Is your digital-marketing strategy fit for 2022? We’re the first to say these past two years have been testing, to say the least, but if there’s one thing we’ve all learnt, it’s that the marketing landscape looks nothing like that of a pre-pandemic world. Now more than ever, it’s essential that your digital marketing strategy is both tailor-made to achieve your business objectives, and flexible enough to adapt with shifting trends.

You may be thinking, ‘well how do I know which trends to look out for?’ Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for Tann Westlake’s predictions of the most important digital marketing and social-media marketing trends you’ll want to make sure you’ve covered in your 2022 digital marketing strategy.

More businesses will embrace consistent multi-channel marketing

Think about the research you did for a recent purchase… How many channels did you journey through before making that purchase? Do you know the answer to that question for customers purchasing your product or service? Statistics vary, but consumers will engage with somewhere between 4 and 14 pieces of content before making a purchase, from social content or Google Ads to testimonials and explainer videos. 

Last year, Omnisend found that marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. With so many digital marketing channels to consider, having a consistent and effective multi-channel marketing strategy is essential to ensure a solid customer journey. Taking a critical look at all your platforms and the purpose of each, and ensuring they drive your audience through an unforgettable journey that they won’t get lost in, is a must for 2022. 

Putting the personal in personalisation

In 2022, telling people about your products won’t be enough. Increasingly, your customers don’t want to simply hear about your product, they want to know how it’s going to enhance their lives, and what sort of brand they’re buying from. With an increased demand on paid advertising like Google, and brands everywhere upping their social-media game, we predict brands are going to have to work much harder to stand out in 2022. 

Inbound marketing – that is, search engine marketing, blogs, content and social media – needs to really speak to people to pierce through the fog of messaging. So, when it comes to creating your content, whether it be for Google ads or your SEO and blogs, make sure it’s tailored to your audience and what they need to hear. 

Nowhere will this be more true than for social-media advertising. As you know, utilising collective data – age, gender, location and behaviour – is essential when it comes to engaging new and existing customers and driving them towards a specific product or service.

How well do you know your audience segments and, critically, how their needs have changed in the past couple of years? If you haven’t given special attention to this, January 2022 is the time. Once you are clear on this, you can better segment your ads to be more tailored to each individual target audience and reap the rewards throughout 2022. 

If you’re not experienced at discovering insights about your target audience, don’t worry it isn’t as daunting as it may sound. Here’s a few of our top tips to help get you started…

  • Analyse your current customer base. An incredibly easy way to determine who your target audience is, is to look at who already buys from your product or service. How old are they, where do they live, what are their interests?
  • Create personas. This will help you to drill down into the specific segments that make up your audience. This could include hobbies, TV shows, publications, etc. 
  • Establish who isn’t your target audience. Knowing this will keep your team’s efforts from devoting its time into campaigns that won’t drive results. 
  • Continually revise! As you gather more and more research, your audience information will need to be updated accordingly. 

Competition for clicks will require smart optimisation

According to eMarketer, total digital ad spending will reach $455.30 billion this year. Of that, 55.2% will go to display advertising, and 40.2% will go to search. As competition increases, optimisation of these platforms will become even more critical. When it comes to ad optimisation you can make lasting impressions with your customers, but only if you are producing relevant, action-oriented copy that compels them to click. In 2022, you’ll need to ensure you use attribution and creative optimisation to understand your complex customer journeys across mobile and desktop devices and different ad placements. 

Responsive search ads will help you compete in a wider variety of relevant auctions by delivering ads that adapt to show the right message for the right query. This means that you can drive incremental conversions and create fewer ads, leaving more time to spend on strategic initiatives.

From June 30, 2022, responsive search ads will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns. This will be beneficial to businesses as the changes will help simplify the way you create search ads making it easier for you to drive performance with automated tools. But why wait? You can get ahead of the game and start utilising responsive search ads today to further increase engagement and sales. 

Customer connection is vital

It goes without saying that the pandemic has taught us many, many things. From the art of Zooming, to how to bake the perfect banana bread, we all learnt a lot from the months we were cooped up indoors. Amongst these important life skills learnt (yes, baking banana bread is a life skill), consumers learned new ways of using social media. Social media has been front and centre as we’ve adapted to a new way of living, shopping and interacting with brands. With fewer people going to real-life shops, and with social media essentially becoming brands’ storefront, it’s more important than ever that brands get it right. 

In 2022, building social strategies that reconnect your brand with your customers will be key to maintaining loyalty and trust. The digital space has shifted dramatically and brands need to embrace this shift to ensure they meet customers where they’re at. Since its inception, social media has provided huge benefits to companies, allowing brands to tell their story and build a community, and creating a platform in which to provide solutions to individual customer problems. But if there is anything that the last two years have taught us, it is that connection is key. Your customers drive your business, so building customer connections is vital. Build those connections on social media by customising your user interactions to improve relevance and authenticity, and build trust by ensuring a timely response to customer concerns or questions. 

Social, environmental and political issues cannot be ignored

Consumers’ awareness of social, environmental and political issues grew in 2021 and we predict this will continue to be a central theme on social media in 2022. Consumers like to know that the brands they are associated with are listening and responding to these social, environmental and political issues. Social media is of course a great way to make consumers aware that your brand aligns with their values but beware; consumers can easily spot, and call out, inauthenticity when it comes to inconsistencies between what a brand says and does. In 2022 brands will have to navigate this with great care. It’s imperative to use your platforms in a responsible and authentic way that not only encourages your audience to continue to follow and interact with your brand, but that also reinforces your reputation.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has been gaining ground for a while, and some say it will plateau this year, but we predict it will only become more dominant in 2022. ExpertVoice Consumer Trust Panel report explains that “having honest, personable and educated individuals making recommendations based on actual experience with the product is a key differentiator in determining whether they should trust a recommendation.” Considering a shift towards using influencer marketing in 2022 will be important for generating awareness as well as creating meaningful engagement. 

Here at Tann Westlake, we regularly work with influencers on behalf of our clients to generate new and engaging content. Click here to see one of our most recent ones with luxury cheesecake company Rhokett Cheesecakes. The video campaign reached thousands across social media and helped to increase Rhokett’s presence across their social media presence. 

Video content will dominate (again)

Yes, video may have featured in most predictions lists for the past decade but since its importance will continue to rise in 2022 our list would not be complete without it. 

Many businesses still overlook the fact that video content is the closest thing to a short-cut to success. According to HubSpot, 94% of marketers agree that videos have helped increase user understanding of their product or service, and 63% consider video engagements the top metric for success. Studies by Hootsuite have shown that Instagram reels gain businesses the most organic reach, providing more exposure. 

If you’ve yet to embrace video content as a means to reach new potential clients and engage with existing ones, 2022 is the time to start. However, you don’t need our crystal ball to predict that to stand out in today’s social media landscape videos will need to be more creative, innovative and entertaining than ever before. And, given that people’s attention spans are decreasing, making video content that’s short and highly relevant will be essential to build trust faster with audiences and to drive sales.

As we have seen over the last two years, things can change quickly but we hope these predictions will get you off to a flying start. Keeping up to date with trends and ensuring your digital marketing adapts accordingly will help you build a stronger brand presence for tomorrow so be sure to check back for updates throughout the year.

So, are you ready to stay on top of trends and ace your digital marketing in 2022? Or does it all seem a little overwhelming? Don’t go it alone, give us a call to see how the Tann Westlake team can help. Whether you need a whole new digital marketing strategy, or just a bit of help with Google Ads or social media, give us a call and we’ll talk you through how Tann Westlake can assist.