We’ve discovered the five leading content marketing trends dominating the digital landscape in the first quarter of 2022. As marketers today navigate the quick evolution of content trends, the wider cultural changes and the pivots in platform capacities, 2022 marks a year of innovation and reimagination of content marketing. In the post-covid era, content marketing remains a crucial arm in enriching the customer experience. These emerging trends have leveraged brand engagement, conversion and an enhanced customer experience.
#1 People First
Despite digitalisation becoming even more widespread, it’s the trend of people-centric content that is continuously proving success and dynamism. A renewed interest in human connection throughout the content experience follows the cultural investment in the emotion economy. Fuelled by the pandemic era, audiences have been reconceived as humans first, rather than just potential buyers.
This commitment has extended to incorporating empathetic and socially conscious messaging throughout content marketing. As of 2022, 82% of marketers are continuing to invest or investing more in their brand’s social responsibility. This trend of imbuing these elements of the emotion economy into your content marketing strategy serves to produce multidimensional content.
Connection between your brand and your audience throughout your content strategy has influenced the prevalence of interactive content experiences. Interactive posts have increased by 33% in recent years as marketers embrace engaging and provoking the audience into action. Beyond the CTAs, interactive content extends to social media assets as well as more dynamic collateral. As of 2022, Hubspot has noted 46% of marketers are planning on investing in assets which foster audience interaction for the first time, following studies of its success.
The humanisation of brand distinguishes this era of content marketing as content now operates as responsive, intuitive and considered. Staying up to date on what your targeted audience prefers and needs when it comes to content is a way to create a better all-around customer experience.
#2 Balancing Personalisation and Privatisation
Content marketing has been led in recent years by the data derived from personalisation software and systems. Crafting a more personalised and considered customer experience, hyper-personalised content experiences continue to dominate as consumers begin to expect this experience.
As personalisation becomes the industry standard, it continues to fuel conversion and connective customer journeys and be enriched with the development of hyper-personalisation. Hyper-personalisation is a data-driven marketing approach, utilising data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation to create unique interactions with individual customers. Examples of brands already effectively using hyper-personalisation content strategies include Amazon, Netflix, Stitch Fix, Naked Wines, WES, and VI Trainer.
However, recent IOS changes and wider cultural attitudes could mark a disillusionment with hyper-personalisation, pivoting to value data and privacy. For content marketers, this marks an urgency to reconceive how data operates in the digital space and how we can use content to maintain and foster trust and comfort between marketers and their customers.
#3 The Video Era
Since 2019, Tiktok has only continued to lead as the most popular and most used platform. With this new era of social media, video has continued to emerge as the dominant content type, proven to be more engaging and enjoyable for your audience. Incorporating video assets into your wider marketing strategy is essential to navigate the digital landscape for 2022. As of this year, it’s been determined, 80% of online visitors watch a video but only 20% read the content. We’re experiencing the evolution of social media into a video-led space, prompting marketers to adapt their content to navigate this evolving digital scape.
With the adoption of Reels into Instagram in 2020, our social media platforms have shaped consumers to expect video as the leading content form and prompt customer spending. Consumer spending on TikTok increased by a whopping 77% in 2021 and is set to only continue as the app becomes more widely used across different demographics. Often left unconsidered, Instagram Lives emerge as the highest ROI of any content format. It is also the most effective for gaining followers and the most shares.
Embracing and reimaging how video can operate within your content marketing strategy increasingly sits as an essential component of this year’s digital space. By responding to the user’s habits and desires, video content continues to reap success, emotional connection and brand loyalty.
#4 The Untapped Power of Podcasts
Recent years have seen a resurgence of audio content into the market with the explosion of podcasts. Ten years ago, there were an estimated 12,000 podcasts available and now this number has grown to over 2 million. Podcasts have grown to become an expected and favoured part of the content library.
Hubspot noted at the end of last year, 40% of content markets said they were hoping to increase their investment in audio content. This commitment responds to the increasing amount of case studies that continue to find the success of podcasts.
A BBC Global News neuroscience study found that podcasts lead in terms of brand awareness and favorability. In comparison to traditional media forms, podcasts are distinguished to provide 89% higher brand awareness, 14% higher purchase intent and 57% higher brand consideration. In comparison to other advertising routes, podcast paid ads lead with a conversion rate of 1.58%, in comparison to 1.11% for Facebook.
Podcasts serve to provide rich and authentic connections with your audience, akin to the intimacy of a conversation. Capable of expanding audience reach, building credibility, deepening engagement and creating top-of-mind recall, podcasts prevail as the leading untapped path of content marketing. With investment in the content growing, 2022 will see podcasts dominate content marketing trends.
#5 The New Wave of Augmented Reality
The latest tech has allowed social media platforms to mimic the in-store shopping experience through the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Cited to increase conversion rates by over 30%, 2022 has seen fashion, homewares & beauty continue to integrate these existing app affordances and user habits into their content marketing strategy. AR continues to grow in popularity for content marketers, providing the ultimate personalised and unique experience.
Facebook AR ad services lets the customer engage with the product through their camera lens, including product try-on & product visualisation. British homewares brand, Made.com adopted this technology into their Facebook ads to allow the customers to use the camera tool to visualise the product in their home, Made.com experienced a 2.5 times increase in conversion rate, a 3 times increase in add-to-cart for products experience with AR and 63,000 additional website visits to MADE.COM via the augmented reality experience.
24 percent of adults in Australia have already tried out immersive shopping experiences and we can expect that number to only grow as the consumer becomes more literate and open to AR technology and this trend grows more widespread.
Consumers are adapting to expect this experience from retailers, as the brick & mortar experience continues to decline. This marks a major opportunity for content marketers to begin enhancing their content marketing for the customer like never before.