Trends & Insight
December 20, 2021

A look at the key marketing, content and PR trends for the year ahead

2022 is set to be an interesting year for the PR and marketing practitioners. From the rise of purpose-led creativity and user generated content to the impact that the latest privacy updates will have on marketers’ ability to target audiences - we pick five key trends that will be impacting the sector in 2022.

1. The rise of purpose-led creativity
As companies look at their environmental principles, social and environmental responsibility are becoming increasingly important considerations for consumers. 

In 2022 brands will be expected to engage directly with real-world problems. Discussing climate change, inequality, and being able to communicate an authentic ‘purpose’ across all stages of their content marketing strategy. 

At the same time, customers’ eyes are wide open to empty promises and so brands will need to take a holistic approach to tackling this issue - from climate campaigns that go well beyond simple ‘greenwashing’ to addressing social inequality through their own employment practices. 

A 2022 Benchmark
Patagonia is a great example of a purpose-driven brand. Their ‘We The Power’ campaign directly reflects their overarching dedication to sustainable consumption, while they regularly utilise social media to engage with environmental and political issues.

2. Increased Production Budgets for User Generated Content
Social proof has never been more valuable and User Generated Content (UGC) will remain a hugely powerful tool for creating trust, driving engagement and creating a valuable customer experience. 

Social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram will continue to play a vital role in this area. 

With over a billion active monthly users worldwide, TikTok is well positioned to facilitate an overlapping of UGC and influencer marketing with influencers encouraging followers to record themselves engaging with unique challenges and trends.  

As the online world consumes content at an ever-expanding rate, expect press rooms to start offering ‘makerspaces’ where users can download content to edit and ‘make their own’. Short-form videos are by far the most popular form of content, with estimates that as much as 82% of online content will consist of videos by 2022.

3. Cross-sector collaborations
and broadening skillsets
As the ability to harness and analyse data becomes increasingly integral to the planning and running of effective personalised campaigns, marketers have a greater potential reach than ever but need to target consumers with pinpoint accuracy. According to a 2022 Deloitte marketing report, currently, 87% of marketers say data is their company's most under-utilised asset. 

That said, some question whether too much emphasis is being placed on cold, hard facts and too little on creativity. In 2022 brands will need to find the perfect balance between art and science in order to leverage data into meaningful and emotive storytelling campaigns.

However, at the same time, serious thought will need to be given to…

4. Targeting consumers in a ‘privacy first’ world
Serious steps were made in 2021 to protect individual online privacy. In April, Apple announced that all apps would need users to opt in before being able to track their activity, while Google brought an end to marketers’ ability to target people based on their individual web history (users will now be grouped together around particular interests). 

As a result, opportunities for ad personalisation will decline in 2022, as will the marketing sector’s ability to measure metrics such as conversions and views. Marketers will need to rely on other tactics such as contextual marketing to reach the right audiences (platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are already asking users to select topics they are interested in to aid this process). 

5. The Metaverse emerges
Is it time to take VR seriously? There are endless discussions about what the internet of the future will look like - Meta has invested over $10 billion into a new VR world with the aim of taking users inside the internet. By the end of 2022 platforms such as Instagram and potentially TikTok may see their follower numbers start to decline - could the next big platform come from inside the Metaverse?

Streaming and corporations platforms will start to invest further into VR, and it might not be long before a company sales presentation takes the form of a 360-degree visual experience. Meta and VR is still very much in its infancy, however believes there are 171 million VR users worldwide, with 70% of VR headset-owning consumers having purchased a game. The jury is still out whether VR and AR will start to impact on wider spectrums of society.

AM+A are currently planning content around each of these trends, from eye-catching TikTok videos to SEO-orientated and purpose-led content. Enquire today:

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