5 Marketing Trends to Jump on in 2022

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In the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across the entire retail sector. Overall retail sales are down, e-commerce sales are on the rise, and consumers have become more digitally-minded than ever before. 

This shift in buying behaviour has and will continue to impact the trends we see in the marketing sector going forward. With a real focus on digital marketing and merging offline and online worlds, let’s take a look at some of the marketing trends we expect to see throughout 2022.

1. Social commerce

Social commerce has been a growing trend over the last 18 months, and it’s one we expect to continue, with research from Alter Agents revealing that two-thirds of shoppers use social media as part of their shopping strategy. 

From inspirational images to video tutorials, a whopping 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery during their buying journey, so make sure to tag posts with your products and include relevant hashtags to reach your desired audience.

Live streaming is another way to promote products on social media, with platforms such as InstagramFacebookAmazon and CommentSold allowing brands to showcase their products to viewers during live broadcasts.

Influencer marketing has also risen in popularity over the last couple of years, with a third of shoppers looking to social media influencers to learn about products, and an estimated 72.5% of US marketers set to use influencer marketing in 2022. Data from the Business Insider Intelligence Influencer Marketing report predicts that brands will spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. 

2. Content marketing

Creating helpful and educational content to inspire purchase decisions has been important for a long while, but with digital commerce on the rise, it’s time to take a closer look at your content marketing strategy.

Consumers like to feel like they’re in control and making decisions themselves, rather than being sold a sales pitch, and that’s where content marketing comes in. 

Instead of creating sales-y copy to persuade consumers to buy, brands need to focus on helping prospective customers make the right purchase decision. This can be through detailed product page information, video content, blog content, email newsletters, social media posts, etc. 

Focus on positioning your brand as an expert in your field – somewhere consumers can go for advice in your niche. For example, if your business sells mattresses, your content shouldn’t just focus on the mattresses you sell. As well as advice on choosing the correct product and the benefits of a good mattress, you could also create content around sleep hygiene tips and sleep habits. This way, you’re not only educating potential customers, but you’re also attracting a whole pool of new customers who land on your sleep articles while searching for advice.

Additionally, when planning your content marketing campaigns, ensure the themes align across each of your marketing channels to create unity.

3. Omni-channel

It’s been on every annual trends list for years now, yet some businesses still don’t offer a truly omni-channel experience

With the very big push towards online in recent years, it’s not enough to just have multiple commerce options. All channels need to be linked seamlessly, and they need to offer customers the same first-class experience from wherever they choose to shop. 

In order to thrive in 2022, businesses need to be wherever their customers are, and they need to make it easy to shop at every touchpoint, with seamless transitions between each. 

As well as the popular omni-channel offerings like browse online and buy in-storebuy online and return in-storeshopping via online retail partners and social commerce, we can also expect more e-commerce stores to introduce an in-store feel to their websites

In the past two years, the absence of physical stores has encouraged those who didn’t previously shop online to do so, so bringing elements of in-store shopping to e-commerce (such as virtual appointments, try-ons and live streaming) can create a more personal experience.

4. Online reviews

89% of consumers[1]  read customer ratings or reviews before making a purchase, and with the shift towards e-commerce, consumer reviews have never been more important.

When shopping online, customers can’t see and feel products, so honest reviews can help paint a real life picture and ensure shoppers make the correct purchase decision. Reviews can also encourage customers to purchase from your brand instead of competitors and influence your brand reputation.

Implementations like Hatch Shoppable Reviews allow consumers to see real life reviews from customers across the web and shop at a retailer of their choice once they’ve made their decision. 

Giving customers the option to shop directly through reviews shortens the buying journey and prevents your brand from losing out to competitors.

5. Hybrid events 

In-store footfall has been on the decline since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s been a lot of talk about redefining the role of physical high street stores. This means more in-store events and experiences to educate and inspire customers. But, as a result of events moving online throughout the pandemic, we’re also likely to see more digital and hybrid events going forward.

In the same way that omni-channel retail combines the digital and physical worlds, hybrid events are a mix between live and online events, and they’re a great sales driver. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Not everyone who wants to attend the event will be able to make it in-store, giving more people the option to attend.
  1. For consumers who prefer in-store experiences, it allows them to see and feel products in real life before they buy.
  1. They’re engaging! You can address your audience from a place that suits them.

The way consumers shop has changed for good. And while it won’t be news to many, to succeed in 2022, brands and marketers need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing, ever-evolving buying behaviours of consumers.

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