It can be tricky to keep up with digital marketing trends as the industry changes so fast. Plus, there are many working parts to a successful digital marketing strategy or campaign – so it’s a real challenge to keep up with every aspect.
The Covid-19 pandemic transformed the way B2B and B2C companies across sectors operated as people went online to research, review, and purchase. This transformation had a huge impact on the digital marketing sector and the roles of digital marketers. But just as marketing teams pivoted to meet the virtual demand, the reopening of societies saw slumps in web traffic and online sales.
To help marketers and digital leaders navigate this new landscape, we interviewed leading industry experts on our podcast to identify key trends in 2022. This comprehensive overview of six key sectors will help you understand developments coming down the line so you can build them into your digital marketing activities.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS IN 2022
TikTok Will Continue to Grow & Brands Need to Take it Seriously
When you talk about social media, TikTok is a platform to consider if you’re not already using it. The rapid rise of TikTok has seen the app reach 1 billion users and counting.
TikTok has enormous engagement (U.S. users spend up to 850 hours a month on the platform) and offers individuals and brands the opportunity for their videos to go viral: no mean feat in the social media realm.
Alison Battisby, Social Media Consultant at Avocado Social sees TikTok as a platform marketers need to take seriously in 2022. “TikTok’s growth over the last year has just been phenomenal. Facebook is certainly worried because so many of TikTok’s features are beginning to filter into Facebook products.”
In terms of the platform’s revenue, TikTok was the top-earning non-game app in 2021 with more than $110 million spent by users. This just shows the earning potential of the app for marketers looking to drive sales amongst young consumers.
Influencers have also played a role in TikTok’s rise with many earning huge amounts through sponsorship deals. Battisby believes that brands are now taking notice of influencer marketing on the platform.
“For a while, TikTok was sort of met with an eye roll, and isn’t that just for the kids? Now we see a lot of influencers like Gordon Ramsay and older celebrities, even Rod Stewart is on TikTok and doing very well. Brands are beginning to see they can reach a lot more people on TikTok than on Instagram or Facebook.”
Social Commerce Will Become Seamless
It’s never been easier to find a product or service using social media. During the pandemic, brands flocked to Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to offer customers online shops to replace their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
It’s no surprise then to see that social shopping (or social commerce) is expected to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025 according to an Accenture study – a growth that’s three times faster than traditional ecommerce.
2022 is set to see the experience of social shopping evolve as platforms work behind the scenes to enable customer payments without leaving social media apps, creating a seamless customer experience. Gen Z and Millennials are predicted to be the biggest spenders as they will account for 62 percent of global social ecommerce revenue by 2025.
“TikTok has partnered with Shopify, Instagram is making huge developments with their shopping area within the app, so I think social shopping is just set to become absolutely huge this year,” says Battisby. “YouTube is also looking at enhancing their shoppable tags within videos and you can shop on Pinterest.”
The key to driving engagement is for brands to put time into presenting their shop windows on Instagram. It’s no longer enough to rely on one great image, companies need to have multiple images per product and add keyword-rich descriptions. Video is also crucial as the popularity of the format – as witnessed by TikTok’s growth and Instagram’s recent transition – is exploding across all audiences.
YouTube Advertising Will Explode
“YouTube is going to explode in terms of investment from advertising in 2022. I feel like it’s a sleeping giant, but I think that the move away from linear TV, fragmentation with subscriptions, and streaming services all means that more advertising spend is going to move to YouTube,” says Brendan Almack, Managing Director of Wolfgang Digital.
Last year YouTube’s global revenue (through its parent company Alphabet) grew to nearly $29 billion, up almost 46 percent from 2020. This level of revenue puts the social media platform on par with Netflix and is a result of the rise in more traditional TV advertisers on the channel, direct response ads, and brand advertising.