Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Five marketing trends to look out for next year

By Time of article published Dec 26, 2021

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By Fadi Saber

WE’VE heard it a thousand times before: “Digital marketing is constantly changing.” And it’s true: in 2021 Facebook alone issued over 40 updates – 40!

As digital marketers, we need to be similarly dynamic, as our strategies need to be. Research has shown that strategies that are constantly tweaked and tested can have results that are seven times more effective than campaigns that follow a non-dynamic approach.

With that in mind, how do we set ourselves up for success in 2022, and what trends should we consider when crafting our strategies?

1. Content is key

If I had just one recommendation for 2022, this would be it.

We’re tasked to help our clients understand how to reach their consumers, but now, more than ever, it’s the “what” that’s important. We’ve all heard of data-driven media but now we need to start thinking of data-driven content.

2. The rise of AI

Here, I’m talking about the kind of AI that allows marketers to implement dynamic campaigns that optimise ROI (return on investment) for clients.

The beauty of AI marketing is that it can understand millions of consumer data points in a split second and show the right creative to the right person at the right time.

Another Everage study showed that 99 percent of marketers say personalisation helped advance customer relationships, with 78 percent claiming it had a “strong” or “extremely strong" impact.

We’ve seen it in the numbers, with clickthrough rates (CTRs) of over 35 percent outperforming every other metric in the digital environment.

3. Now more than ever, video

Covid caused fundamental shifts in digital marketing. During lockdown, consumers started to spend more time on their devices, which meant that they were more likely to engage with long-form content, including videos.

Looking ahead, the prediction that stands out the most for me is that the average person is expected to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos in 2022.

That alone makes video content the most crucial part of any successful strategy. Combine it with the fact that we see an average of five times better results from video than static content and you’ve got a winning formula.

4. Conversational marketing

It sounds complicated, but it’s really broken down into three steps:

1. Offer consumers what they want based on their data points;

2. Create better content based on their previous behaviours;

3. Humanise your brand by giving consumers more friendly and personalised experiences.

With a well-thought-out strategy and the understanding that this will need constant tweaking, marketers can start using this to develop data pools that drive better ROI on other campaigns.

5. Micro-influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has become an essential medium in the success of many strategies, showing massive ROI compared to other traditional mediums.

This is mainly because referrals are one of the top reasons consumers purchase our buy into a product or brand. But with big influencers constantly changing their sponsorships, it’s hard for consumers to trust that influencer referrals aren't being bought, which reduces their authenticity and impact.

As a result, we’ve seen the rise of the micro-influencer, influencers who might have a smaller following, but whose views are considered more authentic and trusted.

In 2022 we'll see that influencers’ powers won't be measured by the sheer number of people they can reach but rather the relationships they hold with the followers they have.

This ever-evolving space favours flexibility and ingenuity. With a bit of both, your brands will be the ones to stand out amid the noise.

Fadi Sader, Head of Content at Wavemaker South Africa.

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.


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