Much like a carefully choreographed dance, a marketing strategy requires vision, dedication, and careful execution to be successful. So, we’re sharing our top nine content marketing trends to give you the footwork you need to attract prospects, increase conversions, and keep your audience coming back for more.
Nobody Puts Blogging in the Corner
This past year, video bullishly took over photography-driven platforms, and podcasts popped up faster than they could be consumed, leading small businesses to wonder whether there is a place for blogging in 2023. While the demand for multimedia is undeniable, blogs will continue to serve as the foundation of successful content marketing strategies. The key word here is strategy. Going into 2023, each piece of content you publish needs to be strategically designed to provide your readers with unparalleled value — and these content marketing trends will help you do just that.
1: Alternating Between Long and Short-Form Content
As a content marketer and writer, I’m often asked about the ideal length for a blog post, and my answer is always, “It depends.” While I can understand why this can be a frustrating answer, there are pros and cons to both long and short-form content that warrant consideration. For instance, although Google tends to rank long-form content higher, consumer attention spans are increasingly shorter. Creating exclusively long-form content may deter those searching for quick answers.
So rather than doubling down on one form over another, why not incorporate both in your 2023 content strategy? In doing so, you’ll cater to both the short-attention-span scanners and the deep dive researchers (and Google), which will ultimately drive more traffic (and potential leads) to your website.
2: Repurposing Old Content
When it comes to content marketing, creating quality content is a long-term investment, but you can accelerate and improve your ROI by repurposing that content to suit different platforms. I encourage all of my clients to perform a content audit at the beginning of each year to identify high-value pieces that can be reformatted to reach a different audience. Because although some consumers will happily read a blog, some prefer their content in audio or video format. So, if you turn an existing blog post into a podcast or a YouTube tutorial, you can cater to a much larger audience and ultimately generate more leads.
Now, if you’re not comfortable creating video content or don’t have the time to invest in a podcast, you can still reap the benefits of repurposing your content in written form. Just take a page out of Adspresso’s book. They utilized the content from their guide on social proof to create two blog posts, an eBook, and a SlideShare presentation. Within hours of publication, the eBook generated 253 leads, and by the 30-day mark, they attracted over 11,300 additional visitors to their website. So, if you’re working with a small marketing budget or struggling to come up with new ideas, take a peek at what you’ve already written. I guarantee that you’ll have something worth sharing.
3: Writing for Your Audience, Not Algorithms
Now, before the SEO experts come after me, I will admit that SEO is a hugely important component of your marketing strategy. After all, if you’re not on the first page of Google, your customers likely won’t find you. However, with the rollout of Google’s Helpful Content Update, the days of keyword stuffing your way to the top are (thankfully) behind us. As the name suggests, the new update favors websites with high-quality content that helps or informs people rather than catering to algorithms. So, as you plan for 2023, focus on the overall content experience of your brand. Before writing anything new, ask yourself questions like:
- “Will my audience find this content useful?”
- “Have I broken down the content enough for the average reader?”
- “Is this the best format for presenting the information?”
- “What can I do to make this more engaging?”
Before you hit publish, take a step back and put yourself into the shoes of your ideal audience. If you’re not confident that your content will resonate with them, you have more work to do.
4: Creating Content for Each Step of the Sales Funnel
While the sales funnel has traditionally been the responsibility of conversion copywriters, content marketers will have an increased role to play heading into the new year. This is because today’s consumers prefer to move through the sales process on their own and require supplementary content to guide them along their journey. Without getting into too much detail, here are a few types of content you can create for each stage of the sales funnel.
- Top of the Funnel: At the top of the funnel, your goal is to attract new customers and build awareness by providing valuable content like how-to blogs, eBooks, and relevant guides.
- Middle of the Funnel: Prospects in the middle of the funnel are generally weighing their options. To remain in the running, you want to demonstrate your expertise with case studies, white papers, and customer reviews.
- End of the Funnel: Finally, at the end of the funnel is where you turn leads into customers by offering complementary assessments, free trials, tutorials, and live demos.
5: Exploring Niche-Adjacent Content
Regardless of how creative your marketing team is, after a while, they’ll inevitably struggle to come up with content ideas that fit within your niche. Believe me, I’ve been there, and while repurposing your content can certainly fill a few content holes, you’ll need to rely on more than recycling to keep your prospects engaged. If you’re struggling to fill out your 2023 content calendar, consider covering topics that aren’t directly in your niche.
Now, I’m not suggesting that a bathroom accessory company start blogging about real estate, but they could cover niche-adjacent topics like bathroom cleaning hacks or DIY spa treatments. This strategy allows you to improve your brand’s visibility and build relationships with consumers who may not even realize they need a product or service you sell.
Let’s assume the company above sells organizational bathroom products and posts a blog about changing up your skincare routine for fall. By covering this niche-adjacent topic, they have the potential to attract skincare enthusiasts (with a surplus of beauty products) who wouldn’t necessarily have engaged with bathroom organization content but could benefit from their products. With a bit of creative thinking and some research on adjacent topics, you’ll be able to fill out your content calendar with engaging, useful content while expanding your reach and potential clientele.
6: Incorporating Explainer Videos
One of the biggest metrics we use in content marketing is user engagement, and nothing engages the modern consumer quite like video content — more specifically, explainer videos. Not only did 96% of consumers watch explainer videos to learn more about a product or service, but 88% of those viewers were persuaded to make a purchase.
That’s an extraordinary conversion rate that could make the world of a difference for your small business. Keep in mind this style of video doesn’t need to be splashy or even require a budget. It can be as simple as embedding explanatory-style videos within your blog posts as a complementary way to relay the same information. From there, you can build out your video strategy as you see fit and reap the benefits of increased engagement and conversions.
7: Utilizing Influencers for Your Content Marketing Strategy
Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram or TikTok or caught in a YouTube vortex, you’ll inevitably stumble upon some form of branded influencer content. This can include anything from unboxing videos to “how-to” tutorials and even influencer takeovers of brand accounts. Now, regardless of your feelings on the rise of the modern influencer, their sustained popularity is based on the simple fact that their content converts, and micro-influencers have the biggest ROI of them all.
Just look at the success Tom’s of Maine saw when they enlisted the help of micro-influencers to increase brand awareness and engagement. Within the first few months, this mega-successful campaign reached 4.4 million users, increased consumer engagement by 600%, and resulted in 11,000 new email subscribers. That’s massive, but you’ll need to enlist the help of the right influencer for maximum results.
Before selecting someone simply based on their star power, ensure they are either part of or speak to your target demographic and exist on a platform they routinely use. For brands targeting millennials and Gen Z, this will unsurprisingly be TikTok and Instagram. But for B2B companies, industry-leading bloggers will more effectively help you establish your online authority. So, as you plan for the New Year, set aside some budget for the right influencer because these results are too good to pass up!
8: Tracking Your Metrics
While your specific goals will vary, the overarching goal of content marketing is to nurture qualified leads by providing industry-leading content for your audience. Without proper tracking metrics in place, it can be nearly impossible to determine whether your strategy was worth the investment. The good news is that there are plenty of content marketing analytic tools that track how your audience is engaging with your content.
The real challenge is picking the best one for you. Take some time to identify a few key metrics you want to measure (i.e., traffic, user interactions, and/or revenue attribution) and your available budget before committing to a long-term contract. Also, keep in mind that while ‘going viral’ is exciting, creating content with that goal won’t serve your audience in the long term. So, although it’s tempting to check in on your traffic daily, checking once or twice a month to identify patterns over time will provide you with more valuable insights. From there, you can fine-tune your strategy to create the types of content your audience is consistently engaging with — and that’s how you build a successful content marketing strategy in the long term.
9: Partnering with a Content Marketing Professional
Between eBooks, podcasts, and webinars, the struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for content is real. Although it may be your inclination to pawn these responsibilities off on your dutiful intern or take it on yourself (when you sporadically have time), it’s much more beneficial to partner with a professional with the skillset to make your content count.
And before you say it, I know it can be a task in and of itself to find someone you trust to represent your brand voice, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Once you find someone who understands your brand vision and overarching marketing strategy, they can honor both by creating the content your audience needs while you focus on what you do best.
Although enlisting your CEO to perform the latest TikTok dance may rack up the views (and be thoroughly entertaining), the value will always trump virality in the long run. So, as you methodically plan out your 2023 marketing strategy, prioritize the content your audience craves — and if you’re feeling a bit out of step, nDash can take the lead, creating the content your audience needs exactly where they need it.
About the author:
Kali Armstrong is a freelance writer with over six years of experience helping businesses organically expand their reach by creating value-driven content strategically designed to attract premium clientele. Check out her profile to see how she can help you attract your dream clients by creating the content they’re searching for.