Top 9 Trends for Digital Marketing in 2022

Top Digital Marketing Trends

It’s 2022, an exciting year with perhaps finally arising from the pandemic. Let’s take a look at how your SEO, Content Strategy, PPC campaigns, and brand strategy might be affected.

It’s time to plan your marketing budget and your marketing strategy going forward. It’s a big challenge considering the economic uncertainty and the complexity of digital media. But you’ll think it through. You’re gathering thoughts on how to win and how to set your 2022 marketing priorities.

The top trend this year is that marketers must do more with what they have now. Yes, AI marketing tools and technology will bring changes for SMBs, but not yet. Companies are still struggling with the basics. A software program won’t solve these basic issues of the value you need to provide and communicate. That’s why buying a digital marketing audit is the right way to build a massive foundation for success.

SMBs Getting Squeezed Out

Up against industry behemoths like Facebook and Google, and being dependent upon them, many companies are questioning their access to their markets.  They wonder too about whether their unique value proposition is competitive at all.

And if not via Google and Facebook, then how?  These are questions companies didn’t consider 5 years ago.

Access to the market was a given. You could pay or rely on SEO and social media and email campaigns and achieve your promotion and sales goals. You could create a competitive value proposition and carve out a niche. But this whole carve out a niche matter is deeply in doubt now.

When Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin all squeezed free communication with your social connections, it was an announcement that Big Tech controlled everything. Big Tech started demanding a high price to communicate (ad prices) to potential customers on their platforms.

So the trends today, as they were yesterday are the same. Monopoly corporations are taking total control. That’s what the stock market indexes only measure the top 30 or 100 stocks now. They’ve gained total control and they dictate what happens.

Having the Courage to be Creative and Bold

Small business success comes from accessing what’s available and competing well.  This means knowing what they market wants and how you can fill the demand, in detail.  There are creative ways to win, which corporations can utilize. Corporations suffer from being not-human and impersonal. Even their attempts to personalize are phony, such as AI chat bots that basically annoy B2B customers.

The biggest trends in 2022 will evolve from the desire to gain access to the market, become the go to resource, and offer META like services.  When you get into these, you must generate creative content and be able to deliver it via all your digital marketing channels.

The METAverse trend is a beacon from the future for sure. But for small business right now, creating excellent content, promoting in a fun, interesting and compelling way, and optimizing the sales conversion funnel are the keys.

In the last 10 years, companies have focused on conversion rate improvement. The reasoning behind that was that:

  1. companies already have guaranteed, high quality traffic (questionable)
  2. they just need to increase CTRs and lead conversions.

Advertising is Expensive is You’re Not Converting Leads

Consumers became more blasé, wary and untrusting of advertising. It’s nice to be at the top of the search results page, but B2B buyers are fairly savvy now. At least they think they are.

Boredom and banner blindness are Google and Facebook’s biggest issue. Consumers don’t trust what is promised by advertisers a hundred advertisers say the same things. Conversion rates have decreased which means staying engaged with prospects until they’re ready to buy, is more of a challenge. It requires a sustained marketing effort.  For this reason, marketing managers are looking into AI marketing software to gain relevance and close the sale.

That technology is coming along, however, small business isn’t really aware of it. They don’t really even approve of artificial intelligence and demand for it has lagged badly. One of the trends then this year, after the Covid threat subsides, is to invest in new technologies which will give them an edge.

They will launch into AI marketing because everything has dried up. It’s a dessert in the last two years. Weather patterns always change however, and soon enough small business will dive into AI technology once tools are available.

Marketer Talent Still the Deciding Factor

Some “tech is all”  believers will be disappointed when they find out that human creativity and intelligence is more powerful. AI is just a helper to make the best marketing talent even better. That trend then points to companies using AI to help make their own marketers become powerful masters of their trade.  The system isn’t the end, it’s the talented human that the AI system informs.

The trend to adopt AI technology will evolve into finding Content and SEO experts, conversion rate psychologists, and creative outreach specialists. There’s a few available, but they need tools, resources and power to make things happen.

Right now, some believe humans will be replaced. Corporate media play up AI as technology only, and that people are irrelevant. They are so wrong. Talent is the essence of high performance marketing. Consider the top content creators, Youtube videographers, Facebook influencers, and SEO experts. Their talent is organic and human and can’t be duplicated.  AI marketing tools help make them better.

Before you get into voice search optimization, virtual reality marketing, clickbait, squeeze pages, and tiktok videos, maybe reign it in and look instead at some solid trends to base your marketing campaigns on. Avoid budget wasting gimmicks that won’t last.

There are blitz channels and trendy tactics for sure, but sustainable marketing is the big picture solution for 2022.

Top 8 Digital Marketing Trends 2022

  1. Growth Focus – with the pandemic finally receding (hopefully without a new variant in 2022) we’ll be looking to grow in reach, sales, and overall performance. As our confidence increases, the issues of 2020/21 will disappear. We’ll be looking to improve our value proposition, grow reach, invest in AI marketing technology that’s becoming available, and doing more to target and please our customers.
  2. Content Optimization – our brands are experience online via our content, and that includes engaging blog posts, fun social media posts, revealing videos, and more. Being innovative in content continues to be effective because novelty, surprise and excitement break away from boring.
  3. Better PPC Campaigns – top exposure on Google or Facebook is really valuable. It’s the best digital real estate, yet it’s standardized and undifferentiated, and visitors are skeptical. Discovering what works and achieving expert targeting is very important.
  4. Better Outreach – Reaching the market via Search, Social Media, social influencers, sponsorships, and on site advertising will grow. Creating partnerships with industry associations, publications, and involving university programs could create impressive results for SEO and brand leadership.
  5. Testing – testing content, advertising channels, influencers, and more has been put off for a long time. It’s a big effort to build a testing machine. But you have to do it now or 2023 to 2030 won’t look good. The essence of marketing isn’t knowing what will work, it’s having a system to find out what will work. And creating a viable testing strategy for your full marketing activities has to be done. And the results from testing will help you avoid spend waste and increase conversions.
  6. Improving Your UVP – SMB’s will come to realize their product/service offer simply isn’t good enough.  Big companies have powerful UVPs, credibility, trust factor and they’re capable of shaping consumer preference. Companies will start digging deeper to creating a product that is market leading, and with a marketing budget to get that message etched in customers minds.
  7. Creating a Brand – Most small businesses don’t really have a brand. They have an imagined reputation they cling to, to promote. It’s all fantasy. Building a brand means focusing on the target market and building a relevant, personalized unique value proposition that captures a good niche, and is very memorable. Brands carve out a loyal audience, that means gaining reach and visibility and getting a quality, impactful message out there. More companies will hire branding agencies to help them discover their brand positioning and messaging.
  8. Outsourcing – hiring specialists will become more normal as the trend to doing everything inhouse is increasingly not competitive. With more remote workers and individuals open for hire, their skillset will increasingly help companies fill their gaps in social media, design and video creation, topic expertise, and analytics. Of course, those choices will correspond with budgets available.
  9. Diving into Analytics – analytics helps to keep a business on the right path. Analytics tools help create insight into targeting, effectiveness, and how the marketing campaign achieves results. Business owners want to know what works and why.

With these 9 trends, there’s a lot on the table for small to medium sized businesses and start ups to conquer. A big problem for many is being overwhelmed by the challenges of competing today. It requires time and effort first and then some funding when you’re ready.

It’s far wiser to be more strategic in conducting marketing in 2022. Customers are reluctant and fearful and the only way to resolve that is to be better. Start knowing more via a digital marketing audit, to give you the confidence to meet 2022 with confidence.

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