Last year, all the marketing trends and predictions I mention end up happening somehow. Now, I want to make you aware of new marketing opportunities for 2022, making it the perfect time to dust off our crystal balls and start predicting what digital marketing trends we can expect to see.
There are several factors to consider in the content marketing realm, such as the continuing impact of the global pandemic, the growth of social platforms like TikTok, and the rise of the creator economy.
So, there’s a fair chance that the state of the marketing industry and the customer habits it fuels will be more exciting and unique than ever before.
Here are our top marketing trends and predictions in digital marketing for 2022:
- The Social Impact of Storytelling
- Rank and Win with Consumer-Driven Content
- Use Personalized Content
- Why You Need Shareable Assets
- The Influencer Economy
- Social E-commerce: The Innovative Way to Virtually Shop
- Accessibility in the Digital Age
- The Future of Browsing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Let’s take a closer look at these 2022 digital marketing trends!
Marketing Predictions #1: The Social Impact of Storytelling
We are in an age of conscious consumerism, which means transparency with your audience is necessary.
Storytelling still is a marketing trend and will continue to be highlighted for you to pay attention to. It sets up a product or service from a positive and authentic perspective. Your content should immerse your users in a world that puts your brand values, voice, and style front and center.
There are many ways to go about storytelling in your content. Here are a few examples that are rising in popularity as avenues for extending brand awareness via storytelling:
- Customer Testimonials: Customer testimonials are sourced directly from verified buyers. If customers crave authenticity from brands, highlighting customer-lead stories will establish trust and credibility with your audience.
- Data-Driven Narratives: Data-driven narratives can also influence your customers’ relationship with your brand. Rather than storing data away in the archives, share it with your audience in a creative, thought-provoking way. Data-driven storytelling gives a voice to raw data and can turn insights into action.
- Visual Content: Visual content, like graphics or videos, helps put a face to the brand. Video (on social media especially) is gaining recognition because it allows brands to directly connect with their audience and showcase themselves in an appealing way. A staggering 93% of marketers consider video content critical to their marketing strategy, meaning it’s almost certain to contribute a positive return on investment (ROI). And the completion rate of interactive videos is 90%, proving it will be effective for generating more leads this year.
Whether you use customer testimonials, data, or video content, there are many ways to weave an exciting story and forge a stronger relationship with your users.
Airbnb Introduces the Bélo: The Story of a Symbol of Belonging
Storytelling has been a long-standing trend, but with conscious consumerism on the rise, there’s now a high emphasis on brand ethics.
Airbnb used this marketing prediction very well and created a video to tell the unique story of their “Bélo.”
After seeing this video, viewers will associate Airbnb with a sense of belonging and inclusion—and that’s just good marketing.
Marketing Predictions 2: Rank and Win with Consumer-Driven Content
Consumer-driven content centers around the pain points and needs of your target audience. Instead of guessing what your audience wants, use data, surveys, and reviews to understand what type of content they need.
When ideating and producing content, if brands don’t consider all the details that make their audience unique, there is a greater chance that the content will not engage the user in a meaningful way,” says Chad Gilbert, Sr. Director, Content (NP Digital). He adds, “when brands put more emphasis on researching and defining their audience and specific personas, the content production is more successful in terms of quality and ROI.
Chad Gilbert, Sr. Director, Content at NP Digital
Start with your data and analytics to help reveal customer behaviors.
What types of educational content do they spend the most time engaged with?
What products drive the highest sales?
What causes the most returns?
Talk to your customer support team to find out the most common questions and complaints. By understanding your audience’s pain points, you can create a better web experience and product for them.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers directly what they want.
For instance, with this marketing trend in mind, you can use social polls or on-site surveys to gather data.
In 2022, customer-centric content will be vital for brands. Customers are depending on you to solve their problems and deliver information throughout the buyer journey.
By uncovering your audience’s greatest pain points and needs, you can provide solutions that resonate with them long after purchase.
Dove Ad Makeover Campaign
Dove is a great brand that shows us that they pay attention to marketing predictions and marketing trends. They have become famous for creating inclusive campaigns and challenging the status quo.
Their Ad Makeover campaign was no exception.
In it, Dove goes after the harmful messaging in online ads targeted at women, and specifically, their bodies.
Dove recognized this pain point and took it on with grace. They involved their customers in the fight against body shaming and became a stronger brand.
Creating authentic, consumer-focused content will help qualified leads become long-standing advocates for your brand.
Show your customers you care.
They will notice.
Marketing Predictions 3: Use Personalized Content
In a study conducted by Salesforce, researchers found that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
Customers do not want to feel like a number, so personalized interactions and connected experiences are not just smart business moves—they’re necessary.
The experience a company offers is the differentiator for today’s consumers.
Personalized content uses demographic, behavioral, or contextual data to provide customers with ultra-relevant and relatable messaging.
Get to know your audience with chatbot features that offer personal shopping or create quizzes that present users with a product that best fits their needs.
Aveda’s Hair Quiz
Aveda personalizes its content experience by presenting users with a hair quiz that helps them learn which Aveda products work best for their hair type.
When you’re done with the quiz, you receive product recommendations specific to your personal hair needs.
Working with this marketing trend correctly enables customers to feel confident in their purchase since the recommended products are based on the information they provide.
Marketing Predictions 4: Why You Need Shareable Assets
Shareable assets are pieces of content meant to generate brand awareness through digital public relations (DPR), backlinks, and social engagement.
From on-page downloadable templates to infographics, there are many shapes a shareable asset can take.
Shareable assets help build brand awareness and authority for your business,” says Tierney Brannigan, Content Production Manager (NP Digital). By showing search engines that you are a trustworthy and engaging resource via backlinks and social interaction, you can bolster your entire SEO campaign.
Tierney Brannigan, Content Production Manager at NP Digital
Try using shareable assets to touch on relevant and current affairs.
Sharing these materials can generate SEO-boosting backlinks, establish authority in your niche, and offer helpful information to your target audience. Shareable assets can:
- Increase brand awareness or awareness around a new product or service.
- Provide your company with new data and insights.
- Help define and amplify your brand values.
- Drive traffic back to your site.
Kajabi’s Shareable Asset on the Imposter Phenomenon
Kajabi knew how to work with this marketing prediction and created a shareable asset on imposter syndrome. They ran a survey to ask entrepreneurs and small business owners about their experience with this condition.
The data is insightful and appeals to publications about business and mental health.
This piece helped get Kajabi’s name out there and extended their reach to an audience they may not have previously had access to.
Marketing Predictions 5: The Influencer Economy
According to Market Watch, the influencer marketing industry nearly doubled in value from 2019 to 2021; creators managed to grow this market from $6.5 billion to $12.8 billion.
Meanwhile, experts at Collabstr project that influencer marketing will be a $15-billion market by the end of 2022.
Influencer marketing is becoming a necessary component to a successful organic social media strategy,” said Emma James, Social Media Lead at NP Digital. “Users are more likely to trust a person they follow on social media than a brand, so brands that are creatively leveraging this tactic are the ones that are making waves.
Emma James, Social Media Lead at NP Digital
Within the past two years, consumers have taken more initiative when researching products before buying.
Find out what types of influencers your target market follows and put your product in their hands. If you’re working on a budget, don’t forget that there are micro-influencers who won’t cost you thousands of dollars.
They may even be game to advertise your product in exchange for free samples.
Moncler’s Bubble Up Challenge
Moncler’s Bubble Up challenge was named one of the ten best influencer marketing campaigns of 2021. TikTok mega-influencers, Bella Poarch and Charli D’Amelio took the #MonclerBubbleUp campaign to the next level.
The viral challenge gained 7.6 billion views and successfully spread awareness and engagement. The success of this campaign lies in the number of people this relatively obscure, high fashion Italian clothing brand was able to reach.
This year, we will see creators and influencers taking more control of the economy in their respective industries.
The creator economy is rapidly expanding, as more brands partner with influencers to stay relevant, build partnerships, and connect deeply with their audience.
Marketing Predictions 6: Social E-commerce: The Growing Way to Shop Virtually
Social e-commerce is the convergence of e-commerce and social media.
With the right content marketing strategy, you can see tremendous results from this channel.
Social e-commerce was already set to be the next trending marketing strategy for the coming years. However, the pandemic brought explosive growth to online shopping and accelerated the rise of social e-commerce.
Based on buyer behavior in 2021, retail experts are forecasting social e-commerce sales to increase by more than 35%.
By 2025, predictions show social e-commerce is set to grow by nearly $80 billion . This means 5% of the country’s retail e-commerce sales will be coming through social.
According to research conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Sprout Social, 73% of businesses already include social e-commerce into their marketing strategy, and 79% expect to sell on social in the next three years.
Your brand’s social e-commerce strategy should incorporate user-generated content and niche-specific influencers.
And don’t forget to include calls to action in your social posts, either as clickable elements on your photos and videos or in the social copy itself.
EagleCreek’s Instagram Store
‘Buy Now’ options on Instagram:
Eagle Creek uses the ‘Buy Now’ features of Instagram’s social e-commerce settings to adapt to changes in consumer trends. The ‘Buy Now’ feature allows users to purchase items as they scroll through a brand’s feed.
The user can also save the item to their Instagram cart if they want more time to think it over.
However, the goal of ‘Buy Now’ is for the user to purchase straight away without being pulled away from the page.
Afterward, they can continue to explore the brand at their fingertips.
Marketing Predictions 7: Accessibility in the Digital Age
Prioritizing accessibility in 2022 will ensure your brand makes inclusive strides in communication efforts. Digital accessibility refers to the ability to access or enjoy a system’s design, tools, and technologies.
Essentially, creating a universal design ensures all online properties are optimized for people with disabilities or impairments.
15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. When customer experience is a leading priority in 2022, brands should care about making their digital properties more accessible.
Creating accessible content isn’t just a best practice. It’s a necessity. A growing number of companies have been sued for not having accessible websites.
Don’t be a part of that list!
A lack of accessibility stunts business growth and tarnishes brand image. Put an accessibility audit on the roadmap for 2022 and see how an inclusive design pays off in the long run.
If you’re looking for a place to start, begin to familiarize yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The BBC’s Accessible Site Features
Here you can see BBC’s website design offers a Minimal Viable Design (MVD). Their interface and familiar design give control while providing choices to the user. The prioritized features give users the option for quicker navigation, content discovery, and preference management.
They also include an “Accessibility Help” button that activates alt text descriptions and sign language content for users with visual or hearing impairments.
Marketing Predictions 8: The Future of Browsing with SEO
SEO is not a new strategy, but local SEO and multicultural SEO are starting a new conversation in modern-day marketing strategies.
SEO enhances the discoverability of websites and content—especially on Google.
Now more than ever is the time to invest in a multilingual SEO and multicultural content program. International consumers are largely overlooked yet can generate significant growth if properly engaged,” says Tony Uribe, Content Production Lead (NP Digital). “Get ahead of your competition by creating world-class content with language and cultural nuances that speak to new audiences. A multilingual-multicultural combo that addresses technical and on-page elements creates a more diverse content ecosystem, moves your brand ahead of your competitors, and generates more revenue long-term.
Tony Uribe, Content Production Lead at NP Digital
Local SEO populates searches for a specific, local area. Businesses with brick-and-mortar stores can benefit from having their local audience find them through a web search.
In 2022, we expect local content and a well-optimized mobile website to play a more significant role in SEO. A staggering 93% of shoppers recognize the importance of shopping through small businesses, so local SEO may be worth adding to your marketing strategy.
Multilingual campaigns can also increase your reach and show your brand’s social awareness.
If your brand wants to resonate on a larger scale this year, showcase your content in multiple languages.
SEO still promises to evolve as one of the most scalable and cost-effective investments for digital marketing strategies.
Small Shops Win Big with Local SEO
This is a great example of how local SEO can increase a business’ visibility and revenue, regardless of its size or notoriety. When you search “birthday gifts”, Google returns a mixed SERP. There are:
- Google Ads
- Traditional links, which are dominated by marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy
- Google Shopping listings
- Local search panel
The shops listed in the Local panel would have a hard time competing against Amazon for an organic link listing.
But with the help of local SEO, these small boutiques are able to show in the results for searchers who are located nearby—and for free!
Stay Aware of These Marketing Shifts
While the future is not always certain, it’s essential to be sure about your strategic marketing efforts for 2022.
It’s all about making moves and investments to become a better, more transparent brand, so your audience feels confident, informed, and fulfilled when making a purchase.
With updated marketing strategies in place, your brand can stay nimble to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of consumerism.
During this transformation, you will also notice your brand strengthen in a well-rounded capacity that will better connect you to your intended audience.
After all, your brand should be doing more than selling products.
Set yourself apart and educate your customers about who you are and why they should trust you.
Become the subject matter expert in your field.
Connect with your consumers and acknowledge their needs.
By putting consumers first in 2022, they will also put you first.