By Shubhra Sinha
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving landscape where businesses that quickly adapt to new dominant trends maximise their ROI manifold, and those who lag, fade out. Enterprises should update their digital marketing stack to stay relevant and gain a competitive edge. However, there are myriad options that can make it more confusing to put together a digital marketing strategy that delivers overarching business benefits. Mentioned below are some of the forward-looking trends that businesses must adapt to stay relevant in 2022.
AI-powered influencer marketing: Over the last few years, influencer marketing has evolved from word-of-mouth marketing to content-rich marketing. Valued at $9.7 billion in 2020, it is expected to reach $15 billion in 2022. Presently, marketers spend more than 20% of their overall budget on influencer content. Brands like Bandier, for example, are partnering with industry leaders to run workouts on Instagram Live and publish them on their business handle for those who missed the livestream. Cross-platform influencer marketing will also see an upward trend. The advanced phase of influencer marketing will witness the use of AI-powered tools to watch and assess influencer content.
Intent-based data: Data is the pivot around which digital marketing today revolves. Synthesising intent data and market signals with the existing customer database helps marketers identify customers who are ready to buy. On the flip side, Google has recently strengthened its data privacy and tracking norms, and announced to put an end to cookie tracking by 2022.
Since 81% of shoppers research online before making a purchase, first-party data will become crucial to personalise marketing campaigns and amplify demand generation efforts. Businesses need to be prepared with dynamic landing pages and forms to collect first-party intent data via surveys, online searches, etc.
Optimising for voice search: Voice assistant tools like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are increasingly becoming popular. Voice search is predicted to hit a market value of $40 million by the end of 2022. One of the biggest use-cases for voice commerce is Amazon. The enterprise is enabling shoppers to search products, find locations, and troubleshoot issues through voice. Others must follow and incorporate long-tail keywords in web pages to get them ranked against the voice search commands of customers.
Multichannel & hybrid marketing strategy: The digital landscape constitutes many independent channels such as social media, emails, websites and video streaming platforms. Moving forward, enterprises will need a well-articulated mix of hybrid marketing strategies to automate integration at different channels, and add human and emotional elements to address customer demands in the best way.
A hybrid mix of multichannel marketing helps create uninterrupted brand visibility across all online channels. It also enriches customer experience through personalisation and makes it easier to align content with a buyer’s journey.
Video marketing: Video content marketing is increasingly becoming central to the overall marketing strategy. In 2021, over 80% of businesses indicated that they were using videos as a marketing tool. It is also becoming crucial for SEO. Recent research indicates that videos are 53% more likely to acquire first-page rankings. Google is now showing video snippets to over 26% of search results. Additionally, AR and VR content is finding its way into mainstream video marketing to design interactive content for self-isolating customers. Businesses have accelerated the adoption of AR and VR to create virtual experiences for shoppers at home.
The digital marketing continuum has changed drastically in the past two years. Marketing chips of the past will return surely, but businesses must implement a smart blend of digital-first strategies to further their brand expansion and customer engagement objectives. The best bet for companies in 2022 will be to break cross-departmental silos and drive greater brand value.
The author is VP – marketing, Denave