As a business community, we’ve faced several unprecedented years that shook how we did business and how we lived our lives. Although 2022 had us returning to some aspects of normalcy, it still was not an exception.

Even though we’ve eased back into a pre-pandemic world, consumer behaviors and wants have changed. 2022 gave marketers a run for their money as consumers tightened their belts and re-evaluated their spending. 2023 will likely see similar changes in spending habits as the use of apps to track spending has increased by 9% this year.

Before sounding the alarm bells, this doesn’t mean your profits are doomed. It means that businesses that are paying attention to the marketing lessons learned in 2022 will have a much easier time reaching their goals.

The top-performing companies know that they can adapt to these changing needs through their content marketing. Keep reading to dive into the content lessons marketers are taking into 2023.

6 Content Marketing Lessons to take into 2023

Lesson 1: Re-evaluate your content marketing budget

With almost 43% of internet users reporting that they use ad blockers, making a shift in your offerings and adjusting your marketing language may not be enough. Today’s consumers are looking for connection, beyond engagement, they want companies that understand their needs vs being treated as one in the crowd.

Consumers know that ads are not a one-to-one personalized experience and they are happy to ignore mass marketing messages. The top companies know that more ads aren’t going to save them but investing in a strong inbound marketing strategy can.

Like with most things in life, you get what you pay for with content and the companies that aren’t investing in this important tool are not seeing the return for a reason. To attract new business the content needs to be engaging or educational. Each piece of content should add value to the consumer, otherwise, it has no marketing power.

The next year should see many teams moving budgets from clicks to videographers and content creators. If you invest in being the go-to source for information in your niche, you’ll establish yourself as a leader in that space.

Lesson 2: Plan to incorporate interactive content

Yes, we know that attention spans are getting shorter, but that’s not why interactive content is so effective. Human beings are similar but unique and everyone processes information differently. Some people are readers so traditional blogs and articles will pull them in while other people prefer hearing the information which means they would be on the lookout for videos or podcasts.

Interactive content goes beyond your traditional blog or video because it requires the user to actively engage in order to get the content. This can include:

  • Games
  • Quizzes
  • Personality tests & assessments
  • Polls
  • Assessments
  • Cost or ROI calculators
  • Interactive webinars
  • Interactive eBooks

Interactive content can also give you ways to make your content work harder as many of these can be created from an existing article or video.

Lesson 3: The shift to video and virtual is real

It takes much longer for businesses to come around to digital trends than individuals, but if you’re not already mastering video and dabbling in virtual worlds you’re going to fall behind.

The popularity of apps like TikTok and Instagram’s Reels has made it clear that brands need to start embracing video fully if they want to stay relevant in today’s marketing landscape. A great video marketing strategy for next year will ensure that valuable marketing dollars aren’t being spent on content that doesn’t convert!

While we’re still a little ways away from a true “metaverse” that doesn’t mean that brands haven’t already started figuring out where marketing opportunities lie in these digital universes.

Even if it seems like your company is lightyears away from participating in VR marketing, the rest of the world isn’t.

Lesson 4: Create a better content experience

Content strategies shouldn’t be something that you set and forget. Consumer behaviors, preferences, and familiarity with your brand change over time which means the same campaign won’t be as effective forever. It’s important to go back and re-evaluate key pieces of content and ask if this flow still helps move customers along their journey.

The goal of content marketing isn’t to produce as much content as possible, it’s to create tools that are helpful for your customers so that you start building a long-lasting relationship with them. When building out a content strategy it’s important to ask how each piece adds value to the customer. If it doesn’t, then that campaign should be brought back to the drawing board.

Put yourself in the shoes of your consumer. Is the content they are receiving educational, helpful, or entertaining?

The brand is just a passing thought for most consumers. You have to stand out by bringing value. Expect to see top-performing companies executing new personalization and hyper-personalization strategies.

Lesson 5: Lean into SEO

Creating all the best-quality content in the world won’t help drive business if no one can find it. This is why SEO and content marketing have always gone hand-in-hand. Doubling down on a content strategy means that there will need to be an SEO element as well. It just might not look like what you’re used to.

For the year ahead, expect to see less emphasis on keywords and page ranking and more focus on trend hunting. SEO will still be crucial to get important content and kay pages indexed, but SEO teams who aren’t already watching for search trends will want to incorporate that into their plans.

When done well, SEO can hugely help inform your content marketing strategy by alerting the content team when there is a shift in the popularity of a certain phrase. Trend insights can also be used to plan editorial calendars where specific seasonal or yearly trends can be planned for in advance.

Lesson 6: Leverage empathetic content strategies

More and more consumers are holding companies accountable for their environmental and social impact. Today’s customers are picky about who and where they purchase from because they want to support brands that align with their values.

Surveys have shown that consumers want brands to have a moral compass. Almost 38% of consumers said they want companies to be socially responsible and reduce their environmental impact.

This is why so many brands have been focusing on being more human and that won’t be going away soon. H&M, for example, has recycling boxes in stores across the globe where consumers can drop off a bag of old or unwanted clothes in exchange for a thank-you coupon toward their next purchase. Nespresso offers a recycling program for their aluminum coffee pods. These initiatives acknowledge the companies’ impact in these industries and publicly show what they are doing to lessen it.

Companies looking to leverage empathetic content must come from a place that’s true to the brand or customers will be quick to call it out as a performance. This type of marketing will only be effective if the company is really willing to take a stance.

Looking Ahead

Content marketing is changing to match consumer behaviors and consumers have been pretty clear about what they want (and don’t want) to see from brands. The companies that are listening will dominate in the next year.

Rebecca Wentworth