Content Marketing Predictions 2023
One month in and already 2023 has brought some unexpected surprises for content marketers. Artificial intelligence has made a loud debut on the scene with OpenAI’s new chatGPT product. But regardless of all the viral content or Ryan Reynolds using it for commercials, how will this impact the world of content? Will it have any impact?
Additionally, we look at the potential impacts of Google’s Helpful Content Update and other factors we want our team and clients to know, like strategy, changes, and what to look forward to. We’ve stolen a few of our experts’ time to give them a soapbox to stand on to talk through what content marketing in 2023 might look like. Below VP of Business Development (and content guru) Ben Waymire, Content Strategist Zack Davisson, Content Manager Michelle King, and Coordinators Alyxe Dowell and Jacqueline Robledo share their thoughts and content marketing predictions.
Booyah asks, “What predictions do you have for Content Marketing in 2023?”
Ben Waymire: 1) Data & privacy will continue to gain momentum ahead of July 2023. Brands need to understand that 1st party data is the most cost-effective, best-converting data to leverage. Successful agencies will need to step up and guide their clients on effective CRM strategies as well as how to leverage the new – and completely different – GA4.
2) AI will greatly contribute to content marketing: NOT in terms of actually writing the content (it’s not there yet, in my opinion), but in its ability to harvest massive amounts of data for personas, topic ideation, and targeted content creation. Predictive AI already allows content marketers to know how long a given topic will even stay relevant, which is highly useful for all content developers and marketers.
Zack Davisson: There’s zero doubt that AI is beginning to make some big ole waves. Content marketers need to always get out in front of new trends, and chatGPT may be the most important to anticipate. Let’s be honest, business leaders always want the shiny new thing that will get them results quickly and cheaply. Right now, chatGPT is just that, new, fast, and cost-effective (for now!). Content marketing professionals need to ask ourselves, “With our written content how can we integrate with machines while still communicating the importance of the human element to our clients.” With that said, don’t drop everything just yet and give in to the AI-led dark side. The pen is mightier than the sword, I’m willing to bet it’ll be mightier than the machine also.
2023 will be the first full year of the Google Helpful Content Update. Don’t be surprised if Google takes AI-written content as a personal attack. The newest content update was all about writing for humans and encouraging content written for users not search engine crawlers. How will they respond to the field getting flipped? Is Google, Supreme Leader of the Internet, going to consider AI-produced articles to be helpful or authentic? My guess is no since chatGPT is not their product. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tech wars amplify a little bit and Google invests in AI identifiers in response to Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI.
Another upcoming change that is being overlooked in content marketing is the impending death of third-party cookies. While paid teams scramble to figure out what is beyond the horizon, content teams should see this as a massive opportunity. With third-party data all but gone there will be a new reliance upon first-party figures. Enter content. Whitepapers, infographics, and case studies using the data at our disposal will become infinitely more valuable to share insights.
Finally, I think the way we look at reliable content marketing metrics like keyword positioning could be changing. And I don’t just mean because of the introduction of GA4. Perhaps more importantly, Google’s infinite scroll feature is live on both mobile and desktop. Before it was Top 10 position or bust. Now there may be a little more flexibility. Keywords positioned in the area of 11-20 have seen their stock rise. Since there is a newfound ease to scrolling to new depths, catchy and informative title tags could be more important than ever. Allow yourself to be creative!
Michelle King: The number of podcast listeners continues to grow, providing companies with another platform to engage with their target audience. In fact, 82% of markers reported plans to maintain or increase their investment in audio content in 2022. We’ve already seen major companies like Sephora and Gatorade debut branded podcasts and I think we’ll continue to see more companies follow suit in 2023.
Alyxe Dowell: I think we’ll continue to see a rise in companies using their blog spaces to inform who exactly their desired persona is and then use that information to attract more loyal customers.
Jacqueline Robledo: I think in 2023, both at Booyah and in general, content marketers will have more access to tools and data points that will help them more easily integrate with other media channels like paid search, paid social, marketplaces, and SEO. Content is definitely one of the most versatile channels in marketing and that will be more apparent to everyone this year.
Content marketing in 2023 looks kinda like the Wild Wild West, what strategies, tactics, or outlooks would you recommend your clients take?
Ben Waymire: Transitioning and understanding the true benefits of GA4. Creating “content experiences” that yield true storytelling through video, long-form content, and helping users solve problems. Google’s Content Update addresses this. We need to focus our clients on creating quality content that solves problems just as much as it is “optimized for search engines.”
Zack Davisson: First, I’ll address AI content. My recommendation? Hold your horses. While chatGPT has generated a lot of excitement, it is still in its beta phase. No one knows exactly what the future holds. For now, it is free, but the first tier of its subscription service is about to go live, so the cost-efficiency element that it adds is already seeing its time wind down. With that said, AI can help with your content. Think about writer briefs, secondary keyword gathering, and writing accompanying captions as places where AI could save you time. Additionally, because of this new landscape really nailing non-written deliverables like podcasting, creative, and media placement will continue to grow in importance.
I’d also recommend looking to content to bring your data to life. Since marketing teams will soon be unable to rely upon third-party data, there is going to be a change in the value of first-party data. Take a moment and introduce your content marketers to your analytics team. Together they can take the data that your company is sitting on—you have it even if you don’t realize it—and create a story that adds value for your clients or consumers. By using internal data you immediately shake up the market because you’re able to provide unique insights people aren’t going to be able to find via a Google search. Take that data-driven story, put it in a whitepaper, add graphics, and give it to your paid marketing team to promote. Viola, you have a piece of content that can drive revenue, conversions, and awareness.
Michelle King: This is less of a trend and more of a best practice. Prioritize content quality first. Make sure everything you create is engaging and helpful for your target audience. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the world of SEO, but Google’s new search updates prioritize content quality that educates readers over SEO-first content. So, focus on your readers first and your data second.
Alyxe Dowell: I think in 2023 clients should explore more interactive blog content that utilizes interesting copy and infographics. Thought-leadership pieces that are outside the box and show a lot of the company’s personality should also be used in 2023 to showcase personality. People love relatable brands, consumers are better than anyone at identifying a stale, inauthentic tone and then forgetting the brand that used it.
Jacqueline Robledo: I think it would be interesting for our clients to explore more long-form style content. This could be blogs written by high-level execs on their teams or other people in their communities with great stories. Long-form content could also include data-informed whitepapers. This is a great way to convert potential consumers by showing them there are real, relatable people behind the businesses they are buying from.