Digital marketing has gone through fields of uncertainty and growth in 2021. Here, several changes have bloomed – including the rules of data handling and the way people behave in a digital-first world, which is evidently becoming the norm. As forward thinkers, we have looked towards 2022 to bring you five digital marketing trends to take notice of. These will help you maximise your ROI, reach your target audience with meaning, and keep you a step ahead of significant changes in the digital space.
The death of Third-Party Cookies
In February 2020, Google announced that it would terminate third-party cookies on its Chrome browser in early 2022. The anticipated change means that businesses should rethink their digital prospecting, customer outreach, and measurement strategies. In other words, it affects the way we meet new customers in an ever-growing digital world.
Most websites store third-party cookies, where social networks, advertisers and other website operators can use intermediary data to track and capitalise on online browsing. Yet, the death of third-party cookies doesn’t mean it’s Armageddon for online advertising:
In fact, the tech giant only plans on phasing out third-party cookies. So, first-party cookies – that track basic data about your own website’s visitors – will still remain in-tact. Thus, growing your first-party data will become more essential when the change is implemented. Bottom line: own your audience.
Increased multi-channel marketing strategies
With the realms of digital marketing expanding, the online consumer is becoming increasingly sophisticated; and they aren’t limiting their activity to one channel. Hence, 86% of online shoppers regularly channel-hop across a minimum of two channels.
With so many digital channels available, you will need a presence across all the main networks to achieve deep market penetration and gain maximum customers. There’s no surprise that 52% of marketers use 3 to 4 marketing channels, compared to 44% in 2015.
Although consistent messaging across a wide range of media will increase your online success, it’s just as crucial to identify specific channels to target different stakeholders. For instance, you might use Instagram to engage with your customers, while LinkedIn can be a vessel to communicate your ESG initiatives to investors.
The rise of advertising on newer networks
New research from Kantar and Neilson show that consumers are becoming more receptive to advertising on newer channels such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest compared to the paid social media mavericks (e.g. Facebook, Instagram). There’s no wonder that consumers ranked TikTok ads as more inspiring and pleasing; while Snapchat had more reach than TV ads, leading to greater awareness and purchase intent. Could this be a sign that mobile-first platforms are taking the upper hand over desktop?
The fact that most of these platforms are mobile-only just shows how device usage clearly plays a part. However, when looking at Pinterest, – a slightly different social media platform – a higher ROI and cheaper conversion rates are relatively seeming. Additionally, a well-established advertising model like Google Paid Search is exhibiting increased demand over the last two years after competing with paid social media and other newer forms of advertising.
Not only do these platforms house younger audiences who are more receptive to adverts (e.g. TikTok’s largest age group is 15-25 years at 24%), but it’s also apparent that these smaller networks aren’t as saturated with ads as Facebook and Instagram are; and this eliminates ‘ad fatigue’ amongst its users. In fact, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat all encourage advertisers to make their ads “fit in” with organic content that is already being posted by regular users – resulting in more entertaining and less disruptive ads, which can increase results for advertisers and improve the end users’ attitudes towards these platforms.
Moving forward, advertisers are being urged to rethink their social media strategies and consider the newer platforms. All it takes is open-mindedness towards these novel networks, which could be hiding a fraction of your target audience unless you open that door of opportunity.
Retargeting campaigns will rise
Did you know that it can take up to 5-7 interactions with a brand for people to start remembering it? That’s right, and to get your target audience to remember your brand or offering, you need to reach and communicate with them multiple times with remarketing campaigns.
Retargeting campaigns cost less compared to most types of advertising and can be one of the best ways to close sales that haven’t happened yet. So, how can you do it? There are several retargeting strategies that work such as retargeting specific URL visits, retargeting existing customers, and lead-generation ads based on page engagement.
Whatever approach you take, retargeting should be considered a key strategy in 2022. It’s no longer enough to post and promote great social media content. We must turn up the dial and chase our target audience multiple times.
Become a storyteller
In 2022, businesses will take branding one step further and place greater focus on storytelling to showcase and demonstrate their value. This means delivering their message in a way that tells stories about their products or services. But why? Well, the sophisticated consumer doesn’t want to hear about how fantastic your product or service is, they want to hear about the time you helped solve a specific problem. So, whether its data-driven, sourced by the customer (e.g. testimonials) or demonstrated through video, narratives should be created and storytelling must be embraced.
Instead of using extravagant words to describe your products. What is often missing is a real-life display of the advantages that your product has: Did your product improve workplace safety by 50%? Showcase it. Did your service increase productivity by 30%? Showcase it. Perhaps your business solution helped an enterprise improve their efficiency by 40%? That’s right – showcase it!
Although storytelling is the new way of marketing, we must understand that it won’t sell directly. However, it will make your customers think, “Wow, maybe I should try this out”, opening them up for consideration.
Interested in any of the above marketing trends and want to see how we can help you embrace them? Our digital team are specialised in developing strategic digital marketing and implementing tactics to help you effectively reach your target audience as well as generating consideration and conversions. Get in touch with us today via email or give us a call: +44 (0) 204 529 0549.
Written by: Bijan Shahrezaey, Digital Account Manager, Houston