Marketing Trends For 2022 – Part 1

The marketing landscape seems to have stabilized a bit over the past year from the wild pivots that were needed in 2020 but that also means that all of the changes that were coming prior to that were put on hold. In 2022, we expect to see the rapid mainstream emergence of various digital marketing technology such as AR and VR, as well as growth in the use of social media platforms and demand for more responsible consumerism.

Trends for 2022 - Part 1

We see the trends expected to emerge or continue to grow in 2022 in 4 main categories – Marketing Concepts, Social Media, Search and Content. In this blog, Marketing Trends For 2022 – Part 1, we’ll take a look at the first 2 categories.

Marketing Concepts

By a large margin, the biggest trend in 2022 will be that EVERYTHING focuses on customer experience. And we’re not just talking once they’ve bought your product. We’re talking from the moment they hear about your company, through to the after care service they receive and repeat purchases.

Delighting your customers is no longer the job of your sales team, it is the job of every. single. employee. in your company!

Your marketing needs to target the right customers and be personalized to their needs as much as possible. Tools to make this happen are becoming better and more affordable but privacy changes are going to mean you have to find ways to understand your customers without third party cookies or relying on platforms to have all of this information for you.

The best way to truly connect with your customers and build lasting relationships is by connecting to their emotional needs and providing solutions for them. Knowing the underlying emotional need of your customers allows you to personalize your messaging, create amazing content that they will love (and will convert) and service them in a way that will make them an advocate for your business. Sharing your values is a simple way to build a quick connection with your target audience.

On the topic of values, responsible consumerism is another trend that will continue to deepen this year. Customers are demanding that businesses stand for something and positively contribute to the betterment of society rather than just collecting their profits. What this looks like will be different for every business, but finding ways to connect to what matters to your community and showing support for it will make the world of difference towards growing your brand relationships.

This is often a way you can help to bridge the gap between your customers online and offline experiences. Using your business as a way for them to support causes they care about or to get more involved in their community is a great way to take what they see online (website, social media, email) and bring life to it in a way they care about offline.

Bridging the gap between online and offline experiences can also include the use of technology tools such as allowing customers to virtually “try on” an item before purchase. This is not exclusive to their clothes either. You can try on a paint colour, see what furniture will look like in your home, view hair changes, vehicle decals, a new smile, a tattoo and almost anything your heart desires. Finding ways for customers to try a product or envision how it will look/work/affect them is going to become very important over the next few years.

Another aspect of this is being able to seamlessly buy online and return instore. Or to view items in a store, then purchase online afterward. Rather than seeing the two as separate or competing with each other, storefront businesses that will succeed most over the next few years will be those that learn how to take the store experience home with their customers. Think bottling sauces to take home, DIY videos, workshops and so much more. This is an area where creativity and empathy will shine!

Your customers want to be delighted. They want their digital and real worlds to intertwine. They want to know that if they are at home, they can still have many of the things they could outside of their home. They want to interact with the world any time, any where and exactly how they want. Sounds easy enough, right?!

Watch for our upcoming blogs breaking down each of these concepts with practical advice on how to apply them in your marketing.

Social Media

Well, we would be remiss to talk about social media in 2022 and not start with Facebook’s change over to Meta, which signals the new era of the Metaverse!

This is going to be huge and business would do well to start finding ways to advertise using AR and VR now to get ahead of the curve. No matter what anyone says, Facebook has staying power and people are not leaving the platform in the numbers that were once forecasted. Facebook has moved itself from a platform with waning interest to a robust universe where you can watch video, Live’s, shop and trade (Marketplace). You can create communities and connect with others in ways that you simply can’t on other platforms. We predict that Facebook is here to stay and will require lots of adjustment to continue being relevant as a business advertising on their platform in the years to come.

Speaking of platforms that are dominating, LinkedIn and Tik Tok continue their rapid growth and will also continue to play a role in the marketing strategies of businesses. The key to these platforms is to not jam them into a box. While LinkedIn is definitely a B2B platform, those using it multiple times a day are also B2C buyers. And Tik Tok is no longer for Gen Z exclusively. It has rapidly reformed into a great place to share bite sized messages, often infused with a lot of fun. It’s an excellent way for many brands to connect with their audiences and get viral traction.

Regardless of the platform, influencer marketing is also growing at a rapid pace. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling to consumers or businesses, influencers are gaining traction as a key way to grab attention and get noticed. If you want to grow your audience on any social platform, working with influencers is the fastest way to do so. But it’s not cheap and requires time to build relationships that are truly beneficial. Otherwise, your customers and their followers see through it right away. So choose your influencers wisely and create lasting relationships. Going out and choosing anyone with a strog following and a price tag will not net you the results you want. More on this in a coming blog!

While we’re on the topic of influencers, one great strategy that is crucial to creating credibility for your business is user generated content or  turning your customers into microinfluencers. When someone enjoys your brand enough to share their experience or tag your company, it’s as powerful as a positive review or referral in many cases. And when you share their content, you’re further engaging with your customers, allowing their to strengthen their emotional tie to your brand. Its a win on so many levels and that’s why it continues to be a growing trend into 2022.

Lastly, social commerce is in major growth mode right now. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are making it easier than ever to sell your products right from the platform. Making it easier for consumers by meeting them where they spending their time, and not making them go looking for the details, will reduce cart abandonment and can often act as an supplement for adding e-commerce to your site if your offering doesn’t warrant a full shop set up.

We’ll continue exploring each of these trends in social media and the other key trend areas in our blog and on our podcast over the next few months. Be sure to follow, subscribe and stay tuned for more!

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