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The future is now: 5 forward-thinking content growth areas for 2023

As published in MarketingProfs

In the past few months, major artificial intelligence (AI) programs have made waves. While ChatGPT garners the most headlines, several other AI tools are quietly reaching independent content creators and brands alike.

But AI isn’t the only technology poised to transform content in the next ten years. Others are more familiar, having already made a mark in the second half of the 2010s. Here’s how I expect content to continue to evolve, and how new and emerging technologies can work together to transform your content strategy — and help you produce the engaging multimedia content that young audiences crave. 

AI is the foundation content’s future is built on

Over the past few months, we’ve seen how ChatGPT can help us write faster and smarter, and even generate topic ideas, captions, subject lines, and give us (questionable) feedback on what we’ve written so far. In short, AI can be an ultra-helpful assistant for content marketers. There’s a good chance that this will lead to many companies racing to put out as much content as they can, betting on a volume play to improve their search rankings and reach more potential customers.

That said, if the internet doesn’t get too polluted beforehand, the most forward-thinking writers and marketers will use AI to augment, rather than replace, their approach to content creation. They’ll recognize that while ChatGPT and language models like it produce clear, concise, and logical copy, the best editorial content is still written by human professionals, and informed by thoughtful insights and personal experiences.

Beyond written copy, AI will eventually enable just about anyone to quickly build a modern, multimedia content strategy. Here are a few emerging AI programs that have the chance to transform content creation:

  • NightCafe helps teams quickly generate visual art using AI
  • Canva and Visma help teams quickly generate many different infographics
  • D-ID helps teams use text to generate video and animated content

And the list goes on. With these diverse applications for AI across content creation, it’s no wonder this sector is gaining traction. According to projections from Valuates Reports, AI could hit a market size of $1,581.70 billion by 2030. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with these options now to stay ahead of the curve.

Live video streaming will continue to gain steam

Over the past ten years, almost every social media platform launched live video features. And Amazon also got in early by buying streaming giant Twitch. With major investments from top tech players, it’s clear that live video is a central part of the 21st-century content ecosystem. Look no further than the fact that Twitch users watched 1346 billion minutes of content in 2022.  

You don’t have to be a major name with millions of followers to monetize live streaming. A recent study from Nature shows that platforms like Twitch make it easy for streamers to convert small audiences into a consistent group of paying subscribers. In particular, live streams are a great way to reach niche audiences with personalized content.

Live content can also bring some diversity to your content strategy. There is something authentic, immediate and intimate about watching content as it’s being created. Working this into your content stack will provide an interesting contrast to your more polished written content. Plus, for creators, live video means you can skip the time-consuming writing and editing steps. 

Content strategy will be won (or lost) on TikTok

TikTok isn’t just a place for fun cooking videos. With a billion users and growing, TikTok has become a central hub for a diverse range of content. In fact, people are even getting their news from TikTok now. Like it or not, any modern marketing strategy must recognize that TikTok is a great place to reach a wide audience.

Crucially, over 40% of TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 24. It’s not complicated: TikTok is where young people go to consume content. The implications of this are vast. It tells us that young content consumers want:

  • Video content
  • Short-form content
  • User-generated content

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a member of Gen Z to make the most of TikTok. More and more tools are coming on the market aimed at marketers trying to hack TikTok. With an iPhone and a free all-in-one video editor like CapCut, you can be on your way to making beautiful video content in no time. Add in the chance to partner with TikTok creators, and it’s clear the battle over attention in the 2020s will be waged on this fast-growing platform.

VR and AR will take interactivity to the next level 

While we aren’t all floating around in the Metaverse just yet, virtual reality and augmented reality continue to make strides. More and more technology is emerging in this space, with features and capabilities that feel straight out of a science fiction novel. It’s not too absurd to think we might have VR that changes the taste of our food by 2030

So what does this mean for content creators? Simply put, VR and AR are the perfect avenues for interactive content. As we’ve seen with the emergence of TikTok, the future consumer wants content on demand — and may not have the attention span for content that isn’t immediately engaging. Interactive content that is a deep sensory experience has the chance to resonate in this environment. 

Already industries are working virtual experiences into their marketing. For instance, residential and commercial real estate marketing teams are building virtual tours of properties to give clients “24/7 open houses.” As VR tech improves, it’s not a stretch to imagine virtual experiences being the standard content marketing type in certain industries.

Increased demand for great written content

It’s exciting to realize that the future really is here. New AI tech, new VR tech, and forward-thinking social media platforms are enabling teams to think bigger when it comes to content marketing. 

At the same time, it’s important to remember the basics. The written word remains a key element of any effective marketing strategy, not to mention the backbone of discovering new content online. And that isn’t just writing that appears on your blog — it’s also the writing for your newest TikTok sponsored post or your metaverse talk show. Great video is built on great writing — and the standard for great writing is rising. Whatever the future brings, be sure to invest in creators who know your audience and have a proven ability to craft personalized, engaging content. 

Final thoughts

While in the 2020s we might see machines help us churn out more content, the effective use of these technologies requires distinctly human ingenuity and creativity. Know your product and choose your tools wisely. Not every team will need to use every new tech that hits the market. Instead, think of these as supplemental tools that give your content an edge and help it stand out in a competitive environment.

Best of all, it’s easy to get started. Great tools are already on the market, easy to use, and in many cases entirely free. So it’s time to get excited and start brainstorming the ways you and your team embrace the future of content.