These are the top marketing trends businesses and brands should keep an eye on in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic brought numerous changes in industries and sectors, and its effect can be seen on the top marketing trends set to dominate 2022.
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As we ready to end the first month of 2022, it is crucial to keep our eye on the future and be ready for what to expect in the forthcoming months. There are plenty of new trends to keep an eye on as we wave goodbye (finally!) to 2021, but what should you, as a marketer, expect on the horizon?

Seasoned CMOs, VPs, directors, and other experienced marketing professionals know that crisis has a way of stimulating innovations while speeding up the process of moving past antiquated ideas, strategies, and technology. Many new marketing trends will come to fruition during the next year; however, these are the ones that I feel marketers of all kinds should consider.

Brands and businesses will communicate with their ‘why’

Purpose is now a resounding focus for brands and businesses alike. Purpose and enterprise no longer have to be, or should be, viewed as mutually exclusive. Often, a brand or business’s purpose is siloed off from the rest of the company.

Seen as an excellent idea to refer to from time to time, but not a true driver in business and enterprise. However, many successful brands use their why to trigger awareness, engagement, and to create a genuine connection with their audience.

A great example of this purpose-driven approach was demonstrated through Squarespace’s #ActWithPride campaign. Through this campaign, Squarespace offered social media story templates intended to act as a contest application.

These templates highlighted the LGBTQIA+ community and offered a platform for inspiring stories within the community. Not only did Squarespace use a cause- or purpose-driven campaign to engage their audience, they further involved their following and community through user-generated content.

Careful social media curation

Daily social media usage is still led by millennials, with over 90 percent stating that they regularly use social media platforms. As marketers, this statistic produces a wealth of opportunity to reach a generation that is still growing but maintains a great deal of purchasing power.

Social media has, without a doubt, proven its worth to marketing and advertising professionals. However, the same clutter that accumulates through other advertising mediums is becoming apparent on social media platforms, as well.

In 2022, you will see many companies reduce the number of social media platforms they are using to reach their audiences.

While content creation is still a crucial driver in digital marketing, being active on too many channels can have an adverse effect and create a lack of relevance among companies and their audiences.

Data, AI, and beyond

Data and AI will continue to grow throughout 2022. As marketing spends will likely decrease and industry layoffs claim between 5 percent and 10 percent of global agency positions, AI and machine marketing are poised to continuously grow to fill in the gaps.

The skills within these technological advances will continue to develop and provide new uses for these marketing tools.

While data analytics and AI have played a larger role in marketing analytics, both technologies will be taking on new roles in the years to come. Whether it is to boost SEM performance, improving apps, or demonstrating a focus on decreasing CPC while maximising target audience reach, it is impossible to ignore the impact that this technology will continue to have on the industry.

Live virtual events will continue to grow

Video is one of the quickest and most effective mediums by which brands and companies use to communicate their messages and educate their audiences.

In 2020, 88 percent of marketers agreed that video marketing produces a positive return on investment. So, how does this apply to live events and webinars?

You will begin to see increasing attention placed on innovative and new approaches to sharing content through these mediums.

The year 2020 was synonymous with Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams platforms, both of which have hosted large-scale virtual events. Knowing that there is an increased number of eyes on these occasions, marketers will begin finding new ways to align their content with such events.

SEO will only get bigger

The focus on SEO is not going anywhere anytime soon – some trends just never seem to go out of style. SEO continues to play a critical role in content marketing. As content creation is still considered to be one of the most coveted currencies in digital marketing, it is only fitting that optimising that content for search engines will continue to be a significant focus.

Titans will use high-quality SEO throughout the industry to differentiate themselves from the clutter among the rest. A strong emphasis will be placed on capturing long-tail and niche keywords that are used to create engaging content and rank high on searches.

User-generated content

With over 86 percent of big-name companies repurposing both advocates and followers' content, others will likely follow. Due to a lack of production access, the pandemic helped to usher in advertisements that used the content of real people rather than the result of full-scale products.

User-generated content is by no means a new trend. However, the lockdown and social distancing restrictions have encouraged brands to take a personalised approach by using the images and videos provided by their customers and their audiences.

This approach increases authenticity and reliability between brands, businesses, and current and potential customers. It would be appropriate to consider this as a new form of word-of-mouth marketing, just on a much larger scale.

Focus on developing deeper connections

Whether it is communicating a company’s purpose with its audience, optimising content to reach the right target, or using visuals produced by advocates’ smartphones at home, the marketing landscape is changing rapidly.

The conditions created by the pandemic have significantly impacted how marketers and their audiences communicate with each other. As a result, a new era of marketing is ushering itself in at a swift pace.

Marketers should focus on creating genuine associations with their audience and prepare to see a significant shift in the use of data, AI, and predictive analytics tech stacks throughout every corner of the industry. Are you in?

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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