- Foresight to become a top priority
- Integrated SEO
- Data-driven content
- Brand loyalty to continue dwindling
*This article has been updated to include the latest marketing trends for 2022.
Marketing strategies have evolved significantly since the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc. And while the uncertainty of 2021 is still very much present, we have cast our eyes forward to top trends we expect to see shaping the digital landscape in 2022.
Last year was full of twists and turns, with many brands altering the tone of their marketing messages amid changes in consumer behaviour, which has led to a rise in online shopping and digital subscriptions.
Themes impacting the digital world pre-pandemic accelerated further in 2021. As a result, businesses have had to adopt new techniques and become more dynamic to remain competitive in the cutthroat online landscape.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are probably two of the biggest trends to come out of 2021. They offered marketers a great way to optimise paid advertising campaigns, personalise messages sent to leads and discover patterns in data.
Whilst creativity remains an essential element of any digital marketing campaign, the need for technical data-driven approaches has also become more prominent when developing growth strategies. It is crucial to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape to generate more valuable leads.
We expect automation and AI to continue advancing in 2022, with a recent survey from Litmus revealing that personalisation strategies will rise in importance this year. According to Litmus, 91% of survey respondents said that email marketing is critical to their company’s overall success.
Meanwhile, Rick Ducey, Managing Director of BIA Advisory Services, said that “more than 51% of marketing budgets will be invested in digital media, primarily Google and Facebook, while most ads spend will be pumped into smartphone mobile ads.”
We’ve identified some vital marketing growth trends to watch out for in 2022 to help your team maximise its digital marketing efforts.
Foresight Will Become a New Priority
Direct access to consumers has become so easy that brands no longer have to wait to receive customer feedback on campaigns, products or services.
Knowing what your consumers want and think in real-time will allow businesses to avoid controversy and financial setbacks; as a result, we expect to see foresight become a priority in 2022.
However, as many brands were forced to make quick pivots in their marketing strategy over the past year, ensuring that your whole marketing team is aligned with your priorities is essential.
Having regular discussions with your team members and highlighting the clearly defined goals your brand aims to achieve over the coming year will drive efficiency and ensure your team is more integrated.
Keep Your Eye on SEO
Whilst we all know the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO), many brands fail to keep on top of constant keyword changes and Google algorithm updates. To consistently drive traffic to your website, it pays to stay on top of SEO developments to remain ahead of the competition.
Google is constantly improving its comprehension of search queries, and if you fail to factor this into your marketing strategy for 2022, you could be in for a shock later in the year.
The knee-jerk reaction to an algorithm update is to panic but remember that these changes also bring about more SEO opportunities. For example, Google’s update to reward high-quality product reviews opens up the door to engaging with your customers to receive personalised feedback, which can help attract new leads.
However, Google’s infamous algorithm adjustments can significantly affect your position and rankings in SERPs, so when you’re making changes, make sure you validate your ideas with data.
There are various online tools available to monitor the performance of your website and help you identify which areas need to be re-optimised to ensure your website maintains maximised online visibility.
We all know the saying’ content is king’, but that may not necessarily be true if it provides little value to the reader.
Google ranks websites that offer helpful, information-rich content to users, perceiving them as trustworthy, user-focused sources. Google published their E.A.T. guidelines that show they champion content that demonstrates Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Conversely, websites that publish thin content actually risk incurring a Google penalty, with the most severe being having your entire website removed from the index.
Companies that leverage creative storytelling and produce content that web users would find interesting rather than creating content for content’s sake will be better positioned to exceed in 2022.
Not sure where to start? Conducting surveys and reviewing your website analytics can help you address specific pain points or areas of interest for your audience. First-party data will be the crux of all marketing initiatives in 2022 for brands that want to remain competitive.
Measure the success of your past content by analysing traffic, engagement and conversions and use this data to develop an informed content strategy. Ensuring that your content is also aligned with your SEO strategy will help maximise its effectiveness and value. Running out of ideas on what to blog about? Google trends can be your best friend for innovative content pieces. Google trends allows you to see what topics are popular with regards to search terms per location.
Adopt a Dual Approach
Zoom meetings and virtual events have taken over during the past year and, whilst they are convenient, many have grown weary of the solely virtual approach.
While virtual events will continue to be prominent post-pandemic, incorporating in-person events into your event strategy can provide a refreshing change. Many people are eager to meet in person again and re-establish the real human connection.
Direct mail is another marketing method you could utilise to reach out to your consumers. Although it might not be as effective as email, we’ve seen a significant increase in advertising postcards in the past five years, with the visually appealing design helping brands stand out against other mail.
As the digital advertising landscape becomes noisier, other marketing methods and word-of-mouth will be fundamental for growth.
Engage With Relevant Influencers
Influencer marketing will become a big trend in 2022 as the nano and micro-influencer community grows.
B2B brands should also incorporate influencers into their broader marketing strategy, as these individuals can help provide context and relevance when endorsing the product or service.
Influencers no longer want to recommend products or services that their followers have no interest in, irrespective of whether they are offered an attractive fee. As a result, brands find it easier to source influencers who can be true champions of their products.
The line between influencers and affiliates is also blurring. The integration of the two platforms could help drive the success of business campaigns by encouraging their followers to move away from the awareness stage in the buying funnel and to the consideration or purchase stage.
Brand Loyalty to Dwindle Further
Customer expectations have changed amid increased competition and the growing emphasis on political, environmental and health issues.
Covid-19 has accelerated the shift in consumer behaviour by triggering a rise in online growth, and with so much choice available, brand commitment has waned.
Comparing prices, services, and quality is easy for consumers, even more so with search features such as product carousels and rich snippets. Marketing tools such as segmentation and personalisation have also made it easier to capture the attention of leads, with customers more likely to buy from brands that offer them the best deal than businesses they’ve shopped with before.
Attaining customer loyalty has become more challenging than ever before, so it’s vital that your website accurately demonstrates your company culture and brand values to attract customers.
A study recently covered in MIT Sloan Management Review found that 80% of large American corporations displayed their company values on their website. This trend suggests that communicating your company’s mission will help to attract top talent and generate further growth.
However, that’s only a slither of what you could do to ensure your brand is fully represented online. To maximise your online exposure, take advantage of multi-channel marketing, which refers to the process of interacting with customers across multiple platforms, such as:
Omnichannel strategies are expected to top digital marketing trends in 2022. Providing a seamless experience across several platforms with tailored messaging can help convince customers of the benefits of your product or service.
Suppose you leverage your budget accordingly and create more opportunities to connect with customers at different touchpoints. In that case, you could develop an agile digital marketing strategy that can withstand sudden changes, especially as uncertainty persists.
Devising a clear digital marketing strategy will be critical amid the ever-evolving online landscape. It will help your brand build resiliency, stand out from the competition, and create team synergy.