Article contributed by Pascal Fintoni
What does it mean ‘to be in business’ in 2023?
PART 1 – digital marketing 2022 trends
Our personal and professional lives continue to be influenced by the constant evolution of new technologies, and the year 2022 is no different. With advancements in technology and the increasing reliance on the internet for businesses and consumers alike, it’s important for decision-makers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in order to effectively reach and retain their target audience.
In a two-part article our digital marketing trainer and associate, Pascal Fintoni, will be looking back at the 2022 digital trends and will then look ahead at the 2023 predictions and what adjustments we should all be making to our sales & marketing activities as well as our online customer service.
Beyond the broad themes of AI, 5G connectivity, Big Data and Personalisation, there are some interesting trends worth paying attention to:
DIGITAL TREND #1: If I can see it, I can believe it
According to a recent study by HubSpot, video marketing has remained one of the biggest trends in digital marketing for 2022. In fact, 82% of businesses surveyed said that they plan to use video marketing as part of their overall strategy. This is not surprising, considering that video content has been proven to be more engaging and effective than other forms of content.
This trend is partly driven by the increasing affordability and accessibility of smartphones, as well as the convenience and versatility they offer. In addition, the rise of streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Live has made it easier for users to create and share their own video content.
DIGITAL TREND #2: Simple questions, simple answers
One trend that is expected to shape the world of online customer service in 2022 is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI can help automate many of the tasks that were previously done manually by customer service representatives, such as answering frequently asked questions and directing customer enquiries to the right person.
According to a recent study by Zendesk, 55% of consumers say that they would prefer to interact with a chatbot rather than a human for simple customer service tasks. This preference is expected to continue to grow in popularity as AI technology continues to improve.
DIGITAL TREND #3: Online customer service has become sociable
Another trend that is gaining momentum is the use of social media for customer service. More customers are turning to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to ask questions and voice concerns about products and services. 2022 saw a vast increase in the use of direct messaging apps such Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct by both consumers and brand.
As such, it is essential for businesses to have a strong presence on these platforms to provide timely and effective customer service. 72% of consumers expect a response from a brand on social media within an hour according to a survey by Sprout Social. Failing to respond to customer query in a timely manner can lead to frustrated customers and damage a company’s reputation.
DIGITAL TREND #4: Online customer service has become personal
One way that businesses are using social media more effectively is by incorporating live video into their content. Live video allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal and authentic way, this is a trend that began in 2016 and has grown extensively over the past two years.
In addition, live chat has played a major role in online customer service in 2022. Live chat and other text-based solutions are incredibly popular and used extensively to provide immediate assistance to customers who have questions or concerns. As a result, you can help improve the customer experience and reduce the number of poor feedback and reviews.
DIGITAL TREND #5: If you can write it, you can say it
A perhaps surprising trend that is expected to shape the world of website design in 2022 is the use of voice technology. As the popularity of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home continues to grow, more people are using voice commands to interact with websites. This means that businesses need to design their websites to be compatible with voice technology in order to provide a seamless user experience.
One expert in the field, Sarah Doody of the UX Collective, predicted that “by 2022, 50% of all searches will be made via voice, so it’s essential for businesses to optimize their websites for voice search in order to remain competitive.”
DIGITAL TREND 6#: The audio revolution is here to stay
Podcast listening has seen a significant rise in popularity in the UK in recent years, largely motivated by the global pandemic and working from home, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down with BBC Sounds the most downloaded podcast app in the UK and in the world.
This trend is partly driven by the increasing availability of high-quality, engaging content. From true crime and current affairs to comedy and self-improvement, there is a podcast for every interest and niche. In addition, the convenience and accessibility of podcasts, which can be easily streamed on smartphones and other devices, has made them an increasingly popular choice for on-the-go listening.
DIGITAL TREND #7: Buying local is good for business, and for the soul
Another trend motivated by the global pandemic and the limitations to our travelling, there is a real desire to support the local economy and to search for product and service provided nearby.
According to a study by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. This means that having a strong presence in local search results is essential for reaching potential customers and driving traffic to a business’s website.
One expert in the field, Mike Blumenthal of Get Five Stars, suggests that “businesses should focus on optimizing their online presence for local search by claiming and optimising their Google My Business listing, as well as by building local citations and reviews.”
The worlds of digital marketing and customer service continue to change rapidly, often motivated by external factors which in turn change the behaviour of our customers.
The trends of 2022 highlighted in this article are sure to have a big impact on the way we will chose to market ourselves online and how we chose to look after our clients. This will be the focus on part 2: the 2023 Digital Predictions and how to incorporate them into our strategies, so that we can build the best possible online reputation and engage with our target audience in a meaningful manner.