Technology and digital mediums are rapidly evolving and therefore, It’s no surprise that the digital marketing trends we saw this year will see some interesting and possibly better, changes for 2022. We have now very well reached the third stage of maturity for digital marketing. The first stage was where it was something new and shaping itself. The second stage was when it got stabilized, and brands worldwide accepted its importance and started using it. The third and present stage is the competitive stage, where brands will take all their knives out to beat their competition.
Another major change influencing the evolution of digital marketing is that the consumer, that is, the users, have started to realize that brands, one way or the other, are trying to sell them. Users have now become more aware of brands attacking their vulnerability, which largely impacts their buying decisions. Digital marketers are changing their strategies to mitigate these challenges. In this post, we try to uncover some of the digital marketing trends expected in 2022. It is best for all marketers to keep themselves updated about these trends and stay on top of it.
1. Content Is Still King, But Videos Are Kingmakers
There is no doubt that content will continue to be the primary driving force for marketing. However, the quality rather than the quantity would be important. Given the high amount of content being generated and consumed on various digital mediums, people now want good content tailored to them. And they don’t have time to read. Hence videos are going to completely take over. Short, to-the-point videos will help your content get better to reach and make it effective. So marketers need to start investing in creating good quality content in videos and push them out with a well-researched strategy.
2. The Cookie Business Is All But Dead
The potential sad news for digital marketers is that Google announced the death of browser cookie tracking by 2022. Without the right tracking, digital marketing will drastically reduce its efficiency. It will be like shooting arrows in the dark. But with GDPR, rise in data privacy movement, and other factors, this would happen someday. Rather than lament the loss, marketers need to find an alternate method of establishing good metrics to retarget users. 2022 will increase CRM tool usage to compensate for the cookie tracking loss.
3. Email Marketing is Not Dead; Rather, it is About to Return
Many marketing gurus have written it off, even some agencies have stopped using it, but 2022 will surprise you with the rise in email marketing. According to Statista, more than 4 billion people across the globe use email. This userbase is way more than all the social media platforms combined. Marketers can’t choose to ignore this target pool, but they will change the way email marketing is done. Rather than bulk mailing, brands will create segments for their audience and mail them customized content which will include effective gateways to the sales funnel.
4. It’s Time to Own Your Audience
With cookies tracking going away and increasing competition in almost all sectors, it will be hard for brands to segment their audiences. As a result, users are likely to be easily swayed by other brands. In addition, 2022 will witness a fall in the concept of brand loyalty. Hence you need to build a wall around your customers and own your audience. A good way to do this is through membership or subscription models. Apart from that, it is important to establish an audience manager in your marketing team that caters to the changing needs of the userbase.
5. Educate More, Hard Sell Less
Nobody likes a brand that hard-sells its products or services to them. If you get an email that shouts ‘buy my product,’ you are more likely to spam it. The same is true for any form of content you produce which is purely marketing-based. Rather, you need to take the longer route of educating the sector and passively market to your audience. This will validate the users and build a better trust bond that you can capitalize on later through sales. Building trust and confidence in the consumer will reap long-term rewards.
This is image is free to download with a trial subscription at Adobe Stock.
6. Personalization always Pays Off
Marketers have been saying this for a few years and will repeat the same in 2022 as well – personalize your marketing as much as possible. The concept of pacifying the buyers’ ego is centuries old in marketing. Now it needs to be used smartly in digital marketing. Make your customers feel heard and establish a personal connection using emails or social media. Establishing the feeling of being one big family will rise in marketing in 2022.
7. Automate As Much As Possible
If you are still maintaining your leads and analytics in an Excel spreadsheet, you live in a cave. There are hundreds of highly effective automation tools available that are low on cost and save a lot of time and energy. Find the right ones you need and deploy them to do the menial work for you while focusing more on important jobs. 2022 will also see a rapid rise in artificial intelligence in marketing. Chatbots are one good example of it.
8. Be Inclusive, Become a Voice
In today’s time, you cannot afford to be non-inclusive. Many ads have suffered backlashes and media outrages because their marketing content is offensive to some communities. People’s tolerance levels are very low, and social media helps spread the outrage quickly. Hence brands need to be extra cautious in ensuring that all their marketing content is inclusive. However, taking one step ahead, some brands take up a cause and become ambassadors for that.
9. B2B Marketing to finally Wake Up
Marketers may have at times ignored business to Business marketing. However, this will change in 2022 as we are now seeing such businesses finally waking up to the need for marketing to other businesses. Businesses that do not connect directly with consumers may have inherent inertia towards branding. But now, they too will invest in getting their digital presence reestablished. Creating special marketing strategies for such organizations would be the next task for agencies.
10. Sell Your Story, Not Your Product
Storytelling is going to take center stage in marketing. Marketers have seen this coming, but now storytelling is moving from a “good to have” option, to a “must-have” option. You need to focus on selling your brand to consumers, the story, and the inspiration behind it. To the surprise of some, this digital marketing trend, storytelling, has been a focus of some site-building platforms such as SiteSell with their Case Studies page. Sharing the stories of clients and customers is a form of “preselling”. It’s an ancient form of communication and very effective. If the story convinces the audience, making an emotional connection, the products will sell by themselves. Hence you need to formulate a strong story and flow it in all the marketing content you generate in an effective manner.
11. Do Not Underestimate Facebook
A lot of marketers consider Facebook as a thing of the past and do not include it in their strategy. This is a mistake. It is still the social media giant, and it won’t just let itself become irrelevant. With the formation of Meta and the integration of Whatsapp, Facebook is about to take digital marketing to a whole new level in 2022. Hence stay prepared for it and keep pushing content and utilizing its mediums like pages, groups, and marketplaces.
12. The Return of Direct Mail Marketing
For those of you who have forgotten what direct mail marketing is, a gentle reminder is when brands send postal snail mail to people with their marketing content. This form of marketing is considered obsolete by some, but there are marketing agencies that have figured out how to integrate this with their online digital marketing campaigns. So you can expect to see the rising use of direct mail again. By making the mail a whole lot more personalized, you can certainly ensure a good brand recall.
13. Voice & Visual Search To Increase
Voice search has been a digital trend on the rise for a few years, and it is also bound to impact digital marketing. With home devices becoming widely used, people now want to just speak what they want to search and then listen to search results. Hence it is important you include voice search marketing as part of your strategy. Another new innovation is the ability to take a photo and search. Like a T-shirt, snap it, search it and buy it.
14. The Start of Immersive Marketing
Immersive marketing is going to be the gamechanger, and we will see it rising in 2022. Brands have already started using virtual reality and augmented reality to sell. Now you can see how a furniture piece will actually look like in your bedroom before buying it. The same is with virtual reality. You can get a 3D tour of the new house you are buying. Marketers need to start working on platforms and content that can help in driving immersive marketing.
15. Micro-Influencer Programs To Be Preferred
Influencer marketing works well, but what will now work better is micro-influencer programs. People now get more influenced seeing a semi-celebrity from their town wearing the brand shoes rather than someone like Rihanna or Beyonce. This is because they can relate better to regional influencers. Hence, marketers are now targeting smaller influencers with lesser followers but a more loyal and niche audience.
16. Mobile-First Websites Is The New Norm
Amongst all the digital marketing buzz, websites are still very much relevant. But what will change in 2022 is that website development will shift to a mobile-first approach. More than 60% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, and this is rising fast. Hence brands need to make sure that their website works flawlessly on mobile devices. A good mobile-friendly website will create a better user experience and ultimately provide, better SEO ranking with a potential boost in sales. Regarding SEO, it’s important to note that if your site is built on the WordPress platform, the way your pages are indexed and ranked is a priority according to Google’s mobile-first indexing standards.
If interested, the image used here is a high-quality vector template set available for free with a subscription to Adobe Stock.
17. NFT and CryptoCurrency to Further Disrupt Marketing
Cryptocurrency is disrupting almost all sectors at the moment, and this includes digital marketing. There are many brands that have already started accepting cryptocurrencies. In 2022, we will see more brands following this trend. Another disruption is the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) concept. People have started creating and selling NFTs as well, and it will not be long since we will have eCommerce websites for the same.
18. Think Global But Go Local
Brands always strive to be more global so that they can have a bigger audience to sell their products. But they should not make the mistake of ignoring the local marketing aspect. Localized SEO is working wonders for brands, no matter how big or small. Make sure you have listed in the right manner on Google Marketplace and have other marketing campaigns in place to help get local engagement and a more loyal follower base. Next time someone searches for ‘best pizzas near me,’ your local restaurant has to come up on top of the search result.
19. Data is the New Oil!
There is no doubt that data is going to fuel the growth of the latest technologies. The right set of data points is needed for digital marketing to be more precise. Marketers are now going to focus on Google Analytics and other metrics they get from the digital platforms. These data will provide key insights for shaping their marketing strategies. Brands would increasingly want to shift from content-driven marketing to data-driven marketing as this will help them get better results.
20. Keep Thinking Out of Box and Surprise Your Audience
All the above trends are good to know and follow. But one trend that we will see in 2022 is going to be not following any trends and being unconventional. Do something that is completely unexpected. In a world filled with so much digital noise, it is hard to get people’s attention. That may need you to do something very pathbreaking and create a trend yourself. As they say in marketing, anything that gets you good sales is the right marketing strategy.
Digital marketing trends are really an ongoing evolution and brands are resorting to new practices to try and beat their competition. In this flurry of hit-and-miss practices, it’s important to remember the foundational principles of digital marketing. Also, it is important to understand that not all digital trends can be relevant to you. Based on your sector and your existing practices, you can determine which trends will be effective for you and capitalize on them. Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.