There’s a revolution going on in the digital marketing landscape, and it’s moving very quickly.
We have new technology coming out daily, and the techniques for digital marketing are changing in real time which means that it is no longer enough for marketers and online business owners to simply keep pace with all this, you actually have to ensure that you stay ahead of the curve if you hope to succeed in online marketing.
How do you do this?
By looking forward to the trends, strategies, and technologies that are coming next and then implementing the right steps to help move your business in the direction that it needs to go in terms of brand awareness and sales.
How to Get (And Remain) Ahead of Your Competition
Listed below are 9 of the most important developments that are most likely to impact the digital marketing environment in 2022.
Read on to see which ones you can start applying to your own business or blog.
1. Internet Catches up to TV
According to a recently conducted study, by 2019, the internet will have caught up to TV in hours watched.
Research shows that most people will spend, on average, 2.6 hours on the internet and 2.7 hours watching television each day. And almost an hour of the time spent online daily will be allocated to watching mobile video.
This means that companies will likely spend less on TV ads and start focusing more on social media, web videos, and online ads in the coming year.
But what does that mean for the bloggers and small business owners?
It means a much bigger audience and many more opportunities for sales and conversions.
2. Voice-based Search Takes Off
Voice-based search queries are increasing by the day, and by 2022, we can expect to see voice recognition technology growing bigger and better.
Smart marketers should sit up and take notice because consumers are loving having the convenience of an intelligent voice search.
So, if you want to get in front of this trend, you can start thinking about the various differences between voice search and text search. Consider what your audience might speak (as opposed to typing) when they are trying to find something out.
If you haven’t already been doing so, you should start writing in a tone that is more ‘conversational’ than ‘monologue’.
This helps you to create content that is more aligned with voice search. Also, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you may want to get on that asap.
The majority of voice searches right now are based on utility.
This is when they’re driving or they’ve got their hands full, but as the word accuracy gets better and better in the new year, you can expect your audience to become used to having their search needs met, and you will most likely see lots of businesses competing on this platform, too, as they fight to understand how to get found with voice search.
3. Customer-Centric Marketing Rises
This type of marketing isn’t new, but since there is always new data coming in, it has become possible to customize your messages and make them even more targeted.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, most marketers have moved from having to rely only on demographics to actually having the desires, activities, habits, and buying preferences of their customers made available to them with a simple series of mouse clicks.
Additionally, some businesses are starting to learn how to use such actionable metrics to effectively convert data to sales.
As marketers, we always want to know what our prospects and customers are thinking, and now the Internet marketing industry can actually leverage customercentric mindset since we have all the data to support it (where once it was a huge guessing game).
Smart marketers who embrace this will be able to truly deliver to their customers exactly what they want to buy.
4. Chatbots Become Commonplace
Chatbots are taking over customer service for a lot of huge brands, and the next year will see even more businesses joining the revolution resulting in increased customer interactions that are dealt with by bots.
Chatbots are not only an effective means of mass communication, but they are also a great two-way channel to communicate with your audience.
This boosts customer satisfaction and will also boost your business’s response rate on social media. This improves your SEO as well as your likelihood of people recommending your brand.
Some marketers are a bit hesitant when it comes to integrating bots into their customer service because they are afraid of creating a poor user experience. But, according to a recent survey, almost 75% of consumers report that they have had positive experiences with chatbots.
So, considering all of the benefits mentioned here, implementing this in your business has a massive market potential.
If you’re still undecided, you may want to check out the service before you make your decision.
There’s an ever growing number of free Chatbot options for you to choose from (like Snatchbot). It’s just a matter of finding one that you like and using it.
5. AI-Powered Solutions Everywhere
Whether you have a small business or a large enterprise, AI-powered solutions are all around you. This year saw a lot of brands starting to experiment with AI, and ML (machine learning application).
Next year, we’re going to see even more of this trend as most of the businesses start getting it right.
From robotic process automation to chatbots and everything in between, it’s clear that a higher value is being placed on customer satisfaction, improved efficiency, and increased productivity.
In 2022, technology powered by artificial intelligence will be everywhere, and those who don’t start to make use of these apps to find an edge over their competitors will be left behind.
With AI-powered solutions, customer-centric marketing will soar to new heights in 2022. Marketers will benefit from better trend analysis, improved customer profiling, and more sophisticated strategies for personalization.
If you want to get ahead of this trend, you should look for ways to use artificial intelligence in understanding the content that your potential customers are consuming (be it marketing content, support documents, technical articles, or user-generated content).
This will help you create a more personalized user experience and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
6. Social Media Influencers
The use of social media influencers isn’t anything new, but the trend is growing, especially in digital advertising.
2022 will see the influencers impact growing more and more. We can already see that these days in some of those powerful influencers who have more followers than some small nations, and that trend is only going to grow.
Before, marketers used to get influencers to openly endorse certain products, but now that consumers are more alert to that, they have become less receptive, which means that a more subtle approach is called for.
In 2022, more businesses will be focusing more on developing long-term relationships with those influencers in an effort to connect and grow together, thus being able to create more ‘organic’ endorsements.
Creating long-term relationships also helps to prevent influencers from abandoning the brand.
7. Content Clusters Improve SEO
The algorithms used by search engines are forever changing, and now, rather than show keywords, they display a preference to content clusters focused on particular topics. Knowing this, smart marketers have begun linking their content and creating ‘clusters’ around the pillar subjects relating to their niche.
Pillar content refers to those pages that outline topics broadly, for instance, ‘Weight Loss’.
The clusters around that topic would be focused on specific long-tail keywords (for instance, How to lose belly fat for women, Losing weight after pregnancy, or Best foods to help you lose weight, etc.).
The pillar page is linked to all of these cluster pages, each of which links back to the pillar using the same hyperlinked keyword.
This means that if one of the pages performs well, the whole cluster gets a boost.
Such content clusters tell search engines that you’re an expert in your particular category, and that makes it more likely that you will get the top spot in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
8. Video Views Are More Popular Than Ever
Video has been leading Internet traffic for some time now, and the next year is going to see this trend continuing to grow at an explosive rate.
Who would have guessed just a few short years ago that video would account for almost 80% of all web traffic by the year 2022?
But, it does make sense when you consider that the average person’s attention span online is extremely short and that most of them would opt to watch a video instead of reading a long blog post.
Marketers who want to keep their audience’s attention need to create engaging video content which delivers what your ideal audience wants, how they want it, and when they want it.
So, don’t throw together a measly two or three-minute piece, but take time to create videos that give real value. That is the only way to succeed with video marketing.
When executed well, this type of marketing will produce some truly outstanding results for your business.
According to some studies, just adding a video to your email is enough to boost your click-through rates by up to 300 percent, and putting a video on your landing page increases your conversions by up to 80 percent.
Live video feeds have already started exploding, and 2022 will see even more of this trend, except that there will be much more originality. No longer will marketers be creating videos just for the sake of having moving pictures.
Next year, we are going to see a lot more interactive and imaginative video marketing which promotes user engagement.
As previously mentioned, people have short attention spans nowadays, and it’s the marketers who come up with engaging and exciting videos who are going to rule the internet.
9. Native Advertising Pushes Marketing to Become More Creative
People today have become resistant to most forms of advertising.
This is why there has been a huge increase in the use of ad blockers. This poses a huge challenge for marketers because it’s becoming harder and harder for them to get their messages out.
If you want to connect with new prospects and customers in the new year, then you will have to work on making your ads blend more naturally into content.
Thanks to the onset of native ads, marketing now has to be a whole lot more creative, and this is where native advertising comes in. Native ads offer a break from all those ‘in-your-face’ advertising techniques like the banner ads.
But, as marketers are now trying their best to be less annoying, it forces them to toe the thin line between native ads and traditional ads.
Knowing whether articles online are real or sponsored can be hard, and in the years to come, platforms may find themselves in situations where users request clearer differentiation between the various types of content.
This will push marketers to find more innovative ways of getting their message across.
In spite of most consumers getting wiser, native adverts are still an essential part of digital marketing for a lot of businesses.
In the years to come, marketers will make use of native ad strategies through social media platforms like Instagram Stories to show content that people won’t recognize as advertisements (or if they do, they won’t mind).
It’s time to Future-Proof Yourself
While the future of digital marketing seems bright, it’s very easy to get left behind if you don’t keep up with all the latest trends.
One way of ensuring that you’re always ahead of the pack is by keeping an eye on future trends so that you’re ready when they eventually get here.
Being able to adopt some of the trends listed in this article will help you to stay well ahead of your rivals as well as boost your business’s potential for succeeding in 2022.
And there you have it: 9 Digital Marketing Trends that you should pay attention to in the new year.
Some of these trends may dominate, and others may just be forgotten in a month or two. But the important thing is to become familiar with them so that you can decide if any of these strategies can help you deliver a more personalized and sophisticated user experience for your audience.
So, pick one and get started future-proofing your business against the ever-changing digital marketing arena.
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published September 6th 2018
This Post Has 16 Comments
I think you really are on to something here. I love this post and your analysis of the trends.
I find the part of chatbots very interesting. My experience is that the bots are getting better and better when it comes to handle the initial contact and also to answer to frequently asked questions (FAQ). I believe that the first contact is always the most important, and if I find an answer to my question quickly then I remain as a happy customer. I would consider that as a good service.
I’m happy to hear you got some good information from the article.
Thanks for the kind words Marika!
Hello, I really enjoyed your article. I think it is important for there to be engagement with people face to face when it comes to business, however the next best thing is video. I feel it is important to be able to see a persons face in order to know who you are dealing with. It goes both ways for customer as well as business owner. Video definitely has come a long way over just a few short years. Even in advertising video is important. It helps to engage your audience. Not to mention you can make the ad more personal to what you are selling with video than you can with a banner or catalog. I can just imagine what it is going to look like in 5 years. Thanks again for your article.
Video has a proven track record for high conversion. Many marketers are reluctant to get into it though. It does take a little more effort but is well worth it.
Thanks for the comment Sherry!
When I first saw the title of this article, I thought, Oh no, not for me, I am too old to learn new things. Then I went back to it out of curiosity and am so pleased that I did.
There are so many things changing and so quickly and unless one keeps up to date and well informed, you will get left behind on this wonderful world of the internet.
The 9 Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 is so fascinating and worthwhile reading and learning about. Will have to study it again through the notes I made and decided where to begin. Many of the things I had not heard of before buy now cannot wait to make a start.
Think will begin with videos but was intrigued by chat bots, so will look into that too.
Perhaps, after all, these are not beyond me.
You can never stop learning in this business. Everything moves so fast! Stay curious and keep moving forward and you will succeed.
Thanks for the comment Jill!
As a digital marketer, this article is super helpful. I couldn’t agree more with the importance of video views. Back when I was in college a few years ago, I had seen the boost of YouTube and thought of getting into it. Unfortunately, I didn’t stick to it because of some issues and I regret it so much. Because of how accessible internet has been, the reach of it is bigger than any television I think. Soon I wouldn’t be surprised if internet views doubles the views of television. Internet is just global and something shared in the US can be seen by people in another part of the world. This isn’t the case with television thus the power of the internet!
Video is huge because users love it. Video traffic on the Internet as a whole continues to rise and any marketer that ignores this will surely be left behind.
Thanks for the comment Parmi!
I write a lot of content for my blog and I have to say that I was really interested in your section that covers the subject of content clusters – something I have never come across before.
You mention these clusters being built around ‘pillar subjects’ – could you maybe go a little deeper on this subject and explain to me what a pillar subject is?
How long have SEO savvy bloggers been using this cluster technique?
I don’t honestly know how long the cluster concept has been around.
Here is an article about pillar content that should help you get your head around the idea and how to use it to pump up your SEO:
How To Develop Successful Pillar Content For Higher Rankings
Thanks for the comment Chris!
Wow I like how you look to the future with your 2019 date. This is a great idea. Your website is set up very nicely and easy to navigate. Great job on the link placing as well. I liked learning about chatbots, and your statistics were great material for your website. I would like to hear about the different automation robots that you recommend.
If chatbots interest you, here is an article that discusses them in more detail:
Is Chatbot Marketing The New Email Marketing?
This article has a few free chatbots you can experiment with.
Thanks for the comment Allie!
I had never heard of voice searches before I read this article, and it’s surprising to know that its getting to be a trend. It’s not surprising, however, that people are spending just as much time online as they do watching television. TV seems to be slowly dying out, although it will probably never completely become obsolete. The internet is having the same impact on television as it has had on newspapers, and that television once had on radio.
You’re right. Slowly, the Internet will replace TV as we know it, and be our sole source of content.
If you’re ready for this, the sky’s the limit.
Thanks for the comment Cpascal!
I am totally captivated by your article, Steven. It was very well written and easy to understand. As I am pretty new to the online world of marketing, all these information are very valuable to me.
Internet catches up on TV – YES! Of course. My teenage kids are on the internet, mostly on YouTube more than the TV. And they are ‘toying’ with voice-based search too.
You certainly got my attention to pay attention to your online marketing advice.
TV viewership is in decline and Internet use has nowhere to go but up. Also, most buying decisions start online these days. This isn’t lost on advertisers.
The Internet is the future.
Thanks for the comment Sharon!