As the end of 2021 draws near, your marketing team may be considering the future of your content marketing strategy, evaluating what has worked this year and exploring opportunities for improvement in 2022. You may be asking yourself: what’s our next “big idea?”

While the future is often impossible to predict (after all who could have guessed in 2019 how the world would have changed in these last two years), some trends do stand out.

As you look to the future of your content marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond, here are three things to consider. 

1. One Thing That Isn’t Changing Anytime Soon: Email Marketing

As you look ahead and seek to be innovative with your content marketing strategies, it’s important to remember that certain strategies aren’t likely to decrease in value any time soon. Chief among them is email marketing.

Through the years, different social media platforms have provided fresh ways to connect with your audience, and it has been wise to adopt them. However, as you probably know, social media algorithms that work in your favor today might not be so friendly to you in the future. 

Facebook is a perfect example. Up until a number of years ago, organizations could rely on the platform to consistently put content in front of their audience and drive traffic to their websites. But just as Facebook giveth, Facebook taketh away. When Facebook made major changes to its algorithm, many companies suffered greatly. Some never recovered.

For this reason, it’s always best to build on land you own, rather than land you rent. You own your email list. Even if every social media platform were to go away tomorrow, you would still be able to communicate with the audience you have build through your email database.

In 2022, continue to build that list. Communicate with people on that list regularly, cultivating a relationship with them. 

While doubling down on email marketing isn’t likely to win you any innovation awards, it is nevertheless vital to the future of your content marketing strategy. 

2. Small Niches With Big Potential

As online content continues to proliferate, many markets are becoming increasingly saturated. Based on your resources, you might not have the ability to cut through the noise or beat out larger organizations for certain keywords

But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have big potential to reach new audiences that will bring in revenue. You just need to think differently about who you’re targeting

Instead of trying to boil the ocean and create the largest audience possible, you may consider how you can become more focused on reaching multiple smaller audiences within very specific niches. This is what is known as long tail marketing

Because of the way the internet and social media have democratized content distribution, we live in an age where content creators have the ability to monetize their platforms around content as obscure and specific as unboxing vintage furbies or discussing the history of the baseball card industry from the 1920s to the 1960s. 

In other words, you don’t necessarily need an audience of millions in order to monetize it. You might not even have the resources to make a feeble attempt at it. But the good news is that you don’t have to. 

In many cases, a highly devoted audience of mere thousands will do more for your marketing strategy than a disengaged or only slightly engaged audience of a million. 

3. New Frontiers That Still Exist

While email marketing should still reign supreme in the future of your content marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new frontiers where you’ll be able to stake a claim. Whenever a new platform is in its infancy, it’s ripe for opportunity to increase your audience size with a much smaller investment of time and resources relative to the established platforms that are already saturated. 

A recent example of this opportunity is TikTok, which has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years and introduced us to independent creators that are now household names across the country. It is entirely possible that 2022 will bring a new platform or way of connecting with your audience that provides incredible potential. 

Nevertheless, diving into these new platforms can be something of a calculated risk. You don’t necessarily want to be one of the early adopters. After all, there’s no way of knowing which platform will become the next TikTok and which will become the next Google+. 

You don’t have to be the first on a platform to capitalize on the early bird opportunity. You just need to be one of the first. So if you’ve only heard of a new platform by reading about it in a TechCrunch article, rushing to get your organization on it isn’t the wisest move. 

Keep paying attention to it, but wait and see what happens. Are your friends and family using it? Have your coworkers and employees even heard of it? Does it seem like the platform is gaining widespread recognition and use? When that’s the case, you’ll know it’s time to jump in.

Bottom Line: Execution Always Beats Innovation.

At the end of the day, none of us has a crystal ball, and we have no idea what tools and tactics will exist in the future that might catapult the success of our content marketing. 

But we do have a fairly good idea about what’s working today. 

Successful content marketers capitalize on current opportunities more than they contemplate what the future ones might be. While they always keep their eyes on the horizon, they understand that big dreams are only as good as the execution of the strategies to get them there. 

So as you look ahead to 2022 and beyond, make sure you have a robust plan for execution regardless of what trends you pursue. If you do, the future of your content marketing strategy will be bright.