Every year there is a new list of top content marketing trends in the marketing world. New platforms are developed, and old platforms begin to be used in new ways. 2022 has been no different. From virtual community-building efforts to topical authority and value-driven content, it’s been a busy year of marketing efforts.

Let’s review the highlights and see how we can leverage these insights into 2023.

1.TikTok and short-form video

Video has been going strong and leading the way in marketing for a few years, but TikTok has taken short-form video content to a new level. TikTok became the most downloaded app in 2021 and has continued that trend in 2022. It even surpassed Google as the most visited site.

Wait, I thought TikTok was just for teenagers to show off their moves, right? Nope, not anymore. It’s not one of the top content marketing trends for brands large and small.

TikTok has spread to a range of age groups using the platform to share everything from life skills to business trends. And TikTok is not the only video platform making a splash with “shorts.” YouTube has a section specifically for short videos, which brands use to create inspiring top-of-the-funnel campaigns.

Another trend in content marketing we’re seeing is an increase in cinematic-style videos where the product is present but takes a backseat to the story. Here are a few highlights from 2022 that won Clio awards:

  • KFCCinema: a 30-second video where a sound artist crunches on KFC chicken while watching cinematic movie scenes. It ends with a post-lockdown reminder, “With the reopening of movie theaters, life finally gets crisp again.” KFC
  • Burberry Open Spaces: the viewer is taken on a captivating visual journey to an open field and then a forest where the wind is stronger than expected, and the actors are wearing Burberry, of course.
  • Chipotle’s A Future Begins– Chipotle uses nostalgic animation to show they care about the farmers behind the food and their struggles while emphasizing the fresh ingredients they use.

Should your brand be on TikTok? Something to think about.

2. Audio content and podcasts

Podcasting and audio content are still increasing in popularity in the post-pandemic age. Studies show that 73% or an estimated 209 million people of the US population above 12 years of age listen to online audio every month, up from 68% in 2021.

Another content marketing trend that is growing is podcasting is combining audio with video. Podcasters turn on their cameras for voice interviews with both listeners and viewers. Channels like Colin and Samir are taking advantage of the “YouTube for podcasting” trend and creating shorts.

Dubbed the Joe Rogan podcast formula, video podcasting is now a thing. It’s a way to use your content on multiple platforms and get more mileage from each episode you create.

3. Virtual community building

Slack and Zoom have been around for a while, but brands are taking meeting platforms beyond teamwork. Online communication platforms can also be used to create niche communities. This has brought newer resources to the scene like Circle, allowing creators to start discussions and live streams, courses, and events all in one place.

Remember October 4th, 2021? Yep, the global Facebook outage. It reminded brands and creators that building communities on platforms that give greater ownership and control is a good idea.

Why is virtual community building important? As Pat Flynn says, people come for the content but stay for the community. Building virtual communities makes customers feel like they are a part of something bigger.

You can even build virtual communities on your website.

Virtual community-building tips include:

  • Have a clear purpose that brings people together
  • Give a warm welcome and encourage introductions
  • Ask questions and start conversations
  • Make it easy for everyone to engage
  • Stay responsive and provide tech support as needed

And that Facebook outage brings us to the next trend in content marketing…

4. Short-written content

Short content used to work. Then it was all about an SEO focus and those uber-long blog posts. Are we back to short content? We saw short videos are working great, but what about written content? Long-from content still works, but it’s great to add some shorter sentences to your content marketing mix. Short and sweet can gain you a lot of attention.

October 4th started like any other day, but then Facebook went dark, and people did the only sensible thing they could do, turned to Twitter where they were hit with this message, “Hello, literally everyone.”

Just twenty-four characters long, but it brought Twitter 22 million engagements and loads of new followers.

Here are some 2022 post examples that were short on words but high on impact:

  • Pringles asked their audience to tell them a short story by going first.
  • Taco Bell brought back a customer favorite with a short tease.
  • Voyaged shared a beautiful picture of Japan and asked a simple question.

For short posts, try the following:

  • Being timely
  • Asking a question
  • Using a “this” or “that” poll
  • Adding an engaging graphic

5. Topical Authority SEO

Both readers and search engines are essential, but how do you create content that appeals to both?

Topical authority makes readers and search engines happy because you create engaging content that shows you are an authority in your field. To build topical authority you need to cover more angles about a given topic.

In the content marketing niche, this can look like writing about writing and blog posts and video marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing. Within those, you can niche down to specifics like YouTube marketing and Pinterest marketing. The more you can cover, the better.

Create focused pillar content pieces and interlink them together to form content clusters. When you interlink posts around the same subject, Google begins to see the site as an authority on the topic. This shows your site as a trusted source that visitors can come to again and again.

Readers want value when they go to a site and will stay longer when they find a variety of content relevant to their search query. The good news is that search engines also want readers to see that value. And that’s how you win them both.

6. Personalization and texting

People love to receive a personalized experience. It can build customer loyalty, but only if you do not make it so personal that it turns creepy. And that’s a balance for marketers.

Personalization is used in both email marketing and SMS marketing campaigns. No one wants a bunch of emails that don’t relate to them. So brands are creating personalized email campaigns at every customer touchpoint. It has become possible through advanced segmentation features available with most email tools, and a lot of it comes through AI.

Personalized messages have a higher ROI. If you think email marketing is dead, get this- according to Instapage, personalized email messages have 6x higher transactional rates, an average ROI of 122%, and 58%  of email marketing revenue.

Another way to use personalization is via text messaging. You do not want to blow up a customer’s phone, but some strategic texts here and there can make them feel connected to your brand. For example, you can send a birthday text message offering a personalized discount.

Content marketing technologies that continue to grow

And that wraps up our list of top content marketing plans for 2022. As we go into 2023, keep in mind that artificial intelligence will continue to grow as a trend also. It’s being used to generate ideas and enhance blog posts. It’s also being used along with machine learning to create that personalization we discussed.

Data science will continue to inform marketing decisions and help companies allocate their marketing budgets to the right areas. And virtual platforms are continually developed to make collaboration over distance more engaging and sustainable.

What can we learn from all of this?

We may not be able to predict exactly what 2023 will bring in the content marketing world, but we know it is time to focus on quality and adding value.

Start brainstorming your content marketing calendar now and plugin some ideas. Get into the video marketing game if you are not already there and keep testing and keep tracking. Evolve with the internet. If you are not sure which way to take your content, a professional content strategist can help. Cheers to 2023!