The digital marketing landscape changes so rapidly that it’s nearly impossible to predict what the future of digital marketing may hold in terms of opportunities. We’ve seen new technologies, a social media backlash of sorts, and influencer marketing mature from its early days as a viable and powerful marketing channel in its own right over the last year or so. We’d like to take this opportunity to share some of the digital marketing trends we’re looking forward to seeing in 2022.
Digital Marketing Predictions for 2022
There are three major trends in the digital marketing industry that I believe everyone will be discussing. The first is the resurgence of Content Marketing as the primary marketing strategy for businesses. Before the pandemic, startup founders and B2B SaaS marketers would consider purchasing social media ads to help their businesses grow. They are now focusing even more on content marketing. Why? Because Google stated that content marketing is the most effective way to rank for buyer searches.
Content Marketing Institute
According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than two-thirds of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2022, with one-fifth planning to increase by double digits. AI-generated content is the second bug trend. We will begin to see the value of an AI-powered content marketing strategy. If 60-70 percent of the content we create is never used, AI will force us to reconsider what we create and why. You may not be aware that publications such as the Washington Post and others have been using AI to generate templated content (think sports scores and highlights or crime reports).
We tested a few of these services and found none to produce quality blog content or long-form articles. Anywhere near the level of quality required to rank for search or respond to technical or professional thought leadership requirements. However, that future may not be far away. Employee activation is the third most important trend. AI will tell us what to create, but our best storytellers are our current employees from across the organization. Every organization requires a strategy to engage these employees as content creators and the most effective distribution channel.
I like to refer to this as The AI Paradox: the more robots tell us what to do, the more we will need our internal experts to create and share that content. We’re pretty certain about a few things. For the time being, content marketing isn’t going away. But what other digital marketing trends could we expect to see as we approach 2022?
Everything Is Voice-Powered
Smart speakers and “assistants” have been around for a while. Still, they took off in 2017 and 2018 as people lost their fear of talking to their phones and a slew of new consumer devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home hit the market. There’s no reason to expect this mobile trend to slow down, and this hands-free technology will become an increasingly common way for users to interact with their devices. It is estimated that voice search powers more than half of all search queries.
With the rise of voice search-enabled smart devices, marketers will have more opportunities to market to those who own them. Amazon saw this opportunity early on when it began offering cheaper Kindle devices in exchange for agreeing to receive marketing communications. Targeted Alexa ads are already in the works, and other devices will undoubtedly follow.
Marketing and Support Technology Powered by AI
For a long time, artificial intelligence has been expanding what’s possible in the world of digital marketing. Still, in the coming years, we’ll see exponential leaps in what this technology is capable of. Chatbots will become a customer service standard and increasingly replace live agents. As machine learning algorithms become more complex and mimic humans with almost eerie accuracy. Marketing is becoming more conversational and personalized. Chatbots allow you to capitalize on this trend without putting additional strain on your staff or resources.
Artificial intelligence is also being used in advertising. While it hasn’t yet attained human-level creativity, Google is already running AI-powered ads to optimize campaigns. By identifying the best-performing ad designs and copy and automatically adjusting based on user engagement.
Social Media’s Future
You may believe that social media is already ubiquitous, but it still has room to expand. While the future of social media may be something, well, more social, the growth of these platforms is unlikely to slow anytime soon. Social media will continue to infiltrate every aspect of our lives and become truly integrated with online and offline services. In an episode of the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror, social media has spilled into the real world, with people rating their interactions with others and being awarded better housing, jobs, and social status based on their overall rating. Is it science fiction? Maybe for the time being, but the future isn’t so far away. Most of your phone’s apps are probably already sharing data with your social media networks. And it’s now standard practice for employers and recruiters to screen social media profiles before interviews.
So, what does this imply for marketers? As the AI algorithms used in social media become more sophisticated. There will be a better understanding of each customer as an individual and offer highly targeted offers and services.
Micro-influencer Marketing Is Taking Off
Influencer marketing has already grown in popularity in recent years, with top influencers on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube attracting millions of followers and earning six figures from brand deals. However, influencer marketing is still in its infancy. While it offers a higher ROI than more traditional advertising channels, some kinks work out. Fake followers are a current issue that is still being addressed. There have been some notable instances where brand/influencer relationships have backfired negatively.
Big-name influencers are also losing power as they accept more and more sponsored posts, reducing the authenticity and impact of their recommendations. As consumers continue to value personal recommendations over being marketed to, investing more in “micro-influencers” will make sense. Those social media users with a small but dedicated following can deliver truly authentic marketing messages to a trusting audience.
Augmented Reality Is Becoming More Common
Remember the Pokémon Go craze that swept the world in 2016? Video games used augmented reality for example in mobile game. But it was also a marketing opportunity, as businesses jumped at the chance to sell to customers.
Augmented reality is more than just a game-playing gimmick. It is increasingly being used as a tool for brands to reach out to customers. Ikea now has a virtual reality catalog where you can place furniture in your own home. Fashion brands are beginning to use augmented reality to allow their customers to virtually try on outfits in the comfort of their own homes. Expect to see more brands jump on the augmented reality bandwagon. With the technology gradually becoming more common with serious marketing goals rather than a cute trick.
Video is eclipsing all other digital channels
For years, savvy marketers have recognized the power of online video – in 2015. The Washington Post predicted that video would account for 80 percent of all online content by 2020. We’re not quite there yet, but the video is already proving to be a powerful medium, with live streaming video, in particular, seeing a massive increase over the last year or so. Video marketing can be extremely effective at increasing engagement levels. The consumer appetite for video shows no signs of abating. So YouTube has already surpassed Facebook as the second-most visited site (Google is number one, naturally).
If you haven’t fully embraced video in your brand marketing, you’re already behind, but it’s not too late to catch up. Exciting things were becoming possible with the combination of live video. They augmented reality, and original and creative videos are sure to be the big content channel winner as we enter 2019.
Getting Back to Basics with Employee Activation
Of course, all of these technological advances are exciting. Still, we must not lose sight of the fundamental principles that define a great marketing strategy and a great company. Employee activation will enable your organization to get the most out of every employee, who will act as brand ambassadors and grow sales and conversions genuinely and authentically that is more effective than any advertising campaign could ever be. Referring to the trend of micro-influencer marketing, when your employees are engaged, they will act as micro-influencers for your company. Suppose you successfully hire individuals who align with your brand values and help their passion for what you’re trying to achieve. In that case, they will act as your most devoted cheerleaders.
As our reliance on technology grows, more and more organizations recognize the need to be more “human” and activate employees’ storytelling and organic sharing power. That is the “paradox of AI,” as we learn to coexist with machines in this brave new world of possibilities.
There are a lot of moving parts in digital marketing. Through SEO, you can increase visibility and organic traffic, as well as establish a brand through your social media presence. Marketing automation can help you save time and provide a more personalised experience for your customers. PPC management can entail “jumping the line” on search engine result pages.
We understand that what worked in 2020 or 2021 may not work in 2022, and we must stay on top of these trends to provide the best possible results for our clients. As we enter a new decade and technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, we’d like to share the digital marketing trends we’re looking forward to seeing more of in 2022.
In addition, if you’d like to get more information about digital marketing, you can visit at our website Microsoft Softvire USA. We have different articles that can help you with your business.