Are you ready to step up your content game in the year ahead? According to statistics, your competition certainly is! Last year’s survey by the Content Marketing Institute showed that 66% of marketers expected their content marketing budget for 2022 to rise above the 2021 figures.
Of course, it’s not just the size of the budget that determines success – it’s where that money goes that will make or break your content strategy.
So how do you know if you’re putting your budget to good use? Let’s have a look at some of the key digital content trends that can point you in the right direction.
1. Increased Adoption of Interactive Content
There’s no shortage of ways to make your content more engaging. Adding interactivity is easily among the most effective strategies. Due to the evolution of AI and similar tech advancements, we’re seeing interactive content all around us – from simple quizzes to Netflix movies that allow you to choose what happens next.
A great thing about interactive content is that it can provide value to both you and the reader. For instance, something as simple as the aforementioned quiz can help you qualify your leads so that you can fill your sales pipeline with warmer ones.
On top of that, it will make people spend more time on your website, which contributes to your Google rank. At the same time, your audience will have fun playing around with an interactive infographic or even mini-games.
Interactive content can involve a heftier investment due to its technical complexity. But if you nail it down, it can more than pay off.
2. Higher Focus on Different Media
Even though there are dozens of content types out there, many businesses still build their content strategy mainly around blogs. While running a valuable blog is certainly a good start, it may not be enough to grab your market’s attention.
So what can you do? Just post a couple of Insta Stories and a YouTube video, right?
Sure, but you’ll want to think bigger. You shouldn’t sleep on the many platforms gaining more traction than ever before. Perhaps you can get on Clubhouse and build a community there. Maybe the virtual world has something to offer (more on that later).
Don’t hesitate to explore the not-so-mainstream content channels. You never know when you’ll stumble upon an outstanding opportunity. Stay on top of the up-and-coming platforms and trends, and see which ones are worth your attention.
3. Preparation for the Metaverse
Web 2.0 is dead, long live Web 3.0!
Well, maybe not dead yet, but it’s slowly being replaced by the new and improved version that challenges the fundamental concepts of the internet as we know it. After a handful of massive tech companies gained a little too much power, a decentralized online future is upon us.
But what does this have to do with content, or even marketing for that matter?
Just ask Samsung, which recently launched its first Metaverse experience in Decentraland, a virtual world powered by blockchain.
If the above sentence made you scratch your head, fear not, as this blog post covers all you need to know about Web3. For now, all you need to know is that Samsung, H&M, and other big brands have started joining the Metaverse, a collection of virtual worlds where people across the globe will soon be spending their time.
It’s pretty clear how content fits in here. Samsung’s experience, for example, offers fans different stages where they can explore the company’s solutions. H&M not only promotes, but actually sells products in their virtual marketplace. You don’t have to worry about sizes, though, as the clothes aren’t for you, but your avatar.
The point is, Web 3.0 will open up a world (or worlds) of opportunities for innovative content marketers. While we’re unlikely to see the Metaverse reach its full potential in 2022, this is definitely a trend you’ll want to jump on sooner rather than later.
4. Rise of Empathetic Content
All that talk about virtual worlds might sound a bit gloomy. Will we really end up chained to our VR headsets? Will we no longer require a genuine human connection?
Probably not. If anything, we’ll need even more of it! Our means of communication have certainly gotten ‘colder’ over the years, but empathy in content marketing and communication in general never lost its significance. On the contrary, it makes the message you want to send to your audience cut more easily through all the noise.
As the world around us digitizes even more, empathetic content will be the key to marketing success. You’ll need to make sure your content is human so that people can relate to your brand. If you need some tips, our quick guide can help.
5. Podcasts Galore
Between 2018 and 2021, the percentage of podcast listeners in the U.S. grew from 26% to 41%. There’s no doubt that podcasts will remain among the key content marketing trends in 2022 and beyond.
No matter your industry, there are plenty of interesting topics that people would love to hear about. You can interview industry experts, share captivating stories, and engage your listeners in a number of ways.
If you want your podcast to succeed, it’s crucial to get your audience involved. Ask them about the topics they’d like covered, encourage them to leave you feedback, and always listen as carefully as you’d like them to listen to you.
6. Hyper-Personalization of Content
It’s no secret that personalization is essential to effective targeting. But just like any other content marketing tactic, it keeps evolving at all times. Today, personalization in the traditional sense might not be enough to get your audience hooked. Rather, it takes a hyper-personalized approach to do so.
What does this mean? What exactly falls under that “hyper” prefix?
It comes down to digging deeper into your audience’s needs and wants using data, AI, and automation. The goal is to create unique interactions through the right channels in a way that will make the customer forget they’re talking to a brand.
Netflix is a perfect example of a company that does this with immense success. The company knows its audience to the core, and that’s clearly shown in the way it communicates with them. Be it TV show announcements or Instagram memes, just about every piece of content Netflix puts out highly resonates with each of the segments it’s intended for.
If you haven’t already, there’s still time to make hyper-personalization a New Year’s resolution. It will surely take time to gather and analyze all the relevant data, but the loyalty you’ll get from your audience if you nail it down is worth it.
7. Better Application of Account-Based Marketing
Focusing on Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is by far one of the most crucial content marketing trends for 2022 and beyond, especially in the B2B space. The reason is simple – customers don’t want to feel a disconnect between marketing and sales during their buying journey. ABM helps you get marketing and sales on the same page so that the transition is seamless.
So how do you do that?
ABM calls for an intentional and methodical approach. It’s not enough to just get your marketing and sales teams in the same room. You need to create alignment in deliverables, KPIs, and the processes that these two functions cover.
Each ABM campaign you launch should focus on a single goal, and both marketing and sales need to strive towards it. You can’t chase after new accounts and try to revive the cold ones at the same time. So choose a goal for each campaign, get everyone’s buy-in, and design the marketing and sales process as one whole.
Get on Board
Despite the events that have shaken up our physical world, the online space is ready for another exciting year. We’re on the cusp of a new era for the internet, and being an early adopter of all those advancements can pay off handsomely.
We’re yet to see the specifics of how content will evolve with the changes, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the digital content trends mentioned here and their results. Open your business up to new ideas, and let 2022 be your most successful year yet.