Focus on the future: Top 10 content marketing trends for 2023

3 April 2023
7 minutes

In short

In a trend-driven industry like content marketing, keeping up with the latest developments can sometimes feel like a full-time job all of its own. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to discover what’s shaping the industry in the months to come.

Leave it to us to break down 2023’s top 10 content marketing trends and give you some inspiration for how to revamp your content strategy this year.

From the megatrend of generative AI, to the hottest content strategies and all the latest developments in content formats, personalization and more: this is your quick guide to all the year’s top brand trends and new marketing trends.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover our picks for the top content marketing trends of 2023.
  • Learn how this year’s trend marketing strategies can help boost your brand.
  • Get a preview into trends that will shape the future of content marketing beyond 2023.
 
Binocular looking into the distance. Looking into the future, to see the content marketing trends to come.

Trend #1: Leveraging AI to boost your ROI

2023 is the year that brands in every industry can start benefiting from the real benefits of AI. We’ve already seen the rise of AI-driven content tools like Grammarly and DeepL in recent years. But powerful new generative AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT promise to accelerate content output like never before.

Generative AI is still in its early stages, but it’s already delivering incredible results. Contentoo clients have benefited from our own bespoke AI model (beta version), which has enabled them to increase the ROI on their existing content by up to 200%.

These technologies are too promising to ignore any longer. Plus, in today’s tough economy, brands are eager to lower costs without sacrificing productivity. That’s why we’re dubbing 2023 the Year of Content Marketing AI.

 

Trend #2: Using AI and data to drive your marketing strategy

AI isn’t just helping brands publish more content faster in 2023. It’s also helping shape content strategies and optimise content planning. If you’re not already using an AI tool to perform keyword research, this is a great year to start. 

Tools like Similarweb’s algorithm-based Keyword Generator or Keyword Insights are reaching maturity. For a price, they offer you the most competitive keywords in your industry, market and niche. Using AI to perform tasks like keyword research helps you sharpen your focus and make your brand more findable.

 
Person reaching out to a robot hand, content marketing trends AI

Trend #3: Standing out with the human touch

This is the last of our 2023 content marketing trends that’s directly related to AI, we promise.

As more and more brands turn to tools like ChatGPT to bring content to the market, there’s a risk of the content landscape starting to flatten out.

Remember that AI tools are, as the name suggests: tools. That means they can help us marketers do our jobs better and faster, but the real magic relies on our creativity and the human touch.

The best brands will stand out this year by using AI to speed up their output, but relying on experienced human storytellers to bring their content to life.

 

Trend #4: Zooming in on niche markets

It’s no secret that content marketing is the best way to generate leads. That’s why so many brands are relying on content now—and it’s why content saturation has become a real concern.

Stand out from your competitors in 2023 by digging deeper into your niche markets. Many brands are even going niche with their hero content, which has traditionally been all about trying to appeal to as many leads as possible.

Now that AI makes it possible to produce content much faster (oops, we mentioned AI again), you also have more freedom and flexibility to focus on niche content, even at the top of your funnel.

So, try linking broader topics to specific verticals you want to target. Instead of writing about how your brand’s solution benefits everybody, focus on how it benefits a specific industry, persona or type of company.

 
Glasses zooming in on the content marketing trends of 2023

Trend #5: Personalising your content

The macrotrend of personalisation has finally made it to the world of content marketing. And it’s resonating with audiences in a major way, maybe because the AI trend (oops, we did it again) is making people extra hungry for authentic, personalised experiences.

It takes a fairly large amount of customer data and solid data management to personalise your content effectively.

But personalised content is worth the investment, as it has been found to generate a 300% ROI.

Think, for example, of sending existing customers a birthday greeting with a special surprise offer, or reaching out to them at a certain time of year based on their past purchase behaviour.

You may be surprised to know that there are even AI tools available to help you personalise your content (oops, AI again!).

 
Infographic about achieving customer lifecycle personalization

Trend #6: Creating a content experience

In the age of UX, it’s no surprise that so many marketers are starting to think of their content in terms of an overarching experience in 2023.

This is where your brand’s consistent tone of voice and well-defined style and strategy come into play.

To create a content experience, there are three key components: 

  • Ensure consistency and a clear narrative arch throughout each stage of the buyer journey.
  • Make your customer (or lead) the star: create immersive content that touches on their pain points, shows them you care and convinces them that they’ve found a solid partner in your brand.
  • Ensure an excellent user experience: That means maximising your page load speed and making sure your content is optimised for mobile.
 

Trend #7: Optimising content for voice search

Although the technology has been around for over a decade, voice search is finally reaching maturity in 2023. This may be due to the macrotrend of contactless technologies that grew during the pandemic.

It could also be that voice recognition has significantly improved in recent years.

In any case, more and more customers are using voice to search the internet, with estimates showing that nearly two-thirds of adults in the US regularly use voice search. The main reason for using voice searches is to find information about local businesses (58% of searches).

For content marketers, this means ensuring your content reflects the way your customers actually speak and ask questions.

The old writer’s saying, “write like you speak”, has never been more relevant—especially if you’re trying to attract customers to your nearest location in their area.

 
Two women creating a podcast, one of the content marketing trends of 2023.

Trend #8: Tying in with a podcast or live event

Podcasts and live webinars both saw an enormous rise in popularity during the pandemic. And it looks like they’re here to stay—at least for the rest of 2023.

This is great news for content marketers. For a relatively low investment, you can create long-form audio or visual content in a format that people love to consume.

Another advantage of these formats is that they’re easy to tie into larger campaigns.

With a single podcast or live event, you generate enough content to break into a series of social media and blog posts for weeks.

But with over 5 million different podcasts on a platform like Spotify alone, saturation is a growing problem, which is why this trend may reach a turning point in 2023.

 

Trend #9: Doing your own research

What’s the best way to build your brand’s image and attract new readers in 2023?

By providing original, research-based insights.

As content consumers become more savvy and more critical of the information they read online, building trust is more important than ever.

Transparent, science-based original research gives credibility to your brand.

Another benefit of performing original research is that (like producing a podcast or hosting a webinar) it yields a large amount of information that can be turned into a wide range of assets.

Turn your key takeaways into bite-sized infographics for social media, and use thought-provoking blog posts to drive readers to download the full research report.

 

Trend #10: Making it interactive

Your audience is bombarded by content, from their social media feeds to their web searches. The major trend towards standing out with interactive content is reaching new heights in 2023.

New tools are making it easier and faster to create fun, snackable content that drives engagement and gets people curious to learn more about your brand.When you think of interactivity, you might think of gamification techniques like quizzes on social media.

However, these methods have already been around for a while, and may feel like clickbait to a lot of your audience members.

Try exploring fresher interactive content techniques.

Tools like ROI/savings calculators or freemium previews of your software solution are an especially powerful trend to boost engagement now.

And using social media stories, carousels or tools like Google Web Stories make written content more digestible and entertaining at a fraction of the cost and time-investment of producing video.

 

Which trends will shape future content marketing?

Now that we’ve covered the 10 big marketing trends that are shaping content marketing in 2023, let’s look a little further into the future. (Spoiler alert: there will be references to AI).

What are some of the new trends in marketing that will gradually unfold in the next 2 to 3 years?

 

AI chatbots will make internet searches more conversational

It’s not yet entirely clear how chatbots like Google’s Bard will change the way online search results are ranked and displayed.

However, it does appear that these technologies will make searching the web more conversational and more interactive for users.

To make sure your content is featured as a source, ensure that it’s optimised not just for findability (SEO keywords), but also for domain authority.

Now is a good time to start auditing your page’s link structure, removing bad/dead links and driving partnerships to gain backlinks.

 

AI will increase the demand for creative human talent

Yes, you read that correctly: AI is not going to replace human content creators and marketers any time soon.

In fact, it’s going to make human creative talent more important than ever.

The ability for virtually anyone with an internet connection to now create a readable, grammatically correct text in seconds using a tool like ChatGPT will probably lead to an explosion of generic, non-targeted, low-impact content.

Brands that want to stand out by adding true value will rely more than ever on creative human talent to make an impact.

The smartest brands will leverage AI for low-creativity tasks or as a strategic decision-making tool, while using experienced content creators to truly connect with their audiences.

 

Ready for the future of content marketing?

Discover how content marketing experts around the world are revamping their strategies for the year ahead.

Download our full research report today: Recharge your content marketing engine during uncertain times

 

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