Description: Discover digital marketing trends to look out for in 2022, from Search Engine Optimization changes to the expansion of influencer marketing.
Digital marketing has never been particularly easy, and COVID-19 has only added another volatility factor.
While these last couple of years have indeed accelerated digitization and encouraged innovation, they certainly haven’t done so painlessly.
From web design to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing, marketers have had to adapt to changing customer behaviors.
Indeed, as customer journeys become more erratic, omnichannel marketing becomes a necessity.
So, with this uncertainty still looming, which digital marketing trends for 2022 deserve your attention?
Let us explore some prominent current trends and their trajectories to find out.
Digital Marketing Trends of 2022
Initially, let us exclude the oft-cited Artificial Intelligence (AI) from this list and only offer an honorable mention.
Indeed, AI already powers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, Big Data analytics tools, and even email solutions.
However, the exact usefulness of AI in 2022 marketing presents two distinct challenges:
- It is still in its infantile state. While AI may grow into a marketing juggernaut in the somewhat near future, it still serves as an enhancement more so than as a marketing spearhead.
- It remains relatively expensive. While some of its applications have become more affordable, the more intricate ones still remain out of smaller businesses’ reach.
Thus, excluding Al’s vast untapped but unpredictable potential, let us pinpoint 7 digital marketing trends for 2022 we can gauge.
1. Marketing will become Harder.
First and foremost, as we outlined in the introduction, digital marketing will only become harder over time.
Thus, for many businesses, it will present the reasonable dilemma between DIY marketing and hiring professional marketing agencies.
To make the wisest choice in this regard, one needs to know exactly what challenges they’ll face in 2022. Among many, consider the following 3:
- Customer journeys are becoming increasingly erratic. As omnichannel marketing takes hold, customer journeys feature increasingly more touchpoints – and chances for premature exits.
- Google is seeing changes. From ever-changing algorithms to Core Web Vitals and more, Google will continue to shake the foundations of SEO.
- Customer behaviors are changing as well. Finally, in no small part due to the global pandemic, customers’ behaviors continue to change, both topically and globally.
Thus, if one’s budget permits it, professional hired help should offer an increasingly viable alternative to internal efforts.
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2. Featured Snippets will Dominate SEO.
That aside, we may delve into specifics – starting with blogging. Blogging is a crucial business asset, and the prevalent trend of featured snippets will have to inform its SEO.
Featured snippets are otherwise known as “position zero” in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That’s because they appear at the very top, over the first SERP result, allowing for “zero-click” searches.
Understandably, in past years featured snippets have occupied a somewhat grey SEO territory. On the one hand, they offer information swiftly and thus add value to search results.
On the other hand, they deprive websites of direct traffic. Now, however, this is changing.
Increasingly more SEO practitioners covet featured snippets, offering alluring enough information within them to still attract clicks and increase traffic.
There is a simple reason for this, and it’s that position zero offers unquestionable visibility. The first 3 results in SERPs will share more than half of all clicks, and position zero is above them.
As such, featured snippets will very likely be among the digital marketing trends for 2022 to look out for.
3. …and so will Image Search.
A second point on SEO that warrants discussion is image search. Image search, of course, always enjoyed significance within SEO – but never more so than now.
In fact, Google found that image searches had increased by a massive 60% between 2016 and 2018.
Now, with 2022 fast approaching, this growth has not slowed down in the slightest.
To account for this trend, marketers may leverage different visual-based strategies, such as:
- SEO image optimizations. Adding alt. tags, appropriate titles, and relevant, descriptive text will allow images to appear in Google image searches for more visibility.
- Captivating paid ads. Similarly, Pay per Click (PPC) marketing will need to become more vivid and captivating to allure new, visually invested audiences.
- Visual marketing. Finally, visual-focused social media like Instagram and Pinterest continue on a path of steady growth – offering excellent opportunities for additional marketing campaigns and Cross-posting.
4. Local SEO will become Increasingly Crucial.
A final note on SEO that undoubtedly deserves attention is the surge of local SEO. Especially in such troubled times, local SEO can offer increased brand visibility as few marketing endeavors can.
In brief, local SEO relies on Google My Business (GMB) for local visibility in search engines. This free business listing then allows access to Google’s app ecosystem, notably including Google Maps.
The benefit of local SEO is indeed massive, as it directly addresses “near me” searches.
These searches typically carry purchasing intent, which is why most of them result in direct purchases – whether physical or online.
That said, local SEO does require a different approach to general SEO. Specifically, it calls for the “local” factor in its name, requiring:
- Locally relevant keywords
- Locally valuable content
- Local citations, backlinks, and reviews
However, despite the additional effort, local SEO is bound to be among the most substantive digital marketing trends for 2022 and beyond.
5. Chatbots are becoming more Popular, and more Useful.
SEO aside, such technologies as chatbots also continue to surge in popularity.
In fact, Statista finds the global chatbot revenue has already doubled from 2018’s $40.9 million to $83.4 million and will soar to a massive $454.8 million by 2027.
That said, chatbots are not without challenges. For example, customers increasingly expect them as an option and value their ability to answer simple questions.
However, the majority still prefer to connect with a live agent for any complicated matter, as chatbots don’t suffice.
Regardless, chatbots are highly lucrative already. For one, they allow businesses to expand their operations outside of regular work hours and reduce customer service costs.
Thus, despite chatbots still requiring human assistance, for the time being, they are already shaping digital marketing’s future.
6. Influencer Marketing Continues to Dominate Social Media Marketing.
Finally, no list of digital marketing trends for 2022 could reasonably exclude social media. In this regard, there are two trends to note; influencer marketing and cause marketing.
Starting with the former, InfluencerMarketingHub notes that influencer marketing will continue to soar.
Other research agrees, including that of Statista, which forecasts a steady market expansion. There are multiple reasons for this prevalent trend – perhaps too many to thoroughly cover.
The fundamental ones, as the above article also notes, are simply authenticity, visual marketing appeal, and social media engagement.
However, influencer marketing will not simply expand in all directions. Rather, it will continue to specialize, with brands scrutinizing influencers’ reputations, niches, audience engagement rates, and more.
Thus, this distinction, especially coupled with the surge of cause marketing, should occupy marketers’ minds in 2022 and beyond.
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7. …and Cause Marketing is more Relevant than Ever.
Influencer marketing indeed overlaps with cause marketing, and both serve similar purposes; mainly, to project a brand image of authenticity, morality, and engagement.
Cause marketing, as the name suggests, is a marketing subset that revolves around rallying behind social causes.
Consider matters of discrimination and harassment, representation, access to health services, and more. Of course, because marketing responds to market demand for authenticity.
The Edelman Trust Barometer highlights a general customer distrust for marketing, coupled with massive value for
perceived ethical drivers – which cause marketing helps remedy.
While relatively new, because marketing does yield demonstrable results. Nike’s campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick should serve as an excellent example of this.
Of course, as with all social causes, cause marketing requires due care and adaptations. Different audiences and different markets respond differently to it, so there is no single universal approach to take.
Nonetheless, because marketing will remain a prominent trend to look out for.
Digital Marketing Trends for 2022: Wrap Up!
To summarize, digital marketing trends for 2022 will all seek to cater to a changing digital marketing landscape.
From the changing customer to changing Google algorithms, no marketer should overlook why such trends occur in the first place.
Featured snippets, image search, and local SEO will adhere to search engine developments. The latter will also adjust to the increasing significance of local audiences and local web traffic.
Similarly, chatbots will continue to augment websites and offer operational benefits while also projecting a professional look.
Moreover, they’ll follow a booming market as an added reassurance.
Finally, following the prevalence of visual marketing and customer distrust, influencer marketing, and cause marketing will continue to thrive.
Like all others on this list, they too address specific market demands and will continue to do so.
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