2020 felt like the longest year ever, and now 2021 was what, six, maybe eight months long? Believe it or not, 2021 was in fact the full twelve months and during that time, there have been a lot of changes in the digital marketing landscape, giving business and marketing teams a lot to look forward to in 2022.
However, at Ella Interactive we are aware of the end-of-year post trope, and we will not offer you boring, outdated, and often repeated, ‘trends to look out for’. The trends we will be taking a look at are genuinely new, interesting, and consequential for how digital marketers and businesses advertise and market their products.
Many people wrongly assumed that Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter were free platforms, that these giant tech companies were freely offering their revolutionary products and services to us out of the goodness of their heart. Later, we learned that that was not true: our activity and data was being sold and were being used to run very specific and targeted advertising campaigns. Many have even found that the keywords ‘data privacy’ have greatly increased in volume.
The iOS 14 update, which we covered in our last blog, no longer allowed companies to track whoever they pleased; instead, users had to ‘opt-in’ and allow companies to track their online activity. As a result, about four out of every five users opted out of being tracked by advertisers.
What Does this Mean for Marketers?
- Third-party advertisers are here to stay. However, their job has become much more difficult, so first-party advertising will need to pick up the slack. Customer surveys through email, online polls, and interviews will have to drive marketing campaigns.
- Organic marketing strategies are essential. Stick to the fundamentals of SEO: running SEO audits and optimizing for targeted keywords.
Social Media is Changing
TikTok and Twitch have emerged as serious players on the internet and digital marketing. Very recently, we learned that TikTok has knocked Google off as the most visited website in the year 2021. Though the demographic tilts younger, TikTok is projected to host 1.5 billion users in the year 2022. So, if you haven’t already, get your marketing team ready for how you can use TikTok to get your product or service out there. But remember: TikTok is kind of a goofy platform, so marketers need to be creative on the platform.
Twitch is another platform that has enjoyed prominence since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The platform has roughly one billion monthly users. So, it is right up there with the largest social media platforms in the world. Like TikTok, Twitch also tilts towards younger demographics.
- With both TikTok and Twitch, businesses can directly communicate with their target audience. The active user bases provide a reliable audience, but it is important to get across an appealing and honest message – otherwise the audience will tune you out.
- With Twitch, live-streaming has become hugely popular. Now, this is a difficult space for digital marketers and advertisers to participate in, but keep your eyes open and see if there is an opportunity for a live stream or for a brief TikTok video. With these new platforms, it pays to get there early.
What are Your Culture and Values?
Hm? Culture and Values? What could those lofty ideas have to do with selling products, with giving users and customers what they want? Well, over the past few years, it has become increasingly evident that users and customers care about what sort of values their merchants implicitly or explicitly endorse.
Your brand is not only defined by what you produce or provide for your customers, but it is also defined by what sort of values your company embodies. So, you do not need to be posting political slogans and weighing in on the most recent culture war, but you might want to consider conveying a different attitude. Here is what we mean:
- Try to convey a laid-back, even humorous tone in your marketing. Leave room for jokes. Try not to use the most technical language and most persuasive rhetoric. Talk and write simply, easily, and, again, a bit humorously.
- Dial back the aggressiveness that you might use to reach an audience. Of course you want your audience to know that you have the best product or service, but you don’t need to bash them over the head with it. Let the audience decide for themselves if the product is right for them, and you can do that by using passive, laid-back language.
Conscious marketing could mean a few different things – it could mean using ecologically sustainable products and marketing that, being transparent with customers, or marketing a company’s diversity, inclusion, and equity. There are a few different considerations that you can make to have a more conscious presence:
- Eliminate all of those pop-ups and any other dark-design patterns. Users notice those things, and most believe that they do not reflect well on a business.
- Use a responsive design that fits all devices and screen types.
- Optimize your screen so the visually-impaired can still access the content on your website.
- Green-computing – use environmentally sustainable IT.
- Use ecologically friendly practices across your company, like recycling and sorting out all of your company’s waste.
- You can also promote and incentivize consumption reduction.
- Participating in local, national, or global charity movements or fundraisers can be a great way to increase your company’s social standing and impact. We have seen that users want businesses that are more than just business, that are interested in more than the bottom line.
- Incorporate diversity, inclusion, and equity practices across your organization. This might mean hiring people of different educational backgrounds, networking with organizations you otherwise would not have, and getting involved in social causes, when appropriate.
The landscape of the digital marketing world is always changing, and marketers and advertisers need to stay on their toes. However, you can only pay attention to so much. That is what is so great about an all-in-one digital marketing tool like Ella Interactive. With Ella, you can have task management and automation, consultation, and data-driven insights into your company.