Brief: We begin this annual report by welcoming you to our 26th annual marketing trends report for the online and digital marketing industry.
In the past couple of years, the COVID pandemic has brought on market changes that forced many companies to pivot and reinvent their business operations, marketing, and product strategies. In a recent survey conducted by Anaxstar.com with 2,081 CEOs and CMO’s, the respondents said they have completely shifted their marketing to priorities the bulk of their efforts on online promotional campaigning, by a margin of 3 to 1, that is 75%.
At the same time, businesses (in particular small businesses with less than 50 employees) are leveraging content marketing through digital media channels such as the social networks and 3rd-party or in-house blogs, to replace in-person interactions, therefore automating the prospecting stage to reach more potential customers.
In previous 2 years Anaxstar.com’s 2020 Digital Marketing Trends and 2021 Digital Marketing Trends focused heavily on how omnichannel marketing (the seamless integration of branding, messaging, content exposure, and social media networking in your overall digital marketing approach) has become the number 1 goal of smart marketing teams as consumers move down the sales funnel, enabling a more impactful customer experience. Omnichannel marketing has taken a consumer-centric view of marketing tactics and strategies. It makes every bit of sense, it is highly effective, and incredibly cost-effective without wasting budget often due to duplication and redundancy.
In fact, the latest studies by Anaxstar.com (post pandemic) correspond closely with a recent Edelman survey of executives. The Edelman survey indicated that 65% of executives were shifting their marketing efforts to focus either on marketing existing products more aggressively online or creating campaigns using newer methods and channels that achieve customer reach more effectively (in particular, through content marketing), since potential customers were spending more time on their laptops and their mobile devices.
With more people utilizing the digital infrastructure during the post-pandemic era, businesses and companies are well aware that they need to remain competitive and use data to quickly identify, act on, and convert through prospecting campaign strategies that are more effective in a new market environment.
To succeed, retain/grow market share, and ultimately thrive, businesses will need to find and reach their customers with targeted, timely messaging, (wherever they can be found online), and address their specific needs. The only truly successful way they can do this cost-effectively is through content marketing to a large audience, while addressing buyers’ needs. In this process, marketing executives and their team will have to smartly campaign, reach, and deliver their content to decision-makers, be it consumers or business owners in B2B, who are ready to buy. This has led to Account-Based Marketing (ABM), or in other words, targeting specific customers that are more likely to buy from you and need your products and your company's services, since advertising costs have gone up quite dramatically as a direct result of the changing environment and increased competitiveness.
Have a wonderful and very prosperous 2022.
Content marketing is king, you have heard that often. But what is often omitted is that "perfect content marketing" is a big promise, and often not materialized.
Most businesses miss out on achieving all the promises that come with content marketing. A lot of opportunities are actually missed by most businesses. Many companies or small businesses produce large amount of content but not get results from them. Compelling content achieves, 1) discussing AWARENESS of the service need/problem, 2) EVALUATE choices for this need/problem, 3) convincing and CONVERTING the prospect into a buyer. A cold prospect cannot evaluate your solution until they are aware of the problem and your solution and is convinced of your solution being the best choice of action.
According to 11th Annual Content Marketing Survey of marketers (2021):
74% of respondents said they get more leads and better quality leads for their business, with content marketing
3 times more leads and 62% more cost-effective
Blog posts/articles are 6 times more popular with buyers than PPC ads
TIP: Content marketing is not about "amount of content" produced, is about the quality and effectiveness of content, or often referred to as "compelling content". Think of it this way: great content is not about YOU, or your brand, or your vision, or your objectives. It's about delivering the right information, sought-after and valuable, to your prospects at exactly the right time in the customer journey.
Today, more than 80% of Americans use social media on a regular basis. A third have used social media to look for a job. More than 90% have used it to research a product before they buy. Can you afford for your content (promoting your products/services) not to be seen in social media?
Your social media strategy should be based on, 1) RESEARCHING to see what your audience is looking for, 2) INFLUENCING their decision making process via your compelling solutions, 3) NETWORKING with brands, influencers, and others to be more convincing with added credibility, and 4) SELLING your solution as being the best viable one.
All of these being done together, cohesively, while distributing and sharing valuable content.
Omnichannel marketing takes a consumer-centric view of marketing tactics. Customer journey is all about sending the right message, at the right time. Right message at the wrong time will not work, neither will wrong message at the right time.
Omnichannel marketing is the seamless integration of branding, messaging, content marketing, social media engagement, and online touchpoints as consumers move down the sales funnel process, enabling a more impactful customer experience.
When performing an omnichannel content marketing campaign, let's say through article blogging or the social media networks, you need to respond to your audience promptly when they reach out to you, otherwise you will lose their interest and their loyalty. If you have performed a marketing campaign and they have signed up as a new subscriber, then establish your authority and explain to them the value you provide with your products and get them excited about you and your brand.
99% Better Engagement 80% Improved Conversion Rate 73% Higher Sale Amount, and 91% Improved ROI
Benefits of ABM are numerous and is making it more popular than ever. From better personalized marketing approach, alignment between sales and marketing functions, shorter sales cycle, reduction in wasted resources, and most importantly much higher ROI.
Video marketing is the center of all successful digital marketing campaigns. Even though content marketing methods such as blog posts and articles are very cost effective and generate leads, they almost always perform better when accompanied with videos that convert.
By end of 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic. This is 15 times higher than just a few years ago. Last year 85% of all Internet users in U.S. watched online video content. According to Social Media Week, 54% of consumers want to see more video content, 78% watch online video content this year, 55% view online videos every day. If you want your entire message to be consumed, video tends to be the preferred medium. Still, many smaller businesses have no clear strategy for making Social Media work for them and say they need help with this form of content marketing.
During the 1918 pandemic the use of the telephone became so pupular that switch operators couldn’t keep up with call demands. During the Cold War era, the rise of TV in households directly influenced how people perceived Vietnam War and global issues.
With an omnipresent COVID pandemic, we are finding new ways to socialize in a world where social distancing is now the norm. Our work environment is redesigned so people could do their jobs safely and productively, often with telecommuniting or satelite offices. Shopping, dining out, schooling, and medical treatment has fundamentally changed.
This is the time that businesses need to focus even more than before, on marketing pricinples: 1) Create value & add value, 2) Something for everyone, not everything for everyone, 3) Quality vs. quantity, 4) Customer-centric, 5) Data-driven, and 6) Technology exploitation for sake of across the board improvements.
Marketers must be ready and willing to acknowledge that customer privacy plays an outsized role and adapt accordingly.
Cookie tracking, marketing data collection absent of privacy adherence is just not going to be accepted. Facebook and Apple are proof that users will no longer accept these breaches.
Marketers need to consider enhanced customer intelligence where the focus shifts from just looking at your top customers’ historical purchasing and decision-making behavior to considering much deeper mindset and targeting important life moments and be willing to operate in a consumer-centric, privacy-friendly ecosystem.
While change can be intimidating; unlike the dinosaurs, digital marketers should be confident and embrace this next evolution targeting capabilities based on page content and consumer mindset and measurement solutions built on measuring real people, and their choices, across platforms.
39% of marketers say proving the ROI of their digital marketing and online campaigning activities is their top marketing challenge.
A formalized lead management system is essential for helping you track ROI because it will identify where and why lead drop off occurs in your campaigning. No matter how good you are at attracting and converting visitors into leads, sales cycles are complex with many factors impacting your conversion rate. You need to track and analyze your lead generation to ensure all efforts, activities and technologies are coordinated in the most efficient way otherwise you will experience sales and marketing misalignment, sluggish lead follow-up and ultimately you will end up wasting campaigning budgets.
Blog post/article (or guest-post in popular blogs) is the most significant lead generation strategy of 2022. It helps with revenue growth in a cost-effective ROI since it facilitates the entire customer lifecycle, (awareness, research, consideration, selection, loyalty, and advocacy) in a single strategy.
Blog post/article or guest-post article are the most current, cost-effective, and fast becoming the most popular marketing trend right about now. Providing your audience with a steady flow of compelling and engaging content has become a linchpin of a successful marketing campaign that produces quick results, and produces 3 times more leads at a 62% lower cost.
Why is this fastest growing marketing trend so successful?
Useful, relevant, articles allow your content marketing strategy display your desire to help customers and provide the information to help them with understanding the problem at hand, and to connect with your audience in a way they favor and builds trust and loyalty.
As customers and buyers continue to do research online to find answers to their questions and concerns, smarter companies are positioning themselves to answer these questions as part of their marketing process, combining prospecting with the customer cycle, lead generation, and order processing (sales).
Successful companies are quickly adopting a full integration between the front-line sales teams to identify topics for content marketing, and the content marketing team to develop content online to help sales professionals to effectively use this content in the sales process by answering customer questions and concerns and develop loyalty and reputation. Most of this takes place over the blog articles or posts which are promoted in Social Media, where customers are relaxed and are enjoying interactions with their friends. Obviously, a no-brainer.
1. Blog post/articles with native ads will be the shocker newest trend of 2022. This method of content marketing is relatively much lower in cost, (than Google Ads), and offers much better ROI, and with as much as 3 times more leads, and 62% lower cost
2. AI-powered business and marketing optimization will be adopted by larger companies
3. Video marketing, streaming, usage, searching, and viewership will continue to soar (even more) in 2022
4. Chat marketing growth will be one of the biggest marketing trends of 2022
5. Marketing personalization will continue to grow and increase profitability
6. Social messaging Apps will be used for business, more and more in 2022
7. Visual searching, e.g. Pinterest, will continue to grow as images in search leverage visual search in more relevant ways
8. Live stream shopping will be introduced to the American public and will become as big as shopping channel in 1980s
9. Voice search, will be finally adopted by more and more people
10. Instagram checkout will continue to grow exponentially, in adoption and use
11. TikTok checkout will continue to grow exponentially, in adoption and use
12. Interactive content marketing will be introduced to the public and will be used more and more, in 2022, including augmented reality ads
13. Omnichannel Marketing will continue to grow, the strategy as ripe, effective, and relevant as ever
14. Messaging on digital platform must be even more compelling than the early years of COVID pandemic
15. By end of 2022, mobile advertising to grow to 85% of all U.S. digital ad spending
16. By end of 2022, American adults are expected to spend about and average 2 hours/day on mobile media
17. Smartphone users spend about 80% of their time on social media
18. Digital advertising will grow to $444.12 billion.
19. Top B2B content marketing strategy will be the most popular blog advertising or guest blog post, growing to 84%
20. 64% of marketers say "blogging for lead generation" will be their number one priority in 2022
21. 71% of marketers will be actively investing in content marketing strategies and producing informational guides or blog articles
22. 5G technology will be introduced and adopted at a faster pace in 2022
23. Green marketing also called eco-marketing or environmental marketing will grow and companies will try to be perceived as a eco-friendly company that offer sustainable strategy embeded in their product strategy
24. Website security will become more important than ever as threats to online users are increasing quite dramatically
25. People like Podcasts and they will continue to grow in participation by audiences of all ages
26. Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world