5 Content Marketing Trends in 2022

What better way to discover the top content marketing trends in 2022 than to run your own survey? That’s what we did, and more than 800 marketers across the globe responded, telling us how their content teams are driving growth, measuring what works, and thinking about the future. 

Five key trends stood out to us. Content teams are expanding, and so are their budgets. Top-of-funnel brand awareness is the No. 1 purpose of content, which is being distributed primarily via owned channels. And doing more video tops everyone’s wish list. 

Let’s dig deeper into these trends.

Content teams are small, but growing

Most content marketers we surveyed, across all industries, work in teams of fewer than 10 people. This isn’t surprising, as anecdotal evidence suggests that lack of creators to produce content is a common challenge. Notably, even in larger organizations, the trend for small content teams remains consistent.

However, these small teams are growing—more than half of respondents noted their content teams have expanded over the past year. 

So what’s driving this growth in content team size? Feeding the content beast. Eight in 10 respondents doing content marketing want to create more content than they are now—and a third said “a lot more.” To anyone involved in content creation, and feeling the crunch of ever-growing demands to up the volume, this won’t be a surprise.

Our takeaway: Every step of the customer journey relies on content. And with rapid team and content growth comes an imperative to remain agile, empowering marketers at every step of the content lifecycle. 

Budgets are also growing

In half the companies we surveyed, budgets have grown over the past year. And 50% of respondents expect further growth in 2022. 

For the most part, these budgets are spent on more content creators. This imbalance between people, process, and technology is striking, and speaks to the relative maturity of content marketing in comparison to other marketing disciplines. 

Our takeaway: Rather than hiring more people to create more content, investing in processes and technology will enable marketers to create content that produces better results.

Brand awareness is content’s main goal

The majority of survey respondents indicated their top priority in content marketing was to “create brand awareness.” This was true across B2B and B2C companies, but their other priorities differed: B2B favors content for lead generation, while B2C focuses on audience education.

Overall, content is mainly focussed on top-of-funnel activities, with short form content (blog posts, social media, email newsletters) preferred over longform (white papers, ebooks, reports, etc).

Our takeaway: While the prevailing trend is to use content for building brand awareness, we predict lower-funnel use cases like increasing sales to rise in popularity.

Content is being distributed primarily on owned channels

Both B2B and B2C companies activate this content across many channels (four to seven on average). However, there is a strong preference for owned channels for content distribution: websites and blogs, organic social media channels, and emails to owned databases rounding out the top three. 

Paid channels (social media and search ads) are still part of the mix for more than half of our respondents, though the choice of social channels varies depending on company type. For B2B, LinkedIn tops the list, while B2C companies prefer Facebook.

Our takeaway: With so many avenues to address and seed, it’s little wonder that the demands for content and content budgets continue to grow. And given the plethora of content distribution channels, content marketers have an ever-increasing need for a clear distribution strategy, as well as the integrated tools to make distribution seamless.

Video is so hot right now

You don’t need a TikTok teenager to tell you that in 2022 video is where the engagement is. And it’s in demand, with survey respondents telling us that video is far and away the main content type they wanted to do more of—if they only had the resources. 

Our takeaway: As content teams grow in resources, we predict that businesses will leverage video creation tools to summit this Everest. Agile video creation will become just as important as agile copy creation.

A final note

Every type of content we create connects us with our customers. Content informs, builds relationships, and drives business outcomes. Content matters.

To explore more content trends and insights to level up your content marketing this year, I invite you to dive into our Content Matters 2022 Report. 

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