Content Marketing Trends for 2023

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content marketing trends for 2023

The global content marketing industry is expected to increase by $487.24 billion from 2021 to 2026, but only 40% of B2B organizations report having a documented content marketing strategy.

Without a solid content marketing strategy, B2Bs miss out on massive ROI potential, opportunities to build authority as a thought leader, and avenues to provide value to prospects and customers alike.

So what counts as content marketing? Remember that scene in The Lion King where Mufasa says, “Everything the light touches is our kingdom”? Well, that’s kind of what it’s like to be a content marketer. Everything the light touches is content. 

What is content marketing? 

Content marketing is a strategy used to generate interest or engage an audience with relevant content, like blog posts, videos, newsletters, podcasts, and other media. Some of the highest-performing types of content include: 

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Gifs and memes
  • Checklists

Often when brands think about content marketing, they think about the owned content—content the brand creates for itself. But an effective content marketing strategy combines owned, earned, paid, and shared content—all cohesively working toward a common goal. In 2023, every B2B content marketing strategy should:

  1. Be audience focused. 
  2. Use influencer- and user-generated content. 
  3. Leverage AI.
  4. Think outside the blog.
  5. Update existing content. 

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing

5 Content Marketing Trends for 2023

1. Be audience-focused.

Your audience deserves intelligent, interactive, and personalized content—and they know and expect it. The content you create and share must add value to their lives; it should be content your audience actually wants and needs. It’s also important to be audience-focused in choosing your medium, not just the message of your content. Video and audio content is still hugely popular among consumers. In fact, articles with videos get 84% more traffic than those without—and articles with more than three videos generated 55% more backlinks than those with none. 

The name of the game for B2B content marketing in 2023 is prioritizing the recipient of your messages. The best way for brands to begin is to understand the why behind the wants, needs, and choices of their customers. Knowing the why helps marketers—and product developers and the whole organization—accomplish the mission of the company more effectively: solve the problem they set out to solve for their customers. When you understand why your customers want to solve this problem—what their goal really is—you can tailor solutions, content, and all forms of engagement with them to their specific pain points. 

In addition to the video trends and favor for intentional marketing, audiences are also showing a lot of love for “snackable” content. Bite-sized morsels of content that they can like, share, retweet, save, react to, and more. The catch is that—like that bag of chips you can’t keep your hand out of—snackable content always leads to a long-form piece of content, like a blog, article, full-length podcast, or the like. 

Other great forms of snackable content include: 

  • Quote graphics
  • Memes
  • Gifs
  • Infographics
  • Audio clips 
  • Twitter threads 

2. Use influencer- and user-generated content. 

If you really want to boost the effects of a content marketing campaign, then influencer marketing and user-generated content should be at the forefront of your strategy. B2B influencer marketing has been on the rise, as is the use of user-generated content. What do they have in common? Consumers trust them. Audiences trust what—and who—they know.  In fact, 93% of consumers turn to customer reviews and recommendations before making their purchase decisions. Incorporating influencer- and user-generated content into your marketing campaign should be a no-brainer decision. 

Related Reading: How Your B2B Can Leverage User-Generated Content To Build Credibility

3. Leverage AI.

AI has been a huge topic lately across the entire marketing and PR industry. Innovative leaders are asking about the pros and cons of AI, how their brand can leverage it, and what AI marketing tools they really need to invest in. The answer to these questions isn’t simple, which is why a lot of B2B leaders have avoided true digital transformation and have failed to fully embrace AI to the extent that it can benefit their business. To successfully leverage AI, B2B leaders must use AI tools to solve their consumer’s needs in a unique way while balancing the human- and data-driven elements of marketing communications campaigns. 

Whether “leveraging AI” in your content marketing means developing a learning management system for prospects or new customers to learn the ins and outs of your product or posting your daily educational Reel using user-generated content optimized for post time is entirely up to you. AI isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

4. Think outside the blog. 

When people hear “content,” they often associate it specifically with blogging—and blogging is an important part of developing an B2B SEO strategy and providing valuable, informative content for your prospects—but too many brands rest on blogging as the center of their marketing strategy, and in 2022—let alone 2023—that is a mistake. 

Content strategies must go beyond written formats. They must be multi-modal—video and audio components are key to a successful strategy. With many options, marketers should focus on what will be interesting and useful for their prospects—and there are a variety of media that can help with that: 

  • The majority of marketers (87%) say video has helped them increase traffic, and Forrester indicates that video is 1,800 times more valuable than written content.
  • B2B email marketing boasts an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. 
  • Infographics take the written word and make it visual. Not only is visual content easier for our brains to process, but it also increases the number of people who comprehend and believe the content.
  • Audiograms, podcasts, and webinars capitalize on the two-thirds of the US population ages 12 and older that listen to digital audio at least once per week, up 5% from 2021.
  • Creating content that is experiential—like templates prospects can actually download and use or a quiz to help them understand which of your products suit them best—adds value for your audience. Where prospects find value, they build trust. And when brands build trust with prospects, they make sales. 

And while branching out from written format is key, as noted above, content marketers also need to vary their written content to better prove the efficacy of their products or services, and to improve reach and awareness, for example: 

  • Case studies show real-life results, which are often more convincing than a well-written blog that addresses the potential results. 
  • Contributed articles can help fill gaps between PR hits, offering your brand’s leadership a byline in a well-respected industry outlet. This offers third-party credibility because the publication is indicating that the content is valuable and trustworthy by agreeing to publish it, and it expands your reach to readers who may be coming across your brand for the first time.  
  • Social media is, perhaps, the most obvious way to think outside the blog. Using existing blog content, or ideas for blog content, you can create long-form social media content for LinkedIn or Facebook, threads for Twitter, or several short-form posts. 

Related reading: 5 Tips For Crafting The Perfect Case Study

So the next time you have a great idea for a blog, consider if it may be better served as a contributed article, youtube video, Twitter thread, podcast topic, or an infographic—or mix and match. Improve your blog by inserting videos, infographics, and more into the blog itself.

5. Update existing content. 

It seems like silly advice. Why update old blogs when you can write a new one, right? Well, there are significant benefits to revisiting old content. A concept called information gain is at the root of that statement. Information gain is a method that can be used to optimize what is featured out of data sets. In 2020, Google was noted to be using information gain in its search engine results. With Google’s latest update, it essentially prioritizes not just the best information but different information. So you’ll want to make sure previous content is updated with the most updated information, comprehensive subheadings, and a new perspective annually. 

Related reading: Next Generation SEO: What Google’s New Patent Means for Content Marketing

So what do you think of our top five B2B content marketing trends for 2023? Have you already tried some of these? Get any ideas for a new campaign? Thinking you might need a little help? Reach out. We’re happy to help—in big or small ways. 

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