Like other trends, marketing trends come and go, constantly evolving as brands strive to keep up and leverage the latest technologies and shifts in consumer expectations. After all, great marketing isn’t just about making a splash or grabbing someone’s attention one time—it’s about connecting with customers in meaningful ways, building a reputation as a trusted source of information, and nurturing that relationship to generate revenue.
To maximize their reach, brands need to consider not only the fundamentals like SEO, PPC, and UX but also emerging social media trends and automation. From a continued emphasis on personalization to exciting new opportunities in NFTs and the metaverse, here are some conversion-friendly marketing trends to watch for in 2022.
When customers are given a choice between two products or two brands, they’ll almost always choose the one that feels more personal to them. That’s why digital marketing advice tends to stress building your brand on social media, and it’s why personalization is the truest, most effective way into the hearts of your customers and followers.
To that end, ads and campaigns that evoke particular emotions are more likely to hook consumers to your message, even if you’re a relatively new player in your industry. Statistically, 57% of consumers who feel connected to a brand will increase their spending with that brand, while 76% of them will stick to that brand in the long term if the connection feels strong enough. Additionally, Forbes highlights that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. This makes old-school marketing trends still effective today, with email marketing being a tried-and-true digital marketing strategy. After all, when you’re in somebody’s inbox, you have a responsibility to make that experience engaging. Sending all your subscribers the same email probably won’t have the same positive effect on conversions. The key is to focus on personalization, whether that’s sending targeted emails to re-engage those with abandoned shopping carts or sending out birthday emails and suggestions based on past purchases.
While you might immediately think of Facebook when you hear the word “metaverse,” you’re only partially on the right track. The metaverse refers to augmented reality, encompassing virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, and video. At the same time, this isn’t limited to the one-off experiences of video games. Instead, the metaverse also refers to a persistent environment where people can work, play, and interact with one another. Because these virtual worlds continue to evolve and grow based on user interactions, they mirror the real world. Unlike the real world, however, the metaverse has no “end.” It continues to expand as more and more users jump in, interact with their surroundings, and socialize.
For this reason and many others, it’s no surprise that the metaverse is generating a ton of buzz. For starters, the metaverse has the potential to offer a new set of performance metrics. Tech-savvy marketers have the chance to experiment with metrics like how long virtual objects are held, how much space those objects take up in a user’s peripheral vision, and where users look while experiencing an ad. Secondly, brands looking to take advantage of the metaverse can create marketing experiences that tie in with the real world, paralleling what their brand already does in real life. Not only is this a natural way for marketers to enter the metaverse, but it also provides an authentic way for users to notice a variety of brands.
Of these scenarios, one of the more recent and successful applications of metaverse marketing was the online food company Deliveroo’s campaign in the Animal Crossing video game. In essence, Animal Crossing operates as an online community and simulation where users can build their own islands, establish small villages, and fill their time with gardening, bug catching, and other activities. This provided the perfect opportunity for Deliveroo to test out deploying virtual riders for island-wide deliveries. Not only did players receive these surprise deliveries directly to their in-game islands, but they also received promo codes that they could activate outside of the game. Best of all, Deliveroo’s marketing campaign was so successful that it earned the company 3 million in-game interactions within the first hour.
Online marketers are also likely familiar with Roblox, a gaming platform first launched in 2006. Hosting about 18 million games created by roughly 7 million users (and counting), it’s a powerhouse in the VR category, and it is surprisingly easy for its player base (both young and old) to design and develop their own video games. Given the universe of Roblox provides limitless creative potential, savvy marketers looking to tap into the next big media-tech crossover have found a significant opportunity. Best of all, Roblox provides a step-by-step guide for advertisers on “how to promote your experience in Roblox,” with tutorials that showcase update announcements, social media links, direct promotions, and advertisements.
This evolving consumer and advertiser interest in the metaverse has also paved way for experimentation with non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Acting as digital assets, NFTs offer the chance to “own” a digital work with verification provided via the blockchain. As with any new technology, it’s unclear how NFTs will be valuable in the future, but brands and marketers are already experimenting with them.
While some NFTs hold a monetary value, others can link owners to communities, and some NFTs have even become digital fashion accessories. This last example has been especially exciting and lucrative for fashion digital marketers. A direct-to-avatar (D2A) economy has emerged from the technology, with fashion brands like Balenciaga partnering with the popular Fortnite franchise to design virtual outfits and accessories for players’ avatars. Other fashion trendsetters have been quick to jump into the emerging D2A economy as well, with Gucci selling a digital bag on Roblox for $4,000.
Sensing the revenue potential of this new trend, other major brands like Campbell’s, Taco Bell, and even Disney are jumping on the NFT bandwagon. Disney has even taken to recruiting NFT experts to help with its upcoming metaverse marketing strategies. One job posting describes a potential Manager of Business Development as “someone who will help lead Disney’s efforts in the NFT space, including monitoring the evolving marketplace, setting category strategy, and managing key partners.” While these are only a few examples of how NFTs and the metaverse are influencing online marketing strategies, they serve as a reminder that the world of digital advertising is one that’s constantly evolving, with surprises and opportunities around every corner.
Collaborative efforts with influencers will continue to provide a competitive edge to brands seeking to improve their social proof. This is because influencers in niche markets can provide detailed, valuable feedback that wins customer trust. Whether it’s fashion marketing, gaming, beauty marketing, or fitness, customers tend to prefer authentic, peer-like responses to products over the carefully crafted presentations of brand representatives. Because influencer marketing can often feel more genuine, a well-executed influencer marketing strategy can almost immediately improve brand authority, visibility, and reach. Likewise, the right influencers can help your brand drive more conversions. Statistics show that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, and 40% of those consumers make purchases after seeing them on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.
Though top-tier influencers tend to be more selective of the companies they endorse, businesses have the option of working with smaller influencers with followings in the 10,000-100,000 range, as these up-and-coming influencers tend to provide the opportunity to work with a more engaged audience. As the influencer market continues to grow (projections put it around $15 billion in 2022), this gives marketers at all levels the chance to build a backlog of credible brand ambassadors with a strong influence on buyer habits.
If you haven’t already noticed, users’ attention spans are getting shorter. This means the need for focused, easily digestible content has never been more essential, with 25% of adults stating that they’ll likely close a video ad after only 10 seconds.
Though this trend is more evident on apps like TikTok, other platforms based around short-form videos have seen significant spikes in growth. YouTube Shorts, for instance, established a $100 million fund they plan to distribute to content creators throughout 2021 and 2022. Instagram jumped in on the craze as well, announcing its intention to become a video-first platform, with further plans to optimize for mobile viewing via full-screen Reels and Instagram TV (IGTV). Google has also developed a tool powered by machine learning to create multiple short videos (around 6 seconds or less) known as bumper ads to place in front of YouTube videos.
With 2022 set to improve upon established marketing trends and introduce exciting new opportunities, brands in every industry will need to familiarize themselves with the latest tools and technologies to stay ahead of the competition. Whether you want to improve your content marketing or optimize your business for more conversions, the digital marketing experts at VELOX Media can help provide your business with a clear, cohesive digital strategy going into the new year.
As a Google Premier Partner ranking in the top 3% of digital marketing agencies worldwide, we’re experts at identifying new opportunities, with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC, link-building, and UX. Reach out to VELOX Media to learn how we can help your business capture new revenue, hit seasonal campaign targets, and leverage new technologies and trends in digital advertising.