In 2022, 51% of B2C marketers plan to increase their marketing budget.

The question is where is that budget going? Will marketers reinvest in the same strategies or try new trends?Download Now: State of Marketing in 2021 Report

To understand what trends B2C marketers are leveraging in 2022, we surveyed 1,067 global marketing professionals working in B2B and B2C companies. 

From influencer marketing to virtual events, there are so many efforts brands can focus on. Let's see what our latest research says about what worked well for B2C marketers this year and where they plan to invest in 2022.

1. Short-form video will be a priority.

Short-form video took off in early 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Back then, TikTok was the number one place to go for short-form content. Today, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are also competing for users' attention.

This is good news for brands, as the short-form video trend content offered the second-highest ROI for B2C marketers in 2021, behind influencer marketing.

Despite coming in second for ROI, it's the trend marketers plan to invest in the most in 2022. Roughly 33% of B2C marketers already invest in short-form content, while one-third of those who haven't will do so for the first time in 2022.

Why now? Well, short-form video is such a key feature in social media today. And according to the data, social media takes the lead in marketing investments for businesses.

That's likely because three key goals B2C brands will have when running marketing campaigns in 2022, will be increasing brand awareness (49%), advertising products (44%). and increasing revenue (43%). 

B2C Marketing Campaign Goals 2022 Chart shows that the top B2C campaign goals are increasing brand awareness, advertising products, and increasing revenue.View image as a file.

With social media, you can accomplish at least two out of three. Brand awareness was always the main benefit of using social media but things have evolved.

Today, with so many platforms offering in-app shopping experiences and advanced ad formats, brands can meet more of their marketing goals.

2. Influencer marketing will still be a key lead/revenue driver.

For most B2C marketers, the power of influencers is clear.

In 2022, 61% of B2C marketers surveyed in the study plan to leverage it. In fact, it's the third-highest trend they plan to prioritize, behind short-form video content and inbound marketing.

This is because in 2021, it offered B2C brands the best returns. When asked to select their top ROI driver from a list of 27 tactics and strategies, 11% of B2C marketers chose influencer marketing. 

A chart shows B2C Trends and Tactics with Highest ROI which include influencer marketing, short-form video, permanent social content, and SEO respectively.

View image as a file.

What might be different in the future is the type of influencer brands focus on. Historically, brands have focused on the biggest and most popular influencers to partner with.

However, some data suggest that micro-influencers with under 100K followers may be more effective.

While the verdict is still out on that, one thing is clear: Influencer marketing isn't going anywhere.

3. Audio content will take a front seat.

Data suggests that video is the leader when it comes to content marketing. However, audio is slowly creeping up into the mix.

According to the survey, only 19.1% of B2C marketers use podcasts or other audio content in their marketing. Of those who do use it, 37.4% find it to be one of their most effective trends.

Even though adoption was seemingly low in 2021, the data suggests that more B2C marketers will add audio content to their marketing efforts in the new year.

Roughly 43% of B2C marketers plan to increase their investment in podcasts in 2022 while 38.4 plan to keep it the same. Another interesting fun fact is that this particular piece of data is virtually the same for B2B marketers.

This suggests that across all industries, brands recognize the power of audio content.

4. Social responsibility will be more important.

Now more than ever, consumers want and expect brands to be more transparent and take a stand on social media.

In fact, a 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer survey revealed that many consumers see trust as a leading factor in their purchasing decisions.

In the past two years, particularly in the height of the COVID-19 crisis and calls for social justice, consumers have started holding brands more accountable. In 2022, brands will be addressing that demand.

Currently, only a third of B2C marketers surveyed find social responsibility to be an effective marketing trend. Despite that fact, 45% plan to increase their investment in 2022.

5. Brands will continue to apply inbound marketing strategies.

Inbound marketing is all about meeting consumers where they are. Instead of marketing efforts that push messaging out to consumers, this focuses on attracting them toward you.

Behind short-form video, inbound marketing is the top trend marketers will invest in next year.

In fact, over 80% of marketers plan to keep the same budget or add more for this strategy.

This is done by following the "Attract, Delight, Engage" model that leverages content marketing, SEO, marketing automation, social media, and more to nurture consumers at every stage of the buyer's journey.

There you have it – some of the top trends B2C marketers will invest in 2022. Between publishing regular video/audio content on social media and developing a strong inbound marketing strategy, marketers have a busy year ahead.

To keep up with the latest trends in marketing, stay tuned for more upcoming marketing strategy research posts, download the 2021 HubSpot Not Another State of Marketing report to learn what marketing professionals focused on this year. 

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Originally published Nov 10, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated November 13 2021

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Marketing Strategy