2021 was a pivotal year, for the world of marketing, nearly as much as 2020.
COVID-19 restrictions forced many to adapt to a digital-only business, and many are still getting most of their revenue from online sales, despite some profit slumps over the summer.
We are now expecting Meta to revolutionise social media marketing as a whole. Consumerism is a concept increasingly frowned upon that marketers and brands need to redeem through mindful actions and responsible choices.
So, it’s only natural for businesses of all shapes and sizes to yearn for an accurate prediction of what 2022 will bring us. There are some crazy theories, out there, and words such as “Bitcoin” and “hyperinflation” are being thrown around almost senselessly.
So, our team at topflight decided to create an article exploring all the very real trends that are bound to shape your marketing efforts in the upcoming year. Without further ado, let’s list the twelve top digital marketing trends for 2022.
Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2022
1. Choose Eco-Friendliness
According to research carried out by Google, people are becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on the environment.
82% of customers are now much more mindful about the sustainability of their choices, and searches such as “recycle bubble wrap” and “is styrofoam recyclable” are up by about 30%.
Brands should take this into account when creating their marketing strategies. Using products that are cruelty-free or natural will always have a stronger selling point than those that don’t.
Even a company that actively takes action in spreading a positive message will be preferred in 2022 – 78% of consumers think that businesses should do something to fight climate change.
2. Loyalty is dead, long live Memberships
Forget about loyalty programs. These assets to most retail shops are slowly fading away, instead replaced by membership programs.
We as humans crave a community to belong to.
Thus, the idea is simple: instead of rewarding potential loyalty, offer said rewards as paid services that encourage your customers to remain loyal.
Brands that embrace a membership model should offer valuable benefits in exchange, such as faster shipping, discounts, vouchers to share with friends, or even exclusive items. Make the subscription too valuable to cancel.
3. Video is becoming fundamental to content marketing
What do 90% of social media have in common in 2022? They all have a section where you can get a short snippet of information. Instagram has stories, YouTube has Reels. TikTok built its entire social network on “rapid-fire videos”.
Speaking of TikTok, the platform reached one billion users in 2021, an impressive number that should highlight the importance of video as a content marketing asset.
Marketers can use videos as much more than an advertising tool, they can be a medium to narrate stories through vlogs or guides, or you may even consider using videos with the other trends stated in this article for a successful marketing campaign in 2022.
4. The metaverse could be a game-changer
With Meta – or Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to embrace the future of communication – consumers will be able to hang out, make purchases, catch up with friends and attend concerts, all in the comfort of their own houses thanks to ever-improving VR headsets.
There is no doubt that, just like most technologies developed from Facebook, the metaverse will shake up the marketing industry.
Businesses should start integrating VR functionalities. Whether it’s videos, fully interactive games, or a way to digitally interact with your product, the trend here is obvious: Companies that integrate themselves in the metaverse are going to be reaping the results of a promising, emerging technology.
5. More service competition by freelancers
The “Great Resignation”, as most people call it, has seen people actively leaving abusive or limiting jobs to pursue freelance positions.
The UK is the second-largest freelancer hub in the world, with 2.2 million freelancers as of 2021 (That is almost 3% of the population!). This is great news for employers looking for talent without the commitment or responsibilities of a full-time employee, but also negative news for those who have to compete against freelancers, who are, on average, cheaper than businesses.
This is especially true for those selling digital services to Small to Medium Enterprises. After all, why would someone pay a business, when you can get the same service with a freelancer on Fiverr?
You also need to consider freelancers who choose to start businesses (solopreneurs).
Marketers need to reassess their brand image and show potential customers why their often pricier options are the right choice, especially in an era where corporate culture is increasingly frowned upon.
6. Focus on your UX
We could write an entire article outlining the trends and predictions we have for Search Engine Optimisation tactics. The more Google algorithm updates are released, the more SEO agencies and specialists need to adjust their tactics to adapt accordingly.
We believe that page experience will become the most important digital marketing trend of 2022 – at least from an SEO perspective -.
The Page Experience Update is perhaps the single most important piece of news for marketers who heavily rely on their website to generate leads.
What you need to do is, in a nutshell:
- Focus on UX. Make sure that what your customers want to find out from your page is easily accessible.
- Performance is a must. If your website doesn’t load its front page within the first second, make the appropriate changes or hire someone to do it for you.
- Ensure your HTTPS is secure.
Recommended read: 8 common technical SEO issues and how to fix them
7. Privacy is invaluable
The War On Data is as heated as ever. GDPR is enforced, as usual, cookies are a dying asset and we are seeing people becoming more and more reluctant to give their data.
We are also expecting new privacy policies to be released on iOS, meaning that the data accessible by marketers is only going to decrease.
Is this the death of automatically targeted ads, or more like the beginning of a more responsible marketer?
Marketers need to reevaluate their targeting mechanisms and whether or not the data they are getting is a potential hazard.
You should also consider introducing better marketing funnels and increasing your content marketing strategies to get customers to knowingly and willingly provide their data.
8. Influencer marketing is only going up
Social networks put the spotlight on their favourite content creators. From Instagram to Twitch, 2022 will bring a greater emphasis on following and engaging with your consumers through their favourite influencer.
According to this article by Influencer Marketing Hub, even micro-influencer will allow small businesses to tap into this world through highly specific, niche followings.
2022 is the year to cultivate super niche followings. So, whether your business specialises in gluten-free bread recipes or sells abstract art pieces, there is a micro-influencer out there ready to do business with you.
9. A fight for user engagement
Engagement rates on Instagram are going down. This is also true for many social media platforms out there, according to Hootsuite.
A mixture of ad oversaturation, low-quality content across platforms, and a struggling, poorly-made algorithm (We are looking at you, YouTube!) is driving people away from engaging with content as much as they did in the past.
Is this the death of content marketing on social media?
No. Not even close. Social media is a game that will be won by those most capable of engaging their audience through Call To Action, multi-dimensional content, and, most importantly, interacting with your audience.
Hold on, but what if we told you that this isn’t only limited to social media? Attention spans get shorter every year.
Thus, your blogs, articles, and websites need to adapt accordingly. Check out this guide to discover content marketing tips that will overcome this issue.
10. Omnichannel marketing will continue
Omnichannel marketing is all about having a connected series of channels available to the customer to allow purchases. For example, you may want to allow your customers to buy your products through your website, an app, in-store, or through calls.
Businesses that implement an omnichannel feature get 250% more sales and engagement than those only using a single channel, as per this article.
There is no doubt that 2022 will see even more omnichannel integrations since Digital Marketing is becoming much more expensive due to rising competition. So, not only your brick-and-mortar shop will benefit from having a dedicated app, but your online shop may even benefit from having actual stores around the world!
11. Zero-click searches
Google is getting smarter in a way that will hurt content marketers. Featured snippets are becoming more popular with those submitting search queries.
Here’s an example:
Essentially, Google is becoming more and more capable of picking the exact information a user is looking for and including it in their snippets. This spells bad news for bigger websites, since a user may find the results they are looking for without actually opening your website.
Unfortunately, there is very little you can do. You may want to write in a way that entices your user to read a paragraph after another, using a skilled writer.
12. AI to take over customer experience
In 2021, AI has been implemented in voice and predictive search, smart assistants and education more than ever before. AI technology is being used almost everywhere, from automatic marketing campaigns to content generation.
At topflight, we believe that AI-powered technologies are going to be extremely important for marketing.
This is the year to invest in a chatbot that can answer customers’ questions for you. Such technology will allow brands of all shapes and sizes unprecedented transparency and customer experience.
We are entering speculations, here, but it is also possible to program chatbots to remember past customers and suggest new products based on their history and preference. This will be an intuitive and better-developed suggestions panel that will increase sales and brand loyalty.
AI will also be critical in content generation. Using Artificial Intelligence, businesses can produce content in seconds, making AI-generated content very low cost. Using machines also eliminates human error as AI have their own inbuilt spelling and grammar checker. That’s not to say that machines don’t make their own kinds of mistakes though.
12 Digital Marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2022:
- Customers are being much more selective about their brands based on their impacts on the environment. You should start being eco-friendly and advertise this message.
- Forget about loyalty cards. Membership and subscription models are the future of brand loyalty.
- Video is slowly replacing other forms of content marketing due to their improved engagement rates.
- The Metaverse (from Facebook) could change everything for marketers.
- Your business may soon start competing with successful freelancers due to the increased supply of services caused by The Great Resignation.
- User-friendly websites are more important than ever, and they will be the key to good SEO.
- Stricter GDPR rules mean less access to customers’ data. Thus, you must design a better and more transparent marketing funnel to collect this vital data.
- Influencer marketing is as big as ever. Micro-influencer for smaller niches will also play a much more important role.
- Engagement rates are going down. Create more interactive and engaging content to win your audience’ attention.
- Make your service available on multiple channels (Omnichannel).
- Be mindful of Google Snippets and how this will affect your web traffic.
- Introduce an AI-powered chatbot for unprecedented customer experience.