Each year trends in content marketing change and adapt to the realities of the times.
Many of these changes are subtle, while others may be entirely new ways of achieving successful results and reaching more of the targeted audience.
Over the past year and a half, though, companies found themselves up against new walls and had to adapt or falter when it came to their marketing plans.
The need for radical digital transformation occurred practically overnight, and creative solutions found their way into the business realm.
From this, emerging trends proved successful for many brands and continue to influence the trends to come in 2023, especially regarding your content.
While your content marketing strategy obviously depends on various factors, such as your industry, business goals, product type, or service, consider the following 26 content marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2023.
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#1: Focus on a Better Content Experience
It’s also no secret that consumers’ preferences change, from the type of content to the format for presenting that content.
Staying up to date on what your targeted audience prefers and needs when it comes to content, then, is a way to create a better all-around customer experience.
So is creating your own unique narrative and using it across the board to provide consistent, engaging content everywhere you go.
In 2023, content strategies are moving towards a more cohesive structure, tying each part with the overall whole.
To do so, marketing departments will need to spend more time researching, planning, and implementing this new cohesive content experience for their audience, which will likely include other trends on this list as well.
In essence, this trend requires you to become part of your customers’ world by providing consistent, engaging content and interactions across the board and, in turn, boost your customer loyalty and overall brand image.
Beginning with this mindset, brands are focusing on bettering the content experience of their audience, spending more time in the planning stage, and hiring dedicated content creators, editors, and strategists.
#2: Increase in the Use of Interactive Content
Engaging content improves the customer content experience — and what better way to achieve this than by the use of interactive content?
Various studies and polls in recent years clearly show marketers agree that the use of interactive content over static content optimizes the audience experience, gaining their attention and keeping them on the webpage longer.
2023 will continue to see the rise in the use of various interactive content.
Creating interactive content suitable for all the different phases along the buyer’s journey continues to trend upwards as well.
Polls and interactive quizzes are already popular on the various social media platforms. While engaging for users, these tools also provide you with quick information about your potential customers.
While this type of interactive content will continue to be popular, expect to see more ways to incorporate engaging content into your strategy.
For example, add it to landing pages to make them more engaging and informative, resulting in higher success at capturing leads.
Utilize it in interactive eBooks, reports, or guides as animations or expandable sections. Repurpose content in the form of interactive infographics.
Many brands may be hesitant to increase their usage of interactive content, unaware that today there are many more available tools to help them do so with ease.
Ion Interactive, for example, is a tool with customizable templates.
Interactive content has the enormous potential for engaging customers, gaining their attention, keeping them on your website longer, improving preference for your brand, and eventually increasing your conversion rate in 2023.
#3: A Move Toward More Empathetic Content Marketing
Recent world events have forced marketers to take a different approach, putting customers at the center of their content marketing strategies and working outward from there.
The name for this is empathetic marketing, and you’ll see more of this approach in 2023.
While empathy on a personal level is putting yourself in another’s shoes and seeing life through their perspective, empathetic marketing takes it a full step further.
Empathetic marketing is the approach of first conceptualizing the world through the eyes of your customers and using what you find to create a content strategy to meet their needs and wants.
It’s a way of speaking to your targeted audiences as humans and not just potential buyers.
To start, brands are taking a close look at their audience and answering the following:
- Who are our customers?
- What pain points and challenges are they facing?
- What motivates them to take action?
Once you answer these questions, you can build helpful content that evokes relatable emotions in your customers.
This, in turn, can build trust, create better customer experiences, and develop more authentic relationships.
#4: Ongoing Video Marketing
Over the past two years, video has been the rising star when it comes to popular and effective types of content online. That’s not going to change in 2023.
Instead, video will become even more important, and finding ways to stand out in this valuable marketing format may be one of the biggest challenges.
According to the most recent report by HubSpot, 59% of its survey participants already use video in content marketing strategies, and up to 76% of marketers call video “their most effective content format.”
In addition, one in four marketers already using video confirm it is the content type yielding the biggest ROI for them.
Why does video resonate so much with consumers? When done correctly, video creates a deeper connection and captures the attention of potential customers more readily.
With increasing accessibility to the tools needed, video production is becoming much less intimidating and easier to incorporate into a content marketing strategy.
Specialized video scriptwriters are also increasingly available as content creators realize the need and have adapted.
Within video marketing, specific practices will be big in 2023, including the following.
Video Short-Form Content
Perhaps the biggest trend in video in 2023 is the use of short-form content.
Viewers are increasingly short on time and attention spans, and getting to the point in less time is becoming highly valuable.
By keeping video content short but informative, you not only show respect for your viewers’ time but also help them make a decision in less time.
Brands are now leaning more towards video content as the first step in content plans, then repurposing those videos into text and audio (podcast) formats.
A Rise in Interactive Videos
While videos are engaging on their own, adding the element of interactivity increases their value and usefulness to customers.
Interactive videos allow the placing of a call to action (CTA) on screen, and this can lead to higher lead generation.
Consumers can conveniently and quickly respond, often without having to open additional tabs.
#5: A Hybrid of Virtual and Live Events
Experiences over the past year have largely been online, with some involving real-time engagement and others offering recordings.
After living in a mostly virtual world due to the pandemic, consumers are looking for a better balance of interaction online and in person.
Companies understand this and are looking for ways to create a hybrid of virtual and live events to meet their customers’ needs.
While brands were impressively able to adapt to the virtual world, 2023 will see the return of some live events, such as workshops and conferences.
At the same time, innovations in online event hosting, such as webinars and live-streaming social media, will continue to evolve.
Each brand will need to weigh its usage of both of these and come up with a hybrid marketing strategy that balances the needs of its customers.
While some marketers intend to decrease their budgets for virtual events in 2023, it doesn’t seem likely, or prudent for them to abandon them altogether.
#6: Personalization and Hyper-Personalization Approaches
The customization of messages and information increases overall customer engagement, particularly in email marketing campaigns.
As customers experience this standard personalization, they are growing to like it and seek out brands that personalize their particular buyer’s journey.
As a result, 2023 will see brands adding more personalization efforts to their marketing strategy.
While such efforts will continue to be useful, a newer trend will appear more and more in 2023, and that trend is hyper-personalization.
Hyper-personalization goes deeper than just calling a customer by name. It taps into individual preferences, wants, and needs.
Essentially, hyper-personalization is a data-driven marketing approach, utilizing data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation to create unique interactions with individual customers.
With this, marketers are considering each of their buyer personas and catering content toward particular products, marketing channels, language, and more for each one.
Examples of brands already effectively using hyper-personalization content strategies include Amazon, Netflix, Stitch Fix, Naked Wines, WES, and VI Trainer.
#7: Continuing to Optimize Visual Content with Infographics
Combining a variety of content types across marketing channels is a winning strategy.
Yet, while blog posts continue to dominate in attracting consumers, text alone is no longer a guarantee.
The 2022 trend of including more visual content will continue well into 2023, optimizing the customer experience even more.
The human brain processes images quickly, and well-designed visual content can increase interaction and move consumers further along the buyer’s journey in a quicker manner.
One form of visual content, in particular, infographics, will continue to expand and attract consumers.
These graphic representations of valuable data, information, or knowledge are often the preferred way to get your information across in less time.
Infographics, if created efficiently, are packed with useful information.
Simply by glancing at an infographic, a consumer can engage, gain information, and understand quickly what you are presenting. This is especially true of consumers who are visual learners.
By producing visually pleasing and informative content, you enhance the message and communication and also create an engaging customer experience.
#8: Providing More Audio Content
While text and video have dominated the marketing world, audio gained in popularity in recent years thanks to the innovative podcasts available live or on-demand.
While podcasts are not new, they will continue to trend higher during 2023 and beyond.
Podcasts are growing at a steady pace and are a way to convey information while listeners are busy doing other activities such as commuting or working out.
In addition, in 2023, expect to see more branded audio content arriving on the scene and capturing audiences.
One of the first of these occurred in the summer of 2021.
Clubhouse was an invitation-only audio chatroom app that took the marketing world by surprise and invited new methods of reaching customers.
While ROI is still questionable with podcasts and other banded audio content, according to HubSpot’s most recent survey, 80% of marketers polled plan to invest the same or more of their budget into podcasts and audio content in 2023, betting on its increasing success.
#9: Optimizing Content for Voice Search
Consumers, especially the younger generations, are embracing the voice capabilities of such products as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
As a result, voice search is becoming more and more popular. Asking questions without requiring the typing in of queries is a convenient way for consumers to find what they need quicker.
Voice search is expected to rise in 2023. How will this affect your content strategy?
Voice queries are in the form of questions, not a conversational format, and this will affect your content overall.
It requires a focus on that questioning format and customer intent. While you may already consider this as part of your current content marketing and SEO strategy for text-based queries, further development may be required.
So, instead of writing to keywords such as “Best content distribution channels,” it is now important to cater to questions such as “Hey Google, what are the best content distribution channels.”
Marketing teams will now need to figure out how to incorporate this type of query into their content.
Overall, brands will need to experiment and find the best ways to optimize their content for voice search without compromising how their content ranks in response to text queries on SERPs.
Brands that fail to optimize their content for the increasing use of casual voice search in 2023 will miss out on this opportunity to steer traffic their way.
#10: Utilizing AI-Technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to tiptoe into the content marketing arena, adding benefits without overwhelming or intimidating in ways to keep businesses away.
Integrating AI with human efforts can lead to better marketing strategies, saving time and resources, and improving customer outcomes.
While AI has its own pros and cons, it’s not going away and instead is being utilized in more ways to improve marketing efforts, including content.
Expect AI to be used more in 2023, including for the following:
- Data analysis for pattern recognition and more.
- Creation of optimized blog posts.
- Incorporating robust plagiarism and grammar checks.
- Integration of chatbots powered by AI technology.
You will also see it being used more in hyper-personalization strategies, as mentioned earlier on this list.
2023 will see more experimentation with AI capabilities, dipping a toe in the world of AI and what it can do for content marketing.
Companies are already experimenting with pilot programs for AI use in writing advertisement copy, digital ad buying, buyer persona composite creations, and more.
#11: Image/Visual Search
In 2022, visual search capabilities showed up on various platforms and apps, allowing consumers to search on an image alone.
Think Pinterest, Amazon, and Google, which are already offering visual recognition technology to consumers.
Millennials and Gen X, in particular, are already embracing this technology, extending a brand’s reach even further into these younger generations and their buying power.
Visual search became a technique by which to focus part of a marketing content strategy on using images as a way to further promote product searches by consumers online.
Designated algorithms begin with an image online and, from there, generate options for purchasing that exact product or something similar.
Perhaps consumers don’t know what an item is called exactly, but they want to learn more, or they are looking for where to purchase the subject of a photo.
Companies experimenting with visual search capabilities can gain an advantage in these circumstances by offering visual recognition services.
Incorporate visual search into your own SEO and content marketing strategy by including Pinterest ads and building image search capabilities into your website content and product pages.
According to recent research, visual searches and visual recognition capabilities will continue to grow well into 2025 and will become an approximately 40 billion dollar industry.
#12: Augmented Reality (AR)
Future technologies are no longer that far off, and augmented reality is increasingly on content marketers’ radars in 2023.
Already rising in brand and product marketing, this trend is still seeing a slower adoption by marketers, mostly due to the costs involved, particularly with the equipment required.
As more companies enter the realm of providing the tools needed and making them more accessible, such as Augmented Reality apps, more and more brands will experiment and find ways to use them to benefit their customers.
Creating a new and exciting content experience is what gets brands noticed today, and augmented reality is one way to accomplish this in 2023.
Videos on Facebook and other platforms are already offering to immerse viewers into artificial 360-degree worlds and provide a newer way to sample productions prior to purchasing.
For example, real estate companies are using augmented reality to showcase 3D models of houses, while furniture designers and stores are using it to show how pieces realistically fit within a confined space, such as the IKEA Place app.
From a content writer’s standpoint, strong written and visual storytelling skills will be required to encourage customers to tap into a brand’s AR features, including enticing explainer copy combined with straightforward calls-to-action (CTAs).
Amazing your audience with new content experiences, such as that proposed by AR, can form a bond like no other and move you ahead of competitors in 2023.
#13: Utilization of Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are statements made by customers to express their satisfaction with a brand.
These statements are powerful marketing tools. They show the public how beneficial the brand can be when patronized.
They also serve as brand endorsements and confer credibility on the brand.
In the coming year, brands will utilize their customers’ testimonials in this updated content marketing trend.
#14: Increased Usage of Social Media Ads
Over time, brands have come to realize the importance of promoting content through social media.
Nowadays, you won’t be considered serious if your brand is not active on social media.
However, brands are going to take social media promotion to the next level by increasing their use of sponsored social media posts.
When using social media ads, the social media platform increases the visibility of a brand’s content.
This is done for a certain period and for a fee.
Though social media ads are cost-intensive, the reach they can give your brand is massive.
#15: Brand Ambassadors
As important as using concepts and services as promotional tools have become, using brand ambassadors is still a relevant trend in marketing.
Brand ambassadors are individuals (usually influential) who have been selected by the brand to represent it.
Brand ambassadors are the “face” of the brand.
They use their lifestyle and influence to promote a brand.
#16: Increased Engagement of Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are individuals who have gained massive followings on social media platforms.
Because of their popularity, they can “influence” the public’s perception of certain brands.
As such, more brands will engage the services of social media influencers in their campaigns.
Though the trend of blogging is already popular, its popularity will skyrocket next year.
One of the major benefits of blogs in marketing is that they address a major need of your target audience — the need for information.
A lot of people need information about topics in your niche.
You can create blog posts that address those needs. This increases the chances of them connecting with your brand.
Outsourcing your content
For creating any kind of content, like videos, infographics and e-books, you probably going to need writers, so they can develop the script and the original text of the pieces.
Here is when it comes to the importance of outsourcing your content with ghostwriters.
This practice is getting more common among enterprises that work with a big amount of pieces. Also, working with expert freelance writers is going to improve the quality of your content.
#18: Event Sponsorship
This is going to be a major marketing trend next year.
Brands will partner more with event organizers and assist them with resources for their events.
They can also do the same with projects.
In exchange for their assistance, the organizers of these events can give these brands access to their audiences.
This can be an effective marketing strategy.
#19: Community Projects
A significant marketing trend to watch out for next year is the organization of community projects.
Community projects are projects undertaken by a company or brand for the benefit of members of society.
These projects, such as book donations or free street wifi, ensure that your brand fulfills its social responsibility.
It also positively influences the public’s opinion of your brand.
#20: Value-Driven Content
If you are observant, you will notice that the focus of content marketing has shifted.
It is no longer all about your brand or product.
The target audience must be able to perceive that you are interested in their welfare.
You pass that message across through content that, on its own, provides them with value.
This makes them more likely to support your brand.
#21: Increase in Content Diversity
Before this period, many brands had a specific method of marketing.
If it was email marketing or social media posts, they stuck with it. That is changing now.
More and more brands are diversifying their content marketing methods.
This is to widen the scope of their audience and improve their chances of gaining more customers.
So, it is advised that you learn more content marketing methods and skills.
They would improve your reach and make your marketing campaigns more effective.
#22: Consistent Content Release
Gone are the days when you could release marketing content monthly (or even quarterly) and expect results.
These days, your target audience is constantly bombarded with ads from thousands of companies.
As a result, it is easy for them to forget about your brand unless they are constantly reminded of it.
So if you want your brand to succeed, you must release marketing content regularly.
#23: From Needs-Driven to Aspirations-Driven
It is a common practice for brands to identify the needs of their target audience and focus their marketing campaigns on those areas.
As effective as these have been all this time, a shift is occurring. A new marketing strategy has been introduced. This strategy focuses on the aspirations of individuals as opposed to their needs.
The attention of marketing is no longer on the target audience’s pain points.
Concepts like ambition, convenience, and fulfillment are now the focus of content marketing.
#24: Bite-Sized Content Marketing Trends
As mentioned earlier, your target audience is bombarded with too much information. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were generated daily as of 2018.
The average individual was exposed to 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day.
As a result, the attention span of most people has reduced drastically. Thus, it is harder for your content to have an impact on the people who encounter it.
A strategy to counter this is the release of short but effective content.
This content should be able to capture the attention of the reader.
It should also be able to pass information in as little time as possible.
This strategy will be a trend to watch out for next year.
#25: Content Audit
In the coming year, more brands will be more reflective and meticulous.
They won’t just conduct campaigns and move on.
There will be more cases where members of content marketing teams will sit down and review the campaigns conducted.
They will find out what worked well and what didn’t. This would make their next campaigns more effective.
#26: Increased Professional Engagement
The increased demand for marketing professionals will be a trend next year.
More brands are beginning to realize that a casual approach to marketing can only get them so far.
As a result, they would seek professional assistance in the area of content marketing.
Of course, those who do this will experience better results than those who let amateurs handle their content marketing.
#27: Human-focused content
Increasingly, people don’t want formal, distancing content. They want to connect with their favorite brands and feel that they are being connected with them. They want to feel seen, heard and acknowledged. They want to know that their favorite brands care about them.
Businesses can no longer get away with writing in the formal third person solely about themselves. They have to reach out to their customers and make them feel like they’re a part of something.
Using emotional language and empathy can help brands to connect with their audience, but it has to be genuine. If businesses do this without backing it up with authentic, genuine care for their customers, they will be found out, and they will lose customers to the competition.
Get to know your customers and think about what they really want. Then give it to them, authentically, and with genuine empathy and understanding.
#28: Focus on user experience
More than ever, a great user experience is vital. This isn’t a new content marketing trend, but it is still important. People now have extremely high expectations when visiting brand websites.
Businesses need to ensure they get the basics right. Audiences expect a fast loading, clear, easy to navigate website, that’s available on any device or platform. They also expect that all the information they need will be there and laid out beautifully, with high-quality images, clear calls to action, and a consistent and readable brand voice.
Site visitors expect to be able to quickly find what they want, and to be guided through where to go next and how to take the next steps. They expect a smooth, frictionless checkout process for fast and easy shopping.
If they don’t have a good user experience, consumers are no longer shy about expressing that in reviews and comments on social media.
#29: Podcasts are still a good idea
Podcasting is still getting attention in 2023. It’s a convenient way for listeners to take in information even when they’re driving, exercising, cooking, cleaning, or engaged in any other activities. Listeners can also interact with podcast hosts on their social media.
We’ve talked about user experience and providing human-focused content. Well, listeners aren’t just gaining information; they’re also becoming part of a community of like-minded people, where they can interact, share their opinions, and feel heard by followers and podcasters alike.
According to Demand Sage, there are around 2.4 million podcasts across the globe. However, that doesn’t mean that businesses have missed the boat and can’t take advantage of podcasting to reach their audience. There were estimated to be 424 million podcast listeners by the end of 2022.
With revenue expected to be in the region of four billion dollars by 2024 (double what it was in 2022), there’s still plenty of room for marketers to make use of podcasting.
#30: Interactive content
As part of providing a great user experience, interactive content is another content marketing trend that can draw people in and make them feel involved. People love to do quizzes, polls, and surveys, especially if there’s a potential prize involved at the end. Instead of simply reading content, they get to join in with it and engage with it.
Using interactive content helps to keep audiences around for longer and encourages engagement. Not only that, but brands can learn a lot from the answers people give and how they react to interactive content.
If brands can also make interactive content entertaining, they can draw their audiences in and keep them involved, building not just an audience, but a community. In addition, visitors that are entertained and amused tend to share that interactive content, which allows brands to also increase the size of their audience.
Wrap Up: Is Your Content Marketing Strategy Ready for 2023?
As revised, new, and increasingly unique content marketing trends continue to gain momentum in 2023, staying alert to their potential can make a huge difference in how you reach your current and potential customers.
For more help in creating your entire marketing plan, download our 2023 marketing bundle and get started on implementing your own successful strategy.