When it comes to content marketing, what worked last year might not work now. In order to stand out, retain your audience, and obtain better results, you need to keep up the pace and stay agile.
2022 is set to be a big year for economic and marketplace changes and the content marketing trends that will rise in response. It will be a year of adaptation for your own marketing team as well, as the world is waiting for yet another “new normal” to come about.
In this article, we highlight the ways you can best prepare for the content marketing trends to come and how you can better align your overall business growth plan with them. This checklist will ensure that you’ll not only stay ahead of the trends but you’ll be able to adapt your content marketing efforts to answer them.
Ways to Prepare for Content Marketing Trends in 2022
For your content marketing efforts to be in line with the tidings of your audience and your business to remain relevant, you need to prepare for what’s up next.
This year will have many faces and you need to be ready to meet each one. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s what to expect:
1. The Year of Micro-Trends: Stay Agile
2022 is to be a year of optimization and constant growth. It is set to be a year that is ever-changing, both in business and in the trends that come. We can look forward to numerous trends throughout the year to come, and leave just as quickly.
To be able to respond to them in real time, make sure you develop an agile team, one that is both proactive and reactive to changes in the content marketing game.
It’s fantastic to have a strategy and a plan to go to market. However, it’s even better to be able to adapt your strategy whenever a new opportunity arises, and do it efficiently.
To that end, you should set up plans that are adaptable and develop a culture that allows for change, both with your strategy and your team’s mindset.
2. The Year of Constant Change: Hire All-Rounders
To facilitate your content strategy’s agility, you should focus on hiring talent that’s just as adaptable and flexible. Look for people with skill sets that fall across different content areas, including, but not limited to, product marketing, SEO, link building, content creation, and social media insight.
All in all, in 2022, you’ll need omni-marketers. However, this doesn’t mean that a one-man show will be able to cover the work of a whole team. No. You need a whole team made up of omni-marketers who are able to work together in sync.
This will give your own strategy fresh perspectives, and will allow you to hit those content marketing goals you’ve set, no matter how tight you are on human resources.
3. The Year of Visuals First: Focus on Core Skills
2022 is set to be a huge year for visual design and design thinking. Even with the constant change in marketing trends to come, there will still be specific types of content the market requires.
We’ll see an even greater interest in video content. Even though it’s been at a constant growth through the latest years, demand is predicted to rise. In fact, the average online user is expected to watch more than 100 mins of video per day!
You’ll need to accommodate the call of the audience, by creating high-quality engaging content that matches your industry, field of expertise, and the interest of the viewers..
With the Metavers evolving and becoming more popular, we’ll also see a greater demand for AR and VR.
Furthermore, as the online space is oversaturated with repetitive stock images, the audience will crave unique photos, designs, and illustration.
If you are able to deliver on those, then you’re set to be creating content that’s engaging as well as sought out, in 2022.
4. The Year of Championing Content: Build a Structured Content Library
If you want to stay on top of your game in 2022 you’ll need to stay organized. There’s nothing worse than remembering one image or video you know you have and then not being able to find it. If you’ve got a team of content marketing all-rounders you can’t rely on only one person to be able to find the content you’re looking for.
You need everything to be neatly organized, streamlined, and accessible by all it may concern.
Content has been King for a long time now and there’s no stopping it in 2022. This year content is set to be King, Queen, and everything in-between. Prepare for it. Structure your content library well, use image tags, color codes and develop a search structure that’s not only intuitive but has a documented process. Make sure your content library can be used by anyone and everyone.
5. The Year of Personal Goals: Plan for Campaigns and Key Dates
2022 is set to be a big year focussed on the “self.” Together with the great resignation, comes the long path to self-discovery. People are asking themselves what their purpose is,challenging why they are where they are, and considering whether there is somewhere else that they will be happier, more valued, and more valuable.
As a result, amongst other things, customers are also questioning their own loyalty to brands . To retain your audience, it’s essential that, as a brand, you identify with your mission and vision and make purposeful strides towards them.
How to apply this to your content marketing efforts? Build an editorial calendar with fixed content that is important to your brand or product, and make sure that these pieces are strategically positioned in your yearly plan. It’s all well and good being agile but there will be certain campaigns and initiatives that you’ll need to focus on, regardless of current content trends.
Pin-pointyour key dates at the beginning of the year and make sure you give your team enough time to concept and create fantastic content campaigns to hit targets.
Don’t give yourself too much lead time for a campaign, though. For example, don’t plan a Christmas campaign in Spring. By the time it gets around to Christmas there’s a high chance your initial idea and the tactics you were planning on using are no longer relevant . Perhaps there’ll be a better way to go to market and you’ll have wasted your time planning back in Spring.
6. The Year of Data Science: Read Your Data
Yes, 2022 will be buzzing with new content marketing trends. Yet, just because you’re pursuing these doesn’t necessarily mean your efforts are going to be a success.
Remind your team to be data-driven and brush up on how to read your data.
In 2022, we’ll have more tools, resources, and data than ever before, so make sure you’re using them wisely. Every piece of data your team read should not only inform your content marketing plan but your overall growth plan too. Leverage the means at your disposal to reach larger business goals and evolve.
Analyze KPIs, response rates, customer behavior, and general statistics from within your own audience and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. Once you’ve identified your own customer trends you’ll be able to apply your learnings to content marketing strategies with larger, global trends in mind.
7. The Year of Micro-Communities: Cater to Them
2021 saw a huge push for authentic communities and consumers looked towards brands to help form them. This trend is leveling up in 2022 and we’re seeing a need for micro-communities. These are smaller collectives within a larger group.
Consumers are now looking to forge genuine, online relationships with people who not only have the same love for a certain thing as they do but someone they can relate to on another level as well.
By joining in and appealing to these micro-communities you’re not only honing in on customer acquisition but customer retention too. 2022 is the year that customers really assess the brands they choose to come back to and if you’re no longer appealing to them, then be prepared for an increase in your churn rate.
Identify what and who your micro-communities are and cater to them. Make sure you’re answering your unique consumer needs with tailored content they’ll appreciate. Unsure of what they need? Ask them.
8. The Year of Voice Search: Knuckle Down on SEO
With voice assistants Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri becoming more prominent and involved in our day-to-day than ever, SEO will definitely be changing in 2022. You’ll need to make sure you’re applying your SEO efforts thoroughly.
To prepare for voice-visitors, make sure you optimize and up-cycle old content as well as create new content that is searchable for 2022. Your content should enable natural-language processing and match question-keywords and other queries that are similar to what a person might say, rather than key into a search engine.
While voice assistants will continue to grow smarter, what remains unchanged is they are still just presenting one find to their searcher, so make sure you’re ranking up-top and the information presented is yours.
9. The Year of Conversational Marketing: Get Personal
If you haven’t done so already, 2022 is the year to flesh out a brand book and TOV guidelines.
We’re set to see a rise in conversational marketing and marketing automation efforts. In order for your brand to come across as authentically as possible among these new strategies, you’ll need to make sure that you’re consistent with your brand personality.
A great test to do when building your brand’s personality is the 100 question hot-seat. Imagine your brand as a person and ask them 100 questions. Your brand/character should be able to answer those and sound genuine and, well, real. Include everything from: “What do you have for breakfast?” to “What do you think about climate change?” Make sure your team is as familiarized with the persona you create as you are.
When it comes to trialing new forms of communication in 2022, you’ll want to refer back to these resources and ensure you’re always staying true to the brand.
10. Stay Ready for What 2022 Brings: Tool Up
New trends, new platforms, and new strategies, more often than not, mean new tools. Ensure that going into 2022 you’re as prepared as you need to be with tools that will set you up for success.
You’ll need reporting tools that help you grow and organize your efforts as well as tools that will help you with your marketing automation, so you can focus on larger strategies.
Related Article: Top Nine Video Marketing Tools for Marketers
You’ll also need to start looking into software that can help you stay on trend. With a demand for engagement and gamification in sales strategies look for online quiz makers, social media planners, and find a WordPress development partner that’s right for your needs.
At the same time, perhaps it’s time to upgrade or cut tools that you haven’t been using and are no longer relevant. Use 2022 as a time to do some Spring cleaning and get rid of the clutter that hasn’t adapted to change.
Wrapping Things Up
This year will certainly put your marketing efforts to the test. Consumer needs are more prominent than ever and it’s up to brands to answer them. The checklist we’ve provided should help you to prepare as best as possible for the year ahead and the trends it brings.
Let’s wrap everything up in a bitesize list:
- Create an agile team
- Hire all-rounders
- Focus on new video formats and illustrations
- Structure your content library
- Plan for key dates and campaigns
- Be data-minded
- Identify micro-communities
- Write for voice search
- Define your Brand Guidelines
- Reassess the tools you need
If you have ways that you’re preparing for content marketing trends or trend predictions of your own, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments.