Six Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

01 January 2022
by Archie Williamson
5 mins
Six Digital Marketing Trends for 2022

It’s that time of the year again when marketers are looking to the future and considering how they can incorporate new trends and tactics into their strategies to better engage customers and achieve key objectives. With that in mind, a number of industry experts have chimed in with what they believe will be big in digital marketing in 2022.

Virtual events mature with focus on quality

In-person events have been a rarity during the last two years, with virtual events stepping up to fill the void. Webinars and online conferences have been crucial for outreach and interacting with potential buyers and clients, but their usage will evolve in 2022. Around one in five marketers say they are planning to invest less in virtual events next year.

A trend that is likely to take hold in the coming months is “hybrid marketing”, where brands continue to run virtual events while also seeking out more physical opportunities to share ideas, meet new prospects and raise brand awareness. Webinars are maturing too, according to Lighthouse Creative Group’s John Hazard, who says PowerPoint presentations and basic live streams are no longer good enough.

He notes: “That’s not interesting … So, the race is on in 2022 for polish and production value – graphics, directors, professional hosts, equipment, and no kitchen backdrops.” That may mean fewer live events but a greater focus on quality.

Mobile SEO key amid surge in smartphone usage

Mobile devices now account for the majority of annual online website traffic. Long gone are the days when a company’s desktop website was the most important consideration for SEO and marketing. The skew towards smartphones is only likely to strengthen as the buying power of younger audiences increases. The user experience on mobile has never been more important.

That’s why a third of global marketers are prioritising mobile web design specifically for investment next year, and as an extension of that, are building everything with SEO in mind. Two-thirds of SEO marketers say mobile optimisation delivers meaningful return on investment (ROI). Brands struggling in this area can work with an agency offering SEO services to overhaul sites so they are “mobile-ready” for 2022.

A resurgence for influencer marketing

Influencers have been around for a while now but there is no loss in appetite for them. On the contrary, 46% of marketing professionals say they will increase spend on influencers next year. For some, the investment is paying off already, as 11% cite them as top performers for ROI. This trend has been bubbling away for several years, but the coming months will see a more targeted approach, with cost-efficiency at its core.

Brands now recognise that “micro-influencers”, those with thousands of followers, not millions, can actually deliver better levels of engagement for specific marketing campaigns. There are so many influencers in almost every niche that it makes sense to collaborate with them to connect with audiences quickly rather than trying to build everything from scratch. As ever though, influencer marketing needs to be used in moderation alongside first-party, organic content.

Privacy and security a priority for customers

Three-quarters of people say they prefer to use online services with high levels of data protection. That mindset is driving user’s search engine choices, content consumption habits, and buying behaviour. Therefore, Google President Matt Brittin believes marketers need to consider a “customer-first” approach to data protection in 2022. While data analytics is crucial for gauging the performance of campaigns, customers and visitors need to “feel in control” of the data they are sharing.

Being “open and honest” about how personal information is collected is unlikely to scare off customers, with Brittin noting that it can actually build trust. If you can do this while delivering personalised content and valuable ads that help customers in their lives, everyone stands to benefit. Brittin says energy giant E.ON recently used Google Analytics 4, Global Site Tag and other online tools to preserve user privacy while also gaining a better understanding of its target audience.

Several layers of measuring marketing can support ROI

There has been a lot of talk about ROI, as this is clearly on the minds of all marketing managers. Research by McKinsey found 45% of chief financial officers (CFOs) have opted against fully funding a content asset or marketing proposal when a “clear line to value” has not been evident. Google’s Thomas Bering says a “Swiss cheese model” with multiple layers of measurement can provide a more holistic overview of marketing efforts.

Instead of linking an activity to one measurement, you instead analyse its impact on several fronts. Bering uses the example of an ad in search, which might not increase conversions straight away, its main aim, but does increase awareness of your brand and its products. Measuring independently here would suggest the ad would be too expensive, but that is not the case when other things are considered.

Marketers double down on SEO for search traffic

Working with a digital marketing company to optimise your content for SEO will stand you in good stead in 2022, especially as competitors are thinking of doing the same. Around eight in 10 marketers using SEO are either continuing with similar levels of investment or increasing them next year, with most eyes on the prize of greater traffic returns. The first page of search engines is a battleground and every brand wants to win out to be front and centre.

To help them achieve this aim, brands are turning to SEO experts to optimise everything from product pages and whitepapers to emails, social media and Google My Business (GMB) profiles. This enables them to keep pace with Google’s ever-changing algorithm and drive consistent clicks and traffic.

If you want to make changes in 2022 but don’t have the manpower or expertise in-house to manage digital marketing campaigns that can transform your business, Atlas SEO can provide assistance. We offer a range of services built around SEO so your content gets noticed on Google. Contact us today to find out more.

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