The pandemic hit the world, and with it came changes to how the internet works. Now more than ever, consumers are consuming digital information. Therefore, no matter your field or industry, it is crucial that you understand how digital trends are coming along, and that digital marketing will become more critical for the success of businesses. In this article, we will help you understand some of the top digital marketing trends and how they will affect consumer habits in the future.
Latest Digital Marketing Trends
Below we will explain some of the top marketing strategies and trends this year!
Influencer and Micro-influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing involves partnering with an influencer to pass your brand message to an audience. The reason influencers are quickly gaining traction and becoming a common digital marketing trend is that there is a lot of noise on social media. Therefore, getting an influencer who is trusted and connects with a particular audience may work positively for your business.
Influencer marketing is probably the biggest trend in online marketing today because influencers are usually masters of their field. They know and understand the subject matter and understand the topics they are talking about. Furthermore, they have an interested and engaged audience already, and their audience is influenced by the information they provide about different topics.
If you are a marketer and you interact with influencers and other thought-leaders in your field, you get to expand brand awareness and even get more fans from your marketing.
In 2022, influencer marketing is set to grow into a more commonplace marketing tactic. Currently, according to Hubspot, up to 57% of marketers who use this digital marketing strategy believe it is effective, and up to 46% of them want to increase their investments in 2022. Therefore, it means that influencer marketing is one example of a marketing trend that is generating a sufficient return on investment.
Even more intriguing is the concept of micro-influencers.
Despite having a small following, micro-influencers can also have a positive impact on brands because they are trustworthy. What they may lack in numbers they make up for strong media engagement.
As we move further into 2022, micro-influencers are helping brands connect more with audiences, boosting brand awareness and converting leads into customers. However, you should be careful when engaging with an influencer or even a micro-influencer. Apart from looking up the number of followers on their pages, you should also take note of the engagement rates as this is where their true influence lies. Furthermore, because these influencers will be strongly linked to your brand, you need to carefully choose people who will lift your brand and not expose you to unnecessary controversy.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and the Metaverse
Social media took the world by storm, but now it is time for the new kids on the block to enter the scene. The metaverse augmented reality and virtual reality are here to take over. Augmented reality consists of visual technologies that combine the digital world and the real world while virtual reality involves the use of optical technologies and the digital world that someone can immerse themselves in and enjoy.
While these technologies have been around for years, people have recently become more interested in and embraced these technologies even more. Now, AR, VR, and the metaverse are platforms through which people are connecting and maintaining social ties.
While many businesses are still stuck in the world of Instagram or LinkedIn and other social media marketing options, it may be time for you to start thinking of ways to expand your strategy so you can use some of these advanced tools. As of now, most successful businesses have already embraced the use of virtual reality and up to two-thirds of consumers would like to use augmented reality as part of their shopping experience.
For instance, some companies now have a virtual try-on feature that allows their clients to have an idea of how clothes or makeup would fit them before they make a purchase.
Further, visual search is also quickly coming up and will continue to grow shortly. Some of the outstanding visual search innovations include the Google lens that allows the user to take a picture of an object and can find similar projects online for purchase. For instance, if a consumer needs a flower vase that they like or need at a particular office and they do not know the maker or supplier, they can simply take a photo of the object and find that item or similar ones for sale online. However, this type of search is best for items like clothing, home décor, and footwear. Additionally, voice search is taking center stage because speaking is much faster than typing.
Such features are useful for consumers because they enhance user experience and are convenient. You can implement algorithms that start with online image searches and generate results that are the same product or upsell or recommend other similar or complementary products to the user.
As a marketer, you need to realize that it is especially the millennials and Gen X that are embracing this technology. Given that they are gaining buying power, this is a trend you do not want to ignore.
While many other trends may come and go, some building blocks of the internet and search engines such as content remain. Therefore, even as the year progresses, you can expect that content will still reign supreme.
The reason content can never go out of style is that original well-produced, simple and clear content is engaging and evergreen. What you can expect is that content will evolve. Today, people are very selective about the type of content they consume on the internet and what they share on different platforms.
Video content has become increasingly popular since the rise of COVID-19. Now more than ever, businesses are embracing this trend with the hope that it will work for them. However, the biggest challenge will be to optimize video content so that it stands out and the customer chooses it over those of their competitors. There are now tools that marketers and business owners can use to produce quality videos. What took an entire team to produce and edit can now be accomplished through the use of simple tools such as Adobe Spark Video.
Furthermore, you can embrace platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook that allow marketers to make short videos that can quickly go viral. Tiktok videos are not made from advanced video tools. However, the DIY aesthetic that comes with these videos has increasingly gained traction as it is relatable and personable. Furthermore, human brains are more responsive to instant gratification. Therefore, a shorter, more interesting video is more likely to attract and retain the attention of the audience.
If you have not embraced video content as part of your overall content strategy, this is a good time to start.
Other forms of Content
Apart from the video content, there is an overwhelming amount of written information out there. Therefore, consumers are seeking unique content. As a company, you need to add a unique twist to your content.
One of the best ways to add quality is to work on unique educational content. You can write articles and blog posts, or you can choose a more interactive approach by adding games, quizzes, and questions to your blogs or websites. Interactive spaces on platforms such as Instagram are doing exceptionally well.
Additionally, it is best to avoid putting up subpar content. Today’s consumers lean more towards quality content. Having anything other than the best means going below their expectations and they will barely tolerate it. Instead of posting mediocre content every day, you are better off posting quality content that is engaging and relevant every so often.
According to marketing experts, Americans are exposed to as high as 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day. Such an amount of information can be overwhelming and this often leads to brain overload. As a result, consumers have become immune to outbound selling methods and tactics. For this reason, they have learned to be distrustful and turn defensive when approached by brands to make purchases. So, how can your company stand out?
Instead of using outbound methods and hard-selling your services or products to your audience, you can position yourself as an industry leader and let them come to you instead.
Big companies such as Apple have established themselves as industry leaders. While it is tempting to think that it is their products that have put them ahead of the competitor, this cannot be further from the truth. Their success involves more than just eye-catching products. Apple educates its audience so much through well-crafted ads and giving platforms through which they educate customers about products. Apple users and interested parties can go to the Genius Bar and explore different products, get help, and even ask related questions.
It would be unusual to find any resource that is asking clients to switch from one product to another or to buy something. Instead, the Genius Bar focuses on highlighting the different capabilities of different items, and the customers can draw their conclusions and buy as they please.
Other brands are quickly catching up and have started realizing the power of inbound marketing for their products. Therefore, as a marketer, it is time to realize that hard selling is going to become obsolete. Therefore, you should redirect your energy towards developing an inbound marketing strategy that involves educating your audience and creating convenience for them as they come to you as a trusted partner for their needs.
Native advertising involves using content to promote products, services, or brands. While this is not a new concept, the use of native advertising will increase in the new year. Since many internet users are moving away from intrusive banner ads and other forms of advertising, native advertising, which is more subtle, is quickly beginning to take center stage. The reason why native content is better is that for the most part, users cannot differentiate between organic content and native content.
However, some users may not be pleased to learn that they are reading sponsored ads. Some forms of native content that you can embrace include:
Sponsored content is one of the key digital marketing trends you can use to enhance rather than interrupt customer experience. Sponsored content is often exclusive and is sponsored by a brand. The content is made by a third party. While consumers may not necessarily like the concept of advertisements, they understand its value in the marketing ecosystem and would appreciate a good ad. One of the best and safest ways to execute sponsored content as part of your larger digital marketing strategy is by promoting organic posts. For example, you can choose an article, get paid for it, and expose it to a larger audience.
One of the biggest perks of using sponsored content is that it is more likely to generate a positive return on investment and is cost-effective, especially if it was originally successful organically. Furthermore, using sponsored posts means that the content should blend in perfectly with your platform. So as a digital marketer, you have to be more discerning when developing a strategy that includes sponsored content.
Either way, sponsored content is a win all around. Business owners can increase the number of views on their platforms while consumers enjoy high-quality content.
Conversational marketing is one of the marketing tools you should embrace as we dive further into 2022. If you haven’t, you should start gearing your marketing efforts towards this strategy.
But what exactly is conversational marketing and how does it fit into the context of business?
Conversational marketing involves using a dialogue-driven and customer-centric approach as part of your marketing strategy. Digital marketers love this strategy for its ability to improve customer experience, drive interactions between brands and customers and grow company or business revenue all at the same time.
Through conversational marketing, a brand can foster relationships with customers and improve the entire online customer experience as using this marketing strategy allows you to customize online communications. Some conversational marketing tools you need to take into consideration in 2022, include:
Chatbots have provided platforms through which conversational marketing can go on throughout the day and night. Therefore, each minute is a chance for you to engage with visitors who are ready to talk to you. Furthermore, you can send specific messages to visitors and let them interact with you. A chatbot can understand leads and qualify them in real-time on your behalf so they are immediately engaged and do not have to wait for follow-ups.
Live chat allows the customer to speak directly to company representatives for technical support or other customer service-related issues. Usually, it works as a pop-up chat window on the website and can be used to provide information about the company’s products or other aspects of service.
Digital marketers need to understand the place of each of these conversational marketing tools in their digital marketing strategies. However, you can tactfully find ways to use these tools creatively. For instance, you can use them alongside social media marketing and see the difference it makes. In most cases, a strategy with multiple techniques is more likely to yield more positive results.
Today, advancements in artificial intelligence technology and data science have become the center-place in helping marketers analyze browsing history, purchase behavior, and every other information that can help them personalize advertising campaigns and personalize marketing.
Therefore, successful businesses are now seriously looking into automation. As a brand, instead of showing intrusive ads that fill the minds of your consumers and create a picture of distrust and disinterest, it would work best for you if you could create a unique and personal advertising and marketing strategy that works more to benefit the customers’ interests.
Through AI, you can know the customer’s next move, which means that this technology can help you build a more intelligent business campaign. Therefore, your ads will be right for your prospective customer. Instead of sowing discord and distrust, this type of personalized experience will help create customer loyalty and benefit the target audience.
Mobile optimization is one of the biggest trends in online marketing that will continue picking up in the new year. The reason it will become more prominent is that more and more people are spending time on their mobile devices, particularly their phones. Now, over half of the yearly web traffic is from mobile devices.
Furthermore, the increase in web traffic can be attributed to the growth of generation Z and millennial audiences. These two generations are positively influencing buying power and will need more mobile-optimized experiences online. Therefore, if you are a business owner that works closely with these generations, you may need to consider upping your mobile optimization game.
Each year, digital marketing continues to evolve rapidly. However, 2022 is unique because of the current conditions. Due to the presence of COVID-19, people are spending more time on their phones and expecting more quality content. As a business, this is the best time to see how you can incorporate new techniques into your marketing strategy. Above, we have discussed some of the top digital marketing trends that you can incorporate into your strategy. They include the use of augmented reality and virtual reality, mobile automation, influencers and micro-influencers, marketing automation, conversational marketing, native advertising, inbound marketing, and content marketing.
Whether you are a business owner or a marketer, you will need to take note of these trends and look at which ones will fit your marketing strategy this year according to your industry and goals.
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