Did you know 72.2 percent of marketing budgets are allocated to digital channels across earned, owned, and paid media? According to a study by Smart Insights, chief marketing officers have shifted their spending commitments to prioritize digital initiatives such as digital and search ads; mobile marketing; search engine optimization (SEO); and social media marketing.

Additional statistics to consider:

  • By the end of 2021, digital ad spend is expected to reach $389 billion.
  • At the end of this year, the total social media advertising spend in the United States is estimated to exceed $44 billion.
  • By 2022, mobile advertising will account for over 50 percent of ad spending and overtake desktop advertising.
  • 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.
  • The global email marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027.

So, where exactly is digital marketing headed in 2022? Based on industry research and trends our clients have been implementing, below are a few predictions for how the team at GRIT sees digital marketing evolving the next year!


Ad Optimization Will Become More Sophisticated

With businesses spending $44 billion on social media advertising in 2021, it is critical ads are optimized to resonate with target audiences to increase click-through rates and conversions. Platforms, such as Facebook and Google, allow marketers to select targeting options based on customer personas (i.e., location, interests, age, etc.) as well as input copy and call to actions to appeal to consumers. Through A/B split testing and user testing, data is gathered and used to optimize ads for better performance rates.

As companies spend more money on digital advertising, platforms such as Facebook and Google will continue to enhance their backend optimization algorithms. In addition, marketers will continue to focus on best practices for ad optimization on the frontend, such as engaging copy, visuals, and call to actions, which can increase ad performance.


Changing Adoption of Social Media Platforms

The first social media platform to keep an eye on is TikTok. TikTok’s generation Z penetration is highest in America with 47.4 percent of their active users between the ages of 10 and 19. Even the number of American adults using TikTok increased 5.5 times in the past year and a half. For companies targeting teens, and even middle-aged adults, it will be crucial to have a presence on TikTok in 2022.

Instagram Reels, which are 15 to 30-second video clips edited together and set to music, will also continue to trend in 2022, specifically among 25- to 34-year-olds. Since Instagram Reels receive higher engagement than still images and the platforms largest user age group is adults 25 to 34, this social media feature will be key to interacting with this audience in the future.

For brands looking to reach older adults, YouTube could be the way to go. In fact, 58 percent of individuals ages 56 and older use YouTube, unlike other social media platforms where use drops off sharply in the older generational cohorts. Older adults watch YouTube videos to recap their favorite shows, learn new skills, and research products and services. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing group on YouTube mobile.


Innovations In Interactive Content

Content that offers a fresh and interactive experience will be on the rise in 2022. Online, it is all about breaking through the noise and capturing the target audience’s attention. Through innovations, such as social media quizzes and polls; 360-degree photos and videos; and augmented reality ads, businesses will begin to shift from traditional content to interactive content so they can engage with and secure consumers.


AI-Powered Chatbots

The digital world never sleeps. No matter the day or time, consumers are active online and increasingly expect companies to be available to answer their questions and concerns in a timely manner. Therefore, it is predicted many companies will integrate digital marketing efforts with AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants. Essentially, once a chatbot or virtual assistant is installed on a company’s website, social media messenger apps, and/or other communication platforms, anytime a customer sends an inquiry, the chatbot will provide an immediate response. Not only can AI-powered chatbots help foster positive customer relationships, but they also decrease the time employees spend responding to general questions, such as business hours.


Integrated Digital Strategies Will Be Essential

While digital marketing will continue to be on the rise in 2022, it is important businesses understand the importance of an integrated marketing strategy. Digital marketing strategies and tactics alone will not help achieve the company’s overall goals and objectives. In 2022, an omnichannel marketing strategy that incorporates both digital and traditional media across earned, owned, and paid outlets will be key. For example, brands can consider how messaging within paid digital ads can be tailored to direct mail pieces to create a cohesive message and look across mediums. Tying all marketing materials together will create synergy and produce desired results.


Dig Into Digital Marketing in 2022

If your business is looking to dig deeper into digital marketing in 2022, let our team of experienced digital professionals support your efforts. Whether it’s developing an integrated strategy for the new year or helping execute digital tactics, such as setting up paid social media ads, we offer digital marketing services that will bring your projects to life. Start a conversation with us today to learn more!