The advertising landscape has always been a quickly evolving one. And in the digitally driven business world of today, changes that can cause significant shifts in the marketer’s toolbox — and as a result, create a speedy evolution in the most effective ways to boost brand success — seem to come along even faster than ever before. Throw in a global pandemic that forced significant changes in the way that consumers shop for and procure their goods and services, and the rate of change in the advertising world seems to be picking up even more steam in the 2020s.
So, while making predictions about the future of marketing may be more challenging than ever before, we at The Brandon Agency are always up for the task. After a look into our crystal ball, here are six trends in the advertising environment that we predict will carry significant weight in 2022 — and that could create sizable advantages for brands that get ahead of the curve on them:
1. Privacy regulations create new challenges
Google’s announcement in early 2020 that it planned to phase out third-party cookies sent shockwaves through the marketing world. And while the changes will apparently be delayed, the impact still promises to be substantial — as cookies are commonly used by businesses far and wide to keep track of visitor activities on their websites. And because it creates significant new challenges related to consumer profiling and targeting, Apple’s 2021 rollout of a new privacy feature that increases limitations on in-app tracking of iPhone and iPad users created further concerns and controversy in the marketing and tech worlds.
Moving forward, marketers will need to seek out new ways to identify and target consumers and personalize their brand experiences. One clear option for brands is to prioritize the collection of first-party data using tactics such as surveys, email marketing opt-ins, CRM tools, and contests and giveaways to grow their consumer databases, then use the valuable information collected via these avenues to drive marketing efforts. Tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox and the FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) also offer promising ways for brands to collect information on and target prospective customers.
2. The increasing impact of influencers
Influencer marketing has been gaining momentum in the advertising world for years, and predictions seem to suggest the trend could see even more acceleration in 2022. The top reasons behind the steady growth of influencer marketing can be seen in the numbers:
- Nearly half of consumers take influencers’ advice to heart
- Almost 95% of marketers consider their influencer marketing campaigns to be a success
- Nine out of 10 marketers plan to grow their influencer marketing budgets
- and perhaps most moving for those in control of marketing budgets, the average ROI for influencer marketing campaigns (based on 2018 statistics, at least) is an impressive $6.50 for every dollar spent
To tap into the power of influencer marketing, brands should consider taking steps to find the right influencer fit for their brand, their space and their marketing goals, then developing a relationship with their influencer of choice. Some top tools for the search include Traackr, Upfluence, BuzzSumo and Klear.
3. Video keeps gaining value
For regular followers of predictions about marketing trends, this one should sound pretty familiar. The growth of video’s popularity seems to keep making the “top marketing trends” lists year after year — and for good reason: Its upward trajectory is not only continuing, but steadily rising.
Consider these startling statistics regarding video content on social media platforms:
- According to Twitter, users watch more than 2 billion videos on the platform each day — representing nearly 70% year-over-year growth. Further, tweets that include video get 10 times more engagement than those without it.
- LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share a video than any other type of content.
- More 18- to 49-year-olds watch YouTube in an average week than all the cable television networks combined.
- On Facebook, users spend three times longer watching live videos than they do previously recorded videos.
As we head into 2022, it seems unlikely that video’s rise will slow down anytime soon. And for brands looking to increase their exposure with online consumers, stepping up video-marketing efforts presents a big opportunity.
4. The quality of content grows even more critical
Content marketing has been on the rise for nearly a decade now. And as more and more brands engage in the practice — which involves generating informational content and sharing it online in an effort to attract interested consumers, engage with them and gain their trust — the competition for each specific audience has grown more and more fierce.
It has always been important for this typically brand- and industry-focused content to be of high quality, of course, as savvy consumers can easily sniff out low-quality content. And when they do, it reflects poorly on the brand that’s providing it. But as the competition for audiences in each segment grows, the importance of providing truly engaging, informative and insightful content that is of high value to consumers does too. Brands that can consistently do this over the course of 2022 and beyond are likely to see significant jumps in consumer engagement and, as a result, corresponding growth in consumer trust and preference.
5. Short-form content continues its surge
TikTok — the social media platform focused on videos of under 3 minutes in length — hit 1 billion active users much more quickly than its counterparts Facebook and Instagram did. And as its meteoric rise exhibits, short-form content has a strong appeal among modern consumers. (This makes pretty good sense, as studies have shown that our attention spans have been steadily dropping since the onset of the mobile revolution, from around 12 seconds in 2000 to around 8 seconds in 2015.)
For brands, this presents an opportunity to catch consumers’ attention with micro-content — short, easily digestible videos, infographics and memes that quickly capture users’ attention. Those looking to leverage the trend, which has proven to be particularly prominent on mobile devices, should be sure to keep their tiny new “snackable” creations easily skimmable and consumable. (And while such content can be hits with audiences on a number of social platforms, brands looking for TikTok-specific tips can check out our recent blog article “The Basics of TikTok for Your Business.”)
6. A swell in social support
Today’s digital-savvy consumer has grown to expect nearly instant and effortless gratification in a number of ways — with the colossal success of Amazon providing a prime (OK, pun intended) example. This expectation of quick brand action has also extended into the arena of customer service, where consumers want any problems they encounter with brands’ products and services to be resolved quickly and easily. And for many, finding fast resolution via social media and other digital avenues is a big plus. (In fact, according to market research company Forrester, digital customer service interactions were predicted to see a 40% jump in 2021.)
Moving into 2022 and beyond, brands that want to keep customers happy (and isn’t that pretty much all of them?) should be prepared to provide speedy support to consumers seeking customer service via social media and web inquiries. This may require instituting AI tools like chatbots on their websites, along with more carefully and consistently monitoring social media, email and other digital communication avenues in an effort to ensure that personalized attention is provided to customers in need faster than ever before.
Could your brand use the help of a team of seasoned marketing professionals to maximize the effectiveness of its advertising in 2022? At The Brandon Agency, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing experts has a wealth of experience boosting advertising ROI for our clients. Further, TBA’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs, including brand strategy, web design, creative, media, e-commerce, analytics, social media, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and more. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.