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2022 Digital Marketing Trends

2022 Digital Marketing Trends

“The only constant in life is change” Heraclitus

In the digital world, we see this happen at an alarming pace. It can be a struggle for marketers and our clients to keep up. Not to worry! Here are 7 digital marketing trends to follow in 2022 to keep current. Get in touch with us today for an overview of your digital marketing strategy!

Sweet Simple SEO

SEO is nothing new, but the number of businesses that still don’t follow SEO best practice guidelines within their marketing strategy is kind of startling. As Google’s algorithm’s get more sophisticated, SEO requirements seemingly get both more intricate, and simpler. Confusing, right? Not really.

Google’s algorithm’s have evolved to better predict user intent, meaning your focus should be on user experience. Simply put, write & design for humans first, not search engines.

SEO is not just about putting out helpful blog posts (such as this one) with strategically placed keywords to answer your potential customers search queries. That’s still definitely part of it! Blogging is not going anywhere. But there many search engine optimization opportunities throughout your website and social media pages that you should be taking advantage of to increase your online visibility and ensure that your website and content are as discoverable as possible.

Inbound Marketing is In

 Inbound marketing is the preferred marketing strategy of most businesses these days, yet 27% of marketers will be giving it a go for the first time in 2022. 11% of marketers say that it will be their biggest investment for the year. Outbound marketing has been on its way out (pun might be intended) for years now, and in the last 2 years dealing with the pandemic, cold-calling, billboards, radio ads, etc. are less effective than ever to reach potential leads.

With an inbound marketing model, you attract customers by creating valuable content that is tailored to them. This allows them to come to you, rather than you trying to flag them down with more obtrusive (and maybe outdated) marketing methods that aren’t as well received in our socially distanced, work-from-home society. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, inbound marketing was a best practice for growing brands, as it was simply better received by consumers.

Mobile Optimization!

 More than half of online traffic comes from mobile devices. That alone should be reason enough to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile.

As the buying power of millennials and Gen Z grows, investing in mobile-optimized digital experiences continues to be a wise marketing investment. These highly connected generations are not only using brand’s websites on their mobile devices, but mobile email and social media as well.

There’s another no-brainer reason to invest in mobile optimization. Google actually practices mobile-first indexing. This means that the mobile version of your site is crawled before your desktop version, so if your mobile version doesn’t make the grade, you’re doing yourself no favours.

According to HubSpot’s Marketing Trends of 2022:

  • 33% of global marketers invest in mobile web design
  • 84% of marketers that focus on mobile web design are planning to continue to invest the same amount or more in 2022
  • 64% of SEO marketers call mobile optimization an effective investment

Social Responsibility Will Be a Priority

 While 31% of marketers say that social responsibility is not necessarily effective when it comes to campaign performance or increasing engagement, 45% still are planning to invest in it in 2022. There has to be a reason for that!

The 2020’s have been a wild time, with a global pandemic causing all kinds of unrest, confusion, and uncertainty in so many aspects of our lives. People want something that they can trust in, even in something as simple as the brands they choose to buy from. Transparency, ethics, and social responsibility matter to the modern consumer, especially in a time where there are so many unknowns. This is why companies have made a conscious decision to shift their social media strategies in particular to focus on initiatives, promotions, and offerings, while supporting causes or missions that they care about. Even though this may not have a direct effect on lead generation or sales, a sense of social responsibility definitely lends itself to trust in your brand and building your brand reputation.

Permanent vs Ephemeral Social Media Posts

 While ephemeral content (the short-lived stuff that disappears after 24 hours, like Instagram stories) won’t be going anywhere, brands are seeing that permanent social media content may be a little more valuable. Posts that people can go back to, share with their friends, and view over and over again may be more effective marketing tools than something that disappears after 24 hours. That’s not to say there is no place to ephemeral content! It depends a lot on the social platform your audience frequents, and your brand culture.

Marketers are looking to find the balance between the two in 2022, and for many, it looks like increasing the budget for standard permanent posts and videos, and slightly decreasing the budget for ephemeral content.  A mix of both can give your brand the freshness and urgency of temporary content with the steady engagement, long-term brand awareness, and discoverability of permanent posts. The best of both social media worlds!

Shorter Video Content

 Short-form content is one the most effective trends marketers are currently using. Maybe it has something to do with our attention spans? (It certainly does!) While you can get more information about products, brands, services and more into a longer video, both B2B and B2C market research has found that getting straight to the point in short-form videos is much more effective.  Short videos are also much cheaper to make, with so many video creation tools at our disposal. So, if you plan to leverage video in your marketing, keep it short and sweet. Not convinced on this one? I have one word for you. TikTok.

Branded Audio Content

The summer of 2021 saw the rise of Clubhouse – an invitation only audio chatroom app. This app gained millions of users without any visual content at all! This threw other platforms into a frenzy, causing Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to build copycat features, like Twitter Spaces. While this trend is still fairly new, data suggests that audio chatrooms do provide engagement and brand awareness, and brands do seem to be investing in exploring this digital marketing trend in 2022.

The other audio content trend to be mindful of in 2022 is podcasts. While podcasts are not new, their popularity does continue to climb. This may be due to the fact that many of us are still working from home.  53% of content marketers find podcasts and audio content effective to garner brand awareness and engagement. 80% plan to continue investing the same amount or more of their budget into podcasts and audio chatrooms in 2022.

Digital Marketing for Your Small Business

An important thing for small businesses to remember is to choose the most effective strategies for your budget. While podcasting might sound fun and exciting, it may not be the best use of your marketing budget or resources. Need help deciding where to allocate your marketing dollars? Call Smart WSI Marketing for a free consultation to discuss your needs, budget, and overall digital marketing strategy.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Consultant
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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The Web Marketing Association (WMA) has just wrapped up it’s 26th awards season. WMA is made up of a committee of industry leaders and expert judges dedicated to raising the standards of excellence in web development. The committee receives global nominations in 97 categories across the industry, and since joining the race in 2007, the WSI family has received over 150 WMA awards, including top agency twice!