On January 11th, I was honored to participate in a panel of esteemed digital marketing colleagues, hosted by SEMpdx. The title and theme of our panel was “The Future of Digital Marketing” (2022 Edition). My fellow panelists included: Tricia Davis-Payne with Webfor, Anna Madill with Avenue, Mike Rosenberg with Veracity and Shuree Jones with Rain the Growth Agency. The conversation was lively and insightful to the degree I felt obligated to share highlights and supporting articles. I hope you find these resources helpful in planning your 2022 digital marketing initiatives.
2021: What did we see and learn as search engine marketers?
• Influencer marketing is here to stay. All panelists agreed. If you don’t have a program in place, check out this article: Influencer Marketing Strategy Best Practices, Tips and Trends
• Voice search has yet to gain the traction we all expected, but it still has tremendous potential for knowledge-based industries. Learn more here: Best Practices for Voice Search and Position Zero Optimization Strategies
• Virtual and hybrid events are the new normal. If you haven’t built these events into your marketing, or haven’t marketed them effectively yet, check out this article: Leveraging Virtual Events to Engage Customers & Prospects
• NFTs, blockchain and cryptocurrency generated significant buzz last year, but how can brands and digital marketers take advantage of the emerging technology? This article sheds light: How Brands Can Use NFTs to Engage Consumers and Generate Revenue
• One theme that has only increased in intensity is the needs for brands to be socially and ethically responsible, or they risk losing customers. If you haven’t invested the time to understand this powerful buying behavior, this article may offer insights: How to market to the ethical consumer: 6 effective marketing strategies
• One of the more contemporary trends that impacts marketers and employers is The Great Resignation. It’s not a question IF you’ll be personally impacted, but WHEN. To learn more about what The Great Resignation means and how to mitigate employee exodus, check out this article: How to manage during The Great Resignation
• Another trend we’ve seen and will continue to see in 2022 is a renewed focus on the creation and optimization of multimedia content, including images and video. To learn more about video marketing optimization fundamentals, this timeless article is a good starting point: The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing on YouTube
2022: How can we help businesses be more successful in the year(s) to come?
• While SEMpdx is rooted in search engine optimization (SEO), a majority of the topics we covered in our session fell outside of that core discipline. The one exception, however, was the prediction that Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) will be a major factor in search rankings in 2022 and beyond. To read more about Anvil’s thoughts on MUM and other digital marketing trends, check out this SEMpdx blog post: 2022 Digital Marketing Predictions
• The moderator asked me to kick off the conversation about 2022 predictions, so I opened with my favorite prediction about ‘metaverse’ being the buzzword of 2022. Virtual reality (VR) worlds may not be ready for prime time, but marketers need to have a POV and start planning today. For more insights, check out this post: Marketing in the Metaverse
• Another hot button of mine and that of the Anvil team in 2022 is a deeper integration between paid and organic keywords and supporting search marketing strategies. While I’ve extolled the virtues of SEO & PPC integration for over a decade in my PSU SEM Workshop, it was refreshing validation to hear it directly from an SEO guru in a recent Anvil Brown Bag with Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. This article sheds additional light on the peanut butter and chocolate of organic and paid search – Search incrementality: How paid and organic work together for better performance
• Due to the loss of third-party cookies thanks to Apple’s new OS, brands and advertisers are scrambling to produce alternative targeting options. One trend that has blossomed in late 2021 and will continue to bloom in the years to come is the idea of leveraging first-party data and reselling access to third parties. Big box retailers outside of Amazon, Target and Walmart are adding retail ad networks to their revenue streams. Learn what brands like Lowe’s, Macy’s and Kroger’s are doing from this article before you take the leap yourself: We Can Have Retail Media Networks And Privacy: 4 Principles
• One hot topic with the panelists is the growth of short-form video as a marketing tool in 2022 and beyond. TikTok is now a more popular domain than Google. Instagram and other short form video options on platforms like Facebook and YouTube validate that the format is here to stay (or return, if you remember Vine). To learn more about emerging short form video trends, read this article: 6 Short-Form Video Trends Online Marketers Should Watch in 2022
• On the other side of short-form video is live-streaming and its sister, live shopping. What began as a buzzword in 2021, live shopping has evolved into a viable ecommerce platform play in 2022. One part influencer, one part unboxing and one part ecommerce, live shopping provides brands new ways to reach consumers in a post-pandemic remote-shopping world. Evaluate your options by reading this article: Live Shopping Is Making A Comeback: Here’s What Your Business Needs To Know Now
• Due to the relative short panel duration, we weren’t able to cover all digital marketing trends or get too deep in any one prediction. As a result, I felt it would be prudent to share additional concepts and supporting articles for more context. These are just a sampling of the most topical trends to consider in 2022 that we didn’t get a chance to cover during the panel session:
o Five marketing experts share their 2022 trends
o Explore the top trends of 2021 according to Google Search
o Looking ahead: nine trends that will steer marketing in 2022
o Google’s Guide to User-Generated Content
o Ecommerce Trends: Social, BNPL & BOPIS
o Five Proven Ways to Pandemic-Proof Your Business
While we as panelists had less than an hour to share our thoughts and answer questions, the event was packed with insights. I recommend attending future SEMpdx events and joining as a member, if you agree with me that the ROI of membership is outrageous. Feel free to share your thoughts on 2022 marketing trends or react to our predictions in the comments section below.
Kent Lewis is a co-founder and the first President of SEMpdx, a professional trade organization based in Portland, Oregon that provides educational opportunities for local businesses and individuals interested in a career in search engine marketing. To pay the bills, he plays the role of President of Anvil Media, Inc., where he is responsible for managing operations, marketing and business development to achieve the company’s mission: to build Anvil into the one of the most respected search engine marketing agencies in the world. In 2001, Lewis created pdxMindShare to build businesses and careers through networking and weekly emails featuring jobs and industry events. He is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University.