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Digital Marketing Predictions for 2022

2021-11-26

A decade ago, the use of artificial intelligence, voice search, and cryptocurrencies sounded like a sci-fi concept. Today, those are inevitable aspects of the digital marketing landscape. With their help, marketers can get the most out of their data, personalize customer experiences, and create data-driven marketing campaigns
 
To help you stay on top of these trends, we have compiled a comprehensive list of digital marketing predictions for 2022.

Search Presence Will Go Beyond Google

In the past, search engines were the primary information source. Whether they planned to purchase something or find helpful information, users’ searches always started with Google’s homepage
 
However, things have changed since then. Back in 2019, Tim Soulo explained that emphasizing that search presence is not restricted to Google anymore. According to the Head of Marketing at Ahrefs, digital marketers should invest in various digital platforms with search functionalities. Search networks are one of them. 
 

Social Networks Will Surpass Search Engines

Online users are not just scrolling down social media posts to find engaging content. They use these channels to look for new products, compare prices, and communicate with brands
 
In other words, social networks are search engines, too. 
scrolling down social media posts to find engaging content
 
According to the 2021 survey, social media channels are now the second most significant digital channel after search engines. The report also found that users aged 16-24 use social networks more than search engines when researching brands.
 
Thus, in 2022, brands will need to understand that SEO goes far beyond website optimization. It incorporates social media optimization, as well. That includes high-quality content production, keyword optimization, and strategic hashtag use.

The Rise of Ecommerce

The e-commerce market has a continuous growth rate. In 2022, online retail sales will surpass $1 trillion. By 2024, they will make up over 20% of total retail sales, studies show.
 
In 2022, e-commerce exceeds traditional website sales. Marketers will need to diversify their sales channels to meet different customers’ expectations.
 
Here are a few trends that will dominate this area in 2022:
 

Social Networks as a Sales Channel

Social commerce involves product sales and purchases directly within a social network. New technologies have changed the approach to social networks. Simply put, the role of social networks is not just to engage online audiences and point them to your website. Today, searchers can finalize purchases without leaving their preferred social media app. 
 
These channels simplify and accelerate the overall shopping experience. Given that, it is not surprising that they have gained immense popularity among online shoppers. In 2021, global sales through social media reached $732 billion. Industry experts expect that figure to exceed $958 billion.
 
Social commerce benefits online brands, too. That is the opportunity to meet customers on the platforms they use and boost user experiences. The convenience of social sales can shorten the sales cycle and increase conversion rates
 
Statistics claim the same. Studies found that eight in 10 executives expect to be selling products through social networks within the next three years.
 
In the sea of social networking channels, two platforms stand out as a perfect online retail channel:
 

Instagram

The social network has one billion users. According to Instagram’s statistics, 90% of its users already follow brands on this platform. Moreover, 50% of them are more interested in a business after seeing an ad on Instagram.
 
As such, Instagram is a perfect sales channel. It offers many options you can use to promote and sell your products directly via your account. Some of them are:
  • Live Shopping
  • Reels Ads
  • Shop Tab Ads
  • Instagram Checkout

TikTok

TikTok’s user growth rate is impressive. In 2021, it has one billion monthly active users. Today, the social platform is a treasure trove of a variety of content for different audience groups.  
 
The platform launched TikTok Shopping to help brands connect with their target audiences. The in-app feature lets brands add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles. 
 
Furthermore, TikTok Shopping integrates with Shopify. Namely, the e-commerce platform pulls products from the brand’s Shopify catalog and shows them on their TikTok profile. In other words, it is similar to Instagram’s Shop Tab. 
 
However, TikTok Shopping is only available to the U.S. and U.K. brands that host websites via Shopify. They also need to have TikTok for Business accounts. 

The Growing Demand for Personalized Products

User experience personalization remains the hottest e-commerce trend in 2022. Tech-savvy customers have become highly demanding. They do not want to receive uniform content recommendations. Instead, they expect online brands to tailor the digital offerings to them. 
 
Personalizing shopping experiences delivers numerous benefits to online retailers. For starters, that is the opportunity to engage audiences, inspire customer loyalty, and maximize sales
 
Statistics back that statement up. According to Epsilon, 80% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.
 
Now, e-commerce brands can personalize their digital marketing campaigns in many ways. Here are several tactics that will remain relevant in 2022:
 

Product-Detail Page Recommendations: 

Show customers products similar to the ones they have already viewed. Top e-commerce brands, such as Shoppster or Amazon, use that technique to upsell or cross-sell to website visitors
 

Website Navigation Personalization 

Personalize website navigation based on visitors’ interests. For example, if a visitor views products in the women’s section, the website can automatically redirect them to this section the next time they land on it
 

Email Segmentation

Email segmentation is the process of breaking the email newsletter list down into narrower segments. So, instead of sending out a generic email newsletter to everyone on the list, brands tailor content to their specific needs and preferences.
 
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Past purchases
  • Product views
  • Content interests

Cryptocurrencies to New Customer Groups

The cryptocurrency industry is growing at a rate of knots. In May, the crypto trading volume reached $516 billion
 
Decentralized finance has impacted almost every segment of our lives, and commerce is no exception. Businesses are starting to understand its value. According to recent statistics, over 2,300 companies in the U.S. accept Bitcoin. 
 
In 2022, crypto can deliver multiple benefits to companies. Crypto perfectly aligns with digital marketing and online sales. In the Coronavirus era, where e-commerce has become the new normal, diversifying payments is a top priority for brands
 
Blockchain technologies enable simple, immediate, and safe money transfers. As such, they build trust with customers and inspire them to convert faster. 
 
Most importantly, crypto can increase brand exposure and attract new demographic groups. Online customers prioritize data safety and transparency. That is why they often choose to use a crypto wallet rather than traditional payment methods. 
 
According to Business News Wire, 40% of consumers who pay with digital currencies are new company customers. The same report suggests that these customers purchase more than credit card users. Their shopping amounts are twice those of customers using credit cards.  

The Growth of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Ecommerce

Online customers often face discrepancies between what they order online and what they get
 
Ecommerce brands use high-quality photography to build trust with customers and boost sales. However, that is often not enough. They have started investing in extended reality, such as VR, to build trust with customers.
 
Augmented reality and virtual reality can show how the product looks in real life. By publishing 360-degree product photos, online brands can boost customers’ confidence to convert. According to research studies, 71% of shoppers say they would shop more from brands that use VR.
 
Their implementation will continue to grow in 2022. Industry experts predict that more than 120,000 online retailers will use AR in 2022. Advanced technologies, such as 5G, will increase the adoption of extended reality tools.

Conversational Marketing Will Gain Momentum amid the Pandemic

With the rise of real-time communication channels, customers’ demands have changed. Today, 82% of consumers expect immediate feedback from brands. They also require communications to be relevant. That is why conversational marketing has picked up steam over the past few years. 
chatbots as a real-time communication channels
 
Conversational marketing goes hand in hand with customer support. It relies on numerous communication channels to facilitate faster and more personal communication between marketers and customers.
 
Its primary purpose is to improve online customers’ experiences via feedback-powered communication. That way, it increases customer engagement, brand loyalty, and conversions. 
 
Conversational marketing is not all about a single communication channel. It includes various tools, platforms, and media that help brands meet customers at every touchpoint. Some of them are:
  • Chatbots
  • personalized videos
  • social networks
  • live chat
  • targeted emails
  • virtual selling assistants

AI Chatbots as the Core of Conversational Marketing

Artificial intelligence and chatbots will remain the fastest-growing aspect of conversational marketing in 2022. According to research studies, e-commerce transactions via chatbots will reach $112 billion by 2023.
 
That is because 40% of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact. They choose chatbots because they are available 24/7 and provide immediate feedback. Above all, virtual assistants recall their purchasing journey, so provide more personalized experiences. 
 
When it comes to the use of chatbots in 2022, digital marketers will get more creative. 
 
For starters, chatbots are going to be more human-like. They use sentiment recognition technologies to interpret users’ emotions. Moreover, voice bots will take the communication between brands and customers to a whole new level. Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps them understand human speech and generate meaningful feedback. That is a far engaging way to deliver customer service and boost user engagement. 
 

Chatbots and Data Analytics

Apart from being a superb communication channel, chatbots are also a source of customer information. With the rise of augmented analytics tools, chatbots will be able to measure customer data. Includes: search keywords, content preferences, satisfaction rates, letting companies gain more granular insights into their behaviors and create deeper connections with customers
 
You can use chatbots to:
  • Collect feedback from surveys.
  • Answer frequently asked questions.
  • Recommend relevant products.
  • Inform users about the product launches or deals.
 

Data-Driven Marketing Remains the Industry Paramount

Advanced digital technologies have changed customer data analytics. With a wide range of digital marketing analytics tools, industry professionals can track, collect, and analyze customer data from multiple channels and devices. That way, they gain more granular insights into customer behaviors and design more relevant user experiences
 
Data-driven marketing increases sales, marketing ROI, and customer loyalty. It is not surprising that the number of businesses investing in data analytics will continue to grow in 2022. According to research studies, 76% of marketing professionals base decisions on data analytics. Moreover, 40% of companies plan to increase their data analytics budgets in the following year.
 
Here are a few data analytics trends that will dominate the data-driven marketing area in 2022:
 

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uses data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning. These are for identify patterns in customer behaviors. Based on this data, ML helps digital marketers predict the future and better organize their marketing campaigns
 
In 2022, brands will use predictive analytics can help marketers gain a competitive advantage. By staying on top of the market trends, they can create data-driven marketing campaigns and generate a higher ROI.
 
Here are several predictive analytics use cases: 
 

Recommendation Engines

Recommendation engines use algorithms to identify buying patterns among like-minded consumer groups. They analyze consumers’ browsing behaviors and purchase habits to help them find the right products. According to Salesforce, these technologies impact approximately 26.34% of purchases.
 

Lead Scoring

Digital marketers can use ML to score leads based on their customers’ buying activities and interests. That way, you can create highly targeted lead nurturing campaigns that inspire customers to purchase
 

Lifetime Value Prediction

Customer lifetime value estimates how much your customer is worth throughout their whole buying journey. Predictive analytics helps brands analyze customers’ historical data and predict their future behaviors. 
 

Augmented Analytics

Augmented analytics relies on AI technologies, including machine learning, data mining, and natural language processing. With their help, it streamlines the data preparation process and provides marketers with more granular insights
 
Predictive analytics and AI-powered data analytics are a match made in heaven. Predictive analytics prepares brands for future marketing trends, augmented analytics answers the why.
 
The investments in AI data analytics in marketing are growing impressively fast. According to research studies, the augmented analytics industry will grow at a yearly rate of 25% in the next five years. By 2025, its market size worth will reach $22.4 billion.
 

Search Engines Will Become More Conversational 

The SEO landscape is changing at an astounding rate. The trends that dominated the industry a few years ago may not be relevant in 2022 anymore. Google tends to continuously update its algorithms to meet searchers’ needs and experiences.
 
In 2022, Google aims to introduce several innovations that will change how we communicate with search engines for good. Above all, these updates will have an immense impact on website optimization. The most important update is the rollout of the MUM algorithm.
 

The Introduction of the MUM Algorithm

The rollout of the BERT algorithm back in 2019 enabled Google to understand search intent. By knowing user intent, it could provide searchers with more relevant results. 
 
Simply put, users perform searches for multiple reasons. If you google marketing trends for 2022, you want to learn more about the topic, not purchase anything. On the other hand, searches like “buy jackets online” have a clear commercial intent.
 
Keyword intent has also enabled more efficient use of voice search. Google understands that searchers are no longer typing exact-match phrases into the search box. They communicate with search engines via their voice assistants. These searches are more fluid and conversational.  
 
BERT uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to keep these interactions relevant. 
 
Say you want to find a shoe store in Austin. You do not need to google phrases like shoe store Austin anymore. Instead, you can tell your voice assistant to find shoe stores near you or shoe stores that are open now. Using your location and AI, Google understands the purpose of your search and provides you with more relevant, local listings.
 
However, Google decided to take its service to the next level by launching the Multitask United Model (MUM)
 
According to the IT leader, MUM is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT. The AI-driven algorithm can analyze textual and visual searches in 75 languages. It can understand search intent, as well as more abstract feelings such as users’ emotions. By understanding the context of multi-language searches, Google can provide faster and more precise search results
 
MUM is an efficient multitasker. You may be able to take a photo of a plant you got from a friend and ask Google how you should plant it. MUM will automatically link the image with your question and provide a straightforward answer.
 

Wrapping Up

Those are just some of the numerous digital marketing predictions for 2022. The online marketing landscape is expanding at an astounding pace. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G, and virtual reality empower to grow faster. To stay competitive in 2022, brands need to keep looking ahead and adapt to these changes.
 
We hope these insights will help!

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