By Emma Lewis, Myriad Associates Ireland.
There are around 8.5 billion google searches made every day across the world – and for digital marketers 2022 is set to be a humdinger of a year. Indeed, digital marketing is one area of technology that is constantly evolving, with companies all vying to get their voices heard.
This year is also a pretty unique one as the world starts to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses in every sector from travel and hospitality to retail and manufacturing are bouncing back.
With innovative activities in the digital marketing space can come lucrative tax and funding incentives like R&D Tax Credits. As much as 30% of eligible R&D costs can be reclaimed as a tax rebate or lump sum from Revenue, meaning even the smallest companies can get in on the action. Similar schemes exist in other countries too.
So what digital marketing trends should we be looking out for as 2022 unfolds?
- The metaverse
The metaverse encompasses a broad spectrum of “life online”, from social media to gaming, virtual and augmented reality and 3D holographic avatars. It essentially refers to the online environment where people work, learning, socialise and play.
The metaverse is expanding rapidly and should make up a key part of marketing strategies in the coming years.
Digital marketers are now starting to engage in experimentation, ‘holding’ virtual objects and gaining insights into how digital adverts are experienced by consumers. This includes how their peripheral vision registers the ad for example.
The knowledge gained means that digital markets can really understand what makes their audiences tick, providing valuable data into what works and what doesn’t. Although many parts of the metaverse are still in their infancy, brands should still have their finger on the pulse for early adoption.
- Short videos
Where traditional social media was all status updates and photos, TikTok has drastically altered this landscape with its short video posts. Seeing its success, Youtube soon caught on and offered its ‘shorts’ while Instagram launched its Reels feature.
Short videos fulfil the human desire to be part of something, and to participate. In the case of TikTok videos, this could be anything from personal challenges to colouring hair to learning a new dance routine. It is changing the way we consume content.
These short videos require nothing more than a smartphone. There are no production or editing skills involved and many of them are candid or behind-the-scenes. It means anyone can have a go, with the chance to go viral.
Social media users are placing heavier weight on the relatability and authenticity of what they consume. As time goes on, more and more sharing digital marketing will therefore be via video rather than by text-heavy posts.
- Digital storytelling
“There has been a large focus over the past year on digital storytelling,” said Lisa Apolinski, author and founder of 3 Dog Write. “But many companies are still struggling to get that right. 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.”
In other words, where a company uses persuasive storytelling effectively, they’ll boost their relatability. This adds value – they’re not just words on a page any more, but a story that will ring bells with consumers.
- Less reliance on blanket discounts
“Brands have been eager to move away from a reliance on using steep discounts to acquire new customers and instead identify opportunities to offer value through their products and the role they play in customers’ lives,” said Sherene Hilal of retail technology marketers Bluecore. “Digital has expanded how and which types of value brands can offer to customers.”
It is expected that as 2022 progresses, blanket discounts will be replaced as they don’t necessarily promote brand loyalty. They’re often something of a one-time thing for cash-savvy consumers. Instead, digital marketers will provide more tailored options based on customer data. So a brand might offer a certain group of consumers free shipping, and another free personalisation of the products they purchase, for example.
Once the preserve of niche IT geeks, cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity and fast. In fact, according to 2021 data from the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, around 106 million people across the world now use cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Eagle-eyed marketers would do well to watch this trend.
In the coming years, companies that accept cryptocurrency as payment are likely to be looked on increasingly favourably. Not only could this attract new customers, but cryptocurrencies are forcing huge changes in relation to the dominating processors like MasterCard, Visa and PayPal. Marketers should therefore be aware that by positioning themselves correctly, their companies will be better placed to benefit from increased demographic reach thanks to cryptocurrency use.
Future-proofing is key
Some of the trends we’ve covered here are emerging very quickly and some are much slower. Depending on the nature of your business, some will also be easier to get on board with than others. However, keeping an eye on what’s evolving is crucial, because the sooner you jump ahead of your competitors the better. By writing this year’s digital marketing strategy with next year’s in mind, you stand a better chance of leading the pack.