Content marketing is one of the most dynamic industries in the world today. It is constantly evolving to cater to new technologies and human behaviours. To stay ahead of the curve it’s important to anticipate the changing landscape by keeping up with the latest content marketing trends.
At the CMA we run regular webinars on content marketing trends and are speak often with our members to get their first-hand opinions on what they see on the horizon in their day-to-day work. We want to ensure our members and the wider content marketing community are abreast of these trends and can use them in their work.
Knowing the content marketing trends are a competitive advantage
It’s often hard to know which content marketing trends are here for the long-term and which ones are a short-term fad (hello Clubhouse). With audiences demanding new content experiences and fierce industry competition, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the innovation curve.
With this in mind, here are 22 new content marketing trends for 2023 and beyond. Thanks to the CMA members who contributed to this.
1. Customer experience
Audiences will want to know with increasing detail what data they’re giving up, to whom, why and for how long. They’ll question whether the value they’re getting from a content experience is worth that data. And that means providing a better experience and meeting your audience where they’re at will be more important than ever, whether that be short-form video or the emerging Web3 platforms.
Aileen Lamb, CEO of New Media
2. Purpose-driven content
Information, education and entertainment remain vital pillars of any content strategy – but they’re no longer enough. Consumers want, and increasingly expect, brands to take meaningful action. To authentically create content with purpose at the core.
Brands have the opportunity to use content and communications as a force for good – to drive material change on behalf of their audience, on the issues that matter to them.
Bonny Dellow, Head of Content, Social and PR at Simply Business
3. Quality not quantity
I’m seeing clients target their content creation, and consequently budgets, so that the content they produce (or we produce for them) is super effective. For the brave, scaling content that works so you are making a high quantity of high quality content is bringing in really good results. Be brave.
Charlotte Rogers cmktr, Client Director, Contented Brothers
4. Metaverse marketing
Metaverse mayhem is everywhere, as brands from fashion, music, film, and sport, are hustling to play a part, reaching new audiences in immersive worlds. But why should brands care? Investment in the space has doubled to $100 billion between 2021 and 2022, and the market worth is expected to reach $800 billion by 2024. With 50% of the world identifying as “gamers”, gaming is the gateway.
If brands want to stay ahead of the game, now is the time to invest in integrating their brand experience into the gaming and virtual worlds, and establish how they will connect with new audiences, while retaining their brand purpose.
The metaverse won’t just be for gamers, it will be for everyone, impacting different spheres of our lives from socializing, retail and entertainment to workspaces and even healthcare. The opportunities to be found there are exponential. But brands cannot lose sight of the human focus in virtual worlds, they need to put the human into the centre of everything they do by creating experiential and immersive experiences. Connecting with audiences at the human level.
At Dialect, we’re at the forefront of helping brands to navigate the uncertainty of this next wave of transformation and build their brand strategy, maintaining the human focus at the heart of the digital experience. The future is here now, and brands need to start building their metaverse game plan now to avoid being left behind.
Lana Rose, Content Marketing Manager, Dialect Inc.
5. Shoppable lives and sustainable credentials
Staring wistfully into next year, whilst simultaneously swilling the future-predicting tea leaves in my china cup, I can see the following going large in the content world in 2023. Shoppable lives are where it is going to be at in 2023. When Amazon Live launches over here I imagine that the big-brand-marketing bosses will be all over their social teams to start delivering sales via the live video format. Think QVC but using memorable influencers.
Moving away from the tech innovations that could be coming, and looking at the moods, emotions and tone of the content that will arrive in 2023 and I think we will see a greater move by brands to prove their ethical and sustainable credentials as they try to appeal to that all-important Gen Z market. Finally, the success of “nostalgia” driven campaigns, Top Gun 2.0 being the most successful of 2022, will mean that this trend will continue to grow in 2023, especially against a dark backdrop of a global recession, rising energy prices and a war, which is all weighing heavy in consumers minds.
Andy Barr, founder, 10 Yetis
6. Social commerce goes from strength to strength
Social Commerce will only go from strength to strength with the development of in-app shopping experiences, making the purchasing journey more seamless. I also think we’ll need to heavily revisit what the typical consumer journey looks like, with the gap between generational content consumption habits widening, marketers will need to evaluate what their primary trigger points are, what the consumers expect from a brand, and what the changes to purchasing criteria are for younger audiences.
Steven Francis Westgate, Head of Content EMEA, Green Park Content
7. Repurposing content across multiple channels
With the emergence of Web3 and the opportunity to create hyper-personalised content, companies are able to offer less-obtrusive marketing. This means marketers are under more pressure to create quality, authoritative content, with much more focus on quantity too, as audiences have new tolerance to consume more. Making content that can transcend one platform to another will be a core requirement.
8. AI-powered content
The rise of AI-powered content is unstoppable. GPT-4, which uses AI to take data and automatically generate copy will become more widely available it’s likely this trend takes off in 2023. This is going to have an impact on content marketers by allowing them to create content at scale. Helping with content creation tasks and marketing. This will support creating lots of content quickly, as previously identified is a need going into 2023.
9. Creative SEO
Creativity and SEO were never two disciplines that went together until recently when a group of innovative agencies discovered how to blend the two for client campaigns. Creative SEO is a new sub-genre merging both the technical knowledge of SEO with the flair of creativity. Increasingly, all creative campaigns will include an SEO element to them and, maybe, vice versa.
10. First-party data-driven content
With both Apple and Google clamping down on cookie data, content marketers will need to look elsewhere for their data. This will lead to a greater emphasis and priority on first-party data-driven content. This is one of the key content marketing trends as it is a fundamental shift in audience data collection.
11. The ongoing importance of video
We will continue to see the ongoing importance of video across all aspects of content marketing, particularly social. User-Generated Content (UGC) has become a mainstay and will continue to perform in 2023. When it comes to video, start carving off some of your budget to devote to asset capturing and post-production. Alternatively, you can look to hire influencers known for their videography skills and work to negotiate a rate that allows you access to the raw footage in perpetuity.
CMA member VERB Interactive.
12. Conversion storytelling
Conversion storytelling is a measured, tactical way to target and move customers through their entire journey using insights-driven, impactful storytelling. It focuses on quality over quantity for content that better connects with audiences and drives them to action—regardless of where they are in their journey. With the typical customer journey no longer being linear, conversion storytelling should be used to better shape the full customer journey, and in turn, better connect audiences to the brand.
Nicole Martin, MD of Pace
13. Content monetisation
Content monetisation will continue to grow in importance for businesses – in digital and print. There are two aspects to content commercialisation; the first being advertising and brand partnerships around the content itself or selling content directly to consumers on a one-off or subscription basis. The evolution of tools like online events platform Hopin, paid-for subscription Revue and paywall software like Tollbridge and a host of others together with the case studies coming out around these will make content monetisation more appealing – and give businesses the confidence to trial.
Isobel Robson, Commercial Director at Dialogue.
14. Show more, not tell
We talk a lot about sustainability, inclusivity and transparency, but it’s not enough. We need to show, not tell. Younger generations see right through brands that try to greenwash, pinkwash or femmewash. Marketing will have to be even more creative and sometimes lean into product innovation to meet rising demands of progress.
Lenus Fremin, Creative Director at Make Your Mark.
15. A greater priority on evergreen content
Evergreen content focuses on subjects that are forever topical and always valuable to your target audience. There’s no expiry date. With an odd tweak or two, a reader could see the content five years later and still find it insightful. Given the increasing budgets dedicated to content marketing, brands will want more ROI for their money which means creating ‘content assets’ that can be used time and again, and even increase in value. Prioritising evergreen assets will be one of the key content marketing trends and will be further integrated long-term content marketing strategies and always-on content.
16. A greater priority on reactive content
The news cycle moves fast. What’s trending today may not be trending next week, or tomorrow even. Brands will always have a focussed long term content marketing strategies but supplementary to this they will have ‘reactive content marketing’ where they can quickly create content around trending topics and themes. Some call it ‘reactive content’ and others call it newsjacking but either way it’s about riding the trending news waves with real-time content.
17. Always-on content
In a post-Covid world, always-on content is a key requirement because clients now fully understand the need to be always engaging with their audiences rather than the ebb and flow of one-off campaigns. Content marketing is becoming more competitive so it’s important for brands to stay front and centre of their audience’s minds which creative always-on strategies can help with.
18. Content marketing for internal communications
Content marketing is usually thought of as a way to engage external audiences. But in an increasingly complex world, brands are making greater use of content for their internal stakeholders. The company email is no longer a useful tool to engage staff in a meaningful way in internal communications. Content is.
19. A renewed focus on Twitter
Some brands have written off Twitter as a channel for using engaging content and have shifted their focus to other channels. Despite its reputation for toxicity, Twitter still boasts to have some of the most powerful public figures and institutions using it. With Twitter’s new ownership and its continued implementation of new content features from images to video to spaces, brands will have no choice but to have a renewed focus on the platform.
20. Web3 content gets off to a slow start
Web3 is being touted as the next phase of the internet but it may take some time to get there. If Web1 allowed us to archive and search humanity’s collective knowledge and Web2 allowed everyone to have a voice regardless of where they were, Web3 is the promise to take control from the large tech companies and return it to the users via decentralisation. While this sounds like a logical next step and in line with the original ethos of the internet, Web3 technology is still not ready for mainstream adoption. There are still few use-cases and viable Web3 alternatives to established Web2 platforms. We await the killer Web3 app.
21. Podcasting continues its steady climb
Podcasting is here to stay. Unlike some content marketing trends we’ve seen over the years, podcasting is no flash in the pan with listening figures on a steady climb. In fact, podcasting is almost 20 years old but it didn’t become really popular until around five years ago as Spotify and other audio apps prioritised it. Global podcast listeners in 2022 were 424 million and are expected to grow to 505 million by 2024 according to Statista. While this is not an exponential rise, it shows a continued increase in the format with some users spending hours each week listening to their favourite podcasts. Here are some of our favourite content marketing podcasts we enjoy listening to.
22. The evolving content marketing team structure
We said at the beginning of this article that content marketing continues to evolve at a rapid rate. Because of this, so does the content team structure . The content marketing machine works well when all team members are up to date on the latest trends are able to adapt to changes in technology and human behaviours. This requires agility and an ‘always learning’ mindset to adapt to these changes. The content marketing team structure will continue to evolve for Web3 when it arrives, artificial intelligence as it advances and first-party data when Google inevitably pulls the cookie plug.