Anyone can predict the future, and that’s why everyone does it. It’s a free lottery ticket with no losses when you’re wrong but a lifetime of talking about how right you are when you are.
(With that in mind, here are some general 2022 predictions:
- Twins running for mayor together becomes a thing
- Joe Biden hosts the Oscars and jokes that “Spider-Man: No Way Home sure helped the box office build back better.”
- Scientists discover that orange is a different color than we think it is.)
Setting expectations, though, takes real skill. It’s the work of scholars, experts, and content creators all working in unison to uncover trend lines and shine a light on what’s to come. With that in mind, here’s what B2B video marketers should expect in 2022.
COVID Disappears from Marketing Videos
COVID has played a significant role in practically every decision for the last two years. That’s led some marketers to interweave the common brandings of a pandemic — people clad in masks or the use of the phrase “uncertain times,” for example —within their marketing efforts. But, as things have settled into a state of unsurprising surprise with COVID, it’s still easy to get caught in the whiplash and work slap-dash to keep each video message consistent with the latest CDC guidance.
So, instead of spending money and emotional energy, 2022 will see organizations begin to craft their strategy in more COVID-agnostic terms. Evergreen content that can be deployed any time, whether hospitalization numbers are climbing, falling, or jumping way too high until you realize they didn’t report anything yesterday because it was a three-day weekend and you’re actually seeing two days’ worth of data so there’s nothing unusual here outside of a global virus that continues to replicate and evolve in the bodies of the unvaccinated, costs less to produce.
Also, many people are just tired of COVID’s weight on their lives. It can feel like each reminder of the pandemic is yet another pound of anxiety, fear, or self-righteousness. The bottom line is that mentioning the pandemic in your marketing may lead your target audience to simply tune out.
Employer Branding Content Becomes Essential
The Great Resignation has forced many companies to rethink how they attract and retain employees. Millions of people have left their job to move on to the next one, raise a child, or Instagram their way through Alaska in a renovated school bus.
For employers, it can be challenging to differentiate themselves from their competition without proper employer branding. (And, as we know, video can elevate your employer branding to new levels.) Emphasizing your culture or your mission in videos marketed to your targeted audience of potential new hires will encourage those aligned with your values to apply.
Additionally, as the new virtual landscape of work continues settling into place, the geographical search range of a company’s talent acquisition department evolves. Organizations are hiring globally, and employer branding videos enable them to produce content crafted for each international market they explore.
Live Events Fully Evolve into Hybrid Events
Live, in-person events have a couple of things going against them at the moment. First, virtual meeting software like Zoom has made it easier than ever to attend events without leaving their home.
Second, live events are expensive to produce and to attend. Removing one of the most significant budget items —renting physical space and equipment — makes live events easier to justify financially. And finding a place with decent Wi-Fi to log in to the event is also a much simpler and cheaper process than booking travel, hotel, and a rental car.
There is still value in meeting someone face-to-face, even if those faces are six feet apart and hidden behind a KN95. For some smaller or medium-sized companies or conferences, though, that value may be less than what it costs to put on an event or send one of their employees to attend.
Even if some more well-attended conferences will likely live on with some in-person components, there will still be those Zooming in. So, the live event isn’t quite dead, but it will always have some virtual aspects going forward.
Marketers Embrace TikTok and Micro-Influencers…
TikTok is real. For Millennials everywhere content to reflexively and semi-non-unironically joke about how they’re finally too old for something, this is nothing less than devastating. They no longer dictate the path of culture; they’re left behind. To put it in a way that Millennials will understand: they’ve gone from being Jack in the first season of Lost to the “We have to go back!” Jack of later seasons.
Marketers should not repeat this mistake. TikTok is expected to be the third biggest social network globally by 2022, and B2C organizations are already establishing their presence on the platform. That means B2B companies shouldn’t be too far behind, and those that get there first are best suited to take advantage of the situation.
Additionally, taking advantage of TikTok also means speaking its language. And those that speak it best are influencers and micro-influencers.
These individuals have developed authentic relationships with their deep yet narrowly targeted audience and are available today to be a part of your promotion plan. Micro-influencers are the corporate spokespeople of 2022, except you already know that they’re a hit with the people you want your marketing messages to reach.
…While Marketing Budgets Continue to Decline
According to the 2021 Gartner Annual CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets as a percentage of company revenue fell to 6.4%. Since the initial survey in 2014, every year except for last hovered between 10 to 12%.
Companies may experience few short-term consequences for this decline, incentivizing them to reduce marketing budgets even further. In fact, until organizations begin to feel the adverse effects, the trend may continue for several more years.
This, of course, leaves marketers in the unenviable position of having to do more with less. Instead of exploring the vast digital frontiers of the Metaverse, they are forced to think strategically and use tools that are effective, efficient, and scalable.
One of those tools is video. Video’s ability to scale and boost marketing ROI explains why another 2021 survey showed that more businesses practice video than ever before, even as marketing department budgets fall.
More Predictions and Expectations for B2B Video Marketing in 2022
To know how 2022 ends, you have to know how it begins. So, following the trends listed above should put you in a good place for planning out your marketing year.
For more on what to expect in 2022 in the world of video marketing, listen to this week’s episode of the Video Reformation podcast.