One of the things that we pride ourselves on here at Embryo is staying ahead of the trends, whether they’re related to content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, digital PR, web development or beyond, including the use of futuristic tools to inform digital campaigns. As the year draws to a close and we take a look at what’s to come from the digital marketing landscape next year, I sat down with some of the team to talk about our predicted digital marketing trends in 2022!
At Embryo, we’re always talking about the latest trends – from the rise of influencer marketing to email marketing, content marketing trends and beyond, we’ve covered it all before! So, in this blog, I’ll take you through some of the key points to come out of our conversations regarding what we think will be big marketing trends next year – embracing these trends within your marketing efforts will be vital for success, as many of them have already started to gain traction this year, in 2021.
If you’re already keen to get the new year off to a flying start by executing multi-channel digital marketing campaigns that will keep you ahead of the trends and, most importantly, your competitors, then get in touch with our team today to start your growth journey.
But, for now, let’s take a look at the marketing trends to look out for in 2022, as predicted by Embryo…
Social media trends of 2022
The use of Pinterest paid ads
“With Facebook, continuously limiting both tracking and targeting capabilities for advertisers, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a real surge in advertising spend on alternate platforms like Pinterest.” – Jess Newling-Goode, Social Media Executive
Unlike other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Pinterest is a predominantly search-based platform. It holds a huge amount of data on search terms and user behaviour, which presents an interesting opportunity for businesses to target high-intent potential consumers. Pinterest can be overlooked by a lot of businesses and marketing leaders alike, but you might be surprised to hear that there are around 16.7 million monthly active users, just in the UK alone. With that in mind, there’s a huge opportunity to increase brand awareness and target a high-intent audience.
Changes to Facebook advertising
“Those that stick it out in Facebook advertising, given the tricky year that it’s been after the iOS update etc., will shift the focus of their ads to a more brand-led approach, as opposed to placing so much emphasis on direct revenue reports. This will mean that the users on the front end will see more ads centred around engaging and eye-catching content that make a brand memorable, as opposed to purely being product/sales focused.” – Harriet Tuite, Head of Social
This is something that’s already been growing over the past year, and with accurate report attribution pretty much becoming neglected, brands are now going to start utilising the platform for more brand campaigns. That being said, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see a decrease in advertisers or spending on advertising. However, we will see brands changing the way that their budget is utilised on the social platform.
Creating a TikTok presence
“The platform has seen a huge amount of growth over the past two years and shows no signs of slowing down. Using Tik Tok organically can be a super low-cost and relatively simple way to get your brand out there.” – Jess Newling-Goode, Social Media Executive
We’ve written about Tik Tok several times now and our Social Team are advocates of using Tik Tok to increase brand awareness. What took off at the start of the pandemic in 2020 as a way for people to jump on the likes of dance trends to keep them busy in lockdowns has now become a clever marketing tool, used by social media marketers, that shows no signs of slowing. Brands such as Ryanair and Duolingo are great case studies for how quickly jumping on TikTok trends to share your marketing messages can increase general brand awareness. The good news for digital marketers is that Tik Tok’s new trending in-app feature makes it even easier to stay relevant, which will certainly play a role in digital marketing in 2022.
Changes to SEO
The importance of context within content and optimisation
“I think there will be an even greater emphasis on the context within content and optimisation. Single keywords are no longer a viable strategy if you want to rank successfully.” – Sam Thomas, Head of Organic Strategy
Here at Embryo, our Content team also considers context when writing optimised content. This doesn’t just include using keywords, but it also means incorporating ontological phrases too, which are great for building context and signposting to Google that you have provided greater context and speak the language of an expert in your field.
In 2022, we think that Google’s EAT will become more intelligent at understanding semantically-related keywords (in other words, the ontological phrases we use in every piece of content already). EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness – the search engine uses EAT as a factor to assess the overall quality of a webpage. As such, if you want success in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and search rankings, it’s about time that you executed a content strategy with context and ontology as crucial pillars. Luckily for you, that’s where we excel…
Greater consideration of SEO when developing websites
“Looking to next year, there’s going to be a big focus on Core Web Vitals and how we develop websites for clients. It’ll be interesting to see how the industry tackles the updates, especially when Google continuously releases them.” – Grace Nolan, Digital Project Manager
Our Digital Project Manager Grace also pointed out that we’re already having conversations with clients upfront on whether they want a pretty website or if they want it to convert, and how we can balance the two. The reason for these conversations is because of the Core Web Vitals updates this year. It’s becoming more difficult to have a nicely designed website that includes animation, video and interactive styling, which also achieves high site speed scores.
These factors can slow a website down, meaning that the site’s SEO can be affected. With all that in mind, our Web team are already blending creativity with SEO considerations to ensure clients get a website that’s designed to have maximum impact, not just when it comes to users but search engines too.
The evolution of digital PR and the use of data in stories and campaigns
The growing success of local and regional websites and publications when it comes to digital PR
“Within digital PR, we’re seeing a rise in the number of local and regional websites, and I think this will continue into 2022. This means that the more this happens, the greater the opportunity for PR on a local or regional angle.” – Tamara Siddiqui, Digital PR Strategist
Whilst the amount of local and regional websites and publications is rising, so too is their success. All of this is great news for PR strategists and teams heading into 2022 – if you have a national campaign that involves several UK areas, you can be more specific and target each area. This approach can help you to maximise the success and the reach of your campaigns.
Greater personal branding in digital PR campaigns
“Personal branding is essential for building a brand’s authority in the press. It helps give a face to a business as CEOs or other business representatives – such as senior leaders or specialists – can comment on breaking news stories and trending topics to show their expertise. I think we’ll continue to see the power and importance of personal branding into 2022.” – Jo Threlfall, Head of Digital PR
Using personal branding is crucial now as high authoritative publications want expert commentary from leading business owners across numerous sectors – they want this individual to represent the brand. Given that publications are now pushing for more personal branding, putting it to use in your campaigns also helps to build strong relationships with the press, as it shows how reactive those companies are to their requests. In turn, it can help the lead to secure further opportunities in the future.
The growth of data visualisation
“I think that data visualisation will be a much bigger thing next year! It’s quite well established already but visual storytelling is becoming more prominent, and visuals are getting better, meaning that people are increasingly engaging with interactive things online, including data visualisations.” – Danny Waites, Data Analyst
Here at Embryo, Danny supports various teams – and mainly the Digital PR team – by pulling data and statistics to be used in campaigns. Not only does this further showcase a brand’s knowledge and expertise as well as add a unique spin to the campaign, especially if primary data is used, but it also gives the target audience another way to digest information. As Danny has pointed out, the tools we have at our disposal to create data visualisations are now getting better, meaning that companies can still look on-brand and professional whilst sharing useful data and information with their target market.
The use of futuristic technologies to provide an alternative experience that goes beyond traditional methods of marketing
The rise of AI and augmented reality
“I’ve always been fascinated by AI and augmented reality, and I believe we’ll see more brands use this to engage their audience and provide valuable experiences. But what will be different in 2022 is that companies will start to use their experiences for greater data collection and behaviour insights, to then use this for further marketing purposes.” – Hannah Skulnick, Head of Content
One of the latest uses of AI and augmented reality is by beauty brands. Many have now started to incorporate these features into their user/shopping experience – for example, they allow users to try on different shades. Then, the brand can use this information from the customer journey via their advertising, to recommend products at different touchpoints in the buyer journey. To stay ahead in 2022, it’s likely that we’ll see even more brands embrace these technologies.
The rise of virtualisation to provide alternative experiences for consumers
“I think in the next few years a lot of companies will start using the Metaverse (virtual spaces), Crypto (payment methods) and NFTs (such as collectables and event tickets) to market their products and provide users with an alternative experience compared to traditional methods.” – Dan Scarth, Developer
A digital marketing trend that marketing professionals might start to embrace in 2022 is the rise of futuristic technologies – including virtualisation – to provide alternative experiences. We’ve already seen the growing rise of the cryptocurrency market, and with new virtual spaces such as the Metaverse making their mark, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how companies use these technologies to their advantage in 2022 and for years to come.
The rise of chatbots and voice search in marketing
“Chatbots are essential in web design now and will be an important part of companies’ sites in 2022. They allow you to streamline the sales funnel and cut out potentially weeks of decisions by providing answers and product information there and then. As well as chatbots, voice – i.e. Alexa, Google Play, and Apple Home Pod – is one of the most burgeoning parts of marketing and will continue to grow in popularity in the new year. The key for brands is making sure they are the first company to leverage voice in their industry.” – Charlie Meyler, Content & Marketing Executive
Chatbots are great because they open another branch of communication and provide that human-to-human connection without the customer having to speak to a person – which can be a bit nerve-wracking for some. Chatbots also allow companies to offer bespoke support and reply to customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week, allowing them to provide customer service around the clock! Given that working patterns and arrangements are changing with many people moving away from a standard 9-5 shift, these chatbots provide users with a useful way of contacting a brand at any time.
As for voice and ‘voice search’, the key for brands is making sure they are the first company to leverage voice search tactics in their industry – by getting out in front they can establish themselves as voice experts, leaving their competitors far, far behind.
The approach to branding and marketing – types of campaigns and budgets
A demand for bigger marketing budgets
“Marketing budgets will have to increase to keep up with the competition, as for brands to reach their target audiences, they will need to cover multiple channels for advertising.” – Hannah Matthewman, Head of Marketing
As Hannah also pointed out, many businesses shifted where their marketing spend was concentrated when the country went into lockdown, with many focusing primarily on digital marketing channels. But, as consumers go back to ‘normality’, in 2022 we predict that spending will increase to facilitate out of home (OOH) advertising. As well as this, as companies recognise the importance of a carefully-crafted, multi-channel marketing strategy, many are now investing heavily in SEO. To keep up with competitors, it’s likely that businesses will have to increase their spending.
“They say nostalgia isn’t what it was but it is in the world of marketing. The pandemic and lockdowns have given people a real hankering for nostalgia and brands are prime to tap into that.” – Charlie Meyler, Content & Marketing Executive
As Charlie also stated, nostalgia is comforting, familiar, and potentially the key to success. Whether you’re bringing products back by popular demand, jumping on fashion trends that have made a return, or even reverting your branding to an old, nostalgic version (think the Burger King logo!), marketing with nostalgia in mind has the power to take off. Whilst we’ve seen some businesses embrace this in 2021, we wouldn’t be surprised if more businesses use this approach next year.
The use of guerrilla marketing campaigns
“Guerrilla marketing campaigns will be key. It’s important for brands to be getting the attention of their clients, I think the bigger (and bolder) companies will need to think outside the box and create more stunt campaigns that grab attention and spread quickly. Think more about Carlsberg billboards!” – Hannah Matthewman, Head of Marketing
Ultimately, guerrilla marketing is all about stepping away from traditional advertising to use unconventional methods within marketing campaigns, to generate sales and brand interest more broadly. A lot of the time, these rely on viral social media messaging about the campaign, and the methods themselves can be relatively low-cost. However, when executed well, guerilla marketing can be really successful, and brands certainly need to embrace this creativity and unconventionality in 2022!
A focus on authentic and sustainable brands
“Consumers now care more than ever about brands playing their part in becoming more sustainable and aware of their environmental responsibility. I think there will be more companies announcing additional measures they are taking to ‘do good’, and we’ll see more campaigns that focus on inclusivity and ‘all being in it together’.” – Hannah Matthewman, Head of Marketing
For brands to meet the demands and wishes of consumers in 2022, they’ll likely have to become more sustainable, or at least push their sustainable products and policies. In 2020, McKinsey found that 66% of people think about sustainability when making a purchase (PDF). With sustainability a hot topic at the moment and gaining increasing coverage, we expect consumers to become even more interested in sustainable brands into 2022. Brands therefore need to capitalise on this by becoming more sustainable and launching marketing campaigns to support it.
Staying ahead of the game with The Embryo Technique in 2022 and beyond…
At Embryo, we’re always combining our expertise with innovative tools to help us deliver campaigns that keep us, and our clients, ahead of the game year after year. As a team, we’re extremely open-minded when it comes to tools to aid us in our roles across SEO, PPC, and other departments – the effort to develop and use these tools is spearheaded by our Chief Innovation Officer, James Welch.
Here’s what James had to say about our technique and our approach to crafting strategies backed by data, thanks to our range of tools…
“Being open-minded, and trying out tools even though we are satisfied with incumbents is the thing that can give us an extra advantage. Yes, we have an awful amount of tools that we have laid to rest in a ‘virtual graveyard’, but it is worth it for that one tool that can change everything.
“I feel that too many people in digital marketing choose a tool to use and then stick by it. This sometimes means that tactics and strategies can be outdated before people realise it. Sometimes, these strategies can be years behind.
“At Embryo, we use a mixture of off-the-shelf tools (some just for their APIs), and our own tools (such as Intermingle), to ensure that we are ahead of the game at all times.”
As we’ve discussed, it looks like 2022 will be another big year for the evolution of digital marketing, and to succeed, it’s important that you take note of these trends, use them, and even stay ahead. If you’re interested in working with a marketing team that can help you to do just that thanks to futuristic tools and expert knowledge, get in touch with us today!