Marketing Trends Working in 2022

To maximise your digital marketing potential, it is important to understand what trends are leading, what things are old, and what opportunities are presented with advances in digital technology.

These are the top 10 digital marketing trends happening right now.

New:

  • Metaverse
  • NFTs
  • Crypto

Continuing:

  • First-party data
  • Supply chain

Introduce:

  • Live stream commerce
  • Simple content

Include:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • Gender Neutrality
  • Accessibility

New

Digitech has seen the introduction of many novel ways to be creative about branding, marketing and changing the shape of consumer connection. For younger people, an immersive experience in technology that is ever-present is normal and expected. Brands that are not willing to try and connect using new tools and implementing new ideas will find they are left behind.

Metaverse

The metaverse is anything in the virtual world of augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, and video. These online spaces are becoming the place where people work, play, socialise and essentially, live. While it might sound a bit sci-fi to believe that people would only interact online, there are many reasons people have been drawn to online interactions, such as the limitations that pandemic imposed on movement, people with mobility or other access limitations that mean living online is easier, as well as young people who are growing up in a world connected via technology is faster and more immediate ways than most adults today could ever have imagined in their own childhood.

The metaverse also has the potential to offer an entirely new set of performance metrics. According to some experts, ‘…marketers will be able to experiment with how long virtual objects are held, how much space they take up in a user’s peripheral vision, and even where users are looking when experiencing an ad.’ Such insights could help marketers and product developers to better understand how customers are reacting to new ideas, what things are attractive to different groups of people and how messaging could be improved to reach certain target markets.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

To prepare for Web 3.0, businesses need to be willing to experiment with new ideas. Understanding decentralization and how that will flow into the online marketplace is essential for all industries to grasp.

One feature of blockchain technology is the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Non-fungible means it can’t be exchanged for something of equal value, because it doesn’t have an equal. For example, 1 euro is fungible. You can exchange a 1 euro coin for two 50 cent coins because they are of equal value, meaning they are fungible. However, you cannot exchange a Van Gogh painting — a non-fungible item — for anything of equal value, because it is a unique item that has an authenticity factor.

NFTs are digital assets. These uniquely created digital assets can be crypto coins, images, videos, sound bites, graphics, animations, memes; anything that can exist on a blockchain.

Campbell’s, Charmin, and Coca-Cola have all issued NFT collectables. Adidas has partnered with NFT collections including the Bored Ape Yacht Club. NFTs are gaining in popularity with certain online audiences who see the tokens as an opportunity to own a ‘Van Gogh’ early in the collection period, while the price is still low and the value is set to increase. Brands using NFTs are mostly creating art and collectables to raise money for charities and promote partnerships. However, there are many ways to get into the NFT market with very little effort on your marketing team’s part. They are easy and fast to create and can attract massive attention if you launch your NFT well.

Cryptocurrency

Online businesses that have already moved to accept cryptocurrency payments are well ahead of competitors. The general public has been accepting of and easily understands, cryptocurrency. For those governments and businesses that are still resistant to change, the adoption of crypto payments might seem daunting, but it’s a simple process that will secure future business and improve reach.

Mainstream adoption of crypto is on the horizon. Online businesses that accept crypto payments will be ahead of the curve and have systems in place that are smooth and well tested, meaning that customers will feel more confident when using the payment type for the first time on your site, giving you an advantage over competitors.

Continuing

Some trends become normalised as standard practice over time. These two digital marketing trends are moving in that direction, so if they are not part of your strategy, it’s time to include them in your plans.

Zero & first-party data

In 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies. That means marketers need to take advantage of the final year of finding an audience through social media and create opportunities for gathering first-party data.

Moving forward, brands will need to integrate data collection methods that prioritize consumer privacy. Using CRM tools, surveys, email and newsletters are a few of the ways brands can start to harvest audience data and secure customer interactions. This is zero-party data – data given directly by the consumer through online interactions.

This data collection is important not only for structuring campaigns but also for the personalization of marketing campaigns. Personalization is an important trend that has become normalized, so gathering customer data is vital to creating marketing that connects in ways people have come to expect.

Supply chain buffering

For online stores with physical inventory, the past few years have presented many challenges to supply chain management – Brexit, the pandemic, truck-driver strikes and now a major war in Europe all cause disruptions to supply chains.

To mitigate supply chain issues, you can try buffering by having more stock in anticipation of delays in certain areas, research drop-shipping options and even simply communicate with your customers with transparency. There is nowhere in the world that has not felt the effects of the pandemic, and customers understand that delays are unavoidable, but they do not understand why stores aren’t telling them about delays. Keep your customers informed and you’ll keep your customers happy.

Give it a Try

These trends are affordable, easy and adaptable for any business size. Try these digital marketing trends as see if they might form part of a larger picture in your marketing plan.

Social commerce

Social commerce on TikToc, Instagram and other social platforms has helped brands to shorten the customer journey considerably. Brands that have launched shops on platforms have seen dramatic results. One skincare brand saw a 100% increase in revenue and a 1280% increase in referral traffic after launching an Instagram shop in November 2021.

Social commerce works well for clothing, makeup, skincare and other retail items that can be shown using UGC and influencers.

Live streaming is another great way to sell. Some brands use live streaming exclusively, often fronted by reality TV personalities or influencers, to sell products that are visually impactful. This creation of a ‘tribe’ or community, plus the energy of a live stream sale, generates an urgency in consumers that sees items sell fast. Just as TV shopping was once popular, live streaming has taken that role online.

Simple content

Content that connects with audiences is still the backbone of marketing. Creating impactful content that includes blogs, videos, photos, white papers and other informative and valuable content remains the best way to drive organic traffic. However, as brands have worked to cater to SEO algorithms, some content has become either too focused on keywords, or too convoluted for most audiences. The saturation of content has pushed many audiences away from engaging with brands. By simplifying and generating content that is focused on connections, such as email, newsletters, quizzes, games and other media that engage audiences, your brand can ascend above the competition and provide value to your target market.

Include

There are important changes happening in society that brands must pay attention to. An awareness of human rights issues and social change is vital to the success of any brand that is seeking to secure a connection with audiences.

Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

While sustainability and DEI do not seem to have a direct connection, they have both become essential to brand messaging.

Sustainability has long been a catchphrase that brands have used to greenwash their campaigns. Using the right words in a social responsibility charter or declaring a commitment to the environment needs to be more than simply a page on your website. Consumers are now aware of greenwashing, so your brand needs to be showing a real commitment to change, discussing the actions the company takes to follow through on its commitments to sustainability.

DEI is important to consumers. People want to see themselves in your brand. If you are a clothing retailer, you need to show people in wheelchairs wearing your clothes. If you are a skincare product retailer, you must have people of all backgrounds using your products. There is no room for discrimination in advertising, and there should be no room for it in your company either. Your marketing should consider your audience carefully and include those people who might be on the edges of your core audience, such as mobility-limited people, or older people.

Gender neutrality

Gender-neutral clothing collections have been released by some of the US’ biggest brands. While gender-neutral clothing is not new, the advertising of such products has changed. This shift in the US, late to the game when compared with markets in Asia, is an inclusive approach.

This trend is becoming more visible in advertising not only for retail items but in general. Brands that recognise the diversity of people in their customer base are more likely to be successful in the long term because they are not excluding people based on old stereotypes.

Accessibility

JCPenney last year released a line of children’s clothing that included pieces for kids with disabilities. They designed pieces that included easy buttoning, sensory-friendly items and clever pockets.

Other non-retail sectors are beginning to see the importance of expanding their services to be more inclusive, such as banks and pay-day loan vendors who recognise that a person having a disability does not mean a person without a disposable income. Ensuring that your marketing highlights the ways in which you include all people in your target audience as part of your message is important. That means that even if your brand is aimed at 16-year-olds who ride skateboards, you represent the people in that demographic carefully by including other-abled athletes in your advertising.

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