Another year is in the books.
As we say goodbye to 2021, a new year brings a host of new trends. However, while fads come and go, long-term strategies offer long-term success. By studying the trends that will shape Digital Marketing in 2022 and beyond, you can identify and develop the strategies that will bring success in the new year.
Let’s take a look at the trends we see shaping Digital Marketing in 2022.
The pandemic shifted consumer interests and tested values. Physical experiences were taken from us, and digital experiences became essential for staying socially connected. As we return to some normalcy, digital and physical experiences will become intertwined.
Consumers are trending toward products and services that provide emotional enrichment and promote overall well-being. More value is placed on experiences, and how those experiences will impact our happiness, relationships and mental health.
Enhanced connections and memorable experiences will play a large role in where the consumer puts their money. To reach prospects, marketers will begin to attract audiences through channels and platforms they may have been hesitant to try in the past.
Determined that he and Facebook should be more than social media conglomerates, Mark Zuckerberg announced the release of Meta, an “embodied internet” that merges physical, augmented and virtual reality. The goal is to create an immersive online experience. As Zuckerberg envisions it, the possibilities are endless. He even went as far as stating it will be “the successor to the mobile internet.”
Meta is designed to bring communities and creators together, and access to people, places and things not possible by today’s digital environment. It will allow people to feel present even when they aren’t. Through your avatar, shopping, gaming, learning, working, exercising, attending events and socializing are at the tips of your fingers.
This boundless digital world already has some legs as brands are seeing their fully integrated experience generate some success. Look for marketers to begin creating these experiences across a multitude of channels. Meta may not be a trend; it could be the future.
3. Advertising through podcasts
Digital advertising has become a jumbled mess. With everyone and their mom advertising on Google and social media platforms, costs are skyrocketing. Not to mention, Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox privacy constraints have made it harder to find your target audience. So what’s the answer? Podcasts.
Podcasts have grown over the last decade. In 2021 alone, 57% of U.S. consumers listened to audio podcasts. Many listeners find comfort, tranquility, humor, success, mindfulness and everything in between when they tune in. The intimate nature of a podcast lets listeners take a breath and indulge in whatever makes them happy.
From a marketer’s point of view, podcasts deliver a highly engaged audience for a niche. It’s an intimate market. Podcast hosts are a new version of an influencer. Consumers trust the word of the host, making it the perfect vehicle for advertisement. It’s a natural engagement with (potentially) your best buyers. Listeners are more likely to listen to the products or services being promoted by their trusted source.
Advertising through podcasts can prove to be an effective way to reach your target audience if you are struggling with the crowded digital advertising landscape. If you have the resources, starting your own podcast could deliver exclusive and lucrative opportunities.
With almost 800 million members, 57 million registered companies, and an average of over seven minutes and six pages per visit, LinkedIn has rapidly become a non-negotiable aspect of many marketers’ content strategies.
A lucrative opportunity for B2B organizations, LinkedIn is home to many high-level professionals looking for resources, advice, tools and ideas. However, just a presence on this platform won’t move the needle. To get the most out of your marketing efforts on LinkedIn, develop and share meaningful and relevant content to your audience. The key is to promote thought leadership, chiming in on posts related to your industry, and engage with an audience. The more visible you are, the greater your reach and authenticity become.
LinkedIn will continue to grow as more professionals turn to this platform for business solutions.
As web browsers like Safari and Google begin blocking third-party cookies, marketers are feeling the stress. Cookies help them measure and reach their audience. With these changes in privacy laws and practices, tracking the online presence of customers and prospects won’t be as easy. To combat these privacy guidelines, many digital marketers in 2022 and beyond are adopting first-party advertising and marketing solutions.
What else can marketers do to get around the privacy acts? Be transparent. If there’s anything marketers should understand, it’s that gaming the system doesn’t work. The purpose of the privacy movement is to give the power back to the consumer. Educate your consumers and let them know what information you will be using, how you will use it, and assure them it won’t be sold to third parties. As always, marketers should put the end user first.
Less of a trend and more of a universal fact, algorithms control many aspects of our daily interactions. From social media to commercials, what we see and when we see it is largely determined by algorithms. Each platform serves up content based on your interactions. How we interact, how long, who it’s with, the sentiment, etc. Every interaction we make is documented, studied and optimized for improved engagement using an algorithm.
For marketers, understanding your audience is more important than ever before, and an algorithm is an important tool for meeting that goal. If you aren’t creating content that resonates with your audience, you won’t be shown. Plain and simple. Marketers are already quickly learning what content their audience wants to see and what they don’t. Look for marketers to continue customizing the customer experience using algorithms in the new year.
7. Interactive content
To piggyback off experiences, interactive content will continue to make a push this year. Augmented reality and virtual reality will continue to climb, especially as they are leveraged by Meta. Smaller forms of interactive content include questionnaires, quizzes and polls. In fact, one of my teammates said that she feels like she has to respond to polls or questionnaires because they’re easy, give insight to what other people think, or help her learn something.
This goes hand in hand with the experiences brands are trying to create for their consumers. Rather than providing only content that can be consumed, provide opportunities for your audience to take action and interact.
Consider a buying experience that utilizes an AR platform, allowing you to take a product and visually put it into your work environment. It creates a connection between consumers and your brand.
Plus, the algorithms love interaction. Any interactive content in your strategy will provide fuel for your algorithm, helping increase your reach and the effectiveness of your marketing.
Over the last several years, eco-marketing (also known as environmental marketing and green marketing) has increased in popularity.
In 2019, a PwC survey found only 35% of respondents said they choose sustainable products. In a similar survey sent in 2021, 69% of respondents claim to be doing everything in their power to minimize their carbon footprint.
With the world at the heart of consumer concern, marketers should lean into how their products and services are an eco-friendly option. Through messaging, content and business practices, marketers will explain how and what their organizations are doing to make our world a better place. This is destined to improve relationships with targeted audiences, increase brand credibility, and give you a competitive advantage for standing out in the market.
9. Influencer marketing
Ever-present across social media, influencers are gaining the trust of consumers, and companies have taken notice. Influencer marketing has been a topic for some time, yet companies have been hesitant to put their brand into the hands of someone outside the organization. But why? Influencers set societal trends, impact consumer behaviors, and have direct communication with niche audiences.
Think of it as the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing, the biggest difference being their visibility, reach and authority within their market or audience. Influencer marketing is well past the fad stage and is growing rapidly. Marketers will continue to leverage influencers, but with a small twist. Look for brands to utilize other platforms such as podcasts, YouTube and TikTok.
10. TikTok for B2B
As one of the most engaging social media apps to date, with an average of eight opens and 52 minutes of usage per day internationally, TikTok can no longer be ignored.
With the most organic reach of any platform on the market today, TikTok encourages people and brands to push their limits and create content that’s personal, weird and bold because ultimately, that’s what users want. Also the shareability within and across platforms creates a huge opportunity for cross-platform reach and the potential of a video going viral.
The release of the TikTok marketplace (TCM) back in 2020 gave brands an outlet to track engagement, reach, views and demographics of an influencer. It’s a direct link for brands to work with influencers and reach a different audience. Marketers have already jumped on the bandwagon and begun using this to their advantage. It’s the perfect outlet for marketers to try something new and take some risks.
Digital Marketing for the Future
As marketers, we must constantly learn and adapt to stay ahead of the curve. The industry never sits still which is why we closely follow trends and shifts in consumer behaviors. Marketing has evolved a lot in the last couple of years, and 2022 will set apart the organizations following the fads versus those who strategically set themselves up for long-term success.
If you need assistance with your Digital Marketing efforts in the new year, reach out to GO2 Partners. We would love to discuss your goals.