The Outlook and Trends that will shape Digital Marketing

By StepUpwards Team, 20th December 2021

In our previous report, we introduced you to the world of digital marketing and its prominence in today’s business landscape, and how marketers need to adopt it into their branding strategies.

Here today, we update you on the outlook for digital marketing in 2022 and what are the major trends and technologies that will create an impact. These will greatly influence the scope of digital marketing, and the ripple effect will be on promotional strategies and results. 

So, if you’re a digital marketer - part of an organization or a freelancer - this report would be helpful to track the trends and also guide you towards the upskilling that might be required. So, let’s start!

A PwC–IAB report mentions that “seismic changes” are heralded for the year 2022 and urges all industry leaders to focus on dynamic customer expectations, regulatory concerns, and talent management. Let’s analyze these with a bit more depth.

Customer Expectations

Today’s consumers are turning a blind eye to ill-planned media experiences. This is happening as a result of innovation in the tech-driven media and entertainment space.  It's a puzzling junction that advertisers find themselves at - either follow the legacy model of static ads or shift towards personalized content based on consumer preferences.

Regulatory Concerns

Consumers are vocal about their apprehensions of how their personal data is being collected and used. The industry should take the onus of educating consumers about what and how their information will be used so that they can make informed choices. Apart from the organizations or advertisers, the data providers should also be responsible as they are the data stores and track and monitor online behaviors and purchasing habits.

Talent Management

Employees today come with preferences of their own and seek out organizations with a work culture that is in sync. Acquiring and retaining talent is challenging amidst the evolving dynamics of the business setup. Employees seek flexibility, and remote/hybrid workplaces are slowly becoming the norm. Digital marketing is crucial in communicating and demonstrating the work culture.

To elaborate, let’s see how the trend is shaping up in India:

As per the Journal of Advanced Research Foundation, “India is undergoing a golden period of digital marketing”. Digital marketing has just started gaining traction in India and the growth will persist much beyond 2022.

India has one of the largest consumer bases on the internet.

CISCO’s Visual Networking Index (VNI report) states that by 2022, 60% of the population will be using the internet, up from 27% in 2017.

Now that we have discussed the Outlook, let’s see which trends a digital marketer should look out for in 2022:

Content Marketing

The goal of creating brand awareness was achieved best by B2B marketers who used content marketing successfully. Content Marketing Institute has stated that more than two-thirds of marketers are increasing their content marketing budgets in 2022. And why?

That’s because Google tells us that content marketing is the favored way to rank for buyer search. So, where should the focus be on content marketing in 2022?

Short articles, blog posts, and reports continue to lead the pack with 90% of content marketers using it, followed by: Videos (66%), Virtual events (64%), Case studies (61%). (LinkedIn)

So, if you plan on making a mark in your industry, you need to take a deep look at your content marketing strategy. You should synchronize your content around thought leadership, PR, and SEO.  Create and own topics that you have a command on to enjoy visibility and credibility, which give excellent ROIs.

(Source: LinkedIn)

Artificial Intelligence

The goal of digital marketing is to create spectacular experiences for customers. To achieve these spectacular results, digital marketers need commensurate ammunition in their arsenal.

61% of marketers say artificial intelligence is the most important aspect of their data strategy. (MemSQL)

AI combined with SEO and other digital marketing strategies helps target the preferred choices of users. AI has been floating around for quite a few years in sectors like e-commerce, retail, banking, and healthcare, but its use in digital marketing is going to grow exponentially in the coming few years.

Marketing is becoming more targeted and personalized, and chatbots will evolve to imitate humans with more accuracy as machine learning algorithms grow more complex.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing will be an integral part of the overall digital marketing strategy. It’s a no-brainer that the last two years have seen quantum changes in the digital marketing landscape and the rise of influencer marketing is a predominant one.

Estimates show that the influencer market has reached ~$14 billion in 2021. (The State of Influencer Marketing 2021: Benchmark Report)

Micro-influencers had high post engagement rates on the social media platforms of Instagram, YouTube, and especially TikTok. It’s crystal clear that brands are going to leverage the following of content creators and influencers to engage with their end consumers. This definitely benefits businesses with limited budgets. Brands will identify and try to form long-term engagements with influencers/ content creators that they resonate with.

Well-known brands like Daniel Wellington and La Croix Sparkling Water are known to be employing this tactic.

Mobile Marketing

People are spending more time online, and smartphones are the first choice when it comes to exploring and even buying products online. Brands need to focus on mobile-friendly content such as responsive websites. Immersive mobile experiences fuelled by AR and 3D will offer enhanced shopping journeys. AI and ML will impact mobile marketing substantially.

The business ecosystem and consumer habits are evolving at such rapid speeds that marketers have to stay on top of their game. Businesses today stand at the crossroad - Upgrade or Decompose – literally!

Companies will have to broaden their media offerings to create holistic and value-driven experiences for consumers.

Stay connected with us for the latest updates, news, and trends as we take you on multiple quests in the digital marketing arena.

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