As we’re ringing in the new year, it’s becoming clearer what 2022 will have in store for us.
Content marketing is ever-changing, with new trends constantly emerging on the horizon, some closer than others.
While we’re likely still years away from fully matured content marketing via AR and VR (through the likes of Instagram and Metaverse), the following content marketing trends are sure to play a vital role in the coming months, and can be implemented right now.
Capitalize on Your Data
Data security and privacy will continue to be hot topics as privacy watchdogs argue for stronger and stronger user protection, while advertising tech giants like Google and Facebook come up with new ways to target users without infringing on their privacy.
The future will require businesses to rely more heavily than ever on data that their own users willingly divulge, also known as first-party data.
Things like consumer surveys, sign-up details, and additional profile information can help you track and understand who your audience is, what they want, what they’re looking for, and what they care about. It will help you shape your ad campaigns, figure out the right messaging for your target audience, and make the most of every cent spent on your content.
Important steps to take include consolidating, organizing, and analyzing first-party data, while making use of the new ways in which advertisers are being accommodated following the eventual removal of third-party cookies from the web’s largest browser.
Continue Improving Your SEO
Another important avenue for improvement continues to be search engine optimization. While SEO is decades old at this point, the proper guidelines and requirements for “good” SEO change every few months. The basics largely remain the same: good content, keywords matter, and topic relevance.
But this year, and in the months to come, Google and other search engines are making a greater effort of focusing on user experience and readability, while punishing sites that hinder users, are awkward to read or navigate on mobile devices, or inundate visitors with advertisements and useless pop-ups.
Continue to invest in better SEO by partnering with a firm that keeps on top of these things. Google alone utilizes thousands of different factors when ranking websites against each other, and its algorithm goes through over a thousand different changes and dozens of major changes per year. While the basic principles matter the most, the nitty-gritty details can spell the difference between ranking first and appearing at the bottom of the page – especially in competitive markets.
Branch Into New Content Avenues
Page content, engagement on social media, and the occasional YouTube video can all prove vital in bringing in more traffic, generating leads, and turning visitors into potential customers. But 2022 calls for an even greater diversification in content, especially if you want to keep up with the competition.
Evaluate the usefulness and potential of short-form video content, influencer marketing, and podcasts. These three have exploded in size and impact over the last few years, especially during the pandemic.
Not every business is cut out for short-form video marketing, or a podcast. But many companies are already successfully leveraging these growing content niches and making the most of their new audience. Don’t be left behind.
Market and Sell Directly Through Social Media
E-commerce was undoubtedly the biggest winner in 2020 and 2021, and there’s no sign that that growth is stopping anytime soon. That’s part of the reason why tech giants Meta, Google, and even Twitter have continued investing in the ability to buy and sell on their respective platforms.
Users will be encouraged to shop via search engine results (both Bing and Google partnered with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms to entice retailers), social media platforms like Instagram, and even browse catalogues and ask product-related questions directly through instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger.
If you’ve been falling behind on your social media presence, now is the time to play catchup. These platforms might become major sources of revenue for small-to-medium businesses selling their products online. If you’re a retailer who hasn’t capitalized on e-commerce growth, it’s time to take advantage of its ease of access and current profitability
Improve Your Chat Service
With more online shopping comes the need for more online chatting. Meta’s popular messaging products, including Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram’s direct messages, have integrated customer-facing chat options and product information in the past year, making it easier for businesses to answer customer questions, and for customers to ask questions.
Work on your customer-facing chat options on WhatsApp by improving your product catalogue, adding frequently asked and answered questions, and engaging with customers in a friendly and timely manner.
Make the Most of Short Video Content
With the staggering success of TikTok and the birth and rise of YouTube Shorts, it’s clear the video content is continuing to push towards bite-sized pieces of information and entertainment.
Can you leverage that success and translate it into more sales for your business? That depends on your industry and product. Unlike longer-form YouTube content, where a lot of the value lies in ad money, YouTube Shorts pay next to nothing because of their length.
However, they do rake in far more views because they’re incredibly digestible, and people go through so many of them at a time. This makes them more valuable for their indirect value, leading customers to your product or concept, or showcasing your business and service. The same can be said for other short-form video content, whether on your own page or on platforms like TikTok.
Contrast and Compare
Regardless of what content marketing strategy you implement in 2022, nothing you do will truly be worth your time if you don’t try to contrast and compare.
Prepare to spend weeks to months analyzing the effectiveness of a certain type of content before you abandon it or invest more heavily in it. Wait for SEO changes to have an effect on your traffic before you re-evaluate your content strategy. Give your business’s shot at YouTube or TikTok some time before you judge its efficacy.
While seeing anecdotal evidence and exploring use cases can help give you ideas, it’s important not to draw one-to-one parallels between what other businesses experienced, and what might happen in your case. Experimentation is important, especially if you want the greatest return on investment over a long period.