The start of a new year provides an opportunity to reflect on your brand content strategy wins, and how they'll shape your strategy in the year ahead.
2021 continued to be shaped by the pandemic which continues to loom over our lives. As we progress into 2022, its influence will continue to be felt. However, as the global picture begins to show optimistic signs, there are a number of areas brands should invest in to ensure they remain on top. Customers’ behaviour has been affected by the events of the past few years, so adapting your strategy will be critical to delivering growth and success over the year ahead.
Branded content is firmly on a growth trajectory for the next few years. AdYouLike thinks that the value of branded content will increase from $85.85 billion in 2020, to $402 billion in 2025. What’s more, 70% of customers expressed that this is becoming the way customers prefer to learn about new products and services, as opposed to traditional advertising.
Here, we highlight 3 brand content strategy trends that we think will shape the state of brand content strategy over the coming year.
Navigate brand content strategies in the activist era.
Brand responsibility has been a hot topic for some time now. It’s no secret that customers keep a keen eye on brands to ensure they behave themselves. As we progress into 2022, highlighting this in a genuine and interesting way will form a key challenge for businesses. When we’re all activists, we need to work hard to stand out when taking a stand.
A pitfall to watch out for here is doing the same thing that many brands can find themselves guilty of – making CSR and brand activism a tick box exercise. There’s nothing more eye roll inducing than seeing content from a company that feels totally face-level. Your customer is smart, and they’ll see right through it. By finding where it is your brand can have the most impact, and by focusing on implementing initiatives that add to and improve your community will come off most authentically.
Invest in engaging with those in your community that could benefit most from your brand’s knowledge or influence. This approach opens up opportunities for brands of all sizes to help those around them. Often the barrier to getting started on a significant CSR initiative is trying to find the one size fits all approach. Don’t focus on that. Find what makes sense for you and your people – then bring that to life.
Brands often take no action for fear of making mistakes, however, authenticity will be your validator when it comes to choosing the right CSR partner. If it makes sense to you and your brand ethos – run with it. Try not to fear the reprisal of customers, recent research has shown it’s unlikely to affect your bottom line anyway.
Double down on digital with your brand content strategy.
The past two years have fundamentally changed the way we think about, and consume content. Even the smallest brands have had to manage accelerated shifts to online presences. Those that didn’t are, by now, likely long gone. Those that successfully continue to pivot to online platforms to sell their products and tell their stories will show themselves as top performers.
It’s the consumer that is driving this trend. Demand for online content has increased dramatically, with stats from the Global Web Statshot showing that people are spending significantly longer with their devices.
What this highlights, is that the key playing fields for brands now are the digital devices we interact with most on a daily basis. As always, understanding where your target demographic sits within this universe will be key in determining which content formats you pursue and on which platforms to serve them.
So what should your brand do? Invest in making your content as consumer-centric as possible. Understand where your customer hangs out, and what they’re into. Create something that will appeal to their appetite. Perhaps its a behind the scenes glimpse at production, bringing an interesting back story to life, or highlighting how the work your brand is doing is impacting your community. Make your content diverse, and think beyond the traditional ad spot to get your customer really thinking about you in 2022.
Invest in creating more long-form content strategies that satisfy customer demand.
For the past few years, consumers have been binging on fast-content. Short form, here today and gone tomorrow. Much like fast food, this quick spin, short form content can leave your audience feeling slow, sluggish and in need of a refresh. With that in mind, many believe that long-form will be the way to go for brands in 2022.
HubSpot recently published a survey showing that in 2022, 44% of marketers were planning on investing in permanent, longer-form content over the next year. The figures show that longer form content performs better for your business too. Longer form content gets 24% more shares, 75% more backlinks, and 21% more traffic over short-form content.
These stats highlight the importance of investing in creating content that goes beyond the ephemeral. Focus on creating written, audio, and visual content that your customers can invest a bit of time in consuming. After all, creating longer-form content gives you the opportunity to really tell the story of your brand, providing more reasons for your customer to interact with your products and services.
Consider the effect of an additional 21% of traffic to your brand’s website or online store? What would that translate to in terms of bottom-line earnings? We’re willing to bet that its a significant amount – so shoot for growth over the year ahead!
We Are Even – brand content and social media video production specialists.
Looking for a new partner to help bring your brand content to life in 2022? We Are Even is made up of a team of content strategists and production experts that can breathe life into your content. Learn more about the work we’ve been involved in, and get in touch with us to discuss your brand content goals for 2022. We’d love to help you achieve them.