Content marketing in 2022 must reflect the changing circumstances of the world around us. In an ever increasingly digital world, content isn’t just king, it’s the currency by which shoppers, visitors, and users engage with businesses, brands, and each other. Every day, users themselves are creating content and adding to an already noisy digital landscape – meaning that brands aren’t just competing with each other, they’re also competing with the very constituents they’re targeting.
Since the advent of COVID, content has only become more important as people have flocked to digital channels for information, entertainment, and escape amidst the realities of day-to-day pandemic living. As businesses look ahead to 2022 and marketing leaders flesh out their content strategies, here are four simple principles to keep in mind to best engage their audience and successfully meet their expectations.
Video Reigns On
As may be no surprise to anyone that’s been in marketing since the creation of the video camera, video marketing continues to rise as an area of focus for businesses across nearly every industry. As reported in Cisco’s Annual Internet Report, it’s estimated that video will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic in 2022. Consumers are demanding video and brands have every reason to meet that demand – successful videos can help businesses rank better in search, better engage users on social, and be leveraged again and again across different channels.
But video for the sake of video is a mistake too many businesses make. As with any piece of content, it’s critical that each video in your 2022 content marketing strategy has a clearly defined goal (e.g., a how-to video introducing your product or service to your top of the funnel leads). That goal should be the driver for every subsequent decision – including how the video is produced, edited, subtitled, distributed, and more. A clearly defined goal should also include the target audience, KPIs, intended distribution channels, and call to action.
Simple = Good
In an environment that’s basically screaming for user attention, being the loudest only adds to the noise. Choose clarity over noise – it’s the clearest message, not the loudest, that will last. As digital traffic has increased over time and businesses have put more effort into content, some have erred on providing more – more information, more access, more features. While done in the name of providing audiences with as much information as possible, it can have the unintended effect of overwhelming visitors and turning them away.
But keep in mind, simple and clear does not equal short and concise. From an SEO perspective, long-form content performs better consistently but what will benefit your business over the long term is thinking less in terms of word count and more in terms of – how can I best answer the audience’s query with this content? Know your audience first and then create content that meets their needs and aligns to their search intent.
Bet on UX
At any given minute, 3.47 million videos are watched on YouTube, 210 million emails are sent, 26,000 apps are downloaded. Every minute of every day, a myriad tools and channels are competing to best engage users. As more content is produced, your audience is becoming more discerning and evaluating the experience of your content against an endless stream of competitors. Businesses are investing in improving the user experience across their product pages, shopping carts, apps, and more, and must ensure equitable investment in all content.
Beyond the table stakes basics of site speed, architecture, responsiveness, readability, etc., it’s important to apply a UX lens to creating engaging content. Whether it’s a simple blog post or an interactive piece, users have become accustomed to a level of experience and personalization that brands must be prepared to deliver via effective UX.
In your 2022 content marketing strategy, consider the user’s experience in all aspects of engaging your content, whether it’s finding the piece, reading it, or sharing it. Are there too many links on the page distracting the user? How many clicks did it take the user to reach the content? How clear is the central message within a few seconds of landing on the page? All aspects of the user experience will now have cascading effects on your ability to engage and grow your target audience.
Borrow from Peter to Pay Paul
Depending on the industry, business type, and organizational objectives, content marketing accounts for roughly 25-30% of a marketing budget, on average. As a sizeable chunk of the budget, maximizing ROI is not only fiscally responsible – it’s a strategic opportunity. For how much is invested in content, many businesses are leaving money on the table by not embedding content repurposing and syndication in their 2022 content marketing strategy.
More often than not, each piece of content can be refitted for a new channel or new purpose. Marketing leaders should approach content with a mindset of balancing both creating new content and optimizing existing content. What will this look like in practice?
- Turning a blog post into an eBook with some minor reformatting and additional content,
- Creating a SlideShare from internal training presentations, or
- Addressing user-generated queries on sites like Quora with your existing content
The possibilities are nearly endless for brands to leverage existing content assets more effectively.
Content Marketing in 2022
The above considerations are just a few – strategies, capabilities, and technologies in content marketing are always evolving and must be evaluated on a continuous basis. Effective content marketing will always be driven by analytics and centered around a core understanding of your audience. How is your business investing in content marketing in 2022?