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Marketing Trends That Will Be Leveraged in 2022 vs. 2021

December is that time of year when we celebrate the holiday season. While you are enjoying that glass of eggnog, you have a chance to review those marketing trends that were leveraged in 2021, and take a peek ahead at what the marketing trends in 2022 might be.

“The marketing world moves at the speed of light. And, in 2021, we saw just how quickly the marketing industry can evolve,” writes Pamela Bump in HubSpot’s “The Marketing Trends of 2022 [The Ultimate Guide]”.

Bump points out that, “in the last year, marketers embraced digital transformation more than ever as they adapted to constantly changing virtual and hybrid business landscapes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, as countries cautiously reopened -- and more consumers left the house -- some businesses saw slumps in the virtual engagement and online traffic they'd recently relied on.”

It is safe to say that what is trending today may not be trending tomorrow in the current marketing environment.

“The only constant in the world of marketing is that things are always changing,” writes HubSpot’s Maxwell Iskiev.

Marketing Trends Leveraged in 2021

HubSpot’s research shows that the top five marketing trends being leveraged in 2021 were:

  • Influencer Marketing (34 percent currently leveraging)
  • Mobile-Friendly Website Design (33 percent)
  • Short-Form Video Content (31 percent)
  • Virtual Events (31 percent)
  • Experiential Marketing (29 percent)

In 2021, influencer marketing is no longer just in the marketing game plan of big brands as influencer marketing now includes niche influencers that can fit within the budgets of smaller brands.

“Now, as more businesses invest in influencer marketing, they're beginning to see solid benefits,” wrote Iskiev. “In our survey, influencer marketing was the most popular and most effective trend with the biggest ROI.”

Brands can gain awareness and traffic that can ultimately lead to sales by working with influencers that have gained the trust of consumers and industry insiders.

Short-form videos rocketed in popularity on the wings of TikTok’s viral posts, with other social media platforms pushing their own short-form video media in response.

“Our Marketing Strategy Survey results show that short-form video is popular, effective, and still growing, especially among social media marketers,” wrote Iskiev.

Virtual events were popular in 2021 but HubSpot surveys show that 17 percent of marketers who leverage these digital-only events will decrease their investment in 2022.

HubSpot says that decreases, "could signal a natural transition from virtual to hybrid or physical events as more public venues fully reopen in the next year.

As an event marketer, it will be important to weigh all of your options and local mandates to determine which event type will be most effective and comfortable for your audience in the coming year.”

For those into experiential marketing campaigns, the past two years have been tough with the pandemic wreaking havoc on in-person events, but some have been able to pivot to AR/VR platform virtual events.

HubSpot says that half of all annual online website traffic now comes from mobile devices and there is no turning back from mobile-friendly website design especially as the younger generations, including the digital native Gen Z, move into the workplace and marketplace.

Marketing Trends That Could be Leveraged in 2022

Crystal ball work can be dangerous – who among us would have predicted in December 2019 of what was to come that year with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Still, it pays to look ahead and the HubSpot survey point toward some marketing trends that appear to be leveraged in 2022.

HubSpot found that these six marketing trends were going to be used for the first time in 2022:

  • Short-Form Video Content (29 percent leveraging for the first time in 2022)
  • Social Responsibility (27 percent)
  • Inbound Marketing (23 percent)
  • Native Advertising (23 percent)
  • Live Streaming Video (22 percent)
  • Influencer Marketing (21 percent)

While short-form video content and influencer marketing are high on the trends list currently and will continue to be utilized in 2022, some of the other trends marketers are shifting to next year are worth a closer look:

Social Responsibility: Today’s consumers, especially the younger generation, care for what your brand stands for and how you treat not only customers but also your employees and the world we live in.

“Moving into 2022, more marketers are recognizing the importance of social responsibility. Investment in social responsibility will continue to grow from those already leveraging it and from marketers using it for the first time,” says HubSpot.

Inbound Marketing: HubSpot says that “as we move into 2022, consumers will be more connected to the web and digital platforms than ever. And, outbound strategies have gotten even more out of date.”

When it comes to inbound marketing, brands have many channels they can utilize including:

  • Social media
  • Website/blog
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • SEO marketing
  • Virtual events

Content is king for successful inbound marketing with HubSpot finding the following five formats currently being used:

  • Videos (59 percent)
  • Blogs (48 percent)
  • Images (46 percent)
  • Infographics (45 percent)
  • Case Studies (42 percent)

HubSpot says that video leads across the board are the most popular and effective format with the highest ROI.

One area to keep an eye on is podcasts and other audio content, such as audio chat rooms, which have become more popular with platforms like Clubhouse.

Native Advertising: If you are not familiar with native advertising, HubSpot explains it like this: “Unlike traditional advertising, which is designed to interrupt and stand out, native advertising is designed to blend in and promote your brand to a new audience who might otherwise never learn about you.”

Live Streaming Video: 2021 was the year we all learned to love – or at least tolerate – Zoom and other live streaming video. Expect more of it in 2022.

“2022 will be the year of video. Why? Because organizations have finally gotten more comfortable with it and realize it’s a way to engage their audience, communicate offerings, and provide infotainment," Aytekin Tank, Founder & CEO of Jotform told HubSpot.

If you are one of those businesses dipping your toes into inbound marketing for the first time or simply need to tune-up your current marketing engine, contact adWhite today about devising a strategy that can draw the right traffic to your brand by providing consistent, helpful, and relevant content.