7 effective digital marketing trends not to ignore in 2022

Karin Rio, Director of Digital Marketing
Posted on May 5, 2022

Start implementing these top marketing strategies to set your brand up for success in 2022 and beyond.

Each fall, as we create our marketing plans for the upcoming year, we analyze industry trends and predictions. We then curate those predictions and put in place the strategies that make sense. Here is a look at seven predictions that are getting the most traction in 2022:

    1. Practice consistent testing and optimization

    2. Adopt omnichannel social media efforts

    3. Align SEO and PPC efforts

    4. Focus on “The When”

    5. Consider new email communication strategies

    6. Take action in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

    7. Prepare for hybrid events

    #1 Practice consistent testing and optimization

    Optimizing your digital marketing strategy is as simple as this: 1. Understand your data 2. Refine your marketing efforts, and 3. Test new processes.

    You should already have systems in place to track and analyze your data (if not, get that done immediately!) We recommend that your team uses an easily accessible dashboard that aggregates analytics from multiple sources such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads, SEM Rush, and social media platforms. Set up a time to review your data regularly to see what is and isn’t working.

    You can then apply these insights to your marketing efforts and test the results. Testing helps teams gain insights to optimize designs, content, usability, and more – with the ultimate goal of increasing conversions and optimizing performance.

    Ideas for immediate action

    At Imarc, we focus on three main components: reporting dashboards, A/B (or multivariate) testing, and a dashboard review process. To keep our pulse on the data, our cross-functional teams review dashboard insights monthly to assess and react to changes from Google or trends in the industry.

    #2 Adopt omnichannel social media efforts

    Consumers’ expectations are at an all-time high. They’re no longer turning to a single social media platform to get their information; they’re hitting all platforms. Omnichannel engagement is more than a marketing goal, it is the expectation.

    Yes – TikTok is here to stay. It has taken over as the most-used daily platform, and even LinkedIn is growing with its varied content. However, success in this area isn’t just about posting everywhere daily. Success is dependent on the marketers’ ability to deliver quality content and personalized ad experiences that speak to the ideas or needs of their customers.

    Ideas for immediate action

    At Imarc, we tackle this with a solid, organized marketing calendar strategy. We make sure efforts and spending in one channel are not cannibalizing another. The more you can map out ahead of time, the better chance there is for timely quality engagement in each social space.

    #3 Align SEO and PPC efforts

    Synergy between SEO and PPC is one of the most critical elements of a holistic Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy. A disconnect between the two costs precious time and budget. With an aggressive PPC strategy, you’ll start to cannibalize organic search presence and pay for keywords you could organically rank on. On the flip side, if you rely too much on organic presence and don’t invest enough in highly competitive terms, you leave an open invitation for competitors to outrank your organic presence with paid advertisement.

    Smart bidding via Google Search is a great way to achieve results and drive Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) goals. However, a real person must monitor negative keywords and unspent budget. Things can go off the rails and impact the campaign’s bottom line if left unmonitored – no SEM strategy is set and forget!

    Ideas for immediate action

    Imarc recommends having SEO and PPC teams review dashboards together at least monthly, if not weekly. By joining forces here and combining the budgets for these marketing groups, we’ve increased and optimized our overall marketing budget.

    #4 Focus on “The When

    Where you engage with your audience is important, but “the when” is vital. Buyers are overwhelmed and bombarded with constant digital messaging. They’ve become comfortable with entire sales interactions being remote, so they expect nothing less than a timely and high-quality digital experience.

    Timing has always been a key piece for marketers, and we are seeing this trend emerge for user and buyer journeys. To best address “the when” timing in a constantly changing environment, revisit your buyer journeys and personas, and keep an organized MarTech (marketing technology) roadmap and a comprehensive content calendar strategy. Consider a content audit to ensure public relations, thought leadership, and SEM strategies are aligned.

    Ideas for immediate action

    Start by getting “the when” dialog into the process at whatever point you can. Then when creating and/or updating personas, incorporate information for targeting ideal timing for audiences with average daily and weekly activities. Create a schedule based on data analysis, this can then inform campaign strategies going forward.

    #5 Consider new email communication strategies

    Email communication has remained a go-to strategy over the years. In a recent Forbes article, Melissa Sargeant, CMO of Litmus, says that three trends have contributed to the prioritization of email: personalization, automation, and privacy.

    She anticipates dynamic and interactive email content, AMP for email, and personalization strategies to advance in 2022. Litmus recently released a State of Email report declaring that email has become marketing’s most important channel: 91% of respondents said that email marketing is critical to their company's overall success.

    Ideas for immediate action

    Within the industry, we are seeing traction in more complex automation workflows. These should be integrated into holistic persona-based marketing campaigns factoring in “the when” from above. Craft content around the pain points in persona journeys and utilize email communication to address and message for targeted personas. Make sure email strategy is tightly connected to landing page design and website form conversions.

    #6 Take action in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a topic that must be addressed. Whether your organization is just starting with your DEI initiative or an existing one in place, there should be a two-way conversation between leaders and employees. Having intent is not enough. DEI statements must be backed up by initiatives and actions.

    Expect to be called out if your actions don’t align with your messaging. In early March, brands were quick to highlight their appreciation for women in the workplace, posting authentic photos of women employees with affirmative messages. For brands in the UK, where salary data for men and women is public information on the government website, posts were met with a Gender Pay Gap Bot, which replied to corporate tweets using the International Women’s Day 2022 hashtag with the salary disparity of men and women at that company.

    Ideas for immediate action

    Make sure messaging, content, and campaigns surrounding DEI are well vetted and backed up by your brand’s actions. We are seeing traction in internal discussions and efforts to create content around DEI initiatives, and we recommend lots of research as part of marketing DEI metrics. The AMA is a great place to start. It offers aggregated information including webinars and task forces at the local chapter level. The most important action, if you haven’t already, is to start the dialog.

    #7 Prepare for hybrid events

    Your team must be ready to support great digital experiences for people attending conferences both in-person and virtually. Keep this in mind as you plan for your campaigns and pre- and post-event messaging. This will also have an impact on your 2023 budget as you determine which conferences your teammates will be attending.

    Ideas for immediate action

    At Imarc, we theorized that an increase in hybrid events would lead to more ad spend on search and social media to support mixed events. With planning sessions underway for larger marketing events this summer, we are seeing marketing efforts doubled to address two audience experiences.

    Start implementing strategies

    Over the years, some projections turn out to just be fads while others take off. The seven that we discussed here are the type that are not only gaining momentum but will likely become standards. If you need help implementing any of these strategies, our digital marketing experts here at Imarc are ready to help!