In any business, digital marketers are the folks who are constantly kept on their toes by the ever-changing world of digital marketing. And while 2022 may be sliding into post-pandemic status, there’s always the uncertainty of emerging virus variants and their effects on businesses and the economy. Throw in inflation, the ever-evolving trends of social media (think Metaverse), cryptocurrency, NFTs and it’s no wonder that sometimes, you wish you had an oracle to predict the various marketing trends in 2022.
Thankfully, we have experts whose rigorous research has yielded the top digital marketing trends for 2022. Here are the top nine (because ten is over-rated).
1. Email: Still the Most Reliable Marketing Tool
Email still remains a priority for marketing, especially when used to update customers with dynamic and personalised content via Mailchimp, for example.
According to a recent report conducted by a top email marketing firm quoted by Forbes, 91% of survey respondents clearly indicate that email marketing plays a crucial role in their businesses’ overall success, an increase of 20 per cent since 2019. 2022 is only going to see an upward trend in email marketing, with an additional 40% of companies intending to invest in email marketing.
Another reason why email remains a steadfast tool in digital marketing is explained in the next trend.
2. The Year of Shifting to First-Party Data Strategy
By the end of this year, Google will be phasing out third-party cookies, Which means marketers still have another year to do their homework and integrate data collection of its customers while prioritising consumer privacy.
First-party data not only reduces your business’ reliance on others’ data (e.g. Google or Meta) it also goes a long way in helping your marketing team create personalised content tailored to your customers’ specific needs.
Some of the ways this can be done are through your social media campaigns, emails and newsletters, and also CRM tools.
3. Social Media Sentiment Analysis
Social media influencers have, over the years, had a crucial role in raising brand awareness and promoting products in general. However, due to trust issues that have surfaced with social media influences recently, many are more sceptical of this source.
Does that mean it’s time to drop this strategy completely? Not necessarily.
Paying attention to the influencer’s sentiment in their product review to identify if it’s positive, negative or neutral, is one way to stay ahead while enjoying high engagement rates. Using intelligence tools to track your brand’s mentions online can help your business with better control over influencer marketing by monitoring where, how and how often your brand is being mentioned digitally, as well as the reach of your social media campaign.
4. Hacking the SEO & SEM for Optimised User Experience
Search engine optimization and marketing techniques have always been invaluable on the digital platform but let’s take this one step further. Because in 2022, it will not be enough to just ride the SEO/SEM like a savvy marketing executive. This year, focus also on creating more engaging content for a more meaningful and unique user experience.
5. And Speaking of User Experience…
Word-of-mouth recommendations still remain the driving force in garnering social attention. But the question is, how does your business capture the attention of the intrepid user as the media landscape is rife with players competing for the attention of your customers left, right, and centre.
Focus not only on digital platforms but also on interactions with customers at every stage of your business transactions to clinch that ever-reliable word-of-mouth marketing.
6. Persuasive Storytelling Separates the Wheat from the Chaff
Over the past decade, many companies have employed the strategy of using storytelling to promote their branding. However, all that effort comes to naught if the content of the story does not illustrate how the customers’ lives can be touched and changed for the better through the use of the company’s products and services. Author and founder of 3 Dog Write, Lisa Apolinski, puts it this way. “Companies who can leverage persuasive storytelling will have their digital content create value and relatability and not just be content for content’s sake.”
And it doesn’t need to be verbose and complicated. Delivering concise and clear content is key. This brings us to the next trend…
7. Video: the Cornerstone of Digital Marketing
In the era of TikTok, videos are everywhere and this trend is only set to grow further with the advent 5G and improved data plans. Your marketing campaign will be sorely left behind if you do not maximise the use of video content in your business’ digital marketing strategy.
So if you aren’t already using videos for marketing, 2022 would be a good year to start and if you are, then this year would definitely be the year to expand this marketing strategy.
8. Strategy over Quantity
When looking at options on how to grow your business, focus on the areas in which your business thrives and market that. The key here is not to push out content – and more content – but to tailor bespoke marketing gems for your audience to discover your products and services. As much as there is automation and artificial intelligence to do the bulk of sundry marketing, marketers need to rely more on strategic marketing to propel overall growth.
9. Membership Trumps Loyalty
Loyalty programs will lose its footing and brands will instead focus on membership this year. If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us is human beings crave being a part of a community – and if not physically due to the pandemic, then online.
What makes your brand unique and an immediate draw for customers to desire to be a part of your community? If your brand is compelling enough, your customers will willingly pay to enjoy this membership, which will add value to their user experience with exclusive members-only access to products, free shipping, online/offline events, and an entire world of privilege that only membership provides.