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A 6-Month Check-In On Our 2023 Content Marketing Trends

BY: Diane di Costanzo, Marco Zuccarello, Robin Riddle, Dan Rubin, George Baer III, Paschal Fowlkes, David Matt and Henry Hackett
PUBLISHED: 05/30/2023

In January, Foundry 360’s experts offered their takes on what to expect this year as content marketing continues to evolve. Now that we’re halfway through 2023, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at our experts’ predictions and assess how they’ve held up.

If you haven’t already, please read the article that precedes this one.  You can find it in our learning library under “Content Marketing Trends” or just click here.

Smart brands will optimize what they’ve got.

“The external environment continues to see many shifts and uncertainty surrounding the economy. That means in addition to updating existing 'evergreen’ content, it's important to remember that a content program needs fresh new content that reflects current (and/or previously unexpected) events — such as the collapse of SVB and the following turmoil in the regional banking sector,” says Robin Riddle, Foundry 360’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We had to create some new fast-turn content to help support our financial services clients, to demonstrate that they understood their customers' concerns, while also reviewing their existing content to ensure it's of the moment. This is a good reminder to always leave space in your upcoming content calendars for content driven by the news agenda.”

First-party data will become ever more critical.

“The first six months of 2023 proved the importance of first-party relationships. Clients who nurtured their relationships with their customers through content seemed to thrive even as the economy was on shaky ground. Clients continue to come to Foundry 360 when they feel there is still upside within their current customer base,” says George Baer, SVP of Foundry 360. “This will only continue, perhaps at an even greater speed in the second half of 2023. Hold onto your hat!”

TikTok will continue to impact branded video — especially for your brand’s youngest consumers.

“It's been fun to watch how many of our clients tweaked their brand's video approach in light of TikTok, the new elephant in the room,” says David Matt, Foundry 360’s Chief Content Officer. “Clients continue to actively 'TikTok Up' their video strategy. And it's been amazing to see how diverse brands, from luxury to banking, from auto to pharma are interpreting TikTok and making it right for their audiences.”

Strategy — always the smart first step — will become ever more aligned with the customer's journey as brands look to optimize their marketing budgets.

“With the release of D/Cipher our ability to create customer journeys just got so much more powerful,” says Dan Rubin, VP of Strategy and Marketing. “We now have the ability to see at scale the taxonomy of the content that our audience travels down — where they start and where they go next and beyond. The importance of journeys still remain key to our strategic offering, and we just got rocket fuel with Dotdash Meredith's new product D/Cipher now in the mix."

Hybrid staffing models will dominate as brands discover that insourcing and outsourcing are not mutually exclusive.

“With the increased level of sophistication of our clients' internal content teams, we're having richer conversations and exploring more ambitious possibilities,” says Paschal Fowlkes,  Foundry 360’s Sales Director. “And our ability to adapt to best complement their internal strengths has made for much more efficient content development on both sides.”

AI will impact search — but, in 2023 anyway, it won’t change how high-quality content marketing is made.

“After many years of highly anticipated but ultimately disappointing advances in AI, this has been a breakthrough year for it,” says Diane di Costanzo, Foundry 360’s Chief Content Officer. “We've seen a multitude of applications for Bard and ChatGPT from vacation planning, writing code to taking the Bar exam. AI will continue to impact search in 2023-24. For example; Google just announced a new prototype search page with an AI Chat Bot unit built into it. As content marketers, we're focused on how AI can help inform the content we create — in terms of topics and keyword research, as we still need humans to create content for real people. We are also looking at strategies to stay ahead of changes to the SERP (building our own email lists!) in light of the coming reduction of organic search traffic.”

The consumer spending tide will turn — so be ready!

“A quick look at the traditional retail ETFs, SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT and VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH have shown 2023 gains of 1.5% and 5.4% (Yahoo Finance) — demonstrating the uptick, though nominal, that should continue to give some confidence to big box retailer brands,” says Marco Zuccarello, Director, Strategy and Marketing. “More interesting is how the consumer is making their shopping choices amidst the economic situation. 'The U.S. consumer is being ‘choiceful’ and deliberate, and looking for bargains and value, as rising food and inflation take a larger share of wallet,' says Oliver Chen, managing director at financial services firm TD Cowen in a Vogue Business interview from March. It is Chen's point that continues to underline the exact reason why content matters in the brand retail game. So all in all, I wasn't too far off, right?”

Earlier this year we predicted 2023 would be a formative year for content marketing. So far, that has been the case. The last six months have also brought new challenges such as the rise in AI and an economy that is akin to a roller coaster.

Despite all of this, content is still proving to be an integral part of marketing strategy for brands of all sizes. Every company and industry is different, requiring custom solutions based on objectives, budget, organizational structure and more.

We look forward to discussing your content marketing strategy! Please reach out to George Baer, SVP of Foundry 360 at

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