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A preview to the trends of 2022

Monday 18 october 2021

It is more important than ever for companies to immerse themselves in digital marketing. Now that the vast majority of consumers are online, it is important to respond in the right way. A good digital marketing strategy contributes to higher visitor numbers. As a result, you reach more potential customers.

In recent years, a lot has changed in the world because of the corona crisis. This is also clearly visible in the digital marketing trends. More companies are online and more consumers use online shops. This also means that the competition is fierce. That is why it is more important than ever, especially in these times, to immerse yourself in the various possibilities.

Now that the year 2021 is drawing to a close, it is high time to take a closer look at the past digital marketing trends and the prospects for 2022. 

The differentiating factor 

Partly due to the corona crisis, many consumers are now moving online. Companies, too, have become increasingly immersed in the digital possibilities. Online shops and websites for large and small companies are mushrooming. This has mainly positive consequences for consumers. After all, they have a larger selection at their disposal so that they can make a choice more easily. For the companies themselves, it has become a lot harder. Being found by the right target group and ranking high in the search engines is no longer as easy as it was a few years ago. That is why it is important for companies to look for their own identity. The distinguishing factor. In order to get rid of the big competitors. Distinguishing yourself from the rest can be done in various ways: 

  • Think carefully about the service you want to offer. Products and services are everywhere nowadays. There are only a few companies that can market a truly unique product. Therefore, it is particularly important to look at the service you can offer. How can you distinguish yourself from your biggest competitors. Here it is good to look at the competition. What do they offer and what things could you also offer and how can you further expand this service? The moment a customer needs help in finding the right products or services, you have to be there to provide this help.
  • Of course, not only the service you provide plays an important role, but also the products and services you offer. If there are many other similar products on the market, consumers will compare them in a completely different way: on the basis of quality. Make sure that your products score higher on quality than those of your biggest competitors.
  • The use of digital marketing trends can also contribute to better findability. When companies are always one step ahead of the competition in the field of digital marketing, this means a higher findability and higher number of visitors (and eventually more turnover). 

Offering good service and increasing the quality of products and services contribute to a better findability. This is ultimately the most important thing. It makes no sense to invest endless amounts of money in online marketing if the product is not good. After all, this is what the customer is looking at. Therefore, always optimise the company first, before investing extra in online marketing. 

To optimise the service and the products, it is important to ask a number of important questions. What does your target group look like? What are they looking for? How can you provide the best customer experience? 

Social media marketing is more important than ever 

A lot has changed in recent years in the area of social media. Where previously these channels were mainly used to post photos and videos for entertainment, in the year 2021 these channels are increasingly being used by companies. Not only by creating company pages, but also by using so-called influencers. Social media marketing has therefore become more important than ever and certainly a medium which should not be forgotten. 

We also see that more people are using social media. Again, partly caused by the corona crisis. For months, we could not be in physical contact with each other. As a result, this contact shifted to the digital world. A number of platforms have also been added. A good example is TikTok. This is where the young target group is mainly active. 

There is polarisation on social media. This has both advantages and disadvantages for companies. Polarisation means that social media can be divided into different groups. This also means that you, as a company, can make good use of this. Especially when you only focus on one target group. In order to use this specific target group, you can, for example, appeal to influencers who are active within that group. However, polarisation can also have disadvantages for companies that focus on multiple target groups, because they run the risk that certain groups are forgotten. 

In addition, each social media platform has its own algorithm. It only shows the companies that apply to the user. It is very easy to disappear into the algorithm, causing you to lose a large part of your target group. Fortunately, with the right marketing strategy, this problem can be avoided or largely resolved. 

Because social media is nowadays extremely complex and is used by many companies, more and more companies are making use of special social media marketers. They are specialised in advertising via social media and know exactly what they need to pay attention to in order to reach the target group. This will also remain very important in 2022. 

Sustainability 

Throughout the years, we have learned more and more to be sustainable entrepreneurs. Companies are stimulated by the government to become more sustainable. Consumers, too, are playing an increasingly important role. When choosing between a sustainable and an unsustainable company, the preference will almost always go to a sustainable company. We find our own ecological footprint on the world increasingly important and try to reduce it with all our might. 

The fact remains that the world is not doing well. Not well in the Netherlands. If we look at the environmental figures for the Netherlands and compare them with the rest of Europe, we score very badly. Many people have therefore started to protest and are making small (and large) changes themselves in order to contribute to a better world. Not only for our generation, but also for the generations that are yet to follow. 

To ensure that sustainability and environmental friendliness remain high on the agenda, it is important for companies to make good decisions. To think innovatively. By not only contributing to a better world, but also showing that you take responsibility. Moreover, this is also a way to distinguish yourself from the rest. By simply showing how important you consider the welfare of the rest of the world. This is therefore a good marketing strategy. 

Besides sustainable and environmentally friendly business, you can also think of other things to do your bit for this world. There are many companies that support a good cause at the same time. Think, for example, of companies that, for every product sold, contribute to the planting of new trees worldwide. This gives the consumer a good feeling, shows the responsibility of the company and, in many cases, results in more customers. 

More dialogue with the consumer 

There was a time when the consumer was mainly passive. They listened to commercials on television, responded to advertisements in the newspaper, but there was certainly no dialogue. In the year 2021, consumers are more and more involved with companies. In a way, that's logical. You work for and with customers. So it is nice if these customers have a say in the products and services you offer. 

In addition, society is demanding more and more responsibility and involvement from companies. They have to set an example. The changes in the digital world also play an important role. Most generations are well versed in the use of the Internet. Consumers are in daily contact with each other, have all the tools to gather information and are therefore able to make a company very big or, on the contrary, to 'burn it down'. 

That is why, as a company, it is important to show your social commitment. Not just responding to consumers and talking to them, but really engaging them in conversation. Show that your company finds it important to get in touch. That it values consumers' opinions and tips. 

Connecting with colleagues also plays an important role. Online training, for example, is on the rise due to the corona crisis. More and more companies are making use of it. It is nice for customers to see that a company not only has an eye for the consumer, but also for the people they work with. That is why they should be treated extra well. Invest in training, ensure that they can continue to grow and also show this commitment to the consumer. For example, post a message once in a while about colleagues who are following an online training course or how proud you are that a few of them have graduated. In this way, you make more contact with the target group, allow them to join in the conversation and provide sufficient space for dialogue and the creation of a deeper connection. 

It is particularly important to consumers that they can see the personality of a company. Companies should no longer be superior. They should work for and with the customer. This should also be clear. That is why it is good to highlight the personality of the company from time to time. For example, by making a round of introductions via social media or recording a Q&A. It's the simple things that can have a very big effect. 

Content is king 

Content marketing will always be important. Whether it is 2021 or 2030. Digital marketing leans on content. If you don't have the right content, no marketing strategy will work. What is new for 2021 is that the way content is shared is very different. Especially if we compare this with, for instance, 2010. Back then, a lot of attention was paid to commercial content. A commercial talk about products and services. There was little depth to it. From 2020, things really started to change. Although the signs were already visible earlier. 

In 2021, consumers no longer want commercial talk. They have all the tools at their disposal to gather information and they trust the online information more than the commercial talk of the companies themselves. Therefore, it is important for companies to make contact with their customers in a different way. Here, the focus of content marketing is on the human being. How do you reach your target group? How do you focus on the personality of the company? 

Partly due to the current developments, we see that many companies share personal stories. For example, by having each staff member tell a personal story or by highlighting the history behind the company. Social media can also be used for this purpose. Think for example of posting private photos on your way to work or stories that take the consumer with you during a day at work. In this way, you give more body to the company and you go into more depth with the consumer. 

More local business 

This is a trend that arose mainly as a result of the corona crisis and is still very popular now that the measures have been eased. In recent years, the government has encouraged consumers to buy mainly locally, thus helping small entrepreneurs. Of course, this works on both sides of the coin. You as an entrepreneur can therefore also focus on the people who can be found locally. So don't try to reach the whole of the Netherlands (or maybe even think about international marketing), but start small. With the consumers in your neighbourhood. This not only provides logistical advantages, but also creates more consumer confidence. 

In 2022, we expect companies to continue to do a lot of business locally. Firstly, because travel is still virtually impossible and everything can turn around at once. Of course, we hope that we are now on the right track, but nothing is certain. The coronavirus may be among us for years to come and result in measures. As a company, you have to be prepared for this. That is why local business will remain very important for at least the next few years. Moreover, this also provides the opportunity to communicate with the consumer on a deeper level. By getting to know the target group that is literally close to you, you suddenly have many more opportunities and a greater consumer confidence. Chances are that these consumers will remain close to the company, even if you want to expand again in a few years' time. 

The outlook for 2022

As the year draws to a close, it is also time to look at the prospects for 2022. That digital marketing will continue to be important is, of course, certain. The digital world was already becoming increasingly important before the corona crisis, but partly due to this crisis, this has accelerated. Your target group is online anyway. There is room for growth here. But what does this mean for 2022? To what extent should you adjust your marketing strategy for the coming year? 

  • Adding interactive elements is becoming increasingly important. You can think of competitions, surveys, games and polls. This allows you to be even more in touch with your target group and also to receive valuable information to improve the quality of products and services.
  • More companies will start using social media and the special sales channels added to it. Did you know that even WhatsApp will have a sales function? This makes it increasingly attractive for companies to use social media channels as well. Social commerce is expected to become one of the most important trends in 2022. More and more people are shopping via social media. So there is a lot to gain. Especially when you are not yet active on social media.
  • The use of influencers will become even more important in 2022. Big names within your target group that are active on social media. By placing playful videos or randomly naming your products, you can attract a lot of visitors and potential customers. 

Sit down with your online marketeer and discuss the new opportunities that 2022 will bring. See how valuable they are for your business. With the help of the right people, you will increase the findability of your company. On to a successful 2022!

Brandon Bessem
Online marketeer
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Marketing was altijd al een kant die hem heel erg aansprak. Wat is nou leuker dan de verkoop van producten of diensten te bevorderen op een creatieve manier? Juist!

Brandon is 5 jaar geleden via zijn HBO studie Ondernemerschap & Retailmanagement in aanraking gekomen met een nieuwe tak (voor hem) in de marketing, namelijk: online marketing. Hij vond het geweldig en is sindsdien niet meer uit het online marketing vak weggegaan. Brandon zijn specialisme ligt binnen SEO.
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