After almost two years where the ground seemed to keep shifting under our feet, writing a post that predicts digital marketing trends for 2022 might look like nailing water to the wall. Luckily, these trends have nothing to do with a crystal ball, and everything to do with what has worked (and worked well) for marketers in the last few years.
With the continued rise of video content, influencer marketing, and social media activity, the expectations for digital marketers have evolved over the last year. 2022 will be a year of embracing the newer trends, while still holding onto the marketing tactics that have worked since the beginning. Check out the 5 trends I see making an impact on marketing campaigns.
Trend #1: Video or Die
Even prior to the pandemic, video marketing was a growing tactic in digital marketing campaigns. Marketers in both the B2B and B2C worlds are using short-form content packed with information that they can get in front of their audience in less than a minute. These easily consumed pieces of video of content are proving to attract customer attention and keep their interest.
I understand the hesitation that comes along with embracing video marketing.
What should be in my video – do I need special effects?
What if I make a mistake while talking?
How do I edit a video in a reasonable amount of time?
Many of us dislike being on video (one exception is our StitchDX president Erick Straghalis, featured constantly in our webinars) and we don’t jump on the opportunity to put ourselves on camera. The good news? Short-form videos are rising in popularity and are incredibly well-received by audiences.
89% of marketers will invest in short-form video marketing in 2022. Without a plan to invest in video marketing next year, you could find yourself falling behind your competition.
Trend #2: Influencer Marketing will become the best way to reach your audience.
Influencers are individuals who have become experts within the platforms they use (LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram) and are trusted by their audience. A well-known macro influencer usually has around 1 million (or more) followers on their social media accounts. For SMBs, the better option is investing in micro-influencers, which are individuals with 1,000-10,000 followers. These influencers have a higher engagement rate due to their more defined audiences – that is what leads to conversions.
Micro-influencers are seen as ‘everyday’ people by their audience, unlike celebrity macro-influencers whose lifestyles often seem unattainable. As a result, audiences are more likely to trust their opinions and recommendations.
Businesses can either leverage existing micro-influencers in their industry by creating a connection or build up their own following and become niche influencers. Check out how HubSpot explains the types of influencer marketing, and how you can become an influencer in your industry.
Trend #3: Put the time into your social media channels – especially LinkedIn.
When it comes to marketing tactics for SMBs, I love recommending social media to clients (and no, it’s not just because I’m a Gen-Zer.) With social media channels, you can share links to blog posts, build thought leadership, and generate brand awareness more consistently than with email. Globally, social media users reached 4.2 billion people in early 2021. Your audience is there – you just need to reach them on the right platform with the right content.
According to HubSpot, in 2022 most marketers will focus on just three to five social media platforms. Narrowing down the platforms we use mean we have more time to master those channels, and we can focus on the ones that our audiences use the most. B2B organizations will not succeed in social media marketing without a powerful strategy for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network online, with over 740 million users in 2020. Users on LinkedIn are usually looking to build professional relationships, and are open to seeing content about your product, organization, or expertise. With lead conversion rates 3x higher than other major platforms, LinkedIn has become as necessary as email marketing for SMBs.
Trend #4: Content marketing will remain essential for driving engagement.
Creating and sharing content like blog posts and case studies are the tried and true of content marketing. Blog writing has lasted so long because it works. Your blog is your collection of thought leadership, industry updates, and unique expertise that shows your audience what you do, and why you do it.
Putting more time into writing case studies will be an ongoing trend next year. This strategy is not new to 2022, but it will be gaining momentum in the coming months. 37% of marketers polled by HubSpot stated in 2022 they will utilize case studies in the marketing campaigns for the first time.
Well-crafted case studies allow your customers tell new prospects why they should invest in you. As CCO of Marketing Profs (and absolute content guru) Ann Handley shared “Tell your audience how your stuff helps people by telling them about those people, not by talking just about your stuff.”
Your customer is your greatest asset – their encouraging testimonials are the fastest way to prove your company delivers. It’s where customers can tell your audience why they chose you over the competition – talk about positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Trend #5: To grow as a digital business, you need to prioritize SEO.
Today, it is just about impossible for your audience to stumble onto your organization through an organic web search if you are not implementing an SEO strategy. As StitchDX Content VP Andy Peterson states “Organic SEO isn’t optional – it’s as essential to your website as content, images, and navigation.” With every business listed on the internet, you need to be on top of your SEO strategy by understanding the SEO basics, link building, and keyword research.
I won’t get into the specifics for keyword strategies (if you’re interested, you can explore a deeper dive here) but looking ahead, finding the right keywords that are unique to your field will be a necessity when it comes to ranking in search. 61% of marketers are prioritizing improving SEO to grow their online presence because it makes a difference.
Even in 2022, remembering the basics will help you get your business in front of your competition.
Whether it’s prioritizing a new strategy like influencer marketing or putting more time into your content creation, knowing what’s coming for digital marketing in 2022 will be essential for success. Know what has worked, what your audience will be looking for, and how to make your organization stand out against the competition.
Questions about how you can use this knowledge to grow your business? Reach out to our digital marketing experts or use the chat button in the bottom right corner – we’d love to help.