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Content Marketing Trends in 2022

BY: Dan Rubin & Robin Riddle

Trying to pick winners is often a sure-fire way to get one thing right. Just look at the list of teams who were predicted—at the start of the current season—to win the 2022 Super Bowl. The Cincinnati Bengals were 150 to 1 odds of winning it in the preseason and they are one win away.

That said, here are ten strong trends we think will be big in 2022.

  1. Imaging will better represent the U.S. population: As companies strive to ensure that the images they use represent the audiences they serve, there will be an even greater focus on diversity in 2022. In 2020, (according to the U.S. Census) white people (including Hispanic whites) numbered 61.6% of the population—versus 80% in 1980. With more than half of babies born being multicultural, the rate of change is predicted to increase even faster in the coming years. Further, this year will see a focus on all sorts of inclusion—including age, sexual orientation, disability, body shape, etc.
  2. Silent Video: Will silent videos be a thing? We think so. Expect videos to tell their story with the sound off. Charlie Chaplin made you laugh with the sound off. Reach for that level.
  3. Gen Z: Learn about them. This will be the year Millennials move over to make way for Gen Z. There are several things about this audience that mean marketers need to think differently about the content they create. For example, this generation values authenticity and individual expression. They are the most diverse generation. They care about values and culture. The days of creating content for a brand’s O&O, then making shorter cuts exported to fit social channels are over. They want quick hit video-based content on the channels they choose (and that’s not your website). Marketers will shift budgets to create more video-based content that lives first, and mainly, on social.
  4. CTR Will Recede as a Metric: It’s important but not the end all and be all. Focus on the experience, so don’t require the click to get to more content.
  5. Paid Social is Social: The days of the free lunch are well and truly over. In 2022, the only reach is the one you buy. So, expect to pay if you want to get your content seen.
  6. Scripted Fiction Podcasts: Expect to see marketers producing scripted audio content that’s a step away from documentary-style podcasts We think we’ll see some brands supporting scripted fiction content. This will allow them the freedom to produce stories that focus even more on escapism from a roller-coaster news cycle and give their fans a chance to step away from the madness.
  7. Welcome Back the QR Code: With its prevalence during 2021, you’d be forgiven for thinking the QR code was invented during COVID. It was actually introduced in 1994 by Toyota, as a way to track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process. In 2022, we’ll continue to see its usage by marketers for everything from e-newsletter sign-ups, to driving people from print such as magazines, direct mail (and of course menus) to digital.
  8. Strategy Has Never Been More Important: We’ve had more requests in the last six months for content strategy projects than ever before. We think marketers will be doubling down on their investment in content marketing and investing in a documented content strategy to provide a solid foundation to guide the content they are creating.
  9. Permanent COVID: As you have experienced, COVID’s impact on our society is here to stay. We have reasons to be optimistic that some of our pre-COVID life will return but there is no “return to normal”. Good content marketers will acknowledge and be sensitive that masks, working remotely and home COVID tests are all part of “permanent COVID”.
  10. Context Collapse: When you check your feed in either Facebook and Twitter you never really know what you’ll see. That’s part of the excitement and the hurdle of these social networks. This creates an experience where every post, whether perfect for you or not, has the same amount of weight. Content marketers will have the opportunity to be ahead of this by always providing value. In this age of Context Collapse consistent content quality will make your brand rise to the top even more effectively.

There, we’ve said it now. Our predications are officially on record. Oh, and just for the heck of it, the official Foundry 360 prediction for Superbowl 56 is…the Rams over the Bengals in a nail biter. Let’s just see how well this article ages.

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