What will digital marketing trends be like in 2022 and beyond?
This is the question that all businesses would like to know the answer to. If only there were a crystal ball capable of such detailed prognostication.
But there are some things we can say about future digital marketing ideas, by projecting current and recent trends. For instance, it’s safe to say that the internet will continue to evolve in complexity and sophistication. And with that will come immense new opportunities for marketing and business strategy.
In the following article, you’ll learn about AI, chatbots, the Internet of Things, programmatic advertising, and predictive analytics. And somewhere among all that jargon, you might just learn something about digital marketing trends that will carry over into 2022 and beyond.
1. Marketing Automation
Among the top digital marketing trends that will continue through 2022 is marketing automation technology.
Automation is a trend that’s affecting all aspects of business strategy and commerce, and this is true of digital marketing as well. The advantage of automation to digital marketers is tremendous. It allows them to automate processes to manage workflows and drive business growth by attracting more customers.
Many companies have already adopted automation tech to streamline their activities. Automation has many uses, as in social media advertising, pay-per-click marketing, native advertising, and much else.
We can expect that automation will grow further in 2022, and in the years to follow.
2. Artificial Intelligence
And speaking of automation, let’s talk about the most sophisticated automation program of all—artificial intelligence (AI).
There was a time—not all that long ago—when AI seemed like the stuff of science fiction. For instance, the wayward supercomputer HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), or the desperate replicants of Blade Runner (1982). Artificial intelligence in some form or another has long attracted the human imagination.
Whether “true,” human-level cognition will ever be achieved by computer intelligence is debatable. But practical AI programs are already revolutionizing the digital marketing space.
AI can generate personalized emails and create customized product recommendations. In the years to come, AI may even take over website design and marketing strategies.
3. Personalized Experiences
Among the new digital marketing ideas for the next decade is a concept of marketing that is highly personalized.
So, in the struggle to stay relevant, the best web designers and digital marketers have had to adapt.
And personalization is one of the methods that digital marketing has found to connect with consumers. Technology has made this possible in ways that were formerly unimaginable. For instance, the plethora of personal information now makes personalized campaigns feasible.
Look for these practices to grow even more in 2022 and the years ahead.
Chatbots are in many ways a form of AI algorithm.
Also known as “bots,” “talkbots,” or even “artificial conversation entities,” chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate human conversation. And they’ve been a tremendous boon to companies looking to advance their digital marketing strategies.
Online services suffer from a major drawback, which is the fact that often there aren’t any real people interacting with the customer. Ergo, customers often get frustrated if they can’t get their questions answered in a timely manner.
This is where chatbots shine. They can offer quick, helpful customer service twenty-four hours a day. Plus, they’re an economical way to automate customer service and save on money and resources.
5. Voice Search
Talk about another sci-fi technology that’s suddenly become a major part of everyday life.
Voice searching is another popular digital marketing trend that is set to continue to grow throughout the coming decade. As more and more people purchase so-called “smart speakers,” such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest Audio, voice searching is growing in popularity.
There’s also a synergy that exists between the evolution of AI technology and the precision and accuracy of voice search software. As AI becomes more sophisticated, the power of voice searching increases, and this will lead to its more widespread adoption.
So this is one digital marketing trend that we can expect to carry over well into 2022 and beyond.
6. Blockchain Tech
Cryptocurrencies have taken the financial world by storm. But the jury is still out on whether or not the digital currencies are here to stay, or merely another fad.
Either way, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, known as “blockchain,” is going to be around for a while. And this is understandable since it can be adapted to a number of different purposes beyond cryptocurrencies.
A blockchain is a decentralized, computerized ledger that manages transactional blocks of data. It’s intended to be proof against forgery and hacking, which is why it’s so popular.
As far as digital marketing is concerned, the blockchain has many applications.
7. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is another one of those unforeseen wonders that have changed the nature of our world and our relationship to it.
It is, in a nutshell, the extension of the digital internet infrastructure to include even those objects and products that are not what we think of as being digital or connected to the internet.
So, as an example, we think of computers and smartphones and smart speakers as being “plugged into” the internet. But what about cars, appliances, even ordinary items like plastic bottles?
As 5G networks expand, more devices and objects will connect with the IoT. And digital marketing will continue to leverage the data gathered from these devices to change the way that advertising works.
8. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising references a specific use of AI in digital marketing. In this case, AI programs automate the purchase of ads to target niche audiences for certain products.
Programmatic advertising developed in response to changes in ad buying trends. To begin with, ad space purchasing was restricted to outdated “wetware” biological programs—humans, by another name.
This went on for a while, but then the supply of advertising space greatly outstripped the demand. Programmatic advertising stepped in to streamline the process and better target niche demographics.
In 2022 and beyond, we can expect advertising dollars to funnel more and more toward programmatic advertising.
9. Predictive Analytics
If you’ve noticed a pattern involving the greater and more widespread use of AI, you’ve been paying attention.
Predictive analytics is another digital marketing technology that wouldn’t exist without artificial intelligence. And it’s pretty much what it sounds like. AI algorithms hoover up customer data, feed it through predictive models and spit out predictions about what might next pique a customer’s interest.
There’s something a little frightening and dehumanizing about the whole thing. After all, it reduces the human being to little more than a series of flow charts and statistical models.
But as AI sophistication increases, so will the use and accuracy of predictive analytics.
This is another of the top digital marketing trends that will only grow in popularity during the coming decade.
Geo-fencing involves the selective targeting of ads to customers based on geographical location. And this makes perfect sense. After all, if you’re a restaurant or local service industry, you’re wasting money if your advertising campaign is spread around the country or the world.
Instead, geo-fencing allows marketers to only target potential customers who happen to pass within a certain geographical range. For instance, business owners can set up text, email, notification, or other alerts that target individuals who enter the specified range.
This is a more targeted and cost-effective method of advertising that will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.
11. Visual Search
We’ve all grown very accustomed to typing keywords and search terms into a search engine when we wish to learn more about something.
But this could very well become a thing of the past in 2022 and the years ahead. This is because visual searching is becoming more popular, and it could change the way people search for products. And that will change the nature of digital marketing.
In short, visual searching allows a user to upload images of a product to call up further information about it. And as virtual reality and augmented reality technology becomes more sophisticated, this could very well become the main method of product search in the coming years.
12. Conversational Marketing
We looked at personalized marketing above, and this is a digital marketing trend that will lead to other, similar marketing strategies.
One of these is so-called conversational marketing (CM). This is a type of personalized marketing that tries to establish a connection between the seller and the potential buyer. The key here is to create a more informal type of marketing, one that replicates the casual service relationship you find in local, face-to-face businesses.
Another benefit of CM is the sense of real-time interaction it conveys. Whether through actual humans (a quaint idea) or AI-mediated programs, CM allows for swift and personalized feedback. Customers feel valued and enjoy the quick response times, which is why CM strategies are only going to increase their presence in 2022.
13. Social Commerce
Social commerce is a new, but quite inevitable, development that the best web designers in social media are pursuing.
We know by now that social media has become intertwined in our cultural landscape. But it’s also true that social media has infiltrated the financial and commercial worlds as well. And it seems likely that social media will be with us for some time—a happy or depressing prospect, depending on your outlook.
Social commerce is a new business strategy that retains the payment process right inside the social media app. There’s no need to follow a link to another site or app.
It’s a wonderful marketing concept that makes buying within the social media ecosystem as easy as possible.
Micro-moments is an unusual digital marketing trend. It helps companies target customers with the right message in the right format at the right time.
Like so much of what we’ve talked about, it depends on new algorithmic and AI technology to customize the buying experience. In simple terms, micro-moments are small, personalized interactions that exist between the larger interactions that make up the customer experience.
The technology of micro-moments hopes to identify those moments when someone is ready to make a purchase. At these times, the technology delivers relevant content and makes it very easy to convert.
15. Content Marketing
Finally, we come to content marketing, which is still one of the top digital marketing trends.
Content marketing is the use of a larger ecosystem of blogs, video posts, social media, and other forms of content to generate value to the potential customer. The goal here is to entice people to a website and to attract them with useful and helpful information rather than just a list of products to buy.
The beauty of content marketing is that it’s a stealthier form of advertising. Rather than bludgeoning consumers with direct advertising, it’s possible to attract them in a subtler way. By providing useful information, customers will keep coming back to a site. With any luck, they’ll keep discovering new products and services to purchase.
In other words, content marketing is a tried and true business strategy that will continue to see robust growth in 2022 and beyond.
The Top Digital Marketing Trends of the Future
These are just a few of the digital marketing trends we can expect to continue well into 2022 and throughout the coming years.
And it’s a wise choice to learn about these trends because keeping up with them is a good way to keep your business relevant.
While you’re here, check out some of our other digital marketing articles, and learn more about digital advertising and how to keep your brand ahead of the curve.