Over the years, the best advice about content marketing predictions I can think of is to (usually) ignore the predictions.
And, man, I once loved a prediction piece.
These days . . . not so much.
Look at all of these shiny new ideas! (So that I can now ignore the last round of formerly shiny new ideas and convince my boss that “THIS is the thing that’s going to turn it all around for us”).
They give you the illusion of learning and ideas to aspire to. The only problem: so many are just bullshit.
I can’t find it, but I saw a headline today something like: “THIS IS THE LAST YEAR FOR CONTENT MARKETING TO MAKE AN IMPACT”.
My best advice on prediction posts for 2020, don’t get distracted by the promise of the new when you still haven’t gotten the basics working.
The Death of Email
My predilection for prognostication began to wane around the Big Boom of enterprise 2.0. Social EVERYTHING was going to kill email.
Riiiiiigggggggttttttt. That happened.
Then I just slowly fell out of love with them as space fillers and something that folks feel like they have to write about (like all of the other seasonal topics — New Years, Christmas, Halloween, graduation season, etc., etc., and et cetera).
I’ll admit that I’ve read hardly any prediction posts this year for the simple reason that I’m just not that interested and the couple I’ve skimmed were just clickbait (OK, fine, maybe my title is a wee-bit clickbaity if I’m being honest).
Back the truck up; between the first draft and edits, I did just read a post that included some interesting advice about how to maximize SEO in 2020 specific to the new BERT Google update of their search engine from Search Engine Watch. Still, meh, the title leaves me cold and I almost didn’t click it (though I’m glad I did).
The problem with predictions is that they can distract you from what you need to do NOW because you’re worried about the next big thing. If you don’t have a solid content marketing strategy in place, with goals supported by tactics, whatever prediction you chase will be wrong for you — 99.9% guaranteed.
The c-suite is famous for shiny object syndrome.
Don’t be a magpie.
If you haven’t even successfully attempted the last next big thing, why on Earth would you think chasing the next big thing is a good idea?
Relax. Breath. You want to get your marketing right, with perfect vision (I kill me!), for 2020?
- Figure out where you want to be.
- Look at the tools that you have
- Start working on using number 2 to get to number 1 [I just made a metric ton of juvenile jokes just now in my head], and get to work.
Don’t Be an Ostrich
My point isn’t to bury your head in the sand.
Keep an eye out for “the new” and trends you can take advantage of. But it’s never a bad thing to focus on basic blocking and tackling of content and inbound marketing: landing page optimization, fine-tuning your newsletter, creating blogs that work for people and the Google Monster, etc.
My BOLD Content Marketing Prediction for 2020
I used to make an annual prediction when I edited e-doc. It went something like this:
most predictions will be wrong and at least one thing will be created/happen that no one knew would happen.
Best part of this tradition? I always got to be right 🙂
Seriously though. Most predictions are worthless bullshit or at best feel-good mental masturbation.
We all need to be aware of future trends in our industry. I’m not dismissing that reality.
On the other hand, it seems that the businesses that continue to focus on their core business and serving their customers are always the most successful ones.
If you read someone banging the drum that “this NEW THING is the answer to 2020 success”, whatever “this” is, I’ll just caution you that snake oil salesmen are alive and well in 2020.
I predict that if you continually
- focus on the fundamentals,
- incorporate new ideas, tools, and trends in a way that makes sense for YOUR business, and
- test and evaluate the results
then you will create a content marketing machine that will create leads and sales for your business.
All predictions wrong or your money back.
Thanks for reading. Comments, criticisms, and witticisms welcomed.
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