Content marketing is all about attracting, engaging and retaining target audiences by creating and sharing all different types of media online in order to build brand awareness and ultimately gain and retain customers.

The forms of content include text, audio, video and images. Content marketing does, however, evolve over time, adapting to current realities and responding to challenges. The year 2022 has so far witnessed 10 key content marketing trends.

1. Relevant Content

Relevant content remains a trend. How can we improve our content marketing if we don’t know where we’re at? We need to take stock of our “online” situation and ensure that our content is truly relevant.

Many web hosting companies, like IONOS, offer SEO checker tools to test the optimization of your website. A thorough SEO analysis provides insight into what is wrong and right about a website in SEO terms. Once this short audit is completed, we are ready to optimize our online content in step with the remaining nine key content marketing trends of 2022.

2. Long-form Content

We’d all prefer to keep writing short and sweet 300-word articles to respond with answers to searches people make online. Unfortunately, those days are gone. People seek and expect valuable, well-researched long-form content instead, but only when written and done tastefully. So, it’s far better to write fewer highly researched articles with a minimum of 1,000 words and make sure the content is relevant to the target audience.

3. Interactive Content

Interactive content is a sure way of engaging our audience. We can attract our audience’s attention and keep them on our web page longer. Interactive quizzes and polls are extremely popular on social media platforms. Users feel engaged, and we gain insight into who they might actually be.

Interactive content can be used in reports, guides or eBooks by adding clickable and expandable sections or animations. Interactive infographics provide a wealth of easily understandable information and details for users. 

Deciding where to include interactive content is also crucial. If we add it to our landing pages, our site becomes immediately more engaging for users.

4. Video Content

Video content has been on the rise in online content, proving extremely popular and effective. This trend will continue in 2022, becoming even more important. Producing videos is much easier and less costly with the advent of widely available video production tools.

Consumers respond extremely well to videos because they quickly capture the attention of customers and offer a more personal and deeper form of connection. 

Furthermore, it is often much quicker and easier to explain something complicated or convey a difficult message via video than with written text.

5. Audio Content

Audio content has gained popularity over the last few years. This has been partially thanks to live and on-demand podcasts, which will remain the trend in 2022. Like the radio, listeners can enjoy podcasts while doing other activities, such as training or reading. What is more, they can enjoy the podcasts when it suits them.

Tip: Podcasts need to be optimized for search engines, too.

6. Voice searching

Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri have all opened the door to voice searching. Rather than having to type in searches or queries, it is far more convenient and faster for users to ask questions. This seems to be especially the case among the younger generations. 

This will, in turn, affect the success of our content strategy. Rather than writing simple or long-tail keywords, it will be necessary to also include answers to questions that users may ask. 

7. Image Searching

With the recent emergence of visual search capabilities on various apps and platforms, consumers can now search on purely images alone. 

Image recognition and artificial intelligence combine so that a person can simply upload an image or take a photo of what they want to search for and then find results that are either the same or similar to the original search. There’s no need to know the exact name of the product or service; an image will suffice. 

So now, it is possible to use images to promote product searches online. In 2022, companies experimenting with visual search capabilities can gain an advantage by offering visual recognition services or image search capabilities in their website content.

8. AI Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are used in many types and sectors of the economy, offering huge benefits to users. Al can help save time and resources in our marketing strategies to achieve better customer outcomes.  AI offers data analysis to recognize patterns in consumer behavior, for example, and therefore enhanced targeting of marketing efforts. 

Chatbots are another example of AI technology. Chatbots simulate a conversation with visitors to a website in order to understand the visitor and provide replies to questions. Human team members have their repetitive, time-consuming work offloaded by chatbots who respond quickly 24×7, if necessary. This can improve the overall customer experience. What is more, chatbots can be created to reflect the type of company we have and personalize our content.   

AI will be used in 2022 and beyond for even more writing and content-targeting tasks.

9. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) will feature more in 2022 to enrich and enhance user experiences. Instead of using the written word to convey the uses and qualities of a product, it is much easier and potentially far more rewarding to show users exactly what we mean. After all, many of us really have to see it to believe it.

Virtual reality involves users experiencing a virtual 360-degree world and even sometimes interacting with this world. The user, therefore, no longer perceives the real environment. It’s already used for 360-degree images in the real estate sector, for example. What better way to show the inside of a home we are trying to sell than with a virtual tour of the property.

10. Augmented Reality

Unlike VR, with Augmented Reality (AR), the user must actually be at a place to find out more information.  So, with content management, it’s all about combining computer-generated virtual items and real-world environments. The user can, in this way, perceive virtual elements in their real environment.

For example, for interior design, with the use of a camera, virtual items can be placed or arranged in a room, such as tables or chairs. AR is sure to wow consumers with an amazing new content experience. 

Investment Ahead

Wrapping up, it’s clear that in 2022, we will see even greater investment in content marketing as an intrinsic part of our ongoing marketing strategies. The pandemic has had and continues to have a huge effect on human contact and connections, as well as the way people interact and consume online. Consumers have become so much more reliant on the online world in many areas of their lives, and it looks like that will continue to be the case. 

It is, however, essential to remember that despite all the trends and emerging technologies, we should never lose sight of one thing – our target audience. We have to create a content marketing approach that fits the industry, product or service type, and business goals that we may have. Focusing on our target audience and creating relevant content to engage these consumers will affect our conversion rates and ultimately, our bottom line.