It’s that time of year again, when we all start thinking about how to create marketing strategies for the New Year, looking into digital trends and the potential opportunities we can take advantage of.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving but, due to the current climate, it’s likely that 2022 will see some dramatic changes. To help you get prepared for the new year, we’ve compiled a list of our predictions for 2022, from SEO to Organic Social, and everything in between.
1. TikTok To Lead The Way
Instagram has been considered to be the most important social media platform for many marketing managers for years, but we believe that’s set to change. In September 2021, TikTok reached 1 billion users, securing its place as the 7th most popular social network in the word. The growth of the platform has been mind-blowing, as it only had 689 million users in January 2021. Over the last year, search demand for TikTok has grown by 173% and it isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. It might be time to adapt and venture into new networks, as TikTok has been predicted to take over social media in 2022. As per App Annie’s 2022 Mobile Forecast report, TikTok is set to surpass 1.5 billion users in the next twelve months, as its cultural influence continues to spread around the world.
2. Mobile First Indexing
Google originally postponed their mobile-first indexing deadline from September 2020 to March 2021, but the deadline still hasn’t been met due to a belief that many sites are still not ready to be mobile-first. Although the deadline has been moved again, it is coming and if you’re not ready then there may be other site wide issues that you need to address. Another note for 2022 is to be verified in Google Search Console. Not simply just because you’ll be able to find out more about search queries to your site, but because if not, you won’t be notified by Google of the mobile-first switch over.
3. Responsive Search Ads Takeover
With Google Ads retiring Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s) on 22nd June 2022, it is time for everyone to get familiar with Responsive Search Ads (RSA’s). Whilst PPC Specialists have been engaging with this ad format since it was first introduced in 2018, those who only occasionally dip into PPC accounts are going to have to get their heads around the responsive ad format. However what is still unclear, and which is a heavily debated topic in the PPC industry, is what exactly the best practices are for this ad format. Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising, who also facilitates RSA’s, have provided little guidance on details regarding how assets are rated, how to improve the quality score or how to get the performance data needed to be able to make effective optimisations. 2022 will see this uncertainty continue and hopefully the platforms will begin to provide the information and guidance needed.
4. Dark Social Strategy
Dark social itself is not a new concept. In fact, before social media platforms made advertising transparent as it is today, dark social was very much the norm. However, looking into the concept of dark social as traffic coming from social sharing links without referral data about the source, will be important in 2022. In fact, it could mean the difference between your business mistakenly dismissing social media marketing from your strategy.
Although there are tools out there that claim to be able to accurately measure dark social impact, they do currently come with a pricey price tag. Therefore encouraging site visitors to use social sharing buttons or asking people in form submissions “where did you hear about us” may start to help shape a very different attribution picture about digital marketing efforts in the future. If Google Analytics claims that social media isn’t making a difference to your marketing efforts, there may be dark social impact lurking beneath what you can see on the surface.
5. Queries and News
Google recently released new search features to give local news content more visibility. Search queries for “local news near me” have tripled in the past five years, so it’s no surprise that Google is beginning to take notice. This is important because it could really benefit your visibility in your local community and surrounding areas. One of our first reactions when we hear about something is to Google it, the same as started to happen more with local news. Tweets are now showing for certain local queries, so even if users don’t follow you on social media, your updates will still be visible. This feature may not provide you with an influx of new customers, but it may help with your organic search and overall brand awareness in your local community.
6. Online Event Marketing
According to Exhibitor Magazine, in pre-pandemic times, 45% of corporate event organizers were planning to maintain their existing levels of spending on real-life product launches and special customer events in 2020. Because of the pandemic, many businesses converted to web-based event marketing, and for 2022 it is expected that 61% will continue with this format, planning to replace live events with webinars, virtual events, masterclasses, and online conferences. We believe the online event world will continue; certainly, while uncertainty remains around variant strains, crowded venue limitations and travel restrictions. Over time it will hold its place in the marketing mix as marketing teams will have had time to perfect the platform, learn from their experiences and will no doubt have invested time and resources into the lighting and sound equipment needed for hosting such events.
7. PPC Split Testing
With platforms becoming more and more saturated, and efficient ROAS becoming more difficult to achieve, testing will be of significant importance in 2022. Whether it’s testing out new ad formats, experimenting with new targeting options or trying out completely new platforms, testing will be a pivotal part of PPC strategies. Whilst the importance of trying to reach new audiences is clear, their success is not guaranteed. It is therefore important for PPC accounts to remain profitable during these testing periods. One way of managing this would be to have a seperate ‘Testing’ budget set aside each month, which is solely used for trying out new things. Should these test campaigns not be fruitful, then the account will still be able to generate conversions using it’s usual budget.
8. Online Shopping
The COVID pandemic lockdown was pretty awful but it did benefit one market significantly, online shopping. We became obsessed, it was easier, convenient and also meant we didn’t need to leave the house. Google took notice, giving more freedom for businesses to sell their products for free and also introduced Shopping Graph. Enabling you to search a screenshot via the Google lens feature to find a product easily. Where SEO is concerned, keyword-rich product listings need to be implemented across your e-commerce site. This will not only help your appear via the Google lens feature but also the relevancy of your products in search results.
If your marketing strategy could do with a shake-up for 2022 and beyond, contact us to book a free consultation with the team and let us help you to get ahead.