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What will the marketing world look like in 2022? There's no doubt that 2021 carried over many of the profound changes that occurred in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic. Yet, 2022 looks hopeful and with lots to offer in terms of new insights and better reach. For any marketing professional, business owner, or company seeking to leverage 2022 trends, it helps to know what's new and coming in the New Year. So, to offer some insights, check out these expectations for the year to come.

The Cookie - Why 2022 Hinges on These Changes

Many marketers recognize the big changes that are coming thanks to Google's announcement that it would end support of third-party cookies for those using the all-popular Chrome browser. It's estimated that 70 percent of all browser users bank on Chrome. That means a huge change for anyone that's relying on cookies as a component of their marketing campaign. This will create a significant change, but it's not the only concern.

Many advertisers use cookies as a way to track how people use the web to find what they need. Advertisers and businesses have long found tracking users like this beneficial – and even essential – when it comes to shaping their marketing plan and how they will overall reach people.

At the same time, most advertisers understand the concern on a personal level. Consumers are leery about their private information, and having computers tracking them doesn't seem right. Moreover, consumers are far more aware of their online privacy today than they used to be just a few years ago. That's led to many opting out of third-party cookies and tracking already.

What will happen to digital marketing, then? In regards to cookie tracking, it's likely we can expect to see a number of significant shifts:

  • Some advertisers are shifting to using first-party data to collect information about consumers.
  • Zero-party data is also gaining attention. The consumer gives this data to the brand, often using gamification strategies, interactions with brands online, or surveys.
  • It's also necessary to have robust CRM tools in place now, before the cookies are depleted, so to speak, so that you can embrace data faster and sooner.

 

Will the Pandemic's Digital Habits Remain?

Another factor that's likely to play a role in marketing is the shift in consumer habits resulting from the pandemic. The way people purchased goods changed, which changed the way companies needed to respond to their needs. The question is, then, will consumers revert back to their old habits when the pandemic starts to wane?

The digital habits consumers have made in the last two years are not likely to change drastically. Instead, these new consumer habits are likely to remain.

So what does it all mean for today's digital brands? What can you do to enhance 2022's objectives, especially around these two areas? Here are some expectations to keep in mind.

 

Consider Some Trends from Surveys

Salesforce offers some insight into what organizations are expecting in their 7th State of Marketing report. A poll of over 8,200 marketers sheds some light on expectations in the industry.

  • About 66 percent of marketers expect to see revenue growth in 2022 and beyond.
  • 90 percent of them say that 2020 helped to increase digital engagement, a trend that's likely to continue moving forward and well into 2022 (one of those consumer habits that's not likely to change).
  • 40 percent expect to increase data sources in the next year – that's going to be essential for more organizations due to the shift away from the use of cookies.

 

Influencer Marketing Is Likely to Grow

In 2020 and 2021, there was significant growth in influencer marketing. Experts believe today that it will grow even further in 2022. Of global marketing professionals asked by Hubspot, 34 percent said they were putting money into influencer marketing in 2022 – and they said they are making it their top investment. That includes spending more on it over mobile web design or the use of short-form video marketing.

It's estimated that 57 percent of marketing pros are using this type of marketing in a way that's proven effective. But 46 percent of those plan to up how much they are spending, with 11 percent saying that influencer marketing is their highest ROI producer.

 

The Investments in Online Events Will Be Worthwhile

Another big turn for 2022 will be the need for marketers to focus on online events when possible. That includes educational tools that draw in consumers and other stakeholders who want more information than ever to make decisions before investing. Consider tools like seminars and webinars. It's also going to play a big role in product launches as the pandemic continues to limit big in-person events.

More brands are likely to participate in these events creating new ways to reach a larger group of people. These events are valuable not just for strict advertising but also because they offer an excellent way to collect data that can be used for better marketing. That data helps to build consumer profiles that let brands better sell to customers later.

One of the core benefits to come from online events like this is that they provide great data that can replace what the cookie loss will create. But, at the same time, it's going to create a stronger relationship between brands and their audiences.

These types of events require careful planning and execution. They don't always lead to a specific, heavy hit in revenue building. Still, they do create engagement opportunities and brand building that builds long-term relationships that all brands need heading into the next few years.

 

Increased Use of Content Across More Channels and Methods

There's a stronger demand for content creation – that's not likely to change. However, there's likely to be a greater range of content types that will proliferate marketing in 2022. That includes more use of voice, video, and visual content. More so, that content needs to be accessible in a higher volume of mobile and social.

Transforming information into these types of media may be challenging in some industries, but marketers will need to find new ways to tell stories to connect with consumers who are looking for both information and value in anything they listen to, watch, or read.

That may be best done by looking for new ways to communicate messages – for example, creating an audio version of an article that can be shared alongside a video. Again, the more interactive and creative content is, the better it will resonate with customers.

 

Work to Build Your Audience - Aside from Relying on Social Media

Today, many companies put a lot of their marketing energy into building a following on social media networks. That's valuable and can provide a solid return now, but it's going to be even more difficult to do in the future.

Take a look at the figures –

Considering these figures alone, it's hard to compete and stand out. The problem is even worse when you consider that your audience is likely following numerous brands, and they don't always see what you post anyway, especially as social media networks like Facebook and Twitter control who sees your posts.

What does this mean for your efforts in 2022? First, it's important to build those networks and own more of your audience. Having direct ways to connect with and communicate with your audience in a more authentic manner.

One way to do this is to create newsletters. Getting into your reader's inbox isn't always easy, but it provides a way for you to control who sees what you have to say. When you build a marketing strategy around this, you're better able to gauge interest and data as well, something that's challenging when you're competing with a large number of other businesses to get the small fraction of attention your audience has to offer.

 

Short Video Content Is Best

Consumer habits have changed a great deal over time. Yet, one thing remains the same – consumers don't like to spend a lot of time on ads. Therefore, marketing strategies that involve video will need to keep those videos short and to the point, but at the same time memorable.

HubSpot found that 31% of marketers are likely to spend on short-form video content in 2022. And, 46 percent of those marketers find this to be an effective strategy when it comes to improving engagement and performance. It also reports that 89 percent of global marketers plan to continually invest in this format or increase the amount they are investing in it in the next few years.

There's still a place for long-form video, but that's more about telling stories and product descriptions more so than it is about marketing to capture attention and engagement with consumers.

Does that mean everything you do needs to be TikTok friendly? It could be an important platform but across many digital marketing efforts.

 

Consumers Demand Higher Quality Content

One of the ways that marketers will have to make a change in 2022 will be to create a higher quality of content. Consumers are more particular than ever about what they are willing to consume in terms of content. In 2022, their expectations of high-quality content will be even higher.

Digital content across the landscape needs to be more attention grabbing, interesting, and valuable. If content doesn't resonate quickly – remember that short attention span – in a positive way, consumers are less likely to take it in or remember it.

This puts more pressure on brands to spend more time creating higher quality content. In addition, brands will need to invest more time into learning what will resonate with their customers and clients and then create content that's more customized to their specific needs.

Content needs to appeal to the market segment or customer base you are targeting. That may mean creating more types of content to reach a larger range of people rather than creating a broad plan to address all needs at one time.

 

Brand Images Will Be a Valuable Tool

Another way to modify marketing strategies for 2022 is to focus more heavily on building a strong brand image. That may mean spending a bit more time and money on creating a truer brand. A brand's image is everything. Creating a strong brand image means paying much closer attention to the words you're using. Communicating the right message remains important, of course, but consider the more effective use of words.

Quick communication is valuable. Digital advertisers need to be creative enough to build a marketing strategy that provides more on-point and focused results.

Consider the value of Google Ads. They continue to be an important part of the process of marketing today. Yet, the cost of Google Ads continues to rise. In addition, the competition to advertise online has increased, which drives up costs. In short, it's critical to choose wording and branding that's very specific.

How do you build a brand with costs rising? You could spend more. Another option for 2022 is to focus on building your brand in a more organic manner. Raising brand awareness organically in numerous ways may help to reduce your reliance on paid advertising.

There are various ways to do this. The key is to consider which methods may be best for your audience. For example, it may be beneficial to start a weekly podcast to connect with your customers in some cases. Another option may be to create a higher quality of web content that is shared for its value of effectiveness.

When building awareness on a scale like this, plan for the long-term reward – it's going to take time to develop content and to build an audience. Yet, it's possible to see a significant return right away once that's happening.

 

Mobile Optimization Will Be Critically Important for Major Companies

Many organizations have moved to mobile optimization in the last two years as a result of the pandemic. However, mobile optimization is likely to be even more important going forward. According to some reports, more than half of online website traffic each year comes from mobile devices. Moreover, mobile-optimized digital experience is quite important because millennials and Gen Z are growing in their buying power in 2022.

Why is this so important? HubSpot provides a few good reasons:

  • 84 percent of marketers who invest in mobile web design are planning to invest the same amount or more in 2022.
  • 64 percent of SEO marketers call mobile optimization and effective investment

Mobile is here to stay. Undoubtedly, this will continue into 2022 and beyond, but those who master it are most likely to find success in the long term.

 

Focus on Becoming a Thought Leader in Your Sector

We've noted how important it is to provide quality content in any form to your customers a few times. That's going to be more important than ever as consumers focus only on taking in media they deem valuable. One way to ensure they take a closer look at what you have to offer is to become a thought leader in the industry.

Reports found that Americans are typically exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. That's an incredible number of ads. How many do you think they actually remember?

Consumers are hit with ad after ad all day long. They've learned how to tune out what's inefficient or just a hard sell. That's why building a strong thought leader brand can prove critical to many organizations.

If you are still hard selling to your customers, it may be time to add in the "why?" Why should they listen to you? What do you have to offer that makes what you have to offer better?

Consumer education is valuable. When people go online to find something, they don't just want to buy. Many times, they want to learn what they should buy. With that comes the need to find resources to answer their questions.

Organizations that can produce content that educates and provides truly original, one-of-a-kind quality are most likely to build a strong audience in the coming year.

 

Finding the Right Partner to Create the Results You Desire

LAIRE provides you with a way to grow new revenue using digital marketing. We're working with brands to help them compete heavily in 2022, using new strategies and resources to capitalize on the current world's trends. Our goal is to provide you with the digital marketing tools right for your business. That includes providing you with a strategic plan that's perfectly suited to building your business. So take a closer look at what we can do to help you win the marketing game in 2022 in a way that's going to build your future for decades to come.

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