The only constant in the world of marketing is that things are always changing.
And, if you’re a marketer, business leader, or entrepreneur aiming to plan an effective 2022 strategy that puts you far ahead of your competitors, you probably want to know:
Which trends are marketers leveraging today? And, which do they plan to start leveraging in 2022?
Which marketing channels are they using?
What are the top content-marketing formats?
What challenges are they facing?
And, most importantly, what are their plans and expectations for 2022 and beyond?
As the HubSpot Blog’s Research Analyst, I launched our Marketing Industry Survey to help fellow bloggers and readers answer the questions above — and gain further industry insights into 2022 planning.
Our Survey Sample
We surveyed 1,067 global marketers from across B2B and B2C companies from small to large employee sizes. The sample included professionals at varying experience levels from seven countries: the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, France, and Japan.
Read on to learn about some of the most interesting key findings, get strategic recommendations based on our data, and find even more blog content that dives even deeper into our research.
Which trends are marketers already leveraging today?
Influencer marketing, mobile-friendly website design, short-form video, virtual events, and experiential marketing are the top trends marketers currently leverage.
These trends will see continued growth in 2022 as most marketers will increase their investment in them or continue investing the same amount.
Let’s dive into each trend and how marketers are thinking about them moving into the next year.
1. Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing was once less accessible to small brands that couldn’t budget a high-priced celebrity or a top-tier social media user, the growth of social media has led to an abundance of influencers with nano to macro followings.
Now, as more businesses invest in influencer marketing, they’re beginning to see solid benefits. In our survey, Influencer marketing was the most popular and most effective trend with the biggest ROI.
By working with an influencer that’s gained trust, expertise, or notability in a specific industry, brands can gain awareness, traffic, and potentially conversions from that influencer’s audience.
2. Short-Form Video
As TikTok’s virality grew in 2020 and 2021, other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube rushed to get into the short-form video game. And, as more platforms continue to shift to prioritizing quick, fast-paced content, so have marketers.
Our Marketing Strategy Survey results show that short-form video is popular, effective, and still growing, especially among social media marketers.
In fact, 30% of social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form video than any other social media marketing strategy in 2022. Meanwhile, 33% plan to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2022.
3. Virtual Events
Virtual events are popular, effective, and will continue to be a top trend marketers leverage in 2022.
However, 17% of marketers who leverage virtual events will decrease their investment in 2022, the second-highest decrease of any trend marketers invested in during 2021. Additionally, while 31% of marketers currently leverage virtual events, just 9% of marketers plan to leverage them for the first time in 2022.
If you have virtual events planned, don’t let this research panic you. Virtual events are still the third most prominent trend marketers will invest in throughout the next year.
Additionally, the decreases noted above could signal a natural transition from virtual to hybrid or physical events as more public venues fully re-open in the next year. As an event marketer, it will be important to weigh all of your options and local mandates to determine which event type will be most effective and comfortable for your audience in the coming year.
Which trends do marketers plan to leverage for the first time in 2022?
Short-form video, social responsibility, and inbound marketing are the top trends marketers plan to leverage for the first time in 2022.
While I explained some of the appeals to short-form videos above, here’s a quick snippet about the other two trends.
Brands Will Take More Social Responsibility
In 2020 and 2021, consumers paid more attention than ever to how companies treated their customers, audiences, employees, and the world around them. And, many companies used this time to take a stance on their values. As these brands took on more social responsibility, they found that current or new audiences shared their values and gained trust, credibility, memorability, and awareness from those consumers.
Moving into 2022, more marketers are recognizing the importance of social responsibility. Investment in social responsibility will continue to grow from those already leveraging it and from marketers using it for the first time.
Digital Transformation Will Boost Inbound Marketing Use
As we move into 2022, consumers will be more connected to the web and digital platforms than ever. And, outbound strategies have gotten even more out of date.
To meet customers and audiences where they are, 23% of marketers will leverage inbound marketing for the first time.
To read more about short-form content, social responsibility, and other key trends analyzed in this survey, check out these posts:
Which marketing channels are businesses leveraging?
The top channels marketers currently use are social media, website/blog, and email marketing.
1. Social Media
Social media is the most popular and most effective marketing channel, with the highest ROI.
The use of social media will continue to grow, with 39% of those who don’t use social media planning to leverage it for the first time in 2022.
Additionally, 26% of marketers plan to invest more in social media than any other channel in 2022
In 2022, 51% of marketers who leverage social media plan to increase their investment in social media marketing, and 37% will continue investing the same amount.
The Top Social Media Platforms
Instagram is the most popular social platform, just ahead of YouTube and Facebook.
However, Facebook has the biggest ROI of any platform, and 25% of social media marketers say they will invest more in it than any other platform in 2022.
YouTube is No. 2 in terms of usage, but ROI lags behind Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Still, expect to see the platform continue to see marketing growth as brands continue to leverage it for its ginormous audience and growing brand opportunities.
While TikTok is the No. 6 platform in terms of usage by social media marketers, 62% of those who leverage it plan to increase their investment in 2022, the highest of any social platform.
The Top Marketing Content Formats
Video content, blogs, images, and infographics are the top media formats.
Video leads across the board as the most popular and effective format with the highest ROI, and 30% of content marketers plan to invest in video more than any other format in 2022.
Blogs are popular, effective, and have the 3rd highest ROI of any format.
The use of blogs will continue growing in 2022, with 29% of content marketers planning to leverage blogs for the first time and 10% planning to invest more in blogs than any other format.
Adoption of infographics will continue growing as 45% of content marketers currently leverage them and 38% plan to leverage them for the first time in 2022.
Additionally, 56% of content marketers who leverage infographics say it is the most effective content format they use.
4. Podcasts and Audio Content
Only one in three content marketers use podcasts or other audio content. While 51% of those who do plan to invest more in 2022, 43% plan to continue investing the same amount
Despite low ROI reports, 53% of content marketers who leverage podcasts and other audio content say it is the most effective format they use.
5. Audio Chat Rooms
Just 14% of social media marketers leverage audio chat rooms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, but 68% of those who do say it’s the most effective social media strategy they use, despite low ROI.
Additionally, 49% of those who already use audio chat rooms plan to increase their investment in 2022, while 47% plan to maintain their current investment next year.
More Insights From the HubSpot Blog
Has this data inspired you to build out or refine your marketing strategy in 2022? Be sure to keep following the HubSpot Blog’s data-driven content to dive deeper into current and emerging industry trends.
Next, check out this post where I give 11 recommendations for marketers based on the data above, plus survey findings that didn’t make it into this post.
Below are a few blog posts that further break down the findings of our Marketing Industry Trends survey. We’ll continue to update this list as we publish more articles, so be sure to bookmark this page!