Digital marketing is ever-changing and evolving, and businesses and brands must not only plan for the future of digital marketing but be ready and prepared to take advantage of it. Trends come and go in the marketing world just as quickly as they do in tech, fashion, or pop culture. Brands must adapt to digital changes to remain relevant, recognizable, and respected in their target market.
The good news? It’s not difficult to stay ahead of the game. Analyzing past trends and staying on top of ongoing changes gives marketing experts a pretty good read of what’s next for the coming year.
Here are seven top digital marketing predictions for 2022 and how to use them to your advantage.
1. Social Media Stories
Since Snapchat first pioneered the idea, social media stories have been the rage. Instagram was the next to jump on the bandwagon, followed by other big platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and even Twitter. It’s a safe assumption that stories are more than a digital marketing trend. They’re here to stay, and you can expect their popularity to increase throughout 2022 and beyond.
Stories are available for only 24 hours, making them a perfect avenue for individuals and businesses alike to share simple, more genuine social posts more frequently with those interested in seeing them.
Pinnacle brands have been leveraging stories to reach their audiences effectively by:
- Experimenting with live video
- Reaching out to specific geographic audiences utilizing geofilters and location tags
- Encouraging consumers to act on timely offers via powerful calls to action
- Gathering and sharing data in a fun, casual (e.g., polls and surveys)
- Finding ways to drive customer relationships and cultivate authentic connections via story-like features across all the big platforms.
Make sure your brand is among them, and it will be tough to go wrong.
Location-based marketing certainly isn’t new, but it’s evolving in ways every digital marketer will want to be aware of. Geofencing is an innovative marketing technique expected to grow exponentially in 2022 and through 2023, along with the increasing importance of mobile technology.
Geofencing takes location marketing to the next level by marketing to consumers on a real-time basis. This helps them locate goods and services they need successfully and more quickly.
For example, the target radius for a specific store or restaurant might be a mile or two. If a person enters that radius, they may receive a text or a push notification containing an appropriate message. Look for this trend to become even more prominent for businesses that need a reliable way to attract more digital users to their physical locations.
3. Voice Search
If you’ve ever begun a web search by verbally asking your Alexa or Google assistant a question rather than typing it into a browser, then you’re already familiar with the convenience of voice search.
These days, voice search isn’t just popular with consumers; it’s becoming a favored means for finding the information they’re searching for — information about products, services, or brands they’re interested in.
Currently, over a billion voice searches occur every month, and over 20% of all web searches are voice searches. Additionally, just under half of all people say they use voice search daily, and just over half have reported they’ve used it to find info on businesses in their area.
So what are the implications for your 2022 marketing campaigns?
Voice-activated ads aren’t far off. Preparing now could make your content what Alexa or Google handpicks in response to a spoken search query. And, virtual assistants will eventually start returning sponsored content alongside relevant answers.
Start thinking about ways you can incorporate these changes into your marketing campaigns sooner rather than later.
4. Micro-influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has grown immensely in recent years. Leading influencers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube attract millions of followers and make a six-figure income from their deals with brands.
However, influencer marketing is still in its nascency. And, while it provides excellent ROI compared to more traditional advertising channels, some issues need addressing.
Fake followers are a problem that needs resolving, and there have been notable occurrences when brand/influencer relationships have backfired.
High-profile influencers are starting to lose their power as they employ more sponsored posts, reducing the authenticity and impact of their recommendations.
Consumers value recommendations from like-minded individuals over being marketed to. Therefore, investing more in “micro-influencers” – those social media users who have far fewer dedicated followers and deliver genuinely authentic marketing messages to a trusting audience – will make sense.
Influencers’ power will be measured by their relationships with each follower, not by the sheer number of followers they proclaim.
Video has proven to be a powerful marketing channel. According to Hubspot, video was the primary form of marketing media created in 2021, followed by blogs and infographics.
Video marketing can be incredibly successful at boosting engagement levels and consumers’ appetite for video shows no sign of slowing down. TikTok has surpassed Facebook as the world’s most downloaded app.
You’re lagging if you’re not fully embracing video in your brand marketing. But it’s not too late to jump in. The combination of live video and augmented reality is making amazing things possible, and original and creative videos will most certainly be the big content channel winner in 2022.
6. Artificial Intelligence
Over the next few years, artificial intelligence and chatbots will continue their growth trajectory, expanding what’s possible in the world of digital marketing. Chatbots will become a customer service staple and begin replacing live agents more frequently as machine learning algorithms grow more complex and emulate human beings with uncanny accuracy. As marketing becomes more conversational and personalized, chatbots enable you to take advantage of this trend without additional strain on your workforce and resources.
According to The Drum, the global digital marketing software (DMS) market will grow from 37.48 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 74.96 billion U.S. dollars, with 87% of all marketing budgets directed to digital.
7. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is being used more and more as a tool for brands to reach their customers. Ikea offers a virtual reality catalog where you can place pieces of furniture in your own home. Similarly, fashion brands are starting to use augmented reality to let customers try on outfits virtually in the comfort of their own homes.
When retail stores shut during the pandemic lockdown, many brands turned to AR to help consumers visualize products or ‘try before they buy. In spring 2020, Kohl’s teamed up with Snapchat to update its ‘virtual closet’ with appropriate clothing such as athleisure wear. Accessed either via Kohl’s snapcode or the lens carousel, the virtual closet enables shoppers to browse apparel, mix and match virtual outfits, and purchase directly on Snapchat itself.
Many 2022 digital marketing trends are already more relevant. Others are just starting to emerge. For brands, it’s imperative to keep a close eye on all these trends. Most importantly, marketers should prepare themselves for an increasing automation of their processes. Additionally, they should create new touchpoints and track developments, particularly in social media, video, audio, and voice.
Jungle Communications is a full-service digital marketing, advertising, video production, and web development agency based in Jersey City, NJ. With over 150 years of combined marketing and advertising experience, our marketing professionals are fiercely committed to delivering excellence to our purpose-driven clients.
Contact us here or by phone at (201) 432-7300.