Let’s face it. Since the global pandemic hit our shores, things have become unpredictable. The pandemic left a huge impact on many businesses, and service industries like hotels, restaurants, medical facilities, and churches were hit the hardest. As we bid goodbye to 2021, it’s wise to look at what to expect in the new year from a digital marketing perspective. And this is why.
In the last 18 months, people spent more time streaming services online, videoconferencing, shopping online, and on social media than ever before. This forced many businesses to adjust their marketing strategies to survive. But as we get closer to the new year, important questions linger in our minds:
Will these forced adaptations remain? What can businesses do to get more engagements, drive sales and increase revenue? We studied and analyzed trends that shaped 2021, and gathered thoughts from other digital marketing leaders to help you get a good idea of what to expect.
Virtual Events Will Stay
Although virtual events started as a necessity, they’re here to stay. Many businesses discovered that going virtual helped them acquire new audiences. And that’s not all.
Virtual events also have higher returns on investments because they’re typically more cost-effective than in-person events. In addition, virtual events are not affected by travel restrictions and visa issues, so brands and organizations like churches can get more participants. The secret is driving engagement by using rich content and having great speakers.
Consumers Expect Goodwill and Transparency From Brands
It’s nearly impossible for consumers to engage with brands that they suspect to be insincere or shady. In 2021, we saw consumers connecting with brands who understand where they fit in their lives.
This is one trend that will be pivotal for businesses in 2022 as brands that build trust amongst consumers are more likely to thrive. We saw brands doing lots of great things this year, but consumers will expect them to do even bigger things in the New Year.
UGC Will Be Crucial
Consumer experience is more important now than ever before. That is why customers look forward to having enjoyable experiences with brands.
They want assurances before they buy because no one likes to make wrong decisions. Industry experts say that user-generated content can help brands do just that.
UGC can help brands:
- Build trust and relationship
- Share relatable and uplifting information
- Meet customers where needed
- Provide social proof
UGC became very effective during the pandemic, and they will be crucial in 2022 as well.
When consumers make inquires, they expect immediate responses. This is why conversational marketing is here to stay. This form of marketing facilitates a personal and instant connection between consumers and brands. As we get into the new year, these strategies can help you drive conversational marketing:
- Virtual selling assistants
- Personalized emails
- Personalized videos
Social Media as a Channel for Purchase
Initially, consumers used social media to discover new products and services, but that trend is changing. Platforms like Facebook are helping users do more with social media. Today, Facebook users can transition from discovering a product or service to purchasing without exiting the platform. Seasoned digital marketers know this trend (social commerce) will grow into 2022, and brands that embrace it are likely to grow. The digital marketing landscape is changing and businesses that accept change and invest in new marketing strategies are more likely to win.