Digital marketing trends for 2022

While digital marketing may mostly evolve in incremental, somewhat predictable patterns, the details and circumstantial factors still carry unquestionable significance. This year too, the ongoing pandemic has accelerated digital change like never before, acting as an unexpected catalyst. It has informed customer behaviors, fragmented the customer journey further, and fueled digital marketing trends for 2022 and beyond. At the same time, Google’s renewed focus on data protection, LinkedIn’s surge, and other digital events shape the future too. Thus, as the year comes to a close, marketers across the globe strive to predict future trends to stay ahead. We at Digital Dot have dedicated ourselves to striving for marketing excellence no less, so here we may use our insights and cite our peers’ to outline what the future seems to hold.

8 key digital marketing trends for 2022

2021’s digital marketing trends may continue their expected trajectory, but developments new and old will also impact the online landscape. Some old trends will continue while others will meet resistance or new outlets, and new ones will emerge. Let’s examine the eight trends that require our full attention in the year to come:

#1 The world grows more digital

Initially, the digital marketing market will continue to thrive for years to come. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts considerably higher employment rates for the industry than all others:

“employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations”.

The difference is quite substantive, at that, as these professions boast a 13% growth over the 8% average:

Statistics from the US BLS on web developer and digital designer job growth.

Similar trends across industries and marketing practices also support this notion, as we will cover next. As such, the industry on the whole can only expect to grow despite adversarial circumstances.

#2 Privacy matters

With growth come challenges, however, and privacy matters lie ahead. Here, we may cite such developments as:

  • GDPR compliance remains a fundamental quality for any data collection.
  • Google Chrome, the largest web browser today, has pledged to remove third-party cookies, joining Safari and Firefox.
  • Similarly, iOS follows suit with its newest update.

This will present a notable challenge to all marketers, as it will further strain data collection and processing. Marketers will need to find innovative ways to personalize their outreach and leverage user insights, while also respecting users’ privacy.

#3 PPC remains invaluable

In turn, digital marketing trends for 2022 will likely feature Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing quite more heavily. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might certainly not lose its luster, but it will likely value complementary PPC campaigns more.

PPC services New York agencies offer reflect this trend, as they increasingly embrace a holistic approach to targeting and outreach. SearchEngineJournal’s expansive research on the subject confirms this further, as they identify the following trendsetters for 2022:

  • Automation
  • First-Party Data
  • Audience Targeting & Segmentation
  • Testing
  • Diversification

Some, as you can see, hinge on tried-and-tested principles – automation for streamlined operations, testing for course correction, and so forth. First-party data, however, stems from the explicit need to adjust to the aforementioned privacy developments.

#4 Page Experience and loading speed still dominate

This newfound direction does not, however, signify any substantial difference in Google’s course. Its search engine continues to value user intent, content value, and the overall Page Experience. In an effort to strengthen its focus, it has now fully launched Core Web Vitals, which do necessitate new strategies.

In brief, their metrics further strengthen SEO principles, while focusing on new metrics:

An illustration of Google's Core Web Vitals metrics.

These new metrics primarily hinge on providing a stellar Page Experience:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) gauges perceived loading speed.
  • First Input Delay (FID) measures responsiveness.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability.

While these may seem to just reinforce SEO, however, they also come as a new necessity. That’s because Google intends to test a visual indicator of Page Experience in SERPs, which will considerably affect user behaviors:

“We plan to test a visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience”.

#5 SEO recalibrates its focus

Understandably, digital marketing trends for 2022 will likely feature an SEO recalibration in response. Any reputable SEO company NYC offers will rightly attest to SEO’s continued efficiency, but many will also suggest adjustments.

Forbes puts this best, as it asserts the following in the wake of Core Web Vitals.

“As search algorithms have continuously become smarter and more contextual, marketers need to focus less on the “hacks” and “tricks” of SEO and more on providing an outstanding and meaningful experience to their users.”

LinkedIn’s Isaac Diaz also supports our prediction from last year, that 2021 was “shifting all the power of broad SEO to local SEO”. He does so by highlighting that local SEO will indeed continue to shape the future – especially as local businesses seek to adjust to the pandemic.

#6 LinkedIn thrives

On the subject of LinkedIn, it continues on its stellar 2021 trajectory with no signs of slowing down. Within the year it has comfortably established itself as an excellent B2B lead generation asset, and its user base and revenue alike continue to grow.

In the aforelinked article, Forbes notes this massive growth – but BusinessOfApps quantifies it in no uncertain terms:

A graph on LinkedIn's continued growth.

 

Evidently, LinkedIn will remain a prominent tool in digital marketers’ arsenals and inform digital marketing trends for 2022. It remains aware of this fact, at that, so it continues to push new features and tools to facilitate marketing.

#7 Social media marketing booms and so does influencer marketing

Equally predictably, social media marketing and, in turn, influencer marketing will continue to provide excellent marketing assets themselves.

First off, regarding social media marketing in general, experts predict a mix of old and new trends, such as:

  • The re-emergence of long-form content
  • Video continuing to dominate, including on LinkedIn
  • Paid social remaining “indispensable”

Still, they note that “most businesses and marketers aren’t paying attention to the basics” yet. As a social media marketing NYC agency, we must sadly agree; many marketers will need to refocus on the fundamentals, such as the power of video and the synergy between organic and paid.

Similarly, influencer marketing remains immensely powerful, as InfluencerMarketingHub finds. Its research suggests a steady trajectory for 2021 trends, which marketers may seriously consider, such as:

  • Most brands (90%) still believe influencer marketing yields great results, and the industry’s growth reflects this.
  • Two-in-three (67%) of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing but TikTok’s explosive growth continues as well.
  • Influencer fraud continues to decrease, offering brands more peace of mind.

#8 “Shoppable” content emerges

Finally, Google itself predicts that “shoppable” content will inform digital marketing trends for 2022. This, they note, is due to many reasons, which we may distill down to the following:

  • Convenience; such content allows audiences to shop wherever they happen to be, providing unprecedented shopping convenience.
  • More advertising outlets; similarly, “shoppable” content reveals new opportunities for marketers to expand, diversify, and connect.
  • Customer journey cohesion; finally, such content consolidates the customer journey, directly alleviating the pandemic’s fragmentation effect on it.

Ecommerce sales have surged in 2021, as Google notes, which only pushes this trend forward. In Google’s words, “consider how you can make your content story-driven to make it more shoppable” to best leverage this trend early.

The old meets the new

In summary, digital marketing trends for 2022 seem set to marry the old and tested with the new and innovative. As the world grows more digital, the industry will thrive in turn. It will face such challenges as changed post-pandemic customer behaviors and GDPR compliance, but those largely existed before.

SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and influencer marketing will remain stellar assets, albeit with some need for holistic adjustments. In turn, tried-and-true tactics will still apply to the emerging 2021 victors in LinkedIn, TikTok, and shoppable content. As always, luck will favor the prepared, adaptive, and diligent. Hopefully, this article helped pave your way to success in 2022 and beyond. For more valuable insight into the world of digital marketing, subscribe to our blog or contact our team directly.

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