The past year has been crazy with the continued threat of COVID19 and businesses having to be agile enough to turn to digitisation. So what’s in store for 2022? I think more of the same! Nobody has a crystal ball, but back in 2020, we all thought the pandemic would only last a few months, but with new variants springing up, the latest prediction now is that the pandemic is here to stay, for a few years more.
For businesses, that means adapting to new technologies and evolving trends in marketing, and hopping on the digital bandwagon. Jumping on the bandwagon is not always a good thing, but when it comes to surviving the current landscape, it may just be exactly what you need to do.
So what are the upcoming trends in digital marketing to help you drum up more business? There are plenty of emerging trends, but here are my top faves.
Videos – TikTok, Instagram reels, and Youtube shorts
Easily consumable short video content has been around for some time, and since the start of the pandemic, it has been taking off consistently. The lockdown gave everyone so much time on their hands than they knew what to do with. I remember seeing so many of my Facebook friends posting Tik Tok videos at the start of the lockdown, and it quickly became the staple form of distraction for many people I know. Worldwide statistics support this trend.
- During 2020, 96% of consumers increased their online video consumption
- By 2022, it is predicted that the average person will increase their online video consumption to 100 minutes a day (compare that to 2019 where people only watched an average of 58 minutes per day)
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic
- 84% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service from watching a brand’s video
The most-watched videos, and those that prove popular for consumers, are those that are 2 minutes and under. This is where TikTok, Instagram reels, and YouTube shorts come in as they are 60 seconds or less. All three function the same way and are designed to compete with each other.
The advantages of short videos are that they’re concise, easy to make, and engaging from start to finish. If you want to get into creating video shorts, my tip is to do a bit of research on the type of consumers you want to reach out to and where your customers would typically “hang out.” In general, TikTok reaches more of the Gen Z audience, Instagram, the millennials, and Gen Xers, while YouTube attracts all age groups.
Podcasts – Audio content is increasing in popularity
For those who don’t know, podcasts are online audio broadcasts commonly consumed by those who commute to and from work, while at the gym or working out, gardening or doing household chores, and any other mundane activity. It’s potentially a huge market that’s not utilised enough, in my opinion.
Podcasts are slowly going mainstream and have grown 29.5% in three years. Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you look at it), there are not a lot of businesses using podcasts to their advantage. This means that if you use podcasts as part of your marketing strategy, there would be less competition in this space for you and your products or services.
Adding to the popularity of podcasts is that they are optimised for voice search. Approximately half of all consumers research products online through voice search, and by 2022 this figure is estimated to jump to 70%. This is means that when a consumer searches for particular information on the internet, a podcast episode will likely be at the top of the search results.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses influencers – people who have a large social media following – to promote their brands to their followers. While Instagram influencer marketing has been around for a few years, other platforms are seeing massive growth in influencer marketing, like TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube, each with its own set of influencers and demographics.
According to statistics, almost half of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when purchasing, with 70% of teens trusting influencers more than celebrities. By 2022, the influencer marketing industry is expected to hit (USD)$13.8bn.
Influencer marketing can also be a part of an off-page SEO strategy. This means that the influencer can increase outside traffic to your website, positively impacting your Google ranking so that you have a higher chance of appearing on page one of Google’s search results.
Think you can’t afford an influencer to spruik your products for you? Think again. Entry into the influencer world is quite affordable. According to Influence.co, in 2017:
- The overall average price of an Instagram Influencer payment was USD 271 per post
- The average price for micro-influencers (those with fewer than 1,000 followers) on Instagram was USD 83 per post
- The average price for Instagram influencers with more than 100,000 followers was USD 763 per post
So even if you are just a small business, you can afford to hire an influencer to help market your product or service. The beauty of hiring a micro-influencer is that post engagement tends to be higher.
If you want to dip your toes into the world of influencer marketing, my tip would be to do plenty of research on the influencers, their followers, and the platform you want to use. Keep in mind who your customers are, who they’re following on social media, and what social media platform they likely spend most of their time on.
AI-based Automation – the Rise of the Machines
No, I’m not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger or The Terminator movie, or even the upcoming Armageddon. I’m talking “Chatbots.”
A chatbot is a software or computer program that mimics human conversations through voice or text interactions. When you call the bank or government department, they are the voices you hear that either give you information or direct you to the right person to speak to. Or they are the “person” you chat to on a website if you have a particular question about the product or service. They are often used to answer questions or perform simple tasks, with the more complex tasks and questions passed on to an actual human in the customer service team. It’s a great efficiency tool for businesses as they free up the humans to focus on other responsibilities.
Although chatbots have been around for some time, they are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, and more businesses are taking them up. In the past two years, the usage of chatbots as a brand communication tool increased by a massive 92%. This trend will only increase and is fast becoming a standard in business. You will have noticed that many small businesses with a Facebook presence use chatbots on their Messenger platform.
Small businesses, in particular, can significantly benefit from using chatbots. Having a chatbot means you can focus more energy on growing your business while the bot provides basic customer service like answering common questions and performing simple tasks. Read more about chatbots here.
Featured snippets on Google
Featured snippets are brief extracts pulled from a website that Google has already indexed that appear in Google’s search results to answer a query quickly. This means that the user doesn’t need to click through to a website to get the information they want. You will have already noticed this when doing your usual Google search.
As SEO continues to play an essential role in 2022, getting your information on Google’s search results page is now more critical as more and more consumers are looking for information on the go – on their mobile – and need it faster than ever before, which means that business owners have to be savvy about the type of information they choose to have displayed on Google’s search results page. This involves having a well-thought-out SEO strategy and optimising website copy for Featured Snippets.
If you need help with your on-page SEO strategy, please contact me.