The digital marketing landscape is forever changing. Over the last year and a half, we saw this change accelerate as businesses were forced to innovate during the global pandemic.
As 2021 comes to a close, businesses are planning their budgets and strategies for the upcoming year. And with that in mind, we’re going to take a look at 6 digital marketing trends that you need to consider for your 2022 digital marketing strategy, why you should consider them, and tips for implementing these trends.
We’re going to look at the following digital marketing trends:
- Double down on user experience
- A video strategy is crucial
- Better align sales and marketing
- Real-time marketing
- Consistent publishing of long-form content
- Grow your email list
Let’s dive in!
1. Double Down on User Experience
It’s no secret that user experience (UX) can make or break a website. A seamless user experience is crucial for both customers and search engines like Google. If your website’s user experience is poor, not only will potential customers leave, Google may even push your site down the search results.
Google takes both content and design into account when assessing a web page. With Google releasing more updates around user experience – including the Page Experience update for desktop that will be released in February 2022 – businesses will need to double down to ensure they’re providing the best experience possible.
The Value of User Experience in Digital Marketing
User experience can have a tremendous impact on digital marketing – here are 3 ways user experience can provide value:
- Improves Bounce Rates: Keeps visitors on your site for longer, thus reducing bounce rates.
- Boosts customer satisfaction: Easy to navigate and well-designed sites lead to better customer experience and a higher chance they’ll return to your site.
- Drives conversions: User experience has a significant impact on your conversions. A good strategy will provide your customers and prospects with the information they need about your product or service. Your website should guide them in the right direction – to make a conversion – without any issues.
4 Top Tips for Improving User Experience
Consider the following to ensure that you keep your users – and Google – happy:
- Core Web Vitals: Core Web Vitals are a series of metrics used by Google, focused on site speed. These metrics fall under Largest Contentful Paint (how quickly your largest page element load), First Input Delay (the time between user input and when a browser responds to it), and Cumulative Layout Shift (a measure of an unexpected shift in a page’s content).
- Mobile-friendliness: 74% of people return to a website if it’s optimized for mobile. And with more people accessing websites from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site is a requirement, not a choice. Ensure your site speed is fast and responsive on mobile.
- SSL Certificate: A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate keeps user data secure, plus Google flags sites without an SSL, so if you do not have one for your site, make it a priority to add.
- Publishing engaging content: Easy-to-digest content is vital for user experience. Ensure that your content is engaging and provides valuable information, while also well structured and easy to follow.
2. A Video Strategy is Crucial
You may be sick of hearing about the need for businesses to jump on video, but I’m afraid we’re here to repeat that sentiment: your business needs video in 2022!
Why Video Content is Crucial in 2022
With social media platforms like TikTok growing to over 1 billion monthly active users, and Instagram declaring that they are a video-first platform, you need to incorporate a video strategy to stay relevant.
Video not only provides your audience with different options for how they’d like to consume your content, but it’s also great for SEO. After all, YouTube is the second-largest search engine, and having your video content appear on Google is a win-win situation.
5 Ways to Add Video to Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Creating video content doesn’t have to be difficult. Businesses can utilize their knowledge and existing content to create videos. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Repurpose your blog content into video: increase the longevity of your written content. Post on social media (we’ve done this on our TikTok and Instagram) and embed YouTube videos into the original blog article.
- Jump on TikTok or Instagram trends: this can be great for brand awareness and reach, helping new users to find you on social media.
- Talk about your processes: your business is unique; what do you do differently? We’ve done this for some of our key services (check out our SEO processes).
- Show behind-the-scenes footage: showcase your company culture or any projects you may be working on. This will help personalize your brand and give your audience a glimpse into the people behind your business.
- Video case studies: great for social proof, prospective clients, SEO, and legitimizing the great work your business is doing.
3. Better Align Sales and Marketing
Did you know that a massive 79% of leads generated never convert into sales?
We know the importance of a digital marketing strategy in driving qualified leads, but what if the sales department doesn’t close these leads?
Marketing and sales teams need to better align in 2022 to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in either department’s strategies that prevent closing business.
Why Sales and Marketing Need to Work Together
There are many benefits to sales and marketing teams working together. Here are some key reasons:
- Accurate Buyer Personas: Both departments need to be on the same page as to whom your buyer personas are, ensuring your messaging and strategies align.
- Better Marketing Material: Sales and marketing teams working together can create better content that will help capture the attention of audiences that the sales team is targeting.
- Better Leads: With consistent communication between both teams, marketers can adjust their strategy based on feedback from the sales team, ensuring that attracting better leads.
- Increased Revenue: Attracting qualified leads and nurturing them with the right content can help your business close more deals and increase revenue.
5 Tips for a Cohesive Sales and Digital Marketing Strategy
For success in 2022, your sales and marketing teams should consider:
- Set mutual goals: Ensure both teams are on the same page and measuring the same metrics.
- Meet regularly and have open communication: Update departments on progress, upcoming campaigns, and more.
- Optimize sales processes: Evaluate sales processes and consider a sales enablement strategy to enhance these processes and look for gaps.
- Optimize marketing processes: Set up automated processes that support sales for lead nurturing, upselling, and more.
- Implement a CRM: A CRM tool allows marketing and sales access to an overview of the entire customer lifecycle.
4. Real-Time Marketing
Real-time marketing is about creating and reacting to something in real-time on social media, whether that’s responding to messages, breaking news, or jumping on a viral trend.
Why Your Business Should Consider Real-Time Marketing
76% of brands have claimed that real-time marketing has increased their engagement. It’s not always easy, but it can really pay off. Here are some other benefits:
- Reach a new audience
- Build brand awareness
- Diversify your content
- Drive sales
And all of this can be achieved with a small budget.
How to Add Real-Time Marketing to Your Strategy
Real-time marketing can be a great way to show your audience that your brand is listening and connected to consumer interests.
- Keep an eye on the calendar: Be aware of upcoming events that your audience would be interested in.
- Social listening: Social listening is key for tracking conversations on social media about your brand and current events. It can help you spot and defuse a potential crisis, jump on a conversation or get your brand in front of millions during viral trends and events.
- Be ready to respond: Real-time marketing can happen at any time. Marketers need to be ready to respond if a situation unfolds that their brand could benefit from.
- Have fun: Show off your brand’s personality and stand out from your competitors.
5. Consistent Publishing of Long-Form Content
We mentioned earlier that engaging content is important for user experience. We also know that long-form content is very easy for Google and other search engines to understand. While your website may have a great design and experience, content shouldn’t be overlooked – especially the regular publication of content, like blogs and pillar pages.
Why is Consistent Publishing of Content Important?
We know that high-quality, optimized content can do wonders for your SEO. However, you need to be writing and publishing content consistently to be perceived as authoritative in the eyes of Google. Google’s John Mueller recently said it’s “hard to call a site authoritative if it only has 30 pages of content.”
So, what does this mean? Businesses need to develop a strong content strategy and editorial calendar for 2022 to ensure content is being created and published regularly.
Consistent publishing of high-quality content can:
- Demonstrate value to your audience
- Help with brand visibility (especially if your audience is signed up for your newsletter)
- Build brand loyalty
- Position your business as an industry leader
- Establish your brand as a credible source of information to search engines, like Google.
10 Long-Form Content Ideas to Add to Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Try adding these long-form content types to your 2022 content strategy:
- How-to guides
- Resource lists
- Industry news
- Case studies
- Pillar pages
- Transcriptions (of video and audio content)
- Republish top-performing content
6. Grow Your Email List
If the Facebook outage in October taught us anything, it’s to not put all of our eggs in one basket. In other words, don’t become too reliant on third-party platforms in case you lose access. Plus, with Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies in 2022, having first-party data is critical.
This is why in 2022, we’re working on growing our email list – and we recommend that businesses do the same. After all, 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking it 20 times a day.
Why is Growing Your Email List Important
According to research, 23% of marketing experts plan on investing in email marketing software due to Google’s new policy.
Email marketing allows you to send emails directly to a database of contacts who signed up to receive your newsletter, blog, promotions, or company updates. Generally, these people are interested in your brand, as they have already demonstrated this by signing up to receive emails from you.
How to Leverage Email Marketing in Your Digital Strategy
Here are three ways you can use email marketing in 2022:
- Transactional emails: these are automated emails to confirm an action has been taken. This includes order confirmations, receipts, shipping notices, account creation, and more.
- Relational emails: these can help you nurture leads by delivering them valuable content and information. This includes welcome emails, newsletters, new blogs, gated content delivery, survey, and more.
- Promotional emails: these are the most common type of email marketing, with the purpose of providing your recipients with an offer. This includes new product releases, sales announcements, new gated content, and more.
There are lots of trends to consider when putting together your 2022 digital marketing strategy. Consider the aforementioned trends, if they make sense for your business, and how you can implement these in your overall strategy.
What trends stand out for you? Let us know in the comments!
If you need help enhancing your digital marketing in 2022, do not hesitate to contact us – we look forward to speaking with you!
Originally written for Consultus Digital.