Content marketing is constantly evolving. Each new year is defined by growth and new things. New trends. New platforms. Technology advances. Emergent marketing strategies. New audience habits and expectations.
If you want to stay on top of your content marketing game and get some good ROI, lagging behind isn’t an option. You’ve got to keep up.
While it’s impractical to keep up with every small change, some changes are big enough to have a significant impact on your content marketing strategy. Here are six things to keep in mind as you prepare for the evolution of content marketing in 2022.
Video will still rule
Video has remained one of the biggest content marketing trends of the past decade. And it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. From Instagram reels to the immensely popular TikTok, many marketers are capitalizing on the ability of video content to engage audiences. Over 80% of marketing professionals use some form of video marketing, according to Wyzowl.
If you’re not already using video or you haven’t really given it much attention, now is a good time to start. And if video is already part of your strategy, remember to stay present. New video content trends are emerging and so your video strategy may need some tweaking.
Some exciting trends to keep an eye on as video evolves in 2022 include:
- Search optimized video
- Live video
- Silent videos
- VR/AR videos
This brings us to how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are finding their way into mainstream marketing.
Immersive tech is becoming big
A couple of years ago AR and VR possibilities were not widely available to the general public. Let alone in marketing. But that’s changing. Both technologies are now more accessible. It’s highly likely that a combination of pandemic-induced shifts in consumer behavior and increasing consumer demand for interactive content will accelerate their adoption.
With AR and/or VR, you can boost brand awareness, engagement, and conversions by showcasing your products in 3D and creating mental ownership. Already, brands across various industries are integrating immersive tech into their content marketing efforts. For example:
- Marriott International allows customers and event organisers to get a realistic idea of how their event could look using VR powered headsets.
- Asos has an AR feature called Virtual Catwalk, which allows users to view models wearing designs in a real-life environment.
- Vroom has a VR powered showroom, where customers can view and experience car models from the comfort of their own homes.
But this is just the beginning. Both the VR and AR industries are growing at a rapid pace. The global VR market is projected to grow by over 140% (from less than $5 billion to over $12 billion) between now and 2024. This huge growth is worth keeping in mind as you plan your 2022 content marketing strategy.
Do take care to avoid the interactive rabbit hole. Yes, VR and AR can help you engage your audience in more personal ways, but only when done right. Getting the most out of your immersive tech content marketing campaigns will involve thinking through what you want to communicate to your audience and what you want to achieve, then choosing the best tech and platforms to help you achieve those goals.
Mobile will remain essential
There’s no running away from mobile. Over 90% of the internet-connected population uses a mobile device. This means people are using mobile for researching products, engaging with businesses, shopping, and so much more. Mobile will remain a crucial part of content marketing strategies even as content marketing evolves in 2022.
Besides having a mobile-friendly site that enhances user experience, you’ll also need to ensure that all your content, including interactive content, is appropriate for, and viewable on, mobile devices.
Content will be used to develop trust and transparency
We’re in the privacy-first age and most people are reluctant to share their data. But we all know just how valuable data is in modern-day marketing.
So what do you do?
In 2022, content marketing will go a long way in boosting transparency and building trust among consumers. Take Apple for example. The tech company is building transparency and credibility with its new “opt in” model for app tracking. Similarly, you can use content to establish trust and transparency – inspiring your audience to share their data and engage with your brand.
Empathy will take centre stage
Audiences want to be treated as humans, not just transactors. More empathy, authentic relationships and compassion (plus less hard selling) will help you build trust and create better experiences – two elements that will boost the success of your content marketing campaigns.
Even Google’s algorithms are now leaning more towards customer-centric content. You’ll need to focus on the bigger picture, instead of merely relying on keywords. Algorithms now prioritize factors such as how much time users spend on your site and how many elements they engage with. As such, empathic content that caters to your audience’s needs will be rewarded with higher rankings and engagement.
Data analysis and more data analysis
Forget data gathering. Data analysis should be at the core of your 2022 content marketing strategy.
The term “data-driven content marketing” is being thrown around a lot, but more focus needs to go to the analysis part of the whole concept. You need to know what the data is telling you and how you can capitalize on the insights to get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
As content marketing evolves, leaving the analysis to data geeks is a mistake that can cost you a lot of growth. You’ll need to be part of the action and be more conversant in data analysis.
And it’s a wrap
Content marketing evolution is always ongoing. However, staying on top of the changes will help you craft and optimize a winning strategy. We hope the six elements highlighted in this article are helpful as you develop your 2022 content marketing strategy.
About the author
Naume is a content strategist and writer for B2B and B2C brands. She has helped various brands achieve sustainable growth through tailored content marketing strategies and high-converting content.