Content Marketing Trends For 2022
Content Marketing Trends
47% of customers view three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep, and most of them expect brands to create content to gain their interest. That’s why brands all around the world have only grown their investments in content marketing in fact, in 2022, the top three roles marketing leaders will prioritize hiring are content creators, content marketing managers, and content strategists.
But what content strategies are brands investing in? Below are just a few trends you’ll want to follow in 2022. But what content strategies are brands investing.
If your company is not using content marketing as part of its marketing strategy, you’re leaving money on the table. Content marketing is one of the fastest growing categories in digital marketing right now. It has changed how people buy products and services online. Here are four reasons why marketers should be using content marketing:
- Consumers prefer reading to watching. Currently, consumers spend more time reading than watching videos (which makes sense since they take longer). This means that videos can feel like an interruption when people want to read about something more important, like product reviews. So, if you’re trying to sell a product or service online, be sure to provide links to blog posts or other types of written content that highlight your business.
- People trust information presented by sources they know and trust. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, then you already know I love to write about my experiences running marathons. But did you know this also helps increase conversions for businesses? According to HubSpot, “people are twice as likely to do business with someone who sends personal emails compared to those who don’t.” The same holds true for social media users. Since everyone wants to earn likes and followers, it makes sense that many customers will choose to share their business page with others because they assume they are trustworthy.
- Customers find great ideas from blogs and articles. Studies show that 90% of consumers get at least 50% of their purchase decisions based on recommendations. And according to Google, 65% of searchers use search engines first before visiting websites. This means that if you aren’t providing valuable, unique content, you could miss potential customers.
Your audience comes back week after week. In one study, 92% of internet users said they would continue to visit a website after seeing ads there once. People come back because they are looking for solutions to problems they face every day, so make sure you provide helpful information with each piece of content you publish.
The more effective your content is, the higher you rank on search engine results pages. The better your content ranks on search engines, the greater chance your brand has of being found by prospective customers. SEO changes often, but here are five things you need to keep in mind:
You might think emailing new leads would be spammy, but it isn’t. They are actively searching for you—and they may even put you on their saved contacts list! Use these tips to send email messages that entice your leads to open your next campaign.
The quality and quantity of your content matters. There are sites that cater to video bloggers where you have thousands of videos sitting behind-the-scenes just waiting to be published. These sites pay big bucks per post. We are talking about six – figure payments. That is what happens when you have many high-quality subscribers. You are going to drive massive amounts of traffic through your channel and convert those visitors into paying customers.
Video will remain the top marketing content format
A State of Marketing Report, video marketing was the most effective marketing format. And, this year, in our own survey, that hasn’t changed at all.
When looking at the most effective content strategies, video marketing appears at the top before blogging or even email marketing.
Our survey found that 59% of survey participants use video in their content marketing strategy, while 76% of marketers that leverage video call it their most effective content format. Not to mention, one in four marketers who use video (or 27%) say it’s the content type that yields the biggest ROI. “Video creates a deeper connection with your potential customer base, and it is easy for brands to repurpose video content into podcasts and text-based content,” Neil Patel CMO and Co-Founder of NP Digital, says. “But on the other hand, if you create text or audio content first, it is harder to turn it into a video.
So, in 2022, look for brands to create more video content. It will be done in the form or just straight video, short clips like reels and even live-streaming.” In the past, video creation and marketing strategies were limited due to costly resources and production. Today, it’s much more accessible. With a lower-cost barrier, video has become less intimidating to incorporate into your marketing efforts.
“2022 will be the year of video. Why? Because organizations have finally gotten more comfortable with it and realize it’s a way to engage their audience, communicate offerings, and provide infotainment,” says Aytekin Tank, Founder & CEO of JotForm “Our company, JotForm, has been ramping up our video efforts on YouTube. We have over 16,000 subscribers and have seen a huge increase in site traffic and signups from investing in videos on this platform,” Tank explains. “Like many other B2B and B2C companies, we’re going full force with video and expect to ramp it up even further in 2022.” You don’t have to hire a production team or marketing agency; all you need is a smartphone, such as an iPhone, and affordable editing software.
You can also upload pre-recorded videos to platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram, Periscope, and Twitter. “The best time to do this is during off hours when there aren’t too many people watching,” says Tank. “Also, make sure your privacy settings are set to ‘friends only.'”
Here are some popular ways businesses use video content
A/B testing: This involves showing two different versions of a piece of content to see which performs better. For example, you could show one version of a blog post that includes images versus another version without them. Then, you compare those results to learn what works best.
Email: If you want to include a video in a newsletter, you can attach a link to it. Then, customers click through to watch the video.
Forums: Video allows you to host an online seminar for free and then record it and share it later. Or you can share an infographic, slide deck, podcast, etc.
Live events: This is another way to bring video directly into the hands of your target market—without having to pay someone else to do so.
Podcasts: Podcasts are blogs but delivered via audio rather than text. They’re great for brand storytelling, because listeners get to hear stories with characters, plots, and conflict, not just information. According to Google, more than 20 million Americans listen to podcasts every month. The average consumer listens to about four per week.
“Because they’re recorded, the length doesn’t matter,” explains Tank. “Plus, while podcasts require ongoing maintenance (i.e., posting new episodes), videos can be shared across any number of channels.”
Social networks: Brands are increasingly using videos—and native ads—to promote their products and services on these sites. That means creating short videos featuring product demos instead of longer YouTube vlogs.
Case studies will continue to drive leads and brand credibility
Longer-form case studies offer prospects an incredibly deep and exclusive look into how people or brands benefit from a product, service, or strategy. While some businesses place them publicly on their web pages to persuade a potential buyer as quickly as possible. Others might gate them as free PDFs that require a lead conversion to be downloaded.
Although many marketers, such as those in B2C industries, don’t leverage case studies, those that do find them effective. In our survey, 64% of marketers who launched case studies found them effective and 15% said they brought the biggest ROI of the content formats they leveraged.
Additionally, case study usage in content marketing is only growing: 37% of marketers we polled plan to use case studies in their marketing strategy for the first time in 2022.
“The key takeaway is understanding where digital publishing fits within the overall communication mix,” says Mike Fiechter, publisher at Direct Communications Group. “To be successful, publishers must understand the differences between traditional media (print, broadcast) and newer media and integrate these channels appropriately. They should not assume that, because they publish information digitally, that everything becomes virtual. Content strategy and execution still matter much less than the quality of the message itself.
There’s no denying that video is king right now, but its popularity isn’t expected to fade anytime soon. According to eMarketer, by 2018, 78 percent of adults in the U.S. were projected to consume some form of video each month. By 2019, that number is anticipated to reach 96 percent. That means every business out there needs to know how to incorporate video into their advertising strategies.
Whether you’re looking to build a relationship with existing customers, bring new clients into the fold, or market to new audiences altogether, video marketing can help. Below, we’ve outlined five tips on using video effectively across all platforms.
This is where a good CRM comes in handy. Even if you’re working with freelancers, you need to have a way to organize all the work they’ve done—and the tasks they still need to complete—so you can track progress and follow up efficiently. You also need to make sure your team has access to reports that measure performance against objectives, so everyone knows what they’re supposed to accomplish, and how well they’re meeting those goals.
Marketers Will Embrace Data with Infographics
If a picture paints a thousand words, infographics could paint at least double. Infographics not only have the shareability and visual appeal of a nice photo — but they’re also packed with helpful data and informative information. This makes them incredibly engaging to web visitors and social media audiences alike.
According to our research, 38% of marketers plan to leverage infographics for the first time in 2022, while 45% of marketers are already using them.
Of the marketers who extensively use infographics in their content strategy, 56% say they are their most effective content type. Credible data can help marketers, bloggers, and content creators tell compelling and persuasive stories. Why else do you think we surveyed hundreds of marketing professionals to create this content?
Social Media Marketing Trends in the U.S. Alone, 79% of people have some type of social media account and globally, there are over 3.7 billion social media users. Therefore, social media marketing is a popular channel that’s become a part of every business’s greater marketing strategy. Social media marketing allows you to authentically connect with your audience on a personal level, humanizing your brand.
“The key takeaway is understanding… that content strategy matters more than ever,” says Fiechter. “Today’s consumers expect essential information presented in a clear and coherent manner; they have short attention spans and zero patience for poorly written content. So, if you want to succeed with content marketing, it needs to be something that you plan, develop, test, evaluate, iterate, refine, repeat.”
At this point, you’ve started a blog, even two. Now you need help getting readers. No problem, because content marketing experts will tell you that creating high-quality, useful blog posts takes talent and expertise — which you don’t always have in spades or aren’t yet comfortable experimenting with. But SEOs (search engine optimization consultants) say that if you put in the work to make your site relevant and interesting to search engines like Google, then you don’t need to rely on paid advertising.
With almost seven hundred million active websites, a significant percentage of consumers visit multiple sites per day, according to Forrester Research Inc., as reported by the EcommerceBytes Blog.
In addition, the top 10 ranking factors include quality links from other trustworthy websites, page authority, low bounce rates, few outbound links pointing back to the primary website, higher average conversions, and unique domain names.
There are many ways to optimize your landing pages. The design itself should be optimized for mobile devices. You might start testing different headers and paragraph styles. Or, you may try A/B testing different calls to action. Then, once you get feedback from customers about what works best, you can continue tweaking those elements moving forward.
Data Informed Content
Data is central to every marketing process and content marketing is no different. Where should content marketers focus their attention and what data-related investments should they be considered in 2022?
Data analysis, not gathering, should be the top priority. The volume of data and the tech that is gathering and crunching it is always evolving, but for 2022, the focus should be on getting better at analyzing it, said Dorland. “Each year, marketers should set a goal of connecting more systems and connecting more dots to tell a better and more complete story. We work with content marketers every day and data maturity levels vary widely.” Planning for 2022 should be heavily rooted in an understanding of what the data tells us, which means content marketers should be more than conversant with analyzing their data. “Leaving the analysis to up-to-date geeks on the analytics team, ignoring it altogether, or over-investing in data collection is a mistake,” he cautioned.
Data + Human Intelligence is a valuable combination. Validating or testing what the data suggests by running it past human intelligence is a crucial element that is often missed, said Brahma. For example, data may indicate millennials love a certain product because of high purchasing numbers, but human intelligence will tell us they are buying it for an older family member. “Content will need to be planned to keep both the buyer and the user in mind.” She added that dark data the data a company collects but doesn’t use for any specific purpose could be a source of breakthrough insights that could lead to competitive advantage or missed opportunities in content strategy.
No data is no excuse. While everyone wants a sure thing based on data analysis, many early-stage companies don’t have much historical data. Trent said using the lack of data as an excuse to avoid executing on high-quality content is a mistake. There is always enough to start with.
Andrew Dennis, senior content marketing manager at Shopify Retail, agreed. He cautioned marketers not to make the mistake of assuming they’re too small to access and leverage original data to inform strategy. “Even small businesses have solid pools of customers and customer data to pull from. You don’t need to publish a giant, original study on your entire industry starts small by gathering data from existing customers and I guarantee you will find insights that would benefit and be interesting to your target audience,” he said.
Content builds trust and credibility in the privacy-first age. Even as the marketing world continues to struggle with new data privacy regulations, consumer technology companies from Apple (with its new “opt in” model for app tracking), to Google [which pushed off eliminating third-party cookies from Chrome until 2023] are leveraging privacy as a consumer proposition. In the privacy-first world, consumer trust and brand credibility are critical, and contextual content will play a key role in establishing both. 2022 planning should focus on the “content-for-data” proposition. Content can build trust and transparency among audiences and inspire them to share their data by providing clear and differentiated value, said Alicia Esposito, director of content and new media for retail – focused publisher network Retail Touchpoints.
More consumers will hear branded audio content
In the summer of 2021, marketers were perplexed by Clubhouse — an invitation-only audio chatroom app that quickly gained millions of users without publishing any visual content. And, as Clubhouse took our field by storm, platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook unexpectedly rushed to start investing in, testing, and/or launching similar features.
Meanwhile, throughout the year, several big brands — like HubSpot — expanded their podcast content and networks to meet even more listeners.
Now, as audio content becomes much more common in the online world, marketers might be wondering if this format could benefit their brand.
According to our research, 53% of professionals whose companies leverage content marketing find “podcasts or other types of audio content” effective when it comes to engagement and brand awareness. However, only 1% of marketers that leverage audio content say it yields ROI. Still, 80% plan to invest the same amount or more budget into audio content and podcasts in 2022.
When it came to investments in audio chatrooms, like Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, we saw a similar theme. Although only 16% of marketers say they’ve invested in this trend, 34% of those marketers find it effective. While, again, around 1% of marketers that use audio chatrooms say it yields ROI, 84% of them plan to continue investing the same amount or more in 2022.
Although audio platforms might not have great monetizing features or conversion paths, this data hints that they still provide the engagement and brand awareness companies need to see from them for a continued investment.
Many of these content platforms will become much more prevalent across digital environments — especially in the 2020s. So, expect to see content platforms grow and evolve. The question is: How will you navigate all the changes?
As the market has shifted away from television, print, direct mail, and billboard advertisements towards other forms of digital advertising, content creation has evolved significantly. Over time, digital ads become less expensive and easier to produce than those of traditional methods. Companies realized that by creating quality content about things that people care about, they would reach more target customers at a lower cost than ever before. With this increase in popularity have come elevated expectations regarding what users want to see. Not long ago, user experiences were simple — websites were text based and static images dominated. This was changed following the launch of social networking sites such as Myspace, which provided users with a platform for interacting with each other through multimedia content.
Since then, however, most social media sites have been replaced with enormous amounts of video content, accompanied by various images and text. It’s now rare to visit a website where there are no videos or multimedia elements included. Content creators strive to keep viewers engaged through interactive activities on websites, such as quizzes and games (e.g. Quizlet). More recently, virtual reality technology has attracted attention from companies who created 360° videos due to its immersive nature. These videos can be viewed via smartphones, providing an experience which helps users connect with brands and shows off products better than any image alone. Social media platforms also play a significant role in the way businesses create and distribute content. Sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube give companies the opportunity to interact directly with consumers. For example, many fashion brands post short clips of themselves modelling new clothing items.
While some companies spend big money on large ad campaigns, others rely on micro-influencers to attract potential consumers. Micro-influencers are individuals who do not necessarily have millions of followers but instead influence a targeted audience. They often work well within specific niches, often based upon their interests. Examples include personal trainers, food bloggers, gamers, artists, and musicians. In some cases, popular celebrities may be hired to advertise extraordinary events or product launches. Although a celebrity’s fame brings credibility to a campaign, the company does not pay the celebrity; rather, the celebrity promotes the product out of goodwill. A lack of transparency exists when firms hire influencers since they know little about their audiences. Credibility problems arose when the public learned news outlets paid bloggers to promote drug and alcohol drugs.
The rise of online video. Online video platforms have risen rapidly since 2013, driven by consumer demand for watching videos online. In December 2015, it was reported that online video is expected to overtake mobile video usage globally as the dominant form of consuming online video by 2018. In September 2016, Business Insider ranked global Internet traffic from video as one of the four key industries set to grow in 2017.
As of January 2019, YouTube had over three billion monthly active users and Google stated that it reaches over 2 billion hours watched per day. According to Business Insider, the average adult spends five hours watching videos online every month. By 2018, research firm eMarketer expects 80 percent of all internet traffic to consist of videos. Video sharing is especially useful for business purposes, including training, promotion, or marketing. Research conducted by Cisco Visual Networking Index found that 90 percent of employees would prefer spending three hours per week watching educational videos to reading white papers.