In an ideal world, marketers would have limitless budgets to invest in experimental initiatives and new programs. After all, the customer acquisition and retention landscape are evolving faster than ever. The challenge, however, is that marketing budgets are often limited around what’s proven to work — which tends to look different from company to company.
That’s why it’s so important to have access to industry data. By knowing where we stand against our peers and competitors, we’re better positioned to uncover areas of opportunity. This is especially important considering that 48% of marketers expect their marketing budget to increase in 2022.
In this post, we’ll discuss data-backed areas that marketers are focusing their investments in 2022.
What Marketing Leaders Are Investing in This Year
Protecting consumer privacy.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about their digital privacy and protecting their information. Given this, Think With Google says that marketers will need to increase their investments in privacy solutions and respecting peoples data choices in 2022.
This means that consumers want to know how you’re using their data for marketing purposes, and they want to be able to review and manage the way their data is used and opt-out if they want to.
When you collect information from consumers for different marketing activities, they also want to know you’re collecting it. Recent data from Google found that consumers are happy to provide their data to companies they trust, so long as they know how you will use it.
Podcasts and other audio opportunities.
As of April 2021, there are over 2,000,000 podcast shows and over 48 million episodes.
The demand for audio content has exploded, and Brands recognize this opportunity. In 2022, roughly43% of B2C marketers plan to increase their investment in podcasts in 2022, and the data is virtually the same for B2B marketers.
Marketers are also leveraging other opportunities that have risen brands to leverage, likeClubhouse and Twitter Spaces, which offer audio-only opportunities where users can participate in voice conversations with others.
Other platforms are looking into and testing creating similar options within their apps, like Instagram Live Rooms (also incorporates video). TechCrunch reported that LinkedIn is testing a similar feature as well.
Social Responsibility and Diversity Marketing
Early 2020 brought businesses to a reckoning, as increased attention to social justice issues was at the forefront of conversations during the first few months of the year. In addition, COVID-19 highlighted employees’ struggles in the workplace, and consumers care about how brands they buy from treat their employees.
Almost two years later, these issues have remained extreme topics of interest for consumers worldwide, and they care more than ever about the stances businesses take on public issues, demanding change and awareness from brands on diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of the ways they want to see this represented in business is diversity marketing and commitment to social responsibility.
Given this, 82% of marketers reported that they planned to continue investing the same amount or increasing their investments in social responsibility for 2022.
It’s an effective practice for marketers to commit to, especially considering that people are more likely to consider a product after seeing an ad they think is diverse or inclusive, and 64% take action after seeing an ad they believe to be diverse and inclusive.
However, in the same vein, it’s even more critical that businesses are genuine about the diversity measures they take. Consumers can see through the fluff, and Edelman found that59% of consumers think that companies need to follow up on their statements on diversity with concrete action, or they risk being seen as exploitative and opportunist. Read this post to see examples of businesses that have exemplified the practice of inclusive marketing.
Permanent Social Media Content
You’re likely familiar withInstagram Stories, which are pieces of content on the platform that disappear after 24 hours unless saved as a highlight.
While this type of content is valuable, marketers in 2022 will also be leaning into permanent social media content —HubSpot Blog data showed that 85% of marketers plan on increasing their investments or investing the same amount.
Permanent social media content remains on your different profiles for users to return to over and over again or to discover for the first time when they follow you. This can be in-feed posts, videos, or anything that remains and can be viewed days later after being published.
Influencer marketing used to be a trend, but as 86% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increasing their investments, it’s now a commonplace marketing tactic. Its popularity is due to the fact that partnering with influencers is a worthwhile investment — the ROI for influencer marketing is $5.78.
In addition, many influencers are experts of the ins and outs of how their platforms work and the industries they operate in, so they know what performs best on their preferred platforms and how to best interact with their audiences.
When collaborating with influencers, marketers also benefit from exposure to their audiences, helping generate brand awareness with followers and generate social proof.
HubSpot Blog survey data shows that 89% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increasing their short-form video content investments.
As a refresher, short-form video is considered to be any video that is up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. Marketers are likely increasing their investment because of trend culture, where it’s easy for a video to go viral and get shared among audiences over and over again.
For example, TikTok only houses short-form videos up to three minutes in length. Many businesses that use the platform leverage it to inform audiences about their products quickly so that users can get started right away.
Investing in Marketing Technology
60% of marketers reported that, in 2020, they were set to increase their marketing technology spend. A2021 HubSpot Blog poll of over 1,000 global marketers found that 70% of marketers already use marketing technology in their roles, and 33% plan to start in 2022.
Marketing technology, often referred to as martech, is a term used to describe the software and technology used to attract and retain customers. Many martech tools help marketersautomate repetitive marketing tasks to save time, like sending an email or scheduling social media posts. As of 2021, there are more than 8000+ martech solutions for marketers to choose from to meet their automation needs.
Join other market leaders in leveraging these trends.
Although not an exhaustive list, marketers are focusing on and investing in the trends mentioned above for 2022. Understand how each one will affect your business, and join other marketers in these investments.
Write Content That Drives an Immediate Response [Sponsored]
Provided by Writer
The content landscape gets more complex and competitive every day. That means it’s more important than ever for content marketers to do everything they can to capture their audience’s attention.
Writing effective, attention-capturing content means knowing how to truly engage the reader. Driving that reader to respond to your content clearly shows you’ve achieved that goal. By following the six tips below, you can improve your ability to connect with consumers – and do it in a way that compels them to take action immediately.
It’s no secret that engaging your audience is critical for content marketing success. But, not all engagement is created equal, and your objective should be to elicit a meaningful, timely response – whether that’s by subscribing to your email list, buying a product, or sharing your content with friends.
Why is timely action so important? Here are a few key reasons:
- It helps you get your content seen by more people. When your audience acts on your content – for example, by sharing it with their friends – it increases your brand’s visibility and helps get your content in front of more consumers. On many content platforms, including search and social media, the speed at which you can get your audience to share or react to your content directly impacts your potential reach.
- It helps you build stronger audience relationships. When someone responds to your content, they aren’t just consuming it – they’re interacting with it. It creates a connection with your brand that you can measure — and reinforce by sharing additional content that might interest them. This can lead to more consistent engagement and help establish your brand as a trusted voice in your industry.
- It helps you achieve your content and business goals. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, generate leads, or build brand awareness, driving an immediate response from your audience is key to achieving those goals. For example, your article may compel a prospect to comment, which puts them on your sales team’s radar as a potential lead. Or your thought leadership piece may get shared in a new online community, generating brand awareness among that target vertical.
It’s hard enough to get a reader’s attention once, let alone twice, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Capitalize on that moment of attention with copy that encourages readers to act promptly.
What does it take to write that copy? These six tips will point you in the right direction.
Tip #1: Write a compelling headline
Your headline is the first – and sometimes only – chance you’ll get to grab a reader’s attention. A compelling headline can mean the difference between taking the time to read your piece or quickly moving on to something else.
There are a few key elements that make up a great headline:
- It should be attention-grabbing. A headline that doesn’t immediately grab the reader’s attention is likely to be passed over in favor of something more interesting. Consider why you created the content and why your audience should care. Are you challenging the status quo? Providing actionable tips? Sharing stories about a well-known brand? Be sure to include these details so your headline stands out.
- It should be relevant. If your headline doesn’t accurately reflect what’s in the article, you risk losing the reader’s trust once they realize they’ve been misled. Remember, you’re not just looking to get clicks. You also want to drive your readers to take action – something they’ll be less likely to do if they feel like you’ve deliberately misinformed them.
- It should be clear. A headline that’s unclear or too difficult to understand will likely be passed over in favor of something easier to digest. You want to be specific and concise, removing any unnecessary filler words. If your content includes steps or a list, add clarity by putting a specific number in the title. Another way to add clarity is to use brackets that indicate more about what the reader can expect, such as [infographic] or [interview].
- It should be length appropriate. A headline that’s too long or too short is less effective than one that’s just right. It’s recommended to stay around 80 characters for your headline, with 100 characters being the maximum.
Tip #2: Write to a specific person
Content should be more like a conversation than a broadcasted message. When you write to a specific person, you create a personal connection that makes readers more likely to listen and respond.
Think about it this way: If you were at a party, and someone started shouting at everyone in the crowd, would you stop to talk to them? Probably not. But if that same person approached you personally and started chatting, you’d be more open to engaging in a conversation with them.
Here are a few tips for writing to a specific person:
- Picture an actual person. While researching and writing, hold a customer persona or specific member of your community or audience in mind. Would Jordan, a content strategist at an enterprise B2B SaaS company, find this compelling? What about Jesse, a UX writer at a mid-market consumer technology company? Be sure to pick or design a persona based on your goals for the piece.
- Use personal pronouns. Using personal pronouns (e.g., “I,” “you,” “me,” “we,” “us”) makes your writing more relatable. In particular, the second-person pronoun “you” makes your writing feel more like a conversation between the writer and the reader.
- Be specific. The more specific you are, the more you’ll be able to connect with your reader. When making a point, support it with specific examples so your reader can better understand how the idea works in theory and practice.
Tip #3: Make it easy to read
It’s important to make your content easy to read if you want to generate an immediate response from your reader. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Use short sentences and paragraphs. Shorter paragraphs are easier to parse, especially if you limit each paragraph to one idea. Another factor is that content is increasingly consumed on mobile browsers with narrow screens. What looks like a short paragraph on desktop might actually look like a long paragraph on mobile, so aim to have your paragraphs be no more than five lines long and no more than 100 words long.
- Use bullet points or numbers when possible. If you are conveying a series of related ideas, try formatting them in a bulleted or numbered list. List formatting helps the reader identify key takeaways more easily.
- Use simple words and language. When you write in clear and simple language, you make it easier for your reader to find the information they need and understand that information when they find it. Additionally, writing in plain language means that your content will be more accessible to less fluent readers.
- Highlight important information. Use formatting elements, like pull quotes or bold text, to emphasize the most important information for the reader – like your key brand messages or the specific actions you recommend taking.
Tip #4: Use active voice
Writing in an active voice makes your content more engaging and easier to understand. It also helps your brand sound more authoritative, which helps to gain your audience’s attention and trust.
To increase content engagement, try writing in an active voice. Your content will sound more authoritative – thus more worthy of your audience’s attention and trust, says @ryanejohnston #sponsored. Click To Tweet
To encourage your reader to act, you need to make it clear what action you want them to take. Because active voice emphasizes the action a subject performs, it’s better suited to content marketing than passive voice, which emphasizes the recipient of the subject’s actions.
Many of advertising’s most famous slogans, like Nike’s “Just do it,” Apple’s “Think different,” or Burger King’s “Have it your way” all urge the customer to take action. For example, when Nike says, “Just do it,” it puts the decision to act into the customer’s hands.
Active voice is particularly important when writing headlines. In fact, if you look at blog posts from companies like Buffer, HubSpot, and Intercom, you’ll notice that nearly every headline is written in an active voice.
Yet, there are times when passive voice can be used effectively, as well. For example, this CMI article, 4 Metrics Not To Be Missed in Your Next Content Audit, uses the passive voice to emphasize the metrics rather than the potential act of missing the metrics.
Tip #5: Add visual interest
To capture even more attention, consider using images, infographics, and video to add visual interest. These visual elements break up the text while also reinforcing the message you are trying to communicate. This approach also helps to engage visual learners with written content pieces.
Follow these tips to add visual interest in a way that drives an immediate response:
- Choose images that are relevant and relatable. A well-chosen image can illustrate a point or create an emotional connection that goes beyond what you can accomplish with text alone. A common use case for images would be to show examples of the subject being discussed – for example, including images of actual newsletters in an article about newsletter best practices.
- Make sure your infographics are clear and easy to understand. An infographic can be highly effective at helping your audience digest any data discussed in your content. Try to use simple charts and graphs, then provide support text to help explain how the reader should interpret the information.
- Keep videos brief and to the point. To maximize engagement, aim for your videos to be less than 30 seconds in length. You can also break up longer videos into smaller snippets, if necessary. Also, make sure to caption your videos so they’re accessible for everyone, including viewers who may not want to use audio at the time. Don’t forget to add your CTA at the end of the video, as well.
Tip #6: Create a sense of urgency
Driving your reader to take action is only half of the equation – you need the reader to take action now. Otherwise, they might get distracted and forget to return to complete the action.
Creating a sense of urgency is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. Here are some tips to try:
- Highlight the consequences of not taking action. For example, you could write about how not taking action could lead to missed opportunities or negative consequences.
- Use language to imply the time-sensitivity of the action. For example, you could use phrases like “don’t wait to improve your ROI” or “the end of the quarter is quickly approaching.”
- Offer a limited-time offer. This could be a discount, a freebie, or access to a one-time event that’s happening very soon.
For great content marketing that performs, you need to know how to write to engage your audience. By following the six tips outlined above, you can improve your writing and compel your readers to respond when it matters most.
So, what are you waiting for? Put these tips into practice and see how they can help you drive better results with your content marketing efforts.
Writer is the leading AI writing platform for teams. Writer empowers GTM leaders to build a consistent brand across every customer touchpoint. Automated language generation and writing suggestions make it possible for teams to accelerate content, align with their brand, and empower more writers across all types of content and communications.
Writer recently launched CoWrite, which helps you produce high-quality, on-brand first drafts in a fraction of the time, using AI that is custom-trained on your best content. You can learn more about CoWrite on our product page: CoWrite.
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