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10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

2021 has been an interesting year in terms of brands and digital marketing. The pandemic-induced panic for brands to ‘come online’ has neutralised and there are a number of emerging factors to consider as part of Digital Marketing Trends for 2022. 

Whereas the past year has been centred on brands getting their name out there online (where for many businesses, they never really had before), 2022’s focus should be on listening just as much as it is on talking, as well as the art of storytelling.

Gone are the days of ‘sell mode’. This tactic is tired and ultimately results in no real substantial outcome, when what really grabs attention is content that speaks to consumers’ interests and desires.

Yes, selecting the right platforms, targeting the right audiences and using the right keywords in our SEO tactics remains important, but most brands already know this, and competition in the online space continues to grow.

 

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 largely build upon the foundations that many brands have built in the last year and will force brands to reevaluate their online value proposition. Without further ado:

 

1. Content Remains ‘King’

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Content Remains King

The digital revolution has peaked. Brands know the large role that content plays in consumers’ lives (two-thirds of Irish people now use Netflix) and this hunger for content is seemingly endless.

However, what else is beginning to become endless is the noise and fragmentation, making it increasingly difficult for brands to break through and stand out from their competitors.

Companies should stop agonising about the art of the sell and instead make it their business to harness the art of storytelling. Noise is a nuisance to consumers, too, and they are not logged in to be given the ‘sales pitch’.

While an understanding of your organisation’s products or services is of course important, what actually drives consideration and builds credibility is an effective content marketing strategy that informs, inspires or entertains.

 

2. The Future is Video

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - The Future is Video

The best time to start was yesterday, but the second-best time to start is nowVideo marketing has been the key to an effective advertising campaign for some time now, but now more than ever.

The proof is in the pudding. Time and time again we learn that video posts or ads perform significantly better than images. Facebook video ads receive 10-30% more views than other ad formats.

Video speaks to consumers in a way that static image posts cannot quite manage, in that it has the capability to convey your brand’s personality and tone.

While your content strategy should probably contain a diverse set of different content formats, factoring in some video content where appropriate is a great recipe for brand growth.

 

3. Authenticity & Trust

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Authenticity & Trust

In a world where fiction and reality are interwoven together, it can be hard to know what to believe – or who. Consumer distrust is at an all-time high, with just 55% of Irish people trusting business in 2021.

Consumers will no longer blindly buy from your brand unless they are satisfied that their expectations for brand trust are met at every touchpoint – both online and physically.

Although a tough pill to swallow, it’s not always about you(r brand), and while your organisation’s primary objective is gain, it also has a responsibility to its customers and stakeholders.

Brands must place due consideration upon data privacy, sustainability, ethics, community engagement, inclusion and health and safety, and how they communicate this, in 2022.

 

4. Listening is the New Talking

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Listening is the New Talking

What sets one brand’s content apart from another is relevance. Successful content strategies try to involve the desired end-user as much as possible so as to stimulate engagement.

Instead of looking at how to promote your brand to your consumers, look at their needs which may connect them to your brand, and how they two can relate to each other to the mutual benefit of brand and consumer.

What do the consumers in your space typically search for? Is there a gap between this and your content output? Is there a way that these queries can be addressed in your brand’s content strategy?

Show that your brand values your consumer’s voice too – embrace user-generated content and make your consumers feel that they’re part of your brand’s story.

 

5. Privacy Meets Advertising

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Privacy Meets Advertising

Digital advertising (through platforms like Facebook Ads or Google Ads) has unlocked a wealth of new ways to target the right people and get measurable returns that traditional means could never do.

But privacy measures have notably impeded their effectiveness, such as the new privacy regulations introduced by iOS 15 which makes it so that users must explicitly opt-in to provide information to advertisers.

In addition, Google intends to remove its facility for third-party data collection via cookies on its Google Chrome browser by late 2023 – the most popular internet browser in Ireland and in most countries.

These privacy-driven changes all ultimately alter the digital advertising ecosystem, and brands must continually adapt and innovate to navigate through them.

 

6. The Great B2B Voyage

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - The Great B2B Voyage

The business-to-business world is coming online at a greater pace than ever, as evidenced by the growth of the LinkedIn platform which saw its userbase grow by almost 15% from 2019 to 2020.

This makes sense, as we go where our customers are, and almost half of B2B buyers are now millennials.

Also, we may associate them with Tik Tok, but Gen Zs now represent about 10% of the platform’s userbase – a sure sign that LinkedIn is not going anywhere, and in fact is becoming more relevant.

But that’s not all. LinkedIn, with its growth, is consistently introducing new features to be a B2B (and sometimes, a B2C) marketer’s dream.

 

7. Holistic SEO

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Holistic SEO

As the years go by, search engine algorithms are becoming savvier and more nuanced. While a myriad of tools exists that tick boxes with the aim of ‘beating the algorithm’, there is no true answer to the enigma that is SEO.

Of course, the use of programs and plugins that improve your SEO efforts are always worthwhile – but it’s time we begin looking beyond the box-ticking SEO exercises.

By thinking critically and holistically about SEO, and considering such things as user experience, accessibility and flow of content, we can enhance our brand’s rankings much better than through ‘hacks’.

 

8. Influencers Remain on the Menu

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Influencers Remain on the Menu

Though slated to eventually die a death, creator or influencer marketing, on the contrary, is a huge growth market and creator marketing investment increased in Europe by 14% to €1.3 billion over the last year.

There are of course a number of challenges in the influencer marketing space, such as ensuring authenticity and brand-collaborator fit, but when the fit is right, and the content is engaging, it can be a great opportunity.

Perhaps surprisingly, creator marketing is being observed in the B2B space, too, with brands such as Microsoft and SAP successfully performing influencer campaigns in recent years.

9. No Escape from the Metaverse

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - No Escape from Metaverse

It was widely speculated throughout 2021 that Facebook had reached the end of the road, with a planned boycott due to its inability to combat privacy, misinformation and discrimination issues.

The newly rebranded Meta, and its Facebook platform, will not be going anywhere any time soon and with close to 3 billion users (and growing), brands should not close their Facebook chapters.

In fact, brands should expect a wealth of new updates and marketing opportunities as 2022 gives us a better introduction to the ‘Metaverse’.

 

10. Some Things Never Change

Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 - Some Things Never Change

There’s no doubt that digital marketing is something that is constantly transforming and evolving – and continuous upskilling and learning from the latest trends is important.

But it’s always important to remember the foundational tools of marketing as a guiding force for everything that we do, and getting caught up in every new digital marketing advancement is just counterproductive.

In summation – remember the core principles of marketing, and choose your battle.

 


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