15 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out for this 2021-2022
- 1) Zero-Click Searches
- 2) Automated and Personalized Email Marketing
- 3) Short Video Platforms
- 4) Shoppable Social Posts
- 5) Live Chat Support
- 6) Hyper-Personalization
- 7) Visual Search
- 8) AR and VR Shopping
- 9) AI and RankBrain
- 10) Unique Content Marketing
- 11) Brand Messaging
- 12) Programmatic Advertising
- 13) SEO A/B Testing
- 14) Progressive Web Apps
- 15) UGC-Focused Advertising
Share this Article
No matter the industry you are in or what products or services you sell, digital marketing is the only way forward. The right digital marketing strategy will help you reach your target audience, increase brand awareness, and ultimately grow your business.
However, digital marketing trends are changing rapidly as new technologies emerge and consumer preferences shift. In addition, customers’ attention spans are slowly getting shorter and shorter due to the intense amount of digital stimuli they are exposed to each day. So, brands must provide them with compelling content if they want to win them over.
Although it can be painful to let go of old habits, adapting your marketing strategies to meet new trends will keep you relevant and ahead of the curve. By staying up to date with the newest digital marketing strategies, you can ensure your business is always in line with consumer expectations.
Here are the 15 digital marketing trends that you should be looking out for in 2021-2022.
1) Zero-Click Searches
As voice search becomes more popular, we will see a rise in “zero-click searches.” This means that users will access information immediately without visiting a website, blog post, or advertisement to get the information they desire. Zero-click search results increased by 65% last year, making up 47% of desktop and 77% of mobile devices search results.
The zero-click searches occur when search engines, like Google, display a snippet of information from an online resource directly in their search results. For example, if you enter a question such as “What is a marketing strategy?” Google will show an answer directly from the first search result page.
This direct answer is what voice search assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, read when they hear a user ask for specific information. Then, they convert these text snippets into speech.
To make the most of zero-click searches, you must ensure your web content is optimized for featured snippets. This means that you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what information they would be looking for when searching online.
You can also take advantage of zero-click searches by optimizing your resources with appropriate keywords and metadata to help them rank higher in search results.
2) Automated and Personalized Email Marketing
Consumers tend to be less receptive to email marketing campaigns that appear promotional and impersonal. Your subscribers will quickly opt out of your email list if you don’t provide value in your messaging.
Ultimately, consumers want to feel valued by the brands they do business with. They want to be spoken to directly, offered exclusive deals, and receive personalized recommendations.
In other words, you need to focus on providing your subscribers with a personalized experience rather than sending out generic email blasts.
To consumer demand, marketers are shifting their email campaign strategies to focus on personalization. This means that emails need to go beyond just using the recipient’s first name in the message. Instead, they send product promotions and reminders based on the customer’s specific actions (such as purchase history and browsing behavior) – while also appearing as if a real person sent them.
Here is an example of how Meetup (a virtual event service) used personalization in their follow up email with a customer who had started to use their platform:
3) Short Video Platforms
Today’s consumers are shifting away from cable television. Instead, they turn towards short video platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts for entertainment.
Tik Tok, in particular, has been growing by leaps and bounds. The social app has recently expanded to over 680 million users and shows no signs of slowing down. The popularity of this app has led many influencers to shift away from traditional social platforms, like Facebook, to focus on Tik Tok’s short video content.
Marketers are partnering with short video influencers to help advertise their products to reach a younger audience. Influencers allow marketers to reach niche consumers who trust the words of their favorite social media stars. This is quite effective, considering that 63% of consumers age 18-34 trust influencer recommendations more than traditional advertisements.
Considering the rise in popularity in apps such as Tik Tok, it’s no surprise that digital marketers are focusing their efforts on short video influencers. One of the most prominent examples is the recent partnership between Dunkin’ Donuts and Tik Tok influencer Charli D’Amelio.
Dunkin’ Donuts released a limited cold brew called “The Charli” to their menu for this campaign. Then, they had Charli promote the beverage through a series of videos to her over 100 million followers. As a result, Dunkin’ saw a 45% increase in Cold Brew sales the day after this campaign launched.
The average consumer is exposed to 6,000 – 10,000 ads each day, and many come from social media. As a result, consumers don’t want to spend time searching for a product they saw in a social post. Instead, they just want to click, buy, and move on.
That’s why shoppable social posts have become a popular digital marketing trend in recent years. A shoppable social post features a direct link to an online purchase, usually on a retailer’s website.
With these posts, the customer doesn’t need to leave Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, or whichever social platform they are on to purchase a product. Instead, all they have to do is tap that product image, buy the product through that company’s website, and then they’ll be directed back to the social platform they were using.
This digital marketing trend is incredibly prevalent on Instagram. In fact, according to a recent survey of Instagram users by Hootsuite, approximately 75% are motivated to take action when they see a shoppable post on the platform.
5) Live Chat Support
In the past, consumers would have to wait hours for an email response from a customer service representative. Or, they would be placed on long holds listening to mind-numbing elevator music.
These days, consumers are more impatient than ever. They want their problems solved in minutes, not hours. That’s why live chat support is so helpful for companies that want to create convenient customer experiences. With live chat, customers can connect with a company representative in real-time (typically via their websites).
Live chat support allows companies to provide answers and solve problems faster than ever before. This helps to improve brand image and keep customers engaged.
Many consumers prefer to use a live chatbox when they have questions or concerns, rather than calling to talk with a representative. In fact, roughly 73% of US shoppers find live chat support to be the most satisfactory form of communication with a company.
If you want to stand out in the digital space, you need to personalize your marketing efforts. However, it’s no longer enough to segment your campaigns based on a few consumer data points, such as location, age, or purchase history.
To truly differentiate yourself, you need to create hyper-personalized content for your audience. This means leveraging AI technology and real-time data to create content tailored to each customer’s individual needs.
According to a recent report, 72% of today’s consumers only engage with personalized marketing campaigns. So, if you want to win the truly impress your target audience, hyper-personalization should be your goal.
This could go as far as the very products you offer. Companies like Care/Of and Stitch Fix have created business models that revolve around hyper-personalization. For example, every customer receives curated bundles of items based on information they provide through interactive quizzes. This forms a bond between the brand and the customer, as they sense that the company really “gets” them on an individual level.
7) Visual Search
Visual search platforms such as Google Images and Pinterest Lens have transformed the way consumers search for products. Instead of typing out a search query, users can now aim their phone’s camera at an object or landscape and receive search relevant results.
For instance, visual search platforms will identify the model and guide you to local dealerships if you upload a car photo. While if you upload an image of a t-shirt, you will receive similar results of clothing options.
So, how can your business leverage the power of visual search?
Start by uploading high-quality photos of your products/services to your website and promote these images through social media. Be sure to use keyword-rich tags when uploading your photos to drive up search engine rankings.
It may also be beneficial to create an image sitemap to ensure your images can be indexed and recognized by search engines. This will help make your product images more discoverable on a visual search platform and improve the chances of conversion.
Considering that the image recognition market is expected to grow to over $50 billion by 2025 – this marketing method can provide a serious boost to your bottom line.
8) AR and VR Shopping
Augmented and virtual reality technology has come a long way in the past few years. What started as a niche technology primarily geared towards gamers and tech enthusiasts is now driving the future of retail.
Now, this technology is being used by stores to create a more immersive online shopping experience. For instance, consumers can use AR technology on their mobile devices to virtually place furniture into their home and see what it looks like before purchasing. While some retailers are using VR technology to create virtual showrooms that consumers can ‘walk’ through.
Warby Parker is one online retailer that has successfully integrated VR technology into its marketing strategy. Their app allows consumers to virtually ‘try on’ their glasses and instantly see what they would look like. This virtual try-on technology has helped differentiate Warby Parker from other eyeglass retailers and is a big reason for their success.
9) AI and RankBrain
As you probably know, SEO is an important factor for site traffic and conversions.
However, to generate an effective SEO strategy, you need to keep up with the latest updates on Google algorithms. For example, Google no longer ranks pages based solely on how many times a keyword has been mentioned. Instead, it now uses AI technology called RankBrain to determine how relevant a page is to the search query.
Google’s goal behind RankBrain is to create better user experiences by providing only the most relevant and high-quality results at the top of SERPs. RankBrain uses machine learning to analyze content’s intent and determines if it provides value to user searches surrounding the topic.
To improve your SEO rankings with RankBain, you’ll need to start by writing quality content that covers your target keywords. Then, as you’re adding points to your article or web page, aim to answer the user’s question and add relevancy to your keywords.
10) Unique Content Marketing
Digital marketers must explore new content formats beyond traditional blogs, ebooks, and case studies to attract their target audience.
Today’s customers are savvier, more demanding, and have higher expectations. As a result, they will be looking for interactive content in the form of videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts, interactive presentations, etc.
The good news is that there are plenty of new content formats for marketers to explore. The tricky part is finding effective ways to engage their audience through new formats.
To stand out in the industry, marketers must find the best medium to tell their story or share insights in a way that drives results without sacrificing quality along the way. You’ll need to come up with something unique and valuable.
When creating unique content, it’s important to focus on subjects that will bring value to your specific target audience. What do they want? What can you provide them that will help solve their pain points?
Consider targeting specific, niche markets to create an engaging and shareable piece of content that will set you apart from the competition. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, start a YouTube channel to do product reviews and offer fitness tips and tricks.
11) Brand Messaging
What your brand stands for can have a significant impact on its success. People want to buy from brands whose values align with their own, whether that’s inclusivity, sustainable practices, political affiliations, or a dedication to a specific cause.
According to a recent survey, up to 83% of consumers agreed they would rather buy from a business whose values are aligned with their own. So, marketers need to portray these values clearly through brand messaging.
The key to brand messaging is to define your brand’s personality and voice. First, identify the values, attributes, and characteristics that make up your brand. Then, figure out which of these elements are most important for your brand messaging to communicate.
A great example of a company that has mastered its brand messaging is Patagonia. The Patagonia brand is built on environmental activism. They are incredibly passionate about ecological issues and encouraging people to live sustainably.
Patagonia’s messaging remains consistent across every aspect of their business, starting with their mission statement, “making the best product matters for saving the planet.” Their never-ending effort to infuse their business with environmental causes has helped them build a strong following of loyal customers.
12) Programmatic Advertising
Another digital marketing trend to look out for is programmatic advertising. The market for digital ad space is competitive, but programmatic can help you cut through the noise and reach your target audience at the right place and time.
Using algorithmic software, marketers can automatically purchase digital ad space to garner the most attention from their target audience. This technology also tracks web users’ behavior, demographic data, cookies, and other activity to serve ads to people who are (ideally) most interested in them.
Marketers can also use programmatic advertising to purchase existing ad space, such as paid search listings or social media ads. This is particularly helpful if you’re looking to efficiently boost your brand’s presence on social media or improve your search visibility, expand your reach, and increase conversions all at the same time.
13) SEO A/B Testing
If you are struggling to get website traffic from Google search results, you are not alone. In fact, over 90% of marketing content receives zero organic traffic from Google.
But you don’t need to change your entire SEO strategy to improve your search results. Instead, you can use A/B testing to garner insights into how you can optimize your content for Google’s algorithms.
SEO A/B testing compares two different versions of your content against each other to determine which will generate more organic traffic for your website. In addition, the results of A/B testing can be used to inform future content strategies.
For example, if you are publishing weekly blog posts, the results of an A/B test will tell you which post title, keywords, or word length generates the most traffic.
The easiest way to conduct an A/B test is through a third-party testing platform. This will allow you to receive quicker results while keeping detailed metrics of each of your previous tests.A/B Testing is an excellent solution for any business looking to improve its organic traffic or enhance conversions.
14) Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are designed to meet the needs of both users and Search Engines. They offer similar functionality to native apps, but they are built on web technologies, so they work across various devices.
This means they can be easily configured to meet users’ needs regardless of their OS or device preferences. PWAs are also indexed by search engines and allow for push notification features that drive engagement with customers.
Uber is a great example here. The desktop and mobile websites operate nearly the same as the app version for a seamless experience.
Progressive Web Apps enable marketers to distribute their content in ways likely to garner organically and drive qualified traffic. For instance, you can configure a PWA to send a notification to your customers when you have a new product offering.
15) UGC-Focused Advertising
Modern consumers have little trust in advertising since photoshop, fake reviews, and other manipulative tactics to alter the truth have become all too common. Unfortunately, this deception has caused many consumers to turn to the opinions of people they trust – family, friends, and content creators – before making a purchase.
So, how can marketers reach consumers who are not receptive to traditional advertising?
The answer is by using user-generated content (UGC) to provide more credible, personal, and trustworthy advertising.
UGC-focused ads leverage the influence of trusted individuals. They also break through the clutter. After all, they mimic content that consumers already enjoy and trust because actual people created them – instead of the brands.
However, it’s important to note that the quality of your ads hinges on the quality of your UGC. Prospective customers will not trust your brand if you don’t have compelling content to share. So, you’ll want to partner with creators who are skilled in creating valuable content.
You may need to encourage customers to share user-generated content for discounts, coupons, or additional benefits. These incentives often motivate users to create higher-quality advertisements for your brand.
If you can master user-generated content in your digital marketing plan, you can improve your brand’s visibility and boost sales. In fact, an astonishing 93% of people believe that user-generated content is helpful when making a purchasing decision.
As you can see, there are many new digital marketing trends that your business can implement in the coming year. By understanding what modern consumers want and the technology available to achieve the most success – you’ll be at the forefront of modern marketing.
However, you shouldn’t blindly adopt every new strategy that comes along. Instead, each trend needs to be examined within your current marketing plan to determine the best fit for your company’s goals.
Partnering with a digital marketing agency can be beneficial to determine which trends are best for your company. The experts at Foxxr Digital Marketing are happy to provide your company with a digital marketing assessment and a strategy to help you reach your goals in the coming year.
To learn more about our services, contact us today!