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8 Content Trends to Watch for in 2022

Brands need quality content — and LOTS of it. Learn what top trends content marketers need to know about in 2022.

According to Statista and World Wide Web Project, there are 1.88 billion websites in existence. Needless to say, no matter how big your brand is, it’s easy to feel like a tiny fish in a giant ocean when it comes to the vastness of the internet. While the amount of content in existence can be overwhelming, content marketers know that all content is not created equal. Quality, relevant content outranks subpar copy all day long.

But with so many competing priorities and shiny distractions, how can content marketing teams create content that matters? We’ve compiled a list of up-and-coming trends to keep in mind as you develop your content strategy for 2022.

1. Valuable Short and Sweet Content

Aiming for time spent on page and further on-site navigation used to be a goal of many content marketers. Instead, content marketing best practices dictate that brands should aim to move users through their site experience faster.

Consumers are strapped for time. Even the most comparative buyers are looking to find an answer — and fast! On average, users are spending less than 15 seconds on-site, and will leave mobile web pages if they don’t load within 3 seconds — a significant decrease from years past. Help your consumers find what they’re looking for, act on it, and move on by keeping your content short, sweet, and to the point. Aim to create informative, brief content that gets the attention of your target audience. Consolidate any relevant data so that users don’t have to hunt or navigate offsite to complete any additional research.

2. Specific, Quality Content

People are turning to Google more than ever for specific and sentence/question queries. More than 3.5 billion searches occur on Google every single day and 20% of queries are brand new. Brands need content about their products and services at the ready to answer specific queries such as “F150 tire size” or “chicken wing delivery near me.” Most importantly, content marketers need a methodical approach to creating a large volume of content quickly without having to rely on — and manage — low-wage freelance writers.

Not quite sure where to publish your content? Here are a few places to start:

  • Product descriptions on your e-commerce site
  • Longer, search-optimized content on your local pages
  • Educational content on your customer journey pages
  • Personalized paid landing pages

3. Emphasis on Owned Channels

Expect to see a decrease in paid social media efforts in 2022 and an uptick in time spent building owned channels.

Wondering why paid efforts are on the decline?

  • Saturation. Paid digital, including paid social, is a saturated space. Users are accustomed to seeing both paid social posts and banner ads. And, campaigns are increasingly expensive and competitive. Which leads to…
  • Decreased ROI. Paid digital has historically been emphasized as a must across a variety of industries. Therefore, nearly everyone’s in on the game. Since you must pay to play, you could find yourself in an endless bidding war with your competitors vying for placement.
  • Desire for portfolio building. Paid digital and social efforts move quickly. They’re great for disruption campaigns. However, they are not long-lasting — both organic and paid social posts quickly vanish from consumers’ timelines out of sight (and out of mind). Owned channels allow brands to create a long-lasting archive of relevant content and information.

As 2022 approaches, expect to find marketers emphasizing and investing in their owned channels — websites, blogs, organic social, and email campaigns. Beefing out or revamping an owned channel can act as a budget-saving measure and a wise long-term strategy. Plus, enhancing existing owned channels can help complement, boost, and support existing paid campaigns.

4. Value-Driven Branding and Content

From an uptick in ethical consumption to looking for ways to give back, it’s clear that consumers are drawn to brands with values that align with their own. Therefore, expect to see more value-driven marketing campaigns in 2022 related to inclusivity, sustainability, community building, and fair labor practices.

Looking to successfully connect with consumers over a cause? Here’s what to keep in mind.

  • Be genuine. For the sake of consumer trust, don’t claim to support causes if you’re not willing to follow through. In today’s world, digital-savvy consumers are quick to do their research — and call you out if you’re not living up to your promises. Therefore, be prepared to make a genuine and transparent effort to give back, whether it’s through volunteering, donating, or offering services ad hoc.
  • Be human. Consumers are looking to make a connection. So, don’t hide behind the curtain of a perfectly polished, corporate presence. Humanize your brand by showcasing leadership and employees as “real” people who celebrate, work, and lead dynamic lives both in and out of the office.

5. Personalized Content

Consumers are increasingly experience-focused and increasingly online. But, rising consumer expectations are calling for new and exciting ways to create an in-person feel without ever stepping foot in a brick and mortar location. However, creating a memorable online experience can be difficult. That’s where personalization comes in.

Here’s how to create a personalized feel in the digital realm:

  • Localized web copy. Publish city-specific content to connect with consumers and provide them with the most relevant-to-them content possible.
  • Chat opportunities. Chat features — whether AI or employee-driven — allow your consumer to reach out for assistance, ask questions, and even enjoy introvert-friendly shopping assistance from the comfort and convenience of their homes.
  • Video capabilities. Video chat can be used to connect associates with consumers, and when done well, can create an extremely personalized and tailored experience. Video has its applications across all industries but has particular strength within the clothing retail sphere. Using video, you can create a private, by-appointment experience to answer questions about sizing and provide shopping assistance.

Keep in mind that personalization isn’t just simply inserting your consumer’s name into email marketing campaigns. Instead, it’s about creating an experience where your consumer feels informed, guided, and seen.

6. AI Influence

Artificial intelligence is changing how marketers conduct research, devise strategies, and even create content.

Digital marketers can expect to continue leveraging AI into 2022, including:

  • Chatbots. Chatbots can help you create a personalized feel. Simple chatbots are capable of answering questions outside of normal business hours, but advanced chatbots can even walk a consumer through purchasing, returns, and troubleshooting.
  • Research. AI tools can quickly compile, organize, and aggregate relevant data — helping you cut back on research time.
  • Lead generation. In B2B applications, AI-powered tools can be used to prospect and sift through leads to find those most qualified. Multiple AI platforms enable marketers to track prospects across multiple touchpoints, and from there use predictive analysis to determine how likely a lead is to follow through.
  • Content optimization and creation. Artificial intelligence is already being leveraged to optimize and quickly create web content. But, never fear fellow writers: you won’t be replaced by AI just yet. While AI can work quickly, it still lacks the nuance of human touch.

7. Content Optimized for Voice Search Capability

“Hey Google, how many people use voice search?” An estimated one-third of the U.S. population uses voice capabilities on their phones or smart speakers, and a further 71% prefer to conduct searches by voice rather than putting their fingers to the keyboard.

Voice search is used by consumers to carry out basic tasks (like checking the weather), conduct research, and even order products. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create content that’s easily digestible and primed for voice search features.

To create content optimized for voice search, focus on:

  • Natural phrasing. When compared to traditional search engine queries, voice searchers tend to use more natural, conversational language. Therefore, create search optimized content that includes natural long-tail keywords and key phrases devoid of any grammatical parses.
  • Meeting searchers at their purchase stage. Anticipate micromoments and the questions that consumers ask about your product at different levels of the purchasing process. Then, create content that directly and concisely answers their burning questions.
  • Incorporating geo modifiers. Both smartphones and smart speakers use location-based services to aggregate results that are most relevant to their searchers. Plus, many voice-searchers are looking for a specific product or service “near me”. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create localized content. (Psst — we can help with that.)

8. Content Engineered for the Virtual Reality Landscape

Enter: the Metaverse. While currently in its nascent stage, virtual reality will soon shake up how consumers browse the internet, shop, and otherwise engage with content. Stay forward-thinking and keep on top of upcoming developments within the VR industry.

As we approach 2022, one thing is clear: brands need quality content — and LOTS of it. GPO can help you develop your content strategy for 2022. Get in touch to see how to leverage our Content Solutions for your brand.

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