Why customers want a personal approach?
The evolution of commercial writing.
Psychology input in your communication
In contrast to previous years, the focus is no longer on reaching the largest possible audience, but on your active audience. This group is much more valuable than superficial readers who don’t take action. By focusing more on reader retention, the high investment in new readers is less important. Moreover, this is much more efficient and effective. After all, a loyal reader is worth gold.
What about a personal approach?
A personal approach is also becoming increasingly important. A (potential) reader no longer wants to be treated like a number. It is therefore important to be aware of the fact that we find ourselves in a paradox, on the one hand, anonymity is increasingly valued, while on the other hand there is a strong need for a personal approach.
Dynamic content is ideal for this, by adapting the content to personal preferences, such as language or suggestions based on previous articles, you personalize the environment for your audience on an individual level.
The challenge for 2022, therefore, lies in finding the right balance, gaining the trust of the readers by personalizing, but without collecting too much personal data.
In addition, emotional bonding plays an increasingly important role in making decisions which brand to follow.
Responding to emotions has been proven to be effective, practical information leads to analysis, in which the reader rationally compares your articles with other writers. However, emotion is more likely to lead to action and is thus more effective. Moreover, the positive feeling also lasts longer, which contributes to a lasting relationship with the reader.
Emotional writing, including the focus on nostalgia, is therefore increasing in popularity. By responding to nostalgic feelings, consumers are more willing to spend time reading your blog/ articles.
Moreover, the sense of belonging that arises from this creates a positive association, which is very valuable in the long term. This trend is expected to continue in 2022. Especially with all technological developments, emotional writing is a great counterpart, which ensures recognisability and connection with the readers.
Less is more
Online tools are indispensable, but to keep an overview we naturally prefer to work with one total solution than countless different tools. Convenience serves people, we prefer to realize everything as quickly as possible, without taking extra steps and using different platforms and environments. We already saw a revival of social commerce last year. This goes one step further than e-commerce; making online purchases in an app or web store. Nowadays, social media channels also offer the possibility to make a purchase. The inspiration you gain on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, for example, is nowadays converted into a purchase, without you having to leave the platform.
The fulfillment of this prediction was confirmed by the big news from Facebook, the change of course with a view to Meta. One digital 3D environment, in which everything comes together. Working, gaming, making purchases: nothing is unthinkable in this world of interconnected virtual environments. The plans are still in their infancy, but we expect big changes with the emergence of the metaverse!
Less is more’
also applies to content itself. Extensive texts and long videos are often not fully read or viewed. Long content can be very effective, but only if the interest and motivation to receive and process the information is high. In a split second, you often decide whether this is the case. So the first impression is more important than ever. When optimizing content, the focus is, therefore, more on microcopy, it is the buttons and headers that generate conversion. We naturally tend to be tall, with more words, arguments, and substantiation we want to strengthen our message. And to be honest, long content also works in many cases, as a recent study into B2B content marketing in 2022 shows us. But the saying ‘short but sweet’ does not exist for anything. Powerful copy is specific, targeted, and concrete. An important lesson to take with you into 2022.
Physical events make way for hybrid events and live content
The lack of personal contact and physical events has not diminished this year. Last year we predicted that there would be more online events. Participating in a live event creates a sense of involvement and togetherness, which can be a challenge with an online variant. Webinars, online live sessions and podcasts are nothing new, but they are used more and more effectively. Online events were not well understood a few years ago, by companies and influencers as well as the participants. Due to COVID-19, the acceptance of this has grown rapidly.
Real-time content, such as live streams on social media, has already proven to be very valuable in terms of interaction. Live content is expected to become possible in more forms. In addition, live content also has a personal and authentic edge, not everything can be scripted and a mistake is made quickly, but can of course be solved less quickly in live.
Nowadays we also see ‘live editing’. Interactive elements are added during the stream to engage the audience more. This is currently widely used within the gaming industry, but we expect it to expand further within other industries.
A new middle ground has also emerged: the hybrid event.
The focus here is still on the physical visitor, but it is also possible to attend this (partly) online. Ideal, now that people are increasingly considering whether it is worth attending in person. Time, health and relevance weigh more heavily in this decision than ever before. For the time being, this will not diminish and we foresee that hybrid events and live content will continue to develop and be rolled out.
Content distribution via subscriptions and platforms
We expected that in 2021 content would be ‘sold’ less and less per piece, but on an all-inclusive basis per period. A development that offers advantages for both the consumer and the provider. The consumer has everything at hand, without having to fill in forms or submit requests again and again. At the same time, this provides the provider with clearer data about the interests and behavior of the target group. A win-win situation that is still emerging and will probably continue in the coming years.
Focus on the channels that are important to you
Social media channels are still one of the main sources of new website visitors, next to search traffic and advertisements. In that context, I have already discussed the importance of focus. It is better to be active on the specific platforms that bring you a lot as a brand, than to use every channel where your target group can be found.
Efficiency is key. I therefore also see that content recycling is increasing in popularity. This concerns both the reuse of old content and the efficient use of previously created content on (social media) channels. Content curation, the collection, analysis and sharing of existing content from other sources, is a good way to share relevant information efficiently. Here too, the focus is not on sharing new information, but on the contrary, you want to share the important existing information with your target group in an accessible way. Of course, it is adapted to the platform and the target group that is located there.
This does require the necessary creativity when designing the content.
You can reuse your content on different channels with both existing and new formats. Think infographics, videos, carousels and more! Content creators are becoming more and more creative and are also coming up with new formats, in which AR and AI also play a role. Think of AR-enhanced storytelling or personalized landing pages. Once you have created templates for the different content formats, you can of course reuse them. Efficient and consistent.
So, a lot to digest, human to human, isn’t that we were fighting for a long time now?
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