The top marketing and communication trends emerging in 2022
2022 may still be in its infancy, but some exciting trends have already begun to emerge—new platforms, new opportunities and new challenges. So how do we navigate this landscape for B2B sales? Is content still important? What about social media? Is metaverse marketing a thing? And what does AI adoption mean for marketing and communications?
Let’s tackle these questions and more as we look at the top B2B marketing trends of 2022.
Long live the king.
You’ve no doubt heard it said that ‘Content is king’. This is truer than ever, and especially at a time of reduced in-person contact, there’s increased value in considered storytelling, that is genuine, honest and connects with our customers on a personal level.
Blogging is a great way to achieve this, allowing you to educate, entertain, and inform your customers in a way which suits your brand’s tone-of-voice.
Case studies too can make for great engaging stories and help highlight aspects of your product or service and educate customers about best practices or new developments in the industry.
And as the boundaries between work and home-life remain blurred, it’s vital to think about how you can cater for a more time-poor audience too. Infographics can tell stories and present data in a quick, easily digestible and intriguing way.
Native advertising or sponsored content is also trending. This typically refers to pieces of content that match the style or tone of the medium. They are different from ads in that they feel as though they come from a different place—educating or entertaining, rather than selling. This allows your content and messages to be seamlessly woven into your audience’s lives rather than an interruption to it.
Video content remains very popular, and hugely powerful. Native videos on LinkedIn are reportedly five times more likely to start a conversation than other types of content. Attention spans can be short though, so succinct and bitesize content is a must for racking up views and engagement. Keep context in mind too though—there’s certainly still a place for longer form video as long as it’s crammed full of useful, interesting or intriguing information.
And don’t forget that live video is another incredibly powerful tool for connecting and making your audience feel a part of your story rather than a spectator to it.
As ever, your content strategy needs to be multichannel and focused on creating quality content at several varying levels of depth that speaks to your customers whatever their circumstance.
And the best content in the world is of little value if nobody ever sees it, so always remember to think about SEO. While it’s certainly nothing new, it’s a constantly evolving landscape and smart companies review and refine it continually to improve rankings. Effective SEO is the difference between being seen or ignored.
Fit In to Stand Out
Marketing on social media platforms is of course here to stay and is only growing in importance. The key to effective social strategy is craft. The best content artfully leverages what is unique about social media, and fine-tunes content, and tone of voice, to fit specific platforms.
For example, TikTok is a widely used and popular platform with billions of users. Yet, marketing on TikTok is far more effective when it embraces that which makes TikTok special—the surprising, the fun, and the short, sharp nature of the format. By putting effort into creating TikToks that are authentic, you engage with the community of TikTok – they don’t feel like you’re interrupting them to yell sales messaging at them.
On social channels too, live content is a chance for companies to do something interesting, exciting and unexpected.
And again, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all on social. Think about multichannel approaches that allow you to meet different audiences in different places.
If influencer marketing conjurs up images of attractive young people jetting off to exotic locations and posting jealousy inducing holiday snaps, you’re probably not alone. But influencer marketing has B2B applications too. Influencers can be journalists, bloggers or podcast-hosts—anyone whose opinion is respected and valued by others.
A smart influencer strategy comprises thoughtful, honest collaboration and can turn key opinion leaders into effective brand ambassadors. People already trust their expertise and will be receptive to the message they are conveying—provided it’s done with authenticity and it doesn’t seem like they are just being paid to sell a product. That’s why identifying the right influencer for your brand is key.
Done right, influencer marketing is a powerful trend that can help brands connect with clients through a source that they respect and trust.
Together again, almost…
The past few years have seen physical events forced into the digital realm. But as the world emerges cautiously from pandemic lockdowns and we start being more able to convene in person, the virtual side of events is not going away. Rather physical events are taking on learnings from this period and becoming hybrid—catering to both physical and digital delegates. This trend is likely to continue as more and more companies start holding physical events again.
Future Tech – AI, AR, VR and the Metaverse
It seems like the new buzzword late last year and continuing in 2022 is Meta. People may poke fun at Facebook’s name change but they take the shift they are signalling seriously and it’s certainly an interesting proposition for marketing minded people. Exploring and leveraging the possibilities of AR and VR technology for marketing communications could become increasingly prominent.
Combining effective use of the Metaverse and AI insights could create exciting and valuable new opportunities for marketing where ads are intelligently targeted and personalised within a VR or AR space. Imagine a billboard that changes depending on who is looking at it and adapts to that person’s needs and personality.
Measured and impactful is where your strategy should be
While it is important to see the future potential of new technologies, it’s equally important to recognise that the central principles of effective communication remain true. It is important to have a marketing strategy that is measurable, impactful and fits your business needs, and to understand and meet your customers’ needs.
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More on these subjectsIndustry Trends Marketing Communications
on February 15, 2022