Content marketing: 2023 trend watching

In this new blog series, Sefiani explores the key communications trends you need to be across for the coming year. Use these insights to inform and shape your communications strategy and create impact and influence with your audiences in 2023. 

Content marketing

As with all marketing and communications disciplines, content marketing is ever-evolving. Staying up to date with the latest trends, updates and tools will be crucial to reaching your audience and delivering results. 

In this piece, Sefiani’s Content Director, Taylor Campbell explores some of the top content marketing predictions for 2023, including:

  • the ongoing importance that search will continue to play in the content mix (albeit on less-traditional channels)
  • the role of rich media in your content strategy
  • the impact of AI on content development.


Consumer search behaviour will continue to expand outside of traditional search avenues

Over time, we’ve seen search engine results pages (SERPs) taken over by paid ads and audiences call for more relevant, ‘human’ experiences. The result? People are gathering information in new ways, moving across to less traditional search avenues, like TikTok, Instagram and Reddit. 

Gen Z in particular is driving this change, with nearly 40% preferring TikTok and Instagram for search over Google (according to Google’s internal data). 

“When they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Google Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, a Google senior vice president. 

As communicators and content creators, SEO is always top of mind – but we need to start thinking more broadly about optimising our content to appear across both existing and emerging channels. Understanding your audience and where they are searching, as well as the role of different platforms and where they fit into the customer journey is our first step. 

Rich media (especially short-form video) will continue to dominate

It’s no surprise that rich media has featured heavily in upcoming trend wraps over the last few years. Rich media, including video and interactive content, consistently outperforms static content and imagery – and the endless opportunities rich media presents to engage and entertain audiences isn’t going anywhere. 

But what’s in store for 2023? 

Short-form video will continue to grow, with HubSpot revealing that 90% of global marketers plan to increase or maintain their investment in short-form videos this year. Audiences are primed to expect this type of video and more platforms are offering short-form as a posting option. Micro-learning, product teasers, behind-the-scenes content and testimonials will feature heavily on feeds in 2023 – so find ways to incorporate these trends into your content plan. 

Start optimising video for SEO – Google now shows video thumbnails in SERPs, so ensuring your video content is optimised to rank should be another consideration when creating and publishing content. 

Interactive content should be a tool in your content marketing arsenal – think polls, gifographics, calculators and quizzes. It helps to bridge the engagement gap by pulling your audience directly into the world of your brand and providing entertainment, education or value.

The next time you’re working on your content plan, explore simple ways to infuse elements of video, interactivity or animation into your static content. Test and learn to find what resonates with your audience and continue to build on your knowledge gains. 

AI copywriting tools are helpful, they won’t replace copywriters

Since the release of ChatGPT in late 2022, media and social media has been ablaze with conversation and predictions about what this new technology means for communications professionals. Everything from content ideation, SEO keyword research, copywriting and proofing can be plugged in and churned out by the tool – which has generated plenty of buzz about possible uses of the tool and concern about the implications. And with ChatGPT finding a plethora of ways to communicate it’s ‘at capacity’, we have to wonder if ChatGPT just pulled a Kim Kardashian and broke the internet. But is there really cause for unease? 

Most will agree that there is a place for AI copywriting in our communications toolkit. Let’s face it: the content is quite good. A little generic and repetitive, but good. Whether you’re creating a short, fact-based article, a 1600-word deep-dive blog or a snappy social post – it’s quite impressive to see the tech differentiate between different channels and styles of writing. No doubt, the ability to generate copious volumes of copy quickly and efficiently is major plus. However, there’s one important thing that AI can’t replicate. 

The human touch. 

A tool like ChatGPT can’t authentically capture a copywriter’s creativity, emotion, personal experiences or intuition. A ChatGPT piece sounds like ChatGPT. It doesn’t sound like you, or me, with our unique and personal  way of phrasing content, our anecdotes, or the previous personal experiences we bring to a piece.

Understanding audience insights, elevating brand tone of voice and building out contextual nuances are deeply human skills, requiring not just data but empathy and the ability to connect fact with a lived experience. We also know that Google is now favouring more ‘human’ content – created ‘by people, for people‘. 

As communications professionals, remaining focused on the quality and authenticity of the writing, the accuracy of the insight and the strength of the strategy is what will set us apart. 

If you’ve been thinking about elevating your content marketing in 2023, Sefiani’s team of digital, social and content experts can help. Let’s chat. 

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