Content marketing and online culture are two moving targets that keep marketers on their toes at all times. Things are moving, trends come and go, but brands do want to follow what’s happening and stay relevant.

The image above was shared by my good friend Francis Gosselin a few days ago. It is hilarious because it is real.

Marketing experts and creatives have this objective to make sure their brand stays relevant in minds of consumers, and that it can sometimes use online and offline culture movements to “surf” on a wave of reach.

But how does one make sure it can keep its finger on the pulse of what is happening?

Reading reports is one thing that can help get a grasp on larger trends*, and YouTube has recently published their 2023 Culture and Trends report, and it is an interesting read.

In a blog article published by Google to announce the launch of the report, they outlined 4 key elements to consider in our “current world” of video consumption and creation:

  1. The many layers of fandom: it has been true for a while, but it is becoming more and more ubiquitous, video production and success is not reserved to more established creators.
  2. Multiformat experiences: viewers like to follow creators they like in multiple formats (long form, short form, vertical, audio) – this is becoming the norm.
  3. Casual & experiential tools: more and more easy-to-use tools allow even more creators to express their creativity (think clipping, effects, multi-language audio, etc.). PS: I intend to tackle this subject in a future article.
  4. AI-based technologies: this one is fairly new this year, but it is the talk of the town – creators need to study and keep an eye on AI tools and how it could impact their craft.

I invite you to download the 14-page report, you’ll be able to dive a little deeper into those trends with examples of creators that embody how these trends might be signs of things to come.

*Many, me included, will argue that one should not rely SOLELY on reports as a lot of them are sometimes behind that metaphorical wave of the latest trending memes and ice bucket challenges of this world (wow, did I just really plug the ice bucket challenge in a 2023 article?).