The fast-paced digital world is always moving – content and social media trends rest for no man. It’s important to keep up with the changes, engage users in the right ways and keep your content fresh. So what are the key marketing trends for 2022? Read on for our comprehensive digital marketing forecast.
You may have come across QR codes as a touch-free COVID19 response on tables in bars and restaurants, or as coupons in the retail world – but they are used in digital campaigns too.
Statista reported that in 2020 approximately 11 million households scanned QR codes in the US, up from 9.7 million scans during 2018. It was also reported that a whopping 86% of consumers in the US, UK, France, and Holland scanned a QR code in 2020.
Brands seeking to boost the amount of User Generated Content they are gathering can use QR codes for content collection, for example. Successful brands have offered discounts, promotions, and prizes for scanning a QR code and leaving a review or adding social media content to their collection. Companies seeking more customer service feedback and survey responses can boost these via a quick and easy-to-use QR code.
User Generated high-quality content
Relevance and quality are two key touchstones of content marketing, and they are more crucial than ever. So how will brands market relevant and high-quality content in 2022? User Generated Content is one such method.
User Generated Content (also referred to as UGC) is a method of gathering visual content like images or videos that are posted by users on social media channels. This content features products or services that marketers can then use to promote their brand. More often than not, consumers trust UGC more than professionally curated advertisements as it features real people and is more authentic. UGC was already a popular content tool in 2021 and its popularity certainly isn’t set to diminish in 2022.
The end of cookie tracking
Google announced that it will end cookie tracking in early 2022. Although there is already the option to opt-out of third-party cookie tracing – the era of privacy concern is well and truly in swing. The tracking of cookies is essential to many businesses, so this change will have a huge impact on the digital world in 2022. The changes are likely to see zero-party data skyrocket in importance. Zero-party data is data that is provided directly from a consumer to a brand. It can be done via a survey, gamification, or various types of consumer brand interaction online.
The continued rise of video content
The popularity and success rates of video content are nothing new, but 2022 is set to see the continued reliance of brands on video content, with some even likely to implement more video campaigns into their strategy than ever before.
Why opt for video content? Well, studies show that consumers invest a higher level of value in video formats – in fact, a study conducted by the video creation tool Animoto reported that 93% of those surveyed stated they find video content helpful when they are purchasing products. Those surveyed not only said that video content was their favorite type of content shared on social media, but that they also found video to be the most memorable form of media curated by brands.
Video content can be mixed into a User Generated Content campaign, uploaded in the form of reels or story videos on social media, or be added to a social media grid. The possibilities really are endless for video content, take a look at the UGC video that Maquillalia included on their website amongst stationary images below.
“Alexa, play Adele’s new album” – sentences like this occur in a plethora of households around the globe. The age of the computerized home virtual assistant is well and truly with us. OC&C estimated that the potential market value of the virtual assistant industry could be as much as $40 billion in 2022. Up to 43% of shoppers use their voice-activated device to shop.
It’s safe to say that typed-out Google searches are not the only way potential buyers will be seeking information about your brand or industry. It is more important than ever that your content is optimized for voice searches in 2022.
Social media trends: AI influencer marketing
The influencer market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2022 and is one of the most lasting social media trends. Influencer marketing is predicted to evolve in 2022 to involve more forms of artificial intelligence. Influencer identification is one such form of AI where millions of influencer videos are watched and analyzed faster than humanly possible. The new AI-powered model means that brands only pay for the conversions influencers produce, which has a positive impact on ROI.
Permanent over ephemeral posts
Content that only stays up for 24 hours unless archived, also known as ephemeral content, has been a dominant force in the world of social media. Ephemeral content is by no means on its way out, however, brands have noted that permanent content that shows up on feeds like videos, images, posts, and live events and can be viewed again and again by users over time can lead to better results from a marketing standpoint.
A Hubspot survey showed that 44% of global marketers are set to increase their investment in permanent forms of content, 8% said it generates the most ROI for them. A sizable 25% of those surveyed also marked ephemeral content as the least effective of the trends they have invested in, with 37% saying they actually intend to decrease their investment in it in the future.
Smartphone browsing now makes up the majority of internet searches and as such websites are increasingly created with a mobile-first design in mind. Desktop usage is still relevant to brands, however, websites are being created with the mobile version mapped out first so that features and user experience are geared towards mobile use.
User Generated Content is also mobile-friendly, with many User Generated Content platforms like Photoslurp boasting content originally created for mobile (Instagram posts for example) that looks incredible on both the mobile and desktop versions of an eCommerce website.
Mobile-friendly web pages can reap the advantages of a greater user experience that encourages conversions, better SERP, and speedy page loading. These types of sites can include the following characteristics:
- Sleeker navigation menus
- More visual and less dense text-based content
- Collapsible menus
- Touch-screen friendly navigation
- Integrated potions like voice detection and camera use
AR and VR
Interactive journeys with consumers are made possible with AR (artificial reality) and VR (virtual reality). These methods bring a product or brand inside a customer’s personal space and engage with their visceral world, meaning that the connection between product and brand can be made stronger than ever. It is predicted that artificial reality and virtual reality-based marketing campaigns will be on the rise in 2022 and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Budget-friendly marketing trends 2022
An economic crisis has meant that in 2022 many marketers need to deal with budget cuts which in turn affects marketing strategy decisions. User Generated Content integrations are one value-for-money way of generating a large amount of content, saving time and man-power. Some of the key budget-friendly marketing strategies and focuses include the following:
- Using a User Generated Content platform
- Focusing on social media (including LinkedIn)
- Having a top-quality website
- SEO (including local SEO)
- Marketing to existing customers
- Using the right hashtags and hashtag aggregators
- Affiliate programs
- Influencer marketing
Social media trends don’t only extend to what we view on our screens. In the case of hybrid events digital and in-person elements are mixed together for the ideal experience. This event structure is becoming increasingly popular in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic and allows for more potential event-goers, some in person and some attending virtually. This leads to an increased reach for your brand and a higher ROI!
Marketing trends 2022: Summing up
Now you’re fully informed on the digital marketing trends for 2022! As is always the case with digital marketing it is important to remain agile and remember that trends and pieces of content can go viral overnight, however, the trends discussed above are very likely to be important elements of a winning marketing strategy in 2022.
What is the future of content marketing?
The future of content marketing involves lots of changes, like changes to cooking tracking which will have a ripple effect on the eCommerce industry or advancements in technology like in the area of artificial reality or voice search. The future will also see the continued dominance of social media trends, as well as tools like UGC platforms, and QR codes.
How will content marketing change in 2022?
Digital marketing trends in 2022 include but are not limited to QR codes, hybrid events, UGC, video content, optimized content for voice search, AI influencer marketing, mobile-first sites, and virtual reality.
How do I find trending content?
There are a wide variety of different tools that you can use to find and track trending content, some of which include GoogleTrends, Answer the Public, SEMrush, Ahrefs Content Explorer, Quora, and Ubersuggest.