I’m a content marketer. I've been at it for a long time, but this year feels different. Maybe it's because AI seems to be moving into our space, Or because we're dealing with a Muskified Twitter. Or because the SEO rules seems to be changing. Whatever it is that's changing our field, I have a hunch it's going to be important to stay on top of things.
Anyway, that's my plan. To keep my eye on what's happening and share what I learn here and on social media. So people can straighten me out when I get it wrong. Or help me understand things a little better.
Here are just a few trends I’ll be monitoring and some of the ways I hope to take advantage of them:
1. Smaller content marketing budgets. Some say content marketing budgets will be cut. Yet, a recent Content Marketing Institute survey found that nearly half of decision makers are planning to hire or contract content producers in 2023—and half say they expect their budgets to increase a bit. Let's hope that holds. In any case, I do suspect that many clients will be looking for ways to do more with less--by repurposing long-form content like white papers into infographics and social media posts, for example.
My resolution: For every white paper or other long-form assignment I get this year, I’ll be sure to suggest ways to get additional value from it.
2. A new focus on “people-first content. This means that brands will be more transparent and genuine and less salesy in what they say and how they say. No more keyword-laden blog posts. Instead, we'll need to move away from creating content for search engines and provide relevant content that can actually benefit the people who read it. Adobe calls this “strategic SEO.” I applaud this!
My resolution: As much as possible, I’ll try to check my content against Google’s content and quality questions. For example, does it “provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?” Or does it “provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond the obvious?” Those are just some of the standards I hope to live up to.
3. More personalized content. And, if we’re going to focus on “people-first” content,” personalization is the logical next step. With more tools and platforms available to develop it (and buyers everywhere expecting it), highly personalized messaging will be a must, especially for certain industries. In fact, according to McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions—and 76% are frustrated when it doesn’t happen. Retail and ecommerce brands, especially, will be using AI and machine learning for email campaigns and other customer communications. .
My resolution: If and when I have more opportunities to work on account-based marketing (ABM) or other B2B marketing campaigns, I’ll do my best to take advantage of the data I have about the audience segment and craft engaging and meaningful messaging.
4. Acceleration of the use of AI technology for content and SEO. Will content developers need to make friends with AI and find ways to use it to make our jobs easier? Apparently, simple text prompts can be used to generate images, words, videos, and music. That sounds like something fun to experiment with in the coming year.
My resolution: Learn more about tools like HelloWoofy, Copysmith, and Headlime to see if it makes sense to use them to help me get more done faster. I might give Grammarly a try, too, for ensuring correctness and clarity—maybe even for writing social posts faster.
5. The continuing evolution of Web3 and the metaverse. They’re not going away, so we all need to educate ourselves about how they can benefit brands and their customers.
My resolution: Read all I can about these topics. I’m already reading Metaverse by Matthew Ball.
So, for the first time in a long time, I’m starting the year with a list of concrete and trendy ways to improve my own content development.. And a renewed resolve to keep my eye on what’s working. Wish me luck.