marketing | 6 min read

Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore in 2022

Published by Hardik Makadia on 12-Jan-2022

Introduction

The digital landscape is constantly trying to adapt to new practices. This is important not just for businesses to prove that they are competitive but also to stay updated and maintain an active, visible presence. It is necessary to be well-versed with the new marketing trends to generate more leads, improve conversions, and witness unprecedented growth. With the digital landscape being updated every second, it is vital that a digital marketer, whether a pro or an aspiring one, be well-equipped with knowledge and information about the developments in the field of digital marketing as and when they are occurring. This requires research, time, and energy. 

  • Because of the pandemic, there has been a fast shift from offline engagement to online consumption of media, information, and services. While digital-oriented engagement, and usage of marketing technologies were already prevalent before back, the COVID scenarios made this shift even more swift and evident. 

  • Some of the industries focusing their efforts on digital marketing trends include health, fashion, fitness, food industry, education, and entertainment.

  • The fact that so many industries are focusing on leveraging digital marketing trends hints at the multifarious benefits these offers. Tuning in to these new digital trends is affordable, targets the ideal buyers, helps businesses earn the customer’s trust, competes with more prominent brands, and gives them a better chance at generating revenues.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the component of marketing that makes use of the internet and online digital technologies and digital media to promote products and services, generate leads, increase conversions, and engage potential and existing buyers is called digital or online marketing. It includes elements like email, social media marketing (SMM), web-based advertising, mobile marketing, marketing automation, and search engine optimization (SEO).

While 2021 saw the reign of several digital marketing trends, ranging from voice search optimization, the use of AI and conversational marketing, programmatic advertising, and video marketing to augmented reality, some trends are here to stay. Compiled below is the list of ten such digital marketing trends that are the future of digital marketing and cannot be ignored at any cost.

The Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends Being Used by Innovative Companies

1. UGC or User-Generated Content

The key to understanding how powerful user-generated content lies in the simple fact that your audience is not just a buyer. They are primarily a participant by nature. We all are. We like to be a part of activities. The very idea of UGC is to make use of this innovation and excitement on the part of customers, luring them to create something of their own and providing them with the ability to share it with others. 

UGC is any form of content created by individuals (not businesses) and published on social or online networks. It could be in the form of text, images, videos, and more. In this process, the company or brand provides the audience (customers or non-customers) with a prompt or a challenge or any such activity which involves them as participants. The individuals then send their ideas or creative submissions related to the particular service or product the brand specializes in. 

The art of providing content creation tools to its users has been employed well by Doritos. Doritos knows how to keep the customers engaged on its site. From ‘oddly satisfying’ challenges to branded images and videos that users create and share, Doritos’ social media content is primarily user-generated.

UGC saves time, resources, and effort for a brand and creates a lot of promotional material that has personal value. It is also observed that UGC has a recorded 28% more engagement rate than the regular sharing methods.

2. Live Stream Shopping

A relatively new and exciting concept in digital marketing, live stream shopping has its origins in China. It is extremely popular for fashion and apparel, food, beauty products, consumer electronics, and furnishing goods and has changed the facade of eCommerce purchases and the way customers are engaging with the brands. 

Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger are the two brands that have adapted to this marketing medium and have generated good sales while still delivering top-notch customer experience. Live stream shopping events are a new avenue for digital marketing, and the marketing world will witness a rise in e-commerce live streams in 2022.

Thanks to the widespread use of TikTok, Facebook, Amazon Live, and Instagram by influencers, these channels are gaining massive popularity. 

3. Conversational Marketing and Chatbots

Conversational marketing is about one-to-one interactions with the customers in real-time. Live chat and chatbots are two tools intrinsic to this approach. Chatbots play a significant role in the success of conversational marketing and have extensive applications Chatbots these days are available with multiple levels of advancement and are capable of simulating face-to-face interactions. WotNot is one such platform that enables you to build a no-code chatbot, provide support through live chat, and allows you to get real-time performance updates with its analytics dashboard.

4. Account-based Marketing

Account-based marketing is where marketing and sales teams work in tandem and target potential prospects, later converting them into customers. In order to ensure a high ROI, companies need to pay attention to high-value accounts. Implementing the ABM strategy can help improve ROI significantly. This would also generate revenue and drive more conversions. Scaling ABM today is more affordable than it used to be earlier. The ABM approach is highly recommended to make the best out of your budget and resources and effectively sync your marketing and sales teams.

5. Influencer Marketing

With the advent of social media and Instagrammers, what is the future of digital marketing? Well, the answer is simple, influencers are the future. They could be celebrities, famous faces on YouTube or Instagram, and so on. Influencer marketing is the form of marketing in which a leader from a particular community or an individual who enjoys a certain influence in a specific industry amplifies a brand’s product or service to the market.

LinkedIn has emerged as a powerful channel, especially for  B2B marketing and demand generation. LinkedIn allows you to come across shareable content and customer insights. You can use your LinkedIn page to share updates that invite other users to participate in discussions. Twitter will be an excellent platform if you have a slogan for your next campaign. A designated hashtag on Twitter will encourage people to become a part of your marketing campaign. Twitter is also a well-known platform for SaaS companies to engage and interact with new-age entrepreneurs, start-up owners, and tech enthusiasts. 

In 2019 itself, more than 240 influencer platforms were established, proving the audiences’ faith in the word of these influencers. Brands these days are increasingly strategizing on Instagram marketing campaigns. Adidas’ ‘#MyNeoShoot’ became a big hit because of Selena Gomez being a part of it.

Influencer marketing is immensely powerful and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest trends in online marketing in the years to come. Not only does it boost ROI, but it also significantly impacts purchase decisions. Influencers save your time and improve your brand awareness effortlessly.

6. Email Automation

Using a set of rules to trigger personalized email messages and based on particular actions of your customers is known as email automation. This way, customized emails with the right messages reach the right people precisely at the right time. These emails are designed and created keeping in mind the customers’ previous purchases, behavior, and buying preferences. According to MailChimp, “91% of consumers are more likely to patronize businesses that provide individualized recommendations and offers”. Tools like ActiveCampaign and MailChimp allows businesses to create drip campaigns and split testing that encourages better open rates.

7. Story-driven Content Visualization

Another popular approach amongst the new marketing trends is the use of story-driven content. Image-focused platforms are the talk of the internet. Instagram and Pinterest are being used by businesses these days as they combine text with visuals and present a story to the audience.

According to a study, posts with images produce 180% more engagement. Individuals are visual learners. We look for images on Google as a first response when searching for something. A lot of companies these days are investing in visual search technology.

Visual content also has the edge over plain, written content. Infographics, images, and short videos have a higher recall value and make the message easier to absorb or understand.

8. Push Notifications

Brands these days are turning to push notifications to get the audience’s attention. Push notification or server push is a technology that sends a request for a given transaction to the customer. A mobile push notification is a message sent to a customer’s mobile device by an application or a central server. It is easier and faster for brands to reach out to their potential and existing customers. There is a push threshold that a brand must not ideally cross, though. 

Push notifications are great Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tools that help reduce the churn rate and boost sales. But it is a popular belief that “Receiving too many push messages can be annoying for users.” This means that this marketing trend must be used in moderation to yield conversions and more engagement and shouldn’t tamper with the overall website experience.

9. Voice Search

Voice search is a digital marketing trend with a longer shelf span than what companies imagined. Local business information and internet searches prove that businesses need to rethink their marketing plan if they haven’t included a voice search option. Voice assistants these days are being optimized to react specifically to different commands and instructions from users. Many mobile searches these days are voice-activated and are based on a set of trigger words, according to which the voice assistant has been programmed. But, since there might be a saturation in businesses using voice search options in the near future, it is time that brands innovate and develop a unique approach to engage their customers through the medium of voice search.

10. Responsible Consumer

Sustainability is a word that the customer of this age and time is well-versed. People are becoming responsible buyers. They notice what products they are investing in and what brands they want to be associated with. They are also increasingly aware and conscious of how their buying habits impact the environment. This switch to social accountability has caused a shift in people choosing brands with more sustainable practices and products. Marketing how your brand is making a positive difference in the world is a significant digital marketing trend to hop on. VeganPay and Stripe’s fully functioning digital wallets are excellent examples of responsible consumerism. Conscious consumers have now found a separate platform for financial transactions. Stripe is already signing up for carbon-removal technologies that are yet to be innovated.

Key Takeaways

  • With the swift changes in the marketing space, it is essential that a digital marketer stays updated on the digital marketing trends that are likely to rule in the coming year.

  • Using the internet and online digital technologies and digital media/platforms to promote products and services and engage the potential and existing buyers is known as digital or online marketing.

  • Push notifications are an effective tool to get your audience’s attention.

  • User-Generated Content saves time, resources, and effort for the brand and creates a lot of promotional material with personal value.

  • Including visual elements and crafting story-driven content increases the recall value of your message and makes it easier for your customers to understand.

  • Using a set of rules to trigger email messages that are personalized and based on particular actions of your customers is known as email automation.

  • Marketing how your brand makes a positive difference in the world is a great digital marketing trend to follow.

Conclusion

It is essential for businesses, big and small, to stay updated on digital marketing trends that have proved to be a success in 2021. This is important for identifying the fastest-growing forms of marketing and harnessing the potential of the existing and the new marketing trends.

FAQs

1. What are the current trends in digital marketing?

Some of the popular trends in digital marketing are chatbots, personalized emails, video marketing, virtual selling assistants, influencer marketing, affiliates, conversational marketing, and AI-powered optimization.

2. What is the future of marketing?

The future of marketing will see a rise in consumer desires, needs, and wants. Digital marketers will have to expand marketing methods and diversify to seven or ten channels. Telling a real story, focusing on the customers’ needs, and implementing organic ways of getting traffic will be future marketing goals.

3. What major trends influence marketing?

Increasing complexity in consumer purchasing decisions, personalization in product design, mobile marketing, transparency between the brand and its customers, data-driven marketing, accurate and visible metrics are some of the major trends that influence marketing.

4. What is SEO in digital marketing?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of improving the quality and quantity of the website traffic to a web page from the search engines.

5. What are the pillars of digital marketing?

Digital marketing rests on four pillars - content, communication, community, and commerce.

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