For content marketing success, follow your audience, not your peers.

Marketing budget shifts can be insightful, but always keep a pulse on where your audience is spending its time.

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Are you looking for direction on where to put your marketing dollars (and resources) in the year ahead? Then WARC Marketer’s Toolkit may be of interest to you, particularly its research on digital platform investment trends for 2022.

There’s certainly an eye-catching number right off the bat: 84% of industry respondents expect to spend more on TikTok in 2022. But increasing spend from $0 isn’t necessarily a meaningful trend. What is more interesting is to put these trends in context of the broader shifts in our industry over the past several years.

  • The Duopoly is tilting: With so much in advertising dollars and content creation resources dedicated to Google and Facebook, it’s notable that marketer sentiment regarding these two platforms is so different. For as much as marketers already spend on paid search and organic SEO, 98% of respondents plan to maintain or increase their spend with Google, but only 82% of respondents say the same for Facebook.
  • Snapchat is wilting: This was the only platform that respondents said they were more likely to reduce their time spent on rather than increasing it. Users still frequent Snapchat, but brand sentiment has turned away from a more active presence on the platform. Food for thought: Would a survey in 2015 have shown 84% of marketers looking to get into Snapchat?
  • Visual formats (generally) are rising: A common thread between TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram (and even Twitch) is the visual elements that underpin the user experience. By leaning into those channels, marketers effectively endorse a visuals-first approach to content marketing in 2022 (even if Snapchat may be on the way out).

A Framework for Channel Decision Making

These trends are revealing, but how can they be made actionable? We see a few ways to narrow down to your most appealing options for marketing investment.

  • Where is your audience, anyway? If you know from your research that your target audience is predominantly on Twitter, then spending time and budget there will continue to make sense, regardless of what industry sentiment says. Be sure to monitor preferences over time and don’t get caught flatfooted if they shift.
  • What is your goal? Brand awareness and influencer campaigns are perfect for TikTok and Instagram but don’t go there if you are looking for direct conversions. Tailor your goals to the strengths of each individual platform.
  • What can your organization bring to bear? Note where your experts are already active, and leverage that for added reach on those platforms. A network of employees – on LinkedIn for example – can be a nice force multiplier for your marketing budget.
  • Which channels have historically been most effective? Knowing which channels bring the most value today will help you decide which ones make sense to expand to in the future. To start, create a channel map as a guide.

TL;DR: Marketer sentiment will continue to shift among platforms, but keep your own audience and goals in mind before pulling the trigger on a new channel.

Thinking about starting a TikTok channel? Wondering whether your brand is just tweeting into the void? Reach out to us for more info.



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