7 Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2022

7 Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2022

Ongoing global lockdowns, and the subsequent change in consumer behavior and sentiment, have sparked new digital marketing trends including the acceleration of eCommerce, the rise of video and the mainstream usage of scanning technologies.

After the tumultuous last two years, who could possibly predict what 2022 has in store from a pandemic perspective. What we’re more confident of are the digital marketing trends that will shape the next 12 months and beyond. We’ve highlighted seven that (we believe) will have lasting implications for brands, and the takeaway learnings that businesses will need to be aware of in 2022:

 

1. Social eCommerce will continue to grow

The growth of eCommerce is one of the best-documented trends of the past 18-months so it’s no surprise all the major platforms expanded their suite of eCommerce tools over the 2020/21 period, notably the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Shops.

In-stream and live shopping were also key areas of expansion, and 2022 will see more eCommerce options being tested by Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, including advanced product search by image, product discovery panels, streamlined digital payments and artificial intelligence (AI) alerts for products in-stream.

TikTok has already been steadily increasing their flow of live-stream broadcasts in the ‘For You’ feed, and over time, more of these posts will come from brands promoting products aligned to personal interests.

Take away learning: 

The more shopping options business can build into their e-commerce eco-system, the more this will reinforce online shopping behaviours. In plain English, allow people to shop from you in as many places as possible, your website, marketplaces and social platforms.  A shift towards social eCommerce is undoubtedly one of the most significant outcomes of the pandemic and brand competitiveness be driven by how well busineses can build meaningful customer data and create an aligned and seamless eCommerce experience.

2.    AI supercharges customer service

Chatbots and voice assistants, were also big winners during COVID, quickly becoming the primary conduit for online customer interaction during lockdown. Consumer acceptance of chatbots and digital assistants, such as Alexa and Google Assistant, are contributing to investment in this area with consumer spending via voice assistants projected to reach 18% by 2022 .

Used to automate and increase efficiency of handling customers’ inquiries, chatbots and voice assistants are powered by AI. As their ability for personalisation increases, chatbots are proving an excellent way of providing a responsive, positive customer service experience, immediately.

Take away learning:

In 2022, businesses of all sizes should consider how they integrate AI into the customer journey. For those starting out, identifying key touchpoints where AI can empower and increase, rather than replace, customer interactions, such as people browsing a website, or connecting on social media, is a great place to begin.

 

3. Leaning into QR codes

QR codes also had a moment during the pandemic, and savvy platforms like Snapchat were quick to make effective use of scanning technology to provide additional information, special offers and other exclusives by scanning in various items and logos.

While the staying power of QR codes remains to be seen, their potential to direct consumers to more detailed content, overlay with augmented reality (AR) experiences or facilitate a direct connection between virtual and offline channels, *could* prove to be big winners in 2022.

Take away learning:

In 2022 marketers should look to capitalise on consumers’ familiarity with QR codes, normalising this channel, and testing its effectiveness, before people forget about their potential again.

 

4. The Video show goes on

Short-form video clips are already the dominant content format on most social media platforms with Reels now Instagram’s fastest-growing element. The ability to insert Reels Ad placements into Instagram via the Instagram Marketing API and the organic reach currently available for this format will further reinforce the short-form video trend in 2022.

Likewise, Pinterest continues to highlight video content with the intention to enable AR placement options in 2022. This emerging technology will allow users to see what specific products will look like in their own homes, removing residual barriers for online shopping.

Take away learning:

Marketers should continue to invest in video content but the skill will be in framing tight messaging and CTAs in short formats – think 7 seconds or less!  The ability to create a variety of explainer, presentation, testimonial, sales and video (and audio) ads will drive the skillset of content marketers in the future.

 

5. Influencer marketing evolves

Undeterred by COVID restrictions, the influencer market is anticipated to reach US $15 billion by 2022, with marketers now reportedly allocating upwards of 20 percent of their budgets to influencer content.

As customers consume content across multiple-screens (and platforms), marketers will need to identify new creators who can provide a trusted and compelling voice for their brand.

The next phase of influencer marketing will likely involve the adoption of AI to identify the most effective influencers, with AI capable of watching and assessing influencer videos faster and more efficiently than human marketers can ever hope to.

Take away learning:
Influencer marketing has evolved into a mature channel over the course of the past two years, and influencers are now one of the many touchpoints marketers need to plan for and integrate into optimised campaigns. When thinking about influencers consider both reach and content creation as separate categories, and be willing to invest in both.

 

6. Elevating the hybrid event experience

As people feel (more) comfortable gathering in-person again, companies will face a choice: Should we return exclusively to in-person events? Or, should we remain virtual, at least in part, to deliver the convenience, personalisation, and agility that consumers have come to expect?

While physical events will be positioned as the ‘flagship’ component of most events, marketers will continue to explore digital tie-ins or hybrid models to facilitate connection with a wider audience of attendees and to deliver added value to sponsors.

Platforms such as LinkedIn and Eventbrite will double-down on their role in optimising the live-stream or virtual component of events – without the need for event managers and marketers to invest in specialised and costly event platforms or dedicated websites.

Take away learning:

When planning for events in 2022 and beyond, marketers should experiment with diverse and emerging technologies such as augmented reality, online polls, hot spot mapping, digital avatars and exclusive online content, to create a more immersive experience for virtual attendees.

 

7. Growth in disruptor platforms and validating ROI

Although Facebook will likely remain the dominant platform in 2022, its appeal with younger audiences continues to decline.

Expect to see B2C marketers experimenting and replacing Facebook ad spend with investment in disruptor platforms like TikTok, Twitch and YouTube CTV ads. In the B2B market, LinkedIn will remain the platform of choice, but the emergence of smaller, niche professional platforms such as Active Rain (real estate), Procurious (procurement and supply chain) and Sermo (healthcare) may well be used to intelligently target core audiences.

Take away learning: 

With Facebook page reach in decline and more competition for campaign results, Facebook will continually push businesses to run longer campaigns, or campaigns with fewer metrics for measurement (i.e. brand and traffic). Marketers should explore hybrid reporting approaches incorporating e-commerce platform and Google Analytics to track, directly attribute and validate the ROI for their campaigns.

All in all, the future is omni channel

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The most powerful marketing channel in 2022 will be omni channel. The days of ‘build it and they will come’ websites or single platform campaigns (online or offline) are long gone.

In 2022, businesses will need to develop an integrated omni-channel approach to marketing, with consistent creative and brand messaging optimised across multiple channels including social, digital, audio AND traditional media. Personally, we’re excited for this new era of marketing, what do you think?

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