In 2022, marketing will continue to be the cornerstone of business success.
Marketing has become a field of applications, expertise, and even an industry with well-developed ramifications that encompasses a wide range of tactics, tools and solutions for entrepreneurs.
Today, digital marketing experts believe that the best results can only be achieved through a comprehensive and consistent approach that includes a careful mix of all existing marketing tools.
However, several recent studies have shown that some marketing streams are ultimately more important than others, such as content marketing.
Let’s start by reminding you what content marketing is, before looking at its usefulness for your business and analyzing the trends for 2022.
Content marketing: definition
Content marketing is a process of consistent and regular publication of high value-added content that comes in different forms (blog posts, newsletters, white papers, videos, podcasts, social media posts, etc.) and that your audience wants to consume.
This marketing strategy therefore implies that brands act as true publishers and create content on a platform that preferably belongs to them, such as a website or a blog.
Another key aspect of content marketing is that it is customer-focused, with the objective of answering consumers’ questions, needs and issues.
It is the creation of content that your audience consumes on your own website that will enable your business to reach, engage and convert prospects.
Thus, content marketing establishes the link between what you produce as a company and what your audience is looking for.
It guides your audience to your product or service gradually and inevitably, provided it is carefully crafted and executed.
Importance and challenges of content marketing today
According to a 2021 U.S. study, more than 50% of marketing teams consider content creation a top priority.
And for good reason, there are multiple reasons why content marketing is so important to business success today.
Here are the main vital functions it can perform for your business, all of which correlate with each other and work in a cascade:
It provides the public with information about your brand, products and services
It answers the questions and problems encountered by your audience
It builds trust between your brand and your audience by demonstrating your expertise
It generates leads and facilitates the work of your sales team
It increases conversions and sales
From this point of view, the importance of content marketing is undeniable, but there are actually some real gageures that pose big problems for marketers and can even prevent them from implementing their content marketing strategy:
Algorithm updates from major social networks and video platforms like Facebook or YouTube
Regular changes in the search and ranking algorithms of major search engines such as Google or Bing
The regulations on the protection and confidentiality of data and personal information
As you can see, most of these challenges are directly related to a constantly changing environment, and therefore, mastering all the components of your content marketing strategy is a difficult task.
In order for you to prepare your content strategy for 2022 in the best possible conditions, let’s take a look at the trends that your company should take into account, regardless of its size – start-up, SME, B2B or B2C – and its industry.
Content marketing trends to watch in 2022
1- Increasing demand for relevant and reliable content
Google’s major updates, Page Experience and Core Web Vitals, as well as anti-spam initiatives are raising the bar for content creators and marketing teams who want their output to be easily discoverable in web search.
To ensure that your content is rated highly by Google in 2022, follow these tips:
Seek to create exceptional content experiences with the integration of various elements – audio, video, text, AR/VR (Augmented/Virtual Reality), gamification and other interactive ingredients.
Create content with your typical customer’s requirements in mind: what content does it take to grab their attention and win their favor?
Always show empathy and focus on building trust in every piece of content you create.
2- A better understanding of consumer search intent
Marketers and SEO professionals who are always hyper-focused on keywords and their performance sometimes miss the opportunity to truly connect with their audience in a meaningful way, and they miss the main thing: what is the intent behind the search?
Understanding not only what people are searching for, but why they are typing into their search bar is essential to planning and creating content that directly addresses their needs.
To better understand this, you need to leverage real-time search information to better understand what motivates your prospects at any given time.
It’s also essential to analyze your customer journey to find stopping points and gaps in content and create a smoother user experience and buying experience.
Finally, use research analysis tools on the topics that interest the readers of your blog posts, the keywords and the competition in order to provide content that perfectly meets the search intentions.
3- The need for smarter, data-driven content planning and documentation
Marketers today need to go beyond using the information and data available on last year’s performance.
Today, there are more and more touchpoints and interactions that make tracking and analytics extremely difficult for marketing teams.
Your content strategy for 2022 should not be set in stone on January 1. Instead, it should include putting processes and tools in place that can constantly analyze data and act on your content strategy throughout the year.
To do this, evaluate your current marketing tech stack (the set of software you use) to identify any redundant or inefficient elements and tools that don’t work well together.
If you don’t already have automated creative processes based on your internal data, it’s time to work on improving your technology and people skills, or outsource this aspect of your content marketing to increase the quality of your work.
Finally, identify and document workflows and processes that work, so you can replicate your efforts and scale them as needed.
4- Integrate as best as possible the functioning of SERPs and Google’s guidelines
Convincing Google that your content is the best answer to a relevant query is not an easy task.
To begin with, you’ll need to make sure you follow Google’s guidelines, but also be aware of the many opportunities you have to appear at the top of the search rankings, outside of the traditional search results.
There are other opportunities worth exploiting, such as featured snippets, people also ask, video carousels, image results, top stories, etc.
Here are some tips to improve your content marketing in this area:
Analyze the SERPs where you want to appear and optimize content for the types of search results that will get you a high ranking there
Regularly review and update your old content so that it is optimized for the type of SEO you are seeking
Use proper Schema markup to help Google understand exactly what your content has to offer
5- Increased voice, video and visual content via mobile and social media
Focusing only on the volume of content is a mistake.
In 2022, challenge yourself and your team to really think about how your messages and information are presented.
For a given topic, would watching a video be more compelling than reading an article? Would publishing an audio version help expand your audience? And so on.
On mobile and social media, consumers are looking for short, interactive and entertaining content.
Here are some tips to keep you thinking:
For each new piece of content you plan, think about what additional content elements you could use to engage your audience and expand your reach
Invest in the tools and talent (writers, designers, community managers, etc.) you’ll need to diversify your online content offerings