Content marketing is constantly evolving. Everyone wants to get the most out of their marketing campaigns, but not everyone is able to do this. With small and large changes influencing content-marketing strategies, the best way to navigate an uncertain future is by staying up to date with the latest content-marketing trends.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we have seen many shifts in the workplace and the ways in which we manage our day-to-day lives. Many companies have successfully adapted to these changes because of their flexibility and by innovating new approaches that have now developed into trends that are shaping the future of content marketing.
In this article, I’ll discuss the top 11 content-marketing trends for 2022 that you should know about. Continue reading to learn what you should be doing to reach and convert your target audience.
1. Improving the User Experience
A satisfied customer is more likely to remain a customer and even refer others to your brand. Better content improves the user experience, which, in turn, increases loyalty, conversions, and revenues. Are you writing for the right audience? Is your content engaging? Does your content use the language your target audience?
Be sure to commit the time and resources that are necessary to improve your content strategy and writing. Consider hiring an experienced in-house content manager and writers. Only employees who are dedicated to your company and devoted to the creation of good content are fully capable of communicating your brand.
Are your marketers and writers able to put themselves into the shoes of your potential customers? Does your content address your target audience’s wants and needs rather than those of your business? Does it directly answer consumers’ questions? Does your content produce an emotional response that encourages shoppers to purchase? Only if the answers to these questions are an unequivocal yes can you be sure that you’re creating customer-focused content to which today’s buyers will have a positive response.
3. Using SEO to Drive Conversions
By itself, just writing a lot of content is insufficient to bring potential customers to your site and, ultimately, persuade them to purchase your goods or services. Paying attention to your search-engine optimization (SEO) strategy when writing content helps improve the position of your pages on search engine–results pages (SERPs), which makes it easier for people to find your Web site.
Your content should not only contain relevant keywords but also conform to current search engine–optimization techniques and trends, which Google and the developers of other search engines are continually updating. Creating high-quality, useful content while also keeping the Google algorithms in mind goes a long way toward converting visitors into customers.
4. Developing Video Content
Entertaining, engaging, highly informative videos are an effective way of getting viewers excited about a brand. High-quality videos improve the customer experience by revealing your brand’s personality and connecting with viewers, which could explain why consumers increasingly prefer to learn about products and companies by viewing videos rather than by reading text.
However, with so many videos online today, the big challenge for businesses is creating content that captures viewers’ attention and simultaneously sets their brand apart from the competition. If you lack the in-house resources that are necessary to produce high-quality videos, consider bringing professional scriptwriters and videographers on board to write and produce your videos.
5. Creating Audio Content
The number of podcasts continues to grow because listeners enjoy the convenience of learning or being entertained while driving to work, doing errands, or exercising. Content-marketing podcasts are capable of increasing customers’ awareness and loyalty, as well as conversions.
Creating podcasts is relatively easy. The necessary equipment is inexpensive, and recording a podcast requires no special training. If you aren’t sure about what topics your podcast should cover, consider converting blog posts or videos into podcasts. Invite guests to participate in your podcasts and volunteer to participate in theirs.
6. Incorporating VR and AR
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming increasingly popular in content marketing. VR technology lets the user view a 3D world through a head-mounted display and is useful in gaming as well as digital-marketing applications. VR is vital for marketing in the metaverse. AR lets ecommerce shoppers project real objects onto a digital image so they can virtually try on clothing and eyeglasses or try out furniture and paint colors in their own environment.
If you haven’t used AR or VR to immerse prospects or customers in your brand, now is the time to incorporate these technologies into your marketing strategy.
Today’s consumers are always in a hurry so the worst thing a company can do is to make the purchasing process more difficult or time consuming. One way in which you can improve your brand’s cachet is by shortening the sales journey—enabling users to shop directly from whatever place they first learned about a product or service—whether a Web page, image, ad, or social-media post. Selling when customers are most inspired to purchase enhances the user experience, increases your conversions, and cultivates brand loyalty.
8. Increasing Personalization
While email marketers have long customized content by addressing their intended recipients by their first name, this trend goes much further. I’m referring to the personalization of each customer’s experience by tailoring it to his or her needs and desires.
When you undertake personalization properly, each visitor sees a unique ecommerce page—one that incorporates the user’s browsing history and provides lists of recommended and complementary products. You can obtain the necessary customer information through deep data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), the customer’s Web-browsing history, and other methods.
9. Establishing Partnerships
Marketers often build or augment their audience by leveraging the existing, well-established audiences of other brands. Let’s consider a few ways in which you could do this. Publishing guest blog posts on your Web site might bring visitors to your site who are part of that author’s audience. Establishing contacts and building relationships with key social-media influencers exposes your brand to the influencer’s audience. Responding to social-media posts that are relevant to your brand or product also gets your name in front of your target audience.
10. Tailoring Content to the Buying Stage
Creating content that you’ve tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey is vital. During the exploratory phase of this journey, the customer is searching for a type of product or service that would solve a problem or meet a need; while at the later stages, the customer is more focused on comparing product features and benefits before making a final purchasing decision.
From the beginning steps to the final stage of the buying process, your content’s goals progress from increasing prospects’ awareness through blog and social-media posts, videos, and podcasts; promoting research and evaluation by sending email messages to customers and sharing ebooks or whitepapers with your site’s visitors; and giving reasons for customers to buy by providing product-comparison guides, case studies, and samples or demos.
11. Focusing on Value-Driven Content
Today’s consumers expect their preferred brands to do more than just offer their products and services. People want to do business with companies who are honest, empathetic, transparent, and committed to social and environmental causes. A marketing strategy in which a company creates trustworthy content, takes the time to build relationships with its audience, and helps improve its communities ensures that they’ll see results in the form of customer loyalty and increased revenues.
Creating effective content is the best—and maybe the only—way to market your products or services all day, every day. Perhaps that is why 67% of marketing executives who responded to a 2021 survey said they plan to increase their content-marketing budget in 2022, while only 5% anticipated spending less on content marketing.
If you’re among those marketers who are planning to increase or at least maintain your content-marketing expenditures this year, be aware that you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you incorporate the trends I’ve discussed in this article into your content-marketing strategy.
At Straight North, an Internet marketing agency, Aaron has helped startups, middle-market firms, and Fortune 500 companies improve their organizational structure. His expertise in process conception, task automation, and internal project management has aided the growth of these companies. Read More