New marketing trends emerge every year, but 2022 will be different. The pandemic significantly influenced marketing in 2020 and 2021. COVID-19 resulted in a substantial change in customer buying behavior, forcing brands to change the way they approach sales and marketing.
As the pandemic has almost subsided, brands are restoring their marketing strategies to normal. However, some new trends have emerged that businesses and marketers should watch out for.
Let’s a look at nine big trends that will reshape the marketing landscape in 2022.
In-person events have been slowly dying over the past couple of years. Though they still have their place, some people will continue to prefer in-person events, but a large chunk of the event marketing audience will move to hybrid events.
A whopping 97% of event marketers believe hybrid events will outperform any other event type in the future. During the pandemic, virtual events skyrocketed. Webinars and live streams took over the event marketing industry, as people didn’t want to risk going to in-person events.
Even though in-person events are now open, many people still prefer virtual events. They offer better flexibility and accessibility. Participants can save time and attend the event from anywhere, using any device!
Event marketers need to find a way to cater to both in-person and virtual audiences simultaneously. Here’s where hybrid events come into the picture. Hybrid events are in-person events streamed online. People can either attend the event in person or participate in it virtually.
Hybrid events will continue to be the most popular event type in 2022 and beyond.
Branding has always been a key driver of marketing success. More than 80% of customers buy based on trust, and the reliance on trust has only increased over the past couple of years. A survey in beauty and skincare eCommerce showed that around 60% of customers wouldn’t try new brands when shopping online. This makes branding more important than ever.
Storytelling is a great way to enhance your branding efforts. More businesses will tie their products/services to stories their customers can relate to instead of using hard selling techniques.
Organic marketing will also be on the rise in 2022. Paid advertising has traditionally played a vital role in branding for companies. However, with more businesses investing in ads than ever, advertising costs have increased. The average cost-per-click for Google Ads has been rising gradually over the last few years.
As a result, brands are more likely to invest in organic marketing. The focus will be to increase brand awareness organically, using blogging, YouTube videos, and social media content.
Organic marketing plays a vital role in branding because organic content is eternal. It stays on the internet forever, unlike paid ads that stop showing up once you stop paying for them.
Content marketing has been one of the pillars of digital marketing for years. Content marketing leaders experience a 7.8x year-on-year growth in unique website visitors. SEO, PR, social media, webinars, and podcasts are all a part of content marketing.
However, content marketing won’t be the same as it was a couple of years back. Back in the day, content marketing was more about quantity and less about quality. Since only a handful of brands were doing content marketing, businesses that published large volumes of content got more reach and awareness.
Content marketing has become more competitive now. Google has released algorithmic updates that reward good quality content and penalize high-volume low-quality content. Modern-day content marketing revolves around quality.
In 2022, content alignment will be crucial.
What does content alignment mean? Nowadays, most companies take a multichannel content marketing approach. They use SEO, PR, video, social media, and other various channels to increase their visibility and reach a greater audience. However, most content brands produce nowadays is misaligned. For instance, SEO is completely disconnected from PR and social media.
Let’s quickly understand the concept of multichannel and omnichannel marketing before moving ahead. Multichannel marketing includes using different channels to reach an audience. Omnichannel marketing includes using various channels but integrating all of them.
Omnichannel content marketing will rule 2022. Brands will publish aligned content to ensure credibility and better visibility.
When personalization first came into the picture, it soon became the new buzzword in the marketing industry. Every brand, regardless of its type and size, was adopting personalization. Fast forward to 2021, and personalization is the holy grail of successful marketing.
Over 90% of customers are more likely to shop after seeing relevant and personalized offers. This makes personalization an essential element of every marketing strategy. However, personalization is currently limited to addressing consumers by their first names and showing personalized recommendations only.
Things will get more creative and interesting in 2022. Personalization will expand to new channels and content types, such as videos, podcasts, articles, etc. Brands will multiply their efforts to communicate and engage with customers on a personal level. New channels will emerge, and customers will see personalization on every touchpoint.
The past few years have witnessed an exponential increase in the adoption of marketing technology. Marketing automation tools, social media scheduling platforms, and email marketing software are a few examples of technology in marketing.
There’s only one constant thing about technology: it keeps on changing. Since technology continues to evolve, new marketing technology trends have emerged. This time, automation and Artificial Intelligence are leading the way.
Some tasks in marketing are redundant and time-consuming, such as content posting, bidding on keywords in advertising, and sending emails individually to each recipient. Adopting automation automates these tasks, plus many more. Tools like HubSpot and MailChimp are popular marketing automation solutions brands can use to automate their marketing operations.
Another major MarTech trend is the increasing adoption of AI among marketers. Modern-day marketing is increasingly data-driven. Marketing teams need to collect and analyze data to predict customer behavior and make informed decisions. AI makes it easier. With AI, marketers can analyze historical data in quick time and understand their customers better. That’s why 72% of CMOs consider AI a major advantage.
Other technologies like virtual and augmented reality, data science, and beacons will also shape marketing technology in the upcoming years.
Marketers will, therefore, need to find alternatives to third-party cookies. An effective alternative to third-party cookies is first-party data, which many marketers have already started collecting.
Customers nowadays want top-notch privacy and better control over their data. Instead of letting marketers passively track their information, they want to provide their information to brands they trust. That’s why collecting first-party data will be more important than ever in the upcoming years.
If you’re not familiar with first-party data, it refers to the information you collect directly from your customers with their consent. Marketers can also use tools like Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) or Google’s Privacy Sandbox to enable user targeting and personalization without invading their customers’ privacy.
But one thing’s for sure: data will become scarce in the upcoming years. Marketers will need to use interactive marketing techniques like surveys to collect customer information.
You can’t talk about marketing trends and not talk about social media. The past few years have been dramatic for social media. Several new social media trends have emerged that marketers should know about.
The first prominent trend is that short-form videos will dominate social media. The rise of TikTok and then Instagram Reels has made short-form video one of the most popular content types right now. People love short videos, and 68% of them will happily watch a business video if it’s under 60 seconds. Even YouTube has launched a short video feature — Shorts.
Along with short videos, live streams will be a highly popular content type in 2022 and beyond. Users watch live video 10-20x longer than recorded content. Hence, brands will conduct more live streams on social media in the upcoming years to increase watch times and drive more engagement.
Social selling is another prominent trend to dominate social media in 2022. Facebook and Instagram have launched a “Shop” feature to allow users to shop directly from the platform. Hence, the use of social media among eCommerce brands will increase, as they will look to leverage the Shop feature to generate more sales.
Thought leadership has never been more important. An average American comes across up to 10,000 advertisements a day and ignores most of them. In fact, close to 30% of American internet users use some sort of ad-block, up from only 15% in 2014. Clearly, people are immune to hard-selling, and marketers need to go beyond traditional advertising to engage customers and convince them to make a purchase.
Sharing thought-leadership content and educating consumers will be a popular marketing approach among marketers in 2022 and beyond. Every brand can utilize thought-leadership to increase trust and awareness, though it works exceptionally well for B2B businesses.
Thought-leadership content comprises any type of content that informs and educates consumers. It includes:
HubSpot is a classic example of brands leveraging thought-leadership to the fullest. They have a dedicated “Education” section that offers ebooks, guides, and free courses and certifications. They also have a blog where they constantly publish new articles.
Thought leadership will flourish in the upcoming years. Sharing free, valuable information to build customer trust will become a key trend among businesses in 2022 and beyond.
All the trends discussed so far revolve around digital marketing and advertising. Digital marketing has indeed grown exponentially. Digital ad spending in the US was $151 billion in 2020, compared to $107 billion for traditional ads. Moreover, digital advertising is projected to make up two-thirds of the total US ad spend by 2023.
Though traditional marketing has slowed down, it is nowhere near extinction. Several brands use traditional marketing to reach larger audiences and increase awareness, and they will continue to do so in the upcoming years.
However, traditional marketing is no longer the same as it was before. The major drawback to traditional advertising is the lack of connectivity and integration. A potential customer watches your ad in the newspaper, but what do they do?
Most brands ask consumers to perform an action, like visit the store or make a call. These actions are not trackable, and marketers can’t measure how their offline ads are performing.
Marketers have overcome this hurdle by integrating offline and online marketing. An effective approach many brands are using is to encourage offline customers to go online.
For example, several brands include their website URL or social media handles, encouraging users to take instant action. Many brands have adopted QR codes to offer omnichannel experiences to customers. Users scan the code using their smartphones to reach the destination URL.
Here’s an example of Nike using a QR code to promote its app in a brick-and-mortar store.
More marketers in the future will realize the benefits of integrated marketing and use it to increase reach and marketing performance.
2022 could be one of the most revolutionary years for marketing. A lot has changed in the past two years regarding customer shopping habits and how brands approach marketing. Marketers need to identify and embrace these changes and develop new ways to promote their brands in the new normal.
To drive marketing success, marketers will need to think outside the box and blend creative thinking with leading-edge technologies. Need help getting started? Contact us today!