The new year is a time for reflection, refreshed thinking and renewed energy! Whether it’s a change in direction, digital strategy, design focus, deeper brand positioning, entry to new markets or exploring how existing and emerging channels can reach your target audience – it makes for an exciting time!
Naturally, our plans are built around what will deliver those bottom-line results but if that can include new trends and opportunities then we’re fully flexible to learn, test and report back on their performance! Here’s what we’re expecting in 2022…
With over 1.5 billion users globally, Tik Tok and it’s counterpart Instagram Reels alongside shorter social video content snippets are winning the reach and engagement race on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. It’s safe to say short video content is here to stay for 2022. We’ve had success in the latter half of 2021 using short videos across organic and paid advertising formats on multiple platforms and it’s something we definitely will be bringing forward into this year.
Swipe through stories or scroll through news feeds? We’re seeing an increased focus on social stories with 73% of Instagram users clicking on this highly consumable content every day. This makes it essential to use the story formats both organically and as part of a well planned paid strategy. Now that everyone has access to the link sticker, both small and large businesses plus micro-influencers can promote their products, services, blogs and make accessing their website and creating ‘shoppable content’ much easier. However, cutting through the noise and connecting with your audience still requires fresh, engaging or relatable content that serves a purpose or adds value to a viewer.
Metaverse, Augmented and Virtual Reality
AR and VRI were trends worldwide that were always going to filter through to social, with Facebook recently changing its name to ‘Meta’ and investing heavily in the virtual world. Recently, Meta launched Horizon Worlds, a free app for socialising in virtual reality, available to users ages 18+ in the U.S. and Canada. However, with most new things there comes scepticism. The metaverse market will take time to be implemented and more legislation needs to be confirmed regarding advertising in such an immersive world. Keep it in mind and consider it as a part of your marketing mix, but don’t rely on it being the most important space for your brand, just yet.
With Apple, Google and Facebook all taking steps towards increased privacy, it is essential to have an up to speed data protection strategy that is customer-centric. Consumers are taking more steps than ever to protect their privacy online, with 73% in the UK saying they use online services which promise high data protection, such as encrypted emails and privacy-protecting search engines. Re-evaluating your methods for reaching and measuring your audience will pay dividends when your audience feels protected and in control of what they share.
As regulations, platforms, Big Tech and formats advance, implications could pose serious limitations for advertisers and therefore adaptability is the greatest asset for brands and marketers when building an effective and resilient digital strategy in 2022.
Global e-commerce sales grew almost 30 percent last year. New ways of shopping online are unfolding with social shopping hitting all platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. With products going viral on Tik Tok and ‘Tik Tok made me buy it’ trends, social shopping is predicted to grow even further. For marketers, creating a narrative around your products or business is paramount to connect with your target audience and entice them to buy.
For 2022, consider making your content more story-driven to make it more engaging. You can express your brand identity while maximising the effectiveness of your campaign, and your creatives. Think A-B-C-D when it comes to content creation to move your audience along the funnel journey to purchase- Attention, Branding, Customer Connection and Direction.
Consumer choice has never been greater and now more than ever consumers are choosing how and when they interact with brands.
‘Connected Customers’ (those who use smart technology ie. smart TV, speaker, display or a streaming device at least once a month) stream music, podcasts or shows online and predictability favour online shopping. The majority of the audience fall into the 18-44 age category, with interests in technology, travel, business, buying a new home and other industries.
Connecting with consumers in natural, seamless ways is becoming more important and many brands are now exploring ways they can enhance audiences’ experiences through streaming marketing. The global video streaming industry size is predicted to reach £165.98 billion by 2028. Additionally, audio streaming spending is set to increase by 14.04% in 2022 to over £13 billion, the fastest growth rate in 40 years. We expect to see more demand for in-stream advertising options during 2022.
Post-Pandemic Consumer Behaviour Changes
The pandemic has caused decision-making and purchase habits to change on a global scale. But will these behavioural adaptations stick with consumers, even after restrictions and the various waves of the pandemic have passed?
The psychological factors which these new and accelerated behaviours and habits derive from are predictable, even when the external environment is not. 5 factors were identified by a Kadence International Survey when asking participants to decide whether to adopt new behaviours; convenience, cost-effectiveness, personal reward, enjoyment and time-saving.
Some consumer behaviour changes that are predicted to last beyond the pandemic are:
- Online Shopping
- Supporting Local Businesses
- Concerns over climate change
- Watching and streaming online content
- Working from home or hybrid working conditions
- Concerns over data privacy
- Germ Viligcany
Because people were forced to use online channels to purchase goods or services, it is expected that a large proportion of consumers will continue to do so even when restrictions pass. Searches that included the words ‘near me’ rose with lockdown measures and continue to rise as people are choosing to support local businesses. Searches containing ‘how to’ also had a significant rise during the pandemic, with ‘how to conserve’, ‘how to start a business’ all having high levels of searches. The words ‘impact of climate change’ was searched more than ever in 2021.
Getting Ahead of the Trends
For businesses, having an optimised digital presence is becoming a necessity to compete. The advantage of digitising your services is unmatched. It can increase your visibility with existing and new audiences, create a connection with potential customers by building a community that will ultimately support sales and brand loyalty. It goes without saying that the measurability, cost-effective advertising, personalisation opportunities and speed of delivery now makes a ‘digital first’ strategy the priority for every business.
If you want help to update your digital strategy to be ready for 2022 and beyond then please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to chat!