Marketing is evolving every day. To have a clear path for the long-term, you need a robust short-term plan. No one can predict where digital marketing will go in 2022, but it is wise to keep an eye on emerging trends.
No longer is marketing just about branding and advertising, but more about solving problems, delivering outstanding customer experiences, and engaging customers for the long term.
Is your brand keeping pace with everything that's changing in the world of digital marketing?
What digital marketing trends shaped 2021?
Before delving deeper into the possibilities for 2022, let’s take a look at the digital marketing trends that accelerated in 2021. Here are a few of them:
- 70% of eCommerce shopping happened on mobile. That's around $3 trillion worth of sales where consumers shopped on their smartphones.
- Consumers are buying products they see in social media posts, as evidenced by the rise of Instagram’s Shopping feature.
- 52% of consumers are watching movies and videos on their mobile phones.
- Consumers own more devices and tend to bounce between them during their buying journey.
- People prefer personalized experiences from brands.
- Mobile is driving lead generation for local businesses. One in every four people is contacting companies they found using Google search and voice search.
- 70% of people say they prefer engaging with brands through their content instead of traditional advertisements.
- 70% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand with a positive social media experience.
Now that 2021 is coming to a close, let’s check out the digital marketing trends for 2022 that should be on your radar.
Digital marketing trends for 2022
Every marketer loves to discover online marketing trends they can adapt to ahead of their competitors. However, the truth is that the majority of business growth will come from the core digital marketing areas that include search engine optimization, content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.
Optimize your digital marketing by adopting a curated mix of new trends while strengthening the core. Here are the top trends that we expect to flourish next year:
Social media stories
Everyone loves a good story. Many brands use storytelling to attract customers, solve their pain points, and engage with them over the long term.
With 500 million people using Instagram Stories every single day, crafting compelling content here can be a great way to attract, engage, and retain customers. Take a look at the ABCD framework for creating content on social media:
- Attention: Attract and engage customers with an interesting story
- Branding: Highlight the brand consistently
- Connection: Build connections with consumers using emotions — make them think and feel
- Direction: Subtly nudge customers towards taking a desired action
Research by Google confirms that content driven by the ABCD framework gives a 30% boost to short-term sales. Combine social media storytelling with the rest of these online marketing trends to advance your business projects and delight customers.
Conversational marketing is not new. Organizations have engaged with their customers through live chat for many years. In fact, 46% of customers prefer live chat to email or social media.
Apart from helping existing customers, chatbots are also an effective lead generation tool. Brands need to add this automation to their marketing toolkit in 2022, as chatbots are no longer just a 'nice-to-have' feature.
Live chats allow customers to interact with brands at their own convenience and on the platform of their choice, such as WhatsApp for Business or Facebook Messenger.
25% of consumers say that convenience drives their decision-making when they scout for ideas, products, or experiences. They expect to engage with a brand on the device and at the time of their preference.
Take this for example: When a customer contemplates buying headphones, they may start their product research on their smartphone, then visit an electronics store to check out options, and finally complete their purchase on a laptop.
Did you know that brands with an omnichannel presence are able to retain 56% more customers than brands without one? If you want to create a robust brand, you must provide a seamless experience all across customer touchpoints.
85% of people want to see videos from brands. They consume video with an astonishing capacity across platforms from TikTok to YouTube.
Consumers prefer watching a brief video to learn something over reading a longer article. Data-driven marketers already have video in their marketing mix — 93% say that video is a significant part of their marketing efforts, and they plan to spend more on video marketing in the future.
Still on the fence about video marketing? You could be losing a substantial market share to your video-friendly competitors.
105 million US adults are regular podcast listeners. That's about one in every three Americans, and the number is growing every single month.
With podcasts exploding in popularity, brands cannot afford to miss this crucial digital marketing trend. Even Google is displaying individual podcast episodes in its SERPs. Squarespace is a great example of a company that has been an early adopter of podcast advertising.
Consider adding podcast sponsorship to your marketing mix in 2022. Here are some tips to choose a podcast for sponsorship:
- Identify a podcast whose listener demographics closely resembles your target audience (for example, to reach out to a vegan audience, pick plant-based podcasts while staying away from one that talks about barbequing)
- Evaluate the number of podcast listeners and downloads over a period of time (for example, monitor listeners over a quarter or six months to gauge consistency in numbers)
- Add a custom tracking URL or offer unique codes to track listener conversions
Social media listening
Three out of every four businesses fail. Why does this happen? A primary reason is that businesses cannot understand what their audience wants. Since they are unable to serve their target customers, 75% of businesses shutter within the first 15 years of existence.
So, what is social listening? Social listening is the process of listening to customers, understanding their conversations, and gleaning insights to power up your business.
Listen to customer discussions on social media platforms not just about your brand, but what they think about the industry as a whole. Use that to make better marketing strategies.
More than 50% of marketers have added social listening to their toolkit. Embrace this new concept to find out what your customers want. Then, go a step further by analyzing their feelings and the ‘why’ behind their decisions. Discovering what makes them tick will quickly tell you if your business is moving in the right direction.
Live streaming is the new kid on the block and fast becoming every marketer's preferred marketing channel. Take Instagram’s newly launched 'Live Rooms' feature as an example.
80% of consumers prefer watching a brand’s live stream to reading their blog. 74% of millennials prefer videos when they do comparison shopping. With the live streaming industry touching $70 billion in 2021, this digital marketing channel is rapidly gaining pace.
Home Depot partnered with Martha Stewart for a live stream on how to make Christmas ornaments. It was highly popular, garnering 600K views and bringing a stream of traffic to Home Depot.
Speed past your competitors and personalize your marketing by sharing unique, authentic content using live streaming for business.
1 in 3 Americans identify as Hispanic, Asian, or African American and say they don't see themselves in marketing. Non-inclusive marketing kills brands. When your audience is diverse, shouldn't your marketing be too?
In 2022, diversity, equity, and inclusion will transition from boardrooms to marketing meetings. Companies that disregard cultural biases and better represent underrepresented populations will stand stronger and delight their customers.
Businesses also need to represent their diverse customer base in their marketing campaigns. Here are a few tips to market inclusively:
- Review the tone and expression of your marketing campaigns and advertising content to ensure it's inclusive
- Describe people, their issues, and the possible solutions your brand offers by using holistic and diverse language while avoiding any alienating symbols, phrases, or words
- Make a sincere attempt to highlight diverse voices across advertising campaigns and marketing content
Appreciate user privacy
Disrespecting consumer privacy can bleed a company's bottom line — just ask Amazon, Google, or British Airways, who each shelled out million-dollar fines in 2021.
The EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are global data protection laws. They outline how companies worldwide can collect and use consumer data in a way that is mindful of consumers.
With the era of third-party cookies ending, marketers need to be more careful with consumer data. Here are some tips for compliance:
- Ask users for consent before accessing their data
- Use a highly visible data consent form on your website, app, and other user touchpoints
- Outline how user data will be collected and used for marketing purposes with 100% transparency
How to keep up with new trends in digital marketing with Wrike
By having a finger on the pulse of customer behavior, brands will know what resonates with their target audience. This can help you understand consumer impulses and motivations better to connect with them in more meaningful ways that move the needle in your business.
Use Wrike to plan your digital marketing campaign, create task checklists, and assign them to the correct team members. Wrike enables you to solve customer issues, delight your end-users, and win new business by incorporating new digital marketing trends.