marketing team is also rather creative and talented.
Whether is images, video or blog post, reaching out to your community is absolutely amazing. First of all, if you do it right, you could never produce that mich content by yourself. This is especially true when it comes to pictures and videos related to travel, food and entertainment industry, due to the costs.
Secondly, you ensure a large variety and creative ideas - it’s like brainstorming with hundreds of people, instead of just your team. Users can get pretty creative and even pick ideas from each other and develop them into something even more amazing.
Instagram UGC is very trendy right now, but let’s not forget our old pal - the blog. Many blogs have the Write for Us section; don’t stop there - be proactive! Find users you can count on (for example, people who comment on your content or users you have long and positive conversations with) and invite them to write for you.
Perhaps the most important reason you should lean toward the user-genrated content is the fact that people simply will trust them more than you.
if you want to get inspired, we’d highly recommend this amazing article, where you can see some globally recognized brands such as Airbnb and Goole using exactly this content strategy.
6.Focus on mobile-first content
Yes, it’s true that most conversion still occurs on desktop. To get the user’s attention, however, the beginning of your funnel will often start on mobile - in fact, in 2019 about 83% of user’s first interaction with a particular brand happened via mobile device.
Thus, a critical part of your B2C content marketing strategy should be to go in that direction and create mobile-first content.
Of course, we all know that responsiveness is mandatory (and has been for years) but now it’s more of a question of what would look best on the mobile devices and THEN consider it’s desktop visualization.
In the case of Facebook Ads this is especially valid; ditch the standard landscape format and go for square or portrait-oriented creatives. Users have much harder time reading the small text your Facebook ad will display on the horizontal image and unless it’s truly visually stunning, they will likely skip it.
image source: Vantage Search
You can also do the same for your blog posts unless you’re using the AMP standard, though be careful - they still need to be good-looking on desktop. If you’re using graphic CTAs/banners, make sure they are visible enough when you browse your article.
While it’s getting harder and harder to earn the attention (and trust) of your potential customers, creating the best possible content for them is the right way to go. You will definitely increase your exposure and traffic, and as a consequence - your direct revenue!