The job of marketers is to keep up with evolving marketing trends. We need to ensure that we remain updated about algorithmic changes, revise our advertising to adhere to new policies, and many more changes. We do all this over and over again so we can adjust our strategies to improve the outcomes for our clients and our own companies.
Unfortunately, not all trends work. Here are some of the marketing trends to watch in 2022, that we believe will actually
Focus on Mobile-first marketing
By 2025, an estimated 73% of people will access the internet on mobile-only. Always consider how something will appear on mobile devices. Try to use long, horizontal videos and images because they look best on mobile screens. Take advantage of app-exclusive features, such as audio posts and Fleets on Twitter; live video and Reels on Instagram, and Stories on YouTube and Instagram. Always focus on mobile-only features to create a more seamless experience for mobile users
Focus on Social Commerce
Social media has become the heart of the post-pandemic shopping experience. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have given brands the opportunity to create a seamless experience for users to buy products directly within a social channel without being taken outside. Brands need to capitalize on the growing social commerce trend.
Brand and Creators collaboration
Brands and creators’ collaboration is an important marketing strategy marketers are expecting to use in 2022. Brands need faces and voices that can tell their message, values, and mission. Online content creators are best positioned to drive ROI for B2C brands. Creators have existing loyal communities that brands should creatively tap into instead of building a community from scratch.
Making Social Ads that blend in
Marketers need to intuitively understand a particular platform as a user, not just as a marketer. This will help in creating ads that do not interrupt people’s experience but seamlessly fit in. Today’s consumers are smarter and more empowered. Brands will have to think hard about whether they want to be embraced or tolerated on a particular platform.
Social media means business
Social media has finally matured to find its place in business. Marketers are not just raising awareness on social media but expect to derive tangible ROI from it. According to Hootsuite Social Trends 2022, 83% of marketers are confident about quantifying the ROI of social media. This was not the case over a decade ago when marketers struggled to measure ROI from social. But both the pandemic and social platforms’ advanced features have forced marketers to rely on social as it became a primary source to keep up with customers.
Building trust with first-party data
With the elimination of third-party cookies in 2021, marketers are turning to first-party data in 2022. Companies will focus on collecting data directly from their users for retargeting purposes. Online data about customer interaction on a website or an app will be collected through subscriptions, product views, and inside queries. In a world of growing privacy concerns, first-party data will enable businesses to operate in a privacy-compliance and cost-effective way.
The metaverse to enhance customer experience
Many businesses are expected to enter the metaverse in 2022 and years to follow. That is because the metaverse has mouthwatering promises to businesses, it is expected to bridge the gap between traditional and digital marketing. From improved customer experience to selling virtual products, and from virtual concerts and branded shops within games, the metaverse is everything marketers have ever dreamed of. Brands will be able to create virtual stores or exhibitions and people, through their virtual presence (avatars), will visit the stores and have an experience of the product just like they would physically.
It is important for marketers to understand the fluidity of marketing. New best practices and policies come and go, algorithms are getting smarter and harder to predict. Marketers must always be ready to discard their once working strategies in the face of new changes.
The eCommerce industry has seen a significant boost in the past two pandemic years. As people started spending much of their life indoors, online shopping became the norm. According to UNCTDA, global e-commerce has jumped to $26.7 trillion, as COVID-19 boosted online sales.
Despite this dramatic increase in online sales, the eCommerce industry is not without challenges. The following seems to be eternal challenges for online store owners.
D2C retailers are posing stiff competition
Your e-commerce business is running a risk to be in competition with the manufacturer and other retailers who sell directly to consumers. To avoid this to happen, try to look for manufacturers who are not selling their products directly to consumers. Also, try to offer a lower price and reward your loyal customers.
SEO is evolving and getting more complex
Search Engine Optimization has moved past keywords. Algorithms have gotten smarter and favours websites with great user experience. The old tricks of keyword stuffing and buying low-quality backlinks do not apply anymore. And that is not to mention voice search which is entirely a different SEO game for e-commerce businesses to brace for.
Carts are still being abandoned
It is incredibly frustrating to have managed to take the customer through the funnel only to lose them on a check-out stage. E-Commerce brands lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment. Mobile users have an even higher abandonment rate compared to desktop users. However, these challenges can be minimized with proper checkout optimization. First, understand what is going wrong and optimize accordingly.
Customers don’t want to read product descriptions, they want to see them
This is a very solvable challenge if the store is backed by advanced technology.
Customer Experience Opportunities for eCommerce Brands
Just as the pandemic helped to boost eCommerce sales, the industry is about to see another boost from the next iteration of the internet –the Metaverse. In the metaverse, customers will no longer be reading about product descriptions, they will see the product, feel it, and test it using their virtual avatars.
With the metaverse, e-commerce brands will be able to create virtual stores or exhibitions and customers, through their virtual presence, will visit the store and have a rich experience of the products nearly the same as they would by physically visiting the actual store.
Social media shopping is also a huge opportunity for e-commerce businesses. The average internet user uses social networks for about 2 hours and 15 minutes daily, according to ReadyCloud. Social media is where most of the shopping will be taking place.
Most social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have integrated commerce features that help users purchase products without leaving the social platform. According to Think With Google, 43% of internet users in the U.S. are classified as “social media shoppers.”
Moreover, with e-commerce giants like Alibaba and Amazon solving the last mile challenge, the possibility of selling across borders is promising now more than ever. Shippings will likely take shorter times in the future and that will provide fertile grounds for e-commerce brands to thrive.
As the world spends much of its time on digital platforms, e-commerce brands are better positioned to benefit from it. But online store owners need to first deal with existing challenges that are plaguing the industry.
The introduction of Facebook Shops could be the end of e-commerce websites as we know them. On Tuesday, May 19, 2021, Facebook launched Shops. A new e-commerce feature aimed at helping small businesses create shops on Facebook and Instagram where they can upload their catalog.
This will bring an Instagram shopping tab, shoppable live stream, and more.
The shops will be powered by third-party services such as BigCommerce, woo-commerce, and Shopify. It is clearly Facebook is aiming to turn the social network into an all-in-one shopping destination.
In a Facebook Live, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We are seeing a lot of small businesses that never had an online business get online for the first time. He also added,” if you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people.
This innovation has come at a perfect time where there is a surge in internet use with people looking for things to buy online while staying at home.
What does this mean to e-commerce websites?
It’s obvious that Facebook is eyeing big on e-commerce by bringing dawn to social shopping. The platform comes with features to enable a user to complete payments within Facebook without the need to leave the platform.
Could this be the death of e-commerce websites? If people will be empowered to shop and engage with their friends within one place, what will happen to classified platforms and other e-commerce sites? The competition will take an entirely new heightened level.
But here is the thing, while shops are free you’ll probably need to spend a few dollars to push your products to reach more buyers. In this case, you probably still need to list your product on other established buy and sell platforms.
Reaching people on Facebook isn’t free anymore, you can prove that by observing the dwindling engagement in Facebook pages.
Facebook Shop has begun to roll out in the USA, expecting to reach other users sometime this summer.
In 2022, Google will eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome browser. Something which Safari and Firefox have already done. But what does this mean for marketers?
Third-party cookies have been key drivers of the advertising economy for the past two decades. At Tanzlite, we have benefited from a wealth of user information from people visiting our websites and used such information to create personalized content and ads —thanks to cookies.
But with cookies gone, what will be the alternative for the advertising industry?
One thing is clear, that advertising as we know it will change. It will be difficult to personalize ads and retarget users as we used to.
But What Are Cookies?
Cookies are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer or phone when you visit a particular website. Their main purpose is to improve your experience with the website.
The two most important types of cookies;
- First-party cookies: These are stored by websites. They enable these websites to remember a user’s settings and they can significantly improve the user experience. These cookies will not be affected by the changes we are talking about.
- Third-party cookies: they are created and stored by external sites, and not by the site the user is visiting. They can track the user as they move across domains and retarget them with personalized messaging.
What is Driving These Changes?
As privacy concerns continue to rise in the online community, cookies have caught the attention of lawmakers and regulators. Businesses are now required to keep transparent data records.
According to a study by Pew Research Center,
72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms, or other companies, and 81% say that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits.
Cookies have been enablers of various tracking techniques that have contributed to people losing trust in the online world. This has also led to an increase in Adblocker usage and a shift to privacy-focused browsers like Duck Duck Go.
What Will Happen Next?
Advertising existed and thrived for decades before data technology came into play. This realization gives a relief that marketers will find another way. There is no need to worry.
Besides, tech giants such as Google and Facebook (who rely on advertising revenue) will surely find an alternative.
Facebook for example benefits hugely from personalized ads (retargeting) that are backed by third-party cookies. Google, on the other hand, is already cooking out some privacy innovations that will be effective alternatives to tracking.
Have you ever found yourself stuck on what to post on social media? It happens all the time. Finding good ideas to post can be tricky sometimes.
At first, Launching your company’s social media profiles seems like an easy task. Then comes the hard part when you are supposed to be consistently posting engaging content. That is when you realize social media marketing is not easy work at all.
I have worked (and still working) in social media marketing for a couple of small-to-medium companies and organizations in Tanzania for over three years now. I have experienced these challenges myself.
Some days your creative mind will be on vacation. You will procrastinate or will not post at all. And your boss will fire you (let that not happen).
So without wasting your time, let’s dive in.
Give your followers a break from being sold to!
So what are great ideas to post on social media? Apart from the usual buy this, get this?
If you want to go beyond the self promotional approach, these post ideas will boost engagement on your social platforms and give value to your followers.
1. Question-based Post: This is a powerful way to start a conversation with your followers. Ask an engaging question that relates to what your business does. You can also conduct market research from this type of posts.
2. Post statistics or industry news: What are the current findings or news in your industry? Be sure to share them with your audience. It will make you part of the industry and not someone who is just there to sell. Statistics are also the best way to support your claim or message.
3. Share your opinion about a trending topic: There’s always something in your industry trending online. You find what it is, share it, and give your two cents on the topic. Again, it is about being part of the online conversations that your audience cares about.
4. Share Tips and How-To post: Educational posts are effective to introduce you as a thought leader in your niche. People always want to know how things are done. Tell them and build trust in return.
5. Thank you Post; Every time you hit a certain number of followers, be sure to thank your followers for helping you grow.
6. Behind the scenes posts: If you were (or still) a Game of Thrones fan, I am sure you have watched a couple of behind the scene videos of the show. And they probably helped you build a human connection with the actors. Sometimes you can post a photo or go live and showcase your office, or store. It helps to show your audience a human side of you and fosters a deeper trust than that of a traditional post.
7. Run Contests and Giveaways: Contests and giveaways can be an instant way to grow your engagement on social media. They can give you new followers and result in increased sales.
8. Post a Meme: Well, sometimes it is not a bad idea to light up things a little. Just because you are a bank, or a pharmacy doesn’t mean you have to be serious and full of jargon every day. But be careful with memes!
9. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC): Chances are people are already talking about whatever your business is in to. The best way to join these conversations is to share/repost/retweet someone’s post about the topic. It will affirm you and make you part of the conversation.
10. Post Infographics: Don’t let your blog articles rot in your website, try to repurpose them in a visually appealing way. Infographics are ideal ways to summarize a lengthy amount of information in short form.
11. Re-introduce yourself: Once in a while, reminding your followers of who you are and what you do is not a bad idea. Warning: don’t use this repeatedly, you will become a boring brand.
12. Share PDF and White Papers: sometimes a social media post can not say it all. If you have got a lot to say such as case studies, give it to your followers in the form of downloadable formats. Besides, everyone loves takeaways.
Social media can be a waste of time if done without a plan. As a serious business, you don’t want to add up to the social media noise and become a bore to your loyal fans. You need a strategy.
If you need a digital strategy that can bring results to your business, contact us HERE.