The Covid-19 pandemic has upended every aspect of our day-to-day lives, and as uncertain times remain, it’s a marketer’s job to adapt. With lockdowns bringing a strong necessity for a reliable online presence, businesses have adapted to the digital revolution to remain relevant. But is anything set to change in 2022? Are current marketing trends set to be as digital as they were, or are people pining for social contact once more? Here are 10 of the most popular emerging marketing trends for 2022.
As we come to the end of what has been a fraught and uncertain year for many businesses, thoughts are understandably turning to 2022. Thankfully, we’re ending the year with a renewed sense of optimism amidst positive developments in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Marketing has changed significantly during this last year[i]; and companies have had to move away from their usual printed banners, posters and other print media to focus more on digital strategies. Current digital marketing trends have had to adapt to varying consumer preferences and moods, and 2021 will be no different. It’s vital that businesses continue to adapt as we move into the New Year. Below, we'll take a deep-dive into current marketing trends and how you can apply them to your own marketing strategy
1) Optimising Content For Voice Assistant Services
Voice assistant services, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri, have become a staple in everyday life. 85% of the U.K. public use voice assistants at least weekly, and almost half of them use the services daily[i]. To adjust to this rising number, more businesses will be optimising their content for voice search. Voice search optimisation differs from text SEO since people tend to ask voice assistant services questions using full sentences rather than abbreviations that are quicker to type. So, to adapt your content to this new approach, you’ll want to create pieces that directly answer common questions and queries. Consider questions that are asked around your business, and queries that you think of throughout the day. For example, if you’re a doctor, you can answer common questions in your content that people are regularly searching for, such as ‘how much water should you drink a day.’ Then, include plenty of long tail keywords to ensure that specific questions and answers can be found in your content.
2) Branded Audio Content
Clubhouse, an audio only chat app, took the world by storm in 2021, much to the surprise of established social media platforms. It gained millions of users in a short space of time - without publishing any visual content! Naturally, Instagram, Facebook and plenty of other platforms were quick to jump on this trend. Thus, branded audio content is becoming ever more popular. In addition, audio content has become much more common online, from podcasts and audiobooks to chat room apps similar to Clubhouse, and marketers are exploring the options this may provide for their businesses. Social media audio, podcasts, editorial listening and a range of other branded audio content options mean businesses can build awareness and increase recognition.
Adding audio content to your marketing has the power to expand your strategy, spread your brand awareness much further than other marketing options may allow and even increase your website SEO. As Google is beginning to rank podcasts on their SERPs, embedded podcasts and videos will boost your ranking potential and transcribing these content pieces will optimise your site for voice searches.
3) Everything Will Be Optimised For Mobile
Unsurprisingly, consumers are spending more and more time on their mobile phones. In fact, around 53.98% of website traffic came from mobile devices in 2021[ii]. This means that mobile-optimised content and experiences are set to be more important than ever. Optimising your marketing to be a success on mobile devices is vital going into 2022 to best market to the faster paced generations and boost your SEO.
However, mobile optimisation isn’t just important to your websites, but plenty of other key marketing strategies as well. As a larger portion of our lives migrates to our mobile devices, ensuring that a range of your marketing techniques, including emails, promotions and evaluations have a mobile focus is essential to stay on trend in 2022.
4) Permanent Social Media Posts
Ephemeral content, or content that stays publicly visible for 24 hours before disappearing, has remained steadily popular over recent years. However, businesses are beginning to embrace evergreen content, or content that stays publicly visible forever unless the page owner removes it. Evergreen content is proving to be even more effective for marketing campaigns since consumers can go back and revisit posts, whether they’re live streams, videos, or updates, as many times as they like.
Having a balanced mix of ephemeral and evergreen content may be a perfect marketing strategy to create urgency and spikes of interest while instilling brand awareness and more long term engagement. But consider the pros and cons of permanent and 24-hour social media posts for your brand. Depending on how you want to market yourself, one or the other may work best for you, or a mix could be perfect. Ultimately, it’s best to weigh the advantages of each format for your campaign, not what may have worked for others.
5) Releasing Shorter Content
Research from Microsoft has concluded that the human attention span has shrunk almost 25% in only the last few years, dropping to 8 seconds.[iii] This decrease is having an impact on marketing and how businesses are optimising their content to ensure continued attention. In 2022, this focus is set to be primarily on video content. Video content generates 1200% more shares than image and text combined, yet videos up to 2 minutes long receive the most engagement[iv], and marketers are using this to their advantage coming into this year. Quickly getting to the point and communicating succinct information in short-form videos is much more effective than in-depth explanations, since they satisfy our shorter attention spans and still provide the answers to searched questions.
6) A Continuation of Virtual Events
Virtual events have been a lifesaver throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, and businesses are expected to continue to invest in this popular way of communication to benefit both employees and consumers. More hybrid marketing strategies are likely to emerge, allowing virtual conferences and opportunities as well as physical events. Although it’s probable that investments into virtual events will decrease, marketers won’t be abandoning the virtual event space this year, with at least 40% of events expecting to be virtual this year[v].
7) Blogging Will Be Bigger Than Ever
Blogging has been a popular digital marketing strategy since it became common for brands to build their own websites in the early 2000s. And this is because it works! 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging[vi], and this dependable tactic isn’t going anywhere in 2022. Blogs are the perfect way for business marketers to answer popular questions and up their search discoverability. Not only does this allow SEO strategies to be more easily implemented, but it will also encourage consumers to regularly read their blogs and explore the businesses that they have come from. And, with 60% of internet users regularly reading blogs[vii], this business strategy is expected to be consistently used and built upon throughout the year.
8) Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Sometimes referred to as 360 degree marketing, using virtual and augmented reality in a marketing strategy can increase consumer awareness and influence purchasing decisions. For example, IKEA made use of 360 degree marketing with their new app, IKEA Place. In the app, AR technology allows users to virtually place in-store items into actual living spaces so they can see how products look and feel before purchasing. Allowing customers to experiment in this way has naturally driven up interest and sales.
Finding ways to implement VR and AR in your marketing strategies will give you an advantageous boost against competitors. It will allow you to interact with your audience in a unique, intimate way that other businesses may not have yet. However, the technology is still rather expensive and difficult to add to pre-existing strategies. A more available way of adding 360 degree marketing is through social media platforms. For example, Instagram has the option to create AR filters that you can share with your audience.
9) Influencer Marketing Strategies
With the wide range of social media platforms available at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that influencers have risen drastically in popularity over the last couple of years. And, with fan bases willing to chase their favourites across platforms and the rapid expansion of TikTok, influencers are only going to get bigger. Take advantage of this growth by investing in influencer marketing. Across all social media platforms, any business will be able to find content creators that will fit snugly into their niche, spreading their brand awareness, allowing customer interaction and expanding their business to a range of potential new customers.
Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving industry, so make sure you keep up with it. Don’t limit your business to one social media platform, and take advantage of influencer marketing platforms to form partnerships with professional creators that will boost the credibility and popularity of your brand.
10) Inclusive Content
The world has changed drastically in only the past 5 years, and your marketing strategies must change with it. Inclusivity is a priority to consumers now, and they want to see themselves and others being properly represented. Now, this isn’t simply about posting diverse images on your social media pages and website. It’s about showing your customers that you respect them and have clear, non-prejudice values.
However, you mustn't use this as a marketing gimmick. Consumers are on the lookout for authentic businesses who practice what they preach. For respect and loyalty from your customers, you should openly accept all individuals and collective groups in your marketing and show that they can connect with your business without judgement.
Stay ahead of the game
Now you’re caught up on the emerging marketing trends for 2022, it’s time to implement them! Stay on top of the ever-changing marketing trends to keep your business one step ahead this year and keep up with the digital revolution.