Keeping up with all of the moving parts of digital marketing can be a task.
From SEO to PPC, platforms, tools, and best practices the digital landscape is changing constantly as new technologies, techniques and algorithms become available.
We know that what worked the last few years may not work the same way in 2022, and to get the best possible results for your business is to stay on top of these trends. As we enter a new year and tech continues to change rapidly, it’s a good time to take the opportunity to dive into the digital marketing trends you will see more of in 2022.
The Cookie is Dead
Google announced that it would end cookie tracking in early 2022. What does it mean for your business?
Simple. It is pretty bad news, and it will require some drastic changes.
Tracking users across the web is essential to many advertisers and businesses. However, user privacy concerns have become more important to more and more internet users. It came at a time of the implementation of GDPR, which made consumers much more aware of their online privacy. There already is an option for consumers to opt out of the third-party cookies and tracking, but digital advertisers are looking for ways to change their tactics.
Many start implementing first-party data or even zero-party data collection to gather information about the consumers and provide relevant advertising to facilitate sales online.
Zero-party data has been gaining more and more momentum. In brief, it’s data that is given directly by the consumer to a brand. It can be done via a survey, gamification, or simple consumer/brand interaction online.
You should look into boosting your CRM tools as such data will become crucial once cookie tracking is no longer in place.
Own Your Audiences
You only own what you have collected so the social media networks you build in reality owns your audience. You don’t own any of them and even though it has been working quite well for you, you should consider owning your audience. Bottom line, collect as many emails as possible!
Reaching your audience on a platform where fewer distractions happen can increase your reach. The attention span of most consumers today is extremely short, thanks to the constant flow of new information. Also, there are so many metrics and dependencies in today’s algorithms that actually affect the delivery of your message so you can create a better chance to be heard over all of the marketing noise.
That’s why one of your initiatives should be about owning your audience. I know it’s easier said than done, but in the long run, you’ll be able to achieve some great results.
With all the changes in the digital landscape, people will be more and more selective about what they consume, as their expectations will increase.
Simplicity is King
Content is no longer king. There is tons of content on the internet but what matters most is relevance and quality!
Consumers have become more interested in high-quality and unique content. Unfortunately, the amount of information you can find on the internet is endless, and it’s becoming more and more important to deliver high-quality, unique content.
Working on longer and more educational content through blog posts and articles is an excellent tool for strong SEO and thought-leadership. Keep in mind that you don’t have to post every day. Better to provide higher quality content less frequently, but be sure that whatever you are delivering is relevant, engaging, and beneficial.
In 2022, everyone will be a storyteller. Even brands need to deliver their message in a way that tells stories about their products or services. Consumers don’t want to hear how fantastic your product or service is. What they want to know is the story about the time you helped to solve a specific problem or the journey of how people use and enjoy your product.
Many businesses still use flowery words to describe their products. What is often missing is a real-life display of the advantages that the product has.
I have seen that over the last few years more and more data-driven marketing campaigns are being used across a broader scope of industries. By adding marketing automation to your digital marketing strategy it will make you more efficient and effective by automating workflows and spending less time on repetitive tasks.
The “one size fits all” approach stopped working a long time ago, and it’s high time to look at segmenting different strategies, content, and sizes based on the audience you have.
So what is a zero-click search? When you have a question, you type your question into Google and click on the article that best answers your question or gives you the information you need. Sometimes though, the answer is suggested to you in a paragraph at the top of the result page.
These boxes, called Position Zero in search engine results, often come with an image and all the information you were looking for displayed in an easy to distinguish box. You have the answer you need, so you don’t need to click on an article.
Think about how you can update your page titles to indicate what searchers will get when visiting your site. Being the subject of a zero-click search means you’re halfway there and people are interested in what you have to say.
Your next step is to attract them to your site for more of what you have to offer!
Embrace Localized SEO
For businesses that operate on a local level your Google My Business listing provides valuable information and helps establish your geographical location. Having a geographically defined service area with Google My Business listing aids in showing up for “near me” searches.
It also lets customers learn more about your business within Google Search results. At a glance, your potential customer can see your open hours, address, and star rating left by other users. You can also post products and sales that show up on your search listing.
If you haven’t claimed your listing you should verify your Google business listing right away and keep the information up to date.
Voice & Visual Search
Voice-activated digital assistants continue to be huge sellers. The popularity of voice search both at home and on our phones has led to one of the most significant shifts in using keywords.
When writing content, choose your keywords based on the questions people may ask when using Siri or Alexa. This can increase your visibility, and this digital marketing trend shows no sign of slowing down.
On the other side of the spectrum, users can now upload an image and get information about an item just from a picture. If they’re uploading a plant photo, the search returns species information, while a landmark image will return historical data.
When a user searches for a product, it returns similar products and where to buy them. Google Lens, Pinterest Lens, and related search tools turn a user’s camera into a search bar.
How can you leverage these searches? You can add high-quality images and tag them with descriptive keywords. For voice search create more informative content, choose your keywords based on the questions people may ask when using Siri or Alexa.
Expand on Online Reviews
Online reviews can make or break your business’s ability to attract new customers or clients. Building credibility over your competition and showcasing your 5-star services or product by word of mouth keep people coming back. While any company can talk up its own products or services, other consumers can provide real, unbiased reviews.
The most useful review for a business to receive is through Google Business. These are the most trusted sources, they’re the most visible, and your Google Business listing lets people call or visit the website.
Utilize Influencer Marketing
An influencer is someone that people trust in a specific field, such as professional athletes, celebrities, and even successful dog trainers can be influencers. These are people who have a following online to promote their business, services, or message. Influencer marketing is tapping into these communities that are often large, active, and very loyal to the influencer they follow.
For influencer marketing to be effective, you don’t always need to work with a huge star or local hero. Search for people with growing audiences on new platforms, and notice how they interact with their followers. Having a small but dedicated audience is more beneficial for your marketing purposes than having a large but disconnected audience.
Create Mobile-First Websites
With the prevalence of smartphones for the majority of our internet browsing, more websites are created with a mobile-first design. This doesn’t mean desktop usage is dead or that you shouldn’t care about how your site displays on a desktop view. This simply means that when the website is being designed, it’s mapped out on the smallest screen first to deliver the best experience to mobile users while including features designed to improve mobile use.
This can consist of touchscreen-friendly navigation, streamlined navigation menus, less text-heavy content, and functions like collapsible menus. The website will still work correctly on desktops and large screens, but the user experience is tailored to mobile users.
You will benefit from fast page loading, improved SERP, mobile integrative features like voice detection or camera use, and an overall improved user experience to help increase conversions.
Experience Interactive Content
Brands what to connect with consumers on an emotional and visceral level. The word visceral relates to deep, inward feelings, and advances in technology can let you tap into those feelings by creating virtual and augmented reality experiences.
AR and VR are providing digital marketers a way to take users through an interactive journey by experiencing a product or brand in a personal space. Tour museums, see how products are made, and even examine and interact with products all from your home. The connection from the brand to the consumer is elevated.
Increasing Page Speed
A slow-loading page is the number one reason users leave a website within a minute of landing on the page and even a second or two of a delay in how the page loads can negatively affect your conversion.
The good news is you can speed up your page load times pretty easily by optimizing your images and making sure there are no large image files. If there are, compress them to where they are less than 100KB.
You can also reduce the number of internal redirects, specifically redirect chains that go through several redirects before landing on the correct URL and internal links to redirects. Reducing these can speed up your authority in Google and your page load speeds.
Trust me these are good things!
Provide User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is gold and helps build trust with your audience. It can help increase your brand’s search rankings, credibility, and overall engagement. Over 80% of consumer’s purchase decisions are influenced by peer social media posts.
By leveraging your fans’ content you can create meaningful relationships that foster long-term engagement. Find this content by searching your brand on social channels or asking for users to participate and provide content through hashtags.
When appropriately moderated, user-generated content can be a powerful tool for your website both for SEO and for user experience. User-generated content (UGC) doesn’t have to be complicated or intensive; it can simply be a user review on a product on your e-commerce site, a comment on a blog article, or a Q&A section where people can ask questions and get the answers they need.
The Bottom Line
2022 will bring in some fundamental changes to the way we market. The death of the cookie is a big deal to the digital advertising that many businesses have been heavily relying on. What will become of the traditional remarketing tactics? What kind of new applications will aid marketers to capture their audience and be ever-present.
Even though we don’t really know what impact it will bring, one thing is certain consumers will continue becoming more demanding and this is why it’s best to start adapting alternative advertising methods. Continue to experiment, measure, and ensure that you are considering new technology.