What to expect from digital marketing in 2022

Amy Lightbody
10th Jan 22 | Amy Lightbody | SEO, PPC, Social Media, News

Into 2022, digital presence continues to grow, with more and more users expected to be actively using digital platforms throughout this year, reaching over 6 billion people, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

Whether you’re a business, online user or marketer, it can be helpful to know what to expect from digital marketing platforms for another year. Here are a few of our predictions, across Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Social Media.

SEO Predictions

Adapt your analytics

In 2022, Google will provide less search query data, while iOS and other platforms will continue to put privacy first. This means that businesses will rely less on cookie-driven analytics, and will need to rely more on first party data and cookieless analytics.

As a business, you should adapt your strategy and look into cookieless analytics solutions, and ensure content is written or fact-checked by subject matter experts if less search query data is available.

Expert content writers

It is becoming apparent that articles and blog content without authors will get less and less cut-through on search engines. In 2022, Google will increase the minimum editorial standards an article has to adhere to in order to get indexed and be shown in organic search results.

Content will have to be factually accurate as Google will crack down on content written by non-experts, as we have seen happen with their E-A-T content guidelines particularly in YMYL verticals (your money or your life, such as health, medical, financial services). We have also begun to see this with Google’s two product review algorithm updates in 2021, where Google is reducing the visibility of reviews that are written by those who haven’t used the product in question.

To prevent being penalised by these tightening standards, you should ensure your website uses detailed author bios, references and cited sources of information and statistics; plus, if you’re in money or health niches, you must seriously consider having your articles checked by qualified experts, who don’t mind having their name listed on your content.

Growing importance of site speed

Fast loading content and websites will become the norm, meaning it will be increasingly more difficult to compete for slow websites, and those that aren’t built with page experience in mind.

To ensure you prevent being penalised for poor site speed and experience, you should make sure your site is mobile friendly, uses HTTPS secure protocol, and ensure ads, popups or overlays are not intrusive. As well as these basics, ensure content above-the-fold is prioritised and loads quickly and make sure easy site speed optimisations are implemented such as image format (WebP or other modern image formats that provide superior compression). Additionally, you should remove any unnecessary tags that slow your website down; and ensure you are using caching and CDNs effectively, to ensure a quick experience that is increasingly expected by users.

PPC Predictions

Say Goodbye to Expanded Text Ads

Expanded text ads have been a core part of search campaign strategies for a number of years. In early 2021, Google replaced the default ad format in search campaigns to be responsive search ads (RSA’s) in place of expanded text ads. Then came the announcement towards the end of the year that expanded text ads will be entirely discontinued in the summer of 2022.

So, what implications does this change have? Existing expanded text ads will still be able to run after the cut off point, however new expanded text ads can’t be created beyond summer of this year. As a result, responsive search ads will be the core ad format for any new search campaigns moving forward. Responsive search ads allow us to insert up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions that can continuously be tested, as opposed to only 3 headlines and 2 descriptions in an expanded text ad. A higher focus and adoption of responsive search ads will lead to more continuous testing of various headline and description combinations, without the need for several expanded text ads to run the same test. However, the reporting element of responsive search ads has a lot of improvements to be made going forward, so watch this space!

Increased Automation

With an ever-growing number of channels and keyword match types becoming less distinctive, and with user behaviour constantly changing; the task of extrapolating and consolidating data to inform decisions is becoming increasingly complicated.

Whilst there are areas that will always require manual intervention to ensure campaign success; it will become more important than ever in 2022 for advertisers to work with automation, and not against it. From automated bids to targeting, we are experts when it comes to automation whilst ensuring our campaigns remain bespoke and on-brand, with ongoing optimisation to ensure success.

Audience targeting and segmentation

On the back of Google’s announcement that they will be changing the way keyword match types are categorised, we predict that advertisers will not be able to rely solely on keyword targeting for search campaign success. It is vital that your brand is present when the target market is online, not only when they are searching. However, as Google reduces our control over keyword match types, taking full control of audience targeting and ensuring ads are served in front of the right audience, as well as the right search term, will be fundamental to campaign success in 2022.

Social Media Predictions

Video content dominating platforms

Even if you are not using video platforms like TikTok to promote your brand, video is one of the most engaging forms of content and it’s time to make it part of your strategy, if it isn’t already.

Videos are beginning to dominate social media feeds, with short videos being the most popular across all the main platform types. With Instagram moving towards becoming a video platform, with the introduction of Reels, consumers are becoming more engaged with quick, exciting videos which capture their attention and add value in some way. So if video content is not part of your strategy, 2022 is the year to jump on this trend!

Continued growth of Influencer Marketing

Although Influencer Marketing isn’t a new trend, it is one that will be around for a while and one that brands are becoming more receptive to, with bigger budgets being allocated to promotion by Influencer Marketing.

Investing in influencers can generate more leads and help achieve various marketing objectives. Collaborating with niche influencers, who already have built-up trust with your target audience, can expand your network onto new platforms and engage with your audience to raise awareness and capture conversions.

In 2022, instead of collaborating with one major influencer or celebrity, try building a network of smaller, niche influencers, who cost less but generate much more.

Customer service on social media

Social media is no longer just the platform that is traditionally used to share images and videos. Platforms are now used for ecommerce, events, news, and even customer service; with a lot of brands recognising the importance of communicating with their consumers via social networking sites.

Customers have begun to reach out to brands on social media, possibly a result of lack of response via other channels, and demanding a direct response in front of other high-value, potential consumers. Social media is now one of the most important customer service channels and according to Gartner, around 60% of requests will be resolved via digital channels by 2023. So, make sure you’re monitoring your profiles with regular community management, to ensure you don’t face repercussions of not dealing with a complaint correctly, in front of other users and potential customers.

Stay on top of the trends in 2022

If you need help keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and predicted digital behaviour throughout 2022 and beyond, discover our services at Click2Convert and don’t hesitate to get in touch; let’s elevate your digital presence this year.

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