Predictions 2023: The year ahead for content tools – by Broomstick’s Fahad Ali

The rise of content creators and the ease with which they can generate material will continue to shape the industry at large, writes Broomstick's Fahad Ali

By Fahad Ali, founder and CEO, Broomstick Creative

As we move forward from an incident-packed 2022, global scale events combine with the end of the pandemic and endless news of titans falling along with new figures emerging in the tech space. As is customary and in line with our inherent human instinct, we now look forward to what 2023 holds for us with a keen focus on the digital content and engagement space and areas of deep capability.

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Without putting together a verbose piece, I decided to assemble something of a cheat-sheet of what tools digital marketers, content creators, agency creatives and marketing strategists should expect to emerge as mainstream trends in the year to come. This list, albeit a short one, should prove to be a solid foundation for many in this space, but it is by no means an exhaustive selection.

AI–generated visual content has arrived and will become mainstream

The advent of machine learning modules like Midjourney and DALL.E has revolutionised how content creators are harnessing the power of AI to create images out of their imagination. As modules become more powerful and the data sets become larger and enriched, AI-generated visual content will move into commercial mainstream. Rather than just vivid and rich images of someone’s creative interpretation, I foresee more commercial use cases emerging and fairly soon. The frequency with which custom and branded content is now needed to fulfil the appetite of prevalent and ever-enriched social media channels indicates this is the most efficient and ‘intelligent’ way to go. 

Content creation becomes more tool-driven – the content Industry should brace for a sector-redefining moment

With the evolution of tools such as Canva, Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Motion Array, and with the advent of countless native content creation apps for mobile phones, the demand for quick, polished and sleek content has never been higher. This poses a challenge to the content creation industry across the globe, which is already is adapting and switching to automated tools that replace redundant content creation tasks. There was a time when ready-made templates, effects and visual packs were shunned by the purists in the industry. But with more content creators being able to churn out great video content from just their mobile phones, the industry needs to brace for a change. The reliance on content creators who can work off tools and churn out great videos from nimble hardware setups, smartphones in most cases, will continue to increase.

OTT advertising becomes mainstream

This industry-led paradigm shift for advertisers is expected. Questions are still being raised about how prolific advertising will be for over-the-top (OTT) creators. The answer is simple. To paraphrase a classic American baseball movie, if you will build (content), they will come. The viewership numbers speak for themselves and the industry is waiting to understand the fallout of pricing in this nascent toolset. 

More brands will work out how to engage in the metaverse

The industry just cannot stop talking about the metaverse. This romance will continue to blossom in 2023. More brands will jump on the bandwagon, albeit with caution. The metaverse is still being mapped out as we speak and use cases with great ROIs are still not easy to come by. As brands continue to dabble around in this space we will see more concrete data emerge, which will prove to be a motivator for others. Whilst I do not foresee first-movers getting immense financial advantage in this space, such is the nature of this phenomenon. However, they will gain a better understanding of engagement, exposure and recruitment of users and can use this to their advantage over laggards. A captive audience in the metaverse is a sure-shot winner as things stand today and will soon be an indispensable tool in any brand kit.

Regional stock photos

More relevant to the UAE and the region, global stock footage and image libraries have still failed to deliver on   the lines of richness and accurate representation of the region. I foresee other players entering this space. This will also emerge as pent-up demand derived from my earlier point on more ‘tool-driven’ content creation becomes paramount. This trend is also powered by the need for multinational brands to develop hyperlocal content to continue to attract eyeballs.