The content marketing industry is changing fast. And while we may not be able to predict the future, we can still see which trends will shape how brands engage with their audiences in the years ahead. Here are my top 13 predictions for 2023:
SEO and content marketing will become synonymous
SEO is an important part of your strategy if you’re one of the many brands looking to content marketing to build long-term brand awareness. The two are closely linked because search engines are looking for high-quality content and will reward it with higher rankings. In fact, a recent survey found that 61% of marketers said SEO was one of their top three strategies for digital marketing in 2017—and even more, they said they would use more SEO tactics in 2018.
What does this mean for your business? Suppose you want your content to succeed on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where consumers spend most of their time. In that case, you need to make sure it’s optimized for search engines as well as social networks by following these five steps:
- Use keywords throughout the post (but don’t overdo them)
- Include meta descriptions that contain relevant keywords
- Create blog posts or articles around popular trending topics within your industry with plenty of research behind them
- Ensure each piece has a landing page that includes all necessary information, like links to the article itself (to help boost engagement rates).
Agencies and freelancers will dominate content production
As the industry matures and content marketing becomes more specialized, agencies will have the resources to get ahead of their clients. Freelancers are also nimbler and more creative than many agencies. Content production may shift from large teams in expensive offices to smaller groups of creative professionals. They can deliver better results in less time. Finally, some agencies may even spin up wholly-owned subsidiaries that specialize in creating custom content for their clients. This way, they can keep all profits within the agency and avoid paying overhead costs like renting office space or paying a team of employees.
Content production will become a much bigger part of brand strategy
You’re likely familiar with the old saying, “content is king.” It’s been used to explain why businesses should invest in content marketing, but in the future, it will be more accurate to say that content production is king. According to our research team, in 2023, brands will spend more than half of their marketing budgets on producing and distributing content—and they’ll see results!
Brands will build on the podcast boom by creating more audio-only content
Podcasts are a great way to reach people who don’t want to read. They’re easy and convenient, which makes it easy for your audience to consume the content you create. Listeners can listen while doing other things like driving or working out, allowing them to multitask with their podcasts of choice.
Podcasts also provide an immersive experience that isn’t offered by most social media platforms: listeners are able to engage with audio in a way that’s more personal than any format before it. This closeness fosters community-building between listeners and the show creators, allowing deeper connections between brands and consumers than ever possible.
Content marketing professionals will lead the fight against ad blockers
Businesses will have to fight back against ad blockers. According to a recent study, ad blockers are stealing $22 billion in revenue from advertisers and media companies each year.
Ad blocking is also a threat to the open internet because it blocks content creators from earning income and ultimately incentivizes publishers to produce lower-quality content that doesn’t require ads or paywalls. Ad blocking is also harmful to democracy because it enables political campaigns and extremist groups to spread misinformation freely on social platforms while hiding behind a facade of anonymity.
Emotional storytelling will take center stage
Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating emotional connections. You can tell a story about your brand, product, or service that resonates with your target audience and makes them feel something—excitement, nervousness, gratitude—and they will respond positively.
The best content marketers tell stories that make customers feel like they can’t live without the advertised product. They want to buy from that company because it is helping them through an emotional problem in their lives. This approach can be used to sell almost any type of product or service; there are no limits on what type of emotion you can evoke in your audience.
AI will make its way into content marketing
AI is already being used in content creation. Technology can determine human emotions and track their reactions to ads. It’s also being used to distribute content, analyze it, and create ads. AI will continue to make its way into every aspect of the marketing process over the next five years. From idea generation all the way through production and distribution.
The more AI is involved in each stage of a campaign’s lifecycle, the better your chances are for creating relevant content that consumers will respond positively to. This means you need an automation system that can handle everything. From ideation all the way through conversion tracking so you can see how your efforts have paid off. Or, if they need some tweaking before going live again!
Brands and agencies will hire data scientists
Data scientists are the new hotness in content marketing.
Why? Well, for one thing, they help you understand how your content is performing and how you can improve it.
For another, they work with all sorts of cutting-edge technologies that will be essential to keeping up with the ever-changing digital media landscape.
Some brands already use deep learning algorithms to optimize their messaging on social media. In the future, those same algorithms may offer insights into what content resonates most with your audience. The ability to anticipate this kind of trend could hugely impact your brand’s success over time. But only if you’re ready to embrace these types of advances now!
GDPR and other privacy regulations will change the status quo for email marketing, video ads, and remarketing
GDPR and other privacy regulations will change the status quo for email marketing, video ads, and remarketing.
Email marketers are already scrambling to comply with GDPR. This means they’re considering new ways to create better experiences for their subscribers while adhering to stricter rules. For example, in-email surveys have traditionally been used by marketers. They use them to collect information about subscribers’ preferences or interests. That way, they can be targeted with relevant content later. But as of May 25th, these surveys will need to ask permission from subscribers before asking them any questions about their personal information. And if the survey doesn’t get consent from at least half of its recipients, it won’t be able to be sent at all.
Video ads are also changing how people consume content online. Instead of clicking play on a 30-second video ad when you see one appear in your Facebook feed or sidebar on Twitter’s site (which happens often!), users are expected instead to watch videos that are longer than 10 seconds but shorter than 30 seconds in length because this format is more interesting for them as well as less intrusive overall due mainly due its short duration.
Virtual reality will come into its own as a content marketing tool
We see a shift towards immersive experiences as the world becomes more connected. Virtual reality is one of the most exciting ways to tell stories, and it’s great for promoting products too. VR experiences can be used to educate people about new topics or promote travel destinations.
The best thing about VR? It solves one of the biggest problems with traditional content marketing: getting your audience to engage. Virtual reality puts you right in the middle of an experience so you can feel like you’re there without paying for travel or time off work!
Apolitical brands will find themselves in hot water
The most common mistake brands make to assume that their consumers are apolitical. In reality, consumers are more politically engaged than ever before. And they’re willing to change brands if those brands don’t align with their values.
Boomers and Gen Xers may be slower to respond. They were raised in a time when businesses stayed out of politics, and personal beliefs were kept private. But millennials are far more likely to speak up if they feel ignored or disenfranchised by a brand’s marketing efforts or lack thereof.
In the end, content marketing is simply a tool to help brands connect with their audiences. But if we look at the trends outlined here, it’s clear. The industry is moving towards a future with more personal and emotional content. That means brands that can tell stories that resonate with people emotionally will have an advantage over those who don’t. Meaning less emphasis on product-focused content and more focus on telling compelling stories about products.