When you invest in content marketing, you improve your ability to engage your audience, convert more leads, and boost brand awareness.
But content marketing can take on many forms.
The key is to determine which content marketing trends and tactics are the most effective. Your business should leverage them to reach your goals.
2022 Content Marketing Trends
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a few tactics that you should focus on in 2022.
Trends in content come and go. You will see consistent ROI from creating accessible, inclusive content, focusing on customer retention, improving your search rankings, utilizing voice search optimization, and integrating augmented reality technology into your marketing strategy.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these top marketing trends.
1. Continued Inclusivity Efforts
When marketers are developing their content strategies, they tend to overlook a very important detail. They forget to make their content accessible to all readers.
What exactly does this mean? It means prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
54% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplaces. Millennials are far more likely to choose brands that show inclusion and diversity in their advertising.
Inclusive content focuses on serving and resonating with people who have varying characteristics. This definition from Salesforce sums it up pretty well: “We define inclusive marketing as creating content that truly reflects the diverse communities that our companies serve. It means that we are elevating diverse voices and role models, decreasing cultural bias, and leading positive social change through thoughtful and respectful content.”
It’s easy to look at demographics—age, gender, race, ability, etc.—and think that’s all that’s needed to convey diversity in content marketing. While this is a good place to start, it’s not the only way to build lasting connections.
Content marketing is no longer limited to geographical constraints and outdated mindsets. If you want to attract and retain an audience, marketers must put the effort into sharing content that is mindful of all communities.
Choose your words carefully—be aware of how your pronouns, pop culture references, and idioms may impact your readers.
Your text should be easy for all groups to understand. A good rule of thumb is to cut out the jargon and write at a 6th-grade reading level.
Make links clear and, whenever possible, advise visually impaired users that links will open in another tab.
Your content marketing updates should also involve the images you choose to use in campaigns. Prospects and customers will identify with brands when they see people like them reflected in your marketing.
In Microsoft Advertising’s research for The Psychology of Inclusion and the Effects in Advertising, nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they are more trusting of brands that have diversity in their ads. About the same number of people (63%) said brands that promote diversity in their advertising are more authentic and trustworthy.
When you make your content marketing more inclusive, you reach more customers and stand out from other brands.
2. Increased Focus on Customer Retention
The battle between customer acquisition and customer retention is never-ending. Countless companies spend time pouring money into attracting new customers. As marketers, it’s natural to want to focus on what’s new rather than what we’re already familiar with.
But the reality is customer retention can be an even more powerful strategy to grow your business than customer acquisition.
Here’s what the numbers say:
- Satisfied customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and/or new services.
- 60% of loyal customers will discuss their favorite brands with their friends and family.
- Returning loyal customers spend an average of 33% more per order as compared to new customers.
- More than 90% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with meaningful and relevant offers.
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%.
There are a ton of ways to carry out customer retention marketing. From interacting on social media to setting realistic expectations, here are a few best practices for boosting your customer retention rate.
Publish High-Quality Content Consistently
This is a great way to build trust with your customers. By publishing blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, demos, podcasts, guides, and videos on a regular basis, you are offering your audience continual value. Don’t be afraid to consult your customer support and sales teams for relevant topics. They have a better grasp of customer pain points and concerns than anyone else.
Respond to Messages and Comments on Social Media
If you want to know how customers feel about your brand, all you have to do is look at your social media. Whether it’s praise or criticism, responding quickly and professionally shows that you care about what is said and aren’t just looking to earn profits.
Turn Your Customers into Brand Advocates
Word of mouth marketing can be effective both in-person and online. To encourage advocacy, try building an online community for your top customers. This is a safe place where they can ask questions, share their options, and connect with others in the community.
3. Smarter SEO
SEO is the bread and butter for most marketers. In order to maintain authority in your niche and retain your content rankings, it’s important to stay up-to-date in the world of SEO as things change fast. These are some of the content marketing trends you’ll want to have on your radar this year.
During the Google I/O 2021 conference, the company introduced Multitask United Model, or MUM. It aims to provide answers to complex search demands using an AI-powered algorithm. It can also analyze video, images, and text from over 75 languages. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s Head of Search, “Google’s new Natural Language Processing Model is “1,000 times more powerful [than BERT] and can multitask in order to unlock information in new ways.”
During the early days of COVID-19, ecommerce received an extra boost of $183 billion, as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their daily needs.
Though Google’s online shopping capabilities haven’t been as strong as Shopify’s or Amazon’s, the company’s new Shopping Graph model is basically SEO for ecommerce.
According to the president of Commerce and Payments, Bill Ready, the Shopping Graph “works in real-time so people can discover and shop for products that are available right now.”
Ever since search engines came into existence, SEO experts have been hyper-focused on trying to get their pages to rank number one. Over the years, this has become more difficult due to the newer “zero-rank” position.
Fortunately, Google has developed a solution in the form of “passage indexing.” This allows a page to rank for a specific passage instead of the entire page. In February 2021, “passage ranking,” officially went live.
4. Voice Search Optimization
Voice search has dominated the search landscape in recent years. Speech recognition has become a convenience to many. It allows users to speak directly into their devices (Alexa, Siri, OkGoogle) instead of typing out search queries.
Currently, more than 30% of the world’s mobile users make use of voice search at least once per week. And the majority of voice search users—over 50%—are below the age of 18.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider for this strategy is understanding user intent. Unlike a typed search, a voice search is often a full sentence. When people ask their digital assistant a question, it goes more like “Where can I find a mechanic in San Diego?”
For this reason, voice search optimized content needs to be conversational in nature—it is a conversation after all. It begins with a question, and if the answer turns out to be your company, this will result in more business and higher rankings.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) Integration
Contrary to popular belief, AR isn’t just for games. It’s become one of the world’s leading content marketing trends. It gives businesses a chance to engage with people on a more interactive, immersive level and explore new storytelling opportunities.
A successful AR content strategy requires marketers to know their audience really well. And due to the immersive nature of AR, it allows you to connect with them on a sensory level. Use that to your advantage by finding ways to bring your brand to life through interactive try-ons and experiences.
With AR, marketers are able to let customers try before they buy without visiting a store or having access to a physical product. Instead, they get the in-store experience delivered digitally.
Take a makeup brand, for example. L’Oreal recently partnered with app developer ModiFace, to build an augmented reality mirror. It lets customers apply lipsticks, eyeshadows, and foundations to their faces. This gives users an easy, fun way to test a new product without having to leave the house.
You may be familiar with the old adage—“content is king”—and in 2022, it will remain true.
But businesses can no longer rely on blog posts and advertisements to carry the message of their brand. You need to get creative when trying to engage users.
As people continue to look for new ways to access and consume information, marketers will need to pivot and adapt their strategy whenever necessary. By paying close attention to these content marketing trends, you’ll be able to deliver the high-quality, relevant, and interactive content your audience has been craving.