How Online Marketing is Changing in 2022

If this year has proven anything, it’s that 2022 is a year full of changes. As the world begins to open up businesses are now faced with shifting their marketing focuses, yet again. The shift trickles into everything we do - how we show up on social media and how we speak to our audience.

So, as we begin to attend more in-person events, it prompts the question, “how is online marketing changing, and how do you apply that to make the most of your marketing efforts?” Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents: 

User Experience (UX)

UX, or User Experience, is how a user interacts with and experiences a product, website, app, or other system and service. The experience you provide your potential and current customers is more important than ever and users aren’t afraid to tell you if they don’t like what they’ve experienced with you. To keep people’s attention, you have to ensure your website or app is mobile-friendly and easy to use. Speedy interfaces that allow the user to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily without getting frustrated is imperative.

User experience diagram.

There are several ways to improve the user experience, from mobile optimization to personalization. Let’s look at a few ways to improve your UX:

Personalized and interactive visuals 

We’ve all been bombarded with too much information over the last year. So now, people are craving visuals that are personalized and interactive. How can you incorporate personalization into your marketing visuals? It may depend on your technology, but find ways to use someone’s name in an email, or setup a way to share products your users might be interested in based on their past behavior.

Interactive visuals are also engaging and can help people retain information better. Try incorporating some sort of interactive element into your next marketing campaign, whether it is a quiz, poll, or something else.

User-generated content

User-generated content is another form of visual marketing that is authentic and trustworthy. Think reviews, posts on social media that tag your company, product placement contest campaigns, retweets, etc. People are more likely to believe and be influenced by someone they know rather than a brand. If you have the opportunity to encourage and showcase user-generated content, take it! You can use this type of content in almost every form of marketing medium there is.

Influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing is similar to user-generated content but with the added benefit of reach and the potential to drive traffic and sales because the influencer is well-known to your demographic. Partnering with an influencer can help you break into a new audience and also build trust with potential customers.

Leveraging data to create customer personas 

It is true, data is a marketer’s best friend and it can help you take your marketing efforts to the next level. Allowing you to segment your audience, create customer personas, and personalize your marketing messages, you have access to more information to make better decisions on how to reach your audience. Learn more about defining your target audience in this recent blog and reach out to us if you’re interested in learning more about how Audience Intelligence can help you leverage data with your marketing efforts.

Privacy and Transparency

Digital advertising is at an all-time high. We have all noticed it. We mention buying a new vacuum to our partner and the next thing you know, we’re being targeted with digital ads on different vacuum brands. Creepy, right?

This super-targeted approach, while effective, is making consumers ever more suspicious of the content they’re targeted by. Furthermore, we should prepare for tighter privacy restrictions which will change how businesses track user behavior as privacy has continued to be a hot topic in most state legislatures.

Privacy on a cell phone.

Now, with Google imposing restrictions on third-party cookies, it means that many marketers will have to reevaluate their strategies. However, marketers can still produce targeted and data-driven content. It means that digital marketers will need to be more communicative with their customers. Businesses need to work to regain the trust of their customers and have the ability to opt-out if they do not want a company to have access to their information and habits. 

To be successful online, marketers will need to focus on building trust with potential and current customers by being transparent about their data collection practices. To help you along with this, read our recent article where we expanded on data privacy and how you can protect your customers.

Personalization & Audience Understanding

While marketers and small businesses will need to be more intentional about how they learn about their customers, your audience is still looking for personalized content. As a result, personalization will continue to be a big theme moving forward. Businesses must create specific advertising that caters to their audience and feels personalized.

Content that has been tailored to the user and personalized will deliver better results. This can be done by delivering tailored content, ads, and offers that are relevant to the user. In order to do this effectively, businesses will need to have a deep understanding of their target audience. Once you have a deep understanding of your audience, only then will you be able to understand the platforms your audience uses, how they use them, and when they’re on them. Then you can create a personalized message based on the information you learn from that audience, like their demographic. 

Personalization is key in a world where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. In fact, 77% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. This means that marketers need to start collecting data on their target audience and using it to create more personalized marketing campaigns. If you’re struggling with the idea of privacy and personalization, you may want to read our recent article on how to continue creating personalized content while respecting your customers so you know what to plan for.

Cause-Driven Marketing

82% of millennials said they would switch brands to one associated with a good cause. So, if you want to stay ahead of the competition in 2022, focus on cause-driven marketing. This means aligning your brand with a cause that your target audience cares about. 

Consumers are concerned with their impact on society, and they expect the businesses they buy from to be socially responsible too, which is where cause-driven marketing comes in. Cause-driven marketing involves a collaboration between for-profit and non-profit organizations and also includes for-profit brands hosting social and charitable campaigns.

This new generation of customers brings new values – they want their business to care about the world in the same ways they care. Cause-driven marketing brings a business’s social responsibility to its customers. 

The benefit of cause-driven marketing for non-profits is that it helps increase brand awareness and exposure. In addition, non-profits do not typically have the budget that for-profit businesses do. Therefore, when companies and corporations partner with a non-profit, it amplifies the non-profit’s message and reaches an audience they may otherwise not reach. 

So, for the non-profit, the benefits are exposure? What about for-profit companies? To start, businesses are able to fulfill their social responsibility and improve their corporate image. Additionally, they can build relationships, increase brand loyalty, and stand out among their competitors. 

Cause-driven marketing is also a way for a company to share their hearts and beliefs. There is more to a business than their product, and by sharing the non-profits, you believe in, you can promote and support that message. 

In 2022, Two Trees PPC decided to become more sustainable and “green.” We wanted to build more sustainable habits within our company and our community. So we partnered with One Tree Planted and launched our Two Trees Planted Per Client campaign, and we never looked back.

New Technology Integration 

TikTok, the Metaverse, NFTs, and Crypto are here to stay. It may all seem overwhelming, but if you do your research and find the right one for you and your company, it could open your business up to a whole new demographic. Let’s break these down and see if there is one that is right for you: 

TikTok 

According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Global Digital Overview report, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform, with more than 800 million active monthly users. For context, that is nearly double the number of users on Twitter. If you are not familiar, TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second, 60-second and 3-minute videos on any topic. 

TikTok on a cell phone.

The great thing about TikTok is that it’s perfect for businesses of all sizes. If you have a small business, you can use TikTok to reach a new audience and promote your products or services. If you have a large company, you can use TikTok to connect with your target audience and build brand awareness. The real plus side to TikTok is that users are more likely to convert to paying customers if they become engaged with you or see an advertisement they like.

Metaverse

The Metaverse is a network of virtual worlds where people can connect through augmented reality or virtual reality. It’s a digital space where people can interact with each other and create avatar-based experiences. The Metaverse is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to be the next big thing. Brands are already starting to experiment with the Metaverse, and there are a few Metaverse platforms that you can use, such as Decentraland, High Fidelity, and Somnium Space.

While it’s a new concept for marketing, you can see brands experimenting and trying to get comfortable in a new setting. As the Metaverse continues to grow, businesses are going to have to get on board with an immersive world and how they can play a part in it. Research shows that there will be 65 million people that use Virtual Reality and 110 million using Augmented Reality every month in 2023 (Digital Marketing Institute). If you’re a company geared towards a younger audience or an audience in tech, it’s essential to open yourself and your business up to the possibilities of a digital world.  

NFTs & Crypto 

Conversations on NFTs, crypto and the rise of online currencies are everywhere – it’s impossible to miss. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are “a type of cryptographic asset representing something unique and therefore cannot be replaced by another identical asset” (CoinDesk). They can be used to represent anything from art to real estate and can be bought and sold like any other currency. 

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A few examples of cryptocurrency are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. 

While it may not seem like something that could affect your marketing strategy, it is. Social platforms like Twitter are integrating cryptocurrency payments, cities like Miami are accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment, and brands like Nike and Gucci are selling NFTs. So it’s time to consider the impact that NFTs and cryptocurrency can have on your business and how to integrate it into your business. 

We’re in a world where digital marketing and digital marketing strategies change every day. Therefore, it’s important to be on the lookout for new trends to stay ahead of the curve. By keeping these trends in mind and integrating what you can, you’ll be able to create a successful marketing campaign that will reach your target audience and help you achieve your business goals.

What other marketing trends do you think we’ll see in 2022? What are you doing differently? Join the conversation on LinkedIn!

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