As 2021 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at the digital marketing trends we anticipate will be big in 2022.  

In this blog we look at 6 predictions you can take advantage of in the new year to remain competitive in this crowded online landscape.  

Amazing Customer Experiences 


This isn’t a new prediction by any means but is going to be even more important in 2022. Consumers will be more demanding, more time poor and are the ones actually driving the 2022 trends; not brands themselves.  

Consumers now seek pre- and post-purchase engagement on a growing range of devices, across multiple touchpoints, and if they don’t get it, they won’t hesitate to move to another brand with a similar value proposition.  

Digital marketers now have the luxury of being able to dig deeper into the data. We have the tools and resources at our disposal to identify trends, user journeys, understand what creative resonates and what falls flat. With this intelligence behind us, we can offer a one-to-one relationship with warm prospects and customers that will delight and retain them.  

Stop making guesses. Leverage data and CX resources where possible to better understand who you are talking to and what you should be saying.  

To better understand the paint points of your customers and prospects, it’s also important to align with your sales and customer service teams, so you are singing the same tune.  

In 2022, ensure your marketing messages are personalised and respond to customers paint points; don’t push your companies own agenda, as it won’t resonate or generate click throughs. 


Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI)  


According to Gartner, 84% of marketers agree that using AI and Machine Learning (ML) enhances the marketing function’s ability to deliver real-time, personalised experiences to customers. However, adoption is still low, with just 17% of marketers currently using AI technology across their marketing function.  

We recommend incorporating AI tactics into your 2022 marketing strategy, as in addition to enabling more personalised experiences, this technology will help your team automate monotonous tasks, analyse data and generate insights faster.  

Consider leveraging conversational AI capabilities like chatbots on your website, or trialling AI powered content creation software. Leverage AI powered email marketing tools or AI based digital advertising tools to streamline your operations.  

By including automation tactics in your digital marketing strategy, you will become more efficient, effective and deliver a better customer experience.  

 


User Generated Content 


User generated content has been a big trend in 2021, but we’ve found a lot of companies aren’t yet willing to trial this tactic.  

Why do it? User generated content helps build trust with your audience as it is authentic and genuine. By leveraging your customers content, you can facilitate long term engagement with your follower-base. 

Ask your social followers to participate in a competition and provide content hashtags they can use when they share the content they create.  

If you’d like to get started with a user generated competition, you need to ensure you’re providing something of value to your participants as a prize. If there’s nothing in it for them, you likely won’t get many submissions. 

We find competitions work really well when there is a great prize that’s relevant to your product offering on the table. We also find that asking your participants to share a short video as the piece of content will typically generate higher engagement than if they share a static image. 
 

Short Form & Interactive Video Content 


If TikTok has taught us anything, it’s that consumers can’t get enough of short form video content.  

Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a massive spike in live streaming videos and interactive video content.  

Video is no longer a one-way communication channel. It is interactive and it’s engaging.  

One of the platforms we plan on leveraging for clients in 2022 enables you to turn your videos into interactive experiences. This means you can embed clickable content into your video, for example incorporating quick links to ecommerce products. These interactive links can then be measured and optimised in real time.  

Video views and view duration metrics are a thing of the past. Start leveraging interactive video software so you can track content clicks, conversions and effectively attribute ROI to your video content.  

Do you need to hire a large and expensive production team to create this content? No. The best performing short form content on social is under 10 seconds. Your consumers attention spans are shrinking, they are impatient and time poor. Focus on getting your message across quickly and using emotive imagery.  

If you’re running out of topic ideas, try repurposing existing content that generated great engagement on social or on your website. There’s no point reinventing the wheel if you’ve got the perfect topic and content already. Simply transcribe into a workable video script and get shooting! Remember to create different formats so you can share shorter form content across your different social platforms.  


Social Commerce 


Social media platforms made a big push into eCommerce in 2021 with in-stream shopping now a key element of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. 

Social commerce gives brands the opportunity to create seamless ecommerce experiences directly within their social channels. Convenience is contributing to this boost in social commerce, where users see a product they like and can buy right there in the moment, with just a click of a button.  

We can expect to see more shopping options being tested and moved into production in 2022, particularly on TikTok, which now has over 1 billion users. After launching TikTok shopping in 2021, the social media platform is looking to facilitate ecommerce and branded partnerships as much as possible in 2022.  

TikTok isn’t the only one. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter are also adapting and evolving to meet changing consumer trends.  

Take advantage of the current ecommerce boom in 2022 and streamline your sales funnel.  

The Death of the Cookie  


We’ve saved it to last, but we can’t not mention the privacy changes coming in 2022.  

User privacy concerns have become more important to more and more internet users, which is what led to Apple’s iOS updates in 2021 and our inevitable cookieless future.  

You can no longer rely on tried and testing advertising techniques that have worked for you in the past. You need to think about incorporating new tactics into your marketing mix to increase your contact database once cookie tracking becomes obsolete.  

While it isn’t new technology, we predict contextual advertising will continue to gain popularity in 2022, as it doesn’t rely on third party cookies to serve ads. Rather contextual focuses on where your users currently are and not where they've been.  

Consider layering contextual it into your channel mix in the New Year and diversifying your tactics where you can.  
 

In Summary 


Each year we talk about the latest and greatest trends in digital marketing that you should start considering if you want to remain competitive.  

The reality is that the foundations remain the same year after year. You need to understand the needs of your target audience and provide them with a delightful customer experience so they convert and you can retain them for years to come.  

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it’s that you need to stop guessing and start using data to guide your decision making.  

Set your team up for success in 2022 and chat with our digital marketing consultants about how you can incorporate these trends into your 2022 plans. 

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