Content marketing trends are essential to keep track of if you want to make content work hard for your business. With more and more companies using content to engage with their customers, staying one step ahead brings real benefits.
However, it seems like every week there is a new top content marketing trend. How are you supposed to cut through the nonsense and figure out which are the real deal? This is the real challenge.
In today’s digital age, where attention spans are shorter than ever and competition is fierce, content marketing has emerged as a critical tool for businesses to reach their target audiences, build brand awareness, and drive conversions.
As more and more businesses recognize the power of content marketing, investment in this area is skyrocketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2023 Annual Report, 80% of B2C marketers are investing in content marketing, and 70% of B2B marketers are doing the same.
This surge in investment is driven by the realization that content marketing is not just about creating catchy slogans or producing flashy ads. It’s about creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that resonates with target audiences and addresses their needs and pain points.
By consistently producing high-quality content, businesses can attract and retain customers, establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry, and boost their bottom line.
However, the content marketing landscape is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging all the time. To stay ahead of the curve and reap the full benefits of content marketing, businesses need to stay informed about the latest trends and adapt their strategies accordingly. This article will explore some of the most significant content marketing trends that are shaping the industry in 2023 and provide insights on how businesses can leverage these trends to achieve their marketing goals.
Failing to keep up with the latest content marketing trends can have serious consequences for businesses. As consumer preferences and behaviors shift, outdated content marketing strategies will become ineffective, leading to wasted time, resources, and missed opportunities. In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses cannot afford to fall behind the curve.
By staying on top of the latest trends, businesses can ensure that their content marketing efforts are always relevant, engaging, and effective, allowing them to connect with their target audiences, build strong brand relationships, and achieve their business objectives.
Read on for our essential overview of which content marketing trends will stick, and which are simply fads.
Table of Contents
Educational Content Over Sales Copy
With the massive number of ads flooding the internet and offline world, people are turned off by ‘salesy’ content. Share something your customer may not know as educational content will peak your audience’s interest.
Give them something valuable and informative instead of simply identifying the benefits of your product or service. Throw in a few Q&A or trivia-type teasers. Get your audience thinking, then reel them in with engaging content containing the answers to their questions.
Effective content marketing often means educating your audience.
This also helps you to increase the volume of search terms which you can rank for.
That is, searches with an informational intent are a powerful way to find new customers. That is, users who have a particular problem, but don’t yet know the product or service which will solve it.
Images & Video vs Text Based Content
One of the biggest trends in recent years has been the increasing use of video, infographics and images as content marketing.
Many companies are finding out that their customers prefer to see photos or watch videos. This is in addition to text, which still retains significant SEO benefits. After all, the right image not only tells a story but will also stick in the viewer’s mind.
Of course, text still has a role to play.
Rather than replacing textual content entirely, multimedia content helps to raise the ranking potential of your text content. Media rich blog articles typically outrank their non-media counterparts by a massive degree.
Managing Massive Amounts of Content
Content is everywhere! Almost every website on the internet has some form of content, be it a blog, article, or a simple post.
The key is managing the amount of content you produce. Instead of quantity, strive for the highest quality possible. Make it informative, engaging and fun to read. Provide the reader with something useful that they may not get anywhere else.
Include a picture or video to break up the content. After all, photos and videos supporting the main theme will be easier to remember in the long run. While you can generate massive amounts of content, much of it will eventually be repetitive or lost due to lack of interest.
Make each post count and manage the type of information you are including so the content is always fresh and new.
Voice Search and Semantic SEO
Older users may perform internet searches in the traditional way by typing what they are looking for into the search bar. But younger members of your audience are starting to use voice assisted searches.
This type of “natural language search” is based on the spoken word.
Above all, think in terms of answers to questions or responses to statements.
This will not only increase your rankings for those who use voice assisted searches, it will also pull you up in ranking.
Add Transparency and Authenticity to Your Content
Over the years, advertising has used flashy gimmicks and “sales-speak” to get people to buy products. In some cases, advertising strategies geared more toward blowing smoke than actual facts.
Don’t just tell your audience about your product or write a nice product description. They want to see it in action and know the facts about how it works.
Consumers want the real deal, not a fancy storyline.
It plays down the agenda behind the brand itself. It also allows the consumer to focus directly on the product in question. If you want the consumer to trust what you say and the products you offer, your advertising needs to be as transparent as possible.
Long gone are the days when people simply trusted an image and had faith in the products being advertised. Now, if you want the customer’s trust, you will have to earn it.
Use Live Video and Streaming to Connect with Your Audience
Live video streaming is an essential consideration.
Streaming a live, unscripted video is the best way to show absolute and complete transparency. Not only can consumers see things in real time, they can see you!
Live video gives your audience a chance to see you talk about or demonstrate your product in real time. A live video shows everything, including the flaws in your presentation.
So, if you are worried about making a mistake, play it off with humour.
It shows your audience that you are a real person showcasing an authentic product.
Live videos that are being uploaded to your website can be viewed again at a later time. They can also be shared across social media platforms allowing your customers to show others your product.
Be aware, though, of the need for quality over quantity as this type of content is growing and already contains a great deal of ‘noise’ as opposed to valuable content.
Using Content Marketing Trends to Develop Your Business
Your next step? Drawing up a content marketing strategy is very important as it draw your focus towards some important considerations for your strategy:
- They must be cost-effective.
- They have to reach the target audience and engage them so they keep coming back.
- The right strategy will identify potential customers and draw them in turning leads into sales.
- They must be evergreen and able to produce long-term results.
- They must go “beyond the traditional brand” and include new and innovative ways to engage new customers.
Marketing trends take these strategies and turn them into usable tools and resources that help to build and expand a business.
In the past, building a brand meant making a symbol that people could recognise and associate with a particular product. Today, building the brand is just the first in a series of steps that start with the brand.
Adding the digital world – especially content – to the mix allows for endless opportunities to reach new clients across the globe.
Advertising in the digital realm goes far beyond reaching people a few states away. Now the reach is global. With social media bringing the world closer together, one piece of great content can circle the world in a very short period of time.
After all, content marketing allows you to send your message to the masses without spending a fortune on advertising and marketing.
The Rise of Micro-Content Formats: Engaging Audiences in Bite-Sized Pieces
In today’s fast-paced digital world, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. This has led to a surge in the popularity of micro-content formats, which are short, digestible pieces of information that can be consumed quickly and easily. These formats are particularly well-suited for social media platforms, where users are constantly scrolling through a never-ending stream of content.
TikTok Videos: Capturing Attention with Short-Form Storytelling
TikTok videos have become one of the most popular micro-content formats, with over a billion active users worldwide. These short-form videos, typically 15-60 seconds long, are known for their creativity, humor, and ability to capture attention quickly.
Ideal Use Cases for TikTok Videos:
- Promoting products or services
- Sharing behind-the-scenes content
- Creating tutorials or how-to guides
- Showcasing company culture
- Connecting with influencers
Creation Tips for TikTok Videos:
- Keep it short and sweet: Aim for videos that are no more than 60 seconds long.
- Use eye-catching visuals: High-quality visuals are essential to capture attention on TikTok.
- Add text overlays to enhance the message: Text overlays can help to convey information that might be missed when watching on mute.
- Leverage trending sounds and challenges: Participating in trending sounds and challenges can help to increase visibility and engagement.
Audio Explainers: Engaging Audiences with Sound
Audio explainers are another popular micro-content format, particularly well-suited for platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. These short audio clips, typically 3-5 minutes long, provide concise and informative explanations of complex topics.
Ideal Use Cases for Audio Explainers:
- Explaining product features or benefits
- Providing customer support
- Sharing industry insights
- Building thought leadership
- Reaching audiences who prefer audio content
Creation Tips for Audio Explainers:
- Choose a clear and engaging voiceover artist
- Keep the script concise and to the point
- Use sound effects and music to enhance the listening experience
- Promote your audio explainer on social media and other channels
Additional Micro-Content Formats:
- Infographics: Visualize complex information in an easy-to-understand format.
- Social media graphics: Share eye-catching images with engaging captions on social media.
- Interactive content: Create quizzes, polls, or other interactive experiences to engage audiences.
Tips for Effective Micro-Content Creation:
- Know your audience: Tailor your content to the interests and preferences of your target audience.
- Keep it consistent: Maintain a consistent brand voice and style across all your micro-content.
- Cross-promote: Share your micro-content across multiple platforms to reach a wider audience.
- Track your results: Use analytics to track the performance of your micro-content and make adjustments as needed.
Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Content Marketing: Insights from Top Brand Strategists
In the dynamic realm of content marketing, experimentation and data-driven decision-making are crucial for staying ahead of the curve and achieving success. As best practices evolve and consumer preferences shift, brands must adopt flexible experimentation frameworks and decision-making models to adapt their strategies effectively.
To gain valuable insights into these critical aspects of content marketing, we sought the perspectives of top brand content strategists who have successfully navigated the ever-changing landscape. Their expertise and experience provide a roadmap for brands seeking to optimize their content marketing efforts.
Experimentation Frameworks: Embracing the Power of Testing
Experimentation frameworks provide a structured approach to testing new content formats, strategies, and tactics. By systematically testing different approaches, brands can identify what resonates with their target audience and yields measurable results.
Interview: Sarah Kessler, Content Marketing Strategist, Adobe
“Experimentation is not just about trying new things; it’s about learning from our efforts and continuously refining our approach. We use a structured experimentation framework that allows us to test different content formats, channels, and messaging to identify what resonates best with our audience. This data-driven approach has helped us optimize our content strategy and achieve significant results, such as a 20% increase in website traffic and a 15% conversion rate improvement.”
Decision-Making Models: Leveraging Data for Informed Choices
Data-driven decision-making models empower brands to make informed choices about their content marketing strategies. By analyzing data from various sources, brands can gain insights into audience preferences, campaign performance, and overall content effectiveness.
Interview: David Yang, Content Marketing Manager, Google
“Data is the lifeblood of modern content marketing. We use a sophisticated decision-making model that integrates data from various sources, including website analytics, social media metrics, and customer feedback. This holistic approach allows us to make informed decisions about our content strategy, optimizing our content to achieve specific goals, such as reaching a wider audience, generating leads, and driving sales.
Balancing Experimentation and Data-Driven Decisions
While experimentation and data-driven decision-making are essential for content marketing success, it’s crucial to strike a balance between these two approaches. Excessive experimentation can lead to analysis paralysis, while over-reliance on data can stifle creativity and innovation.
Interview: Emily Chen, Content Marketing Director, Shopify
“The key to success is finding the right balance between experimentation and data-driven decision-making. We encourage our team to experiment with new ideas and approaches, while also grounding our decisions in data and analytics. This balance has helped us develop a content strategy that is both innovative and effective, resulting in a 30% increase in brand awareness and a 25% growth in customer engagement.”
Key Takeaways for Brands:
- Adopt a structured experimentation framework to test new content formats, strategies, and tactics.
- Implement a data-driven decision-making model to make informed choices about your content strategy.
- Strike a balance between experimentation and data-driven decisions to optimize your content marketing efforts.
By incorporating the insights and strategies shared by these top brand content strategists, brands can effectively navigate the evolving landscape of content marketing, leveraging experimentation and data-driven decision-making to achieve their marketing goals and connect with their target audience in meaningful ways.
Q: What are some of the key benefits of adopting an experimentation framework for content marketing?
A: Experimentation frameworks can provide several benefits for content marketing, including:
- Identifying the most effective content formats, strategies, and tactics for your target audience
- Optimizing your content marketing efforts to achieve specific goals
- Staying ahead of the curve and adapting to evolving consumer preferences
- Making informed decisions based on data rather than guesswork
Q: What are some of the challenges of implementing a data-driven decision-making model for content marketing?
A: Implementing a data-driven decision-making model for content marketing can present some challenges, such as:
- Collecting and analyzing a sufficient amount of high-quality data
- Interpreting data correctly and drawing actionable insights
- Overcoming data-driven paralysis and making timely decisions
- Balancing data-driven insights with creative experimentation
Q: How can brands overcome the challenges of data-driven decision-making in content marketing?
A: Brands can overcome the challenges of data-driven decision-making in content marketing by:
- Establishing a clear data governance strategy
- Investing in data analytics tools and expertise
- Encouraging collaboration between content marketers and data analysts
- Fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making
The breakneck pace at which new content formats, distribution channels and consumption models continue to unfold guarantees marketers have their work cut out for them to keep pace. But with more options comes greater opportunity for brands willing to move boldly in adopting emerging formats and modernizing their activation strategies against evolving audience behaviors.
As demonstrated through the trends highlighted in 2023, getting ahead experience-wise involves brands taking a personalized, platform-fluid, multimodal approach to reaching customers with tailored messages where they are most receptive now – not where legacy instinct feels comfortable.
Maintaining an obsessive focus on genuine value over promo content and showing up consistently across the entire consumer journey instead of just moments of imminent sales interest also underpins resonating amid message overload.
While all signs point to content marketing growing only more complex and competitive in years ahead, brands who do the hard work now breaking down their unique challenges customer segment-by-segment are best equipped.
Building competency developing differentiated content types internally and making the AI-enhanced optimizations and tough resource allocation decisions these new paradigms demand equips brands to turn emerging trends into owned opportunities. No doubt adapting will be an ongoing effort as formats and tech continues progressing, but leaning into the mindset of agile experimentation meeting strategic vision provides a durable model.