Content marketing is far from easy. It requires marketers to truly understand their audience and what they are looking for, however, with digital content trends changing quicker than ever, this is becoming increasingly challenging. What worked for you last year, or even last month, may not be relevant and you need to stay agile and adapt your content strategies accordingly.
Staying up to date with the latest content marketing trends will help you stay ahead of the curve and provide valuable content to your audience that they really want to read – not what you want to produce. There are so many new content formats and platforms making their way onto the scene that never existed before, such as live streaming, TikTok, ChatGPT- you name it. And if you want to stay relevant, you’ll need to give these new tactics a go!
We recommend using a variety of different types of content marketing strategies to keep your audiences engaged. By diversifying your content formats, you are able to deliver information in the most effective way, depending on your target audience, the stage of the buyer’s journey and the platform you are using.
Each content type has a different purpose and will help you achieve a different goal. For instance, a blog post is great for helping you improve organic traffic to your site and a TikTok video may boost brand awareness. On the other hand, a customer testimonial can help increase sales and a webinar can improve lead generation.
By only creating one type of content, you are limiting your online success. Whereas, a multi-channel strategy that uses various content types can help you achieve long-term success, so long as your content provides value.
Let’s take a look at some of the up and coming (and already established) content marketing trends for 2023…
With currently over 6 million blogs online, you may think blogs are now oversaturated and old-school, but this could not be more wrong. Surveys reveal that 77% of internet users read blogs on a regular basis, either in search of an answer to a question, to learn something new, stay updated on the latest news or decide whether they should purchase something or not. So, blogs are certainly not dead, but you need to make sure yours are worth reading.
HubSpot reports brands that publish 16 or more blogs per month receive 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish less than 4 blogs per month. Just remember that quality is always better than quantity, which goes for the written content, formatting and supporting images. So make sure you’re not just creating blogs to meet a certain quota, but instead create content with purpose within your available resource. And don’t forget to amplify your blogs!
Recent studies reveal that SEO content is becoming increasingly important for businesses, with 69% of marketers currently investing in SEO. Content Marketing Institute reports that 73% of B2C marketers and 78% of B2B marketers use keyword research to create content – and so should you.
SEO content is essential to helping potential clients find you online by increasing your chances of ranking in the top positions in Google’s search results page. In turn, this will drive traffic to your site and encourage potential customers closer to conversion. In fact, 66% of consumers conduct some form of online research before making an online purchase, which means it should be your priority to get your site to the top of search results.
Moreover, Google has thrown a number of updates our way over the past year, including three core algorithm updates. This caused a ripple effect, with many sites experiencing ranking drops and other penalties, which forced marketers to revaluate their strategies and invest more time in SEO. With so many brands investing in SEO content and seeing great results (like this), SEO content is definitely a trend to follow.
In 2022, it is estimated that 3.37 billion internet users were consuming video content and 82% of global internet traffic came from video streaming and downloads, and this is only set to rise. As you can see, video content is pretty popular and, as such, makes for an extremely powerful tool for marketers.
According to Statista, the most popular video types include music videos, viral videos, how-tos, live streams, educational videos and product reviews. This offers ample opportunities for brands to create their own video content that their audience can engage with, whether that’s a product demo on their site or a funny video on TikTok.
For many organisations, the lack of in-house expertise often prevents them from reaching their full potential using video, as well as budget restrictions. However, video creation does not have to break the bank nor does it always require an expert videographer. You can create quality videos using a tripod, ring light and smartphone, and so long as you have an effective promotion strategy, you can still see great results. With 86% of video marketers saying video has led to improved lead generation and 87% experiencing positive ROI, why not try your hand at video in 2023?
Along with video content, consumers will expect some brands to take it one step further and tap into another social media content trend, which is to provide real-time engagement. The main reason for this is to boost authenticity, build a brand personality and engage directly with your audience. As a result, live streaming will become increasingly popular, such as on TikTok Lives, Instagram Lives or even LinkedIn Lives,
In addition to live streaming, brands will be expected to offer real-time engagement in their customer service departments. Consumers will expect brands to offer instant responses to their questions and resolutions to their issues through social media channels and live chats. So, now’s the time to get started in conversational marketing and build real-time connections with your customers.
B2B consumer habits are evolving, and content marketers need to work that little bit harder to encourage them to complete the buyer’s journey. Forrester reports a 59% increase in the number of interactions needed before B2B consumers make a buying decision, as they now research more and rely more heavily on feedback from colleagues as well. So, marketers need to get smarter with how they convey information. One great way to do this is through webinars.
Webinars are essentially an online training session, where delegates sign up with their email address and attend via conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. As a brand, hosting a webinar is an effective way to demonstrate your expertise in a given niche and build authority.
You can also use this as a chance for prospective clients to engage with you, by hosting a Q&A session afterwards. This is fantastic for making your attendees feel seen, building an engaged audience and answering their questions, which could be the final step before purchasing. In fact, studies show that webinars can achieve high conversion rates of 30-40%, and if it’s not quite a sale yet, they are one of the best lead generation tactics for brands.
Modern life has made us busier. We are always on-the-go and pushing ourselves to work harder, which can mean less time for leisure. Consuming audio content, such as podcasts, is a great solution for the busy person. It allows them to entertain themselves or learn new things, without disrupting their hectic schedule – whether that’s tuning in on their morning commute or listening in the background during the working day. There are currently 464.7 million podcasts listeners in the world, and this is expected to rise to 504.9 million by 2024.
Podcasts are fantastic at humanising your brand and creating authenticity, since they enable your audience to engage with a real person, with a real voice. Having an expert host or inviting collaborators will also help your brand build authority in your niche and demonstrate your expertise. Essentially, podcasts provide a platform to share information, create a community and cut-out all the sales talk, focusing solely on adding value to your audience and building trust. The more value you provide, the more likely your listeners are to share your podcast and help expand your reach.
And like most content, audio content can be repurposed into new formats, such as blog posts for your site, or sound bites and infographics for socials, for instance. This will help save you time and resource, and maximise ROI.
Content experience refers to the entire journey a reader experiences when consuming content, including accessing, consuming and engaging with content across various platforms. This ecompasses how content is organised and how easy it is to find, how you personalised the content, how relevant and engaging it is, the various platforms you use and how different content pieces interlink.
By transforming the way your content is presented to your audience can have a huge impact on how it is received. This could include adding in more graphics, turning a lengthy blog into a video, implementing mobile-optimisation, or using more audience data for improved personalisation.
The great thing about content experience is that if you already invest time into content marketing, it does not require you to make drastic changes. It is simply a new approach to content that will enhance the value you bring to your audiences and help you stand out from the crowd, especially as we tackle content shock.
eBooks and whitepapers are long forms of content that provide in-depth information about a certain topic or issue. They are designed to help potential customers understand an issue and, ultimately, find a solution – ideally using your services or products.
Surveys reveal that 71% of B2B readers rely on eBooks and whitepapers to help inform their purchasing decisions. In many instances, brands are interested in your services, but need to make a business case to important stakeholders, the real decision-makers. As such, they need all the information they can get, and hard data they can draw upon. Therefore, these longer forms of content are definitely something to consider this year, particularly if you’re selling to other businesses.
Since this type of content provides a lot of valuable information, including exclusive insights and data, you can also make it gated. This means users must provide some personal details, such as their job title and email address, in order to access the content. This is highly effective for lead generation, and can also help inform your email segmentation and marketing strategies, as you can gain a deeper understanding of your target audience.
It is reported that 92% of consumers trust word of mouth, or personal recommendations, over any kind of brand-created advertising. And with consumer trust currently on the decline, building a strong connection with customers, gaining trust and offering a personalised experience should be a top priority this year.
User-generated content, also known as UGC, offers huge potential for brands looking to build brand trust and customer loyalty. UGC can come in many forms, such as testimonials, product reviews, blogs or social media posts and stories – anything that has been created by anyone other than your brand.
The benefits of UGC are endless, helping support your social engagement goals, attracting more traffic to your website, or even directly impacting your sales. Vendasta reports that an astounding 92% of consumers read at least one online review before making a purchasing decision, and read an average of 7 reviews before making a purchase. So, in many cases, UGC is essential to consumers completing the buying process.
UGC is a fantastic option for businesses with low budgets, as in many cases, content is created for free, by choice, by brand advocates – those from your community who love your product or service so much, they simply want to share their experience with others!
Last but not least, we have AI and MGC. With the recent release of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence for content creation, it’s no doubt that AI and MGC will become the subject of experimentation in the marketing world this year and grow to become a new content creation trend.
Although these technologies are able to produce high-quality content, which can be used for content research, ideation and curation to some extent, there are certainly many limitations. For instance, ChatGPT cannot provide reputable sources and without context, does not always provide the correct information. It can also be repetitive, and will not provide a comprehensive answer to your questions. Far from perfect, AI and MGC can still be used as part of your strategies, in tandem with human expertise.