Another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and our content marketing team have had a lot to celebrate – from being crowned ‘Best Large Integrated Search Agency’ at the European Search Awards, to saying hello to a few new faces and another epic weekend at BrightonSEO – it’s been a busy year.
But, the highs have not been met without a few lows, and as another year comes to a close, it’s time to look towards the future. We’re making plans for what 2023 could entail, both for Hallam and for our clients, and how we can tackle any challenges that might head our way. Here’s what’s going to be on our content marketing radar in 2023.
Google algorithm updates this year have focused on providing the most helpful content to users – and we can see this only becoming increasingly important over the next year and beyond.
The update, which came into play back in August, focuses on de-prioritising SEO-first content built to climb search engine results pages, and instead focuses on human-centric content that is original and high-quality.
Google has provided a list of questions to ask yourself about your current and planned content offering. Some of the key ones to consider are:
- Are you producing lots of content on a range of topics in hope that some of it might perform well in the SERPs?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not with your existing target audience in mind?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (They don’t, apparently.)
Other things to consider are whether you’re using extensive automation to produce your onsite content, if you’re simply summarising content from other sources or if you’re writing around a niche topic because you think it will generate traffic without having any real expertise.
If you’re answering yes to a lot, or all, of these questions, then it might be time to re-evaluate your content processes.
Use this as your content UX bible from now on, because if Google says something is true, then we should listen – they rarely give golden nuggets like this to point us in the right direction.
Synchronising data and human-centric content
Along the same vein, whilst having a human element to your content is now more important than ever, data should still be at the centre of what you do – not just from a ‘UX / Google says so’ perspective, but from a wider marketing perspective, as well.
From keyword research to data-led campaigns to reporting, data has a huge role to play and it’s easy to forget that sometimes. For example, if you’re creating a piece of content that includes key statistics, then you need to think about how that information can be shared across social media and how you can potentially repurpose it into PR activity.
We recently wrote a blog that goes into a lot more detail about where content marketers are going wrong when it comes to the lost art of data-led content with a human touch.
Throughout 2023, we’re going to continue seeing TikTok grow more and more rapidly. According to Bytedance (TikTok’s parent company), they now have 1 billion monthly active users and Gen Z’s are using it not just to consume and engage with content, but to search.
Google recently ran a study that showed almost 40% of young people are disregarding Google Search or Maps in favour of TikTok and Instagram for queries such as where to go for lunch.
In terms of how this information can be used for agencies and in-house teams, it’s going to mean creating content that answers queries in a fun and engaging way – similar to how video content has been viewed over the last few years but in quicker bursts.
On top of this, with Google now introducing TikTok and Instagram content in the SERPs, it’s only going to be more important to understand your audience and get this type of content right.
Getting the foundations right
None of our predictions would be worth their salt if we didn’t highlight the importance of getting the foundations right.
You need to make sure you’ve got a good basis to start – from your website to your social channels – before running any extravagant campaigns or taking your content to ‘the next level’, whatever that might mean for you.
It’s the foundations of your activity that will lead the fight in driving results, whether that’s conversions, leads, rankings or brand awareness.
If you’re looking for some additional inspiration, our 2023 Social Media Calendar will help you decide the kind of activity you should be running on your social channels this coming year.