The Ultimate Guide to 2022 Marketing Trends (Part I)

Overview: Did somebody say controversy is trendy in marketing, and what’s guerrilla? Check out this comprehensive list of marketing trends for 2022

A new year means new marketing trends for 2022. Almost each year warrants a new batch of “cool” when it comes to marketing. What’s hot last year might be not this year.

Just what can we expect from the marketing industry in 2022?

• Affiliate/Influencer Marketing (20% Increase)
• Content Marketing (Fusing Formats)
• Controversial Marketing (Implementing Controversy)
• Digital Marketing (Hybrid Events)
Email Marketing (Collecting Feedback via CTAs)
• Experiential Marketing (Art Installations)
• Guerrilla Markting (Unconventionally Effective)

With help from the Hubspot Blog team and a few others, we’re delving deep into trends that are specific to these different types of marketing, and how brands could utilize and benefit from them this year.

AFFILIATE/INFLUENCER MARKETING (20% INCREASE):
Affiliate marketing isn’t new. It’s been around forever and is as revered as SEO, digital advertising, and email marketing. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s seen no changes.

It once had a poor reputation. More than a few affiliates simply stuffed keywords into ugly landing pages that looked like spam in a can.

But one of the biggest changes we could see going into 2022 is an increase in money spent on affiliate marketing. Even with the spam pages? Yes, because that’s a thing of the past.

According to Statista, affiliate marketing will reach $8.2 billion in 2022, a 20% increase from 2020. This is in part a result of fan-base loyalty (the rise of influencer marketing).

Practical Ecommerce points out that many of today’s affiliates are creators — artists, musicians, coaches, chefs, “gurus” who produce original content, build lasting relationships with an audience of fans, and promote only products they believe in.

Thus, the influence of affiliate marketing is a strong one. And investing more dollars into this ever-growing avenue is the next step for many businesses.

CONTENT MARKETING (FUSING FORMATS):

Search Engine Journal refers to one trend in content marketing as “The Fusion Of Formats Such As AR & VR, Audio & Text.”

Reminding us to think about the stories we enjoyed as children, SEJ sells the point that the ones we remember most vividly are likely the ones with the fondest memories — the stories we enjoyed in a variety of formats (text, audio, images, sometimes even scents).

We can see an increase and fusion of content formats going into 2022 to help us connect more deeply with the story.

CONTROVERSIAL MARKETING (IMPLEMENTING CONTROVERSY):

Back in 2022, Forbes published an article titled “Five Rules For Using Controversy In Your Marketing And Advertising.” In this article, we read about the risks vs. the benefits of running a controversial campaign.

You heard that right… controversial. But we want to clarify that controversy in the marketing world is meant to generate high levels of awareness and drive conversions — not the clickbait or shock-factor content we sometimes get bombarded with.

One point that was brought out regarding controversial marketing is to always connect back to the brand.

“When it comes to implementing controversy into your team’s marketing efforts, it’s critical to emphasize the values that align with your brand and find your “controversy comfort zone.” What’s true to your company, important to your team and relevant to your audience will all dictate how resonant a controversial marketing campaign is.”

DIGITAL MARKETING (HYBRID EVENTS):

2021 forward loves its hybrid events, and we can only expect more hybrid events this year and moving forward.

Hybrid events offer a combination of in-person and virtual components that can make them more sustainable and inclusive. Now the pandemic didn’t start the hybrid event culture, but it sure did compel businesses to adopt this model fast in light of remote work and social distancing.

We can expect to see companies hosting events for attendees to strategize, inspire innovation and creativity, and build an atmosphere in which individuals can connect.

Read more about this (and other trends specific to digital marketing) in this article.

EMAIL MARKETING (COLLECTING REVIEWS VIA CTAS):

Gathering social proof (feedback and reviews) via email has already been done, but businesses will up their efforts to include those call-to-action buttons more than usual.

This article goes more in detail about using email marketing to increase reviews, but we’ll list out the main points:

• According to recent studies, almost 90% of customers check out reviews before buying
• More than 50% of them consider feedback a critical factor in their shopping decision.
• Social proof influences users’ decision-making process and offers substantial benefits for the brand, like building trust in the company and inspiring loyalty.
• One study showed that more than 75% of customers agree that no rates and no reviews lower trust in the brand.

So, what does all this mean? Simply put: Ignoring this trend can lead to some drastic outcomes for your business (not for the better). However, utilizing this trend works as a two-way street that benefits both you and your consumers.

EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING (ART INSTALLATIONS):

Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs created big art installations of food sculptures that looked like they fell from the sky […] an ice cream sculpture that […] fell to the sidewalk […] a big burger […] on a flight of stairs.

This is a unique one. This type of marketing blends art, digital technologies, product placement, and psychology to create unique experiences.

Though immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) figure heavily in today’s experiential marketing landscape (and will further shape new trends in the succeeding years), 44% of consumers prefer to attend outdoor events. This means in-person experiential marketing is still a thing.

Even more so, Finances Online says that we’ll see numerous brand installations designed to grab people’s attention, prompt social media mileage, and jumpstart conversations and engagement.

GUERRILLA MARKETING (UNCONVENTIONALLY EFFECTIVE):

What is guerrilla marketing? In short, it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy that uses unconventional and inventive tactics to get exposure for a product or brand.

When executed correctly, guerrilla marketing does the following for your business:

• Generates a buzz
• Builds brand awareness
• Tells a story
• Is often budget-friendly
• Allos for extreme freedom of creativity

For businesses and marketers interested in utilizing the growing guerrilla marketing trend in your 2022 marketing initiatives, we highly encourage you to check out this article on Bizzabo.

The article spotlights 35 bold examples of guerrilla marketing executed by businesses in all industries, from fast food to music streaming services to tech companies and horror films.

The takeaway: Any business can benefit from guerrilla marketing. But, a little warning: it might look easy, but guerrilla marketing takes creativity and skill to be effective.

IN SUMMARY:

How do you feel about these upcoming marketing trends? Has your business implemented any of these in the past, or do you plan to utilize some of these moving forward?

We’re not done yet! Part II is coming up soon, so stay tuned. We’ll talk about SEM, voice marketing, and more, so don’t miss out.

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