In 2021, 97% of organizations around the globe reported having a content marketing strategy — a whopping 20% share increase in just two years.
With nearly all businesses worldwide investing in content marketing initiatives, it’s become clear how pivotal this medium is to global economic growth.
And the reason for that is simple.
Content marketing connects all. It’s the thread that holds information, customers, and brands together ever so intricately.
Content is how customers find answers to pertinent questions. Whether it’s looking for a specific webpage, researching products to buy, or trying to understand how something works, content is the answer internet searchers are looking for.
And that’s why understanding content trends is so effective.
By staying up-to-date on content trends, you can create a strategy chocked full of the value your audience craves.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at nine trends that are shaping the future of content marketing … possibly forever.
From the explosion of TikTok to Instagram becoming a video-focused app, video content is taking over the interwebs.
Not only are videos easier to digest than articles, but they can also cover dense information in a short amount of time.
Here are some of the most popular videos shaping the future of content marketing:
- Explainer videos: Quick videos used to explain your products and/or services — often placed on your site's home page, product pages, and landing pages.
- Blog post summary videos: A video at the top of your blog post summarizing the content your article covers.
- Product demos: Videos that show how to use your products, step-by-step.
- Welcome videos: Sent via email to new subscribers or placed on your website for new visitors, welcome videos give audiences a quick intro about your business.
- Behind-the-scenes videos: Videos that share sneak peeks of how you run your organization behind-the-scenes.
- How-to videos: Using video to show your audience how to do something related to your product, service, brand, or niche.
User-generated content is also a top choice when it comes to video marketing strategies, but just make sure that it goes through a proper screening process to check if there is any need for content moderation.
Custom is in and overused stock images are out.
We’ll be seeing an increase of in-house designers and outsourced design work for custom-designed graphics and illustrations.
Teams with tighter budgets and/or deadline turnarounds will likely use design templates, user-generated visual products, and interactive stickers to build engagement.
Some of the top graphics and illustrations used will include:
- Infographics used to compliment blog content
- Digital illustrations used in calls to action, charts, and page headers
- Custom graphs and charts
- Screenshots from reliable sources
- Company branded graphics and visuals
- Interactive images and illustrations
- Custom quote graphics
Having a healthy relationship with search intent is crucial to creating content that converts. And that’s why ultimate guides are so important.
Not only do ultimate guides give you ample opportunities to include primary and semantic keywords, but they also serve searchers who are looking for in-depth content.
(Image source: 99designs)
While some searchers may be curious to read a quick guide on how your latest SaaS feature works, other searchers want the full-out breakdown.
How can your new feature add value to their day-to-day lives? How can they use your new feature step-by-step? What other nifty shortcuts can they enjoy by integrating your new feature into their Work OS?
Speaking of search intent, we’ll be seeing massive product reviews in an effort to support commercial investigators — aka searchers that are considering making a purchase but want to conduct more research first.
For instance, commercial investigators might type in “Puma vs Reebok” or “iPhone vs Android” to find comparison reviews. Or they might type something like “10 best virtual printers” or “top designer glasses”.
The best way to cater to these searchers? Get a firm grip on what they’re searching for, how your products relate or can help, and what type of content medium they prefer. Then, draw up a content strategy that caters to their unique needs, plan your content, and schedule publishing — simple!
But not just any link-building strategies will do.
To take advantage of this trend, brands will need to:
- Deploy intentional outreach campaigns to land guest posts on high DA (domain authority) sites.
- Strike the right balance between branded and keyword anchor text.
- Stick to white-hat and green-hat link-building practices to remain ethical.
- Understand which pillar pages and other topical content to link back to.
- Understand how search engines rank backlinks (i.e., stick to publishing only one to two guest posts per site with one to two links per post)
Value-driven content is the most crucial type of content searchers will be looking for in 2023 and beyond.
(Image source: HubSpot)
Kevin Jiang of Nonda.us says:
“Brands should think about new ways of bringing value to their consumers apart from the product itself, and content marketing serves the purpose perfectly. If you can change the underlying perception of a potential user towards your brand to a more value-driven, preferably in a monetary term, you'd have a better chance converting them down the road.”
In other words, audiences expect more than just product offers and service pitches. Audiences are looking for brands that are committed to:
- Getting to know who they are
- Tailoring content to their needs
- Serving up tremendous value that can change their lives for the better
Thought-leadership content goes hand-in-hand with value-driven content as both have the same intention: inform, inspire, and entertain.
But there’s one extra special thing about thought-leadership content …
And that’s because thought-leadership content is usually written by a specific person. It could be your company’s CEO, SEO strategist, researcher, or someone else at your organization with strong topical authority.
Not only does this person’s unique voice play a role in their expertise, but they also have a positive reputation backing them up. Not to mention other value-adds, such as original quotes, interviews, and research they naturally embed into their content.
Bottom line? Prioritizing thought leadership content is pivotal to positioning your brand as a strong industry leader with niche expertise.
Have you ever read an article or another piece of content you created from top to bottom and imagined yourself in your customer’s shoes? If so, did you then use those insights to further personalize your content to the reader?
If you answered yes, then you’ve created user-experience content.
(Image source: clearspace)
User-experience content isn’t just a new fad, it’s an effective practice brands are adopting to put the customer back in the driver’s seat. And in 2023 and beyond, this practice will continue to see popularity in an effort to satisfy shifting customer demands.
In other words, customers will be calling the shots — and ignoring their demands will be a quick way to lose engagement and increase bounce rates.
Many organizations will be conducting user-experience audits in an effort to freshen up stale content — or replace it with more customer-centric content.
If you thought content couldn’t get any more personalized, you’d be wrong because another trend making headway is content tailored to specific funnel stages.
Audience segmentation will be key here as brands plan top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel content to meet their audiences in the customer journey.
To stay on top of this trend, organizations will need to be specific when drawing up content briefs for their editorial teams. Briefs will need to lay out which funnel segment the content will be written for, what pain points that segment is facing, and how the content plans to address and solve those pain points.
While we’re just scratching the surface here, these nine trends can help you gain more traction and enhance your content marketing efforts. You can also use a content marketing calendar for better content organization.
But in truth, no trend matters as much as customer-centricity.
In other words, placing your audience at the forefront of your content marketing strategy is key to crafting compelling content that builds customer relationships for years to come.
And that’s it for today.
Planning on trying any of these trends? Leave a comment below letting us know how it goes!