What to expect from digital marketing in 2022

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

With over 6 billion users expected to be actively using digital platforms throughout 2022, it is more important than ever to understand and expand your digital presence as a brand.

Whether you’re a business 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.

Search Engine Optimisation

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, while ensuring you continue to track, measure and attribute your content to maximise conversions. Additionally, you should ensure content is written or fact-checked by subject matter experts, if less search query data is available. Using subject matter experts in your content adds credibility to your content, resulting in a higher quality ranking.

Expert content writers

It is becoming apparent that articles and blog content 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 be indexed and shown in organic search results.

Content will have to be factually accurate as Google will penalise content that is written by non-experts. This has already become apparent with Google's Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) content guidelines, particularly in Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) verticals, such as health, medical, and financial services. We have also begun to see this with two product review algorithm updates, released by Google in 2021. Google is beginning to reduce the visibility of reviews that are written by those who haven’t used actually the product in question.

To prevent being penalised by these tightening standards, you should ensure your website and content is optimised by using detailed author bios, references and cited sources of information and statistics. Additionally, if you produce sensitive content in niches such as money or health, you should seriously consider having your articles checked by qualified experts, who are able to list their name and details on your content.

Growing importance of site speed

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

To 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 to the user. As well as these basics,you should ensure content 'above-the-fold' is prioritised and loads quickly, with implementation of easy site speed optimisations, such as best-practice image format. Additionally, you should remove any unnecessary tags and ensure you are using caching and Content Delivery Networks (CDN) effectively, to ensure a quick experience that is increasingly expected by users.

Pay-Per-Click

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 (RSAs) in place of expanded text ads. Following this launch, Google announced, towards the end of the year, that expanded text ads will be entirely discontinued in the summer of 2022. Therefore, there are some implications to consider as a marketer or business.

Existing expanded text ads will be able to run after discontinuation date, however you will not be able to create new expanded text ads beyond summer of this year. As a result, RSAs will be the core ad format for any new search campaigns moving forward. RSAs allow 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 RSAs will lead to more ongoing 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 RSAs 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; the task of gathering and consolidating data to inform strategies and business 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. Therefore, you should work alongside automation, and ensure ongoing optimisation of bids and targeting is a key part of your strategy to succeed.

Audience targeting and segmentation

Following 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, you must adapt your strategy to optimise success with these changes. In order to do so, you should take full control of audience targeting and ensure ads are served in front of the right audience, as well as the right search term. This audience targeting and segmentation will be fundamental to campaign success in 2022.

Social Media

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 mainstream platforms. 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.

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 keep your audience happy and stay up-to-date with the increasing demands of online users.

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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