Digital Marketing Shifts and Trends To Adopt in 2022
As always, digital marketing is continuing to change. In order to stay on top of the game, make sure you are adopting these marketing trends into your new marketing plans.
There’s no secret here, the pandemic had a tremendous impact on shaping our habits, and digital has become a new norm to do many things. And after such an immense shift, no matter how this next year plays out, consumer habits will remain.
Businesses should also start looking at customer retention more proactively. Currently, most are still looking at new acquisitions; however, with the competition in the digital space becoming more and more fierce, customer retention has never been more important.
Let’s start here, with the cookie.
Or rather, the death of the cookie.
I am sure you heard Google announced that it would end support to third-party cookies (tracking) in their Chrome browser in 2022. It is a big deal, given that Chrome is the most popular browser, accounting for almost 70% of all market share. Google’s feature will let marketers continue to target desired buckets of consumers, just no longer using an individual’s web history.
Apple has also said farewell to tracking. Apple requires apps running on its devices to get consumer permission before tracking their activity on other apps and websites. The company has already outlawed the use of unauthorized third-party cookies on its Safari web browser.
Read more in depth about the changes here.
But what does it mean for your business? It will require some drastic changes.
Tracking users across the web is essential to many advertisers and businesses. However, user privacy concerns have become more important to more and more internet users.
In response, many businesses have or will start implementing first-party data or even zero-party data collection to gather information about the consumers and provide relevant advertising to facilitate sales online.
“First-party data is data about a company’s customers that is collected and owned by that company. Information about customers is compiled through software and systems that the company itself owns.”Signal
“Zero-party data is that which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize [them].”
So, how do we do this?
Here are some practices you can adopt into your marketing to still gain customer insight without tracking.
Online events (such as webinars, seminars, or product launches) are always a great way to spread the word about your brand to your existing clients and potential new ones. in various ways throughout the event, you can gather data on the audience attending the event.
Later on, the data can be used to build consumer profiles and sell directly to them. It will eliminate the need to rely on third-party information and will help build a stronger relationship with the audience.
Own Your Audience Beyond Social
The attention span of today’s consumers is extremely short. Often, it’s less than three seconds, thanks to the constant flow of new information. That’s why it’s tough to ensure that your content actually reaches your audience. That’s why 2022 should be about starting to own your audience. I know it’s easier said than done, but in the long run, you’ll be able to achieve some great results.
Newsletters are compelling. Think about it. Your audience’s inbox is a personal space, and if they are keen to let you in, you’re likely to get their undivided attention. However, if you manage to get into their inbox, your marketing strategy will have to change. The content must become much more personalized and relevant to specific groups. Which means you’ll need to devote more time to content creation.
Build Your Brand Image Organically
We live in a world where the image is everything. If you want to create a strong brand image, you need to choose the right words and the right way of communicating. Focus on generating word of mouth by providing quality service to your customers through quick communication.
While digital advertising will remain a big thing in your marketing strategy, it will also become more expensive. In fact, the price of Google Ads has been increasing every year because Google uses bidding as a way of charging. In addition, the competition to advertise online has been increasing, thus naturally, the price you pay will also grow.
You should be looking at organically raising your brand awareness. How about working on a strategy that provides long-term value to your audience? Maybe it is a video tutorial, Instagram Reels showing in-time moments with your product and business, a weekly educational podcast, or web content that educates and gives value, instead of shouts “buy from me now!”
Educate Over Hard Sell
Digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements each day. That’s a lot of ads!
No wonder people have grown to be immune to hard-selling tactics. In fact, they turn on their defensive mode when brands start pressuring them to make the purchase.
Instead of hard-selling your products or services, educate your customers on why they need you. It has to be about convenience, and you have to show them that you can help them.
You may already know we are devote Apple users and fans. They are the best of the best when it comes to customer education. Their success lies in much more than nice-design phones, laptops, or tablets – their success is their user.
“Long ago,” the Apple iPod had a 75% market share for digital music players at the time? I know you remember those ads. They depicted someone using the devices actually showing the features and helping the consumer visualize what the device was for.
Beyond well-crafted ads, Apple also offers a space for its consumers to learn about its products: its stores. The Genius Bar is where a consumer can come and explore the product, ask questions and get help if needed. The geniuses at the store seldom sell or try to convince the customers to buy something or switch from one item to another — they’d instead show the capacities of an Apple item and leave you to make the conclusions. They also are very good at selling the experience while you wait.
More and more brands, mainly digital, start to realize the power of such marketing, and we can now see more following the lead. Hard-selling will become more and more ineffective – if not already fully obsolete in your niche. Instead, redirect that energy to find better ways to provide convenience and education your audience.
Become a Better Storyteller
If you know us at all, you know our entire brand and all of our services are based around Strategic Storytelling. In 2022, everyone will be – or should be – a storyteller. Even brands need to deliver their message in a way that tells stories about their products or services.
Seth Godin said it best: “Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.” And, “Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea.” And again, “Stories (not ideas, not features, not benefits) are what spread from person to person.” (All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World)
People buy the story, not the product.
Storytelling is the new way of marketing. It won’t sell directly, but it will make your customers think, “Damn, maybe I should try this out.”
Think Outside the Box
The box doesn’t even really exist anymore. At least it shouldn’t. In the past few years, entrepreneurs, creatives, small business owners, and even large corporations have stomped the box.
But have you?
Whatever has been working for you thus far may stop working. Have it in mind. Like we said, the digital world or business shifted fast and it’s not slowing down now.
It is an excellent time to think outside the box and look for more unconventional ways to market. Maybe start a partnership with another business that can complement your product? Or put more emphasis on consumer behavior analysis and strategize based on the data acquired? You can also explore new avenues for advertising, such as newsletters, Quora, podcasts, IG Reels / TikTok, etc.
Wrap It Up
2022 will bring in some fundamental changes to the way we market. The death of the cookie is a big deal to the digital advertising that many businesses have been heavily relying on. And even though we don’t really know what impact it will bring, one thing is certain — consumers will continue becoming more demanding. That’s why it’s best to start adapting alternative advertising methods: experiment, measure, and ensure that they work.
We’re excited to see what’s next. And if you’re ready to take your brand and business to the next level, reach out today and let’s get started.