Top 10 marketing trends for 2022

A young business professional looks at a mobile phone to use some of the top marketing trends for 2022.

Marketing is a constantly changing field, and being aware of the most recent trends will help your team succeed in building brand awareness and reaching your target audience. While it’s not always easy to keep up, staying on top of emerging marketing trends is critical to stand out from the crowd and boost your return on investment (ROI).

The latest marketing trends for 2022 include personalization, social media, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse. However, a good marketing foundation remains important. While new advances in technology are exciting, core content should still be engaging, relevant, credible, interactive, and authentic.

So, what’s around the corner for the industry? In this article, you’ll learn about the top marketing trends of 2022, as well as how your brand can take advantage of them to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Personalization

We’re looking at our screens all day, so it’s no wonder the average American sees as many as 10,000 advertisements per day. Whether it’s due to ad blockers or people just tuning out content, you need personalized marketing to rise above the noise. In fact, 72% of consumers say they will only engage with personalized messaging.

Starbucks, for example, personalizes the customer experience by gamifying its mobile app, offering custom deals to diners based on their order history. Whether it’s Amazon product recommendations, Netflix-curated suggestions, or Spotify Wrapped, plenty of companies use personalization to keep users engaged.

Your brand can personalize marketing by:

You can also personalize marketing based on location. As more searches shift to mobile, geolocation data is now at your fingertips. Instead of advertising to everyone in the world, this marketing trend allows brands to target nearby audiences to make more sales.

If your business does account-based marketing (ABM), you should personalize content for those leads too. Personalization allows you to target decision makers within businesses and customize your approach to each account. Send information that’s hyper-targeted to the members of a specific C-suite team so your message really hits home.

2. Social media

Social media isn’t a new marketing trend in 2022, but there have been important changes to the platforms themselves and how users behave on those platforms.

Social media is still ubiquitous, and it should shape how you market to consumers. Since 82% of shoppers bought a product they discovered on social media, this channel remains a must for 2022.

82% of shoppers bought a product they discovered on social media.

To succeed on social in 2022, you need to market your brand across a variety of platforms. If you’re on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, consider expanding to younger-targeted platforms like Snapchat and TikTok to boost your reach. But you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach — brands have to tweak their voice, approach, content, and posting frequency to fit each platform’s user base.

Consider creating a mix of more evergreen, long-term content as well as short-lived content. Instagram Stories create urgency because they disappear after 24 hours, but their value ends at that point too. There’s more value to permanent content in our impermanent world — it allows audiences to revisit your content days or even weeks later, prolonging engagement. Feel free to invest in short-term content to create urgency, but don’t invest in it at the expense of long-term content.

3. Influencer marketing

One of the top marketing trends for 2022 will be influencer relationships. Not only are influencers here to stay, but they should be part of every company’s marketing strategy. Since data privacy laws are making it tougher to gather intel on your target audience, these influencer relationships are a critical trend that you can’t ignore. However, the nature of influencer partnerships will change in two big ways.

Micro-influencers are gaining popularity

Big-name influencers like the Kardashians might turn heads, but celebrity brand partnerships are losing steam. Micro-influencers are a growing marketing trend for both enterprises and small businesses. These are influencers who might have a smaller following but dominate a specific niche. With 1,000–10,000 followers, micro-influencers have high engagement levels that you won’t see with a celebrity. Micro-influencers also offer more affordable rates that make them palatable for any marketing budget.

Influencer relationships are going long term

Don’t source new influencers for every campaign — foster relationships with successful influencers to grow your brand even more. Instead of asking an influencer to plug your product one time, you can cultivate long-term relationships with top-performing influencers.

Video is an increasingly important space in marketing. In fact, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they love — and 88% of marketers are happy with the ROI they get from such content. If you want to go all-in on video this year, here are some of the biggest trends in video marketing for 2022.

Microstories or short-form video

Short-form videos have the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy. The video we consume is getting shorter and shorter, thanks to platforms like TikTok. Brands need to tell engaging stories in shorter video segments to engage their followers, so keep your videos no longer than three minutes.

Go live

With the pandemic, live events shut down, and streamed events grew in popularity. In-person events are back, but livestreaming is still an important marketing trend on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It’s a growing trend because live video allows for audience interaction, which is more engaging than pre-recorded video.

Virtual events

The pandemic also had a big impact on events. Many of the events we once attended in person, such as concerts and conferences, went online. Since virtual events allow brands to have a wider reach than they would get with an in-person event, it’s a no-brainer for ROI.

5. Social responsibility

It isn’t enough for your brand to sit on the sidelines. Younger generations are more socially conscious, and this affects their buying decisions. More than half of Gen Z claims to buy purposefully from brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible.

Your marketing should align with your customers’ values. Whether it’s the environment, LGBTQ+ rights, or diversity and inclusion, you need to make your values known. For example, Patagonia transferred its ownership to a nonprofit to fight the climate crisis.

6. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Instead of targeting just one lead, artificial intelligence (AI) allows marketers to schedule marketing campaigns across platforms at every stage of the customer journey. AI is now at the point where it can make marketing more targeted. For example, predictive analytics uses customer data to hyper-personalize marketing at scale. With the right customer data platform, brands can gather vast amounts of data, analyze it, and turn actionable insights into big marketing gains.

AI marketing trends also include conversational AI, which is a useful alternative for customer service. Chatbots can quickly answer customer questions, 24/7, and give shoppers a more interactive experience without the wait.

7. The metaverse

The metaverse is a digital version of reality. It’s considered the next frontier of the internet, allowing users to work, play, and live their lives in an integrated digital world. The pandemic, combined with developments in VR technology, created a boom in metaverse development. Thanks to VR and augmented reality, consumers will be able to do much more from the comfort of their homes, including:

The metaverse opens up so many new avenues for marketing that brands are just beginning to explore. This space will continue to grow, so start thinking about your metaverse strategy now. That might include creating NFTs, trademarking your IP, or familiarizing yourself with metaverse apps like RecRoom.

Top marketing trends for 2022 include personalization, social media, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse. But a good marketing foundation remains important. While new advances are exciting, core content should still be engaging, relevant, credible, interactive, and authentic.

8. Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a marketing trend since the early days of Google, and you’ve likely done SEO optimization before. Blogging, content, and keywords will still have a place in SEO for 2022, but a few things are changing.

What’s different about 2022?

Mobile-first search is gaining in popularity. Optimize your site for mobile users now to not only provide a great user experience but also help you rank better on Google.

Google’s algorithm is becoming more complex, and businesses are increasingly hiring SEO vendors to fill in the gaps. If you aren’t investing in expert SEO help, it may be time to hire a vendor to do the heavy lifting for you.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, voice search is going to become even more important. Each “smart” device in your home qualifies as IoT, which covers everything from your thermostat to your smartwatch to your TV. Soon, consumers will interact with things in their environment just with their voice, and marketing must adapt.

Siri, Alexa, Echo, and Google Assistant have changed what Google looks for in SEO content. If you haven’t already, it’s time to optimize your content for this marketing trend, which means your content should include questions and full phrases. Formatting your content as a question and using long-tail keywords will help you rank better in voice search, but don’t forget to keep the tone informative and conversational.

10. Privacy is changing

Consumers care about who has access to their personal information, and that desire for data privacy is shaking up the future of marketing. So, what’s changing?

Apple is prioritizing user privacy, which means its devices will allow less app-based tracking. Google will stop supporting browser cookies on Chrome, which will result in less audience data. This means consumers will get the benefit of more privacy, but brands will have less audience data to personalize their approach. Going forward, brands need to get creative with how they gather customer data and create targeted marketing campaigns.

Adobe can help

As these 10 trends show, it’s clear that marketing in 2022 is complex and your team has a lot of ground to cover. Whether it’s personalization, short-form video, mobile-first SEO, or any of the other marketing trends on this list, brands have to embrace change to stay relevant. Reflect on which trends are the most exciting for your business, and pursue them.

Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to help you take advantage of current marketing trends, including: