4 Marketing Trends Shaping Brand Strategy in 2022

March 21, 2022 • Written by Catherine Kulke

4 Marketing Trends Shaping Brand Strategy in 2022

The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. While many brands doubled down on digital channels following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, over the past two years, the rise of short-form video platforms like TikTok and growing buying power of Gen Z have also forced marketers to rethink how they engage consumers online. Now, as the first quarter of 2022 comes to a close, brands may be wondering how they can prepare for another unpredictable year ahead. 

To better understand how marketers are thinking at the current moment, Camera IQ turned to the most reliable indicator of brands’ priorities: their budgets. Based on a review of marketing spend data from a range of reputable industry sources, we’ve outlined four key trends transforming how brands connect with audiences. Additionally, we’ve provided actionable takeaways you can use to position your marketing team for success. 

1) Brands Prioritize Customer Loyalty Over Customer Acquisition

Once upon a time, marketing was all about winning over new buyers. But while brands today remain on the lookout for new customers, they’re more focused on building a loyal fanbase. This shift stems from the fact that customer acquisition costs brands significantly more than customer retention: according to the Harvard Business Review, recruiting a new buyer can be up to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing customer coming back.  

In order to boost brand loyalty, companies are investing more heavily in technology and content marketing. By prioritizing social content, specifically, brands can participate in ongoing conversations with consumers, and engage audiences on a day-to-day basis through compelling storytelling. Overall, technology accounts for the largest portion of marketing budgets today at 26.2% (Gartner), while social media marketing accounts for a sizable 14.9% (The Wall Street Journal). 

Brands Turn to Technology, Social Media to Boost Retention

  • 26.2% of marketing budgets go towards technology
  • 14.9% of marketing budgets go towards social media 

The Takeaway: If you’re spending more on software that helps you retain customers, don’t sweat it—decision-makers across industries are making the same call. To stay competitive, you need adequate tools to execute a social media strategy that keeps your brand top-of-mind for audiences. 

2) Short-Form Video Content is a Key Focus for Marketers

As brands increasingly use social channels to nurture customer relationships, teams are leaning more heavily than ever into video media. Video emerged as 2021’s fastest-growing ad format, with spend in the medium up 12.8% year-over-year (Spendesk). And brands’ investment in video is paying off: 91% of marketers are satisfied with their ROI from video content on social platforms (Animoto). 

Short-form videos, in particular, are having a heyday. Typically just 10-60 seconds long, the format allows brands to quickly capture consumers’ attention and connect with audiences on popular social platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. According to a recent report from Hubspot, 31% of marketers globally are currently leveraging short-form videos, and a significant 89% plan on spending the same or more on short-form video content in 2022 as they did in 2021. 

Video Content Creates Value for Brands

  • 12.8% YoY growth in spend on video content
  • 91% of marketers are satisfied with their ROI from videos on social 

The Takeaway: Short-form videos are core to today’s content ecosystem. Adapting your brand’s messaging to this format is essential to capturing—and keeping—consumers’ attention. 

3) Brands Are Embracing Instagram Stories and TikTok

When it comes to which social platforms brands are prioritizing, two once-emergent channels—Instagram Stories and TikTok—are swiftly becoming integral parts of brands’ marketing strategies. From hyping product launches and chronicling events to sharing educational content, brands are embracing both platforms as multidimensional touchpoints with consumers. Additionally, Stories and TikTok allow marketers to engage audiences with immersive AR experiences. 

In 2021, 4M businesses used Stories monthly, and 41% of marketers reported increased spend on the channel throughout the year. Meanwhile, TikTok’s rapid growth over the past few years has radically impacted the social media landscape. And given the short-form video platform’s influence on consumer preferences, it’s no surprise brands have recognized its power as a marketing tool. Hubspot data reveals that two-thirds of marketers plan to increase their investment in TikTok in 2022. 

TikTok and IG Stories Are Taking Over

  • 67% of marketers plan to increase their spend on TikTok in 2022
  • 41% of marketers increased their spend on IG Stories throughout 2021

The Takeaway: TikTok and Instagram Stories are no longer optional for brands hoping to stay relevant in 2022. They’re pillars of the social media landscape, and an important part of your team’s social marketing strategy. 

4) Augmented Reality is on the Cusp of Mass Adoption

The metaverse may be one of 2022’s biggest buzzwords, but many brands are still waiting to make their entrance: just 35% of marketers currently leverage AR and/or VR, according to Hubspot. However, teams that have incorporated extended reality formats into their content strategy are eager to continue reaping the benefits, with 42% planning to increase their investment in XR in 2022. Additionally, Camera IQ’s recent survey on AR and consumer behavior revealed that 67% of media buyers and planners hope to incorporate more AR ads into their campaigns in the near future, suggesting the strategy will soon enter the mainstream. 

AR Marketing Is on the Rise

  • 42% of marketers who currently use XR will increase their spend in 2022
  • 67% of marketers hope to use more AR ads in the near future

The Takeaway: Marketers are recognizing the value of XR experiences, but the technology has not yet become commonplace. Invest in XR now to give your brand a competitive edge. 

As marketers look to mobilize audiences and fuel business growth this year, relevant tech, a strong social presence, short-form video content, and AR are the most promising investments for teams. By building your strategy at the intersection of these trends, you can cater to consumers’ current preferences and inspire a loyal fanbase that will continue to rally around your brand in the future. 

Curious how social AR can help you achieve your 2022 business goals? Use the form below to schedule a free consultation with our team of brand strategists. 

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