As the year draws to a close, it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted the way in which we consume content and in which companies promote their products and services online. Amid the pandemic, people’s expectations are growing for brands to take a stand against inequality and celebrate diversity.
While the digital landscape is unpredictable and ever-changing, this year came with some impressive developments aimed to help brands and creators get closer to their target audience. 2021 saw the massive growth of TikTok as the social media platform targeting the Gen Z audience, as well as the arrival of new audio social networks such as Clubhouse aimed to connect people from all over the world. TikTok already has over 1 billion users and is expected to reach 1.5 billion users by the spring of 2022.
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have experienced dozens of new features and they’ve expanded the opportunities for e-commerce activity on the apps, with Twitter being the latest to add a new Shopping tab for brands.
However, you might be wondering: where is digital marketing headed in 2022 and how can you stay ahead of the game? In this blog, we’ve rounded up the top 4 digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2022 and how you can leverage them to grow your business in the digital space:
1. Community content holds the spotlight
If the pandemic has taught us anything, that is the power of community during tough and uncertain times. In today’s oversaturated market, consumers crave authenticity and they increasingly look to connect with brands on a much deeper level before making a purchase.
When was the last time you reviewed your mission and brand values? Do they still reflect your business today? Consumers want to put their trust in brands which have similar values and which are driven by integrity and belief through their actions. As a result, you should tweak your mission statement to make sure it’s still relevant and you should aim to create a stronger customer experience.
While the concept of user-generated content is not new, content focused on community-building holds a great value and it cannot be neglected by brands anymore. If you’re not familiar with the term, user-generated content, or UGC for short, is any type of content that has been created, published and/or submitted by users of a brand.
You should look to build a UCG strategy and the best way to start is by looking at your audience and engaging with them. For instance, you can reshare their existing photos that they’ve posted about your brand, reply to their mentions and interact with them in the comments so they know they are valued members of your community.
2. Personalisation is key
Creating content that targets everyone and has no tailored messaging will deliver little to no results for your business. To avoid that, you should try to learn more about your audience and their online habits so you can better understand what type of content will best resonate with them. Do your market research for your demographics, look at your competitors and create fictional characters, otherwise known as buyer personas, to outline your ideal customer and shape them with information such as education level, personality traits, career and income.
Once you have a clear idea of who your customers are and where they come from, you should direct your marketing efforts towards creating personalised content and ads that specifically target them and aim to solve their problems. Taking the time to understand the platforms your audience uses means you can make sure your message reaches the right people at the right time, thus increasing customer loyalty.
3. Video-content is the #1 way to build trust
Video will continue to be one of the most efficient methods to build trust and intimacy with your audience.
Instagram has seen the introduction of Instagram Reels and YouTube has adopted YouTube Shorts as a smart way to create more meaningful connections and bring audiences together. In other words, the variety of video formats available at your fingertips will only continue to develop and thus will allow you to attract more prospects and humanise your brand through behind-the-scenes, dynamic and unfiltered content.
4. Social commerce will continue to grow
It’s predicted that the social media commerce will only continue to increase in 2022, therefore allowing users to purchase directly through social media apps like TikTok and Instagram Shopping. According to research, 97% of Gen Z members say that social media is their top source of shopping inspiration, while 62% of 13-to-39-year-olds agree that they are interested in purchasing items straight from their social feeds.
As a result, there is a huge potential for e-commerce activity through social media and as a brand or creator, you should aim to create a smooth shopping experience that is both functional and easy to navigate.
Are you ready to upscale your marketing in 2022?
Keeping on top of these trends is the best way to stay informed and make sure you’re ahead of your competition. We predict 2022 will be a big year where the digital marketing landscape will only continue to expand and consumers will expect more transparency and thought-provoking content from brands.
If you want to give your marketing the glow-up it deserves, get in touch with our team today and let us do the hard work for you. We’ll work together step-by-step to build your brand’s identity online and help you achieve your marketing goals so your business will get noticed in the digital space.