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Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2022

2022 Digital Marketing Predictions (Credit: Nicole Avagliano | Unsplash)

Written by Alun John

Alun founded Marketing Tom and delivers some of its courses.

January 11, 2022

What are the digital marketing predictions for 2022?

Last year I published an article on the top digital marketing trends for 2021. It was one of our most popular blogs of the year and served as a useful discussion topic and reference point for both our CIM and 1-day course students. So, this year I have decided to do a quick tour of some of the top business and digital marketing sites and see what digital marketing experts predict in 2022.

Social media marketing in 2022: What do the experts predict? (Econsultancy)

This article groups trends according to topic and offers opinions and predictions from top digital marketing experts.

Social becomes a learning platform.

As a digital marketing training company this was bound to catch my attention! Tom Jarvis makes some very interesting observations about “social media emerging as a learning platform – everything from #booktok to #financetok has exploded on the platform” and he goes on to say that as a result of the pandemic “people turned to social media to learn and uncover the subjects they are passionate about.”  Much the same as last year we see that the pandemic is changing work/social and this disruption is here to stay.

Jim Meadows echoes the thoughts of Jarvis and further says that we have moved on from social media for entertainment to social media as a vehicle to educate ourselves. It brings to mind a TikToker I read about recently, Miss Excel, who offers Excel tips through TikTok and uses it as a vehicle to drive traffic to her website where she offers online excel training. Check her out:

@miss.excel “Can you fill me in?” – Row 2 #edutok #excel #stemlife #learnontiktok #motivationmonday ♬ Fill Me In – Loud Luxury & Ryan Shepherd

A slowdown in social sharing (on open platforms)

Tom Jarvis believes that social media will become less a place of status updates and will become our main form of communication. He backs this up by saying closed platforms, like messaging apps, have seen US teens send an average of 50 private messages a day. He also points to Snapchat being “the default app for many teens” . He believes that messaging is something we will do not only with friends but also brands and the world around us. Also interesting is that he points to a lack of trust in social platforms and this is something that I would wholeheartedly agree with him on.

The domination of TikTok

TikTok has seen phenomenal growth in 2021 and, very interestingly, usage overtook that of Instagram among Gen Z. If you’re targeting a young market (let’s say under 30’s) you may find it interesting to note that 63% of TikTok’s users fall into this category. Brands have started to incorporate TikTok into their social media video efforts and this trend will continue. Just do a search for various brands or companies on TikTok and there’s a good chance you will see them testing the waters.

Communities and closed platforms to flourish

When most of us started using Facebook for Business the only option for us was Facebook Groups. But then they rolled out Pages and many of us gravitated towards them, leaving Facebook Groups behind. However, over the last couple of years brands/companies have started to see the value of these closed platforms, away from the public eye where they can engage/teach/learn with their customers.

Michelle Goodall make some interesting observations that brands are struggling to generate content and are migrating away from platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and are starting  to look at online communities which “enable brands to create experiences and foster discussions that their community truly values, and at the same time, respects and protects their data.” I suppose it does make sense that brands are asking why should brands like Facebook benefit from OUR engagement with OUR customers, why do they get to keep all that valuable data?

8 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Continue in 2022 (Ahrefs)

In this article the focus is on “eight trends that aren’t just industry fads but general directions that marketing is heading toward in 2022 and beyond.”

I’m not going to discuss in depth them as they are, largely, self explanatory but I would recommend reading the article as each of the trends is broken down in to an overview of the trend and a useful “What to do about it” which help you think about how you could apply the trend to your own organisation.

  1. Search intent is king – search intent is here to stay. Learn what it is and consider the 3 C’s of search intent!
  2. Word of mouth is still a trend – WOM has been around for a long time and is here to stay. Consider that 83% of people trust recommendations from friends and family and 74% of purchasers in some categories say WOM is the main point of influence.
  3. Privacy factors will impact digital advertising
  4. Omnichannel marketing is a must – here’s something to consider: “the purchase rate of omnichannel campaigns is 287% higher than single channel campaigns and, according to Gardner customers expect businesses to be available on any channel that’s convenient for them”
  5. Video is an essential marketing channel – nuff said!
  6. Data changed marketing for good – the takeaway here is to connect to quality data sources and get yourself or your staff trained up on it.
  7. Frictionless experience is ideal for customers – bottom line is to make things as easy as possible for the customer. Remove the hurdles.
  8. Remote work is here to stay – according to PWC the transition from office to home was largely successful for employers (83%) and similar (71%) for employees. However, we probably won’t be mothballing offices yet as most companies will be transitioning towards a hybrid model.

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10 Trends (or Digital Marketing In 2022 (Forbes)

I’m not gonna list everyone of these (click on the link above to see them all) but just highlight some of my favourites.

Email Most Important Channel – Email always seems to be there or thereabouts on predictions – the killer app that we don’t seem to use enough. Melissa Sargeant reckons that there are three trends that have led to the prioritisation of email: personalisation, automation and privacy. Her company, Litmus, did a survey and found that 91% of respondents said that “email was critical to the overall success of the company” – up 20 points on 2019!

Discounts Losing Favor Fast – in the past brands were keen to offer/incentivise customers via discounts. According to Shareen Hilal, brands will start in 2022 to look more at unique offerings for customers – “based directly on what they know about shoppers (i.e., they’ll buy based on free shipping), as well as on their own unique selling points (i.e., free personalization, in-store experiences).”

Advertising Postcards Reach People Where They Live – now this is an interesting one and one I wouldn’t expect to see on the Forbes Digital Trends list! However, it reminds me of conversation I had with a student who told me that they were using direct mail for one of their clients because there is now a lot less noise in the mailbox. And, it works.

Digital Storytelling Separates Amateurs From Pros – I thought that this observation by Lisa Apolinski was really interesting on the subject of digital storytelling, “Many companies are still making their stories about themselves versus how clients can find success with the help of the company’s products and services.”. This is another topic that we often discuss on our digital marketing courses – that of going beyond what the product is and how great you (the company) are and focus things like how customers use your product and how it benefits them. 

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022: Predictions From the Pros (Social Media Examiner)

I thought that I’d finish up with the top predictions (from the Pros) from Social Media Examiner. There are 21 in total but I thought I’d go through the first 10 and you can check out the rest yourselves! I’ll list them and point out some salient points and observations.

#1: Reels Contribute to Overall Instagram Marketing Success  Adam Mosseri of Instagram says that users are now asking for more entertaining video content and that businesses should embrace this shift to video. It must become a core part of your strategy. He does note that visitors attention span is getting, though it might be worth juxtaposing this observation against #3 below. He says that reels  are “our clients’ top-performing organic and paid ad creatives—especially ones that feel more organic/authentic and don’t look like a typical ad”. He mentions aligning reels to strategy and talks of their use in the marketing funnel. 🤔

#2: Facebook Ads Performance Is More Effective –  like Adam Mosseri Tara Zirker mentions the use of reels & TikToks in your ads. She also says that in turns of video (ads) “make no mistake, short-form, educational, entertaining video is here to stay”.

#3: What’s Old Is New Again: Long-Form Content Retakes Center Stage – Reels have increased to 60 seconds, TikTok to 3 minutes, the Social Media Examiner CEO, Michael Stelzner, believes that “longer-form audio and video become front and center in 2022.”.

#4: Niche Facebook Experiences Become Prominent Marketing Channels – we have mentioned this trend of communities before and Mari Smith, Facebook guru/evangelist, flags this up as a 2022 trend. She identifies 3 main areas that businesses should focus on “help deepen their relationships and build more trust with their audience: Facebook Groups, Live Audio Rooms and Facebook Live”. She also says to go “all in on Facebook Reels, if you can, for maximum organic reach and engagement”,. So, what are you waiting for? 🏃

#5: Marketers Ignore Marketing Basics  – these basics cover a range of digital activities and are worth considering. He says most companies don’t:

    • discuss cost and pricing considerations of their products or services on their website
    • align sales and marketing departments
    • offer self-service tools on their websites

#6: Organic Instagram Video Builds Intimacy and Trust – the bottom line from Sue B. Zimmerman is to use video across all your activities on Instagram, from Reels to Direct Messages to Live. Like many others she says the word for 2022 is INTIMATE “people are craving intimacy on social media—and from the businesses they buy from—more than ever.”

#7: Instagram Feature Overwhelm Forces Strategic Focus  Elise Darma says that Instagram can feel a little overwhelming and it feels like a part-time job for many SME’s, so these businesses need to use it more efficiently. You must focus on features that work for you.

#8: YouTube Shorts Is a Distraction  – Jessica Stansberry offers sound advice from the off “More than any other strategy or hack on YouTube, understanding that the algorithm’s entire job is to pair the right content with the right viewer is crucial, and going into 2022, it’s the key to success.” She says you need to understand how videos are found in search and, this is important to realise, search is changing. If you have used YouTube Shorts, you may need to rethink your strategy. She mentions that customers are not just looking for an answer to their problems but also want to get to know you and your brand.

#9: Video Leads Organic LinkedIn Marketing – have you heard/used LinkedIn Creator Mode? Well, you may want to check it out. Launched in 2021 it’s LinkedIn’s way of encouraging and supporting “professionals and businesses in posting more original content and amplifying their brand messaging.” It will, apparently, feature short videos at some point this year. LinkedIn strategist also says “become a more valuable place for video marketing content with a great ROI.”

#10: Ecommerce Grows on TikTok, Trend Lifespan Shortens – TikTok marketing expert, Wave Wyld, sees 4 areas that will offer opportunities to monetise in 2022:

  • Livestreaming. Popular at the moment but it will grow.
  • Further opportunities for social commerce, especially as it’s partnered with Shopify.
  • “Authenticity, personality and relatability will continue to be key factors for success in video performance and community building for small businesses”
  • More demand for user Generated Content

I hope that you find the predictions from Econsultancy, Ahrefs, Forbes and Social Media Examiner of use. I find it a useful exercise myself and one then helps we develop ideas for the coming year. Please feel to leave your thoughts below and I hope you have a great 2022!


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