The digital marketing landscape is fast-paced. Given the rapid rate that technology is evolving, the types of content that consumers are demanding tend to change as much as the weather.
As an online business owner, you have to be able to keep up. Otherwise, you’ll get left behind — and it’ll be your competitors that are reaping the rewards.
(We don’t want that, right?)
Whether your goal is to create brand awareness via social media or increase your number of website click-throughs from Google, there are a few things you should know before you kickstart your content planning for the year ahead.
Intrigued? Not to worry — I’ve got you covered. Follow these top 8 content marketing trends for 2022 to become the brand to watch.
1. Keep It Real
Firstly, let’s be honest, authenticity is a huge factor when it comes to using content to sell your products and services.
Due to recent world events, there has been a noticeable switch in the attitudes of online content consumers. While people were struggling with health, work and money problems in 2020, the last thing they wanted to see when they sat down for a mindless scroll on their devices was the highlight reels of others.
(And I was definitely one of them…)
This mindset strengthened throughout 2021, and the continuous push for authentic content that shows real people, real situations and real lives shows no signs of budging. Mental health has become a huge priority and consumers are trying to protect theirs at all costs.
Simply put, if your brand is producing inconsiderate and tone-deaf content, you’re going to struggle to build trust with your target audience. And it’s trust that leads to a long-lasting relationship, engagement and conversions.
2. Keep It Simple
One of the top content marketing trends for 2022 that goes hand-in-hand with “keep it real” is “keep it simple.”
As I just mentioned, consumers are currently experiencing overwhelm more frequently in their personal lives. If you stick to one key message per piece of content and deliver it in a clear, direct way, you can help them to avoid overwhelm.
Plus, simple messages are easier to understand and engage with. However, simple doesn’t necessarily mean shorter in terms of social media captions.
In fact, research by Fohr shows that the average caption length has more than doubled since 2016. Later predicts that Instagram captions, in particular, are set to get even longer in 2022.
Why? Well, captions are a great opportunity to add more context to your posts in the form of storytelling and product or service information. If you increase the value, you can increase the chance of building a stronger brand affinity with your audience.
3. Videos Reign Supreme
Video marketing is already super popular across the World Wide Web with social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels growing at an exponential rate.
According to Wyzowl, 86% of businesses already use video as a marketing tool. Therefore, if you haven’t branched out yet, perhaps it’s time that you did.
After all, 72% of customers said they would rather learn about a product or service in the form of a video. Then 84% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase by watching a brand’s video.
Let’s face it, because videos are more personal, they’re especially handy for service-based businesses. It can help your target audience to get to know you better, meaning that they’re more likely to like and trust you as time goes on.
Similarly, for product-based companies, using video is an effective way to bring your products to life and show how they fit into “real-life” settings. You can use real people and real situations for the relatability factor to experience business growth.
4. Quality Beats Quantity
Okay, so this is one of those content marketing trends for 2022 that isn’t exactly new. Even so, it doesn’t make it any less important moving forwards.
Your blog, Twitter, Pinterest followers (etc.) are busy people. They’re not going to notice if you post twice one week instead of the usual three times because you got preoccupied with another aspect of your business.
Having said that, they are going to notice if the quality of your content suddenly slips.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (until my face turns blue and I resemble the genie from Aladdin): content is king. This means that what you put in your posts trumps how often you post. Every time.
Sure, it’s good to be consistent and keep your audience engaged in your brand. But it’s even better if a new consumer lands on your content and it’s so amazing that they click through to another piece of content. Then that piece of content blows their mind so much that they end up binging your content.
Ultimately, it’s your binge-worthy content that leads to a follow, email sign-up or sale.
5. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose
Now I know what you’re thinking, my friend. You’re thinking: “Katie, I just don’t have time to produce and publish content as much as I’d like. How am I going to stick to a consistent content schedule to please my target audience and get results for my business?”
I’ll let you in on a secret (come closer…).
No one’s saying that you have to create fresh content every time. (Don’t fall off your chair in surprise.)
To put it plainly, it’s highly unlikely that consumers of one channel are going to follow you on every channel. (For instance, your blog followers may not have a TikTok account even though you do, or they may not follow you on Facebook because they rarely use it.)
Even if you had a raving fan and they followed you on every platform, due to complex algorithms that are ever-changing, they’re probably not going to see every piece of content you post. Or if they did, they wouldn’t remember.
That’s why repurposing your content for multiple channels can really help to make your life easier as a content creator. For example, don’t be afraid of using a section of your blog post for your next IGTV, or the intro of your latest newsletter as your next Instagram caption.
Repeating your key messages is a sign of being a good marketer. In fact, the “marketing rule of 7” claims that consumers have to hear from brands at least 7 times before they go on to buy from them.
6. A More Empathetic Approach
Let’s just get one thing straight — twenty-first-century consumers are smart. They know when they’re being sold to. In fact, they’ll see through any BS that you try to send their way.
They want to feel like you care about them individually and they’re not “just another customer.” That’s why a more empathetic approach is needed in 2022.
“Empathetic marketing” goes beyond putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. It involves conceptualising the world from their perspective and using these insights to build a content strategy that aligns with their wants and needs.
- Who exactly is my customer or client?
- What are their problems, challenges and pain points?
- What steps do they take to solve a problem?
- What will make their lives easier?
- What motivates them to take action?
Answering these questions can help you craft content that will resonate with your target audience and evoke emotion, which often turns into action. It can also help you build deeper, more authentic connections for future selling opportunities.
7. Let’s Hear It
2021 was a great year for audio content thanks to the introduction of Clubhouse in the summer. This invitation-only audio chatroom app took the marketing world by storm with its innovative method of reaching new audiences.
Although podcasting and audio-based content is already popular with listeners that are commuting or working out, they’re slowly gaining more popularity in the business world.
According to Inside Radio, streaming audio and podcasting is projected to grow by 17.8% in 2022. Likewise, 80% of brands plan to invest a similar or increased budget into audio content in 2022.
I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. Hearing a voice creates an emotional connection with the consumer just like watching a video does. Right?
8. Don’t Forget Your Voice (Search)
Lastly, speaking of voices, voice search is massive at the moment. Younger generations, in particular, love to use Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant whenever they’re looking for an answer to a question or concern.
(Most of the time, it’s just quicker!)
It’s important to take this into account when you’re producing and optimising content for search engines, such as blog posts and website copy. Pick your keyword(s) wisely by thinking about how you would personally say the search phrase.
Think about the customer intent and speak the one(s) you’re interested in using out loud. If they don’t make sense or don’t sound natural, avoid using them.
Consider the below example — which one is a consumer more likely to speak after they say, “Hey, Siri”?
- The best winter outfits
- What are the best outfits for winter?
(Hopefully you’ll agree that it’s the second one!)
In other words, don’t miss out on a key opportunity to drive more traffic to your website and online channels through voice search.
Keeping Up with These Top Content Marketing Trends for 2022
There are several ways to level-up your content marketing efforts for the year ahead — and these content marketing trends for 2022 are a good place to start. However, at the end of the day, you don’t have to follow them.
It’s better to do what makes sense for you, your content and your business.
Either way, keep in mind that trying new things can help you to figure out what’s working for your brand and what isn’t. Do more of what’s working to maximise your success in the months to come.
Here’s to 2022!