Digital marketing trends are officially old enough to be much like fashion—they seem to cycle back around but usually with a new twist.
You’ll see a cast of familiar concepts floating around in 2022: Storytelling, content is king, focus on user experience, video is essential, the list goes on. However, there are three topics we’re watching in 2022 that are refreshingly new:
Trend #1: The evolution of marketers themselves
Marketers are evolving in ways that are remarkable and doing so in a remarkably swift way. They are needing to be educators as much as they are marketers—educating the consumer, educating team members and educating themselves on new tools within marketing.
Being a master at every social and digital platform in every possible way is impossible—specializations and niches are becoming more relevant with each new platform that pops into existence and each new tool or strategy for advertising.
Much like other evolutions, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, there are now more courses, certifications, YouTube trainings and articles out there that allow for deep-dives into niches that really interest and drive a marketer. Sure, you should be well versed in a variety of marketing elements; but, on the whole, marketers are finding their preferred paths and becoming so adept in niche spaces that they can easily evolve within that tool, tactic and platform.
What does this mean for you or your business? Allow time and space for professional development. Allow you and your team to thrive in the areas that most interest you and encourage education in those spaces. Who knows, your business might thrive if your marketing focused on a particular tool or tactic instead of spreading itself far and wide.
Trend #2: Audio – it’s like “radio” but infiltrating everything
Audio is now an extension of everything we do. For example, “Hey Alexa, we need more toilet paper!” is a commonplace phrase. And how often do we select our favorite podcast from our streaming platform of choice instead of choosing traditional radio where you might hear more ads than music?
Even our social media is trending to audio. Clubhouse was introduced in 2020; and perhaps it was the pandemic, perhaps it was just the right time in the grand social media timeline, but it took off. By the end of 2020, Clubhouse had 600,000 registered users and in January of 2021 the app’s active weekly user base consisted of around 2 million individuals.
(Clubhouse, for those who aren’t yet familiar, is a social audio app. No video, no images, no text-based posts – just people talking and listening. Unlike a giant room with a mass of people arguing with one another (which may be what just came to your mind), Clubhouse uses hosts who have the option to mute or unmute speakers. Participants have to “raise hands” before being approved; and there is no pressure to speak if you’re in a chat room. If you just want to sit and listen, you can do that too. The rise of Clubhouse’s popularity has since spurred on Twitter Spaces, Discord Stage channels, Facebook Live audio rooms—LinkedIn even has a space now.)
What does this mean for you or your business? Social audio now brings to mind so many questions we’ve asked before; but this time we’re thinking of entirely different ways of engagement. Questions like how could audio spaces impact your company’s internal communications? Is your product or service better understood through a conversation or presented through audio? Storytelling is still a key need in content, but is your story better told in spoken form? Would a podcast or interactive audio work for your brand? What kind of content plan would you need to support audio? All good questions to ask yourself in 2022.
Trend #3: Massive visual stimulation
Audio may be on the rise, but let’s take a pause and consider the massive amount of visual stimulation that reaches us every day. Instagram moved to have videos play automatically. Individuals are creating and publishing short-form videos more rapidly than ever, and TikTok has taken these videos to new levels of popularity. Photos are now motion graphics, and we text with gifs. Our eyes and brain take in more visual stimulation than was ever in existence before.
These types of visuals are one thing, but the time is now to begin exploring virtual reality as a digital marketing tactic. No longer is this just something for “gamers.” VR is a hugely immersive experience—global revenue of the industry grew from $7.17 billion in 2017 to $74.82 billion in 2021. We’ve been familiar with in-game advertising, but did you know last year Facebook announced they would be trialing ads within the Oculus platform? (And before you brush that off with a “Facebook is dead” comment, please remember that they have 3 billion users and are growing every day. We, as marketers, won’t be going without Facebook anytime soon.)
What does this mean for you or your business? Consider this just another tactic to read articles about, listen to podcasts on, or even join a Clubhouse chat about. Who knows, you may have just found your new niche in this vast marketing world.
Flexibility and adaptability are key to your digital marketing strategy in 2022. Keep your foot on the gas as you navigate 2022—and if we can assist with your efforts, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on LinkedIn for more insights.