Content Marketing in 2022: Main Trends

Everything is changing in content marketing: the tools, the channels, the way users consume information. As Instagram, YouTube and even Twitter tested this format, 2021 was the year of short videos. Since then, TikTok has reached a milestone: the app has been installed more than three billion times. 

 What is happening to content marketing as an industry, and what will happen in 2022? We asked these questions to the experts. In the article, we talk about:

  • why content marketing is no longer as popular as it was; 
  • how clients feel about content marketing now, and why it is worth studying analytics;
  • whether it's possible to join TikTok, and why it's not as easy as it sounds
  • whether it is worth giving up regular videos in favor of the short format and what's next with YouTube content;
  • why you shouldn't follow trends and what really matters.

Content marketing has reached the efficiency stage

Experts say that content marketing has reached the efficiency stage. Now the majority of those who understand how it works are taking up this tool and not waiting for a miracle.

Previously, content marketing had passed through a phase of hype and then disillusionment. The tool began to be talked about in 2015-2018 when the topic was booming. There were “success” stories, and along with them, inflated expectations.

The clients tried launching corporate blogs and media outlets massively. But then they quickly realized that there was no magic pill and there would be a lot of difficulties, so they cooled down to the topic. Corporate blogs and media have not become mainstream, despite all the discussions about it and a few successful cases.

Media and marketing are different poles. “Making visible media” and “making a platform that sells successfully with texts” are fundamentally different tasks. The requirements for texts, teams, and processes are different. It should be noted that the text is the key factor, and that is why there are so many essay writing services that write academic papers for marketing students.

But if we talk about it academically, content marketing is not just about text, but about any content, including audio and video. A strategic direction, working with the audience through the translation of detailed meanings. Marketers engage people in close contact with the brand on all platforms, bringing out values, creating the right image, and leading to a purchase.

However, this model has not become the reality of content marketing. Such a global approach requires competence in many areas at once, and there are almost no such universalists on the market. But there are a lot of niche specialists.

As a result, all work with content breaks down into a million pieces – Instagram, email, TikTok, and so on. Marketers engage people in close contact with the brand on all platforms, bringing out values, creating the right image, and leading to a purchase.

However, this model has not become the reality of content marketing. Such a global approach requires competence in many areas at once, and there are almost no such universalists on the market. But there are a lot of niche specialists.

As a result, all work with content breaks down into a million pieces – Instagram, email, TikTok, and so on. Today it's all different ‘marketing', different specialists, and different approaches to evaluating effectiveness. Content marketing will probably remain a niche tool in its current form. But when there is more experience and positive cases, it will reappear under a different name. Maybe in a couple of years, we will all be fascinated by some kind of “meaningful marketing” that promises us all sorts of benefits through letters and pictures.

Customers are getting better at understanding content marketing, while analytics automation will be a trend in 2022

Content marketing is still a long-term effort to build a “warm” audience. It's noticeable that it has become more widely understood: companies aren't trying to pull traffic out of content marketing right away. More and more of those who are going into visual storytelling, entertaining audiences and warming them up to get better conversions then.

Investing resources in distribution is a long-standing trend. It's been impossible to do content without promotion for the last five or seven years, and clients are now becoming more aware of this as well. Everyone has different approaches to distribution: there is no universal set of channels because everything depends on the niche and the situation.

Analytics is progressing in content marketing, and more and more companies are aware of it. Two years ago, we had to explain to clients how content works more often. Now we are also explaining it, but it's more of a standby thing. Clients understand that the media audience is not the final goal, but only the path to it: conversion, purchase, whatever. The next year is likely to see a trend towards automation of analytics. Automation will make it easier to track important metrics and make it possible to adjust interaction with the audience more quickly.

If we're talking about trending platforms right now, you should definitely go for TikTok and Instagram. These platforms, with the right quality of content, are capable of giving great reach and a loyal audience. But remember that the balance of power here changes all too often.

TikTok is booming. Why enter it and how do you grow there?

Some companies in different industries are already promoting TikTok. The advantage of it is that every person or business can get the results they want there. Large brands benefit from increasing their visibility and presence on every possible platform. Public figures increase their influence in the media space and get a chance to reach a part of the audience that is inaccessible to their competitors. Small businesses and experts receive requests for their services right in the comments under the videos.

The logic of promotion in this network is simple: the more views your videos have, the more requests you get. Provided, of course, that the videos reveal the advantages of the product.

Getting traffic on the site without effort has never been possible. Someone has taken off before and gained a million subscribers in a year, and someone else still has 18,000 after three years, no matter how hard he tries.

Competition for views is growing in certain categories now, but overall the situation is the same. You should join TikTok even if you find a large number of competitors in your niche. There may be a hundred authors, but only twenty successful ones, and you can become one of them if you target your audience correctly.

Is it true that short videos are trending and long ones are dying?

Many people mistakenly think that short-format (TikTok, Reels, Shorts) is a kind of substitute for long-format because the Z generation is incapable of watching long-format content over a couple of minutes. But that's not entirely true. Short videos are a cure for boredom in small pauses: you can watch them while queuing at the checkout counter or waiting for a taxi. It's a kind of non-verbal communication with the audience. If users spend their spare moments with you, they will also choose to watch them in the evening, at “conscious” time, in your favor.

Short videos are a new niche that will become even more popular among users next year. So we need to learn how to make short formats.

But it is not worth chasing trends in presentation, style, or themes: only the big players benefit from this. Over the past five years, the interests of the audience have not changed much; a good script is always valuable. On YouTube, for example, the results of content marketing are now largely influenced not by the trending content on the platform as a whole, but by the way, your audience feels about you.

Much more important now is how well your long-term subscribers are watching you; they can greatly increase your reach.

The basics of content marketing don't change: the main thing is strategy, not trends

Content marketing is not changing globally. There may be something that will become a new trend, but there is no way to predict it. In the meantime, customer and reader behavior hasn't changed in any way – it's the same people as before. Distribution has always been equally important, and the choice of tools has depended not on trends, but on the environment that the company operates in.

There is no “magic pill” in marketing as whole or content marketing in particular. No single tool is guaranteed to work. For example, you might say that SEO is great and everyone needs to work on optimization. But many companies produce almost no content for SEO: it does not bring them any profit.

Or you could say that a good solution is to publish articles in the media and run targeting on them. But there are topics that no media reader is interested in, and there are audiences that can't be identified by targeting.

Therefore, a content marketing strategy does not depend on trends, but on the goals, budget, target audience, and specifics of the business.

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