It’s that time of year again. The final three months of the year are marked with back-to-back-to-back holiday celebrations and most companies already have their holiday marketing plans set. Business owners and marketing professionals alike start setting up marketing initiatives and budgets for the new year. At the end of 2020, we made a few prophetic insights into marketing trends to expect during their 2021 campaigns. Now, we shuffle and flip our tarot cards of advertising and read into the marketing trends to look for in 2022.
Digital marketing automation will continue to evolve.
Google has slowly introduced automated ads into their search and display ad types. These responsive ads take different ad copy and creative input in the platform by the advertiser and use machine learning to show the best performing combinations of the ad assets available to users based on the individual’s preferences. Budget strategies have also become fully automated and are aimed to get the best results based on the goal of each campaign within specific budget parameters. Other digital ad platforms such as Microsoft Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn utilize similar automation concepts. Expect to see marketing automation continue to improve with new features and better results allowing marketers to focus on other ad management aspects while the automated systems provide support in some of the ad optimization work.
Google’s search algorithms will continue to get smarter which will change website SEO.
In June 2021, Google released an algorithm update it calls, “MUM”. MUM has the ability to translate user searches into different languages as well as go beyond providing results that only answer the original search query. One practical use is utilizing search when in different countries. An English-speaking user on vacation in Italy might want to find fun places to visit in Rome. MUM will bring up local results and translate them from Italian into English so that the user receives localized web results rather than results from an English-language website. MUM can also serve web results that go beyond the initial search query. Using the same travel scenario, when the user is planning a trip, they usually have many questions such as air travel, where to stay, things to do, and how to get around. The MUM update seeks to show results that can answer all of these related questions through only one query. The bottom line for content creators is that keyword placement within content is going to become less and less relevant while focusing on providing well-rounded, quality, and informative content is going to be much more sustainable in the long run.
Image optimization is going to become more vital for SEO.
Image optimization has evolved. Not only do images need to have a descriptive file name and a descriptive alt img tag, they also should be uploaded to websites using proper image formatting and file sizes. Without proper image formatting, websites can load much more slowly which can cause ranking issues. Some companies may have to go back and reformat their website images in order to keep SEO compliant. It might be an expensive process but well worth it considering the amount of business you may lose because of a slow-loading website and a drop in search engine rankings.
Core Web Vitals will find a happy medium.
Launched this past Summer, though announced in 2020, Google provided ample time for website owners to prepare for their Core Web Vitals update. The update added some additional ranking factors to the search algorithm regarding website performance related to site speed in three categories: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Google also provided a tool to indicate and troubleshoot Core Web Vitals issues through its Chrome Browser called, “Lighthouse”. Our experience working with optimizing for Core Web Vitals and utilizing Lighthouse has shown that the ranking signal is evolving and will likely continue to do so until Google finds a happy medium on just how much ranks will be affected.
Small and medium-sized businesses will invest more into First-Party Data collection and usage.
This one is not only a prediction but also a suggestion. With the almost near extinction of 3rd party cookie tracking, it is going to be much more difficult (if not nearly impossible) to retarget website visitors in digital marketing campaigns. Facebook’s ads platform is even saying don’t bother with trying to retarget, and if you do, don’t expect to gather very accurate results data (but more on that next). Instead, focusing on collecting first-party data from users is the best method for targeting audiences specifically interested in the services a business provides. The easiest way to start a first-party marketing list is to download and format your customer list so that you can upload to various marketing platforms. There are many different target audiences you can create using this list. If you haven’t already worked this strategy into your marketing plans, do so now.
Facebook ads tracking will get better in a world without third-party cookies.
With the rollouts of iOS14.5 and iOS15 this year, Apple has officially changed the digital advertising game revolving around 3rd party cookie tracking. With this type of cookie tracking eliminated on iOS devices (or rather, the ability to opt out of this method of tracking), Facebook has been racing to figure out alternative tracking methods to keep their revenue stream, Facebook Ads, relevant and effective. Working within Facebook’s Marketing Expert program, we gain first-hand, direct access to the newest updates within Facebooks ad platform. Thus far, Facebook has done a good job adapting to a cookie-less world and they will continue to improve upon their systems moving forward.
Advertising spend on connected TV will increase.
The 2020 pandemic helped cause a shift in consumer behavior. One of those shifts was viewership of ad supported YouTube video content. Stuck at home, many viewers switched from the smaller phone and tablet versions and started to watch videos on connected TVs. More than half of all YouTube viewers now watch YouTube on TV screens. The cost of advertising on YouTube is much cheaper than cable or broadcast TV and you can still reach a massive audience with better targeting capabilities. Advertising on connected TV is a great marketing strategy that businesses should not ignore.
Email marketing strategy will need to evolve.
Changes in cookie-based tracking has also brought upon changes in the way that email platforms will allow reporting data. Email providers will no longer allow for email marketing platforms to utilize custom tracking code to record click data that occurs within the email itself. Marketers will have to become more creative in bringing users to their website through emails in order to record activity data. Expect marketing emails to be a little more vague while they try to lure you to learn more on their website.
As a full-service marketing agency, Brand Ranch Media develops and manages diverse marketing strategies that can propel your business into solid year-over-year revenue growth. Our experienced marketing experts bring diverse skillsets and understand all components of successful marketing campaigns. There is always time to adjust your marketing goals and that’s where we come in! Call us at 713-309-6380 or contact us to discuss!