There is a lot changing this year, and since marketing revolves around keeping your finger on the pulse, that therefore, means that marketing is changing.
And there is a lot that is affecting marketing, from social trends and habits to worldwide events like war and data regulation. Marketers have to prepare to say goodbye to third-party data collection, and the Russian market, but there are a lot of other, more subtle, changes taking place. Attitudes when it comes to marketing are changing. These changes might be more subtle, but they change every aspect of marketing, especially digital marketing.
If you’re interested in the changes in digital marketing, take a look at our guide to see the latest trends and, more importantly, how to respond to them.
Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity
It’s important to keep your finger on the social zeitgeist of the internet. It informs every other aspect of your digital marketing campaign. So, that’s where we’re going to start.
The general social media audience is tired of corporations. They’re tired of faceless teams, they’re tired of dodgy dealings, and they’re tired of unknowingly supporting causes they don’t believe in with their wallets. Even influencers have been affected. The big influencers are out, having been a part of too many scams and scandals to be trusted anymore, topped with an image that isn’t relatable and usually screams of “Well, that’s been photoshopped”.
This is important because we’re edging ever more into a shifting culture of shopping, not just online, but through social media. Whether it’s organically with an algorithm showing you exactly what you want, a la TikTok, or actively going hunting for what you’re looking for via Instagram’s feed, more and more of us are finding what we want to buy online and then, thanks to more features created by Meta mainly, buying directly from the platform.
If social media users are going to trust you as a brand, they’re going to make sure of it in your social media marketing, which means being authentic in everything you do. Users want to see genuine interactions, companies standing by their principles, and relatable content.
Short-form video content is taking off
This whole trend of authenticity was clearly influenced in no small part due to the take-off of TikTok and subsequently short-form video content. Whether due to the fact that the concept is new, with a lot of new faces just trying it out, or the fact that a 30-second clip doesn’t really justify so much lighting and aesthetic editing work, TikTok has pioneered a more casual creative experience.
People start videos by saying, “Ignore my bed head/pajamas/grown-in nails”, share real opinions that have no place on Instagram, and do it all from a blurry camera phone that doesn’t do well in low lighting. As a result, they come off as a lot more relatable, and users start to think, “Well, if it worked for them, it will work for me”.
In marketing, this trend is seen in the trends themselves. TikTok has become a brilliant place to market without being considered “ads” due to the hashtags and trends. Brands show off their teams in “Would you rather” type questions, and trends like “who came in late?”, items get shown off in trends like “before and after,” or “oddly satisfying,” or even hauls or “TikTok made me buy it”.
Offer as many payment methods as possible
A major shift in marketing, and therefore in business in general, is that the customer is taking control. They want to know what they are giving their money to and are not going to give it if they don’t like what they see.
Businesses are cooperating here by making the customer service experience as smooth and swift as possible. A big part of this is the expansion of payment methods. There is the usual debit or credit card, but also e-wallet options like PayPal and contactless payment options on physical premises.
Offering your customers more ways to pay will allow you to keep more customers. Some customers don’t have a credit card, or don’t trust your brand’s security and would rather use an e-wallet for the extra cyber security. Whatever the case, offering more options to pay will stop fickle customers from clicking away from your products. This guide from NadaPayments outlines how to get the lowest credit card processing fees so that things are made even easier for you and your profit margins.
Users want to get to know you
We’ve already gone into how users want an authentic experience when it comes to social media marketing, and a part of that is the research that users are doing looking into your priorities as a brand. The three big issues users are looking for are an appreciation for the planet and sustainable operations, Pride month being taken seriously, and in the beauty industry, cruelty-free products.
The most significant right now is an effort to create a sustainable business that reduces harm to the planet. Packaging that uses less plastic, operations that use less energy, and anything considered planet-friendly will be appreciated by your audience. No private jets to the office.
Pride is already something that turns every logo rainbow-themed, but, like everything turned green for the sake of the environment, users are getting tired of it. They can see when a rainbow logo is simply slapped on with no substantial effort behind it. LinkedIn suggests doing something more to show that you are engaged, like attending a Pride event, showing off your diverse team, or supporting charities and legislation relevant to LGBTQ life.
And YouTube beauty bloggers and make-up brands have been facing the backlash on items that are not 100% cruelty free for years. The logo isn’t enough. Users will check the ingredients.
There are other causes you can get behind, some of which don’t even have to be political, like charitable causes, encouraging healthier lifestyles, cycling in kids, promoting small or minority-owned businesses, etc.