Content Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2022

Tricia Lim

Tricia Lim

Content trends are changing at the speed of light. Just look at how fast trends come and go! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that you need to progress with the ever-changing content landscape.

 

Something the pandemic has taught all of us is how to adapt. So whether you’re a marketer or a small restaurant owner, the ones that make it are those that are forward-thinking. What sets successful marketers from those who aren’t is the ability to be on their toes for upcoming trends.

 

I’m sure all of us aren’t strangers to consuming content; from watching TikTok videos to listening to podcast episodes, we all take in content every day. Every business, solopreneur and influencer knows that content is king. The question is, are they prepared for the upcoming trends in content marketing?

As we approach the end of 2021, it’s a great time to evaluate, adapt and improve strategies for the coming year. Let’s look ahead at the marketing trends we can adopt for 2022.

Here are some key trends to consider for 2022:

1. Video content will take centre stage

If there’s one winner this year, it’s video content. 2022 will be no different.  

Video content has, without a doubt, taken over the digital landscape. It is THE fastest-growing form of content. From YouTube to Tiktok and Instagram Reels, people are consuming video content in more significant quantities. 

Everyone likes videos because they’re easy to digest, entertaining and engaging! On the other hand, marketers mostly like them for different reasons because of the high potential ROI of leveraging video marketing. 

Businesses and users all know that. 86% of companies use video as a marketing tool compared to 61% in 2016. Other surveys showed that 91% of marketers feel video is more important for brands regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Videos are one of the most effective mediums to deliver your brand’s message because people are highly visual. Many of us are more likely to consume information in short 2-3 minute videos than scroll through a long article. According to a survey by Wyzowl, 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

2020 was the year TikTok boomed during the pandemic, and it has since seen exponential growth in engagement and daily followers. 

2. Value-driven content will matter more

When it comes to content, there are tons of it on the internet! All the ample online content is constantly bombarding us, users, with blogs, videos, and other forms of content. It’s no wonder some of us are picky with what kind of content we want to consume. 

Remember that most often, you’re not the only one providing your products and services in the market. 

No matter what industry you are in, there is probably content saturation. It makes it more challenging as most companies in your industry are publishing similar content. You have to think out of the box and do things that sets you apart from your competitors, including creating content. After all, consumers have become more innovative and faster at searching for content and information online too. As businesses pivoted to entirely digital experiences in 2020, it became more important than ever to provide valuable content to consumers. Not only that, but you need to deliver high-quality, unique content above all else. 

Admittedly, with the enormous supply of information online, it’s becoming more and more challenging to deliver this sort of high-quality content, as previously mentioned. Customers might be forgiving the first time, but they want to see more unique ideas and content after a while. 

 

It’s good to consider the quality of your content because it trumps the quantity of content. Even if it’s a simple blog on ten tips to boost audience engagement, use this opportunity to share a personal experience or an out of the box approach. You can also publish more educational content through blog posts, guides, videos, and infographics. Content like how your service can solve a pain point or best serve them often helps attract people. Or best yet, share customer testimonials and reviews! These concrete examples will encourage others to trust your brand through others’ positive purchase experiences with you. 

3. Consumers will prefer hyper-personalized content

Although personalization has been around in marketing for a while, it will continue to be a trend in 2022. 

Personalized content goes beyond using your customers’ first names, especially as people become more technologically savvy; therefore, you need to improve their experience. An excellent place to start is by understanding what they want. That’s how you’re going to drive more traffic and increase conversions, and ultimately, sales.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in,” says Craig Davis, Former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson.

Hyper-personalization is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to collect data from your web visitors through their activity on your website and social media platform, the products they frequently view and more. Consumers like content that is relevant to their interests and shown to them in a timely manner. So, the more data you have, the better you can personalize content to deliver to your audience! 

One of the ways you can leverage this personalized content trend is by analyzing data collected via your website or third-party tools like Google Analytics. With this data, you can create customized emails, pop-ups, and other content tailored to your audience preferences. For example, if you know a customer has abandoned their shopping cart, you can send a follow-up email to remind them to complete their purchase. By observing their behaviour on your website, you can redirect and lead them to pages or products that might interest them on their next visit to your site. 

Studies have also shown that 80% of consumers said they’d be more likely to do business with a brand that provides a personalized experience. Are you incorporating experiences like these?

4. Easy-to-consume content

We’re living in an age where we expect each part of our customer journey to be convenient, especially when searching for information online. We want answers and solutions that are quick and easy. This is even more prevalent because we have shorter attention spans. Did you know that the average human attention span is now shorter than a goldfish’s? A recent study has shown that goldfish have a nine-second attention span, whilst our human attention span has fallen to eight seconds today! That gives us more reason to ensure everything we do is made attractive to our target audience from the get go, including the content we publish.

Easy-to-consume content is one of the ways we can hook our audience from the start, whether it’s in the form of posts, guides, podcasts and newsletters. Convenient and readily available content that helps your target audience will inherently help your brand too.

Here are some examples of content that catches people’s attention because the content is easy to consume:

Morgan Harper Nichols is a mixed-media artist and designer inspired by stories. She shares her art and content daily across multiple platforms including Instagram. What’s most engaging about her content is not just the visual appeal nor ability for people to relate to it, but it’s also the easily digestible content that she writes too. 

The Simple Sum Malaysia creates bite-sized financial knowledge for Malaysians that is easily read, understood and shared amongst their social media followers. They do it well because they leverage Instagram’s carousel posts to showcase their bite-size educational content, and in a cute and fun way too!

5. User generated content

When it comes to making a purchasing decision, who are you more likely to trust– a brand or a fellow consumer who uses the product? We’re more likely to take recommendations from friends and family members than brands when it comes down to making buying decisions. 60% of consumers say content from friends or family influence their purchase decisions, whilst just 23% say content from celebrities and influencers are impactful. And that’s the logic behind the effectiveness of user-generated content. 

That’s where user-generated content becomes a powerful asset to leverage because it helps to enhance the customer experience. After all, no one wants to make the wrong decision, especially when it comes to how we spend our money. That’s why we turn to other customers for reassurance, reviews and proof before we complete our buying decision. Statista found that 56% of internet users say they find out about products from friends or acquaintances, while 32% rely on customer reviews (2020). 

Another reason marketers adopt user-generated content is that it’s an ideal way to connect with their target audience. When consumers see other user-generated content, they’re more likely to relate and engage with the brand, as it also builds and strengthens its customer communities. Stackla found that consumers are 2.4x more likely to say user-generated content is authentic compared to brand-created content. To consumers, sharing genuine user-generated content can build brand authenticity for your brand, but remember that 70% of the time, consumers can distinguish between consumer-created content and brand-created content.

Apartment therapy is a lifestyle blogs and publishing company focused on home design and decor. What’s great about their user generated content is that it’s highly engaging, and it’s a great opportunity to feature beautiful and unique interiors from their users! People like seeing what other people are up to, and they relate better with their content compared to other branded content. So what better way than by tagging and re-sharing organic user generated content! Here’s just one example that’s aesthetically pleasing with high engagement right from their design community.

Another company that shares user generated content (that sells) is Glossier. They’re a skincare and beauty product brand that promote skincare first and makeup second. A lot of what they do is people-centric, through their community of skincare enthusiasts and followers. By showing users their products used by other customers, they’re engaging their audience in a more authentic and relatable manner.  

UGC has long been an effective way for brands to forget relationships with their customers and provide social proof. It not only saves you production time, but it can also make your brand more authentic and trusted. And this trend will continue into 2022. 

6. Story-driven content

We all love a good story that gains our attention and holds it. That’s what makes storytelling a fantastic tool in marketing. With our average attention span dwindling, storytelling is becoming more and more valuable to know today. 

2022 will see more storytelling; everyone will be a storyteller, from big brands to micro-influencers. That’s why brands need to deliver their message in a way that tells stories about their products or services. Gone are the days where consumers want only to hear how fantastic your product or service is. They want to know the story about the time you helped them solve a specific problem.

Moreover, since people remember stories 22x more than facts and figures, storytelling in your content can boost conversion rates! Storytelling has been an essential part of marketing for 2021, and it’ll be here to stay in 2022. Be it connecting to your audience through sharing customer stories and pain points or by showing your brand personality through humour, leveraging storytelling well will improve brand loyalty and trust with your audience.

Brand storytelling is for everyone; whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, consider how you can add stories to your brand’s narrative. There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate storytelling into your written content, visual content and more. People like interacting with other people, so make your brand human through storytelling!

If you haven’t heard of Humans of New York before, it’s a photoblog and book of street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City. The photographer behind it, Brandon Stanton, has gathered a huge following on the platform through social media because of the storytelling behind its captions and interviews with real people. This is one of many snippets of stories from people he encounters. 

2022 will bring in some fundamental changes in the way we market and create content. With our dwindling attention spans and heavy reliance on online media, tailoring valuable, readily available, and personalized content will captivate your target audiences. Not to mention the power of video content that will continue to dominate the digital marketing landscape. And remember, it doesn’t hurt to be human and personable in your content too! It will help you stand out online among the many brand voices.

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