The title of “one of the first known content marketers” goes to—maybe you guessed it—Benjamin Franklin. To advertise his new printing business, he published Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732. The yearly pamphlet contained calendars, weather predictions, recipes, poems, and more. Rather than proclaim his business’s virtues, he engaged the masses with important information and fascinating tidbits. This method helped sell 10,000 copies of Poor Richard’s Almanack a year for 25 years, which, in turn, promoted his printing press and drove sales.
Fast forward almost 300 years and content marketing has taken a variety of forms. Blog posts, case studies, infographics, how-to guides — the list goes on. What these content types have in common is their usefulness. Case studies can be detailed explanations of how your company identified a problem and then later solved it. Infographics visualize complex material and translate it into something easily digestible. Whether they’re housed on your website or communicated on your social media channels, both provide your audiences with valuable information. This information is the social proof that draws interest and makes potential customers more likely to engage with your products or services.
As a result, content marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods to date. Conversion rates for companies that use content marketing are almost six times higher than those that don’t. As businesses are expected to grow their content teams by 47% this year alone, it’s only going to get harder to keep up — and stand out — in an already crowded digital landscape.
To help you adopt and adapt to the latest and greatest, we’re breaking down seven marketing trends to help you create a successful content strategy in 2023.
Personalization is more than just referring to your customers by their first names in a subject line. It’s about understanding who you’re really trying to reach and learning their interests, goals, and needs. A personalized experience has many different faces and can extend through several marketing channels. Suppose a user visits your website more than once. You can welcome them back with a custom message and offer tailored recommendations based on their previous searches or activity. If they haven’t visited your site in a while, you can follow up with an email that helps them pick up where they left off. This approach relies on algorithms and analytics, but new privacy laws are changing the way we gather information. While they may require a little more legwork, zero-party data like surveys and interviews help produce a truly connected experience.
About 65% of the population are visual learners. For them, learning and retaining information is easier when presented in images or graphs. The brain also processes images 60,000 times faster than text, even for non-visual learners. Visuals almost never take away from good storytelling — they only add to it. Putting photos and infographics alongside written content helps break up long blocks of copy and allows your readers to fully absorb the message you’re trying to convey.
Just like interesting visuals capture a reader’s attention, interactive content keeps them engaged and on your website longer. Adding clickable elements or animations in blog posts, case studies, or even your homepage places users directly inside the content and helps them retain its information. If tied to specific actions, interactive content can help you gain even more insights into your audience and develop deeper connections. They can also be avenues for your brand to showcase its personality, so feel free to incorporate brand colors, iconography, and more.
Videos continue to dominate across all channels, and they’re huge engagement drivers. Being slow to integrate video could put you leagues behind other brands. About 88% more time is spent on pages with videos, and around 90% of people credit videos in helping them make a purchase decision. It’s often easier to explain complicated concepts through video, and they usually catch a viewer’s attention longer than written communication. Expert tip: Attention spans are only getting shorter, so try to include your most important information first.
Talk-to-text and the advent of smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo have propelled the growth of voice search. In 2021, 122.7 million Americans used voice-enabled devices to search the internet. Most people use voice search to answer popular questions like, “What’s the weather like today?” or “Where is the closest bank?”. But it can also be used to answer more complex queries like, “What do product design studios do?” Optimize for voice search by being concise and straightforward. Addressing questions directly gives you a better chance of appearing in a featured snippet or being on the first page of a search result. Make sure to use natural language and phrasing as well.
You don’t need to create everything from scratch. Repurposing content is the process of taking parts of existing content and recycling them somewhere else. You can take bits of a blog post and turn them into a carousel on Instagram, which can drive traffic to your website. You can also break down an infographic in a video that can later be shared in a newsletter. Every platform is different and comes with a different audience, so tailoring your content to each channel allows you to get in front of a new face every time.
Outdated information can ruin your credibility and call your expertise into question. The web makes everything easily searchable, so it’s important to provide your audience with accurate data. Keep your content relevant and readers engaged with periodic audits, accounting for new trends and technologies. Updating your content also will also help boost organic search engine rankings and traffic to your website.
Developing a marketing strategy that considers every aspect of the content experience takes time and effort. Staying up-to-date with trends and customer preferences can sometimes make it harder, but it helps you stand out and create content that converts.
Looking to up your content strategy in 2023? Send us a message.