The “content is king” motto keeps its throne, and it is not surprising at all. However, how users and content marketers approach content will change drastically this year.
“How?” you may ask.
In 2023, the future of content marketing will shift from derivative and unoriginal content to original ideas and a unique voice.
Whatever type of content you create, you must ensure that it is “need to know and hard to find.” What do I mean by that?
I recently enrolled in a technical content marketing course by CXL, and Derek Gleason used this term: “Need to know and hard to find.” People no longer click on blog posts, video clips, or pictures that they should be informed about. They click on what they need to know and search for valuable information they cannot find anywhere else.
And considering most websites echo what others say without bringing a new angle to the table, valuable information is hard to find. This scarcity is what makes users open their wallets.
Your content marketing must focus on this.
Now, let’s jump straight to the top five trends in content marketing you should keep an eye on for success this year:
5 Content Marketing Trends To Follow in 2023
In-House Is IN, Outsourcing Is OUT
According to Semrush’s The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report, searches for content marketing agencies fell by 35% while “What is content marketing?” increased by 22%.
We can understand that companies slowly move from outsourcing their content marketing efforts and are ready to invest in an in-house and effective content marketing strategy.
Instead of creating an extra content marketing budget and paying agencies to run a content strategy, more businesses realize that it is cheaper to train their marketing or content teams for the job.
In addition to being more cost-effective, in-house content marketing also allows businesses to make data-driven decisions as in-house content marketers can quickly test and track which type of content resonates with their target audience. It becomes easier to create original content and fit a new kind of content in their marketing channels.
Aside from that, investing in an in-house marketing team can help teams communicate more effectively with the other departments they collaborate with. Consequently, there’ll be fewer opportunities for miscommunication.
Since your marketing team can focus on your company’s marketing activities, you can expect faster turnaround and increased output. For example, if you want to know which published content works, your internal marketing team can conduct the content inventory and audit immediately instead of having a third-party company do it on your behalf.
However, performing an inventory and audit can be tricky if you don’t know what to do. Thankfully, several software solutions can help your marketing team conduct a content audit to understand how well your web content performs for your business and an inventory to monitor the content that exists on your website.
Short-Form Video Will Dominate
Yes, TikTok and Instagram reels are still rising. Yes, it might be difficult for companies to adjust their social media strategy around short-form videos.
But if you pay attention to how users react to videos other than lip-syncing and dancing, you can actually educate and entertain your audience without these trends.
I’m sure you have many educational and inspirational articles, newsletters, or podcast episodes on your company account. What is better than turning these contents into short videos?
Your listicle can very well be a ranking video, and user reviews can demonstrate why people should choose your product.
The sky’s the limit.
Short video content is engaging, less time-consuming and boosts your online presence. Potential customers turn to social media channels for reviews and comments about a product and to see how companies interact with their customers.
Users don’t want to see distant, out-of-touch companies before making purchase decisions. They want to see the “human” in companies that replies like a human, not a bot, has a sense of humor and understands their pain points.
High-quality content (especially short videos) makes users pause and watch what you have to say who otherwise don’t have time to spend time on a longer piece of content. Consider using these videos in your paid advertising strategy or partner with influencers in your niche.
You can create short videos to boost your marketing efforts with the help of your in-house marketing team. But, before carrying out this project, there may be a few things you should consider to ensure a more positive outcome.
For example, consider adding music to improve viewer interest. Music can be used to bring life to your short videos and encourage your viewers to take action after watching them. Doing this lets you use your short videos to your business’s advantage.
Content Distribution Takes Center Stage
You can’t implement content marketing without considering content distribution first. This is more true in 2023, considering how people’s engagement behaviors change. In 2023, we leave reading behind. It’s the year of scanning.
This does not mean that people will stop reading altogether, of course. But it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most people don’t have to read a 2,000-word article. We scroll on our phones on the way to work; we listen to podcasts at 2x speed, and we skip videos to get to the “good part.”
Our attention span wants quick and scannable content. We can achieve that easily with content distribution. However, you should not stretch yourself too thin by putting your content everywhere all at once.
The LinkedIn audience has different expectations than the Twitter audience, for example. Furthermore, your target audience won’t be on all those platforms.
Therefore, before you start distributing your content, you need to make sure where your content fits. If you do it wisely, content can become a source of extra revenue and a community-builder for your business.
How will you decide on the right distribution channels, then?
First and foremost, you must understand that your content will not fit into every channel. Then, try to find out where your audience spends their time, how those platforms function and find key points where your business goals or brand narrative overlaps with the channel’s purpose.
For example, business-to-business or B2B marketers’ distribution channels will not be the same as business-to-consumer (B2C). Audio content might be right for you if your audience is enthusiastic about podcasts or audiobooks, while TikToks may prove inefficient.
Understanding your buyer’s intent and reflecting that with an intentional type of content will help you in the long run. Then you will actually be able to spend your marketing budget responsibly and create a streamlined user experience.
This infographic from DuoQ is excellent for future reference, for example:
Storytelling Will Be Key
Nothing is better than a story that hooks the reader and makes them click on your page. Every successful brand or product has a story behind them that makes it easier for people to connect, relate and react.
People do not buy with reason. They buy with emotions and rationalize their decisions later.
If you can create a brand story that will shine through your compelling content, your job as a marketer will be much easier.
How can you become a better storyteller when producing high-quality content? Wouldn’t that distract the audience from seeing your product and block the sweet “aha moment“?
Better storytelling means understanding your audience better. In that stage, it is important to talk to your customer success and sales teams to find out what people need and are interested in.
Whether brainstorming content topics for search engines, working on long-form content, or lead generation, you must talk to people and understand your target audience.
By integrating better storytelling into your marketing strategy, you can build personal connections with your target audience by appealing to their emotions and gain a competitive advantage for your business.
Content for People… Not for Metrics
With the unstoppable rise of artificial intelligence (AI), especially ChatGPT, there’s more content out there. Although AI can be beneficial for your content plan, it nevertheless produces more subpar content at the moment if left unchecked.
That is why value-driven and human-focused content will be the focus in 2023. Anyone and everyone can write articles, blog posts, Instagram captions, tweets and so on. This type of content hits the right content marketing KPIs even.
But it takes originality and focus to produce high-quality content users search for.
If you cannot show the “human” in your content creation process, you will not stand out.
There are too many people who echo what others say without bringing anything new to the table and users constantly search for content that is original, helpful, and innovative.
You don’t have to revolutionize your niche to be original. Bringing a new angle to a hot topic, working on a helpful content update to one of your old pieces, commenting on trends in content marketing and how they shape the market, carrying out experiments and sharing your results with your audience…
The list goes on. Find your voice and try to create a conversation with your content. This will resonate with your audience and give them the personalized experience they’re looking for.
Video or audio content, blog posts, or other content formats can all work in your favor if you can align them with your users’ interests and needs. You don’t have to be on all social media platforms to market your content to your audience.
In fact, the sooner you understand that your target audience is not on every platform, the better. This will help you distribute your valuable content to the right audience at the right time.
It is also important to have a unique voice that speaks to your audience instead of metrics or search engines. Users can now easily identify which article is derivative and repetitive and which has original and fresh takes on a topic.
Following these trends in content marketing and implementing necessary changes will capture your target audience faster and establish a deep connection. Therefore, whenever they need to know something, they will come to your website for up-to-date and helpful information.