Love it or hate it, digital marketing is here to stay. It even used the pandemic to come into its own and was arguably the main way a lot of businesses continued to promote themselves and stay afloat throughout the lockdowns.
Possibly as the result of this greater level of dependence on it, like all things on the planet, the digital sphere too must evolve to survive. It has to, at the very least, keep pace with the consumers it seeks to serve. This means that digital marketers have to adapt their strategies continuously in order to meet the ever-changing demands of customer habits, tastes, preferences and behaviours. To help our fellow marketers out, we have put together a list of the top 5 trends we think will be key to staying ahead of the digital game in 2022.
- All powerful AI
Although Artificial intelligence has been in use for a good while now – which of us hasn’t experienced mild irritation from the insistent popup of a company’s chatbot just gushing with robotic eagerness to help you – its reach will go beyond this. We see it extending into use for data processing to enable companies to better predict demand and it will help them forecast for growth. It will also be used for digital process automation, so that chatbot we mentioned above will actually get better at responding to customer queries and will provide relevant and useful answers which it will have learned. All this bodes well for customer satisfaction levels but it doesn’t stop there. We believe AI will also touch on SEO, providing real-time feedback on keywords and links to help webmasters navigate the choppy waters of search engine algorithms. Businesses will also be able to use AI-enhanced tools for their content planning, email marketing and even digital advertising.
- Hybrid events
This will become the new normal as far as events are concerned, offering both in-person and virtual options, and in our opinion, they’re an excellent advantage of the digital influence. Hybrid events are a move in the right direction because:
- They’re more eco friendly and sustainable – people can still attend without having to increase carbon footprints by travelling in.
- They’re inclusive – those with disabilities are not deterred from attendance due to physical encumbrances and there are now platforms providing descriptive or audio augmented options.
There will be far more wins going for this type of event.
- Content is king
Content will continue to reign supreme. As long as search engines continue to prioritise quality content, firms will serve themselves well ensuring that they put out clear, engaging, attractive and informative language across all of their channels. Not only that they need to ensure that the content is also optimised for voice search. With 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers saying that it is a part of their daily routine, Google is paying attention and you should too.
- Showing some integrity
People are making decisions on whether to buy from you using their minds, wallets and their hearts. Sustainability, a sense of community, environmental values and consideration are making a significant impact on the decision-making of the average consumer. We see the power of the über influencer waning as customers become more discerning and start to see through the partnerships, recognising that the relationships between brand and influencer are more commercial than genuine or authentic promotions. You are more likely to drive brand loyalty by partnering with a non-profit organisation that is visibly doing good but more importantly are aligned with your company values and ethos. Remember the discerning customers we mentioned before? Well, they’ll see through any partnerships that are an activity that’s marketing for marketing’s sake. Find a non-profit that your organisation can truly get behind. For example, if you are an ed-tech company you could support outreach programmes that enable young people in underserved communities to have access to resources and equipment.
Video works hard for you. Concepts can be explained, products demonstrated – it still remains the easiest and fastest way to educate consumers about your products and services. The benefits to using video as a part of your content marketing strategy are plentiful and they can be a relatively inexpensive investment seeing as we are all walking around with the potential to be cinematographers via our mobile phones! Certainly, if you’re going for a higher quality production then you will need to put a decent budget behind it.
This should go without saying but if you don’t already have a business TikTok account – get one! The power of the platform right now cannot be overstated. The biggest brands are consistently active on it and using it to speak to consumers. You are basically irrelevant unless you’re finding some way to leverage this. See our article on ways businesses can use it here.
While the new year will hopefully bring more release from the clutches of the pandemic, other world issues, especially the climate crisis are bound to affect the way everyone is approaching and responding to business in general. These top 5 trends will help you get ahead but the key to truly staying on top will depend on the ways in which you use them.
Get in touch with us at Gallium if you want guidance on best practices and are looking for creative ways to use digital marketing tools.