It’s a classic dilemma. Do you dedicate your resources to where the most customers are — and the most competition? Or do you spend your time and money trying to reach smaller numbers — at a lower cost and amid less noise?
When it comes to content marketing, the answer is probably “both.”
There’s definitely still value in the big dogs of social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But think about it — if you’d been one of the early businesses to adopt Instagram as a marketing channel, where could you be today?
It’s impossible to know what platform is going to be the “next Instagram.” But that’s why it makes sense to devote some resources to testing new channels before they become the standard. So here are some content marketing channels trending up that you may want to try in 2020
Contrary to what you may think, Pinterest isn’t just for wedding planning and comparing over-the-top children’s birthday parties. Pinterest has grown into a bona fide social sharing giant in the last few years, with 250 million monthly users. 29% of adults say they use Pinterest, which puts it ahead of Snapchat (27%), LinkedIn (25%), Twitter (24%), and WhatsApp (22%).
If you’re not familiar, Pinterest lets users save “pins” from all over the internet into their own “boards.” Unlike the bigger social networks, Pinterest is used less for sharing the day-to-day, and more for discovering new products and getting ideas. In fact, 59% of Millennials report discovering new products on Pinterest. That’s about the same number as on Instagram, but Instagram has 4x as many users.
Organic reach on Pinterest is still good for brands since it’s a “discovery” platform. But if you find that you want to spend some marketing dollars, you may get good results. Users are much more open to branded content on Pinterest than other social networks.
TikTok has been experiencing explosive growth over the past few years. It was the third most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2019, and the #1 most downloaded app on the Apple store at the same time.
TikTok is a video-sharing app that lets anyone become a content creator. The most successful TikTok marketing efforts encourage user engagement, often through “challenges.” Challenges are usually branded with a hashtag, and ask users to make a video with a specific song or theme.
Videos on TikTok skew to the…unusual, often absurd. It’s part of the appeal. With such a young audience and lighthearted tone, it may not be the best marketing channel for every brand. But remember that most social media platforms start out with young people before reaching older audiences.
Speaking of younger demographics…Snapchat has the youngest audience of any social media channel. There may be 310 million active monthly users, but 90% of them are between the ages of 13 and 24.
Snapchat has had a few hiccups that stalled its growth in the past few years. First, Instagram released Stories, which provides the same of-the-moment posting strategy as Snapchat. Then, Snapchat released a redesign that was widely panned by users. Despite these setbacks, the platform continues to make headway.
If your competitors aren’t on Snapchat, then it could be a good way to get an edge. And don’t worry about usability — if you can post Instagram Stories, you can use Snapchat.
Podcast listeners could be some of the most valuable content consumers on the market. There are expected to be over 130 million of them by 2022, and they tend to be better educated and higher earners than non-listeners.
There are a few different ways that podcasts can become part of your marketing strategy. First, you can start your own as a way to position yourself as an industry expert. You’ll have to commit to regular episodes, and there will be some costs involved, like studio time and paying an engineer.
Another way to get yourself out there without the investment is to go on podcasts as a guest. There can be big SEO benefits to doing this. If the hosting podcast will link back to your website from the podcast platform and their website, it can give a boost to your own site’s domain authority.
And finally, there’s good old advertising. The ad spend on podcasts was $255 million in 2017, but it’s expected to grow to over $530 million by 2020. The reason for the growth? Podcast ads work. 45% of podcast listeners report visiting a sponsor’s website.
Facebook Messenger is getting some love from big companies and marketing agencies. But smaller businesses are letting it slip by without taking advantage of everything it offers.
There are many ways you can integrate Facebook Messenger into your marketing strategy. Within Facebook itself, there is the “Click to Messenger” ad. When prospects click on the ad, a Messenger window will open and display your pre-set content. You can also request access to Facebook’s “Subscription Messaging,” which will let you send content out to your whole Messenger list. No ads allowed, though!
And if you start using third-party integrations like chatbots, the possibilities really open up. You can host contests, collect contact info, schedule intro calls and demos, and a ton more.
In early 2019, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they would be merging Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger, and WhatsApp into one big Messenger platform. So expect to see big growth in Messenger’s reach soon!
Content Marketing in 2020
It can be tempting to keep the blinders on, and just focus on the social media channels that you’re familiar with. But trends move fast, and if you don’t try out the new platforms when they’re on the way up, you can miss out on a big marketing opportunity.
There are plenty of well-written tutorials online that can help you make sense of the newest app. And if you still can’t figure it out, I’m sure you can find a patient teenager who will be willing to show you the ropes.