Content marketing is a long-term strategy. When utilized properly, it can increase brand awareness and trust in an audience, and grow organic traffic. But when it doesn’t adapt to the times, it can drive your audience to competitors.In 2022, two thirds of marketers anticipate an increase in the budget for content marketing, and 2021 saw larger budgets than the year before (Content Marketing Institute). This is a great indicator that companies are seeing positive results from their content strategies.
Facebook is the number one platform for content distribution for marketers, with Instagram coming in at #2 (Hubspot State of Marketing Report 2021). While a smaller platform, 90% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing (Content Market Institute, 2021). LinkedIn is the largest B2B display advertiser in the U.S. with 32.3% of market share.
So what’s in store for 2022?
Forbes Agency Council Members Share 2022 Trends
A/B Testing for Organic Traffic
Segmented testing isn’t just for your paid advertising. This year, identify your most crucial landing pages and content pillars on your site, and test a different version. You might find a way to increase conversions or traffic, or bring in a different segment of your audience.
It’s not just video that is big: audio and podcasts in particular are a popular space for marketers. The U.S. listened to 15 Billion hours of podcasts in 2021, up 25% from the previous year. This newer ad space is a great opportunity to give special offers to listeners, and leverage the authenticity and trust a podcaster has with their audience. 80% of marketers who use audio content plan to invest the same budget or more in 2022 (Hubspot Blog Research).
In the chaotic and highly distractible realm of the internet, shoppable links make it easy for the consumer to see something and get it immediately. Shoppable links are digital media that you can click through to buy immediately, sometimes finalizing the purchase in the same mobile or digital space. Check out the shoppable posts on Instagram for examples of how to design an immediate buying experience.
Reliable data should be what guides your content strategy. Don’t just use your own internal metrics, but seek outside data to find market and audience insights. The key here is checking that your data is reliable, and not just hearsay. Locate the original study and make sure it's from a reputable source, and is still relevant to 2022. For example, according to the Content Marketing Institute, short articles less than 3k words generated the third best results for B2B in 2021. Now you know to ditch the long essays.
Social Media Videos
Video is one of the strongest performing media for marketers, and social video is currently in a huge boom. TikTok and Instagram Reels are growing, and TikTok has extremely high rates of engagement. But does that make it a good platform for marketing and advertising?
On of the first big brand hashtags on TikTok was Guess’ #InMyDenim challenge, and those videos saw 38.8M views. While that sounds attractive, if you’re a regular user on TikTok you know that creators will put any trending hashtag on their videos in order to get more views, often when the hashtag is completely irrelevant to their video.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is also notoriously opaque about metrics, sharing very few. Even though the site brings in many views and followers, be cautious and thoughtful before you jump aboard.
Values and Empathy
More and more, consumers care about sustainability, diversity, inclusivity and transparency. Brands need to speak to their values not just in words but in actions, or else they risk souring their audience.
The bottom line: make sure your content marketing trend is adapting to the greater landscape. Whether you try out new media or update the source of your metrics and data, always make opportunities to step back and re-evaluate.
The great news is that success is always possible if marketers are flexible to changing direction as needed. Keep things fresh! The last thing you want your marketing to be is stale and predictable. Take new approaches as your comfort zone allows. The more you try new things, the easier it will be to keep it up for the long-term and hone your strategies.