The ongoing pandemic continues to influence consumer behavior, pushing people online and expanding the need for quality content.
Many companies recognized this in 2021. In fact, 43% of companies increased their content marketing budget last year, and two-thirds of these companies expect further increases in 2022.
Keeping up with the dynamic landscape of content can be challenging, but don’t worry – we’ve compiled some key content marketing trends that can guide your 2022 content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Trends For 2022
You may know what your audience is looking for, but understanding why they’re looking for it is more important than ever. This is the nature of intent: building content that will connect with the needs of your audience.
This starts by having a deep, foundational understanding of your audience.
What drives them?
What type of content resonates with them the most?
What are they seeking that isn’t available yet?
Answering these questions can lead you to create content that connects with your audience in a meaningful way.
It can be challenging, but leveraging the tools available to you, whether it be analytics, social channels, or customer feedback, can help you get the answers you need to make intent-driven content.
Keep the UGC coming
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the best ways to build trust with your audience. 73% of consumers say that UGC increases their purchasing confidence.
UGC gives consumers confidence because it’s external. They’re far more likely to trust their peers than the brand selling the product. When the content is positive, this can work wonderfully–and it’s free content. It’s a win-win!
UGC can also help foster an active community for your brand, allowing your audience to have their voices heard and to interact with others within the community. This can go a long way in building a strong brand that keeps people coming back.
Lean Into Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has had a major impact on the content strategy of many brands for years now, and it’s only going to keep growing in importance. Instead, brands should be looking to adapt their influencer strategy along with their holistic strategic efforts.
Quality is the foundation of a strong content strategy, and the same should apply to influencer marketing. Rather than bringing in as many influencers as you can, focus on identifying which influencers will have the biggest impact and resonate most with your audience. Once you’ve partnered with an influencer, emphasize creating a purposeful, long-term relationship.
Additionally, don’t limit your influencer marketing to only a portion of your funnel. The rise of social commerce creates opportunities for influencer content to drive conversions. With social commerce expected to grow this year, these opportunities will become more prevalent.
Integrate Live Video
Video content checks a lot of the boxes that consumers value most; namely, it’s easy to consume and it’s often interactive. And while video is nothing new, it’s definitely not going anywhere.
Live video is an increasingly popular form of content that will continue to grow this year. Instagram and Facebook have made live streaming easier than ever for both creators and consumers and compared to traditional, written content, it’s far more effective: 80% of audiences prefer live video to blog content.
Part of the appeal of live video is its interactivity, and this is an element that can be expanded to your greater content marketing strategy in 2022.
Interactive content makes it easier to engage consumers–one of the core challenges of content marketing. Interactive content can come in many forms: polls, quizzes, live chats, and more. By allowing the consumer to directly interact with the content, ideally, in a fun or fulfilling way, the chances of creating a lasting connection are much higher.
Prepare for AR/VR
Interactivity is great, and what’s more interactive than the immersive experience of augmented or virtual reality?
With the introduction of the Metaverse, these technologies should be high on the priority list for content marketers.
In the constantly advancing digital landscape, being at the forefront of innovation is always favorable to playing catch-up. It wasn’t that long ago that social media was a new phenomenon, and brands quickly realized social media content was necessary for success. While AR and VR may not be the norm right now, the industry is expected to grow by more than $125 billion by 2024.
It may not be relevant for all brands, but understanding the need and capabilities of AR/VR in your industry should be among your 2022 priorities. Certain industries such as travel and retail have already seen the benefits of incorporating AR/VR content to improve user experience and boost conversion rates.
Create an Excellent User Experience
Where SEO is concerned, algorithms are getting smarter, and earning rankings is more about the quality of the content and the user experience than about playing the system. Elements like site design and site speed are major contributors to a site’s ability to rank highly.
In 2022, evolve your SEO to focus on user experience first. Create high-quality, beneficial content that users need. Ensure that your site is mobile-optimized, and emphasize improving your site speed by leveraging tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights. By creating a pleasant experience, you’re benefiting users while also helping your page climb the SERP.
Adapt With The Landscape
There are plenty of trends, tips, and tricks to guide your strategy, but staying ahead of the curve means continuing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of content marketing. Be ready for anything, and listen: you never know when the next big thing might arise.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re looking for assistance with your content marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond, Direct Agents has what you need. Contact us to learn more today.