Time is now to examine these 8 online business marketing trends for 2022
It may not feel like it, but 2022 is here — and with this new year, there are new trends that digital marketers need to stay on top of.
The beginning of the year is especially important for Wine Country businesses. For many, it’s the slow season. Winter weather means fewer tourists dining out and fewer appointments in the tasting rooms.
For North Bay marketers and small-business owners, this also means that it’s the perfect time to take a step back and think about how new digital marketing tools.
I talked with a few small business owners and marketers in the Bay Area about what digital marketing trends they think will grow in the new year.
Digital trend No. 1: Video, video, video
It’s going on year six of video’s being one of the most talked-about trends in digital marketing.
As people get tired of Facebook’s and Instagram’s oversaturation of users and brands, many are gravitating to TikTok.
And I’m not just talking about kids! Every niche can be found on the video-sharing app, including Northern California travel. (Follow @whimsysoul to see how she explores both Sonoma and Napa counties.)
This means more short-form, vertical videos and showing your face in front of the camera. Even if you don’t plan on jumping on TikTok for your marketing, marketers and small-business owners who are used to being behind the camera should look into how they can talk directly to their audiences through video. (Here’s some of my earlier advice on making business videos for social media.)
Right now is a great time to start practicing being on-camera and telling your story.
Or find someone in your business who would be a good spokesperson for the brand.
Digital trend No. 2: Lifestyle imagery
In addition to video, the ongoing need for imagery for social media posts means that brands need to continuously look at revamping their lifestyle imagery. Photos involving people enjoying wine and food in a public setting often get more engagement than the perfectly posed bottle shots.
In fact, operators of Outshinery, a digital company that provides bottle and lifestyle photography for the alcohol industry, says that their clients are requesting “lifestyle images” more than any other asset.
“Lifestyle images help tell the story of products in real life versus the old-school ‘buy a bottle’ or ‘free shipping’ sales mentality, because seeing people — bonus points if those people are diverse in terms of age, skin color, gender, etc. — makes consumers see themselves in the brand, which builds trust,” Laurie Millotte, founder of Outshinery, says.
Digital trend No. 3: Increased personal connections
Speaking of trust…consumers will expect even more personal connections with brands and retailers in the future.
All of the Bay Area marketers and small business owners with whom I talked agreed that this is one of the best ways for any brand to strengthen themselves as we move forward in this digital world.
It’s important for brick and mortar businesses to hire customer service teams for in-person experiences, but as we migrate to selling more online, digital customer experience teams are also a necessity.
Allison Ball, founder of Allison Ball Consulting (alliball.com), talked about what personalized connections could look like in a virtual space, “This might be customer support through voice or video messages back and forth via direct messages (DMs) as consumers voice questions about products or usage, or providing opportunities for consumers to connect live with retailers.”
2020 and 2021 were the years of livestreaming on social media, and 2022 will see that taken further.
Allison suggested a “live Valentine's Day dinner hotline to answer questions about cooking romantic meals, or personalized wine recommendations to pair with a home-cooked meal, which could make sense from either a food or wine brand.”
Livestreaming isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 63% of millennials watch livestreamed content regularly. And there's reason to believe that this will continue to climb.
Social media engagement tools such as Agorapulse, Sprout Social, Buffer Engagement, and the Facebook Business Manager make sure brands respond to every social media comment or DM without having to scroll through the app and search natively.
Digital trend No. 4: Shopping on social media
Over the past few years, e-commerce has grown and consumers have become more comfortable with purchasing products from individual retailers (versus buying everything through Amazon).
It’s easier than ever to create your own online store on your website. Continuing to grow likely will be e-commerce features like being able to pay in increments; integration with payment platforms such as Amazon Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay; and subscription-based models (similar to a custom wine club).