Almost two years into the pandemic, the digital marketing continuum is not where it was. Whether it’s generating digital demand or boosting brand awareness, changes that transpired in the last two years have made a lasting impact and are expected to take on new forms in 2022. At this precise moment, brands and businesses are already in the thick of implementing new tactics or reengineering old ones to maximize digital marketing ROI in the coming year. Let’s explore the top digital marketing trends that will shape the future of digital marketing in 2022:
Top Digital Marketing Trends
Transparent Collection of Data and Personal Information
Our way of using the internet has developed over the years, so have our privacy concerns. Third-party data, or cookies, emerged as an innovative tool for marketers and businesses to track their customers’ online usage across several online sites and utilize this information to generate targeted adverts delivered directly to potential customers.
However, as our digital world inches closer to resembling the physical, customers’ privacy and data collection issues have become more prevalent. They become increasingly skeptical about who has access to their data and how they use it.
In the early part of 2021, Google and Apple both made improvements to their operating systems to better protect the privacy and data of their users. Specifically, Google is phasing out the usage of cookies in Chrome by 2023, while Apple’s iOS 14.5 requires users to opt-in to have their data collected and shared by apps rather than allowing it automatically. They’ve made it extra challenging for app developers to work around this, indicating how large tech corporations are starting to take data transparency more seriously.
While these changes are generally beneficial to users, marketers and advertisers see several causes for concern. For one, these updates entail significant changes in how marketers and businesses reach out to potential clients online. At the minimum, businesses will need to rethink their strategies and strive to become more innovative and creative in designing their online campaigns moving forward.
This restriction on third-party data presents companies with an opportunity to engage in a more open and honest dialogue with their customers. More trusting relationships are foreseen to be developed between companies and their clients by asking for permission to track and store data, being upfront about which data is being collected, and allowing end-users to opt-in or out of specific data collection.
The Focus is on Community Content
When was the last time you reviewed your brand’s goal and values? Are they still relevant to your company today? Consumers want to place their trust in brands that share their values and are motivated by integrity and belief in their actions. As a result, you should revise your mission statement to ensure that it is still relevant, and you should strive to provide a better client experience.
While the concept of user-generated content isn’t new, content focused on community-building holds such a high value that marketers and their brands can’t afford to ignore. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, user-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created, published, and submitted by brand users.
As a digital marketer, you should consider developing a UCG strategy, and the best place to start is by looking at your target audience and engaging with them. For example, you can share photos they’ve posted about your brand, respond to their online mentions, and engage them in the comments section to let them know they’re valued members of your community.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the significance of community in difficult and uncertain times. Consumers actively seek authenticity in today’s oversaturated market. More often than not, they’re looking to connect with businesses and brands on a much deeper level before making a purchase.
Optimize your Content for Voice Search
Voice assistant tools such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are becoming more common in today’s households. Even your smartphones now include voice assistant technologies that allow users to search the internet using voice prompts and commands. Shoppers utilize these tools to find products, pinpoint locations, resolve queries, and access websites. As a result, businesses must prepare their online storefront for voice search to ensure the value of their SEO efforts is maximized.
You may improve your websites in two ways. First, select new or long-tail keywords to help consumers find your site via voice search. In general, voice search keywords are words users speak rather than type. More often than not, they use long-tail keywords when talking to their device, which triggers different search results. Second, you must make your on-site content more conversational and engaging to target voice search users effectively. Coming up with content in a conversational tone makes it more voice-search-friendly.
By the end of 2022, voice search shopping is expected to have a market value of $40 million. Therefore, you should consider leveraging AI-powered chatbots to manage customer queries and complaints on social media, emails, websites, and other digital platforms.
Segmented Content is King
In case you’re not yet aware, personalized content is the way to go in 2022. Consumers are no longer interested in generic information. Instead, they want to know how your products and services will benefit them and solve their problems as quickly as possible.
Here is where segmented content comes into play. Businesses let their customers self-identify and choose the most relevant content by segregating content on their websites. For example, a beverage website may have a separate menu for retail or wholesale customers or specific events such as birthdays and other occasions.
Not only can your clients get the relevant information they need, but by allowing them to self-identify where they fit, they’ll have an easier time relating to your product or service.
This means that your customers aren’t only more connected instantly, but it’s also easier for you to target information to the right audience. Now, you can communicate the most relevant information and save both time and effort in the process. Remember, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on to your competitor in no time.
The same is true for direct-to-customer marketing materials, like emails and newsletters. Using our beverage company as an example, it may decide to allow its subscribers to opt-out of marketing materials connected to specific holidays, including Mother’s and Father’s Day. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate understanding and empathy while building a deeper trust with your customer.
Segmented content is expected to have a major significance throughout 2022, as impatient customers search for information most relevant to them while seeking personalized online experiences. There is also an additional benefit in this segmented content’s impact on SEO since Google favors content specifically targeted to consumers.
Social Media Commerce will Continue to Thrive
Social media commerce is expected to thrive even more in 2022, allowing consumers to make direct purchases through social media apps like Instagram Shopping and TikTok. According to a study, 97% of Gen Z members say social media is their primary source of shopping inspiration. At the same time, 62 percent of 13-to-39-year-olds are interested in purchasing products directly from their social feeds.
As a result, you can expect the enormous potential for e-commerce activity via social media. As a brand, you should strive to develop a smooth buying experience that’s functional and easier to navigate.
Utilize Video Content as a Medium to Build Trust
Video will remain one of the most effective ways to establish trust and intimacy with your target audience.
Recently, we’ve been introduced to Instagram Reels, while YouTube adopted YT Shorts as a clever way to develop more meaningful connections and bring audiences together. In other words, the variety of video formats available at your disposal will continue to thrive, allowing you to attract more prospects and humanize your brand with dynamic and unfiltered behind-the-scenes content.
The digital marketing landscape is a constantly shifting beast that can seem impossible to keep up with. Remember to stay fluid and flexible when planning your marketing goals and initiatives for 2022.
Make sure to capitalize on these top digital marketing trends by leveraging proven data-driven analytics to give your conversions, brand loyalty, visibility, and customer retention a much-needed boost.
If you want to take your marketing to the next level, get in touch with our team today and let us do the heavy lifting for you. We’ll work hand-in-hand to develop your brand’s online identity and inch closer to achieving your marketing goals while helping your business become more prominent in the digital space.