Updated: May 24
Yes, it’s finally here: it took us two months to put it together, but we can confidently say this is the most complete guide you will find out there.
No matter what you have heard, content is still king or queen this year. Yes, folks, content marketing remains a core part of marketing getting into 2023 and beyond. Staying on top of trends as they rapidly change is crucial if you’re to maintain a top search ranking, improve audience engagement, and get high ROIs from your marketing efforts.
We have put together a unique guide for you, to help you navigate the challenging world of content marketing this year and beyond.
Content marketers are fast responding to changes in the industry. Data shows that after 2020, 77% of B2B marketers changed their content strategy. 70% of brands changed their messaging and audience targeting to stay in tune with the times.
Being left behind is expensive.
So, what should you know?
The key to content marketing success in 2023 lies in knowing the type of content that works and the trends that will drive engagement and positive results for your content marketing strategy.
Here’s all you need to know about content marketing for 2023 and where you should be positioning your brand for content marketing success.
The Type of Content Marketing That Will Work for 2023
2023 will feature the emergence and maintenance of various content types that will be the most engaging and impactful to your audience. As a brand, you’ll have to switch how you’re messaging your audience to ensure you’re catering to their pain points, among other things.
These types of content will deliver the best results for brands in 2023.
Human-Focused and Empathetic
In the past, consumers wanted a business to present itself as formal and professional. But that has recently changed. Consumers now want to feel more connected to their brands, with no barriers separating them from the business and the content it produces.
Therefore, detached and business-focused content will no longer work. Instead, copies in 2023 should be relatable, empathetic, and in touch with the consumer’s emotions. Creating human-focused and empathetic content allows you to build genuine connections with your audience, boosting brand loyalty.
Data backs up this form of content creation. 95% of audiences show more loyalty to genuine and transparent brands. 75% are willing to pay more to support these brands.
Your content for 2023 should also avoid salesy language and hard pitches. The content should have a natural voice that speaks to the consumer on a human-to-human level.
High-Quality and Well-Researched Copies
Fake news and misleading information have been a global concern for readers and consumers. Businesses are paying a heavy price for fake news and misinformation, with research showing that fake news costs the global economy up to $78 billion annually.
Most of these costs arise from revenue declines and reputational losses.
Therefore, it can’t be stressed enough how vital high-quality and well-researched copies will be in 2023. You need to do more than make a statement in your content. Readers want your insights backed with data, including infographics that will grab their attention.
Writing content based on another organization’s research will still be okay. However, having in-house resources that you can use to back up your claims will make your content stand out. Other sites can also link to these resources, boosting SEO and authority.
You can invest in white papers, surveys, and other research reports focused on your industry.
Creating original content is great for any brand seeking success in content marketing. However, your aim should be creating curated content.
Curated content is informative, often driving conversations, and shows your audience that you’re interested in solving their problems and sharing helpful information instead of just selling.
Curated content efficiently provides insight and learning, showing your audience that you’re a trusted brand that can add value. Examples of valuable, informative content that you can share with your audience include:
· Third-party research
· Industry news
· Interviews in the form of blogs and videos
· Announcements or press releases
· In-depth features
Back to the Basics
Content marketing can be crowded by trending topics and fast-paced information that only captures the audience for the moment. For 2023, that kind of content will not deliver excellent results. Consumers want to go back to the basics, engaging with content that feeds their curiosity, camaraderie, creativity, and sense of community.
They’ll want content that helps them continually improve their skills and knowledge while staying on top of the developments in the industry.
Moreover, brands will also have to change how they measure the success and ROI of their content marketing efforts. 2023 emphasizes creative storytelling, SEO-driven planning, ROI measurement, and consistency to ensure your content marketing strategy works for the brand and audience.
Using these “old school” strategies, the content will be geared more toward organic SEO and referral traffic.
B2B Buying Journeys
B2B marketers seeking the best content marketing results for 2023 will have to switch to content that accelerates self-guided buyer journeys, especially for services and products that require much research.
Data shows that 77% of B2B buyers are willing to spend up to $50,000 on remote or self-service purchases. 27% are willing to spend up to $500,000.
Your organization should focus on how various types of content fit in the different stages of the sales funnel. For instance, top-of-the-funnel content should be created and optimized for a wider audience. As the prospect goes down the funnel, the content should be more in-tune with their specific preferences and objectives.
Repurposing will remain a core part of content marketing strategy for 2023. Repurposing content involves creating one piece that serves multiple goals and purposes.
For instance, you may create a blog for SEO and split it into a series of short-form videos for social media. Repurposing content in this manner will help you simultaneously serve your content marketing and social media strategies.
Alternatively, you can refresh old pages, a quick process that often delivers excellent rewards. Some of the old content you can target include articles with outdated information or outdated keywords that no longer generate quality organic search traffic.
Customer intent will be a crucial parameter for businesses in 2023. Understanding your customer’s intent will help provide a laser focus on the topics, formats, and content that will work best for your 2023 content strategy and deliver excellent results.
Intentional content focuses on the “why” behind your customer’s choices, needs, and wants. Therefore, it doesn’t merely look at what they need, want, or choose from your brand.
Intentional content will separate you from the competition that will still be fixated on a superficial understanding of customers’ needs.
User-generated content is a type of content that’s created by your users or audience. This includes testimonials, reviews, social media posts, and more.
User-generated content builds trust and credibility with your consumers since the content comes from trustworthy and unbiased sources. It also offers an excellent avenue for users to interact with your brand and create a sense of community.
According to data, 83% of consumers put more trust in peer recommendations over advertising.
Instagram and Snapchat are placing significant development efforts on shoppable features. These will allow brands to sell directly to their consumers through social media posts. 2023 will most likely see the full-scale adoption of shoppable posts.
Shoppable posts will give brands a new and diverse way of driving sales and reaching a wider audience. These posts will fuel omnichannel e-commerce strategies that rely heavily on content marketing to make it work and be competitive.
The use of interactive content will grow significantly in 2023. Interactive content provides a new and effective way of engaging audiences using emerging technologies such as VR and AR. Interactive content includes polls, quizzes, games, and augmented reality experiences.
Brands are already registering excellent results with interactive content. Data shows that 88% of marketers have used interactive content to set their brands apart from the competition. Other data shows that interactive content enjoys two times more conversions than passive content.
Interactive content also allows brands to collect valuable data about their target audience and refine their content marketing strategies. Moreover, it can exist outside social media, with remarkable results when used on your website or blog.
Your audience will always be engaged and excited about new content.
Determining how long content should be is often challenging for most content marketers. But 2023 has a clue about what works.
Long-form content will yield better results for your content marketing strategy. Long-form content allows you to offer value to your customers, something they’re increasingly keen on in 2023.
With long-form content, you can provide abundant information and valuable knowledge that compels the audience to check out your business.
Google is also leaning more towards promoting high-quality, informative content. Therefore, long-form content will rank higher in SERPs.
Personalized content is growing in demand, getting into 2023. It will be a dominant type of content among successful brands.
Personalized content allows you to create a customized experience for your consumers that’s different from the competition.
For instance, if a prospect visits your website and submits their personal information, they can get a welcome message displayed with their name the next time they visit your website. Alternatively, they can receive their newsletters with their names included in the salutations.
Moreover, you can provide them with content recommendations based on their unique taste. Therefore, the customer experiences your website and content differently based on how they interact with your website and other content.
Even a tiny personalization touch, such as the welcome message, boosts your brand’s engagement and customer loyalty. The hint of personalization makes the customers feel like the website and its contents were made uniquely and purposefully for them.
Brands that want more content marketing success in 2023 will have to start focusing on niche content. Niche content covers a subtopic relevant to your business, industry, and audience. The primary focus of this type of content is gaining interest from a small group of people.
For instance, if you own a bakery, you can write generic content that covers various homemade recipes. Such content has a broad appeal since it piques the interest of anyone who likes baking. However, there are multiple niches within your audience.
Niche content will target these subgroups, with a stream of content geared towards lactose-free bakers and other niche content focused on gluten-free or vegan bakers.
Niche audiences are very valuable to businesses. In the example of a bakery, each niche will be more interested in its content since it offers them more value and is aligned with their dietary lifestyles. Consequently, the content delivers a higher conversion ratio and ROI.
Infographics, Custom Graphics, and Videos
Audiences are leaning more toward rich content. In 2023, content rich in videos, custom graphics, and infographics will engage your audiences more and potentially help you outrank the competition in search.
These additional elements help explain concepts, processes, and other crucial information that may help drive your leads toward a sale. Moreover, they deliver a unique content experience for your audience, making you stand out from the competition.
Top Trends You Should Watch Out For
As the type of content consumers demand changes in 2023, new trends are emerging that content marketers must ride on to have effective content strategies. Here are the content marketing trends that will matter the most in 2023.
Collaborative marketing will be a top content marketing trend in 2023. Co-marketing’s rise will be fueled by the improved ease of tagging brands and creators on social platforms to drive marketing. By doing this, brands can address declining reach and increase engagement.
With influencer marketing remaining a top marketing channel, brands will use co-marketing to improve collaborations on social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
There will also be a rise in co-branded reports and guides that have been a popular avenue for attracting new clients. You’ll have more gains joining forces with top brands and companies in your niche and promoting high-quality, well-researched content than going at it solo.
Better Tracking of Content Performance
Google Analytics is still a top tool used by content marketers to track the performance of their campaigns. However, 2023 will require top performers to dig deeper. Fine-grained information about which content performs best will help make informed decisions about content topics, lead nurturing efforts, lead generation tactics, and more.
Your analytics should not just tell you what campaign drove leads but which drove quality leads. Fine-grained data will make it easier to demonstrate the value and impact of content marketing to companies and business leaders.
Optimizing for Voice Search
Content marketers optimizing for voice in 2023 will see better results than their counterparts. Data shows that over one billion voice searches happen monthly. Only content that’s gone through voice search optimization can feature in the top results.
Your content strategy for 2023 should target voice search keywords and create content pages for industry and business questions users are asking through voice search.
Content optimized for voice search should answer questions succinctly and directly. Such answers also appear in the featured snippet, one of the most critical placements in SERPs.
Content optimized for search should also use natural language and phrasing, which is quite different from how you’d approach traditional SEO.
More Emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Digital marketing efforts in 2023 should include diversity, equity, and inclusion. Consumers are steering clear of brands that don’t reflect these values in their identity. One study by Facebook shows that 54% of consumers feel poorly represented culturally in online advertising.
Showing your values will resonate your brand more with the audience and have you viewed as a driver of diversity and inclusion. This will improve brand trust and loyalty.
The Adoption of Google Analytics 4
This change will perhaps have one of the most significant impacts on your content marketing strategy. Starting July 2023, Universal Analytics will become a legacy tool, paving the way for Google Analytics 4.
Google Analytics 4 is expected to transform how content marketers interpret data radically. It will also offer seamless integration with Google Merchant Center, Google Optimize, and bigQuery. All these integrations will be free and native.
Content marketers ready for this change should have their Google Analytics 4 account up and running to gather data early and test the differences compared to their Universal Analytics account.
A Laser Focus on User Experience
User experience will come into greater focus in 2023. User experience is fundamental in ensuring your prospects are engaged when visiting your content pages. It includes multiple facets, primarily website-specific and page-specific.
Website-specific user experience focuses on improving site load time, using the right font, and mobile-friendliness.
Page-specific user experience focuses on various ways to improve the user experience on each content page you publish. The best practices that enhance page-specific user experience include small paragraphs, visuals, and bulleted lists.
Better Compliance with Data Privacy
Regulators will continue to be keen on enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data privacy and compliance requirements. GDPR protects the data rights of internet users in the European Union with strict permissions and guidelines.
Compliance will keep your brand safe from hefty fines and other legal ramifications and help build trust with consumers through transparent acquisition and use of their data.
Some ways to ensure data protection compliance in 2023 include offering an unsubscribe button, making email opt-ins optional, and assessing data protection strategies you’ve implemented internally.
Compliance may not directly impact content creation, but it will influence how your audience interacts with it, especially if it’s delivered through email marketing.
Content marketing is an excellent channel for supporting lifecycle marketing. Lifecycle marketing provides your leads with the experiences and communications they want or need as they transition through the buyer journey.
Through lifecycle marketing, your website and content provide everything your prospect needs to become a client. Therefore, you cater to the customer at every sales funnel stage.
Crucial questions that can help you figure out how to merge content marketing with lifecycle marketing include:
· Who is your ideal customer?
· What are their wants?
· What are their needs?
· Why do they purchase your product or service?
With a clear understanding of your target customers, you can create customized content for each stage of the sales funnel and leverage lifecycle marketing to boost sales and engagement.
What Will Not Change?
Not everything will change in content marketing moving into 2023. More specifically, these two will remain paramount in your content marketing strategy.
Despite Google being infamous for altering its algorithms randomly and unannounced, backlinking will be an SEO strategy that will hardly get affected by these changes. Creating backlink-worthy content will still pay huge dividends.
You can repurpose old content to create new backlinks that will boost your website’s ranking and give better content marketing results.
Global web traffic is not moving away from mobile any time soon. Having a mobile-first approach to content will remain the most effective route. You should ensure all content is correctly optimized for mobile to increase your chances of capturing the attention of most consumers.
What Will Be the Impact of AI on Content?
Why hasn’t AI predominantly featured in the top trends for 2023? Is the buzz around it not worth the attention of content marketers?
Yes. AI doesn’t have a place in content marketing, and avoiding it within the industry might be the trend for 2023 onwards.
Powerful AI tools like ChatGPT have taken the globe by storm, with various reports indicating that it might spell the end of various human-centric jobs, content marketing being one of them.
But research has a different story to tell.
Let’s look at the case story CNET. The company started using AI tools to publish content on its website. This move was lauded as one of the most futuristic by a company of its size. However, the whole venture backfired.
Journalists detailed in an article how the AI-generated pieces were littered with inaccuracies with wrong attributions to human writers. This is despite CNET claiming to have an active human editorial team to fact-check these articles.
Business Insider, in an article, detailed how ChatGPT wrote a convincing article for the site, but it was littered with misinformation. In an era when users are seeking high-quality, factual content, using AI to generate content should be a content marketing red flag.
But there are other vital reasons why AI should not be a tool present in content marketing teams.
AI bots cannot write genuine content in the right tone and voice. Most AI content lacks anecdotes and human emotion, critical components of copywriting.
AI content also lacks empathy and is far from human-focused, something users crave from the content they’re consuming.
Search Engine Optimization
Content generated by AI has abysmal SEO performance. These tools don’t go through the keyword research phase, a crucial content marketing stage that determines the SEO performance of the content you’ll create.
Blogs, articles, and other forms of content include backlinks and internal links, which are crucial to SEO performance. AI tools cannot incorporate these appropriately.
Part of content marketing is constantly communicating with clients to know their wants and needs and address them. AI tools are not up to this task, resulting in generated content that is out of touch with its target audience.
AI-generated content fails to put strategy and business goals into consideration. AI cannot know where the audience is in the consumer journey and where the content should take them. Therefore, the message is ineffectively tailored, resulting in poor content performance.
So, what’s the bottom line?
AI tools should not have a place in your content marketing team. Using these tools is setting yourself on a path of content marketing ineffectiveness and failure.
Work with an Agency That Delivers Results
Your content marketing strategy for 2023 should not fall short of its targets. As long as you deliver the type of content your audience needs, following the right trends, you should be set for a profitable content year.
Let us take charge of all your content marketing needs, delivering the results you need.
You can find a downloadable version of this guide by emailing us at email@example.com
Additionally, a 2023 and beyond marketing trends report is something you will want on your desk all through this year. We have the right format for you and it is one email away.