Now that the new year is here, we thought it would be a perfect time to provide our take on three marketing trends. Not to worry, these trends aren’t fancy, bougie or expensive. They’re not about going viral on TikTok (Bones Day), using Very Peri whenever possible, hiring Matt Damon (Bitcoin) or spending thousands on original digital assets (NFTs). In fact, let’s call these trends exciting, practical strategies that will make it possible for you to achieve measurable results in the months ahead.
Trending in PPC – AI and Smart Bidding.
Machine-learned ways to improve conversion rates using Smart Bidding has been around since 2016, but Google has planned to grow and expand both its automated bidding feature and its AI in 2022. Starting June 30, 2022, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads. Expanded text ads will continue to serve but Google’s AI will take over putting headline and description combinations together based on what it believes will serve best. Google will automatically test different combinations to match customers’ search terms and over time learn which combinations perform best, and thus it says, improve your campaign’s performance.
Responsory’s take on PPC in 2022
Go ahead and let Google AI do some of the heavy lifting. It will save you some time and resources on the tedious tasks (i.e. automatic bidding strategies), so you have more time to focus on bigger picture optimization and strategy. Keep your eye on the AI though. There is nobody better than you to manage your budget. Something else you can do is work to understand your site KPIs. Settle on ways to measure the outcomes of your ads (such as call clicks, online donations, pdf downloads), so you can justify your investment going forward. Bonus tip: You must choose “don’t automatically apply ad suggestions” in account settings to opt out and stop Google from automating your ads.
Trending in Website Design
A new set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is coming this year. These guidelines will help developers and designers create websites that better serve visitors with a wide range of disabilities.
Responsory’s Perspective on Accessible Website Design for 2022
For two decades now, websites have been subject to federal ADA website compliance requirements. And for just as long, businesses and organizations with websites have ignored them. But it’s time get with the program. Accessibility improves user experience for those with disabilities and for your other users too.
These new guidelines don’t require you to launch a new site, but they are a wakeup call to audit your current site’s accessibility (Responsory can help you with that) and brush up on creating accessible website content, which means making sure that people with hearing, visual, mobility or cognitive disabilities can use your website. Google says it looks at more than 200 factors when ranking sites to determine how it will surface them to users during search. Being accessible affects what the user sees and experiences, obviously, but also what they don’t. That is, compliance happens under the hood, in the coding, in the meta data writing and in content hierarchy designations. Google reads this and uses it when ranking sites. So, in 2022 at least evaluate your color choices to make sure they are compliant, check alt attributes and use semantic markup.
Trending in Social
No list of marketing trends for 2022 would be complete without a look at social media. According to a new Hootsuite social media survey of 18,000 marketers, 2022 is the year to drive growth with social e-commerce, future-proof your brand by supporting key social communities and win the battle for consumer attention on niche networks.
Responsory’s Take on Social in 2022
Find ways to simplify the buying journey and spark discovery of your goods and services on social. Shopify and Amazon might be too big for you and that’s OK. Create content that integrates commerce into your social channels, such as sharable lists and snack-sized (short) pieces of video. If you are unable to create original, simple content yourself, curate it. Repost, re-purpose and tag whenever you can. You can also tap into creator communities to learn more about customers, build brand awareness and affinity, and then get creative with that knowledge. Consider the influencers in your space and using them in your marketing to help build believable experiences and engaging relationships. Of course, you can always buy space if you can afford it. Use what you know to build social ads that mirror and enrich what people are experiencing in these thriving social spaces.
When it comes to marketing in 2022, there isn’t a trend to follow other than doing what makes sense for your business moving forward. Just like the past two years, nobody is exactly sure what lies ahead, so don’t be afraid to experiment, test and measure results.
Think about your marketing as a constant. People are online all the time, so look for meaningful metrics to help you make your marketing decisions. Instead of just numbers and views, include metrics such as how long people stay on your site and how many pages they visit. Use the data and research available to you to anticipate changes and react accordingly. While technologies such as AI continue to grow, the overarching focus will be on people, not technology. Finally, remember that for your customers, trust and a positive experience are still incredibly important.
Sources: Marketing Insider Group, Hootsuite, TechCrunch, Bureau of Internet Accessibility and Google