Winning Content Marketing Trends to Expect in 2023
Content marketing is the driving force behind every company’s digital strategy. It covers the entire process of developing, publishing and distributing content. Ultimately, the aim of content marketing is to create brand awareness and attract more customers. However, there are many types of content that vie for a customer’s eyes, ears and wallet. As a result, various content marketing trends help determine which ideas and channels resonate more effectively with today’s customers.
To develop winning content strategies, companies need to size up their competition. Doing so helps them learn which rivals are making inroads in engaging customers. In addition, they should also revisit content marketing trends to find out which ones fit their goals and objectives. After all, content marketing isn’t just about generating sales. It’s also about creating brand awareness, establishing credibility in the market and sharing learning experiences with the audience.
Content Marketing Trends That Emerged in 2022
Several content marketing trends emerged in 2022 that helped generate engagement and excitement for the brands that adopted them. They include the following findings and realizations:
The Increasing Popularity of Short-Form Video
The short video continues to dominate content marketing trends entering 2022. It’s not surprising, considering this is the year where TikTok is challenging established social media giants Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the most eyeballs. According to HubSpot, around half of surveyed marketers believe that among the various forms of content, short-form videos have the best chance of going viral.
The Convenience of Infographics
Infographics deliver bite-sized information in an easy-to-understand manner. It’s easy to create, easy to read and easier to share. And, many people appreciate the availability of easy-to-grasp data. Infographics continue to increase in popularity due to their visual, informative appeal that readers find helpful.
The Importance of Real Social Responsibility
Today’s buyers don’t only look for products that serve their specific needs. They also consider the brand’s reputation as a champion of social responsibility. However, millennials and Gen Z buyers are wary of companies that only pay lip service. They prefer dealing with socially responsible companies. Specifically, they want firms that take care of their employees by providing more-than-fair compensation and encouraging work-life balance.
The Rebirth of Webinars
Prior to 2020, many content marketers all but declared the death of webinars (at least in the traditional sense) and other online events. Whereas yesterday’s webinars required users to show up at a specific date and time, today’s informative live events are often asynchronous and happen at regular intervals.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic systemically shut down physical offices and eliminated any opportunities for in-person training sessions. This brought webinars back to the forefront, where their new, streamlined format made them popular among both trainers and trainees.
The State of Content Marketing in 2022
While nearly all marketers are familiar with the aims of content marketing, many are still left unsure about how to accomplish the larger objectives: generating leads and increasing engagement. To help them develop better strategies, marketers should get familiar with content marketing trends the entire industry follows.
Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know
To align your goals for 2023, you should know where your company stands as far as your content marketing efforts are concerned. Don’t fret, though. You’re not alone when it comes to navigating the tricky waters. Consider these content marketing statistics:
1. Content Marketing Teams Want to Produce More Content
Many companies are using leaner but meaner content marketing teams of fewer than 10 people. Despite the small team size, they’re also looking at increasing their content output. This presents a dilemma to many teams with higher expectations from management. Thankfully, many are now looking at adding more people to their rosters. In fact, 58% of marketing team’s budgets now go to hiring more content creators or signing up with agencies.
2. Nearly Half of Marketing Teams Don’t Know if Their Content Is Performing
About 49% of marketers that continuously produce content have yet to fully understand their output’s performance. Many still rely on traditional engagement metrics such as likes, shares and comments. Broken down,
- 9% don’t bother tracking metrics
- 8% don’t know if their company measures metrics
- 32% track metrics but can’t tell which content actually works for them
What gives? While many companies shell out money to produce content, some have yet to invest in analytics tools that show the effectiveness of their campaigns. It’s not just measuring social engagement such as likes, shares or comments. Metrics should also include numbers for lead generation and even conversion.
3. Not Content with Content
Among the emerging content marketing trends is the willingness of companies to look into ways of producing successful content. For instance, 55% of marketers attribute their added success to the improvements made to their website’s content. Meanwhile, another 46% say implementing tighter search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to better content success. For other marketers, piling on content seems to do the trick—41% have boosted engagement rates by creating content such as videos and images.
Content Marketing Trend Alert: Content Experience Takes Center Stage
As the content marketing trends for last year show, revisiting your content strategy and improving content quality remain the keys to enjoying success. Specifically, customers want heightened experiences when engaging with your content. This is why, for 2023, you’ll see a continued focus on content.
User content experience is a major entry on the 2023 content marketing trends list. It acknowledges that even the most loyal customer can change preferences at any time. This can mean adjusting the type of content they want to consume or the manner in which their ideal content is presented to them. There are two essential points to grasp:
- Figuring out what your customers want and providing relevant, useful and informative content can help bolster your company’s image.
- As a result of this content, customers enjoy an optimized and more pleasant user content experience.
Understand the Market and Provide Relevant Content
Enhancing the content experience means staying updated on what your specific market segment wants. Catering to your audience can drastically improve how the market responds to the content you publish. Even better, marketers need to develop a narrative that covers the entire breadth of the content strategy. This ensures the messaging remains relevant and consistent.
For 2023 in particular, content marketing trends are moving toward an improved content experience by relating more to what your customer needs. Align your strategy with your market’s realities by producing engaging material they can willingly respond to and interact with. When done correctly, the audience will be better positioned to talk about their challenges and more inclined to consider the solutions you offer.
Focus on the User Experience When Engaging With Your Website
While the actual content determines your audience’s engagement levels, their user experience (UX) will affect their willingness to participate further. This is why it’s important to also pay close attention to the site’s performance. Specifically, marketing teams should make sure the brand site is quick to load when accessed and optimized for mobile phones. In addition, the site needs a clean and consistent layout that’s easy to read.
The bottom line is that even the most engaging content won’t matter if your site has a lot of technical issues that need resolving. Slow load times, bad layout, poor choice of fonts and a lack of mobile phone optimization can quickly turn off even your most passionate followers.
Tailor Content to Fit Your Ideal Customer
Once you enhance the customer experience (CX), you can focus on developing the right content that resonates with your specific audience. Marketers should forget about offering out-of-the-box solutions when dealing with today’s generation of buyers.
With the decentralization of information thanks to the Internet, customers now freely conduct their own research to find the ideal supplier for their very particular needs. Understanding this behavior is the best way to develop communication materials tailored to your target audience.
Learn Their Language and Pain Points
Instead of making customers learn your language, marketing teams should strive to understand theirs. Part of understanding your client’s needs includes the ability to communicate with them in their industry language. By using their terminology when offering your solutions, you prove that your company understands their industry and its challenges.
Addressing the customer’s pain points also requires a thorough knowledge of them. Job search site Indeed lists the four major types of pain points experienced by customers:
1. Productivity Pain Points As the name suggests, productivity pain points result in less efficiency in the time and resources spent by the user. Solutions are supposed to improve a customer’s situation. Providing an unnecessarily complicated product can heavily offset the solutions with a different set of problems.
If a solution means more effort for the user or requires more resources, then it’s not really an effective one. A slow-loading website is one example of a productivity pain point. Users, especially frequent buyers, expect the site content to load as quickly as possible. Making them wait or having them repeatedly mash the refresh button is not their idea of a productive purchase journey.
2. Process Pain PointsProcess pain points are the ones that hold up the buyer’s journey unnecessarily. This refers to the processes sellers make buyers go through to complete the sale. These pain points often leave customers (especially repeat ones) confused.
They also force buyers to undergo extra steps or experience a painfully slow buying process. For example, regular customers might dislike an online store that requires them to enter their payment information even after repeated purchases. Many online sellers are already implementing various payment data safety mechanisms at their sites.
3. Financial Pain PointsThis next pain point often gives customers dilemmas. Sometimes, buyers find the perfect solution only to realize it costs more than they’re prepared to pay. Instead of closing the deal, they have to spend time looking for cheaper alternatives that may not entirely deliver what they need.
Or, buyers find a worthy solution to their problems but find it loaded with options they don’t need. These options often bump up the price to unaffordable levels. A common example is subscription software that charges per user instead of a basic monthly recurring fee. Buyers who fall between two distinct tiers or are forced to pay premium rates for extra features they don’t need often express financial woes.
4. Support Pain PointsSupport pain points refer to the process of receiving customer service before, during and after the purchase. The lack of 24-hour support for customers with around-the-clock operations can be a nightmare on certain days. Even worse, a company with a good product lineup but questionable customer support services will eventually see its sales numbers drop.
Companies that scrimp on staffing may also generate additional support pain points. Finally, making customers wait for more than a few minutes to talk to customer support is also not a good idea.
Produce Content That Anticipates Need
Another way to create tailor-fit content that meshes with your target market is to look ahead. When you anticipate customers’ needs, customers are more likely to engage and eventually convert into buyers. For content marketing, anticipation can take the form of improving the process for a more seamless sales journey. Or, it could mean anticipating objections or recognizing what factors can tip a prospect into a buyer.
For example, when sending emails to generate leads, make sure a landing page is ready to take in new subscribers who show interest in learning more. At the same time, adding promos like early-bird rates or product discount codes to your email can ultimately convert your prospects.
In addition, making your content readily available means making sure it shows up in search engines when users look for it. This underlines the importance of good SEO practices. It also means creating optimized pages accessible not just by PCs but by mobile phones and tablets as well.
Utilize Videos as Content
As far as content marketing trends go, videos are nothing new. However, this medium continues to rise in popularity and is now the undisputed king of content. Thankfully, for content creators and viewers alike, improvements in the Internet infrastructure helped make online videos accessible and popular. But what is video marketing? More importantly, how can it improve your content marketing efforts?
Video marketing is the process of creating promotional videos specifically designed for consumption by the identified target audience. Because videos are more entertaining, engrossing and engaging, most users will gladly click on a video ad over a static ad.
For brands with social media accounts, short videos (less than one minute) remain popular attractions for followers. Content-hungry users find it easier and more convenient to digest these short videos. Because they load quickly and play on repeat, followers are more than willing to engage, given the short attention time they require.
Among content marketing trends, videos will continue to rule the Internet until developers come up with a newer, more convenient medium. Despite the billions poured into the metaverse experiment, analysts find fewer people are warming up to the idea. The need for expensive equipment and its early “Wild West frontier” reputation is giving users enough reasons to take it slow.
It also doesn’t help that, with a looming global recession, many businesses are pulling back on their investments in favor of fiscal prudence. That’s why, for 2023 in particular, video creation and online distribution will continue to remain a driving force in content marketing.
What Videos Should Content Marketing Teams Produce?
Choosing what kind of video to upload is a matter of preference. Brand teams often know best what videos will resonate with their audiences. However, audience reception can be hard to predict. In fact, some marketers will take advantage of the fact that creating a popular video does not equate to creating something useful.
A funny video is more likely to generate engagement and go viral compared to an informative, handy guide-type of video. However, as content marketing teams have a duty to uphold the brands they represent, they should strive to produce videos that align with their brand’s needs. Here are some of the more popular videos that generate substantial reactions:
1. Customer Reviews and Testimonials When choosing solutions, customers don’t place much faith in paid endorsements or go by the brand’s own hype. Instead, many look at other customers to see if they enjoyed a positive experience with the brand. A 2022 Dixa survey reported that today’s consumers are not only willing to do the research, but they are also more likely to report their own experiences. In addition,
- 97% said they will check online reviews made by customers before deciding on a purchase
- 47% are likely to share their positive experiences with a brand
- 95% will share negative experiences
The dependence on reviews makes it imperative for brands to publish reviews as well. Of course, they must make sure that when producing videos, the spotlight is more on the customer experience rather than the outright brand promotion. It also helps if the reviews and testimonials show the entire spectrum, not just the positive ones.
2. Demo Videos That Utilize the BrandWhile reviews provide the perspective of other users, prospective buyers would also appreciate helpful videos that provide a how-to guide for the featured product. With these videos, users can decide for themselves if the product they are considering is user-friendly and convenient.
How-to guides can also open current customers to potentially new uses of the product they haven’t considered before. When received positively by existing customers, the additional utilization can spur incremental sales as the use of the products expands to more opportunities.
3. Office Tour and How It’s MadeToday’s buyers are also more socially-conscious compared to previous generations. They don’t only look at a product’s features and benefits; they also consider the reputation and social standing of the company behind it.
Among their questions is the environmental impact. Does the product source raw materials from sustainable, fair-trade suppliers? Does the company deal only with suppliers that pay their workers in accordance with local wage laws? Do they use environment-friendly materials that pose no danger when discarded or recycled? Finally, how does the brand company treat its own employees?
Creating a video showcasing the people behind the product and demonstrating how it’s made can assure customers the entire creation process is aboveboard in terms of manufacturing, sourcing and labor. Buyers can now confidently make a purchase knowing they’re supporting companies that practice positive and legal methods.
4. Promo and Event Videos Publishing your marketing team’s promotional videos every now and then is a great way to remind customers of current and upcoming programs they can benefit from. However, exercise restraint to avoid posting too many or too frequent promotional videos.
Live event coverage of product launches, sponsored events or even milestone occasions are also good content to share once in a while. People often pick up positivity from events that show companies having fun and customers enjoying their products.
Podcasts for Content Marketing
Another major content marketing trends is the continued popularity of podcasts. These prerecorded video or audio segments on just about any subject come in a convenient format. Podcasts don’t require users to listen live; they can download the video or audio file and listen at their leisure.
Podcasts made a remarkable comeback during the pandemic, when entertainment options were limited. Currently, podcasts continue to serve as a convenient source of information. Unlike YouTube videos or social media accounts, users can listen to podcasts at any time without needing to glance at the screen. Drivers, commuters, runners and cyclists can focus on their activities while listening to podcasts. Even people at home can tune in to their favorite podcasters while cleaning the house or performing other chores.
What’s more, integrating podcasts into your content marketing strategy can actually increase your engagement scores. Your human audience craves human interaction, and many podcasts feature two or more individuals offering their perspectives. The conversational nature of podcasts also makes them easier to listen to.
Additionally, podcasts usually feature guest sources who are thought leaders in their industry. Combining this knowledge with that of the host or other speakers can establish true thought leadership. The more diverse ideas, the better for your brand. From there, a single podcast episode can branch into separate SEO-powered blog content or social media video snippets.
Podcast Episodes Can Generate Supplemental Content
Podcasts also help generate new content marketing strategies and ideas. When developing show topics and choosing guests, the subject matter can veer in other directions the brand can capitalize on. This in turn helps the marketing team spin off newer ideas or topics that remain relevant to the brand.
The fact that listeners, guests and hosts come from the same idea community means any new ideas will remain within the purview of the brand. It also promotes collaboration among industry voices and can collect viewpoints from those outside the community.
Interactive Storytelling Using AR/VR Content
Among the content marketing trends emerging in 2023 is the use of cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) in interactive storytelling. For some users, video isn’t always enough to satiate their hunger for content. In most cases, they want a more participatory form of content where their input can affect the outcome.
Enter AR and VR. These aren’t exactly new technologies, but their application in content marketing strategy is slowly evolving. For example, using VR technology when shopping online lets buyers try on a pair of virtual shoes or handle delicate equipment. Meanwhile, AR technology combined with a mobile phone camera can allow buyers to see how a piece of furniture would look in their house. Or, they can try on virtual shirts or pants to see how they look.
Both technologies helped significantly during the pandemic, as many vendors managed to recreate the try-before-you-buy experience in a virtual setting. In fact, studies show visual selling is far more effective than traditional brochures or promos.
Eventually, we’ll find out if the metaverse will deliver on its promise to provide the next level of interactive marketing content. This early, developers are touting the widespread use of AR and VR within the metaverse, which promises a heightened customer experience. However, the platform has yet to reach a critical mass, so AR and VR will remain within the realm of smart devices and interactive websites.
Sustainability and Responsible Consumerism
The ethical consumerism movement is slowly gaining steam throughout the years. In fact, this might end up being one of the biggest content marketing trends of 2023. It’s not really something of a breakthrough, as millennials and a spattering of Gen Xers already make it a point to call out companies with dubious ethical practices. However, Gen Z has brought ethical consumerism to its highest awareness levels.
This is understandable, considering Gen Z is among the most anxious groups ever. They fear the world they’re inheriting is far more damaged than previous generations care to admit. As such, they’d like to take charge now and try to reverse the situation as soon as they can. No wonder they’re taking the lead in addressing global problems such as climate change.
Part of Gen Z’s objective is withholding support from companies that fail to practice sustainability and responsible consumerism. Gen Z prefers companies with an established history of social responsibility, sustainable processes and ethical business practices. As a content marketing strategist, you should highlight your company’s social programs and sustainable efforts. Instead of facing the media in an awkward press conference about something that went wrong, be proactive enough to wear your social responsibility efforts on your sleeve.
Today’s consumers are more aware of how their purchasing decisions affect the environment, the economy and society. This lets them practice diligence and exercise care in selecting the products they want to associate with. If your content strategy team fails to highlight your social responsibility efforts, you will likely lose clients to brands that are more aggressive at beating their own drum.
Winning Content Marketing Strategies for 2023
With the playing field at full capacity, getting your brand voice heard loud and clear by everybody is a challenge. So, focus on your intended audience and develop valuable, memorable and helpful content that makes them take notice. Providing engaging content that brings value is the ultimate content marketing strategy and will definitely trend in 2023.
Focusing on producing unique, well-researched, inspiring and helpful content can help your brand gain interest, engagement and credibility within your chosen market. To create winning content, consider incorporating the following into your strategy:
Intentional Content to Address Customer Expectations
At the heart of marketing is the need to understand the why behind the customers’ choices. Why do they need X? Why did they choose Y? Also, what are the problems they need to solve? What prevents these problems from being solved? Incorporating the answers into your strategy can help you develop a better and more well-rounded approach to address buyer needs.
This is the reason content marketing teams should develop materials that focus on the “why” aspect of customer needs. In doing so, the brand shows it better understands the buyer’s motivations. It also helps differentiate your voice from your competitors. This is especially true for companies that failed to closely examine the client’s situation.
Finally, part of providing intentional content is choosing the right kind of medium. For instance, will a video better show how the brand understands what customers find challenging? If so, what type of video should they use? Or, will a podcast featuring thought leaders discussing customers' challenges be a better option? How about an infographic listing the numbers? The possibilities are endless, but your choice should fit the issue.
Track and Analyze Customer and Content Data
Another content marketing trend that will make the rounds in 2023 is the increasing need to use analytics and generate insights. Again, depending on a standard list of metrics such as likes, dislikes, shares or comments may give you an idea of a piece of content’s popularity. However, they won’t help much in determining if a post generated leads or converted leads into buyers. Nor will they tell you if your marketing costs are generating a healthy return on investment.
Apart from quantitative analytics, teams can also benefit from qualitative analysis. Surveys, for instance, are a great way to gather the consumers’ sentiments about your content and get comments on the medium and delivery systems. Remember, popularity is a double-edged sword. Content can be popular because many people like it, or because too many people don’t. Getting actual responses on why people like or hate your content can help shape newer material.
Align Content With Sales and Marketing
Marketing faces the challenge of generating leads. Meanwhile, sales prefer to focus on how many leads convert to buyers. While many think of this reality as an early sign of disconnection between the two groups, their challenges actually complement each other.
Marketing typically develops buyer personas that represent the brand’s core customers. However, the only way to construct the perfect persona is to gather information from actual customers. Therefore, marketing will need to trust and rely on sales to gather this information.
Sales and Marketing Are Symbiotic
Meanwhile, sales remain dependent on marketing for a steady stream of leads. Marketing programs such as launches, promotions, consumer events and sponsorships usually help generate interest among the general public. At the same time, advertising and promotional campaigns aim to attract new leads or renew interest among existing clients. As such, marketing will have to develop these programs with the goal of attracting leads for sales.
These dynamics explain that sales and marketing are more of a symbiotic relationship rather than a competitive one. The content marketing programs developed by the content marketing team should always have sales as a major consideration. In return, sales should collect and turn over customer data that can help marketing refine its personas and strategies even further.
An Omnichannel Experience Can Unify the Message
Previously, marketers focused on one or two channels they believed offered the most potential for getting engagement. Now, most experts agree the single- or dual-channel method should give way to the omnichannel experience. This involves providing a unified and consistent brand experience across a number of channels: email, social media, video, chat, voice calls, etc.
When a customer starts a conversation in one channel, switching to a new channel shouldn’t cause any problems or delays. This includes preventing occasions where customer service will ask the caller for customer information they already provided in the previous channel.
An omnichannel experience makes it easier for customers to pick up where they left off. More importantly, it allows sales, marketing and even customer service to align their efforts. Whether the customer has an inquiry, wants to purchase or wants to join a promotion, somebody will be there to provide assistance.
Develop a Content Ecosystem for a Unified Strategy
Centralizing the content repository is yet another emerging content marketing trend for the coming year. For companies that utilize compartmentalized teams, cooperating on a single campaign can be more troublesome than necessary. With different teams working on different content for their respective department’s objectives, it’s often a miracle to come up with a unified message and even a unified look and feel.
For example, an electronics company preparing to launch a new product may find different teams working on different content requirements. Sales went ahead and developed their own product brochure complete with price lists. The public relations department conferred with engineering to promote the product’s environmental and energy-saving features. Marketing organized a product launch and set its digital agencies to produce content.
Ideally, these departments would have a better time organizing and consolidating their ideas if the company maintained a central ecosystem that contains all the information about the product. Then, instead of having sales and marketing produce different materials, each team could head to the content ecosystem and pull out the relevant information they need.
They could also choose from existing design templates to give each piece of content a unified look and feel. Whether the content appears on social media, on the company website or in various printed brochures and presentations, they will all bear the hallmarks of a unified strategy.
Stay Alert for Content Marketing Trends
Marketing as you knew it 10 or 20 years ago underwent a paradigm shift that reflects the reality of today’s markets. At present, content is king. Any brand or product that wishes to establish a global footing or dominate its industry will need to accept this evolution.
Buyers have changed and now depend heavily on their own research instead of spoon-fed information from sellers. At the same time, companies need to promote their products and their own company credibility. In addition, buyers won’t bother purchasing the best products if the seller’s own social responsibility is in question.
Finally, while social posts can engage customers and lead to increased awareness, it remains important to monitor content performance to see if it generates more than just likes. Putting your product in the best position to attract buyers will always remain the primary consideration for content marketing teams.
Ingage is cloud-based software that allows companies to create engaging and interactive presentations. It also has collaborative features that let teams jointly work on decks no matter where they are. After all, in this new age of unified strategies, the means to work together on a single piece of content is a valuable asset. Additionally, Ingage provides analytics tools that track viewers’ engagement levels on every slide. This provides valuable insights into which presentation areas worked and which ones need improvement.
Learn more about how Ingage’s rich set of features can turn your presentation into a masterful collaboration. Contact us and let us know how we can help you. We’ll be happy to arrange a free demonstration.