Let’s talk about the future of content marketing.
How’s it doing in 2023? Where might it be headed this year and next? Is it still the king?
Content marketing continues to flourish for one very simple reason: It’s what the people want. They don’t want intrusive banners, ads, and popups.
They don’t want irrelevant messages and products that have nothing to do with them shoved in their face. They don’t want spam clogging their inbox.
People want high-quality, useful, relevant, and engaging content about things that matter to them. That’s more important than ever in the age of E-A-T.
Craig Davis, the former Chief Creative Officer at marketing communications firm J. Walter Thompson, said it best:
We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.
That’s content marketing in a nutshell. And yes, it’s still king, but it is evolving. Here are some notes to consider:
- Compared to outbound tactics, content marketing costs 62% less but generates 3x as many leads.
- Video and voice search are leading the charge.
- Over 41 percent of Americans use an ad blocker of some sort. Content is not an “ad,” so it’s an effective method to get around blockers.
- 71% of content marketers think B2B content marketing has become more important in the last year and have strategies in place.
- Roughly 69% of marketers and business owners plan to increase their spending on content marketing.
- Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than their non-blogging counterparts.
- 38% of marketers say building content around customer pain points and questions helps propel blog content in the search engine results pages (SERPs), while 45% say they’ve worked magic by weaving in related keywords alongside primary keywords.
- 90% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
- In 2023, 26% of social media marketers plan to lean into relatable and trendy content for the first time because it provides the highest return on investment (ROI) for social media marketers.
If you’re not convinced yet, any blog post on content marketing statistics will quickly change your mind.
It works. Exceedingly well.
But the thing about content marketing is—as with virtually everything digital—it’s constantly evolving and changing. Tactics and channels that worked last year, or even last month, might not deliver the same robust results today.
Digital marketers have to stay on top of the industry, paying attention not only to what the competition is doing but where people spend their time online—and what they’re consuming while there.
So, what’s happening in content marketing, version 2023? Let’s find out.
Content Marketing: 2023 Current Trends
To operate on the assumption that what content marketing was it will always be is to fail at it. Horribly. In the early days, you could post a 500-word, keyword-stuffed blog post and generate plenty of traffic.
Not anymore. Content marketing is as much about watching the trends as it is about creating and sharing content.
Zero-Click Content Is Dominating
The rise of zero-click content is here.
Zero-click content is a type of search result that answers your query without requiring you to click on a link and leave the search results page.
This may not surprise you, but Google search is constantly changing. So, you’ll need to optimize with zero-click content for the new SERPs snippets.
Zero-click is dominating because it provides quick and easy access to information. This is especially important for people who are on the go or looking for a quick answer from their phone.
Zero-click content typically displays in a featured snippet at the top of the search results page, and it can include text, images, and even videos. Examples of zero-click content include weather forecasts, sports scores, and answers to common questions like “How to make the perfect muffins?”
This will help boost your site’s overall brand visibility as people are exposed to your brand when they read those featured snippets.
You may not get the click, but you get more eyes on your content.
Refreshing and Repurposing Content Is Essential
Refreshing and repurposing content is essential for several reasons.
First, up-to-date content improves your search rankings. It’s all about relevance. The best of and what’s new, but bonus points if you can keep it fairly evergreen. (Inside tip: Google loves when you frequently update your content).
Google’s How Search Works page offers information on which queries should be refreshed:
Repurposing content can help you reach new audiences by presenting the same information in different forms. For example, you can turn a blog post into a video, as I do with my topics.
Here’s how I used my email marketing blog post to make a video on email marketing secrets:
I recommend using Ubersuggest to help with refreshing and repurposing content. This tool can help you identify keywords relevant to your content and provide insights into the search volume and competition for those keywords.
Ubersuggest can help you:
- Optimize your content to rank higher in search results and drive more traffic to your website.
- See how you measure up against competitors.
- Surface new ideas related to the topic you’re refreshing that you didn’t mention initially.
So, give it a try the next time you conduct keyword research and see how it changes outcomes for you.
Short-Form Video Is Taking Hold
I know you’ve probably heard me say video is here to stay, and it’s true.
Marketers named video as the most important format in their content strategy. More than 80% of them credit video as a significant source of increased traffic and sales.
The most preferred form is short-form video, especially on social media platforms. Once Google noticed short-form video was on the rise, it created YouTube Shorts to keep up with TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Google, which owns YouTube, even has new video indexing capabilities to display results specifically in a mobile-friendly short-form video format:
Short-form video has everyone’s attention due to its ability to capture attention quickly and convey information in a concise and engaging way. Notion does a great job of this on TikTok—even as a productivity software app:
Capitalize on the popularity of short-form video by integrating it into your marketing strategies. It’s a no-brainer as video and search become increasingly intertwined and features continue to evolve.
Promote your products and services with how-to videos, reach new audiences, and build brand awareness.
You Still Need to Think About Backlinks
Backlinks remain a key factor in determining the authority and credibility of a website.
Not to mention more quality backlinks = better SEO performance.
When other reputable websites link back to your site, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. This can improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website.
Backlinks can also help you build relationships with other websites and bloggers in your industry, which can lead to new opportunities for collaboration, like guest blogging and promotion. So, while many factors contribute to SEO, backlinks remain an important part of any successful digital marketing strategy.
Marketing Budgets May Be Smaller, So Adapt
What can you do when the world of marketing is constantly in flux? Adapt.
In the time of a pandemic or recession crisis, you must adapt—and that requires being efficient. Making a lot with little isn’t easy. Often, you’ll need to start by re-evaluating your marketing strategies.
One of the biggest trends we’ve seen recently is shrinking marketing budgets. This is due to a variety of factors, including economic uncertainty and shifts in consumer behavior.
However, just because budgets are smaller doesn’t mean that marketing efforts should come to a halt. In fact, it’s more important than ever to adapt and find new ways to reach and engage with your target audience.
This could involve:
- Shifting your focus to digital channels like your blog and social media.
- Exploring more cost-effective marketing tactics like using user-generated content (UGC) versus paying an influencer to promote your campaign.
- Reprioritizing your marketing goals, perhaps by focusing on SEO versus paid ads.
The key is to stay agile and be willing to try new things.
By embracing change and finding creative solutions, companies can still effectively market themselves and stay ahead of the competition, even when the budget takes a hit.
2023 Content Marketing: The Predictions
Identifying trends as they’re happening is one thing. Accurately predicting content marketing trends before they happen is something else.
But if you do, you’re on the frontline and ahead of the curve. What might 2023 have in store for content marketing? It’s time to break out your crystal ball.
AI Might Impact How Content Is Created, But Not What Makes It Good
What makes artificial intelligence (AI) good is the expertise of the human behind it.
AI can certainly help streamline the content creation and make it more efficient, but it can’t replace the human touch.
At its core, great content is about connecting with your audience on an emotional level. It’s about telling a compelling story.
Delivering value in a way that resonates with you is always my goal.
While AI can certainly assist with tasks like blog writing and topic ideation, it can’t replace the creativity and emotional intelligence human marketers possess.
I’m sure if it could function on its own and replace marketing jobs, many companies like ChatGPT wouldn’t be hiring for prompt engineers.
We can expect AI to be a big part of the future of content creation.
Ultimately, though, it will be up to human creators to craft content that truly resonates and stands out to their audiences.
AR and VR Will Create New Experience Opportunities
The future of content marketing is here, with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) rapidly evolving and already making waves.
AR and VR enable businesses to create interactive and engaging experiences that go beyond traditional forms of content marketing. By leveraging these technologies, businesses can transport their audiences to virtual worlds, allow them to explore products in 3D, and create immersive storytelling experiences that leave lasting impressions.
Snapchat and Vogue already teamed up to test out AR and VR capabilities during Fashion Week in London. The exhibit explored the future of fashion, transforming popular pieces in fashion history with cutting-edge AR. British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful explained, “This exhibition is at the crossroads of fashion and technology. … If you can see it, you can be it.”
Visitors got to participate in interactive experiences ranging from virtual try-ons to viewing the pieces through AR lenses:
With the continued growth and development of AR and VR, businesses will have even more opportunities to create memorable experiences that resonate with their target audience.
From virtual product launches to interactive brand experiences, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Your Audience Will Demand More Personalization
Personalization won’t just be a buzzword when catering to your audience.
For the future of content marketing, we can expect it to become even more important.
The reason is simple: Consumers are demanding it.
As the ads flow, consumers are becoming increasingly selective about the content they engage with. They want content that is relevant to their specific needs and interests, and they want to feel like brands are speaking directly to them.
This is where personalization comes in.
Customers notice the details. Just look at the data Renegade shared showing why marketers need to keep in mind crafting an ideal customer experience:
By using data and insights to create content tailored to individual consumers, businesses can increase engagement, build stronger relationships, and drive better results.
From personalized email campaigns to dynamic website experiences, businesses prioritizing personalization will have a competitive edge in the coming years.
Branding and SEO Will Become Intertwined
Two of the most important components of content marketing rely on each another, believe it or not.
In the future of content marketing, we can expect branding and SEO to grow even closer since branding = strong identity and SEO = visibility.
As these elements get their crossover episode in the evolving search engine landscape, emphasize user experience and relevance. They’re a necessity to nail down.
As a brand, you can nail branding and SEO strategy in the SERPs with sponsored ads or via blog content as these beauty brands do:
A strong brand identity, with a clear message and unique value proposition (UVP), can help businesses rank higher in search results.
As voice search becomes more prevalent, search queries are becoming more conversational and centered on natural language. This means that businesses will need to focus on creating informative and engaging content that aligns with their brand identity.
By investing in both branding and SEO, businesses can create a more cohesive and effective marketing strategy that resonates with their target audience and drives results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Content marketing is booming for a number of reasons, but it’s mainly due to consumers growing savvier in their brand interactions. Content marketing enables brands to deliver valuable, informative content to their audience rather than simply bombard them with ads. By providing useful, relevant content, brands can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build a customer-centered reputation.
The future trends of content marketing will evolve from traditional sales-oriented language and focus on building a community with customers. This means using a tone and style of communication that feels natural and approachable rather than cold and corporate. Brands are increasingly using social media platforms, email marketing, and text messaging to engage with their audience in real-time conversations. Influencer marketing has also helped brands understand what customers need, building a sense of trust and loyalty over time.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the content marketing landscape by providing brands with powerful tech tools to create more personalized content to better engage their audiences. AI-powered content marketing tools can analyze vast amounts of data about a brand’s customers, including their interests, preferences, and behaviors. Marketers can then use that information to deliver highly targeted and relevant content.
This can include personalized recommendations, product suggestions, and even customized messaging and tone. AI can also help automate many of the time-consuming tasks involved in content marketing, such as content creation, optimization, and distribution. This allows brands to focus more on developing their overall marketing strategy and building relationships with their audience.
Getting in on content marketing trends is a good idea. Do that.
Getting in on the ground floor by anticipating the next trend is even better. Do that, too. The signs are there. All you have to do is create it.
Have I missed anything? What do you see as the biggest future trends of content marketing for 2023? What predictions do you have about the future?
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