I’d like to stop for a second and ask you a question:
Have you realized that we are halfway into 2021 and it’s the best time to start preparing your digital marketing plans for 2022?
I know, it is insane! The time flies too fast, but I’m excited to share with you the biggest digital marketing trends for 2022.
After all, it is essential to plan early and take enough time to prepare the annual marketing plan for your company. The year 2020 brought some drastic changes to digital marketing. Suddenly, everyone adopted digital, and it became a very crowded space.
Well, everything indicates that digital marketing will become even more complex in 2022 and it’s nowhere to go away.
Catching up on trends and successfully implementing them in your own marketing strategy is essential. Timely adoption also means staying ahead of your competitors and ensuring that your company uses up-to-date and most effective strategies to achieve its goals.
What are the top digital marketing trends for 2022?
In this article, we have gathered some forecasts for digital marketing in 2022 and beyond. Also, we have added some suggestions and tips that will help you prepare for what is to come.
It is well known that digital marketing evolves at a very fast pace and whatever has been working out for you so far, may start producing worse results over time. Therefore, it is always healthy to take a look at the predictions of trends and see how they can be incorporated into your overall digital marketing strategy.
The trends listed below should work out for most of the business. However, not all of them may be relevant to your nature of business. I suggest looking at each of the trends individually and finding ways to incorporate them into your existing marketing plan.
So, let’s begin.
Influencer marketing is nothing new. Brands have been leveraging on it for years. Originally, influencer marketing was perceived as a quantity game, where those having large followership were prioritized. The more followers, the higher the authority.
This approach has proven to be extremely expensive, and not too effective. Celebrities or influences with millions of followers were easily earning values in the five or six digits per post, however, the results were passive.
Therefore, things started to change. Influencers with smaller numbers of followers (referred to as nano- and micro-influencers) have been gaining more momentum. This new type of influencers has become much more popular because they proved to have much higher authority on their audiences’ purchasing decisions.
The nano-influencers have proven to have been much more engaged with their audiences, which resulted in higher engagement rates under their posts, as well as stronger authority. Consumers see nano-influencers as their peers and trust their choice much more, which results in brands making more sales.
Nevertheless, nano-influencers are often very niche-centric. It means that people follow different influencers based on their interests (e.g., beauty, fashion, cooking, restaurant reviews, etc.) This is great news because brands can attract consumers in a more concentrated and effective way.
Nano- and micro-influencer marketing will rocket in 2022. It will become one of the hottest digital marketing trends, thus look out for influencers relevant to your niche. After all, you’re betting that followers of these people will be highly interested in your products or services.
As the name suggests, user-generated content (UGC) is content created by users and it will be another hot digital marketing trend in 2022. UGC is powerful because it gives natural and unbiased sentiment about your product.
User-generated content can take many forms:
Comments on your brand’s social media posts.
Textual or visual content on user’s channels (blog, forums, social media, etc.) about your product (e.g., review or shoutout).
Evaluations on social networks and other platforms, such as Trip Advisor, Google Reviews, Yelp, Quora, and many more.
UGC is a digital form of word-of-mouth, which is the most powerful marketing technique. It has the power to be extremely relatable and doesn’t seem sales-y.
You can use UGC to your advantage. For example, when a customer posts an Instagram picture with your product, make sure to like that post, comment with a sincere message and share it as your Instagram story.
Did you know that user-generated content receives 4 times higher click-through rates?
Many consumers nowadays are driven by FOMO – fear of missing out. If they see that many people have purchased your product, gave an honest shoutout, they will be very keen to try it themselves.
The best part about user-generated content is that it is free, thus the highest possible ROI is guaranteed.
Exceptional user experience is something that has been among the most essential goals for many brands. Therefore, having a functional, responsive, and user-friendly website is no longer enough. Consumers need additional bait to engage with your content and finally, buy from you.
Try to get your audience involved and entertained as much as possible. Adding interactive elements to your website or social media posts is a great way to add additional value and grab attention.
Some examples of interactive marketing include:
Nevertheless, interactive marketing can be one of the ways to collect consumer data and build custom audiences. For example, you could use a chatbot to engage in a dialogue with your website visitor. On top of answering the main questions, the chatbot could also ask some questions, such as “Would you like to stay in touch with <brand name>? If the visitor says yes, the chatbot could gather some basic personal information and add it to your database for subsequent communication.
It’s all about interacting and building deeper relations with your consumers.
Video marketing has been growing in popularity at a tremendous speed. Today it is one of the most popular ways to share content and inform audiences.
These numbers below exemplify the importance of video marketing in your overall marketing strategy:
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video format compared to only 10% when reading it.
Seven out of ten consumers would rather watch videos to find out about the latest products or services, as compared to articles, infographics, e-books, or presentations.
64% of customers make a purchase after watching branded videos.
51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the highest ROI.
However, if you’re thinking that you have to start a YouTube channel to share these videos, you’re wrong. There are plenty of platforms where consumers would watch them. One of them – Social media Lives – is covered below; but you can also produce high-quality videos and share them on your social media accounts (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn).
Videos are also very versatile. The content in the video can be transcribed and become a blog post. You could also use the audio and make it a podcast.
With the growing popularity of social media, your videos should be relatable and less corporate. Use narration as if the person in the video is talking with the viewer face-to-face. In this way, you’ll be able to build a stronger connection with your audience.
Social media Lives
Over the past years, videos have become imperative. With the tremendous popularity of Instagram Live and Facebook Live, social media Lives will be very trendy in 2022.
Facebook Live videos produce 6 times as many interactions as traditional videos. No wonder that such success has driven other social media networks, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to explore live videos.
Because of the pandemic, many influencers and brands promoted lives on social media. Many typically offline events (for instance, fashion shows, concerts, product launches, exhibitions, etc.) took place virtually, through the adoption of live video format. It, therefore, gave the opportunity for the public to get involved and experience these events remotely.
Pandemic has pushed us to think beyond the usual. For example, when countries and cities shut down, with all restaurants, cinemas and entertainment stopped stand-still, Vilnius Airport in Lithuania erected the biggest screen in the Baltic States (the size of approximately a five-story building) and transformed the airport tarmac into an open-air cinema. Up to 200 cars were able to enjoy movies while adhering to social distancing rules and following all SOPs to ensure everyone’s safety.
Chatbots aren’t new. However, with technological advancement and improvements in AI, chatbots are expected to gain more momentum in digital marketing trends in 2022.
It is estimated that companies will save 2.5 billion in customer service hours by using chatbots by the end of 2023. As a result, the customer experience will improve, and it will put brands not engaging chatbots under pressure. However, other than customer service benefits, chatbots also help brands with:
lead generation: chatbots are great at helping the sales teams to convert more potential clients at a faster pace.
customer data: chatbots are great at collecting customer data and analyzing it to get valuable insights about your audience and their preferences.
operational issues: chatbots are available 24/7, which is essential for businesses that address global markets, and if customers prefer to have flexibility.
cost savings: chatbots are great at long-term savings.
Mastercard created a Facebook messenger bot that uses natural language processing software to analyze what the customer is inquiring about and then responds as if it were a real person.
Not only does this type of chatbot reduce the workload on the customer support team, but it also allows the support team to deal with more important inquires as well as improves the customer experience. Customers can interact and get the answers on Facebook itself.
With the progress made in AI, chatbots will become smarter and more powerful. Looking at chatbot adoption is a long-term marketing strategy that will last beyond 2022.
With the death of Google cookies in 2023, digital marketing will change. The way we are used to advertising will no longer work. Even today, with stricter Internet privacy policies, marketers must look for other ways to engage with their consumers.
Direct-to-consumer or D2C marketing is emerging. In a nutshell, D2C is the way for brands to engage directly with the customers without any third parties.
This means that more and more brands that traditionally rely on wholesalers will start selling directly to their consumers.
Why is it important?
D2C is a new era for brands to learn who their consumers are and what they like. Previously, many marketers relied on third-party data (e.g., Google) to learn more about the people who buy their products. Now, the tables have turned, and brands themselves are expected to engage and gather the necessary information.
D2C is a huge advantage to the consumers because they will be able to receive the most relevant offers directly from brands they love. It is a great opportunity for the brands to hear out what the shoppers want and like and address their needs.
So, my suggestion for 2022 would be to start implementing strong D2C marketing and sales channel. Gathering data and profiling your customers will be a tedious and time-consuming task, but in the long run, it will bring great results.
So, what’s next?
The digital marketing trends for 2022 that we shared in this list aren’t definite. As you know, digital marketing changes very rapidly and there may be some new trends coming up.
However, one thing is certain – these digital marketing trends are a good starting point for planning your strategy for 2022. These trends can help you increase your traffic, new user acquisition, customer retention, generate more leads in improving your sales. Moreover, they can add more personalized and interactive content to your audiences, which will result in a better user experience.
We can work together in creating a powerful digital marketing strategy for your brand.
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