Content marketing has become a go-to resource in the digital age for one reason: it’s mad effective. Truly it’s something that helps companies amplify their brands, generate leads, close sales, and even attract talent. So it should come as no surprise that the world of content marketing is always evolving as marketers look for creative new ways to build an audience.
Ironically, the content marketing trends we’re seeing straddle the line between AI-driven and personal. See for yourself – Here are 10 content marketing trends dominating the business world as we head into 2022.
1) Live content
Live content – via platforms like Clubhouse, LinkedIn, and Facebook – let brands connect directly with customers in a meet-them-where-they-are context while also showcasing knowledge and value. Brands not only utilize these formats to showcase products, tips, and tricks, they also use them to discuss thought leadership and social issues. Q&A-style discussions, ask-me-anything sessions, and how-tos are mixed in with honest conversations and entertainment. The authenticity and dynamic nature of live content cannot be matched.
2) Content tailored for voice search
Voice search via phones and digital assistants has grown exponentially in popularity. In fact, 41% of adults use voice search at least once per day, which means you’ve got to shift your writing a bit. We’ve always preached a conversational writing style, but how we speak is not always how we write. So take time to adapt content to natural language search — include questions and answers, use a long tail of keywords in titles, and optimize for natural language in the pages you rank for with search terms.
3) Micro influencers
Influencer marketing has grown into its own category, and it’s easy to see why: Influencers grow their audiences by building trust, something brands are eager to tap into. Recent data shows a whopping 82% of us have purchased or considered purchasing something after seeing friends or influencers post about it. But the current trend is quality of the influencer over quantity of the reach. Kim Kardashian may command $500,000+ per post, yet micro influencers have higher conversion rates and you can hire many, many more of them.
4) Dynamic content
As the consumer need for personalized content increases, so does the development of new technology and platforms to help brands meet that demand. The latest dynamic content tools help you automate the curation and delivery of content that’s highly relevant to each individual customer – on your website, via emails, on a newsletter, and more. It’s a simple way to make sure customers have access to the custom content they crave.
5) Niche Content
Companies in a particular industry often publish similar content. After all, they all want to rank for the same keywords. This leads to major content saturation and makes it much tougher to increase your organic rankings. To stand out, brands are going niche with their content in order to focus on a more specific buyer; this often means combining your product or value prop with a specific industry. For example, instead of writing about the ways companies can use digital contracting, write about how healthcare companies can use digital contracting.
6) User generated content
Here’s an impressive stat: 85% of people trust content made by other users. That’s definitely something you want to take advantage of. User-generated content (UGC) has a ton of upside; it gives users a voice, builds community, and is super impressive for prospects and others who visit your site. And while it’s generally offered free of charge, don’t forget to dedicate the time and effort required to make sure the content is both clear and valuable. Bottom line: You’ve got to create opportunities for your users to create shareable content on your site.
7) AI-generated content
New platforms are now helping teams produce content through robotic algorithms. While the software isn’t perfect yet, there are tools that can help companies create basic content from scratch. Already marketers can use AI tools to compile and create new content based on information shared via social media (similar to Twitter’s Project Lightning, which creates new stories based on the content people share via tweet). The autonomous future is here, friends.
8) Casual Content
2021 has seen users become even more comfortable with creating their own content from home. We’ve seen Zoom gifs, new uses for TiKTok, and new creator platforms. Long content is still important, yet attention spans are dropping. You’ve got to have content that’s right for every buyer, especially those connecting with your brand on social media. Short content works better for millennials (which is the generation with the most buyers), so think videos, infographics, and new platforms – the ones that are colorful, tell a story, and include movement.
9) Content communities
Beyond simply getting noticed, today’s brands need to build loyalty, and one way to do that is to build a community. Community marketing isn’t about a quick one-time sale; it’s about engaging with customers while building trust for the long term. Your community may include people who follow your social media channels or subscribe to your newsletter. Perhaps you’ll create special community events — webinars, ask-me-anything sessions, or networking opportunities. Building community ensures customers stay at the heart of your business, which is always a great thing.
10) Hybrid content
We always appreciate content that combines formats to reach a broad range of learning styles. That means combining mediums — Embed videos in your blog posts. Compile blog posts into an ebook. Transcribe event recordings and podcasts to mine for social and blog copy. Create large infographics, but slice-n-dice them for use on social channels and blog posts. This not only gives viewers something that’s more visually appealing, it also helps you repurpose in order to get more bang for your content buck.
Content marketing trends to grow your audience in 2022 + beyond
With piles of data now at our disposal, marketers today generally have a solid understanding of customer profiles and preferences. The trick is to use that data to help you fine-tune your approach to content marketing. Try a few of these content marketing trends to help you grow your audience, brand, and bottom line in 2022. Be sure to let us know how it goes!