Like everything else in digital, content marketing is fast paced.
Which means that best practice and trends change from year to year. What was good in 2021 may well have changed for 2022.
The start of the year is always a great time to take stock and look at what you want to do with your content for the year ahead.
Content marketing trend forecast for 2022
With this in mind, we have put together this content marketing trend forecast for 2022, to let you know what we think will be big in content marketing over the coming twelve months.
If you are adapting your content marketing strategy for 2022, then here are nine key things that you should put on your list:
1. Empathetic marketing
If you have not yet heard of empathetic marketing then get ready to hear a whole lot more about it in 2022.
Empathetic marketing, or empathy-based marketing as it is sometimes known, starts with seeing through your customers’ eyes.
It involves really getting to know your customers.
You will need to find out exactly who they are, what motivates them to act and what challenges they are facing in order to respond to this.
Think about talking to your target audience as humans, rather than just potential buyers.
Knowing your customer inside and out will enable you to create helpful content, which builds trust and creates a better customer experience.
You will then have a more authentic relationship with your customers.
2. Quality content
It is no longer acceptable to create content solely for SEO purposes, just targeting your chosen keywords.
Your content now needs be high quality, relevant and trustworthy. Most importantly, it should engage the reader.
We know that Google already chooses which content it wants to display in the meta title and meta description fields on the search engine results pages (SERPs), in order to help the user find the most relevant and useful content.
You should therefore ensure that your in-depth blog posts and landing pages are written by experts and that your content matches the user’s needs, answering any questions they may have.
3. Better measurements for success
As we have just mentioned, gone are the days of creating content just for the sake of it.
It is now essential to ensure that your content drives traffic to your website, converting where you need it to.
In short, it needs to be adding to the bottom line.
Reporting and analysing your results is essential for making data driven decisions and building on your success. As well as for ensuring that you do not repeat any costly mistakes.
As far as content pieces such as blog posts are concerned, important metrics include page views, dwell time on page and the number and quality of backlinks to a post.
So take the time to familiarise yourself with the wide variety of tools with which you can measure the performance of your content, adjusting it as necessary.
4. Social responsibility
We know that social responsibility, ethics, and transparency all matter to your customers. And this has become increasingly more apparent over the last few years.
Content and social media strategies should therefore focus on inclusivity, as well as highlighting any causes and initiatives that your company might be supporting.
This might not translate to sales immediately. But it will help to build customer loyalty and spread awareness of your brand.
Even if customers are not buying, they may well start to share your messaging.
You should ensure that your choice of causes you wish to support also align closely with your brand (or else that you have a personal connection to them) for greater authenticity.
5. A bigger focus on SEO
Search engine optimisation is nothing new but it should still be a priority, alongside the new innovations for marketing, in 2022.
Google algorithms are constantly evolving and updating and therefore both your content and SEO strategy need to adapt to these changes.
Over the years, SEO has become much more than just churning out content to meet preferred search terms.
Consider video and image SEO, link building, optimising older pages and considering voice search as you do this.
We have previously covered SEO tips that have stood the test of time so be sure to check these out.
6. Blogs are here to stay in 2022
Blogging has been a tried and tested content strategy pretty much since the beginning of websites themselves.
However, it still remains a valuable marketing tactic. Put simply, blogging works.
Creating top quality blog posts will help to build customer engagement and potentially conversion.
They are also one of the best ways to get discovered through search.
Creating blogs which directly respond to the needs of your customer will help to funnel the customer through your sales channel.
Blogs are not going anywhere in 2022, so it is worth creating a robust blog for your brand, if you have not done so already.
7. Short-form video content
Short form video content became popular in 2012, with the introduction of the Vine app.
The social media platform allowed users to upload and view looping 6-second videos.
At the height of its popularity, over 100 million people were logging on to the platform each month (source: Productmint).
However, the platform folded in 2016, leaving a gap in the market which was not filled until TikTok exploded in 2020.
Instagram quickly followed suit, with the introduction of its Reels feature.
With people increasingly short on time, thanks to busy jobs and social lives, as well as the significant shortening of our attention spans, short form video satisfies our need to consume content which does take up too much of our time.
Aim to keep your videos short but informative and useful.
Instructional videos, tutorials and shareable round-up videos are going to continue to be popular throughout 2022.
In 2022, more businesses are predicted to use podcasts in order to stand out from the competition.
In the UK alone, around 6.5 million adults listen to a podcast each week (source: Backtracks) So there is clearly a huge audience to go at.
Unlike visual or written content, podcasts can be listened to during activities such as the morning commute or at the gym.
As with all your content marketing in 2022, podcasts should be authentic and relevant, designed to answer a customer’s needs.
With podcasting, consistency is key, as listeners tend to subscribe and listen each week.
With a quality podcast, you might find that your social media channels also grow, helping to drive more traffic to your blog posts too.
9. A narrowing focus on social media platforms
Instead of spreading your brand too thin and trying to appeal to all audiences on all social media platforms, it will become more commonplace in 2022 to narrow your focus.
Focussing on three to five social media platforms (depending on the size of your team of course!) will help to ensure that you are creating quality, engaging content for each.
It will also mean that you can give your customers great service here too.