10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022 and How To Take Action On Them
Updated: Jan 17, 2022
Digital marketing is an always changing and evolving environment. Sometimes changing by the hour. For 2022, we can predict some trends and insights to keep watch over.
Businesses and brands must not only plan for the future of digital marketing but be prepared to take advantage of it. Action over knowledge.
Here are the top 10 digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2022 and how you can use them to your advantage.
1. Stay informed on Web 3.0. But don’t chase the shiny object.
Whether in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or simply on a screen, the promise of the metaverse is to allow a greater overlap of our digital and physical lives in wealth, socialization, productivity, shopping and entertainment.
I believe Web 3 is a developing innovation for the world wide web.
Web 3.0 will, in some ways, be a return to the original concept of the web, a place where the internet user does not need permission from a central authority to post, there is no central control and there is no single point of failure.
Web 2.0 has been marked by centralization, surveillance and invasive ads, but the use of decentralized technologies such as blockchain will allow a more open environment where data on the internet is decentralized. Web 3.0 will allow decentralized apps to displace centralized social networks such as Facebook, and individuals will maintain ownership over their personal data.
Don’t put “.Eth” or “Meta” in your company name. Don’t change all your products, marketing focuses, and prime customer focuses to web 3.0.
Recommendation: Web 3.0 is the future of the internet. But it’s a massive shiny object for many. Don’t get sucked into the hype around Web 3.0. But don’t dismiss it either.
Keep careful watch.
Related: NFTs Are Here To Stay. Here's WHY
2. Not being dependent on social media
When Facebook suffered an outage of about six hours on Monday, October 4th 2021 businesses and brands suffered along with it. The platform and its Instagram and WhatsApp siblings play key roles in commerce, with some companies relying on Facebook's network instead of their own websites.
But on October 4th, that network came crashing down.
The shutdown wasn’t even caused by a hacker. It was Facebook’s self-infliction. Knowing this, your brand and business shouldn’t be dependent on any one platform.
You never know when the social media platform that you rely on for customers, community, or sales will be shut down and there’s nothing you can do about it.
You never know when you might be censored or even deplatformed.
Recommendation: Focus on one platform. Grow a strong relationship with your audience. Then drive them to a newsletter, slack group, or a podcast. Take ownership over your distribution. Don’t rely on the grace and mercy of the algorithm.
3. Video Paid Media & The Rise of Story Ads
Video has seen massive growth in paid media over the last decade., As the rollout of 5G approaches, we can predict that increasing internet speeds will see the medium become even more effective, especially for mobile advertising.
Key Paid Media Video Stats:
64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded video content on social media.
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 (Cisco)
78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. In fact, that 54% of consumers want to see more video content this year (Social Media Week)
Recommendation: Make a video! Test some videos on the channels where your audience is most engaged. Watch how people respond. Compare the engagement on your video posts to every other post.
4. Audience is the new currency
The traditional Hollywood rulebook has been thrown out the window and the reality is – one no longer needs writers, editors, producers, and sales team to build a content business. While you certainly could use all those resources, they are by no means requirements to be successful on social media.
The barriers to creating an audience and a community are so low now.
Keeping this new paradigm in mind–it makes no sense to apply an old media production approach and methodology to a new media ecosystem.
As Paul Graham of YCombinator famously says, find 100 customers that absolutely love you, rather than 1,000 customers that sort of like you. We are seeing daily that highly engaged, loyal audiences are a defendable moat worth building.
Recommendation: So go all in on that newsletter. Launch your YouTube. Start that podcast. And don’t quit too early.
5. LinkedIn is Growing
LinkedIn now has almost 740 million members with over 55 million registered companies. Each quarter they show considerable gains in monthly active users and engagements on the platform. They are also continuously launching new features that drive better results for businesses and pages.
Of those LinkedIn users who are frequently engaging with the platform, 40% access it on a daily basis, clocking up over 1 billion interactions every month (Kinsta).
LinkedIn recently launched a powerful newsletter feature. I’ve tested three editions and have added 1,290 new subscribers to my newsletter. After launching the first newsletter, I gained 650 subscribers in 24 hours.
Recommendation: B2B Marketers and professionals should go all-in on LinkedIn. Related: 59.9% of LinkedIn’s users are between 25 and 34 years old
6. Mobile phone filming. Everything is going mobile.
Do not let your need for perfectionism and professionalism hold you back from creating authentic content for your social media.
Professional content doesn’t work anymore. Consumers are burned out with ads. People want real content that comes across informal, genuine, and authentic. Even if you’re in B2B.
When you make your content, you will have higher engagement off of your mobile phone than a fancy camera.
Because content filmed by a fancy camera looks like a commercial. They look like an ad.
Recommendation: Use your phone to make videos.
7. SEO is less game and more integrated with content
Search engine optimization is one of the oldest and most valuable forms of digital marketing. As search algorithms have continuously become smarter and more contextual, marketers need to focus less on the "hacks" and "tricks" of SEO and more on providing an outstanding and meaningful experience to their users.
Recommendation: Marketers should focus less on SEO tricks and more on creating an incredible website experience. Fill up your website with helpful content. Include a FAQ section. Consistently post on your website’s blog. Create a “resources” section on your site with videos, podcasts, and long-form content.
8. Mobile optimization and immediate loading speeds for websites
Attention is fleeting. If your website takes more than 5 seconds to load, then you might be missing a big net of potential customers in the top of your funnel.
When it comes to waiting for pages to load, most consumers think they’re more patient than they actually are.
85% of mobile users expect pages to load as fast or faster than they do on desktop, while one study of UK consumers even found that 14% of shoppers expect pages to load instantly on mobile.
If you’re looking for an easier goal: 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in under four seconds, while 74% of mobile users in the US would abandon mobile sites that don’t load within five seconds.
Recommendation: Have a good website person that you can count on. Ask them to perform speed tests and mobile phone tests for your site. Optimize as needed.
9. Tiktok is impacting every other social media site
Twitter is testing a vertically-scrolling Explore tab for the platform that looks heavily inspired by TikTok. The page will show users an endless supply of pictures and videos, similar to how the TikTok and Instagram Reels feed works.
Instagram is going full tiktok with a vertical feed for stories. They’re going to emulate (or copy) another element of TikTok's design with a new vertical feed for Stories.
Navigating with vertical swipes up and down would make stories behave more like Reels, the short form video feature the company added to better compete with TikTok.
Tiktok is dominating attention with its vertical style content and vertically scrolling explore tab.
Recommendation: Don’t pivot all your content strategies and social media strategies to Tiktok. However, there is a reason why so many social media companies are copying Bytedance’s app. If your target audience is on TikTok, it may be worth testing some videos.
10. The Creator Economy continues to emerge
The rapid increase of creative tools have allowed for a new kind of influencer to take shape: the Creators.
Creators differ slightly from traditional influencers, who rely on experiencing the world around them, by producing original materials using these tools. The pandemic has changed what influences are valuable on the go. As a result, creators have gained a sizable follower count in a world with limited gathering options during the pandemic.
By 2022, we have more tools to support creators, more platforms for creators to build on, and more people becoming accustomed to supporting their creators than ever before. The barriers to enter the Creator Economy are so low. The lowering of these barriers is helping more people overcome their fears and try to become a creator.
What This Means: Marketers now face two kinds of influencers for branding and leveraging engagement. Creators offer a way of demonstrating the benefit of a solution, creating an additional micro-influencer opportunity.
Related articles I wrote on the creator economy:
It is easy to get distracted by shiny new digital objects. Marketers love new trends and to be on the leading edge of new technologies and platforms.
Yet the truth is that the majority of business growth still comes from the foundational tools in digital marketing. Don't forget to focus on your foundation. Often, optimizing your base digital execution will provide a better return on investment than experimenting (and getting distracted) with every new tool.
BONUS (If you have a WordPress website)
25 WordPress Digital Marketing Plugins Every Marketer Needs (Mobile Monkey)
Ps. I've come to Mobile Monkey and Larry Kim for digital marketing tactics for over 5 years. I've followed Larry pretty closely. I highly recommend following their blog.
I'll be writing about the future of the internet, branding, storytelling, digital marketing, and the creator economy. Stay tuned for more.
SERIOUSLY. Thank you to everyone who's been sharing the newsletter and giving me feedback. I'm super grateful!
Please give me feedback on this edition. Tell me how I can make this better for you!!