The State of Content Marketing in 2022 [Stats & Trends to Watch]
Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, and sharing content with your target audience. It helps you generate brand awareness, convince customers to take action, and drive revenue.
There are various types of content marketing, like social media and blogs, but new trends and techniques emerge every year that change the ways businesses reach their audiences.
As a marketer, it’s essential to know what your competitors are focusing on, so you can create a strategy and stand out from the crowd. In this post, discover important stats to know about the state of content marketing in 2022 and trends to look out for throughout the year.
Content Marketing Stats to Know
- 90% of marketers using content marketing plan to continue investing the same amount in the channel in 2022.
- 66% of marketers expect their 2022 content marketing budget to increase more than their 2021 budget.
- Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales.
- Marketers’ primary goals for running marketing campaigns are brand awareness, increasing sales, and increasing engagement.
- The top three goals marketers achieve through successful content marketing are generating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating audiences.
- The top challenges marketers face with content marketing are creating content that generates leads, finding ideas for new content, and creating content that receives high levels of online engagement.
- Google’s search algorithms are trying to transcend text to images, voice/podcasts, and videos.
- Video is the number one format marketers used in their content strategy in 2021.
- The top four formats marketers leverage in their content strategy are videos, blogs, images, and infographics.
- The top technologies B2B organizations use to supplement content marketing are analytics tools, social media publishing, and email marketing software.
- The top three owned mediacontent distribution channels for B2B marketers are a personal website, blog, and email newsletter..
Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022
1. Short-form video takes center stage.
The amount of online video watched per person per week has almost doubled since 2018, according to Wistia. As of 2021, it’s at 18 hours per week.
This consumer behavior has made video, short-form specifically, the primary form of media used within any content strategy for the third year in a row. As such, 89% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount in the channel or increase their investments in 2022.
The videos you decide to create and the places you choose to share them depends entirely on your individual business needs, but your efforts will be worthwhile, as Wistia found that shorter videos have the highest engagement rates.
2. Strategic SEO tactics.
In 2020, HubSpot VP of Marketing Matthew Howells-Barby said he wanted to see the number of marketers actively investing in SEO go up. His wish came true — 69% of marketers reported investing in SEO in 2021, a 5% increase from 2020. Marketers are continuing to make SEO investments in 2022 to create tailored experiences for website users.
However, content marketers are moving away from SEO optimization in general, as 83% of marketers say that their main area of focus is the use of strategic keywords in their content. Businesses are looking for a way to simply appear in SERPs and create in-depth content that is unique, valuable, and different from what competitors offer on those same result pages.
Marketers also report that their SEO content marketing efforts will involve optimizing for mobile (64%), and backlinking and link building (64%).
3. Podcasting upholds its reign.
Podcasts continue to hold court in content marketing strategies in 2022. This is not surprising, considering that U.S. consumers alone listened to 15 billion hours of podcasts in 2021.
As a result,
- 51% of content marketers who already leverage podcasts or other audio content will invest more in 2022, and 43% plan to continue investing the same amount.
- 53% of content marketers who do leverage podcasts and other audio content say it’s the most effective format they use, despite low ROI.
So, why are podcasts so popular? On the consumer side, there is something for everyone. With 72,000 new episodes per day (as shown in the graph below), the likelihood of finding a show that appeals to their interests is incredibly high, whether it’s a mystery tale or a real-life story about how their favorite business was built.
Businesses are investing in podcasts because they bring significant benefits: “Podcasts have the ability to drive real results and pay off in terms of leads and revenue,” says Zachary Bellinger, CRO at Casted. 60% of podcast listeners searched for a product after hearing about it in a podcast.
It’s also worth noting that 44% of content marketers are branching out into a new form of audio in their content marketing strategies in 2022 — audio chat rooms.
While a newer concept, the investment in audio chat rooms makes sense, as they create a space for businesses to connect with audiences for genuine conversation and engagement. You can read this article about Clubhouse and this one about Twitter Spaces to learn more about the emerging channel and how other brands are using them in 2022.
4. Championing social responsibility.
Social responsibility will become a critical priority for content marketers in 2022, as customers care now, more than ever, about brands sharing their same values and speaking authentically and empathetically about things like social justice issues or the fair treatment of their employees.
Marketers are recognizing how much customers care, and 82% are investing the same or increasing their investment in social responsibility in 2022.
It’s important to be aware, though, that if you leverage social responsibility in your content marketing efforts, your entire business must champion social responsibility as well, and be genuine about it.
Take Glossier, for example. In June of 2020, the company regularly shared content on its Instagram page that centered people from different communities. However, in August of 2020, an Instagram account called Outta The Gloss posted an open letter to Glossier from former employees that made light of instances of unfair treatment while working at Glossier’s flagship store.
The former employees weren’t hoping to drag Glossier through the mud, but more so call attention to the fact that, if it champions social responsibility in its content, it must also uphold similar values in its business practices.
It boils down to this: consumers want businesses to be socially responsible, but they want the social responsibility reflected in all areas of business, from the content you post on social media to the ways you support and uplift your employees.
5. Virtual and hybrid events.
A webinar is a video presentation, seminar, lecture, or workshop delivered to an audience digitally. Despite once being declared outdated, webinars and virtual events have become extremely popular over the last three years, and, as COVID-19 restrictions cease, they welcome hybrid models into the mix.
Attending events digitally allows consumers to continue to interact with their favorite businesses and derive value from presents and industry leaders. Hybrid offers the same benefit, as consumers can pick what works best for their needs, and businesses can ensure that all of their audiences can participate in what they offer. 30% of Content Marketing Institute survey respondents say that their investment in hybrid events is expected to increase, and 40% of marketers plan to increase their investment in virtual events, webinars, and conferences in general in 2022.
HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference is a great example of a hybrid-modeled event, offering the option for attendees to attend in-person, or online.
Infographics are graphics that explain a concept or provide a visual for a piece of data. Marketers typically use them to quickly communicate important, stand-out information, and 45% of marketers who leverage content marketing use it. The image below is an example of an infographic used within a blog post.
Here are some additional stats from recent HubSpot Blog Research:
- 56% of content marketers who use it say that it is their most effective marketing content type
- 52% of marketers plan to invest the same amount in infographics throughout the next year
- 38% of marketers plan to increase their infographic investments within the next year.
Its popularity is because infographics are shareable, are visually appealing, informative, and provide beneficial information to the reader. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so it makes sense that infographics are significant for content marketing.
Stay Up-to-date On Your Industry
It’s always important to stay up-to-date on what is happening in your industry, and being aware of these trends is a way to do so. Should you choose to leverage one of these trends in your marketing strategy, ensure that it’s relevant to your business needs and will help you achieve your goals.