It’s that time again when we all look at the digital trends and opportunities for the new year. 2022 is going to a unique year following on the heels of almost 2 years of COVID-19 restrictions and the resulting changes to the marketing sphere. It is important to on top of these trends. Sirf Marketing has compiled this definite list of marketing trends to watch out for in the upcoming year.
Quick Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2022
- The marketing trends that will dominate in the next 12 months will include Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Content Visualization.
- Digital marketing will become even more critical.
- Content marketing will become more important.
- Look to create exceptional content experiences with the integration of audio, video, text, AR/VR, gamification, and other interactive elements.
- Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) marketing will take the lead.
- Mobile optimization will be even more important.
- Permanent social media posts could overtake ephemeral content.
- By leaning into brand purpose and expressing value in a way that is authentic and consistent, brands can connect meaningfully with audiences and drive business results.
- Video marketers will keep content short.
- Marketing roles are evolving — they’re becoming educators and leaders rather than just advertisers.
- The need for document workflows and processes that work, making your efforts repeatable and scalable.
- More businesses will use SEO to concur search traffic.
- Loyalty programs will become a thing of the past and evolve into membership programs.
- Work through your customer’s journey to find stopping points, content gaps, and other opportunities to create a more seamless experience.
- Marketing has moved beyond branding and advertising; marketers must work together with other departments to focus on building great customer experiences and engaging them for long-term relationships.
- Inbound marketing will remain a best practice for growing brands.
- Review and refresh your older content, optimizing for new ranking opportunities and types.
More Focus On Customer Experience
What exactly makes a great CX? Efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable and friendly service, and easy payment options are what people value most in their customer experience. But aspects more traditionally considered as marketing’s domain are cited too: up-to-date technology, personalization, an easy mobile experience, brand image, and design all add up to the overall customer experience.
Facebook officially changed its name to Meta. While creating a name for the parent company is logical, the choice is what matters. Facebook is betting big on the Metaverse, which is a term for virtual and augmented experiences. This is a big bet on the future of the web.
There are so many headlines about people leaving Facebook, but the truth is that Facebook isn’t going anywhere. Facebook now has almost 3 billion users and the user numbers grow every month.
We have all had times where we thought Facebook was destined for downfall,” adds Apolinski. “I would not count out Mark Zuckerberg for this new re-imagining of his brand. However, I think the overall success of Meta will be determined by whether Zuckerberg is willing to step out of running the company to allow new energy into the organization. If Zuckerberg continues to stay at the helm, the success of Meta will be diminished and not hit the same levels of success as Facebook. 2022 will be a pivot point for the company and many organizations are being more conservative with spending with Facebook as they wait to see how this new brand is received and what opportunities it brings.”
Influencer marketing will evolve from trend to a common marketing tactic.
When we asked global marketing professionals which trends they planned to invest in for 2022, 34% said influencer marketing, putting it at the top of the list — above other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing.
While 57% of marketing professionals that currently leverage influencer marketing say it’s effective, 46% of them plan to increase their investments in 2022. Additionally,11% say it’s the top ROI-generating trend they’ve tested.
How and why has influencer marketing gone from an intriguing trend to a commonly-used marketing tactic? Well, influencers are often masters of the platforms they use and the field or topic they talk about. They already have an audience that is engaged, interested in their content, and influenced by the information they provide.
When marketers collaborate with influencers and industry thought leaders in their industry, they can expand brand awareness and gain fans from the influencer’s own audience.
Discounts Losing Favor Fast.
“Brands have been eager to move away from a reliance on using steep discounts to acquire new customers and instead identify opportunities to offer value through their products and the role they play in customers’ lives,” says Sherene Hilal of Bluecore. “Digital has expanded how and which types of value brands can offer to customers. In 2022 brands will begin replacing blanket discounts that don’t keep shoppers around for long with unique offerings based directly on what they know about shoppers (i.e., they’ll buy based on free shipping), as well as on their own unique selling points (i.e., free personalization, in-store experiences).”
The Need For More Intelligent, Data-driven Content Planning & Documentation
Savvy marketers are moving beyond using last year’s (or even last month’s) performance insights as a roadmap going forward.
Today, there are more touchpoints and interactions than marketers can possibly track and analyze on their own.
“The war on data will escalate and marketers will lose access to more data they have come to rely on,” says global marketing consultant Tim Parkin. “First-party data will become the foundation of all marketing initiatives. Many organizations, who have not prepared, will scramble to collect this data to stay competitive.”
Your content strategy for 2022 shouldn’t be set in stone come January 1. Rather, your strategy must include having people, processes, and tools in place to analyze and act on data to inform content the whole year through.
The Untimely Death of the Cookie
Step aside Cookie Monster. Google announced that it would end cookie tracking in early 2022. What does it mean for your business?
Simple. It is pretty bad news, and it will require some drastic changes.
Tracking users across the web is essential to many advertisers and businesses. However, user privacy concerns have become more important to more and more internet users. It came at a time of the implementation of GDPR, which made consumers much more aware of their online privacy. There already is an option for consumers to opt-out of the third-party cookies and tracking, but digital advertisers are looking for ways to change their tactics.
Many start implementing first-party data or even zero-party data collection to gather information about the consumers and provide relevant advertising to facilitate sales online.
SEO is less game and more integrated.
Search engine optimization is one of the oldest and most valuable forms of digital marketing. As search algorithms have continuously become smarter and more contextual, marketers need to focus less on the “hacks” and “tricks” of SEO and more on providing an outstanding and meaningful experience to their users.
Creation of Business-to-Business Content
Business-to-Business content is often neglected. I notice that many B2B businesses don’t appreciate it and base their choice on a wrong belief that “businessmen don’t search online to find answers,” thus they invest tons of time and effort in cold-calling and emailing.
The latest trend, I think, is to message people on LinkedIn. How many times did it work? In my experience, it works out very rarely. Well, at least I tend to thank them for messaging and ignore such sales tricks politely.
B2B content is essential. The trends change so fast that sometimes B2B managers also go on Google and look for ways to address these changes.
Featured Snippets in Google Search
SEO will continue to be an important aspect of digital marketing as we move into 2021, but we’re now seeing one of the most major shifts in the SEO industry in the last decade.
With the growth of mobile and voice search, people are changing the way they use search engines like Google. Being number one in the search engine result pages or SERPS is no longer necessarily the primary goal your business should be aiming for.
You’ve probably noticed your own search and browsing behavior has changed in the last few years due to Google changes and the fact that you’re looking for the fastest information when you’re on the move.
Featured snippets and other “on SERP” information means that you don’t need to click through to a website to get the information you’re looking for anymore – it’s right there on the Google search results page.
This on-SERP information may appear in various places, but the most sought after position is right at the top of the page, before the organic listings. This position has been dubbed “position zero”. As it’s often the only information that a searcher will view, it’s highly coveted. Over 60% of search results returned by Google are now featured snippets.
Move Towards More Marketing Automation
In 2022, we will see more and more data-driven marketing campaigns being used across a broader scope of industries. For instance, adding marketing automation to your digital marketing strategy will make it more efficient and effective since marketers will be able to automate their workflows and spend less time on repetitive tasks.
Nevertheless, marketers will be able to build consumer profiles and nurture them down the sales funnel. The “one size fits all” approach stopped working a long time ago, and it’s high time to look at segmenting different strategies, content, and sizes based on the audience you have.
Customers are becoming much more intelligent and savvy. So if you want to remain in front of them when they search online for information about your product or service, you must track what they see online: article titles, links being shared from other websites, or social media posts about your brand that can help them in their decision-making process.
In general, it is about time to think of conversational (marketing) automation to build stronger relationships with your customers and learn more about them. Therefore, marketing automation will be essential on this journey.
Less is more.
The explosion of digital marketing options means that many businesses are spread too thin across too many channels. Smart businesses focus on dominating one channel.
The Future of Events Will Be Hybrid
When the pandemic forced closures and social distancing requirements, marketers faced the cancellation of all manner of in-person events, from store grand openings to big-ticket concert series. In their place, virtual events became a mainstay for engaging with customers and leads. Increased spending on social media and other digital platforms helped make these events successful.
Now consumers — and the marketers who pitch to them — face two warring impulses. The urge to gather again is strong, for sure. But having experienced the immediacy of live events from the comfort of their couches, many consumers are happy to keep things virtual. To cater to both audiences, you’ll need to craft hybrid events. In-person events will have a strong digital component, and technologies like AR and VR can create an immersive experience for those who prefer not to venture out.
Email May Be Most Important Channel.
Melissa Sargeant, CMO of Litmus, believes three trends have contributed to the prioritization of email: personalization, automation, and privacy. She anticipates tactics like dynamic and interactive email content, AMP for email, and new personalization strategies to rise in importance in 2022. “
Litmus recently released a State of Email report showcasing that email has become marketing’s most important channel: 91% of survey respondents maintained email marketing is critical to the overall success of their company,” says Sargeant. “This is up 20 percentage points since 2019, and more than 40% of companies intend to increase their investment in 2022.”
Video marketing will become crucial to the success of your marketing plan
Video marketing is the future of marketing.
This might sound like hyperbole, but there’s data to back it up. Search engine giant Google has announced that YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the United States. Facebook reports that video posts receive six times more engagement than photo or link posts on average while Twitter has seen an increase in video views by over 160%.
It means that if you aren’t incorporating video into your strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience and build trust with them. Video is key for creating customer relationships because it puts a human voice behind the brand, which builds credibility and loyalty with customers.
Getting privacy right matters today — and tomorrow
People are taking more steps than before to protect their privacy online, with 73% saying they use online services which promise high data protection, such as encrypted emails and privacy-protecting search engines. At the same time, we know that data is needed to provide consumers with useful information and relevant ads. Data helps shape meaningful and memorable messaging that makes online experiences better, while enabling marketers to reach the right customers and exceed their expectations.
In 2022, marketers need to focus on building a data protection strategy that is customer-first. That means rethinking methods for measuring and reaching audiences, so people feel in control and able to manage the data they share.
The world of shopping has changed. Global e-commerce sales grew by nearly 30% last year and new ways have emerged to make online content more “shoppable”. People can now buy products directly from social posts, when tuning into favourite shows, and while watching YouTube content on connected TVs.
Storytelling is key to creating content that people want to shop from. Effective shoppable creatives should be anchored in the ABCD framework:
- Attention: Hook and sustain people with an immersive story
- Branding: Brand early, often, and richly
- Connection: Help people think and feel something
- Direction: Ask them to take action
Social media content will become even more important for marketers
Social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, have changed dramatically since they first came onto the scene. People are scrolling through feeds so quickly that it has become difficult for brands to capture their attention for extended periods of time. The days of the hard sell on social are long gone and this is why it’s necessary for marketers to lead with a story-driven approach instead of a traditional hard sell approach.
Social media has also become more visually-driven, which means that it’s essential for brands to create high quality images and videos in order to grab interest from potential customers.