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.
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.
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Updated: Originally published September 6th 2018