Now there’s a start you didn’t expect.
But here’s the link. Darwin proposed that species evolve over time. And content marketing is no different. Our world is constantly evolving as platforms, channels, formats, and audiences mutate over time. So let’s take a look at the current content marketing trends to help make sure your strategy remains one step ahead of the march of progress.
Survival of the fittest (and fastest)
After all, the ability to adapt quickly to new trends is how your brand stays relevant and resonant.
In contrast, if you fail to adapt to new trends, the consequences speak for themselves. Lack of relevance. Lack of reach. Lack of engagement. And a lack of success.
If it isn’t broken…
Before we look at the up-and-coming content marketing trends of tomorrow, let’s reacquaint ourselves with go-to formats that have stood the test of time, that continue to deliver value, and are most certainly here to stay.
- Podcasting: Hard to believe, but the whole concept of podcasting is almost two decades old. Statista estimates that over half a billion listeners will spend time with their favorite podcasts in 2024.
- X: Some brands have written off Twitter—sorry, X—as a channel for promoting engaging content. Yet despite a name change and reputation as an echo chamber, X is expected to continue introducing new content features that will keep it part of the mix.
- Evergreen content: Evergreen content is content that stays relevant for longer. That means you can use it time and time again to deliver value to your target audiences, which in turn delivers more value to your organization.
- Video: Video, especially short form, is set to remain essential to content marketing. Nothing catches the eye, wins the attention, and fires the imagination quite like it.
- And yes, email: It’s not as sexy as social media. It doesn’t offer the WOW of a brilliant website. But at the end of the day, emailing allows you to make things personal and generate valuable customer insights in ways other channels just can’t match
What are the top 10 emerging trends in content marketing for 2023?
More personalized. More automated. More interactive. More immersive. More authentic. That’s the general direction of travel for digital marketing content in the face of evolving consumer preferences.
Let’s take a glance at a few current trends, some if not all of which you can expect to see becoming ever more relevant to your content marketing.
- Artificial intelligence: Did you know the world’s first chatbot was named Eliza and was born in 1966? Today, AI goes way further than providing an automated helpdesk. The latest AI tools automatically create marketing copy, generate personalized content recommendations, and even supply actionable insights that help you improve customer experiences.
Is AI set to take over your job in content marketing? Check out our blog or download our guide.
- Authenticity: Modern consumers don’t want the old-school marketing spiel. They’re looking for authenticity: true stories, real people, genuine issues. They want content with a purpose. Smart brands are aligning with relevant and relatable causes (and meaning it) to make meaningful connections with their audiences.
- Deep personalization: If you think personalization means adding a customer’s name or location to a text or an email, think again. Today we’re at a whole new level. Deep personalization means using extensive customer data such as behavior, interests, and preferences to shape highly targeted campaigns.
- Interactivity: Traditional static content? Boring. On average, your audiences don’t have the time, the inclination, or the concentration to focus on things that don’t do very much. Interactive experiences like quizzes, polls, and games are much more effective at engaging people.
- Virtual and augmented reality: Closely related to the point above, virtual and augmented reality technologies allow you to immerse your customers in your products or services, spark a sense of ‘being there’ that traditional marketing just can’t match, and create a strong emotional connection.
- User-generated content: TikTok and YouTube are showing just how insatiable the demand is for user generated content. That’s why so many brands are starting to encourage customers to create and share their own content. In doing so, they drive community engagement and a sense of ownership.
- Short-form content: It’s sad but true that attention spans have decreased. Enter short-form content. Channels like Instagram and Snapchat provide global platforms for short-form, bite-sized content that people consume on their phones and on the move.
- Voice and audio content: The rise of voice services and smart speakers means an increasing number of customers will discover your online content by voice search. In fact, up to 20% of mobile searches are voice activated—and that’s just the start. You need to start thinking how you can optimize your content so Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant find your brand first.
- Marketing in the metaverse: Immersive virtual worlds have opened a whole new universe where brands can engage with their customers in new, innovative, and relevant ways. In an age when up to half of the world’s population identifies as gamers, you need to get in on the…well…the game.
- TikTok: TikTok is one of the most underemployed social platforms when it comes to content marketing, yet 61% of TikTok users buy in app. It’s the world’s fastest-growing social media platform, and its 1 billion+ global users is expected to hit 6 billion by 2027.
Brands who are adapting their marketing for the future
Pet brand Purina launched Ask Purina, an Alexa skill that allows users to find information on dog breeds. If you’re in the market, just ask “Tell me which dogs are hypoallergenic” to hear a list of the breeds that fit the bill.
Sony got together with five influencers to promote its virtual reality headsets in Canada. But rather than work with celebrities, they focused on small-scale influencers who connected gamers to the technology in a far more relatable way.
HelloFresh: Video + influencer
HelloFresh’s YouTube channel features celebrities in straightforward instructional videos. At the same time, the brand works with influencers who express themselves in their own inimitable styles for popular affiliate marketing campaigns.
How to adapt to new content marketing trends
So you’re up to date with emerging trends, technologies, and consumer preferences. But how do you take the next step and build new content marketing formats into your strategy?
- Experiment with different formats and platforms
Well we would say this, but you need to experiment with new formats and channels. The world is your digital oyster. Don’t do things for the sake of it—because that’s not adapting, it’s panicking. If the medium and the message align with your audience and your metrics, we say go for it. And don’t be afraid to fail. That’s how you learn.
- Learn from the experts and the competition
Content marketing is ultimately a collaborative process, but it’s also a competitive one. There are plenty of credible experts out there who write blogs, host podcasts, sell books, and run courses to guide your evolving strategy. At the same time, plenty of your competitors are pushing out great content right now. Take a look and see what they’re up to. If anything really catches your eye, you can be sure it’ll have the same effect on your customers.
- Be flexible and willing to change
One more thing: don’t get stuck in your ways. Just like we said at the start, if you’re unwilling to adapt you risk getting left behind. Stay in the loop, stay fast and flexible, and you’ll stay ahead of the curve.
It’s all about natural selection
If you want to thrive, you need to stay on top of current marketing trends. At the same time, you obviously don’t have to rush out and start performing TikTok dances, sponsoring in-game hoardings with ‘save the planet’ messages, or filling your website with polls and puzzles. Not every trend is going to be a good fit for your strategy.
But one or two may well be exactly what you need. The key point to remember is that the essentials of marketing content haven’t changed. New technologies simply serve to amplify the effects.