There is no doubt that digital marketing is an essential part of any business. As more and more people shift their experiences from in-store to online, businesses that have embraced the digital environment are reaping the benefits.
As we head into 2022, there are some exciting developments and trends that marketers need to consider when thinking about their digital marketing strategy for the next year, three years or even five years.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), programmatic advertising and data-driven marketing may once have seemed like they belongs in science fiction movies, but the truth is, that all three are already valuable digital marketing tools for those businesses that were early adopters.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, these are the trends we recommend you follow in 2022 and beyond and where budgets permit, invest in the tactics that make the most sense for your business.
AI is slowly making its way into every aspect of our lives and digital marketing is no exception. AI is the technology behind many services including content creation, chatbots and of course, search engines like Google. According to a PwC survey from over 1,000 U.S.-based companies, 52% have accelerated their AI adoption plans.
AI is also being used to analyse customer behaviour and search patterns. Big data analytics is made possible through AI which enables huge amounts of data to be analysed in seconds. This helps to identify search patterns, allowing businesses to understand more about how people find their products and services.
Google is a prime example of a company that has embraced the power of AI and it is now central to the search engine’s algorithm, helping to return more relevant results for people searching on their engine.
Businesses like Betway Casinos are already using the power of AI to unlock the power of their data by finding innovative ways to analyse, organise, integrate and visualise information.
AI is again the theme when it comes to programmatic advertising. AI is used to automate the process of ad buying and optimisation, removing the need for human input. Theoretically, this reduces the cost and efficiency of advertising, although many businesses are still using programmatic and manual advertising hand in hand.
According to Statista, global spending on programmatic advertising has reached almost USD $130 billion, 61% of which comes from US-based companies. This figure is expected to grow over the next 12 months and beyond with eMarketer predicting an 18.4% growth in programmatic ad spend in 2022.
We seem to have been banging this drum for a number of years now, however, there are still only a handful of businesses that have truly embraced personalisation in digital marketing campaigns.
A Salesforce survey found that marketers see the highest benefits of personalisation on their customer experience (64%), a conversion rate increase (63%), and visitor engagement (55%).
Personalisation and content marketing go hand in hand and there are some great examples of businesses using the power of personalisation, both in their content marketing, but also throughout the sales process. Netflix and Amazon and two prime examples – both personalise the “shopping” experience by tailoring recommendations specifically for you when you are logged on to their websites.
Cadbury achieved a 70 per cent click-through rate on mobile in a campaign that introduced consumers via personalised video to their matches in Dairy Milk chocolate products.
The confectioner had a 65 per cent click-through rate and a 33.6 per cent conversion rate in the campaign when it matched a Dairy Milk flavour to users’ age, interests and other information from Facebook profiles. The campaign, which ran in Australia, is an example of how transaction-oriented brands and retailers can leverage mobile and social to build customer engagement.
Live streaming is becoming an increasingly popular marketing medium in western countries, following in China’s footsteps. Live stream shopping has become a huge business in China and KrAsia reported in September 2020 that live streaming e-commerce was the fastest-growing internet sector in China.
Of course, live stream shopping is not for everyone. There are sectors for which live stream shopping is more suited including apparel, fashion, beauty products, food, consumer electronics, furnishing and home decor.
Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger have been two early adopters in the US. According to McKinsey, businesses looking to maximise the potential returns from live stream shopping should start with infrequent streams focused on 1-5 products and rely on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook or Amazon Live initially to measure the potential for live stream shopping.
Another trend that seems to have been around for some time without ever truly kicking on is voice search but that’s all changing.
Today, more than 20% of internet searchers are voice-based and 58% of consumers have reported using voice search as a way to discover local businesses. Over 1 billion voice searches take place every month so this is a trend that can no longer be ignored.
When optimising for voice search, don’t just tag this on to an existing strategy. Think carefully about the way people discover your business and the type of queries that are more likely to be carried out using voice search. Then you must tailor your content marketing strategy towards these queries in order to enhance consumer interaction.
The digital marketing landscape is changing rapidly and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends to understand which areas your business should invest in order to keep ahead of the competition.
Some of the trends mentioned above have been around for 2-3 years and we are still talking about them being a trend for 2022 so this shows the advantage early adopters can have over competitors that are slow to react.