Marketers and PR agencies have always worked in an environment where consumer preferences constantly evolve, and they must adapt to these changes. It is therefore not surprising to witness how marketing teams have leveraged current trends successfully in the last year. In fact, marketers started adapting to the chaos almost immediately, even in the midst of abruptly halted in-person events, a massive shift toward digital marketing, and (for many) reduced budgets.
As the economy improves, many businesses and marketers will likely find themselves with more money to spend.
This article will look at some marketing trends that experts have already observed, and those that are predicted to continue in 2022.
Marketing Trends To Watch In 2022
1) Events will adopt a hybrid model
When the pandemic resulted in closures and social distancing measures, marketers and companies faced the cancellation of all kinds of in-person events, from store grand openings to big-ticket concert series. Virtual events took their place as a way for engaging with customers and leads. Increased spending on social media and other digital platforms contributed to the success of these events.
Consumers and the marketers who pitch to them are now torn between two opposing event models. Indeed, the desire to reassemble physically in one place is strong among some consumers. Many consumers, however, are content to keep things virtual after experiencing the convenience of being able to attend live events from the comfort of their couches. You will need to create hybrid events for your company so that you can cater to both audiences. In-person events will have a robust digital component, and technologies like AR and VR can provide an immersive experience for those who don’t want to leave their homes.
A good example of hybrid events is #FinCon2, the digital marketing event for Personal Finance content creators, where people could attend in person in Texas or virtually from anywhere in the world. A live stream from the main stage, the ability to connect 1:1 with other attendees, and various networking and conferencing opportunities were all available on the virtual side of the event.
2) Personalization gets creative
With more businesses springing up on the internet every day, users are becoming pickier about the content they consume. Corporate brands are incorporating personalization into their marketing strategies to engage their audiences better and stand out in the crowded digital space, from social media and email to display advertising.
In 2022, we expect this trend to accelerate, with personalized marketing expanding to include more untapped channels and content formats, such as videos, articles, podcasts, and streaming services. You must understand how to use different channels to communicate with customers personally. Many companies are already reaching their target audiences through strategies that include multiple touchpoints. By giving the most appealing content to a customer at the right time, you can use customized marketing effectively across various channels.
Spotify’s ‘Only You’ campaign is an excellent example of personalized marketing using a targeted content channel. Spotify launched ‘Only You’ in June 2021, a campaign that included an in-app experiences and personalized playlists to honor each user’s listening habits and music preferences.
3) Marketing companies will take more ownership
More sales and marketing firms will take ownership of the products or services they help in selling. This shift makes sense because if you can sell someone’s products and generate significant revenue, your company’s value will rise as a result. If you have a stake in the company, you will be even more motivated to succeed. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
Regardless of if you are in marketing or sales, you should start by determining which products and services will benefit from your services. You can then decide which companies will allow you to implement performance metrics to gain ownership and achieve their objectives. For example, TechCrunch recently covered an outsourced CMO firm that established its own venture firm to invest in businesses that can benefit from the firm’s resources.
4) Engaging nonprofits will be a big component of marketing plans
Potential customers are increasingly looking for companies with a mission or that give back in some way. With a well-rounded marketing strategy, you should be able to partner with nonprofits and take advantage of this trend. Partnering with a nonprofit has the potential to help any company grow while also aligning them with important philanthropic missions.
You create a win-win situation when you can expand your brand and reach while advocating for a good cause. Even so, your company’s marketing strategy should go beyond simply expressing support for a charitable organization. You should incorporate product placement, affiliate marketing, percentage of sales donations, and corporate sponsorship in your plans. According to experts, these types of partnerships can help you reach a new audience all over the world.
5) AI will make influencer marketing easier and more results-driven
While many analysts have predicted the death of influencer marketing, it has yet to happen. The migration toward micro-influencers and their more highly engaged audiences is one example of how influencer marketing has evolved.
The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence will be the next major shift. You can use this technology for every aspect of influencer marketing, from influencer identification to performance influencer marketing (AI can watch and assess millions of influencer videos in ways that humans can’t). All you pay for under this model is conversions and sales influencers in this model. The return on investment with predictive AI is virtually guaranteed.
6) Marketers will find reasonable alternatives to third-party cookies
Another predicted death, the third-party cookie, has been postponed to 2023 thanks to Google’s recent announcement. While the delay has made it slightly less urgent for marketers to wean themselves from 3P cookie-based targeting strategies, it is still critical to adopt alternative strategies in advance. Consumers are demanding more privacy protections and control over their data, forcing marketers to adapt.
You could start by putting more effort into gathering and fully utilizing first-party data; after all, first-party cookies aren’t going away anytime soon. You can also use tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox or FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to achieve personalization and consumer targeting while respecting user privacy. CRM tools, surveys, and interactive content will all play a more prominent role in marketing success in the future.
Content Marketing Trends To Watch In 2022
1) Content alignment will never be more important
Any company that wants to dominate its industry should coordinate its public relations, thought leadership, and SEO efforts. Think of all these elements as a Venn diagram of thought leadership, demonstrating the significance of overlapping visibility, credibility, and authority. You can easily stand out in your industry if you can align these factors.
That means you must have some source content on your website and other platforms you own, such as social media or sister sites. Once you have established a good foundation of authority on various topics, you must increase your credibility by incorporating PR, including earning backlinks and mentions from other trusted authorities in your field. Finally, you must ensure that your content covers specific topics that you have expert insights on.
2) Focus on customer retention
Thousands of businesses filed for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic. Most businesses are operating on tight budgets, which severely restricts their marketing options. Getting new clients is more expensive than keeping old ones.
As a cost-effective means of business success, content marketing efforts are expected to focus on client retention. Existing customers ensure repeat purchases, resulting in increased profits. Additionally, satisfied customers will promote your business for free. Sales are effectively driven by word-of-mouth referrals to family and friends, ensuring that your company stays afloat during difficult times.
3) Shift to remote work
While this may seem evident given the digital transformation that occurred in 2020 due to the pandemic, remote work continues to feature in ongoing content marketing trends to watch in 2022. One of the reasons remote work is thriving is the ongoing need to keep operations running while maintaining social distance. With the pandemic still raging, more businesses will use remote work solutions to meet their content requirements. Apart from the cost savings from not having to rent an office, remote workers have fewer demands. Businesses pay for services only when they require them.
Professionals affected by the pandemic have also found remote work opportunities to be a lifeline. They can easily handle administrative tasks such as bookkeeping from home. Furthermore, students frequently choose to hire a writer for essay writing services and help with various academic assignments. As a result, professional writers are doing well.
4) Increased podcast consumption
The popularity of educational podcasts is at an all-time high, and many companies are likely to jump on board this year. There are already a number of successful podcasts aimed at entrepreneurs and businesses. Podcasts offer listeners helpful information on a variety of topics and have enormous potential as a content marketing tool.
As a content marketer, you can share your stories widely with the right podcasting strategy. You can draw attention to the positive aspects of your products and services among niche audiences. Podcasts can also supplement blog posts for audiences who prefer audio. Podcasts, unlike written content, have a personal touch. Various aspects of the voice, such as tone and emotion, can make your content more engaging in podcast format.
5) High-quality SEO
To take advantage of customers’ preferences for online shopping, businesses have embraced digital solutions. Unlike others, online-based companies continued to receive orders for their goods and services during the pandemic. The demand for high-quality SEO soared in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022, thanks to the ever-growing e-commerce industry.
The existence of an online store does not imply that it will be successful. Businesses must work hard to distinguish themselves from the millions of other companies that have an online presence. Companies are rushing to get a spot on the first page of popular search engines, which means SEO experts will have a busy year ahead of them.
6) Commitment to inclusivity
The number of protests advocating for fairness and inclusivity increased last year. For this reason, companies that support inclusivity movements are more likely to reap the benefits. After all, people want to know that their favorite business cares about people from all walks of life.
The momentum of the inclusivity campaign model has picked up since last year’s events. As a result, we’re now more likely to see more companies make statements of solidarity and support. When dealing with anyone, regardless of their background, businesses must be impartial.
7) Incorporating voice search
The success of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices demonstrates the demand for voice-activated content. Smart speakers have sold in the millions worldwide, with the Google Home Mini speaker accounting for the majority of sales. Thanks to the benefits of hands-free operations, almost every home now has a smart device that includes voice search.
The human voice is something with which everyone can identify. As more people use voice search, content marketers are likely to incorporate it into their campaigns. The FAQ content is one way to take advantage of the fantastic benefits of voice search. People are always going to have questions. Voice-based FAQ content can be beneficial if you use the right keywords.
The marketing industry is constantly evolving, primarily because it is mainly based on the expectations and needs of consumers. The growth of the technology sphere has made digital and content marketing a part of a company’s overall marketing strategy. If you cannot understand and pinpoint current and future trends, you may miss out on the opportunity to reach your target audience.