Get your champagne glasses and noisemakers ready – 2022 is finally here! While celebrating the holidays and welcoming the new year with friends is top-of-mind, there’s one thing we at CAKE just can’t seem to forget: marketing predictions and strategies for 2022.
Understandably, marketing is probably the last thing you want to think about during the holidays – but you’ll want to eat up these strategies while they’re still hot. So let’s get your brand ready for the new year (and all it has to offer) now, so you can enjoy the party later.
Here’s the insider’s scoop on 2022 and what this new year means for digital marketing and eCommerce brands.
Table of Contents
- Virtual and Hybrid Events – The New Normal
- The Future of SEO
- Spicing Up Content
- Community Takes Center Stage
- A Brand’s Bread and Butter: Social Media and Trends
- Eco-Friendly Shipping
- Influencer Marketing
- Hungry for More?
Virtual and Hybrid Events – The New Normal
Following the surge of businesses transitioning to remote and hybrid environments, many brands have found that the virtual alternative to in-person meetings and events is much more convenient and affordable. Despite that the world is moving back to the pre-pandemic way of life, hybrid events are going to become the new normal in 2022.
For businesses looking to make their services, internal meetings, and public events more accessible (and safe), offering a combination of in-person and virtual meetings will remain the preferred choice. Virtual events – like webinars – are only going to continue to grow in popularity, as this online atmosphere allows people from everywhere to connect and share ideas safely (and from the comfort of their homes).
For businesses that are still operating in a hybrid environment, we can expect to see this continue (especially during cold and flu season) for client meetings and touch bases, internal team meetings, and company events. Even if many brands still host in-person events, they will likely always offer a virtual way to connect, so attendees aren’t limited.
The Future of SEO
One thing that isn’t going anywhere this year: the importance of strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. SEO is always important for brands to reach their audiences, drive traffic to their site, and be competitive when it comes to rankings. But with competition consistently increasing, businesses will have to find new creative SEO and digital marketing strategies to keep their head above water.
One new feature we can expect to see influencing SEO in 2022 is artificial intelligence (AI). It is projected that some brands will begin incorporating AI technology into their SEO strategies to make predictions like projected growth, traffic, or revenue. AI will also contribute to an enhanced user experience within these search engines.
Spicing Up Content
eCommerce has never been more competitive. With so many brands offering the same or similar products and services, the decision to purchase with one business over another comes down to a key factor (aside from personal preference): the user experience (UX) within a site. One thing that can really make or break the UX is content.
To compete and win over users, not only will digital marketing efforts need to become more unique and strategic, but the importance of quality content to move potential customers along the buyer’s funnel will be crucial. When it comes to enhancing UX alongside boosting rankings, leads, and conversions, content is the icing on the cake.
So, what can we expect from content this year? One trend we can expect to see in 2022 is visual and audio content (webinars, short and long-form videos, podcasts, etc.). Brands that are shaking it up with a variety of content will see better results and returns from an enhanced UX.
Let’s face it: Reading long blogs and sifting through pages of material just to find a few scraps of information can be exhausting (and boring). But brands that embrace content that stimulates more than one of the senses have an advantage in keeping their users engaged.
Podcasts and videos, for example, are a great complement to blogs, as they offer a visual and auditory aid that enlivens the UX. According to Forbes, “Video content is visually appealing and offers a convenient way for customers to get educated about a product or service.” The easier it is for a user to digest information about a brand, product, or service, the more likely they will be to purchase.
Despite that “short and sweet” has been the trending content strategy in 2021 – given our shortened attention spans – long-form content is making a comeback in 2022. With platforms like TikTok and Reels lengthening their video content from 15-30 seconds to now one to three minutes, this shift suggests that long-form content may once again show success this year. Long-form content, especially videos, is an excellent way for brands to showcase their individuality with things like tutorials and how-tos, product demos, and really anything that entertains, engages, and excitingly educates customers.
Community Takes Center Stage
With many businesses still struggling to bounce back from the pandemic, shopping locally is still a top-tier priority for consumers and brands. As a result of business shutdowns and nationwide advocating to support small businesses, the value of community has become critical to influencing the buyer’s journey. For many consumers, shopping with like-minded companies that support their values has become essential. For instance, businesses that do not enforce masking in-stores or employee vaccinations could see a potential dip in revenue, as shoppers who strongly support these credentials may choose to take their business elsewhere (and vice versa).
With this in mind, nonprofits are becoming a promising business opportunity. As consumers become more and more concerned with brand values, it is becoming of great importance for businesses to speak out against or support certain critical issues. In fact, Forbes surveyed that 62% of customers “want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency or fair employment practices.”
For brands that want to win customer loyalty, building relationships with nonprofits whose philanthropic mission coincides with their brand values may serve them well. For example, partnering with or donating to nonprofits that are supporting influential movements or taking an active stand against social issues allows a brand to make a statement about its values while also contributing to making a difference.
A Brand’s Bread and Butter: Socia Media and Trends
TikTok has taken center stage as one of the most widely used and successful platforms for eCommerce. With more and more users making purchases directly through this app – in response to paid ads and influencer content – TikTok’s popularity as a social shopping platform will only continue to grow in 2022. This year we can expect to see influencers generating content for “Livestream commerce” with clickable links that direct users directly to a product page. This will allow influencers to market and sell these products directly to followers. TikTok’s recent partnership with Shopify will also introduce tagged products embedded in the content.
One thing users are anticipating in 2022: TikTok Shops! This feature will allow brands to create an online store directly through the platform, which presents businesses with so many new opportunities to target and reach different audiences as well as increase their sales.
While TikTok has proved to be the main character of 2021, many users still prefer Instagram’s platform and Reels. With a substantial population still sticking with this OG platform for “quick content,” Instagram users are asking for more video content. To compete with TikTok, Reels will have to generate video content that is more unique, original, and engaging than just recycling TikTok videos. In 2022, we can expect Reels to make more of a name for itself to boost the platform's user experience and originality.
With Facebook ads performing so well in 2021, we can also expect that the popularity and prevalence of these ads will continue to grow this year.
One thing to note about consumers: they like to feel valued! The more unique a brand makes the UX, the more likely they will earn customer loyalty. Personalized customer experiences and ad targeting equate the online shopping experience to in-stores. Personalizing a UX is all about knowing the needs and interests of your audience(s) and appealing to them in both your marketing and site strategies.
In email marketing and ad campaigns, for example, addressing the customer by name in the subject line, featuring product recommendations based on past purchases or complementary and related products are great ways to personalize your ads and make the user’s business feel valued. Site experience, on the other hand, should include recently viewed products, intelligent search, geotargeting, and chatbots.
Making shopping with your brand effortless and personal contributes to customer satisfaction, trust, and future loyalty. So, however you choose to personalize your marketing efforts and strategies this year, take this critical point into account.
There’s nothing more frustrating to an environmentally-conscious consumer than buying from a brand that practices wasteful habits. From production to distribution, making strides towards more sustainable practices is a key consideration for 2022. As more and more consumers become conscious of and concerned about waste, environmental degradation, and sustainability, businesses will need to match these new needs and interests.
For example, reducing your packaging and offering recyclable or eco-friendly wrapping from brands like EcoEnclose, are keen ways to improve your brand’s sustainability efforts. Moving towards more sustainable production methods are also a great way to become more environmentally conscious, appeal to consumers’ concerns, and transition your brand away from antiquated practices.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 2022 will be the “year of the creator!” With users now following influencers from TikTok to Instagram and Facebook, these creators have the power to drive traffic across platforms and market to these audiences from each.
This past year, influencers have become more like entrepreneurs. For many brands, these creators are the backbone of their marketing strategies and ad campaigns. With influencers becoming more and more important to driving traffic and converting potential customers to consumers, 2022 is sure to bring business tools to support these creators in their digital campaigning.
One thing we can expect to see from influencers next year is how they are contributing to a more effortless and seamless social shopping experience. For brands who are not already making influencers a part of their marketing strategy, it’s time to get on board. Take advantage of this budding new opportunity – it’s an easy way to drive traffic and boost sales.
When it comes to influencers, their follower’s loyalty is strong. They will follow their lead, advice, and direction (especially for product reviews!). As influencer viral content continues to drive eCommerce trends, brands should take advantage of this in 2022.
Hungry for More?
Now that we’ve fed you some of our marketing predictions and strategies for 2022, it’s time for one final tip: Become a part of the CAKE family. To start the new year off on the right foot, get expert counsel from our experienced eComm marketing team! To learn more about our services, contact CakeCommerce.