Join us in saying ‘so long’ to 2021 by getting a jump start on these top marketing and sales trends for 2022. Spoiler alert: one trend is going to be so impactful in the new year that we’ve incorporated it throughout our blog! So sit back, turn up your volume, and finalize your new marketing strategy with a little help from our pros.
Hybrid events are here to stay. If you’re planning an event in 2022 and wondering whether it should be virtual or in-person, the answer is yes. To both! Especially for large-scale events, the trend leans strongly into hybrid events for safety, inclusion and accessibility, expanded outreach, selection of speakers, and return on investment.
Integrated online + offline user experience. We saw a huge shift during the pandemic shutdown in 2020 that moved people from Mainstreet storefronts into digital marketplaces. For a multitude of factors, those customers and clients never fully shifted back to in-person interactions. This makes integrating their experience online and offline more important than ever. Brands that want to win must be competitive about user experience, and that experience must flow seamlessly in all spaces.
Bye-bye cookies, hello CRM! Google is set to end cookie tracking in early 2022. This will require some pretty major changes, especially for larger brands. Look into boosting your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools as such data will become crucial once cookie tracking is no longer in place.
Inclusiveness is here to stay. This trend has been on our radar for several years, as the global awareness of the importance of representation in images, icons, video, and voiceover has increased. We’re thrilled that this trend is only growing in strength and popularity! Inclusiveness in design is a great place to start – connect with your customers by choosing graphics that represent the diversity of your audience. But don’t forget about the importance of other inclusive web practices, including level of contrast, readability, alt-text for images, accessibility to the voice-over systems, and the ever-increasing use of voice search.
Let’s go back in time! Have you found yourself scrolling through Instagram or Facebook lately and thought, “wait a minute – what decade are we in?!”. If so, then you’ve seen the start of the retro design trend. These designs include old-school elements whose look and feel provide a blend of familiarity, comfort, and nostalgia. The 60’s and 90’s are particularly strong eras whose design aesthetic we’re seeing incorporated in a variety of brands and businesses – and will only increase in 2022! Those 90’s style graphics are also helping drive another key graphic design trend….
Bold is back! Bold, bright colors and backgrounds that pop off the page are making a comeback in 2022. For quite a while, minimalist styles and muted colors have been dominating the graphic design sphere, but eye-catching shades are making a push to center stage. Remember the look of a classic 90’s website, with pops of neon green, orange, and purple? The nostalgia of that classic mood is driving the desire for bold colors in our design palettes. If you’re looking for a way to infuse your Instagram feed or marketing material with a burst of energy, incorporating some vivid shades into your visual aesthetic is a sure-fire way to get noticed.
Get a little something extra with a classic serif font. Unlike sans serif type, serif fonts have that little extra detail on the top and bottom that push them from good to great, and their vintage edge is a great pairing with other design trends we’re seeing in 2022. These fonts breathe authenticity, elegance, and nostalgia, and have a home on both websites and social media, which makes them a strong design choice.
Are you speaking my language? Thanks to a rise in the use of icons and illustrations in digital marketing, we can all be understood! This design trend is just another key aspect of marketing inclusiveness. Bright, colorful icons make a strong statement while being easily understood across the globe, and although the use of stock photos has decreased, illustrations are making a comeback, with a mix of staged scenes and individual designs. You might even notice a touch of surrealism in illustrations without faces, relying on body language to communicate a specific message or emotion.
Buyers are more informed. Buyers are highly educated on what they need and want. It’s your job to learn their business and pain points. Make sure you’re asking questions and listening so you can customize solutions to fit their needs.
Personalize their automated experience. Automation is a phenomenal tool to save you time and to create meaningful touchpoints with your buyer along the customer journey. But the messaging needs to feel personal or else it’ll be viewed as spam.
Understand what they need when they need it. Buyers go through a journey from awareness to purchase. Make sure you understand what point on the journey they’re on and what they need. Your job isn’t to promote your product but rather to show how your product or services creates solutions to their problems.
They buy on their timetable, not yours. It’s time to ditch the outdated, high-pressure, and aggressive tactics. Instead, ask questions. Seek to understand their needs and their timing so they feel comfortable when they’re ready to buy.
Reach out where they are. Everyone has their preference for where they go for purchasing. Using multi-channel marketing and sales, you can keep your branding consistent while meeting your buyer where they want to be.
TikTok will become the most important social network for marketing. It’s a bold prediction from our own MK! TikTok surpassed the one billion user mark in September 2021, making it the 7th most popular social network in the world. With these numbers only expected to grow, it’s prime real estate for brands wanting to market on a popular site — either with their own TikTok channels, or simply by using the advertising tools.
Instagram Reels are really important! These short videos get the most organic reach of any post. If you aren’t using them, you’re going to fall short in gaining followers and growing your account.
When it comes to short-form videos, longer is better! This one may sound counter-intuitive, but we’re talking about using the maximum time allowed for short-form videos. TikTok has expanded to three minutes in length and reels can now be up to 60 seconds long.
When in doubt, use video! And we don’t just mean short-form videos like on TikTok or Reels. Organic video can help you build intimacy and trust, while using video in stories creates more meaningful opportunities for engagement. Also consider how you are using video in your email marketing campaigns, and on other important social media marketing platforms like YouTube and Pinterest.
Shoppers now expect to buy your products directly on social media! Social networks are continuously evolving to become retail platforms from shoppable posts to Instagram storefronts. Your goal should be to create a smooth-running shopping experience, and having to switch from browsing social media to your website is one too many clicks for your target audience.
Use your voice like a broadcaster! Unlike video content, your audience doesn’t need to stare at a device in order to consume information. Audio content can not only boost your on-page SEO performances, but it is also a more convenient way for users to engage with content, bringing higher return rates. Try out audio content like podcasts, audio blogs, social media audio, and incorporating audio content into written content, like audio snippets into blogs.
Optimize your marketing to be mobile-friendly! We’ve warned you before… it’s not just enough to be mobile-friendly anymore — you must be mobile-first or it’ll hurt your Google rankings. Make your mobile marketing count by including options to pay via mobile, creating mobile ads, and creating mobile-responsive email templates.
Influencers are here to stay! Influencer marketing does more than just attach a well-known celebrity face to a brand. It allows smaller brands to locate and advertise directly to their target audience with micro-influencers. As consumers have grown more skeptical of brands, building trust has become even more crucial. Advertising through influencers allows brands to promote through someone that a niche community engages with and trusts.
Be transparent and prioritize social responsibility. Over the last few years, social responsibility moved from trend to necessity — because it’s what customers want! Consumers and employees now expect brands to take a stand on ‘doing good things’ in this world. Bringing awareness to the causes you support will help you become more marketable and stand out in the marketplace.
Short Form 101. Instead of always writing long blogs and detailed whitepapers, think about creating snackable content. Short-form content is typically considered anything 1,200 words in length or fewer. It makes for strong, sharable content, including customer reviews, event reminders, or even a short video or infographic. So in short, (see what we did there), it is typically quick and easy to digest and covers a specific topic, rather than going in-depth or detailed.