2022 Predictions and Trends: 4 B2B Brand Leaders Weigh In
December 20, 2021
With a new year comes new challenges for B2B businesses — and for anyone who’s wondering what’s on Wistia’s radar, we sat down with our CEO, Chris Savage, to hear his five predictions for 2022.
From changes in content consumption to the shifting of workplace cultures, dig into the ideas Chris is mulling around in his mind for the new year and how B2B companies can adapt to these waves.
Plus, B2B brand leaders at Descript, 3Play Media, and HubSpot answer these three questions: What factors will have the biggest impact on video in 2022? What are the biggest opportunities for video next year? And, what are the biggest challenges marketers will have to overcome to invest more in video and audio content? Dig in to hear their thoughts!
What’s on Wistia’s radar?
First, let’s dive into Chris’s predictions for 2022.
1. Audiences will want more control over the content they consume.
Brands that don’t give consumers the option to consume content in different ways will be missing out on a big fraction of their audience.
Chris: Many major media publications let users pick how they’d like to engage with content — usually through reading, listening, and watching. B2B companies need to understand that their audiences crave this same type of experience and control. If B2B brands can create content that allows individuals to choose how they consume, by watching, listening, or reading, then they’ll be able to cast a wider net and give more power to the audiences they’re trying to reach.
2. B2B brands need to be entertaining now more than ever.
Marketers in the B2B space need to keep in mind that consumers have the power to walk away from content whenever they want. With a hybrid workforce, along with various entertainment platforms and social media apps, folks have the ability to walk away from their desk throughout the day and find something more entertaining. This is creating competition for audiences’ attention.
Chris: Brands will need to figure out intuitive ways to meet consumers where they are and interact with them on a more personal level, speaking to them as individuals with challenges and problems their company can solve. B2B brands that operate with a B2C mindset will understand their customers on a deeper level, and be able to build brand trust and loyalty, which will greatly influence the buyer journey.
3. Automation will drive more creativity.
Next year, the need for automation across industries will increase. Companies that take the extra step and implement more automated solutions will be the ones that see success.
Chris: Automation can provide a major advantage to businesses that are facing staffing shortages or have gaps in their IT services. While automation is not always meant to replace team members, it can automate tasks that are time-consuming and hindering overall business output. With automation, team members can spend less time on admin tasks and focus their efforts on creative thinking and execution.
4. Workplace culture will center around online experiences.
Many Gen Z workers don’t want to work without flexibility, i.e., the ability to choose where they work and when. Companies that focused on creating strong in-person company culture now need to figure out how to do the same but completely online.
Chris: Building a strong workplace culture is now about giving permission to do non-work things. For example, we gave everyone a virtual reality headset at Wistia so they can meet up and play mini golf or just hang out together virtually in the same place. Companies will need to sacrifice some productivity for a stronger culture if they want to retain existing employees and attract new ones.
5. It’s time for the “Great Recalibration.”
Remote work has prompted many employees to reevaluate their job and make a change — and this will continue well into 2022. As businesses work to fill open job positions, they’ll need to take a hard look at their values and realign to meet the new expectations of job seekers.
Chris: Companies will need to put their values on display and convince employees why they can be valuable assets to the organization as well as what benefits, like remote work, will be offered to them.
B2B brand marketing leaders weigh in
Now, let’s hear from folks at Descript, a powerful all-in-one video and audio editing platform; 3Play Media, a captioning, transcription, audio description, and translation service; and HubSpot, the inbound marketing, sales, and customer service software platform.
What factors will have the biggest impact on video?
Video podcasting will grow in 2022 according to Jay LeBoeuf, Head of Business & Corporate Development at Descript.
Jay: All podcasters must have video! All podcasts must have a corresponding video asset. We see creator funds encouraging podcasters to repurpose content and grow their audiences by creating and re-publishing with new video content. Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook are also aggressively courting podcasters by offering considerable resources to bring them over. Even if your core intellectual property is audio, the marketing channels and ability to reach a massively wider audience with your content becomes bigger with video.
What are the biggest opportunities for video?
As for the biggest opportunities for video, here’s what Jay, and Chris Antunes and Josh Miller, Co-CEOs and Co-Founders of 3Play Media, had to say.
Jay: We’ll see artificial intelligence-powered voice clones much more widely used for narration and even editorial fixes. The quality is insane and the time-savings to type your key messagings in marketing and training and learning videos can’t be beat.
Chris & Josh: Virtual and hybrid events, as well as hybrid work environments, are here to stay. Video is at the center of making these successful and productive. Additionally, we’ll likely see an increase in research and conversation around augmented reality, virtual reality, and the metaverse in 2022 and beyond. Video and the accessibility of these emerging spaces will be talked about in a new way.
What challenges will marketers have to overcome to invest more in video and audio?
Lastly, Chris and Josh, Jay, and Natalie Gullatt, Marketing Manager at HubSpot, weighed in on the challenges marketers will have to overcome to invest more in video and audio content.
Chris & Josh: The ability to prove return-on-investment (ROI) and report on the impact of video will continue to be a challenge for marketers when it comes to investing more in video content. We may also see accessibility needs impact the amount of video created.
Jay: Transcripts are a must. In mid-December 2021, SiriusXM faced a lawsuit from the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) for failing to provide captioning and transcripts for “the vast majority” of its podcasts.
Right now, many companies act as if providing transcriptions is a passion project or something reserved for well-funded Enterprise brand podcasts. However, it’s inexpensive. And instant. The availability of AI-driven tools to create these transcripts, and correct them to 100% accuracy as you are editing, is now part of the production process. You can do this now for $15/month — it’s no longer necessary to hire a team of white glove transcriptions for thousands of dollars.
Beyond that, the commercial benefits of transcripts are too good to ignore. Transcripts are required for accessibility and discoverability. They boost your SEO. They are required for contextual dynamic ad insertion and better targeting audiences with your content. They increase your audience to address millions of customers who could otherwise not access your content. It’s just good business.
Natalie: One of the biggest challenges marketers face for video is getting people to participate in video creation. There’s a growing demand for videos in marketing and an even greater demand for videos of real people and not actors. Because audiences want to see real people, marketers are now faced with asking customers and employees to participate. Many times, customers and employees aren’t exactly comfortable. Marketers will have to work to coordinate appropriate details and logistics that’ll enable their stars to look their best, feel their best, and perform well in videos on a regular basis.
What do you think?
The new year is right around the corner and we hope these B2B predictions and trends gave you some food for thought! We’ll be right with you as we watch how 2022 all plays out.