As we begin the new year many of us are planning ahead and mapping out our digital marketing strategies for the year to come. We know that what worked in 2021 may not work the same way in 2022 as times and consumer demands change, so to get the best possible results for our clients or businesses, we keep on top of current trends and innovations. Here are our predictions on the 14 most important digital marketing trends and opportunities you’ll want to adopt and take advantage of to remain ahead of your competitors in 2022.
1. Short Form Video Marketing
Short form videos are an extremely popular trend nowadays in digital marketing thanks to platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Google, LinkedIn, and Pinterest who have expanded or adapted their platform to accommodate short-form content. Any video up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length is considered to be ‘short-form’.
With 84% of consumers being convinced to purchase a product or service based on this form of marketing (according to a 2020 study by Wyzowl), and Short form video content being twice as likely to be shared and having the highest ROI of any social media strategy in recent years, we recommend that you invest more into this style of content than any other trend in 2022. Instagram has openly said it will focus on videos in 2022. To remain relevant, Instagram will double down on it’s focus on video to take advantage of this trend, and you should do too. This means you can expect many more Reels functions and a timeline that prioritises videos over any other content.
2. Conversational Marketing
Conversations should happen on the channel that suits your customer the best, whether that means over the phone, on social media or an instant message. Gone are the days when customer conversations were forced to take place face to face or over the phone during 9-5.
When we talk about conversational marketing, we should be designing this model around the needs of our consumers. This is why live chat is an incredibly powerful form of communication for businesses that can help to bridge the gaps between support, sales and marketing. We suspect conversational marketing will become an even bigger digital marketing trend in 2022 – again Instagram have said messages and those who you communicate with in DM’s will become more relevant in seeing your content. So factor in questions and polls into your social media strategy for 2022.
3. SERP Position Zero
The problem with a lot of organic listings in today’s search results is that they are positioned past the scroll. Positive search engine optimisation results are never easy or achievable overnight, however we can work towards getting our sites to stand out by leveraging ‘position zero’. We do this by expanding our target keyword list and optimising content based on why people search for our content.
Position zero is reserved for the information that search engines, such as Google, consider to be the most authoritative and relevant piece of content. It will be displayed above the first result on the SERP, not including paid advertising. This is also referred to as a ‘’featured snippet’’.
Stay tuned – we will talk more about this digital marketing trend in the coming weeks. There’s huge opportunities for small brands to dominate this space through FAQ’s.
4. The Creator Economy
In recent years we’re seeing independent content creators becoming more and more popular, as consumers are able to communicate directly with these ‘influencers’ on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitch and TikTok.
The ‘creator economy’ has increasingly grown during the pandemic, where people are driven to make a living with a job that is fulfilling and allows them to work from their own home independently and creatively.
With the creator economy on the rise, brands and digital marketers can engage with these content creators to benefit from their highly engaged and motivated audiences. We have taken advantage of this digital marketing trend and used lots of creator influencers over the past year like Oh So Femme, Home At Rose Cottage, Digg Mama and Only Slaggin to create content for our clients. The content is authentic and can be used by both the influencers and brands over and over again – creating evergreen content.
5. Partner Marketing
Partnership marketing is defined as the collaboration between two brands or companies that mutually benefit each other in reaching their goals. These goals could include increasing brand awareness, generating more web or social media traffic, growing conversions, or customer acquisition and retention.
When choosing who to embark on your partnership marketing journey with, remember to find a brand with a similar target audience or similar set of values, then set up some collaborative projects that can help grow both companies, such as hosting a joint Instagram live, producing content together, or referring prospects to one another through social media competitions.
We have used Partner marketing for lots of our clients in 2021 such as Dromona and Dale Farm teaming up with the likes of Tayto, Boojum, Ted & Stitch and Zara Ceramics. They worked so well and we highly recommend you include partner marketing in your 2022 strategy to stay on trend with what’s working in the digital marketing industry today.
6. Mobile Commerce
The introduction of mobile commerce has changed the way we shop online for good. Not only is the consumer experience more seamless and accessible, but mobile friendly websites also rank higher on SERPs.
According to a recent study, 59% of consumers felt that being able to shop on a mobile device was important to them when deciding who they wanted to purchase from. It is a given nowadays that customers want to shop from their mobile, so you absolutely need to think mobile first for your ecommerce business.
7. Big Data and Deep Learning
Big data and deep learning means to use AI and algorithms that mimics the human brain and extracts and analyses large amounts of information. These systems use neural networks similar to the human brain to learn certain tasks.
This artificial intelligence can learn customer behaviour and be used to set up and nurture advertising campaigns, personalise emails, create targeted ads, optimise lead scoring, categorise and escalate customer issues and anything else that requires data processing.
Artificial intelligence such as this can often seem overly complicated or intimidating due to the fear it will replace our jobs, when in actuality it is just a tool that can make our jobs much easier. Often the sheer volumes of data we encounter in marketing can kill our creativity or attention spans, so by optimising these digital tools we can free up more time to do what we love as marketers and content creators.
Geo-fencing is a digital marketing trend that helps to target a more specific market of consumers, meaning that they receive more relevant messaging, and your brand receives a much higher return on investment. With modern smart devices having a location feature enabled, consumers can quickly find information specific to their exact location for a more seamless and convenient user experience.
By the end of 2020, “Where to buy” and “near me” mobile queries had grown by over 200%, and there was a 250% growth in mobile searches for “store open near me” over a two year period.
When planning to incorporate geo-fencing into your digital marketing strategy, remember that any locational content or ads should be location specific, meaning that they’ll use the right language, display the right currency, and include visual elements that make sense for the location. Even when you are posting on social media – make sure you include your geo location, but only if it’s relevant.
9. Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing allows your business to promote products and services across every channel, device and platform, with messaging, visuals and content being completely unified. This helps to reach the consumers wherever they are and whatever they’re doing with relevant information.
By optimising the strengths of each channel, businesses and marketers should use omnichannel marketing to help deliver an effective strategy that is more likely to convert leads. So many businesses are too reliant on social media to grow their business. Please let 2022 be the year when you apply more focus to other channels like google search, google ads/shopping and email marketing to keep on top of this trend.
10. Social Commerce
The average social media user worldwide spends 145 minutes a day browsing their favourite social channels. That makes social media one of the most effective avenues of marketing to reach your target audience.
Social commerce is a booming digital marketing trend that allows consumers to purchase products or services directly from social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. One of the best examples of this is the ability to click and product and checkout straight from Instagram and Facebook.
This is something you’ll want to consider if you sell physical products online, to leverage the social media platforms and drive sales and revenue from your business. You may also want to explore shoppable ads, available currently on both Instagram and Snapchat. Shoppable ads also help your business collect data on exactly which ads are most successful for your brand in converting prospects into customers instantly.
11. Visual Search
There’s no denying the importance of visual content in digital marketing. A recent study found that the average person can recall around 65% of the visual content they see for almost three days. 90% of the information our brains receive is visual, and sometimes words fail us when trying to describe something we have in mind. This is where visual search comes in.
Visual search is a technology that utilises artificial intelligence to allow internet users to search using a picture rather than keywords, either by uploading an existing image, or taking a photo of an item they have on hand. An example of this would be reverse image search used on the popular MTV show Catfish, or mobile apps that allow you to photograph grocery packaging and find out its nutritional value instantly.
We expect to see visual search having a huge impact on ecommerce and digital marketing, transforming how customers shop for products online, and increasing customer experience expectations. This is a powerful up and coming trend that even the world’s biggest enterprises are beginning to invest in.
12. Social Media Stories
The story feature on social media channels is a great way to let consumers see a different side to the brand – allowing us to share some of our daily lives, holidays and interesting events, without the content staying permanently on our grid – which may be specifically organised or branded. It gives us the chance to be a bit more creative and interactive with our followers as we can incorporate polls and questions, so many influencers or brands will use them to get consumer feedback.
The story feature allows us to share how-to’s, educational content or customer testimonials. These avenues are proven to generate significant traffic and be extremely beneficial for brands, making it a great trend to get involved in for digital marketing.
70% of responses from a recent survey found that 70% of social media users prefer to watch Facebook stories, with it being the most used social network with over 1.59 billion daily active users, however it was also found that Gen-Z were more inclined to favour Instagram stories. Instagram has over 500 million users, a large amount of which are young adults. It’s important to keep your target audience in mind when choosing which story platform to invest time and resources into.
13. Live Stream Shopping
We already know that ecommerce stores have a much further reach than brick-and-mortar stores, due to the ability to serve an unlimited number of customers at once, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Live stream shopping is a digital marketing and ecommerce trend combines the best of both worlds, putting digital retainers in front of a large online audience, but still allowing them to respond to customers in a one to one manner. In 2019, live stream shopping generated $60 billion in global sales, predominantly in China, proving just how effective it can be.
Consumers love an interactive experience, and that’s exactly what they get with live stream shopping, being able to interact through comments, polls and more. A simple concept leveraging traditional marketing skills such as researching your audience, building a community and choosing the right tactics to amplify your brand – not yet being taken full advantage of, especially in this part of the world.
14. Amazon Ads
With over 200 million worldwide customers, Amazon is an effective place for ecommerce brands to expand their global reach. Amazon owns its own data, and allows you to use it for your own good, without relying on third-party options for data that can help you boost your targeting options.
Amazon’s ad platform allows you to target consumers based on what exactly they intend to purchase, compared to Google that may present you with ads based on things you searched on a purely exploratory basis. Amazon searches are more likely to come from users who are actively looking to purchase a product.