Digital marketing trends have been evolving over the last decade but 2022 is set to be the biggest year for change. Thanks to the Pandemic and the effects of Covid deciding whether to go digital with your marketing is no longer a choice. With social media marketing becoming overloaded, and digital advertising expensive, the up and coming marketing strategy is heavily biased towards digital marketing.
To be successful in business in today’s world being good at what you do simply isn’t enough. Embracing the top digital marketing trends is where you have to be.
As digital marketers and understanding how to leverage and take advantage of digital marketing is crucial. As a micropreneur you’re responsible for everything in your business from sales and marketing to business planning and accounting and everything in between.
The last two years have seen more new entrepreneurs launch their businesses globally than ever before. Almost eighty new businesses were created every hour across the UK in the first half of 2021, according to research conducted by Iwoca for their Small Business HotSpots UK 2021 report.
So how then do you ensure you stand out from the crowd and really own your piece of online real estate?
Understanding key digital marketing trends takes research, taking your time to understand what’s working, what people are responding too and not trying to overwhelm yourself by doing everything that’s out there.
Every business has an audience that’s unique to them and employing the right marketing tactics and marketing tools is what is required in this digital world. That audience is drawn to your marketing campaigns for a reason, and understanding and knowing that audience inside out is the first step to successfully marketing your business in 2022. Customer loyalty is a prized possession.
How many times have you heard people say you need to find your niche in the business?
But I want you to take it a step further and find your micro-niche. Be a specialist, not a generalist. Most marketers these days look for a rising trend and niche down. Drill down as far as you can till you get to a point where you almost know what your audience thinks and feels because you understand them so well.
By determining your micro-niche you’re allowing yourself to be part of a group of like-minded people who have something in common. They like to consume content, written content or video content but it has to be specific to that niche.
Then by embracing your micro-niche and having a clear voice on the subject, being the go-to guide, you effectively become the expert for that audience and by default the person or brand they want to buy from.
And trust me, the word ‘micro’ is one you want to embrace this year as it’s hit the number one spot in my top 7 digital marketing trends for 2022.
Top Digital Marketing Trends
No 1 – The Rise of the Micro Influencer
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a world where kids dreamed about becoming astronauts and ballet dancers, now, however, kids grow up dreaming about becoming social media stars, aka influencers.
The influencer trend isn’t one of the new trends, far from it. Influencer marketing has been alive and well for a long time but there’s a subtle shift happening that definitely benefits micropreneurs and small businesses.
It’s the rise of the micro-influencer whose follower count is substantially lower than the mega and celebrity influencers such as Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber etc. A micro-influencer has about 1,000 to 100,00 followers.
So other than follower count what’s the difference between a micro and macro influencer?
Well for a start it’s about engagement, using conversational marketing in your marketing strategy.
According to Social Bakers, micro-influencers “boast up to a 60% increased engagement rate compared to macro-influencers.”
Engaged customers are trusting customers, one who is willing to listen to the person they’re following and be influenced by them in what to buy, what to wear and what to say.
A micro-influencer is more real to the follower, more approachable and someone who could potentially be a friend. And that’s where the trust factor comes in which is harder for a big macro or celebrity influencer.
Then of course there’s the expert status. A micro-influencer tends to have a micro-niche which means their following have an interest in a very specific topic making marketing to them so much easier. It’s targeted marketing as it’s best.
But more than anything else it’s personal. A micro-influencer knows its audience on a very personal level. How can you use influencer marketing within your business and digital marketing strategy?
Look for collaborations with larger brands in your industry who might be interested in leveraging your smaller but engaged audience. Embrace your micro-influencer status and really focus on giving value, building a community and being consistent on your platform of choice.
“The total size of the influencer market in 2022 is projected at $15 billion. This would be an increase of as much as 8 billion since 2019.”
Source: Business Insider, Influencer Marketing Hub
No 2 – Finding your Fab Factor
This is about being able to differentiate yourself from the competition, from all those other people out there selling the same thing you are.
In a world where information is thrown around freely and our clients feel like they’ve seen and heard it all what’s the secret sauce that puts you head and shoulders above the rest? What are you known for? What do people associate you with? How do you stand out in people’s minds?
This is a two-part trend because you need to come at this from two different angles, personally and from a business perspective.
Your personal fab factor is the thing that makes you, you. To use a French phrase, it’s your ‘je ne sais quoi’. The one thing nobody else can have, borrow, or use. It’s unique to you and that’s the beauty of it because nobody else can be you so nobody else can copy this.
In today’s digitally driven world you have to embrace who you are, warts and all, to really connect with your audience and make them want to choose you over everyone else out there. That’s why injecting more of you into your brand is so important.
For example, part of my Fab Factor is my insane love of ABBA. I inject it into everything I do and if you don’t love ABBA, you probably won’t want to follow me and that’s fine. But this trend for authenticity, transparency and personalised marketing isn’t going anywhere you just have to find a way to embrace it within your digital space.
And what about your business Fab Factor?
In what way are you unique? What stops you from being just another coach who has a course on money mindset and makes you the person who has a money mindset course that shows you how to have a better relationship with money using your XYZ solution.
Ask yourself what is your business known for? Do you have a special formula you use with your clients? Do you have a process that helps your clients to achieve their goals? Have you created a specific strategy?
In his book, Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene Schwartz calls it the “Unique Mechanism.”
So what’s your business recipe, formula, strategy, blueprint or unique mechanism that gives your business it’s Fab Factor?
No 3 – The Client Experience
People are placing more and more importance on the experience they have and the journey they go on with you so give them a reason to shout about you from the digital treetops.
“Customer experience is the new marketing battlefront.”
– Chris Pemberton
It’s cliché but so true, you need to underpromise and over-deliver. I like to think of it as an experience where I surprise and delight my clients.
Go above and beyond wherever you can. This is a good digital marketing protocol. Your clients value good service, efficiency, and competency. In return, you’ll find this is a form of marketing that happens on its own through word of mouth. Happy and delighted clients love to share their experience with friends and family and that’s advertising money can’t buy.
No 4 – Audio is Rising Through the Ranks
Personally, I love using audio within my marketing mix and in 2021 I made it my mission to be a podcast guest on 12 shows, which was one a month, and I did that.
Using other people’s audiences, which is what you’re doing as a guest on someone else’s show, is a marketing trend all of its own, but it definitely comes into play here. Don’t forget video marketing also as one of your marketing activities.
Starting your own podcast has never been easier either as there are so many great, reasonably priced platforms out there for you to use. Plus, distribution platforms are more accessible too with Spotify now rivalling Apple for podcast listeners and Amazon gaining traction too.
And it gets even more exciting. Back in 2019 google announced they were working on making audio content searchable in the same way as images and text are particularly with voice search for search queries. Search engines using artificial intelligence now use sentiment analysis to make search queries super targeted.
But podcasts aren’t the only way to use audio. Clubhouse burst onto the scene in 2020 and although they’ve lost some of their initial momenta, they still have nearly one million people per day on the platform.
But for me, the biggest part of all this is it’s a great way to really humanise your brand without the pressure of using video. Done right you can allow your personality to shine through. And as with everything else marketing orientated audiences prefer the more raw and real material to a perfectly recorded episode, which is great news if you’re new to this.
Oh, and I nearly forgot, the opportunities if you bring guests onto your own show are endless. Again, it exposes you to their audience, providing they share their episode, and can allow for some great relationships to be built between yourself and your guests.
No 5 – Email Marketing is still King
We all know email marketing isn’t new, in fact, it feels like it’s been around forever, but it’s still up there as far as marketing trends are concerned. It has changed but it is a great way to build your brand.
Generalised email marketing will set you up for failure. It’s all about personalisation, empathy, and segmentation. As a digital marketer segmentation is important in your marketing campaigns.
Let’s break those down one at a time.
Personalising the emails you send out is crucial because nothing screams ‘sales’ like a generic email that could have been written for anyone. Part of the success of email marketing comes down to building the know, like, trust factor with your audience.
Write your emails so your audience feels seen, heard, understood, and acknowledged. Get a deeper understanding of their challenges and how you can be a solution to their problem, but not in a salesy way in a way that builds trust and makes them want to connect with you.
Having empathy in your emails helps your audience have those moments of ‘OMG they really get me’ and to feel as though you’re a steadfast rock in their world that can always be relied on to give personal and actionable advice. Empathy is about finding the ability to step into someone else’s shoes, understand their perspective and help them to move forward!
And finally, take a crash course in segmentation. Find ways to learn about your audience so you can put them into different buckets and segment them in your CRM. This allows you to send very targeted emails about specific challenges your audience faces so once again they feel as though they’re being not only understood but nurtured as well.
One of the best ways to do this is by using a high converting quiz to segment your audience simply and easily. Quizzes are the highest converting lead magnet out there due to their ability to give you specificity in your marketing. Want to learn more? Click here to book a discovery call on building your next quiz funnel…
A stat from Litmus about email marketing says that email is highly profitable with an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent.
No 6 – LinkedIn
I’ve seriously neglected my LinkedIn profile and have never really utilised it properly but so many people have told me how they rely on this platform as their main source of leads.
Think about it for a second, when people first come across you often their instinct is to Google you to find out more and LinkedIn profiles rank high in Google.
Credibility is a big thing for any business and if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile that’s set up properly, optimised, and current you could be doing more harm than good by choosing to do nothing.
When doing some research around LinkedIn and my decision to focus heavily on the platform for this year I found some great stats from Influencer Marketing Hub:
- LinkedIn is a Great Place to Find Decision Makers
- 55% of Decision-Makers Use LinkedIn Content to Vet Organisations
- LinkedIn gets 71.33% direct traffic and 23.49% from search. They get 99.45% traffic from organic search
- Get 2X Buying Power from the LinkedIn Audience
- B2B Blogs and Websites Receive Most of Their Social Media Traffic from LinkedIn
LinkedIn in its most basic form is a networking site and when in-person events and networking aren’t happening the way they were pre-Covid it makes it an even more valuable option.
As a member, you can join up to 100 groups and of course, start your own group which is a great way to start that networking process with like-minded people. This is where the real connections happen and I can’t wait to really start utilising this platform to its full.
No 7 – Short Form Video is Here to Stay
Short videos have been a favourite for the last couple of years and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. This has definitely been influenced by the meteoric rise of TikTok, and of course Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
And just in case you were wondering a short-form video is generally considered to be anything of up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length.
A 2020 study by Wyzowl reported that people share videos at twice the rate of any other form of content. Second, only to influencer marketing for ROI in 2021, it’s safe to say that if you love creating Reels as much as I do then you can still include it in your marketing mix for 2022.
But does it all have to be dancing and finger-pointing to be effective?
Absolutely not. Now it’s no secret that I love lip-synching to ABBA on my Reels, but you don’t need to do this or be an extrovert to embrace Reels or TikTok.
We’re all nosy by nature it’s the human in us so things like behind the scenes videos always do well. We all want a sneak peek into the life of our favourite brands. You don’t even need to be on screen if you don’t want to.
Product or service teasers work well too. Think of it as your own mini TV commercial of around 30 seconds showcasing anything new or exciting you have coming up. And again, you don’t personally have to be on camera instead you can let your products or services be the star of the show.
And don’t forget about educational and ‘how to’ style videos. The same 2020 Wyzowl report found that viewers want to see more of this video style from brands which is great news as these are often much easier for people to do and get creative with.
None of these requires a big budget they just need you to get creative with what you have available to you. And always remember it’s about them not about you. How will your product or service work for them? What transformation will it give them?
And remember, it only makes sense to do a short-form video if this is where your audience is hanging out. As I said earlier, just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it’s the right trend for you.
A couple of final thoughts, analyse your audience, know which platforms they’re own and tailor your content accordingly. Don’t spread yourself too thin and I don’t try to be all things to all people. Embrace your own Fab Factor and let that shine through in every piece of digital marketing you do.