Upcoming Trends in Content Marketing for 2024 and Beyond

The Future of Content Marketing: Trends to Watch

the future of content marketing

Customers love content marketing. It fills their Search Engine Results pages (SERPs) with exactly what they’re looking for, making it easier to find answers to their questions and problems. Businesses love it, too, because it gives them the chance to get in front of their ideal customers at the moment they’re most receptive.

But your content marketing strategy should not be a “set it and forget it” plan. To be effective, your tactics need to stay current with trends in customer behavior and technology, making changes to ensure your messaging evolves, reaching prospects when and where they’re most receptive.

Because if you’re not captivating your target audience and delivering what they’re looking for, your competitors will.

Content marketing trends to watch

With the recent rise and popularity of ChatGPT, it’s no wonder businesses everywhere are scrambling to jump on the Artificial Intelligence bandwagon. And with good reason — AI is revolutionizing the way that businesses interact with customers.

But AI isn’t the only up-and-coming technology on the block. Voice search, augmented reality and virtual reality are growing in utility and popularity. And tried and true content — such as video — is still capturing the lion’s share of the audience.

Today’s trends also aren’t all technical. Customers are getting accustomed to more and more customized content that caters to their specific wants and needs. And they’re showing a preference to backing companies that put sustainability and ethics high on their list of priorities.

content marketing trends

Let’s take a look at these developing trends and the best ways your company can benefit from them.

Content marketing trends: Artificial intelligence (AI) for customers

There’s a reason AI is so popular with customers. It responds intuitively to their needs, precisely matching their behaviors and preferences, determining the relevance of messaging to give them what they’re looking for when and where they are most likely to be receptive.

Because prospects can interact as much or as little as they want with AI without worrying about social conventions, they may choose to interact in more frequent, shorter duration touches throughout their buyer’s journey.

Content marketing trends: Artificial intelligence (AI) for marketers

creativity and intuition for creating emotional connections is where human content creators shineAlthough generative AI is still young, it came out of the box highly functional, and each iteration is getting better and better. Marketing professionals often took one of two positions: fearful that AI would eliminate their jobs or eager to delegate all marketing tasks to technology.

AI’s true place is as a powerful tool somewhere in between these two extremes, leaving plenty of room for creative talent to shine.

AI can — and should — be used throughout the content marketing process to perform repetitive tasks and speed up research. It can be used as a starting point to generate ideas or as to help suss out the strengths and weaknesses of potential strategies. And it can provide outlines for content or keywords to target, to name some examples.

What it can’t do is provide truly original creative content or connect with a potential customer on a visceral level. And although it may not provide exactly the same content for your company as it does another, what it will produce will be decidedly similar, making it difficult to differentiate your brand.

Creativity and intuition for creating emotional connections is where human content creators shine. Although AI will allow brands of all sizes to produce more content, companies who effectively blend AI support with original, human-made content will create a vibrant oasis in a desert of monotony. Plus, having human-made content helps build a sense of trust with potential customers.

Content marketing trends: Artificial intelligence (AI) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is changing the game for SEO, delivering answers to search queries rather than referring searchers to the web pages most likely to answer their questions.

As AI becomes ubiquitous in search engines, the nature of searches will change for both the searcher and the companies wishing to connect with potential customers.

Searches are already becoming more conversational and will continue to evolve into highly specific long-tail queries. Because many queries will be answered immediately, many searches will end without a clickthrough.

The brands featured as sources for this AI content will emerge on top because they give customers what they’re looking for. The most successful ones will be those who develop their brands to prioritize Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust, or E-E-A-T, as described in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

If you want your content to be chosen as a source, make sure you’re also prioritizing your content behind the scenes. Your content will need to be both keyword friendly and part of a comprehensive plan to build your domain authority. This includes using structured data, culling dead links, taking advantage of intrasite linking and developing partnerships to cultivate quality backlinks.

And because click-throughs will become less prevalent, you will need to optimize your website for conversions so you can make the most of the traffic that you get. But you don’t need to work in a vacuum. Take a look at how your competitors are positioning their brands to find opportunities that you may have otherwise missed.

Content marketing trends: Search engine advertising

As PPC and SEO align more and more, making your brand visible on SERPs will become more important. Organic results will continue to be significant, but using paid ads will also increase the chance of your brand being noticed.

The nature of ads may change in the future as well, perhaps becoming less overt and developing into a more subtle form of product placement.

Content marketing trends: Short-form video

It’s easy to see why short-form video is so popular with potential customers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video has to be worth billions.

Video can show functionality at a glance, giving potential customers instant understanding of how your goods or services can solve their problems while giving essential context at a glance. These easy-to-digest, bite-sized chunks of information get customers excited, giving them momentum to help propel them into taking action.

Video allows your brand to show its personality and creativity, allowing you to showcase your goods or services in ideal situations.

Unlike other forms of content marketing that only exist to drive customers to your website, short-form video can alternatively be delivered completely through social media to grow brand awareness.

Content marketing trends: Personalization

Companies that personalize content marketing across multiple touchpoints can achieve over 300% ROICustomers are growing more and more accustomed to receiving curated content created exclusively for their situation and preferences.

Businesses would do well to take notice. Companies that take advantage of advanced personalization across multiple touchpoints can likely achieve 300% ROI — or more — for their efforts.

But this level of personalization goes far beyond pasting customers’ name fields on an email. It involves using AI to analyze user interactions and determine the times customers would be most receptive to engagement. AI finds the channels your customers like to frequent so content reaches them on their own terms.

To better connect with your customers, focus on creating a truly personal experience using your brand’s consistent tone of voice and clear style and strategy. Guide them through customized narrative arc, allowing AI to determine the method and details of connection, including the language and imagery that conform to your customer’s unique preferences.

This uniquely tailored experience is more likely to attract the attention of your target audience and more likely to produce the desired conversion. Best of all, this pathway continues to change with your targets’ evolving needs, so your messaging always stays relevant and on-point.

Content marketing trends: Niche markets

The internet has created a true world market, where customers can select from a wide variety of products and services from around the globe. This high level of competition is good news for customers, but has a tendency to oversaturate the market, making it difficult for brands to get noticed.

At the same time, many smaller brands try to cast their net too wide for customers, assuming because their products work for a wide range of industries, they should adopt messaging that appeals to everyone.

Expect to see more brands turning to niche marketing going forward, targeting specific verticals even at the top of the funnel to create laser-focused appeal.

Content marketing trends: Voice search

50% of the general population and 58% of MillennialsWebsites that load in 1 second convert 3x more than sites that load in 5 seconds use voice search daily, making this search channel one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Speed and accessibility area key here, as is mobile accessibility. Portent’s analysis of 100 million page views across 20 B2B and B2C websites showed websites that load in one second have a conversion rate three times higher than sites that load in five seconds.

To take advantage of this trend, you will also need to make sure that your content reflects the conversational tone of voice searches.

Content marketing trends: tie-ins

As AI begins to deliver more of the same content over and over, other types of offerings will continue to stand out. While podcasts are becoming oversaturated, live webinars continue to deliver results.

A well-presented webinar can also serve double-duty as a rich source of information that you can break out into blog postings and video snippets for weeks to come.

Content marketing trends: Research

There’s still no better way to attain status as an authority than to conduct your own research and develop your own insights. Building this level of thought leadership is an excellent way to organically build backlinks from a variety of sources as well as enhance your brand visibility.

Content marketing trends: Interactive content

Today’s customers enjoy taking an active part in their user experience. Capitalize on this desire with engagement tools such as ROI or savings calculators they can use to see how their business can benefit from your offerings or previews of non-tangible solutions. Getting potential customers to interact with your content makes a deeper and more lasting impression than just passively consuming.

The future of content marketing

There’s a reason 90% of marketing professionals include content in their strategies — it works extremely well when it’s delivering relevant content to the right audience.  Staying on top of the latest trends helps ensure your business stays responsive to the evolving needs of your target audience.

Need some extra muscle to help with your B2B content marketing journey? Check out our content marketing services and see some examples of how we’ve helped our clients increase their industry leadership share.