As the world transitions from 2021 to 2022, marketers must re-evaluate and expand their digital marketing strategies according to the latest trends. Digital marketing is constantly evolving due to external forces, like the COVID-19 pandemic, and internal forces, such as innovative marketing technologies. That is why 44% of B2B marketers have completely changed their marketing channel mix in the past 6-12 months. Regardless of your level of affinity for dynamic channel mixes, it is time to enhance your digital marketing by accounting for the latest trends.
2022 Digital Marketing Trends on Tap
- Cookie-less Marketing
- Better Accessibility to e-Commerce Shopping Tools
- Connected TV
- Explosion of Short-Form Videos
- How to Navigate These New Trends
So much for the 2022 COOKIE APOCALYPSE. After plenty of fear and dread, Google has pushed back its looming elimination of tracking cookies from Chrome until the second half of 2023. However, the coming cookie-less marketing world is not to be ignored. Procrastination is not a luxury marketers can afford on the subject matter. Instead, using 2022 as a period of creative thinking, planning, and execution will allow digital agencies and companies to transition to 2023 seamlessly.
To help companies stay ahead of the curve, Google has created “Google’s Privacy Sandbox,” which is an opportunity for digital marketers and technology professionals to provide input on new privacy-centric approaches. Google’s privacy-first measures also include the formation of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and Consent Mode Beta.
We covered the impacts of Google Chrome discontinuing support of third-party cookies in a separate blog post earlier this year. In essence, companies will need to demonstrate a clear focus and sense of ingenuity in compensating for the lack of third-party data.
Many app developers and data-centric companies have already contended with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy. Concerning apps running on iOS devices, the company changed its approach in mid-2021, requiring users to manually opt-in for apps to track data. The impact has been sizeable, with 62 percent of users opting out when prompted. Companies like Facebook have taken significant hits on revenue, attributing the downturn to Apple’s policy change. At the same time, Apple Search Ads has gone from being responsible for 17 percent of iPhone app downloads to 58%. A relatively modest revenue-generating wing of Apple may soon produce 20 billion a year from advertising by 2024.
The looming changes from Google coupled with Apple’s recent adoption of ATT mean users are front and center in the data privacy conversation. Once reliant on third-party data, marketers will soon have to shift tactics, installing new attribution systems or using their first-party data. Ultimately, building audience targeting based on purchase history or similar demographics may become the predominant way marketers reach consumers.
When the time of reckoning does come for third-party data, our team forecasts a few inevitable changes.
- Companies will develop their own privacy-compliant alternatives.
- Digital marketers will shift to more audience-behavior based targeting.
- A heavy emphasis will be placed on customer intent.
- There will be an increased need for companies to present digestible first-party data to convert into lookalike audience insights.
- Large companies will attempt to generate more first-party data by creating full-service platforms.
Better Accessibility to e-Commerce Shopping Tools
Becoming a one-stop shop is no longer unique to gas stations and outdoor malls. Social media apps continue to evolve, adding features to keep users on the platform and complete the consumer journey from inspiration through purchasing. Facebook now has Marketplace, Instagram recently created Shopping, TikTok is piloting Shopping, all intended to allow companies and influencers to convert impressions into transactions, all from within the apps.
This functionality also has an underlying, secondary purpose: first-party data. By engaging users and allowing them to complete transactions through the app, companies like Meta can accrue large sums of first-party data, which as we discussed above will prove vital moving forward with avenues to third-party data quickly getting roadblocked.
One of the main reasons why these platforms can seamlessly morph into digital shopping malls is the growing consumer base: Consumers social media usage is on the rise (increase in social media users over the past year):
So, what exactly does this mean for the future of digital marketing? With growing social media usage seen across generations, it’s essential to ensure engagement with these different audiences in the channels and mediums most frequented. For example, if an established brand targets Baby Boomers, it wouldn’t make sense to explore a channel like TikTok, where the average user’s age skews much younger. Instead, advertisers need to strategically reach these users in channels they spend more time on, like Facebook and Google. At agencies continually reevaluating their processes, such as Lever Interactive, you’ll see strategies utilize a heave mix of proprietary audience and competitive insights tools. That mix provides a clear window into where a client’s target audience is most likely to interact and engage with the brand’s paid and organic messaging.
In addition, the shift towards having a client’s products displayed and purchased through social media will alter strategic efforts in 2022 and beyond. It fundamentally changes how, where, when and to whom shopping campaigns are conducted. As previously mentioned, understanding consumer behaviors and demographics on these platforms will provide valuable insight. Equally as importantly, these opportunities will also prove highly conducive for gathering valuable first-party data.
Simply put, the pandemic acted as a colossal catalyst for US Connected TV (CTV) ad spending. There has been a 59.9 percent increase in dollars spent through the channel from 2020 to 2021. A boon for connected TV data analysts arrived with work-from-home initiatives across the country. However, as many consumers begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, habits and behaviors are shifting accordingly. With hybrid and return-to-work models gradually integrating into workplace settings, data collectors can no longer easily track users based on Wi-Fi. Why does this matter? While it certainly will not slow down the fastest-growing marketing channel, it will instead equate to digital agencies altering their approach towards audience targeting. Essentially, evolve or fall behind in the great race that is CTV.
Secondarily, CTV is quickly becoming a diverse and expansive landscape, with supply slightly outpacing demand. Couple that diversity with increased efficiency in ad buying, and the result is wider accessibility for companies looking to explore the channel. While some premium CTV agencies remain inaccessible due to high spending minimums, there is an increasing number of cost-efficient paths for businesses to take towards CTV success. Perhaps that’s why recent sentiment surveys show brands reallocating their social media budgets towards CTV. Companies can now A/B test in real-time with CTV, reducing risk and creating opportunities to alter creatives and targeting tactics even with lean budgets. Looking at driving return on ad spending, 91 percent of marketers feel CTV is equal to or more effective than traditional TV. Next year it is poised to see a growing number of small to mid-sized companies exploring CTV and the benefits it presents.
While many view CTV ad buying as purely a brand awareness tactic, CTV is beginning to accomplish much more than increasing impressions and views. CTV buyers can now create customized audience lists based on who has interacted with your CTV ads. These audience lists can then be retargeted via supplementary programmatic display campaigns or retargeted across other supported channels such as search, social, and more. Needless to say, savvy advertisers will efficiently leverage and aggressively retarget these audiences across their digital marketing strategies in 2022 while the rest of the industry falls behind.
In these articles, we covered CTV more in-depth, titled Enhancing Customer Engagement and Conversions with Connected TV Ad Campaigns and Streaming Digital Success with the Growth of Connected TV.
Explosion of Short-Form Video Content
While CTV may be siphoning social media budgets, the channel’s most popular feature appears to be no worse for the wear. Short-form video content has seen a drastic increase in popularity and effectiveness among digital marketers. Interestingly, 85 percent of marketers rank short-form videos as the most effective social media content, while 64 percent plan to invest more into short-form videos in 2022. Additionally, more than 31 percent of global marketers currently invest in short-form video content; 46 percent of them consider the strategy effective when it comes to performance and engagement.
One of the most underestimated benefits of short-form video content is the inherent versatility. Not only have short videos proliferated social media, but they can be adapted easily to fit into a website’s FAQ and About Us page. Conducted effectively, quick “How To” videos have the potential to project a brand as being a thought leader. The effect is magnified when the content appears user generated. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as more authentic. Oddly, there is a wide chasm in the understanding of authenticity between consumer and marketer. Marketers are 2.1 times more likely to view brand created content as more authentic. The two competing notions work to prove that success of short-form video content is likely to hinge on a company’s ability to transform branded messaging into the appearance of user-generated content.
All of this is to say, short-form video is no longer a content creator and influencer tool, or even just a social media tool; it is a vital marketing tool. The ability to seamlessly integrate a brand’s messaging into the target audience’s social feed and integrate the media into the company’s website will prove crucial in 2022.
How to Navigate These 2022 Digital Marketing Trends
Due to an immense number of options, opportunities, and pitfalls, the ability to create a successful marketing channel mix in 2022 will be imperative. Crafting a customizable marketing strategy takes tremendous foresight and nimble maneuvering. Resources need proper allocation between creating for the now and preparing for the future. Why? Because trends of today become fads of yesterday and attempting to capitalize too slowly in the present will inevitably produce a poor ROI in the future.
If you’re interested in partnering with a proactive digital agency that values trust, confidence, and creativity, you can reach out to us at Sales@LeverInteractive.com. We’re looking forward to helping you with your digital marketing needs, in 2022 and beyond.
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