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The Hottest Digital Marketing Trends For 2022 and Beyond

  • Ayesha Ambreen
  • 7 min read
The Hottest Digital Marketing Trends For 2022 and Beyond

Intro

If there’s one thing that the last couple of years taught us is that nothing is certain. So, to try and make sense of a lot of uncertainty that was in 2021 (and early 2022), we are looking at hard facts, past patterns, and solid data samples to try and figure out where things are headed.

Marketing-wise, we see customers are keen on brands that offer original thought, authentic content, and a genuine connection. Customers are also looking to see what businesses can do with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and voice SEO to improve customer experience and deliver on customer expectations.

  • Ambitious concepts like artificial intelligence, visual searches, rich snippets, and augmented reality to engage audiences have emerged as mainstream digital marketing trends.
  • Inclusion, personalization, and sustainability are driving the marketing evolution that’s taking place right now.
  • Establish your brand authority by asking questions, sharing real stories, and willingness to learn more.

Some of these trends are the stronger versions of the past patterns, some have been emboldened by the emerging technologies, and others have been influenced by the pandemic.

The Increasing Role Of AI And AR

Businesses and companies that are investing in AI can cut staffing costs, build better content, handle e-commerce transactions more intuitively, and offer their customers a more personalized and individualized experience.

Another emerging technology that’s helping customer engagement is AR – augmented reality. AR allows consumers to interact with what’s online in a more realistic way. Facebook has started displaying ads where consumers can try out the products before they buy them.

MARKETING TRENDS TO LOOK FORWARD TO (Image source: VentureBeat)

Brands such as Gucci and Adidas are already offering ‘try-on’ features for their shoes.

Toyota (Image source: Toyota)

Companies like Toyota have also come out with virtual demo tours to help customers make purchase decisions.

Voice search stats are staggering.

  • Nearly half (42%) of the world population conducted a voice search via any device in the past month.
  • Google asserts that 62% will use their smart speakers to purchase by conducting a voice search in the next month.
  • 46% of people using voice searches daily do so to look for a local business.

With these stats in mind, it is clear to see that investing in voice search has a direct link to local SEO. To improve it, target long-tail keywords, be concise in your answers, compose question phrases, and pay attention to user intent.

Voice Searches, Local SEO, and Featured Snippets

Another way to ensure your local business stands out from the competition in voice searches is to try and get featured on Google’s ‘position zero’. It appears even higher than the #1 result on a search page and Google calls it ‘Featured Snippet’.

Content that answers a question accurately and succinctly gets this spot.

Google SERP Results

Geofence Marketing

By investing in geofence marketing, you enable your brand to pop up on your customers’ mobile screens as they enter or leave your store’s location (accurate to 1000 square feet), and encourage them to make a purchase.

You can also curate your push message notification to be about an ongoing sale, a specific product, or a particular discount code. According to a survey, 53% of consumers say they acted on a geofence alert to make a purchase.

To make your geofencing successful:

  • Be accurate in your location targeting.
  • Review your data regularly.
  • Create ads that encourage people to take action now.

Geofence Marketing (Image source: Sephora)

Sephora’s mobile store companion is an excellent example of geofence marketing. As soon as a customer walks into one of Sephora’s distributed stores, the companion activates. Built-in app features let customer see their purchase patterns, product recommendations, in-store offers, discounts, etc. The experience is optimized to deliver geo-targeted content, as well as, improve customer experience in the stores.

Omnichannel Marketing

When you are present on all the major channels your target customers are hanging out at, you not only increase their awareness of your brand but also encourage them to at least check you out. Branding plays an important role in establishing a strong omnichannel marketing strategy. Having a well-designed brand logo, a consistent brand voice, strategic web design, and a unified brand message helps your audience build trust with a brand.

Clickz (Image source: Clickz)

When they see you everywhere, this trust grows and eventually helps them make the shift from window shoppers to paying customers.

Shoppable Posts

A shoppable post is an interactive ad that allows users to view and buy the product displayed in an image, without ever leaving the social media channel they are on. These posts shorten the sales funnel and also enable better data gathering.

Later (Image source: Later)

You learn which products are getting more customers, which narratives are getting more traction, and what kinds of ads are improving the click-through rates. You can then use this data to create more personalized customer experiences and better shoppable posts.

Visual Searches

Visual search technology turns your phone camera into a search engine.

Images that are optimized to show up in visual searches not only make the buying process easy and quicker but also help customers and businesses connect in more meaningful ways. Your customers can upload your image online and get information about the nearest store, save the company’s contact information, confirm business hours, add events to calendars, etc.

Pinterest Lens, Google Lens, and CamFind are some of the apps that are driving the trend for visual search technology.

Choosing Relevant Social Media Channels

Not all social media channels are right for your brand. While Instagram is the most popular channel for brands and businesses, Facebook is the most popular social media channel overall. But in terms of discovering what’s new, people seem to support Twitter whereas LinkedIn is the favorite app for senior-level influencers who could be considered opinion leaders or decision-makers. So, it is important to choose and optimize the right social media channels based on business and marketing goals.

Statistic: Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2022, ranked by number of monthly active users (in millions) | Statista (Find more statistics at Statista)

This segregation makes it quite clear that depending on your brand goals, you need to figure out which social media channels are the most right for you. A newer brand may like to start with Facebook and Instagram, while a brand that’s looking to engage with high-end influencers, may consider LinkedIn to reach high-tier clients.

Influencer Marketing

Compared to brands, people trust other people more. According to stats, for every $1 a brand spends on influencer marketing, they get $5.78 in return. With these massive ROI numbers, it is easy to realize that the influencer market isn’t going anywhere. And Instagram is its biggest channel. Close to 90% of all influencer marketing campaigns use Instagram as part of their strategy.

Fun Fact

So, going into 2021, leveraging the power of the trust between influencers and their followers is going to be a huge tool in your marketing arsenal.

Interactive Content

Interactive content allows you to add a touch of personalization to your marketing. It allows your audience to feel heard and empowered. It also lets you, the brand, become privy to what your community members are thinking, improving your customer data capabilities.

Quizzes, calculators, polls, open-ended questions, surveys, etc. are all good examples of interactive content. You can also make your regular content more interactive by highlighting phrases and creating Tweetable links that your users may feel compelled to share. Quotes from opinion leaders, interesting statistics, and information-rich one-liners from your blog posts are great to turn into tweetable links.

Video Content & Podcasts

Video marketing is perhaps the most effective form of content marketing there is.

Take a look at these numbers:

Video Content & Podcasts

  • 85% of online users watch and engage with video content every month.
  • 73% of consumers claim that a social media video has helped them make a purchase decision.
  • 87% of marketers use video as a marketing tool and 88% of them are satisfied with the ROI.

People like video content because it is easier to consume than a blog post. It’s shorter, more interesting, and doesn’t require you to stop doing everything else to interact with it. Same with podcasts. Social media features, like Facebook Live, can be your greatest assets when you want to use live videos to improve your brand engagement.

Video and podcasting are also device-independent. Unlike text-based content, the video doesn’t lose its format when viewed on different-sized screens. Since people like video better, it also improves your SEO rankings as Google ranks video-rich content higher in SERPs.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is a special type of content that changes its shape and form to access customers on several touch-points. Consider the example of a long-form blog post. If you’ve made it dynamic, it can be turned into an infographic, a short video, a podcast episode, and even give birth to new topic ideas.

While a long blog post is great for in-depth knowledge, the infographic can be a great shareable resource. The podcast can be consumed on the go, while the video can be a great way to enhance engagement.

Emphasis on dynamic content also makes your content calendar more diverse and richer. It may also broaden your target market, and help with visual SEO.

Long-Form Content To Establish Brand Authority

While shorter content pieces like videos, images, polls, and podcasts are great user-engagement tools, lengthy blog posts – 3000 words and more – help you achieve the status of a thought leader.

Long-Form Content To Establish Brand Authority

This word count allows you to research your topic in greater depth and present your viewpoint backed with stats and facts. Compared to other forms of content, long-form articles are preferred by opinion leaders and decision-makers to find more information on a topic. As a result, this type of content elevates your brand position and helps it gain authority.

In Summary…

In 2022, it’s all about real emotions and technological innovation to drive your marketing. Keep your brand story short, sweet, and true. But don’t become quaint in your approach to technology. Instead, embrace the new that comes your way, and better yet, pioneer change to become a thought leader. People are ready to respond to brands that are authentic, innovative, and conscious of their place in the community.

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Ayesha Ambreen

Ayesha Ambreen

is a Digital Marketing Strategist and visual designer. She has over 10 years of experience in marketing, branding, content, and design. She’s passionate about disruption and exploring creative new solutions to changes that underline the marketing industry so brands can stay relevant and agile. Her work is featured on blogs such as Smashing Magazine, Jeff Bullas, CreativePro Network, 99Designs, and more. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AyeshaAmbreen

Link: Ayesha Ambreen

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