Happy New Year!
With this, our first post of 2022, we thought it would be timely to take a look at the marketing landscape and discuss trends or predictions for the coming year. As usual, technology changes dominate and enable more possible ways to reach an audience and encourage them to buy your products.
Here’s what we’ve found - will you be embracing any of these trends?
#1. Short-form video
You may have already noticed that short-form video has exploded over the last couple of years. From TikTok, to Instagram Reels, to YouTube Shorts - these have been some of the bigger players behind a push toward this short-form content.
Short-form video is only expected to continue its growth trajectory. HubSpot found that short-form had the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy and that more than 31% of marketers globally currently invest in it. And why wouldn’t they? Data indicates that 84% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase through watching a video.
What defines a short-form video? Anything that is less than two minutes and thirty seconds in length, although TikTok now goes up to three minutes in length. Short-form video is popular because it caters to shorter attention spans and is more shareable.
You might consider capitalizing on this trend with the help of your text marketing setup. Videos can be sent via text either by including the link in an SMS, or by including the video directly in an MMS. The advantage of this is that you can get your video out there very quickly.
#2. Owned audiences are even more important
People have been taking even more steps to protect their data and privacy online. While tools such as ad blockers have been popular for years, Google’s new GA4 also introduces the death of the third-party cookie. Cookies have been a staple of paid marketing campaigns, allowing marketers to retarget or better-target their ads toward people who should be a good fit.
What happens when you can’t rely on cookies for your PPC advertising efforts? You need to find other ways to ensure that your marketing message is as targeted as possible. Between Google axing cookies and social media algorithms nixing organic reach, the need to own your audience has become even more important.
This means that you need email marketing lists and text marketing lists. Having your own lists means you can reach people at any time, no matter what happens with cookies or algorithms. 2022 is the perfect time to redouble efforts into growing your owned audiences so that you’ve always got a way to send your marketing messages.
#3. Social responsibility
“In 2020, customers began to care more about how businesses treated employees, how they kept customers safe, and how companies stepped up to help others in times of uncertainty.” (HubSpot)
Social responsibility has continued to be important to brands, largely because it is important to consumers. During 2020, customers shopping from home became more aware of who they were supporting with their spending. Companies that did their best to support their employees through tough times tended to see more support from consumers as a result.
Additionally, causes of environmental and social justice have played a role in consumer decision-making over the last few years. Customers have shown a preference to support mission-driven businesses, so many are bringing those missions into their marketing campaigns. It’s important to note that while green initiatives have been popular for years, being socially responsible is now seen as equally important.
The trend recently seems to have gone beyond the idea that companies simply avoid harmful practices, but extended to embrace an idea of using their resources to be a force for good in the world. It’s not a marketing exercise, it’s a way of being, or doing business which will naturally flow into marketing.
#4. VR and AR marketing
Consumers still prefer shopping in-store, yet the impacts of the pandemic have meant that huge numbers turned to online shopping, a trend that is still happening as we are yet to shake COVID-19. One of the reasons people enjoy shopping in stores is because they like to pick up, touch or look at products in-person. This is where VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) experiences are coming into their own.
VR and AR are being used to improve the customer experience, both online and within the retail store environment. For example, if you’re looking into building a new house, many construction companies now offer VR tours of their models online so you can get a better sense of the space.
Nike has adopted digital retail experiences over the last couple of years that include virtual reality features. Facebook 360 degree videos are an example of VR and apps such as the IKEA Place app or Sherwin Williams’ Colorsnap Visualizer use AR so you can picture furniture and paint in your own spaces.
VR and AR experiences are becoming more accessible as the technology becomes more affordable. Companies are seeking to provide consumers with more of the experiences they crave, even if they can’t get to a physical store. It is expected VR and AR will continue to grow and evolve as a marketing tool.
#5. Shoppable content
Have you noticed that there has been a trend of content becoming more “shoppable?” Consider the social platforms that have added functionality to make shopping for products within the platform easier. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all allow people to shop without leaving the app.
Shoppable content is defined as any sort of digital content asset where consumers can click through to make a purchase. It’s popular because it’s easy for consumers and it’s a good way for businesses to improve conversions. The most streamlined shoppable content allows customers to complete their transaction in one place, rather than having to click through to a checkout process.
Shoppers are jumping on this trend, particularly millennials and Gen Z. It provides them with a better, smoother customer experience (and fewer roadblocks that may lead to an abandoned cart!). Some of the “shoppable” moments also tie in with the trend for short-form video mentioned earlier. TikTok emerged as a powerhouse for commerce during the various phases of the pandemic.
One tool that can help you to harness the trend for low-barrier, shoppable content is reply to buy text marketing. This makes it easy for consumers to shop because all they have to do is reply to a text message with the number of items they would like. You could send out a short-form video, a GIF or a quick media or text message outlining the product first, helping to answer any questions the customer might have. Then it’s just a simple case of them replying to place an order.
These are some of the marketing trends and predictions that have caught our eye for 2022. Overall, we’d say that a move to make online shopping as frictionless as possible for consumers is rapidly catching on throughout the retail marketing world.
TextRetailer is here to help you reach an audience via text marketing. Our reply to buy feature makes shopping easy for the customer and can help you to realize a better return on your marketing. Check us out here and schedule your product tour.