With 2022 in full swing, exciting trends are emerging in the digital marketing space. In recent years, marketers have become more nimble, creative, and authentic to reach an increasingly digital audience.
During Stukent’s Digital Marketing Boost event, Nathan Singer, Senior Corporate Success Manager at HubSpot, gave us a look into five digital marketing trends for 2022, along with insights into how they may impact the industry.
1. Conversational Marketing
According to Singer, the one-size-fits-all email blast is passé in today’s market. With Apple’s 2021 iOS security updates and consumers’ shift toward privacy, it’s harder for marketers to assess top-of-the-line email metrics, which means they may not be able to access data on who has received and viewed marketing emails. For tips and tricks on how to handle Apple’s new update, see Stukent’s post “How to Include the iOS 15 Update in Email Marketing Education.”
However, some astute marketers are turning to conversational marketing to reach their target audiences.
Conversational marketing makes an effort to meet consumers where they are, both in digital spaces and in the sales funnel. It’s an automated, customer-centric, messaging-based approach that determines a prospect’s needs and attempts to deliver a timely solution. Recent studies show that the majority of consumers want to use messaging to interact with businesses, and conversational marketing makes it easier for them to get the information they need. As AI becomes more advanced and non-linear, chatbots will be able to handle more marketing and sales activities.
If you would still like to use email marketing in 2022, that’s OK, Singer says. Just remember to use email marketing best practices: Reach out to consumers with verifiable opt-in and tailor your message to the audience. You can also request free access to Stukent’s “Email Marketing” courseware and simulation bundle for your classroom, which provides a modern, well-rounded curriculum for strategies and best practices in email marketing.
Classroom discussion question: What brands are doing personalized or conversational marketing well? Ask students to share examples of emails, texts, or push notifications they have received that demonstrate excellence.
2. Short-Form Video
Short-form video isn’t new, but in 2022, more platforms, businesses, and organizations are making it a marketing priority. Thirty percent of social media marketers plan to invest more money into short-form video than in any other social media platform. Thirty-three percent say they will be investing in short-form video for the first time. And it’s no surprise — social media platforms such as TikTok are growing at a faster rate than their competitors, and savvy marketers use the channels their audiences prefer.
Additionally, short-form video has a low barrier to entry, which means brands can create quality content in less time. While blog posts, articles, and infographics may take days to produce and approve, a 30-second video can be shot on a smartphone and shared on multiple platforms in minutes. It’s a quick, easy way to spread a message to your audience.
To use TikTok in your marketing classroom, see Stukent’s post “Incorporating TikTok Into Your Class: 3 Assignments to Consider.”
Classroom discussion question: Poll the class on their Tiktok use: Do students post regularly, view but rarely post, or rarely or never view? Follow up with a discussion on what TikTok offers that other social platforms don’t and how brands can use the platform effectively.
3. Influencer Marketing
Companies and organizations are changing the way they utilize influencer marketing in 2022. Influencer marketing leverages the authority of a social media personality or brand to advertise a product or service. In the past, influencer marketing leaned on celebrities and mega-influencers with millions of followers.
But some digital marketers have discovered there’s a better ROI in asking multiple small, niche influencers to pitch their products and brands. Authenticity is a major trend, and nano- and micro-influencers tend to be more conscientious about the types of products they endorse. Not only do they do more research into their partner brands, but they also ensure the products they support are a good fit for their audience. As such, the endorsements of nano- and micro-influencers can carry a lot of weight with B2B and niche interests.
Classroom discussion question: Which micro-influencers (10,000-100,000 followers) do your students follow? Have they ever made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation? Do students trust micro-influencers more than a larger influencer (one million followers or more)?
In 2022, Singer expects the freemium model to expand. Freemium offers a basic product or service free of charge, but payment is required for additional features or services that expand the product’s functionality.
In today’s digital marketplace, it isn’t always possible to know where a customer is in the buying process. Freemium products and services allow companies to be more agile, meet prospects where they are in the sales funnel, and “take the product for a test drive,” according to Singer. Once customers see how well a product works, they’re more likely to buy.
Not only do freemium products add more value to prospective customers, but they do a better job of converting than free trials do, too.
Classroom discussion question: Can any company or industry operate on a freemium business model? How could freemium work for a local brick-and-mortar store versus a car dealership? What about versus a financial services company?
5. Touchless Payments
Consumers can buy anything online, but that isn’t necessarily true of the B2B marketplace. In 2022, Singer expects online ordering and touchless payments to expand in the B2B space, particularly because industries like restaurants and gas stations are still ordering their products over the phone. According to Singer, the B2B companies that can position themselves in the vanguard of this movement will have an enormous opportunity this year.
Have you seen these trends emerging in the marketplace? What others might you add to this list, and how will you approach 2022 digital marketing trends in your classroom? Tell us in the comments below!
Classroom discussion question: Is the incorporation of touchless payments into B2B simply a matter of updating technology, or do companies need to change the way their B2B customers think about making a purchase?
“Digital Marketing Boost: Elevate Your Digital Marketing Program” was a one-day event held on January 21, 2022. This Stukent webinar focused on actionable, useful tips and tools for marketing educators. It featured expert speakers from SEReS University, HubSpot, and Canva. You can access the webinar, sample assignments, and more on the webinar homepage.
For additional articles and insights, see Stukent’s Resources for Digital Marketing Trends in 2022. And to learn more about Stukent’s revolutionary courseware and simulations, or to get free instructor access to our digital marketing products, visit our website.