How content marketing will change in 2023

This time of year is always one of reflection here at 256. Looking back at the past 12 months allows us to see what worked and what didn't in the world of marketing, giving us ways to improve next year.

A lot has happened over the past few years and content marketing had to change and adapt to meet people’s needs. With each year comes new trends and things that marketers think will become pivotal, so here’s seven things that we think will become key in content marketing in 2023. 

 

Focus on outcomes over outputs 

2023 will see marketing teams shift their focus from simply outputting a certain amount of pieces of content to the results of the content instead.

Teams right now are bogged down with the mentality of “we have to write four blogs a month”, rather than writing a blog that generates five new leads. It may take longer to fine-tune your content strategy to do this, but if it sees an end to random acts of content, then we’re all for it. 

How to implement 

Stop what you’re doing and reassess your strategy. Turn your content marketing team into outcome-obsessed creators that work towards set KPIs and goals, understand the performance of their content, and know how to adapt future strategies. 

 

Centralisation will become King  

Siloed teams are slowing you down and making life difficult. A study by Planview found that the average team wastes 20 hours a month because of inefficient collaboration. Think about it, how many times have you had a meeting for that information to then be relayed to sales and then again to account managers and then social media teams with the details getting blurred at every step?  

256’s enemy number one for next year is content chaos and centralisation is key to this. Decentralised teams have a culture of miscommunication where important information is lost or misconstrued and ends up in ‘Version 6’ being made. Centralise for clarity, communication, and calm. 

 

How to implement 

In 2023 businesses will dissolve the silos and make clear and open communication the norm so that everyone understands the who, the what, the why and the how. Have every potential team member involved right from the first kick off meeting for a project, and develop good habits of regular project-wide calls. 

Create an editorial board with members from across your company who oversee the creation of content and can contribute ideas and opinions from each department. Often, the people who create content aren’t the ones marketing it – this keeps us all on the same page. 

 
Single source of truth  

256 is a creative content marketing agency that’s built on data. That’s not a buzzword or a tagline that we use - we live by it. Without the data, there’s no direction, only hunches and the dreaded ‘vibe’. But in the era of big data all those numbers, charts and graphs can get a bit confusing. 

That’s why we all need a single source of truth in 2023. What is the one metric that you’re defined by?  

How to implement 

Align your teams. No more having marketing and sales working separately to hopefully achieve the same goal. Get together and find out what’s truly important. Marketing’s PPC ads might be getting a lot of impressions and they’ll be delighted with themselves, but if sales aren’t getting any leads then these aren’t aligned and there’s not a single focused source of truth. 

Alignment doesn’t stop there though. Having the teams work with the same software and tools is a great idea. 256 uses HubSpot as our CMS where all teams can work efficiently together and separate towards a common goal. 
 

Governance will come to the fore 

As marketers, we’re all about scaling up, whether that’s gaining new clients or growing your brand, we’re always looking forward to the next opportunity. 

But to do this in a responsible and manageable way we need to have robust governance frameworks in place. This covers everything from the day-to-day management of assets and ensuring compliance, right through to developing frameworks for complex content ecosystems. 

How to implement 

Governance is all about getting your house in order. If you deal with lots of assets, particularly those that need to be credited to the creator and have expiry dates, you should have a Digital Assets Manager (DAM). Creating comprehensive training plans for your team is essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page as you add new procedures and programmes to your business.  

 

Personalization at scale  

We’re all people and we like to be spoken to like, well, people. I’m much more likely to engage with a product or service if I feel like its there to serve me rather than the other way around. And I’m not alone, 80% of people are more likely to do business with companies who offer personalized services. 

Personalization goes far beyond including [FNAME] into an email subject line. It’s all about gathering data to create personal insights and following trends, so that your customer gets the info they want, when and how they want it. 

How to implement: 

It’s best to start at the beginning. As you gather your contacts and leads, consider what information you’ll need further down the line. After that comes segmentations and creating workflows to nurture leads and meet them with a personalised experience at every touch point. 

 
Own your audience 

As more and more social media platforms are facing uncertain futures, your business is also at risk. As much as we love all our followers and have meaningful engagements with them on social media, none of us own that channel. So if the owners of the platform make bad decisions, were at risk of losing our audience. 

That’s why 2023 is the year of owning your audience and getting away from the practice of building your brand on rented ground. With owned channels like your email newsletter and blog, you have a direct line to people who actively choose to engage with you. 

How to implement: 

Encourage your followers to make the move to your email newsletter and website, and incentivise them to do so. Brands offer discounts all the time for signing up for email marketing and some have created an editorial side of their business to produce content that keeps people coming back. 

 

Use creativity as a differentiator 

LinkedIn’s B2B Research found that 77% of B2B ads score one out of five for creative effectiveness. That’s a vast majority that scores the lowest score possible for creativity. It might come as a surprise to some people, but if you’ve been working in B2B then it mightn’t be so much of a shock. 

Creativity in B2B marketing lags so far behind B2C where eye-catching and headline-grabbing campaigns are the norm. But it’s not all doom and gloom, the lack of creativity in the B2B landscape means that when you do back your creatives, the end product gets so much more attention. Just look at our Irish Life Pension Parity campaign. 

How to implement:  

Back your creatives. Create a culture where ideas are encouraged and people feel comfortable and confident to contribute new ideas. This starts at the top – set aside time when your team can get together and brainstorm in a group. Seeing great ideas come to life will inspire your team to come up with even more. 

 

With the dreaded ‘P’ word firmly behind us and the content marketing industry growing year on year, 2023 is shaping up to be a breakout year for content marketers. If you’re looking to hone your strategy, exceed your goals and build a brand with a loyal following, then get in touch with 256. 

Cian Byrne

Cian Byrne

Content Marketing Manager Cian Byrne is in charge of all of 256's marketing. From coming up with attention-getting campaigns and developing our growth in Europe and the US, he loves to balance creativity with robust data and research.
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