Time flies fast, especially in the world of digital marketing. The marketing world is dynamic and ever-changing — trends, technology, and tactics are never stagnant. That’s why it’s critical that your business stays up to date with new developments in the industry — after all, the last thing you want is for your business to fall behind while your competitors stay ahead of the curve.
Here are the Top 5digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2022.
Trend 1: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
“AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.” Techrabyte.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been deployed as an effective digital marketing tool for awhile, but as marketing strategy continues to evolve in the face of both the ever-flexing Google algorithm and the focus on real-time customer centric brand journeys, it will become an increasingly important part of digital marketing in 2022 and beyond.
Once a strategy used solely in tech forward companies and retail heavy sites like Amazon, AI is a strategy now being invoked by sectors in banking, healthcare, field service management and even small to mid-sized businesses. While those industries might be just starting to dabble in AI, for retail, it needs to become a vital part of their table stakes strategy.
AI is an important part of future-forward brands because it not only automates basic tasks like reporting on website traffic, itcan also perform tasks like suggesting keywords to optimize your brand’s organic SERP results or use predictive analytic models built on past customer behaviors and purchases to inform product suggestions and personalized customer workflows. The level of personalized experiences that retail consumers continue to demand will necessitate brands utilizing AI in some fashion to ensure they are meeting the needs of loyal customers as well as attracting new clients.
AI is revolutionizing the way marketers’ approach digital marketing and retail businesses need to adopt this technology sooner rather than later.
Trend 2: Chatbots and Voice-Activated Tool
Even in the world of retail, digital assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are becoming more popular by the day
According to industry projections, the market value of voice-based shopping will reach 40 billion by 2022, and consumer spending via voice assistants is also projected to reach 18%.
Many retail brands have started using chatbots to help automate customer service needs for better efficiency when handling customers’ inquiries on social media channels, email marketing, and other online platforms.
Chatbots can answer customer questions with little to no human involvement from a company’s side.
Chatbot dialogue is typically powered by artificial intelligence (AI) which gives the chatbot an actual personality – this makes it more fun for customers to interact with companies using chatbots as opposed to simply communicating through social media.
Chatbots are an excellent way to provide your retail customers with a personalized and enjoyable experience so they will want to interact more often with your company!
In 2022 and beyond, businesses of all sizes need to have chatbots integrated into their digital marketing strategy to increase customer interactions on the web.
3. Think Mobile
Want to hear an interesting statistic? 85% of Americans check the home screen of their mobile phone within the first 3 minutes of waking up every morning.
Even more intriguing? The average person continues to check their mobile phone an average of 262 times a day!
The mobile smart phone has completely changed the way the world – and the humans in it – function. To say that it’s important for business to focus on mobile marketing strategy is a massive understatement. But even with these well-known facts, many business owners are still designing and developing websites for desktops and then trying to make them work well on mobile, when in reality, it should be the other way round.
Adopting a mobile-first marketing strategy can be as simple as optimizing your website’s design so that it automatically adapts for smaller sized screens, and many retail brands have created dynamic mobile apps that respond to both the need for mobile branding AND an opportunity for customers to further personalize their interactions with your ecosystem.
If your retail business isn’t ready to build an app just yet, there are still mobile strategies you can implement to ensure success in our device-driven world. You need to make sure your website utilizes responsive design so that no matter what device a customer is using, they have a seamless, easy to access and read experience with your site. AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is another beneficial option, as it makes content load faster on smartphones and tablets. Mobile-first marketing will be the most important trend for retail businesses throughout 2022 and beyond so it’s essential to start now!
4. Multi-Channel vs. Omni-Channel: Know the Important Difference
People who aren’t savvy marketing strategists might look at the words “omni-channel” and “multi-channel” and assume that they mean the same thing. After all, they both mean “multiple channels” that a retail business uses to communicate with customers.
The key difference lives in having a fully integrated marketing strategy. Yes, the customer has different ways to access information through channels, but multi-channel marketing doesn’t have them work together in a unified way. This is because each channel provides different services and runs separately from the rest.
Omni-channel marketing has the customer at the center. It focuses on the needs of the customer, providing them with a personalized message in a seamless, unified experience. This allows the customer to easily access information and have a continuous experience from any of the channels since they are all integrated and connected to each other.
Today’s consumers are both demanding and fickle and to stay loyal to your brand, they will expect to have customized, cohesive interactions with your brand across every touchpoint. If you’ve yet to adopt an integrated omni-channel strategy, NOW is the time to do so. Platforms like Group FiO’s IMP (Insight Marketing Platform) can help you migrate a disparate multi-channel retail brand to one that is consistent and unified throughout your entire ecosystem. In 2022 and beyond, your customers will expect it!
5. Audio-Visual Content
During quarantine, accessing audio-visual content like video advertisements, video “Tips and Tricks” series, live streams and podcasts increased significantly. Now, as we’ve emerged from the Covid-19 restrictions and return to life as “normal”, enhancing your strategy with lots of AV content appears to be a trend that will stay in a big way.
How big? Ninety-three percent of marketers say video is a significant part of their strategy. Of these, 84% say videos helped them generate leads.
Ephemeral content like Facebook and Instagram Stories or Snapchat’s “snaps” disappears after 24 hours, which creates a wonderfully strategic sense of urgency in your customers to view it as soon as it’s posted. Taking advantage of this marketing method enables immediate customer engagement, which will help your retail brand reach audiences faster and build consumer trust, and it also demonstrates that you’re a forward-thinking brand who keeps up with social media trends.
Doing something simple and straightforward, like a video tip of the week or a 30-second product spotlight video creates content that is highly engaging and infinitely shareable, and producing audio-visual assets gives your brand that “sticky” content that keeps customers coming back for more and frequently engaged.
Preparing now for future retail marketing trends gives you the proverbial “leg up” on the competition and it demonstrates that you care about providing a top-notch brand journey to your customers.
If you’re unsure how to implement these strategies and need some advice or you’re looking to really up your digital marketing game in 2022, give the team at Group FiO a call, or sign up today for a demo of our Insight Marketing Platform today! Click here to get started on the road to true digital marketing success that can propel your retail brand to the top of the market!