Marketing trends come and go, sometimes as swiftly as the evening tide. It's just not easy to catch the right trend wave. The top social media networks are introducing new audio-only features, consumers are buying products through live streams on TikTok, and everyone is wondering what the metaverse means for marketing.
Nobody can predict the future, but most marketing teams can launch A/B tests or small-scale campaigns to begin experimenting with some of the new formats and features available to marketers today. With that in mind, let's dive into the marketing trends 2022 to explore how you can practically incorporate some of these big ideas into your marketing strategy for next year.
The Top 10 Marketing Trends 2022:
All of these trends are based on our new playbook which contains more information about all trends mentioned in this blog, plus three additional trends. Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 1: Social Audio
Image- and text-based posts have filled social media newsfeeds for over a decade, but a new challenger has emerged within the last year: audio posts.
A whole host of social networks began experimenting with social audio after Clubhouse popularized the format with its live conversation rooms. Today, there are now a variety of post formats that rely solely on audio, from voice messaging to live chatrooms.
Twitter released the voice tweet feature in June 2020, a precursor to its Twitter Spaces. Through Spaces, users with over 600 followers can host a live conversation on the platform. After deprecating Fleets, the company devoted the highly-visible real estate they used to occupy within the app to Spaces, a clear signal that it believed in the format.
Facebook was another platform that launched a multitude of audio-oriented features recently, including Live Audio Rooms, which allows users within a particular Group to host a chat room. The company also introduced in-app podcast listening so that users can listen to their favorite podcasts directly through the app.
Spotify and Reddit came out with their own social audio features in 2021, Spotify Greenroom and Reddit Talk. And, of course, there are several smaller players in the space that don't have the mainstream name recognition of the networks above.
Brands should adopt this social media marketing trend for 2022. But the adoption of social media audio may also be slow because how many brands have a media-ready spokesperson ready to host a Live Audio Room on Facebook at the drop of a hat? Not many. Brands have to find a voice that aligns with their brand's tone of voice, which isn't easy.
Tip: Work with brand ambassadors to find on-brand hosts and get started with this social audio trend.
Want to know more about the social audio marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 2: Social Shopping
More than a few big waves are happening in social shopping that will hugely impact marketers in 2022. Social commerce has been around since the beginning of social media; however, it's turned a noticeable corner in ease and convenience with in-app purchasing and smarter advertising making the mental gap between "browsing" to "purchasing" much smaller.
According to Inmar Intelligence, in 2021, 52% of socially-engaged shoppers will have made a purchase through a social platform. (Socially-engaged shoppers meaning users who follow an influencer or engage with brands on social media).
Late in 2021, Pinterest and Instagram introduced additional shopping methods, most notably in a "live stream" format, just in time for the holiday season. You can think of it as an old-school shopping network adapted to the social space and for a modern audience.
The new "Pinterest TV" will air live episodes hosted by various creators, influencers, brands, and sometimes co-hosted by a Pinterest employee who helps monitor the live chat and facilitate the episode. Pinterest TV episodes launched on November 8, 2021, and are set to continue Mon-Fri.
Instagram has been focusing heavily on video features, including a real-time shopping experience available to creators and business profiles through Instagram Live.
Want to know more about the social shopping marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 3: Livestream Shopping
Livestream shopping is huge in Asia and the numbers are staggering.
FMCG brands are taking the direct route to engage customers on their mobiles. Livestream shopping has become a more dynamic way for customers to interact with hosts and retailers in real-time and re-create the shopping experience virtually.
All of this data further emphasized the popularity of having a livestream shopping option which makes it a big marketing trend brands should embrace in 2022.
Want to know more about the livestream shopping marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 4: Influencer Marketing
Yes, you heard absolutely right. Influencer marketing will still be a trend in 2022. Why "trend" when this topic has been with us for years? Because many companies are still having a hard time integrating influencer marketing as a channel into their marketing strategy. So we are still a long way from reaching the peak.
According to Klear, a Meltwater company, sponsored feed posts increased 26.7% this year, from 3,014,687 to 3,798,505 posts. So if you thought you've seen more Instagram Stories about a particular moisturizer from your favorite influencer, you may be right - especially if they are a Micro-influencer.
Increasingly, brands are turning to Micro-influencers to help them reach and engage consumers - and for a good reason. Klear's research revealed that "91% of all sponsored post engagements were with content created by Micro-Influencers." Micro-influencers' audiences are often more engaged than Macro-influencers', which translates into better campaign performance.
In 2022, we can expect brands to compare their company's sponsored post-performance against the influencers they are partnering with. Many marketing teams may decide to boost the sponsored posts on an influencers' account instead of deploying more sponsored posts from the corporate account if performance is strong enough.
Not sure how to approach your influencer marketing strategy in 2022?
Here you can find further resources:
Want to know more about the influencer marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 5: Instagram Video
Video content is more engaging than other forms of content, in general. In fact, a recent statistic from G2 indicates that "social media video generates as much as 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined."
One social media platform, in particular, stood out in 2021: Instagram.
Instagram made many changes in 2021 related to its video capabilities:
Soft rebranding from IGTV to Instagram Video.
In-feed videos can now be up to 60 minutes long.
The reels algorithm has been adjusted: Reposts of TikTok videos are played out less often and the overall look-and-feel of Reels should be more distinct from TikToks.
Link stickers are now represented in Stories.
Still in beta mode, testing is underway to increase Story length from 15 to 60 seconds.
With all the innovations, Instagram and all its video features will remain relevant in marketing in 2022. Try integrating the new formats into your marketing strategy.
Want to know more about the Instagram video trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 6: TikTok
TikTok has actually more than managed to hold its own alongside Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube so far.
TikTok is on the rise globally and brands need to know how to integrate the app into their marketing strategy in 2022. With more than 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2021, the app is expected to reach the 2020 total of nearly one billion downloads.
TikTok is generating so much interest in short video content that brands have expanded their marketing reach to include the social app in their campaigns. The easily digestible nature of the witty vignettes found on the app is forcing brands to rethink their social media strategies aimed at gaining followers and boosting brand awareness.
In 2021, it was reported that TikTok generated more than $1.3 billion in advertising revenue. However, compared to its social media peers like Facebook and Instagram, this is still low. But looking on the bright side, it also means there's still plenty of room to capture the attention of TikTok users.
So there will be no more excuses for you not to be on TikTok in 2022.
Tip: Read our blog about The Rise of TikTok.
Want to know more about TikTok as a marketing trend 2022?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 7: Metaverse
Never heard of it? No problem, because the topic is still quite current.
Most people learned about the metaverse after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he was changing the name of his company to Meta Platforms, Inc. or Meta for short. However, the concept of the metaverse has been around for decades, and many other companies are working on products to bring the concept to (virtual) life.
The metaverse refers to the idea of a virtual world where people can interact with a variety of environments (imagine, for example, opening one door that leads to the mall where you can hang out with your friends and another to enter your office for a meeting with colleagues) that are accessible through a variety of devices (e.g., VR headsets, AR glasses, smartphone apps, etc.).
If this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel to you, you're not wrong: Neal Stephenson coined the term in 1992 for his novel "Snow Crash".
Some companies are already waking up to the potential revenue that can come from virtual retail sales.
Nike has made a number of trademark filings as part of their plan to manufacture and sell virtual-branded sneakers and apparel.
Coca-Cola released four unique Coca-Cola NFTs as a foray into the metaverse.
Gucci developed Gucci Garden on Roblox, where users could explore themed rooms via VR or purchase items for $4,000 (350,000 Robux).
We're excited to see where the metaverse will go for marketers in 2022.
Want to know more about the metaverse as a marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 8: Augmented Reality (AR)
This 2022 marketing trend matches its predecessor, the metaverse: AR, or "augmented reality," may sound futuristic, but it's a very real technology that's already active today and promises to be one of the fastest-growing marketing trends in 2022 and beyond.
AR is a way to immerse people in semi-virtual worlds and offer them new ways to try products and make purchases - all through the simple use of their smartphone.
Picture this: You've just moved into a new house and need to furnish it. You want to make sure the couch and kitchen table you envision are the right size for your space. Using AR, you can virtually see what your new living room will look like before you buy. This is beneficial for B2C businesses as it minimizes issues with returns and refunds.
With the Corona crisis in full swing and Covid restrictions always active in some places, virtual shopping is still the preferred option for many over traditional physical shopping. This habit could give AR even more wind in the future.
This promises to be exciting, doesn't it?
Want to know more about AR as a marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 9: Hybrid Events
By now, thanks to Corona Pandemic, we all know about them: virtual events.
After nearly two years in which events could only be held virtually due to Covid restrictions, some countries have begun to allow in-person events, but that doesn't mean virtual events are disappearing.
Instead, a new type of event format is picking up steam - hybrid events. From masterclasses to sales meetings to networking events, event marketing is making bold changes to incorporate virtual attendees into in-person conferences.
With virtual chat room options on platforms like Zoom and ON24, there will be more opportunities for quick networking sessions and on-site business discussions.
Face-to-face events will likely be a mainstay in event marketing, but the benefits of hybrid events are simply too valuable for marketers to pass up. With remote work and the virtualization of marketing methods becoming more common, many marketers are embracing the hybrid event trend.
Tip: Learn more about Event Marketing Strategies and Best Practices.
Want to know more about hybrid events as a marketing trend?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Marketing Trend 10: Thought Leadership Content
The organic reach of corporate accounts on social networks is at an all-time low. As a result, many companies are not only working with influencers to increase their social media reach but are also turning to their employees to target specific demographics with thought leadership content.
Thought leadership content can help companies establish themselves as an authority on a particular topic and help interested buyers with the customer journey.
According to a study conducted by LinkedIn and Edelman, "47% of buyers said that a piece of thought leadership had led them to discover and, ultimately, purchase from a company that was not considered to be among the leaders in a particular category." The survey also revealed that 63% of respondentsbelievedthought leadership is vital in proving that a company understands or can solve their business's challenges.
Marketing teams looking to reach potential buyers and move them further along in the purchasing journey will be turning to key employees more frequently in 2022 to aid them in reaching their target audience.
Building an employee ambassador program requires a significant amount of resources, especially if the stakeholders within the program need support in the content creation process. That's why it's best to begin with a core group of engaged employees for a pilot program before bringing others on board.
Want to know more about thought leadership as a marketing trend for 2022?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →
Conclusion on the Marketing Trends 2022
We should not be intimidated by the 10 marketing trends mentioned above and the necessary adjustments they will require us marketers to make in 2022.
The changes and trends we've seen this year have opened up countless new opportunities and possibilities for brands and marketers. Yes, the digital marketing landscape has changed, but by embracing and adapting to these changes, we can improve not only our digital marketing strategies, but the overall customer experience.
With a healthy combination of these 2022 marketing trends, you can engage directly and specifically with your target audience.
Want to learn more about how you can adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape? Check out our social marketing solutions or simply for a free consultation with our experts.
Would you like to learn more about additional marketing trends for 2022?Download the marketing trends 2022 guide for free →