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Digital marketing is like the ocean. It’s always changing and shifting, but it’s also always there. Advertising and marketing online, through social media, targeted search engine ads, and SEO web content, are not going away. The key is learning how to ride the swells of waxing and waning strategies as they adapt to new and upcoming trends.
Going into 2022, some of the latest digital marketing trends are not surprising. Virtual reality, for example, is becoming a viable marketing medium. Its surge in popularity is due at least in part to the Facebook company’s bold move to rebrand as the VR-focused Metaverse. It’s also not a shocker that consumers are becoming more concerned about their privacy, considering the prevalence of algorithmically targeted ads based on each user’s unique content preferences.
On the other hand, some trends seem to come out of left field. Experts are recommending that marketers focus more on voice search, and to eschew their hyper obsession with SEO hacks and turn their attention to making a better, higher quality user experience.
We cover all these budding trends and strategies below.
The Metaverse Is Having A Moment
In October 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would be changing its name to Meta. Furthermore, the company would launch a virtual reality program called the Metaverse to redefine the landscape of how people interact with the digital world on a daily basis.
With that bombshell dropped, marketing experts are now predicting that the Metaverse is going to become a focal point for businesses in 2022. Big brands like Nike have already gotten onboard by designating an internal position called “head of Metaverse.” The platform presents a whole new field of advertisement opportunities where users can try out and purchase new products and experiences – through either virtual or augmented reality (VR or AR).
No one knows yet whether the Metaverse is just the beginning of an ongoing trend or a fad. But it’s an innovative development, and companies should consider developing marketing strategies to take advantage of the initial excitement.
Voice Search Is Also Having A Moment – Or Is It?
Experts are of differing opinions when it comes to whether or not voice search will become a point of interest for digital marketers in 2022. Devices that are voice-enabled are certainly popular, at least in the United States: 65% of 25-49-year-old Americans use a voice-enabled phone, tablet, or speaker.
But while some outlets predict that voice search will be relevant for SEO, others like Smart Insights think that assumption is misguided. They don’t predict that voice search will be a significant SEO factor going into the new year.
According to Smart Insights, the best way to optimize for voice search is to continue following other good SEO practices, such as keywords and high-quality content. These strategies will allow businesses’ content to be recognized by voice queries and AI-controlled responses.
New Privacy Regulation Efforts Force Advertisers To Get Creative
With new privacy efforts underway by Google and other big companies, including Apple, comes new challenges for marketers. They must become more creative because they may no longer have access to personal data to feed their AI software, which generates ads tailored to individual consumers’ content and purchase preferences.
Social Media Continues To Inform Purchases
With almost 4 billion social media users worldwide and influencer marketing expected to reach $13.8 billion by the end of the 2021, the power of platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook is only growing stronger. More than ever, they inform how people around the world make their purchases and, more importantly, what they’re purchasing.
Digital marketers are already aware that social media is a key corner of e-commerce and advertising. Going into 2022, they should assess their strategies and improve them to fill any lingering gaps.
Experience Quality Is More Important Than SEO Tricks
Google’s Panda update hit many businesses hard, and they realized that they were doing SEO tricks instead of creating quality content.
The Panda update changed the way businesses did SEO and forced them to focus on creating quality content. It was a major change in Google’s search algorithm and aimed at demoting low-quality websites from search results.
The change in the algorithm made it clear that Google is focusing more on user experience than anything else. That remains true to today, which is why digital marketers should focus on providing quality content rather than concentrating all their efforts on SEO tricks.
It’s not easy to create content that users will find useful, but this is what you need to do if you want to stay ahead of your competitors.
Algorithms Are Prioritizing User Experience
Algorithms for apps and platforms across digital media, not just Google, are prioritizing user experience. For example, social media platforms like TikTok analyze users’ ad preferences based on the videos they’re liking and the purchases they’re making in other apps. They want to put the ads that a given user is more likely to interact with in front of them to generate more sales. That’s why marketers need to be more diligent than ever in creating high-quality, targeted content that speaks to the consumer and their needs.
More Conversational Marketing
Marketing must become more conversational and less one-way. Consumers are talking about brands all the time, whether it’s online or offline, but they want to be heard and acknowledged by them, as well.
To create a human connection and increase engagement, digital marketers need to bring more of a conversational tone into all aspects of their content. This includes social media posts, blog articles, and automatically generated greetings on a webpage.
Consider Slack as a notable example of how to incorporate a conversational tone into their users’ experience with their application. Slack generates friendly greetings and tips during load times and while the user is writing a message or creating a new thread. They use these small, almost secret opportunities to strengthen the brand’s relationship with their customer. It’s a subtle tactic, yet effective.
AI And Machine Learning Are The New Tools Of The Trade
AI and machine learning are useful tools for digital marketers, when used appropriately. AI can be a terrific way to automate aspects of marketing that are time-consuming and repetitive, freeing up time for more creative work.
For example, digital marketers often use AI to analyze the performance of their campaigns. This can help them identify changes that will improve performance, such as increasing the amount of money spent on certain traffic sources or changing landing page copy to increase conversion rates.
Marketers also use AI to understand which individuals are most likely to respond to their marketing efforts, so they can optimize their spend by focusing on the consumers with the highest return on investment (ROI).Experts predict that AI and machine learning are only going to become more relevant in 2022. This aligns with the progression of technology and the need for faster, more efficient output to keep up with post-pandemic economic demands.
Ad Optimization Is Helping Companies Market More Successfully
Ad optimization is a particularly important part of marketing, and it is helping companies to market more successfully. It allows a company to customize and tailor their ad to the real consumer rather than just guessing what will work and wasting thousands of dollars.
Different online platforms have distinct factors for optimization. That’s why it’s essential for digital marketers to use the tools that these platforms provide, such as Facebook’s Ads feature and Google Ads. They aid the marketer in the development of copy, visuals, placement, and publishing time to reach the most people in their targeted demographic.
Using videos for promoting and telling people about your product or service helps increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educates your audience, and allows a brand to reach them with a new medium. In a recent survey, 93% of respondents believed that videos are helpful when purchasing a new product. Consumers don’t want to just see pictures of products, not in 2022. They want to see it from all angles and how a real person can use it. That’s why for now, videos are still an effective marketing strategy that digital marketers should continue to put effort into.
The rewards of publishing high quality video content are real: 89 percent of marketers in 2021 are satisfied with the return on investment (ROI) they generate with videos.
Incorporating videos into their digital marketing campaign may seem daunting for some companies, particularly small businesses with small advertising budgets. That’s why it’s usually best to hire a professional digital media company to handle this aspect of marketing.
Mastering One Medium Is More Effective Than Total Domination
Experts believe that focusing on one or two mediums and mastering those for marketing is more effective than trying to dominate the entire digital landscape. For example, some companies may choose to focus on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok to reach the Gen Z demographic, if that’s their target consumer. Depending on the type of product or service a company sells and their audience, marketing on certain apps may not provide as big of a ROI.
Digital marketers should not spread themselves thin over all the social media and advertising platforms on the internet. Rather, they should choose which ones will be most effective at reaching their consumers and provide the largest ROI.
Takeaways: Social Media And AI Are The Future Of Digital Marketing In 2022
Overall, two major strategies stand out from our list. They are the future of digital marketing in 2022.
Social media is as relevant as ever, and it’s not going to let up in 2022. Especially with the rise of influencers, more people’s purchases are informed by the content they consume on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Furthermore, it’s a wonderful opportunity for brands to engage with their customers in a conversational tone and build a trusting connection that will convert sales.
AI and machine learning are becoming increasingly advanced and capable, which means their application in digital marketing is growing. Marketers can use these tools to handle tedious processes, which will increase their own productivity, efficiency, and quality of output. Furthermore, they can use these tools to optimize their ads and web content copy, to increase customer engagement and sales.
Most important of all is the fact that 2022 is looking bright for digital marketers.