In an ideal world, marketers would have limitless budgets to invest in experimental initiatives and new programs. After all, the customer acquisition and retention landscape are evolving faster than ever. The challenge, however, is that marketing budgets are often limited around what's proven to work — which tends to look different from company to company.
That's why it's so important to have access to industry data. By knowing where we stand against our peers and competitors, we're better positioned to uncover areas of opportunity. This is especially important considering that 48% of marketers expect their marketing budget to increase in 2022.
In this post, we'll discuss data-backed areas that marketers are focusing their investments in 2022.
What Marketing Leaders Are Investing in This Year
Protecting consumer privacy.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about their digital privacy and protecting their information. Given this, Think With Google says that marketers will need to increase their investments in privacy solutions and respecting peoples data choices in 2022.
This means that consumers want to know how you’re using their data for marketing purposes, and they want to be able to review and manage the way their data is used and opt-out if they want to.
When you collect information from consumers for different marketing activities, they also want to know you’re collecting it. Recent data from Google found that consumers are happy to provide their data to companies they trust, so long as they know how you will use it.
Podcasts and other audio opportunities.
As of April 2021, there are over 2,000,000 podcast shows and over 48 million episodes.
The demand for audio content has exploded, and Brands recognize this opportunity. In 2022, roughly 43% of B2C marketers plan to increase their investment in podcasts in 2022, and the data is virtually the same for B2B marketers.
Marketers are also leveraging other opportunities that have risen brands to leverage, like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, which offer audio-only opportunities where users can participate in voice conversations with others.
Other platforms are looking into and testing creating similar options within their apps, like Instagram Live Rooms (also incorporates video). TechCrunch reported that LinkedIn is testing a similar feature as well.
Social Responsibility and Diversity Marketing
Early 2020 brought businesses to a reckoning, as increased attention to social justice issues was at the forefront of conversations during the first few months of the year. In addition, COVID-19 highlighted employees’ struggles in the workplace, and consumers care about how brands they buy from treat their employees.
Almost two years later, these issues have remained extreme topics of interest for consumers worldwide, and they care more than ever about the stances businesses take on public issues, demanding change and awareness from brands on diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of the ways they want to see this represented in business is diversity marketing and commitment to social responsibility.
Given this, 82% of marketers reported that they planned to continue investing the same amount or increasing their investments in social responsibility for 2022.
It's an effective practice for marketers to commit to, especially considering that people are more likely to consider a product after seeing an ad they think is diverse or inclusive, and 64% take action after seeing an ad they believe to be diverse and inclusive.
However, in the same vein, it's even more critical that businesses are genuine about the diversity measures they take. Consumers can see through the fluff, and Edelman found that 59% of consumers think that companies need to follow up on their statements on diversity with concrete action, or they risk being seen as exploitative and opportunist. Read this post to see examples of businesses that have exemplified the practice of inclusive marketing.
Permanent Social Media Content
You’re likely familiar with Instagram Stories, which are pieces of content on the platform that disappear after 24 hours unless saved as a highlight.
While this type of content is valuable, marketers in 2022 will also be leaning into permanent social media content —HubSpot Blog data showed that 85% of marketers plan on increasing their investments or investing the same amount.
Permanent social media content remains on your different profiles for users to return to over and over again or to discover for the first time when they follow you. This can be in-feed posts, videos, or anything that remains and can be viewed days later after being published.
Influencer marketing used to be a trend, but as 86% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increasing their investments, it’s now a commonplace marketing tactic. Its popularity is due to the fact that partnering with influencers is a worthwhile investment — the ROI for influencer marketing is $5.78.
In addition, many influencers are experts of the ins and outs of how their platforms work and the industries they operate in, so they know what performs best on their preferred platforms and how to best interact with their audiences.
When collaborating with influencers, marketers also benefit from exposure to their audiences, helping generate brand awareness with followers and generate social proof.
HubSpot Blog survey data shows that 89% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increasing their short-form video content investments.
As a refresher, short-form video is considered to be any video that is up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. Marketers are likely increasing their investment because of trend culture, where it’s easy for a video to go viral and get shared among audiences over and over again.
For example, TikTok only houses short-form videos up to three minutes in length. Many businesses that use the platform leverage it to inform audiences about their products quickly so that users can get started right away.
Investing in Marketing Technology
60% of marketers reported that, in 2020, they were set to increase their marketing technology spend. A 2021 HubSpot Blog poll of over 1,000 global marketers found that 70% of marketers already use marketing technology in their roles, and 33% plan to start in 2022.
Marketing technology, often referred to as martech, is a term used to describe the software and technology used to attract and retain customers. Many martech tools help marketers automate repetitive marketing tasks to save time, like sending an email or scheduling social media posts. As of 2021, there are more than 8000+ martech solutions for marketers to choose from to meet their automation needs.
Join other market leaders in leveraging these trends.
Although not an exhaustive list, marketers are focusing on and investing in the trends mentioned above for 2022. Understand how each one will affect your business, and join other marketers in these investments.