There’s never been a better time to understand current content marketing trends so you can maximize your ad spend and create meaningful content that resonates with your audience. Read on for eleven trends to watch in 2022.
The content marketing landscape in 2022
Content marketing has come a long way over the past several years, and the industry has come into its own since the earliest scholarly articles were analyzing this medium less than ten years ago.
Gone are the days when you could just have a standard website, pay for Google ads, and expect potential clients to come your way. The content marketing trends for 2022 are far more nuanced, involving more relevance and precision.
Content marketers have become an integral part of any B2B marketing team. You can’t just have a half-hearted piece of content. Instead, you need video content, virtual events, or any type of a solid editorial plan in place, complete with all different content types. You need solid blog content, visual content, video content, an email marketing strategy, and a social media strategy rich complete with substantial audience engagement. Don’t forget to invest in a good customer experience on your website to keep your audience coming back for more!
So as we kick off a new year, what content marketing trends for 2022 matter, and which ones aren’t worth your time? Read on for some great ideas to ensure your content marketing efforts are off to the right start.
1. Greater investments in content marketing
If you were hoping that you could ignore this increasingly important component of your marketing strategy, think again. According to a 2021 survey of content marketers by the Content Marketing Institute, a whopping forty-three percent of marketers familiar with company spending reported a higher content marketing budget in 2021, and two-thirds of that group expect even more content marketing spend in 2022.
Why the increased investment in content marketing? For starters, the pandemic has limited face-to-face contact and personal connections, so companies have had to rely more on quality websites and content to get their message across.
Furthermore, as the digital marketing industry has matured, people have grown tired of playing whack-a-mole with unwanted pop-up ads and videos. They’re looking for genuine connections with brands that feel both relevant and authentic with a human touch. As a result, companies are getting a far greater return on investment from a high-quality content marketing plan than they would with impersonal ads.
2. Emphasis on relevant long-form content
Gone are the days of being able to bang out a 300-word article and watch it rise like a phoenix to the top of all the SERPs. Since the goal of search engines is to provide people with the answers to their searches, it’s only logical that they’d value well-researched long-form content as opposed to vapid clickbait. Google ads remain a lucrative industry and can be a very effective content marketing strategy, especially for transactional searches, like shopping. But users overwhelmingly click on organic results for most informational searches.
So what does this trend mean for content creators? First, you’re better off writing fewer well-researched, high-quality content pieces that are a minimum of 1,000 words than lots of frivolous junk. Second, investing the time and effort in making an editorial plan to make sure you produce the types of content that resonate with your target audience will pay off.
3. Mobile technology matters
If you’re feeling great about your website content, but it’s not optimized for mobile, you’re missing a massive percentage of your potential audience. Up to 60% of searches in 2021 were from mobile devices, including an estimated 50% of B2B inquiries. So expect content marketers to continue to pay a lot of attention to this large demographic.
The rise of mobile also creates an opening in the form of content for voice search. The Internet of Voice has continued to gain traction, as people are happily asking Siri or Alexa about any random statistic or company they could imagine. This growth means that answering questions in the form of longtail keywords will remain a critical component of content creation and is one of our top content marketing trends for 2022.
4. Optimization of older articles
What’s one of the significant trends in content marketing? Enriching and updating older articles can provide excellent results, often with less effort than generating new original content. Check an old article against current top performers. What are the crucial keywords? Have those relevant keywords changed since you wrote your article? If so, fix it!
In addition to keywords, check on components of technical SEO, like mobile optimization, photo size, and speed. Just tweaking those aspects can yield substantial improvements to your overall website performance.
5. Significance of core web vitals
As algorithms and search engines become increasingly sophisticated, strong web vitals result in improved search engine results. So speed, for both desktop and mobile, optimized images with the right labels and tags, and even your site map are all elements content marketers should consider.
These technical elements are as critical to getting your content seen as a wall hook, or picture hanger is to a painting on your wall. If you don’t have the proper structure or fundamentals, you’ll end up with a giant mess on the floor that nobody notices. Don’t let this type of disaster happen to your content! Invest in technical SEO to keep your content accessible to the masses.
6. Abundance of video content
As search technology and natural language processing abilities improve, expect to see an uptick in video content as part of a standard content marketing strategy. Not only is it easier to convey complex concepts using video, but it’s also often more interactive and easy to stream while you’re multitasking or on the go.
Additionally, as the Internet of Voice and Natural Language Processing trends continue, it’s easier for machines to analyze voice content. So video isn’t just a nice extra feature, but it can also be a solid vehicle for improving your SEO performance.
7. Rise of chatbots as part of a content marketing strategy
Even if you’re not ready to enter the Metaverse just yet (or ever), you’ll probably see more bots and interactive content in 2022. These interactive formats featuring Artificial Intelligence (AI) serve the primary purpose of improving user experience.
Insider Intelligence predicts massive growth of this sector over the next couple of years, increasing from about $2.8 billion in 2019 to $142 billion by 2024. So what does this mean for your content marketing efforts?
First of all, chatbots interact very closely with users, so companies can use that data to understand user intent better. Chatbots can give voice and a personality to your content, so users better understand who you are as an organization– whether warm and fuzzy or sarcastic and funny.
8. Virtual reality will continue to grow
Here’s another vastly growing industry, ballooning from about $30.7 billion in 2021 to $300 billion by 2024. Since virtual reality and augmented reality enhance user experience, it will become increasingly important to content marketing efforts for many industries during 2022. So be aware of these two content marketing trends in 2022.
When used correctly, virtual reality can enhance the content creation process. If you’re selling furniture, for example, what’s a more effective way to market your content? Writing an article about how great your chairs are or letting users actually see a virtual representation of what the chair would look like in their living rooms? Seeing is believing!
As effective as virtual reality can be for some companies, it’s not a critical piece of content marketing. If it enhances your storytelling capabilities, and you have the budget to try it out, go for it! But if you have a limited budget or it doesn’t fit in with your overall vision, this content marketing trend might not be worth your resources.
9. Proliferation of storytelling in content marketing
Even with the rise of chatbots, video, and virtual reality, old-school storytelling remains incredibly effective. In many ways, getting this core fundamental right is far more important than the extra bells and whistles of some other content marketing trends in 2022. You’ve probably heard that “content is king” more often than you’d like. And what better way to create strong content people connect with than to introduce more conversational marketing elements into your content marketing mix that tell a great story?
It doesn’t matter how you convey your storytelling efforts. Some companies might use more short-form video that condenses things in a more personal way. Others could focus on insightful blog entries that increase readership and customer loyalty. Tell the stories your customers care about in ways that they can easily grasp.
10. Content better-informed by consumer intent
Our digital world isn’t suffering from a lack of data or complex search insights reports with infinite details. But as machines and those interpreting data become increasingly sophisticated, there will be a clearer delineation between the companies that use this data strategically and those that don’t.
In other words, understanding consumer intent and tailoring your offerings to those making buying decisions should reap massive dividends for those companies in 2022 and beyond. So use feedback from your analytics, chatbot conversations, social channels, and more to figure out what your users really want. Then, make it happen!
11. Pre-eminence of relevant content
What do you get when you combine the content marketing trends of bigger content marketing budgets, more storytelling and longer-form content, expanded use of AI, and more? The creation of more relevant content. When done correctly, all of these components work together for this common goal. They’re producing compelling pieces of content that connect with the needs of their users. Relevant content might not be as sexy as sophisticated bots and virtual reality, but it’s at the heart of all content marketing.
Your 2022 content marketing strategy
Rather than following all the latest content trends, focus on your business and your audience to create a content marketing approach that works. The 2022 content marketing trends don’t matter nearly as much as creating relevant content as the cornerstone of your content strategy.
Tiktok might be a trendy social media platform, but if your target audience consists of 60+-year-olds who can’t stand short videos, you will be wasting your time and money trying to compete on those digital channels. Instead, focus on where your target audience might be and reach them there.
Similarly, while we’ll probably see a greater prevalence of influencer marketing in 2022, B2B marketers need to be incredibly strategic about utilizing this type of strategy. That’s not to say you should steer clear of any prominent micro-influencers who might be able to add to your content marketing strategy in the form of a guest blog post. But don’t waste your time investing in influencer marketing if it won’t enhance your authority and credibility with your target audience.
Go beyond the 2022 content marketing trends
If you’re creating the type of content your audience really cares about and are publishing it on the channels where they’re searching, you’re off to a great start. While staying up to date on the latest industry trends and ideas is great, they don’t matter nearly as much as creating content that resonates with your intended audience.
But if you feel like you’re stuck in a content rut or are ready to take your content marketing efforts up a notch or two, reach out to the experts at rellify. They blend the best of human intelligence with machine learning to create specialized content that delivers solid results.