How is Digital Marketing changing in 2022 and why should you care?

May 26, 2022

Author: Harri Sharman

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Getting ready for Web 3.0…

With over 80 per cent of consumers doing research online before making a purchase decision, it’s more important than ever to make your business shine online.

Potential customers read reviews, compare prices, search for local stores, watch unboxing videos, and check out company websites and social media – all before even getting in touch with a business. And with the rise of web 3.0, artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology, and the “metaverse”, there’s a lot going on in the digital space.

So, are you putting your best foot forward online? If you’re not, digital is where you need to be, because in 2022 it’s still the most important advertising medium.

What Exactly is ‘Digital Marketing’?

The term covers all types of marketing that businesses do online. That’s from websites to search engine optimisation (SEO), paid digital ads, social media, video, blogs, newsletters and more.

If you’re just getting into understanding digital marketing, we wrote a great blog about the different types of digital marketing available to brands. It’s a great place to start.

About Buyer Journeys

To better understand how to capture more customers, it’s a good idea to find out how your current ones made it to you. Why they decided to buy from you, and not your competitors? This is called a buyer journey – with your business as the end destination!

The three main stages are:

  • Awareness – the buyer realises they have a problem or need
  • Consideration – the buyer becomes aware of what they need and research solutions
  • Decision – the buyer decides what they want and commits to a specific solution

The Importance of the Customer Experience

The customer transaction is no longer just a sale. It’s an experience building a relationship, and the potential for repeat business – if you play your cards right. Brands can no longer just “shout” at their customers through traditional marketing. They need to create a space to invite their potential customers into to engage with the brand and each other.

Remember that buyer journey? It’s about considering what people ‘feel’ when they interact with your business. By using digital marketing in the right way, you can influence decisions, which are often based on their emotional response to your online presence. Basically, if someone likes what they see and read, they are more likely to buy from you.

In 2022, the dawn of virtual reality and the “metaverse”, this could look like a virtual store. A place where customers who wouldn’t normally be able to visit your real-life store can virtually try things on, interact with your products, and buy, from the comfort of their own home.

Using Augmented reality

So how is digital marketing changing in 2022?

One of the biggest recent changes is the dominance of video. TikTok is now the fastest growing social media network, with other networks scrambling to keep users interested with short-form video content. Facebook has introduced a new Reels function, and Instagram’s news feed has been redesigned to show more video. According to TikTok, 39% of users say their purchasing decisions are directly influenced by what they saw on the platform. If you’re not using video in your digital mix, you’re missing out on high-quality engagement with your audience.

Another important area is the rise of AI, how big tech is using that to assess your marketing and websites, and how businesses can leverage that technology in their own advertising. For example, did you know that search engine AIs can read the text on your website and asses how “human” it sounds, with penalties for those that don’t read fluently? No more keyword stuffing!

Google are also launching a new type of ad campaign called Performance Max that uses machine learning and AI. It gives advertisers the ability to use this technology in their own smart advertising campaigns. This will mean they will be better at showing the right ad to the right person on the right platform, at exactly the right time, by using AI to work out where they are in the buyer’s journey. We’ll be making it available to our digital marketing clients from June 2022.

And companies like Apple and Google have announced a shift away from third-party cookies, which is likely to cause the biggest upset in digital marketing in 20 years. Brands that nurture their audiences online, keeping them engaged through personalised email marketing, social media, and their owned digital channels, will be the ones that win out.

Google Performance Max

Better Measurement

There’s no point in all this work if you don’t know what’s working, how it’s working, and where you can improve. And luckily, digital marketing is one of the easiest to measure, with accuracy too. View your revenue, conversion rates, return on ad spend, and any other metric you can think of, from centralised dashboards.

If you’re already using Google Analytics to measure these things, be aware that you’ll need to transition to their shiny new Google Analytics 4, which will be replacing the current Universal Analytics in June 2023. The new analytics tool will be smarter, using machine learning, and be more privacy-focused and future-proof.

Consistency Is Key

Other kinds of marketing and advertising (print, radio, tv, signage etc.) are not obsolete. In fact, they can be a great accompaniment to digital marketing. Potential customers often need at least three ‘exposures’ to a brand and/or product before engaging with it, so providing a variety of touch points is crucial.

How Can You Improve Your Online Presence?

The digital space can feel like a black hole when you don’t know the ins and outs of it. It takes time and effort to set it up right, maintain it, and keep it going – never mind stay on top of all the new technology and updates. So, don’t hesitate to get help where you need it. That’s what the digital marketing specialists at ninetyblack are here for.