The State of Content Marketing 2023 Global Report Summarized with Key Takeaways
Want to know the latest content marketing trends of 2023? Curious about the value of content marketing during times of economic uncertainty? Want advice about where to spend your marketing dollars this year?
The State of Content Marketing 2023 Global Report is filled with 124 pages of content marketing research, findings, insights, and content opportunities you’ll want to implement.
Don’t have time to read 124 pages of information? No problem.
I’ve broken down and summarized the report, focusing on the 2023 content marketing trends you need to know and the top five answers to common questions to help you plan and scale your content marketing efforts this year and beyond.
Top 6 Content Marketing Trends of 2023
As consumer habits change and technology develops, business owners need to understand what content marketing techniques are most effective at reaching their target audience. By taking a proactive approach to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of content marketing, you can ensure your business has the resources necessary to be successful.
Although content marketing trends frequently change, staying informed will help you stay ahead of your competitors and keep customers engaged with your products or services. Here are the latest content marketing trends of 2023.
Latest Content Marketing Trend #1
According to Kyle Byers, Director of Organic Search at Semrush, “Understanding what your audience needs and values will be your key to content marketing success in 2023.”
Google’s 2022 “helpful content update” sheds light on the importance of understanding your audience’s needs, challenges, and pain points. Content that provides real value ranks high in search results, and high-ranking content is valuable.
So, how do you find what your audience needs and cares about so you can add value to their search experience?
Prioritize real interactions and conversations with your audience via social media, surveys, Reddit, etc.
Prioritize keyword intent to understand why your audience is searching a specific topic or keyword.
Prioritize your audience’s goals and help them achieve them faster by removing “fluff” from your content.
Successful content marketing requires prioritizing the reader’s experience above all else. So, rather than simply regurgitating top-ranking posts, dive deeper. Be a fly on the wall on Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook to learn what your audience really wants and needs, not just what the top-ranking posts say. That way, you can write content that adds value and, therefore, has a better chance of securing a top spot in search results.
Latest Content Marketing Trend #2
According to Margarita Loktionvoa, Content Marketing Lead at Semrush, “Improving content quality will be your number one priority.”
Anyone can create content. Those who create high-quality content that aligns with their brand story will make the most impact in 2023. But you have to “get it right” to see an increase in website visits, click-through rates, and conversions.
So, how do you “get it right?”
Share real-life experiences and examples. Authenticity is essential. Answer your reader’s questions using practical ideas. Stop sharing general information and statistics, and conduct original research.
Connect your content to your brand. To ensure your content ties strongly to your brand story, Loktionvoa suggests asking these questions:
Does your content translate the right values and messages?
Is the tone of voice consistent throughout each content piece?
Does your content address challenges and questions relevant to your target audience?
Latest Content Marketing Trend #3
According to Michael Brenner, Content Marketing Agency CEO at Marketing Insider, “Proving return on investment will be a principal aim.”
Money matters, and ROI counts, especially as budgeters find themselves under more scrutiny during times of economic uncertainty. Brands are looking for opportunities to cut unnecessary spending, and it’s marketers' job to focus on the most effective source of ROI for brands: organic search and referral traffic. Getting back to the basics of content marketing and focusing on SEO-driven planning, creative storytelling, and consistent content is essential for boosting ROI.
Latest Content Marketing Trend #4
According to Julia McCoy, VP of Marketing at Content at Scale, “Businesses will look for reliability over novelty.”
Social media is unpredictable, making business-owned websites the preferred content distribution channel. 2023 is also the year of AI technology, helping businesses to produce content at scale. The key is not to fall into the trap of producing generalized content that sounds like everyone else. Human research is essential to create content that stands out from the rest while utilizing the tools available to build your own presence.
Latest Content Marketing Trend #5
According to Andy Crestodina, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios, Inc, “Ranking will be less important, but your click-through rates will count.”
What’s the point of being #1 on Google if nobody clicks on your website? While it might look good, what really matters is click-through rates. Generating qualified, high-converting traffic will become the most important factor for businesses in 2023.
New features in the search results continue to evolve and change how users interact with results. For example, featured snippets or knowledge panels may provide users with the answer to their questions without having to click on a website. Or, they may see a video or image that tells them what they need to know without reading an article.
So, how do you improve click-through rates?
Utilize guest blogging and digital PR to increase visibility
Create and optimize videos to rank on Google result pages
Utilize other platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, Amazon, and Quora to increase visibility
Create memorable content to connect with your audience and build community
Latest Content Marketing Trend #6
According to Joe Pulizzi, Co-Found of CEX: Creator Economy Expo, “This year will be about buying growth, not building it.”
2023 is the year to begin looking at acquisitions for marketing growth rather than trying to build everything internally. Pulizzi says, “Today, with the rise of the creator economy and millions of content entrepreneurs building niche media sites, the opportunities have never been greater for brands to purchase small content brands instead of building audiences.” Rather than building something new, explore opportunities that already exist and see if you can acquire them (along with their established audiences).
Content Marketing Research and Insights
Based on a survey completed by 1,700 B2B and B2C business founders, Chief Marketing Officers, and marketing managers representing 34 countries in retail, tech and IT, and online services, here are the findings on the value of content marketing, including what works and what doesn’t.
Keep an eye out for my key takeaways from this content marketing research, as well as how to apply this information to your SEO initiatives to see the greatest results.
Content Marketing Success
The top 5 factors that lead to success in content marketing:
Researching our audience (47%)
Search engine optimization (46%)
Publishing more content, increasing posting frequency (45%)
Improving the quality and value of our content (44%)
Updating and repurposing existing content (42%)
The top 5 tactics that helped boost rankings:
Creating more content and posting more often (55%)
Improving the quality of our content, making it more valuable (53%)
Creating more research-driven content (37%)
Paying more attention to keyword research (36%)
Analyzing search intent for our content (35%)
The top 5 challenges faced in content marketing:
Attracting quality leads with our content (45%)
Creating more content faster (and finding resources for it) (38%)
Generating content ideas (35%)
Generating enough traffic with our content (35%)
Generating ROI and sales with our content (34%)
Key Takeaway: While attracting quality leads is a challenge for many, researching your audience and creating more content consistently will help increase your rankings and boost content marketing success.
SEO Application: Search engine optimization remains one of the most effective ways to generate content marketing success in 2023. Just make sure the content you’re optimizing is unique, high-quality, and valuable. Prioritize keyword research while analyzing search intent to boost rankings.
Content Marketing Budget
The majority of business owners and marketers:
Spend 10-29% of their total marketing budget on content marketing
Spend less than $1,000 on content marketing monthly
Will increase their content marketing budget by 11-25% in 2023
Say the economy is affecting their content marketing budgets but not to a large extent
The top 5 priorities for content marketing spend:
Social media/community building (52%)
Improving our content’s quality (43%)
Customer and audience research (37%)
Better content analytics (37%)
Video content (32%)
Key Takeaway: Content marketing continues to be a priority for a majority of marketers, and many plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2023 for social media, content improvements, and customer research.
SEO Application: Although not in the top five for content marketing spend in 2023, SEO continues to be a priority for 26% of business owners and marketers, who will focus their budget on improving SEO this year.
Content Marketing Types
The top 5 content formats that perform best:
Short-form articles (31%)
Success stories (28%)
Long-form blog posts (24%)
Case studies (19%)
The top 5 tactics that help blog posts rank more highly:
Researching and adding related keywords in addition to the primary keywords (45%)
Analyzing and addressing customer questions in our blog posts (38%)
Adding more visuals (images and video) to the blog posts (33%)
Doing in-depth search intent analysis before writing content (27%)
Working on link building for our blog posts (26%)
The top 5 video formats that perform best:
Short-form video (43%)
About our company/product videos (33%)
Success story videos about customers (32%)
Product overviews (29%)
How-to videos (27%)
Key Takeaway: Short-form company and product videos are the #1 type of content to produce in 2023–these video types, along with short and long-form articles, perform best.
SEO Application: Blogging is one of the best SEO strategies to implement for content marketing success in 2023. But before you begin writing, it’s essential to find relevant primary keywords and related keywords to optimize your content. Not sure how to find keywords with high search volume, low competition, and relevant intent and don’t have the time to figure it out? Reach out today to learn about how my SEO services can help you!
Content Marketing Promotion
The top 5 ways to promote content:
Social media (organic) (73%)
Email marketing (53%)
Social media (paid ads) (51%)
Organic search (33%)
Sponsorships (e.g., events, webinars, podcasts) (29%)
The top 5 organic promotion tactics for content:
Sharing our content on social media (56%)
Optimizing our content for search (32%)
Facebook groups (26%)
PR/media relations (25%)
Link building (19%)
The top 5 social media channels best for sharing content:
The top 5 paid channels for sharing content:
Social media advertising (66%)
Paid search ads (45%)
YouTube ads (40%)
Display ads (32%)
Key Takeaway: Social media marketing is the best way to promote content, both organically and via paid ads. Interestingly, although TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, business owners and marketers still consider Facebook the best platform for content marketing.
SEO Application: Although social media takes the cake, SEO optimization isn’t far behind as a top organic promotion strategy. If you have the bandwidth to focus on two distribution channels, choose your most engaged social media platforms and organic search on Google and Bing.
Content Marketing Team, Tech, and Keys to Success
The majority of business owners and marketers:
Have 1-3 specialists on their content marketing team
Update their content when they see the content has become outdated
Achieve increased engagement after updating content
Want to attract more traffic to their website in 2023
Measure content marketing ROI by calculating revenue coming from leads/conversions generated by content marketing
The top 5 in-house content specialists:
Marketing manager (39%)
Writer/content creator (39%)
Social media manager (36%)
Content marketing manager (35%)
Content marketing strategist (25%)
The top 5 outsourced services:
Graphic design (47%)
Video design/animation (43%)
The top 5 technologies used to leverage content marketing efforts:
Social media posting tools (58%)
Website analytics tools (49%)
Email marketing software (48%)
SEO tools (43%)
Grammar checker (33%)
The top 5 tools used to assess content marketing ROI:
Google Analytics (64%)
Social media analytics tools (44%)
SEO tools (34%)
Specialized content marketing tools/platforms (27%)
The top 5 key metrics used to measure content’s success:
Social media engagement (61%)
Organic traffic (52%)
Email marketing engagement (47%)
Search ranking (41%)
Number of subscribers and followers (38%)
In 2022, the majority of marketers successfully achieved their goals and KPIs when it came to social media engagement (47%), website engagement (42%), and organic traffic and rankings (37%).
Key Takeaway: Business owners and marketers utilize a combination of in-house and contracted team members and tools to achieve their content marketing goals. Google Analytics and social media engagement are two of the most important ways to measure content marketing success.
SEO Application: Most companies don’t have an in-house SEO specialist and choose to outsource SEO. With organic traffic and search ranking being two of the most important metrics to measure success, having an SEO partner is essential. If you need an expert to help you assess and improve your content marketing ROI, learn more about my freelance SEO services.
8 Tips to Increase Return on Investment
Showing a favorable return on investment is one of the 2023 content marketing trends. So, how do you improve ROI? Here are eight tips from Michael Brenner (summarized):
Create opportunities to reach and convert new audiences.
Increase your number of touchpoints.
Articulate the customer story to the customer.
Answer your audience’s questions throughout the buyer’s journey via multiple mediums.
Utilize effective content marketing strategies.
Don’t focus solely on last-click attribution.
Remember, every attribution model is imperfect.
Publish content consistently to positively impact your bottom line.
How to Write an Article that Generates an Impressive ROI
Based on content marketing research from 500,000 articles with 30,000-500,000 organic monthly views, a successful article:
Uses original research and data, customer research, and keyword research
Has a complex variety of titles and subheadings (H2-H4s)
Is structured to improve readability, utilizing white space, bullet points, and lists
Is updated every 6-12 months
Is easy to read and follow with a consistent tone of voice throughout
Covers the topic in-depth and completely
Key Takeaway: While longer posts perform better in general, the optimal length is determined by reader requests and search intent. Additionally, articles that include data perform and rank better.
SEO Application: SEO is more than keyword research and optimization. It includes formatting content for readability, scannability, and rankability. How you write and format your content impacts how well it will rank on search engines. Because 79% of users scan content instead of reading it word-for-word, improving the user experience by creating whitespace and using multiple headers and lists is essential.
Content Marketing Positions, Skills, and Responsibilities
The top 5 skills for senior content marketing positions:
Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills (59%)
On average, 6 years of relevant experience in marketing/PR/social media, including team-leading experience (46%)
Relevant bachelor’s degrees (44%)
Proven track record (28%)
Leadership skills (26%)
The top 5 marketing skills for senior content marketing positions:
Content strategy (10%)
The top 5 tech skills for senior positions:
Microsoft Office (8.20%)
Google Analytics (4.87%)
Adobe Photoshop (4.20%)
The top 5 responsibilities for senior content marketing positions:
Develop marketing/content/communications/social media strategy (36%)
Manage team members (16%)
Close collaboration with other teams and external experts (15%)
Business development and business metrics calculation (15%)
Plan and implement marketing/content/brand awareness campaigns (15%)
The top 5 degree areas for senior content marketing positions:
Public Relations (7.43%)
Key Takeaway: When hiring for senior-level content marketing positions, business owners and marketers look for someone with excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills who excels at writing, utilizing Microsoft Office, developing content strategies, and holds a Marketing degree.
SEO Application: While it’s important for senior-level content marketing professionals to understand SEO, most companies still outsource to an expert who can dedicate all their time to optimization strategies.
The top 5 skills for non-senior content marketing positions:
Relevant bachelor’s degree (43%)
Excellent written and verbal communication (36%)
Strong time and project management skills (35%)
On average, 3 years of relevant experience in marketing/PR/social media (34%)
Attention to detail (22%)
The top 5 marketing skills for non-senior content marketing positions:
The top 5 tech skills for non-senior content marketing positions:
Microsoft Office (12.74%)
Adobe Photoshop (10.52%)
Google Analytics (9.08%)
The top 5 responsibilities for non-senior content marketing positions:
Manage corporate social media account and content planning (48%)
Develop, implement, and manage marketing campaigns (10%)
Close collaboration with other teams (9%)
Internal and external communications (6%)
Data collection and analysis (4%)
The top 5 degree spheres for non-senior content marketing positions:
Key Takeaway: When hiring for non-senior-level content marketing positions, business owners and marketers look for someone with a relevant bachelor’s degree (preferably in Marketing), writing and Excel skills, and the ability to manage corporate social media accounts and content planning.
SEO Application: Similarly, while non-senior-level content marketing professionals should have a basic understanding of SEO, it isn’t their primary role.
5 Keys to Content Marketing Success in 2023 and Beyond
According to The State of Content Marketing 2023 Global Report, the best way to see the value of content marketing in 2023 is to:
Prioritize audience research
Define and document your content marketing strategy
Prioritize content marketing budgets
Promote your content creatively
Measure your return on investment
SEO continues to be an essential component of content marketing growth. However, in 2023, prioritizing keyword intent, your audience’s needs and goals, and creativity to stand out from your competitors is essential.
As an SEO freelancer, I understand the importance of staying up-to-do on the latest content marketing trends to ensure my clients get the best bang for their buck. If you’re prioritizing content marketing in 2023 but aren’t sure how to implement these tips and best practices, let’s chat. I have a thorough understanding of what works for small businesses and large enterprises and can take SEO off your plate for good this year. Learn more about my SEO content marketing services today!