The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

It can be tricky to keep up with digital marketing trends as the industry changes so fast. Plus, there are many working parts to a successful digital marketing strategy or campaign – so it’s a real challenge to keep up with every aspect. The Covid-19 pandemic transformed the way B2B and B2C companies across sectors operated as people went online to research, review, and purchase. This transformation had a huge impact on the digital marketing sector and the roles of digital marketers. But just as marketing teams pivoted to meet the virtual demand, the reopening of societies saw slumps in web traffic and online sales. To help marketers and digital leaders navigate this new landscape, we interviewed leading industry experts on our podcast to identify key trends in 2022. This comprehensive overview of six key sectors will help you understand developments coming down the line so you can build them into your digital marketing activities. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS IN 2022 TikTok Will Continue to Grow & Brands Need to Take it Seriously When you talk about social media, TikTok is a platform to consider if you’re not already using it. The rapid rise of TikTok has seen the app reach 1 billion users and counting. TikTok has enormous engagement (U.S. users spend up to 850 hours a month on the platform) and offers individuals and brands the opportunity for their videos to go viral: no mean feat in the social media realm. Alison Battisby, Social Media Consultant at Avocado Social sees TikTok as a platform marketers need to take seriously in 2022. “TikTok’s growth over the last year has just been phenomenal. Facebook is certainly worried because so many of TikTok’s features are beginning to filter into Facebook products.” In terms of the platform’s revenue, TikTok was the top-earning non-game app in 2021 with more than $110 million spent by users. This just shows the earning potential of the app for marketers looking to drive sales amongst young consumers. The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 Influencers have also played a role in TikTok’s rise with many earning huge amounts through sponsorship deals. Battisby believes that brands are now taking notice of influencer marketing on the platform. “For a while, TikTok was sort of met with an eye roll, and isn’t that just for the kids? Now we see a lot of influencers like Gordon Ramsay and older celebrities, even Rod Stewart is on TikTok and doing very well. Brands are beginning to see they can reach a lot more people on TikTok than on Instagram or Facebook.” Social Commerce Will Become Seamless It’s never been easier to find a product or service using social media. During the pandemic, brands flocked to Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to offer customers online shops to replace their brick-and-mortar counterparts. It’s no surprise then to see that social shopping (or social commerce) is expected to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025 according to an Accenture study – a growth that’s three times faster than traditional ecommerce. 2022 is set to see the experience of social shopping evolve as platforms work behind the scenes to enable customer payments without leaving social media apps, creating a seamless customer experience. Gen Z and Millennials are predicted to be the biggest spenders as they will account for 62 percent of global social ecommerce revenue by 2025. The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 “TikTok has partnered with Shopify, Instagram is making huge developments with their shopping area within the app, so I think social shopping is just set to become absolutely huge this year,” says Battisby. “YouTube is also looking at enhancing their shoppable tags within videos and you can shop on Pinterest.” The key to driving engagement is for brands to put time into presenting their shop windows on Instagram. It’s no longer enough to rely on one great image, companies need to have multiple images per product and add keyword-rich descriptions. Video is also crucial as the popularity of the format – as witnessed by TikTok’s growth and Instagram’s recent transition – is exploding across all audiences. YouTube Advertising Will Explode “YouTube is going to explode in terms of investment from advertising in 2022. I feel like it’s a sleeping giant, but I think that the move away from linear TV, fragmentation with subscriptions, and streaming services all means that more advertising spend is going to move to YouTube,” says Brendan Almack, Managing Director of Wolfgang Digital. Last year YouTube’s global revenue (through its parent company Alphabet) grew to nearly $29 billion, up almost 46 percent from 2020. This level of revenue puts the social media platform on par with Netflix and is a result of the rise in more traditional TV advertisers on the channel, direct response ads, and brand advertising. The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 “The scope for growth or headroom for growth is absolutely huge. It’s still super cheap for CPVs and the big brands aren’t there, or not doing it really well. This means that everyone can eke out a competitive advantage by having a smart YouTube advertising strategy,” states Almack. Check out our blog if you’re looking to create a YouTube channel that engages and drives traffic. 2. DIGITAL MARKETING JOB TRENDS IN 2022 Marketers Need to Upskill in Digital As brands clamor to engage, promote, and convert successfully online, the need for digital talent across industries is intense. Our recent whitepaper, ‘Perpetual Evolution’, created in cooperation with The Economist Group, discovered that securing talent with the right skill set is the number one challenge that the digital marketing industry faces, while the lack of training to upskill marketers ranks seventh. The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 Alison Battisby, Social Media Consultant at Avocado Social believes “there’s a huge digital skills gap in that every brand out there is really looking to enhance their capability in digital marketing. But a lot of people are struggling to find the talent. One of the things that’s very much on the agenda for businesses this year is to upskill staff”. This demand is great news for marketers but poses a challenge for many in the industry who lack digital know-how or experience in digital marketing. So what digital marketing skills will be in demand in 2022? When you’re looking to upskill and advance your career, it’s important to match your knowledge with the skills employers are looking for. LinkedIn’s analysis of its job postings found that digital marketing and social media marketing skills are in high demand. In fact, half of the top 10 marketing jobs listed below are in the digital or media space. The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 The Digital Gig Economy is on the Rise Over the past decade, many workers have decided to pursue a more flexible ‘gig’ lifestyle for their professional lives. The emergence and rise of online services and apps such as Airbnb and Deliveroo have offered new ways of working for people rather than a 9 to 5 traditional job. Even before the pandemic hit, the number of gig workers was rising. ‘The State of Independence in America’ report found that there were over 40 million gig workers across the U.S. This report predicts that this could continue to balloon with more than half of American workers being independent by 2024. “In the workplace, you can see a greater sense of agency with people wanting to return to work on their terms. So, there’s less reliance on corporate America as people have their own income sources and sense of agency,” believes Mischa McInerney, Director of Marketing at the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). This gig economy opens up the door for marketers with in-demand skills. More and more creative or digital marketing professionals are choosing the digital nomad route as this enables them to dictate their own working hours and have flexibility. Plus, many digital nomads make more money than they did in a traditional role. The Competition for Digital Marketing Talent is Intense With demand growing for digital expertise and the growth of the ‘gig economy’, it’s no wonder that companies across the globe are struggling to find and retain talent. Órla Stack, Human Resources Director at DMI believes that employers need to be proactive in hiring and retention. “If we don’t move fast and are not meeting with candidates tomorrow, we’re going to lose them to other employers because they’re moving quickly as well.” “For an employer, 2022 is going to be a huge challenge. In the UK, it’s forecast that up to 60% of workers are considering changing their careers this year. For candidates, when they look at roles they’re looking outside salary and benefits. It’s about flexibility and career opportunities as well, and what employers are doing to help them grow.” Stack believes the answer to attracting and retaining talent is to look at your Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Perks such as unlimited holidays may have been an attractive benefit a few years ago, but with hybrid and remote working, this perk has fallen down the pecking order. Companies need to refocus and figure out what employees value now. 3. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN 2022 The Metaverse Will Become a Marketer’s Playground While it has existed for a number of years, the metaverse came to the attention of marketers after Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta in October 2021. This move, according to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is because “the metaverse is the next frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when we got started. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.” But what is the metaverse? Put simply, it’s a network of virtual worlds in 3D that people can connect through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Well-known gaming platforms that operate in this area already are Minecraft, Roblox, Pokemon, and Fornite, many of which are familiar to the youngest demographic of all – Generation Alpha. As a digital channel, the metaverse is relatively new for marketing, but recent campaigns have seen brands embrace its immersive nature to advertise. For example, Roblox hosted Gucci Garden, a place where visitors could try on and buy digital Gucci products to dress their avatars. Its aim was to raise brand awareness amongst younger consumers. So why should marketers tap into the metaverse as one of the digital marketing trends of 2022? According to eMarketer research, there will be 65 million people that use VR and 110 million using AR every month in 2023. That’s a lot of potential young customers to have in one space.

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