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8 digital marketing trends to look for in 2022

by Marie Lewis | Dec 20, 2021, 08:52 AM
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Over the last year, you've likely participated in many discussions about how much the pandemic has transformed the way we all shop and do business, so it’s not shocking that the digital marketing forecast for 2022 continues to reflect that reality. Our customers and clients are turning to the internet more than ever before, and they expect an online experience that’s effortless, authentic, personalized, unique, and secure. In order to fulfill those expectations, brands and companies should be relying on data-driven strategies designed to meet customers wherever they are. Here are eight digital marketing trends to look for in 2022, and our tips for executing them. 

Short-form video

That TikTok thing all the kids are doing these days? Definitely not going away. Backlinko says users spend an average of 52 minutes a day on TikTok-- even more time on the platform than YouTube, a startling metric considering the average TikTok video is less than a minute long. And according to Statista, TikTok had approximately 65.9 million U.S. users in 2020, a figure projected to reach 73.7 million by the end of the year. The good news for advertisers: TikTok ads can now reach an estimated adult (18+) audience of 825 million people worldwide, according to Hootsuite. You can also leverage TikTok’s massive following via influencer marketing and by creating your own original content. Not sure how to get started? Brainstorm a tip, process, or Q&A to share, or use the Duet and Stitch features to collaborate with other creators. No matter what kind of content you create, you’ll want it to be authentic, honest, and original. 

Hybrid events

If you’re an event marketer, you know the impact the pandemic had on your efforts in 2020 and 2021, and the reality is that Covid-19 will continue to influence event marketing in 2022. Many people are still avoiding in-person events, and others have found they simply prefer a virtual experience. That’s why experts say continuing to have a strong digital presence at live events and offering an immersive experience for those at home will be a winning strategy in the new year. Offer your guests ways to contribute content to the event, and make sure your virtual guests have access to the same materials (via download or live stream, for instance) as those attending in-person. 

Engaging nonprofits

More than ever, consumers are choosing to support companies and brands with nonprofit partnerships that align with their values. Those values, according to Harvard Business Review and Salesforce, most often include authenticity, local community support, diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability. These partnerships have the added benefit of increasing your reach across all platforms. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is giving us the tools to make our marketing efforts more customer-centric and data-driven-- more easily. Tools like Drift for conversational marketing, Hubspot for inbound lead generation, segmentation, and customer relationship management (CRM), and Google Cloud AI for data science and machine learning are already transforming the way we collect and analyze data.

Alternatives to third-party cookies 

Data breaches coupled with the increasing demand for online privacy led Google to announce in 2020 that it would stop supporting third-party cookies in 2022, promising a more private browsing experience that advertisers could live with too. Google’s answer to the 3P cookie problem is the Privacy Sandbox, which allows advertisers and publishers to present targeted ads tailored to user cohorts rather than identifiable individuals. BoxCrush pro tip: make it first-party. This is the behavioral data you collect directly from people who use your website or app, and it’s the most authentic way of collecting data about your audience. This includes contact forms, questionnaires, and site analytics like traffic sources, conversion and bounce rates, network referrals, landing pages, and exit pages. 

Owning your audience

While social media should be a part of every marketing strategy, the mass Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp outage of October 2021 was an important lesson to organizations on why you don't want to rely on a social media platform to host your business, contacts, and commerce. Dave Gerhart of DGMG said, “There is still no better marketing channel than an email list. 100k followers on LinkedIn is cool but I wouldn't trade it for my email list of 6k people.” Additionally, using a marketing automation platform like Hubspot or Sharpspring enables you to collect valuable insights about your audience rather than relying on third parties, or on vanity metrics such as likes and shares. 

Thought leadership and content marketing

Better Marketing says consumers are exposed to as many as 10,000 ads each day, and they’ve grown immune to hard-sell tactics. Educating your audience on why they need you and providing an experience that is engaging and responsive to their demands will be a more effective strategy for gaining customer loyalty. A large part of thought leadership involves creating more thoughtful, relevant content via blog posts, case studies, and storytelling. Bonus: it’s also great for search engine optimization (SEO).

Personalization

We now have access to digital marketing tools that enable us to create a far more segmented, personalized experience for our audience. But as Inc. says, while online shoppers are demanding a more personalized experience, they don't want to feel like they're being stalked. That’s why collecting data in a way that’s transparent by handing your audience the controls is what will keep them coming back in 2022. Additionally, having well-developed personas and a deep understanding of the user experience and buyer journey will enable you to meet your audience where they are.

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BoxCrush is a full-service digital marketing and web development agency that has nearly 20 years of experience in branding, marketing, and creating a digital experience that drives conversions. If you’re ready to crush your marketing in 2022, use the contact form below to get started.