Last year, marketers discovered the power of AI tools for content creation, in a big way. And it’s not going anywhere. ChatGPT reached 100M monthly active users in January 2023 after launching in November — breaking the record for the fastest-growing consumer app ever. It’s spooky helpful and we’re already seeing the next wave of content creator roles specific to AI skills.
In addition to AI, short-form video continued to reach the widest audiences and most engagement for marketers, despite growing concerns about a nationwide TIkTok ban in the U.S. No one seems to have told TikTok or its users yet… TikTok annual revenue was 3X higher in 2022 than in 2021, reaching $11B in ad revenue.
Here are the top content marketing trends from the past year, plus our predictions for the year ahead, and where to find current benchmarks for your field.
Top content marketing trends from 2022
Marketing research reports are helping grow brand awareness + support sales enablement.
Feel like you’ve been seeing more and more marketing research reports from brands? Us, too. (And we’ve worked on a bunch of them!) Interest in (and demand for) marketing research is at an all-time high, and there’s a good reason. Companies that invest in market research are more likely to report increased revenue and better customer retention than those that don’t. They’re also more likely to launch new products or enter new markets. Data is powerful, and companies who understand that have a huge advantage over their competitors.
Source: Mangools KWFinder
Short-form video content and long-form videos are highly engaging for audiences.
HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends report found that short-form videos and live streaming are the top two channels marketers are investing more in this year — they’re also the most effective social content formats from 2022.
Email newsletters made a comeback.
79% of marketers ranked email in their top three channels for effectiveness. Email newsletters are holding steady as a way for brands and individual creators and influencers to reach their audiences while incorporating CTAs and selling their products and services.
Virtual events are boosting product-led growth (PLG).
Consumers care about product reviews, testimonials, and specs when considering their next purchase. They also want to see new items in action, and hear from real users. Virtual and hybrid events are the new way for product-led brands to connect with customers and prospects in a cost-effective, scalable way.
Here’s an example of a product-led virtual event from Owl Labs.
Brands are focusing on community-driven content.
One of brands’ top goals for social media in 2022 was fostering relationships with customers, and building community and increasing brand awareness are key goals for 2023. Brands are using social media, email newsletters, podcasts, events, and newer channels like TikTok and YouTube Shorts to reach new and existing audiences.
Visual marketing trends for 2023
Here are a few visual marketing trends we’re seeing that we think will grow in popularity throughout the year. These trends are crossing over from the fashion world into marketing and tech. Test out a new style and see how your audience reacts.
- Retro fonts, textures, and illustrations
- 90s aesthetic
- Vintage vibes
- Authentic, behind the scenes style
- Thin lettering, serif fonts
- 80s comeback — a font by Nicki Laatz
Emerging content creation trends for 2023
A few buzzwords and phrases you’ve likely been seeing lately — AI, ChatGPT, brands in the metaverse, and UGC — explained. Plus, a few more emerging content marketing and content creation trends for the year ahead.
- AI-powered tools have completely changed the content creation process.
ChatGPT, Canva’s Magic Write, and Dall-E 2, along with the new AI-powered search on Bing are a few artificial intelligence (AI) tools that marketers and content creators are already using to grow their online presence.
A(I) word to the wise: use these tools for inspiration, idea generation, and to support your work. Don’t submit AI-generated content as your own original content.
- User-generated content and creator-generated content are dominating on social media.
Consumers believe that user-generated content (UGC) is the most trustworthy type of content. More and more, brands are leveraging content that others make about them to increase authenticity and improve social media engagement.
- Micro influencers are thriving and making more brand deals.
Micro influencers have highly engaged audiences who trust their recommendations. They represent a cost effective way to reach specific groups of consumers and we expect to see small and large brands working with micro influencers this year.
Micro influencers represent over 90% of successful influencer marketing activations, and see higher engagement rates than their celebrity-status counterparts.
- Brands are optimizing everything for search.
Everything. Younger generations are using TikTok and YouTube rather than Google for search, and brands are updating their educational materials like video content to make sure that every element is optimized for search. Take your existing search optimization strategy and apply it to all of your branded materials.
- Shoppable social media is generating more sales.
Consumers love the convenience of shopping right from Instagram. See a product you’re interested in, buy it. The discovery channel is the same as the purchasing channel, which unlocks in-depth analytics to grow through social media ecommerce.
- Podcasts and video podcasts are helping brands reach new audiences.
Spotify’s Podcast Trends Report found that podcast downloads grew by 30%+ in the U.S. from 2021-2022, and listeners from new demographics have joined in on this media format. Some of the fastest growing topics for podcasts are health and fitness, music, and history. Even if a podcast isn’t directly related to your brand or product, it can be a great channel to gain brand awareness and engage with your community.
Marketing data reports to bookmark for 2023 + top marketing stats
Many of these reports are from 2022, but stay tuned for 2023 reports to come soon! They’ll be linked from these pages, so add the bookmarks now.
- Semrush State of Content Marketing
- Spotify Culture Next Report
- HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Trends
- Hootsuite Social Trends Report
- ConvertKit State of the Creator Economy Report
- Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work Report
- TikTok What’s Next 2023 Trend Report
- TINT State of Social & User-Generated Content
Content marketing predictions for the year ahead
In 2023, we expect to see continued growth in video, along with more and more brands jumping on AR + VR trends. In a year where layoffs aren’t expected to slow down, marketing teams will work closely with Revenue Operations and Sales Operations to understand what drives the most revenue. At the same time, we expect Gen Z to bring a fresh, authentic perspective to social media with a priority on funny, relatable content — but, does that drive new business? Only time will tell!
Keep up with CXD Studio and our latest takes on content marketing trends at @cxdstudio.