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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Kayler

Marketing trends for 2022

An infographic titled "Top Marketing and Social Media Trends for 2022" with icons for each category listed in the blog

Recent trends in marketing and communications show how the issues of 2020 are still affecting the way we do business, as many of the top trends in marketing are a direct result of the ongoing influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice movement.

1. Strategy: Today, strategy is more important than ever. Many organizations operate on a regular two- to five-year cycle for strategic marketing planning, and those plans didn’t account for a pandemic. Even regularly updated plans can become habitual instead of strategic if not evaluated with a critical eye. If this describes your operations, it’s time to dust off the plan. Take a look with fresh eyes at the current market situation and make sure your plan isn’t outdated. If key team members can’t or don’t want to meet in person for a strategic planning session, consider meeting virtually.

2. Video: Video continues to be the most engaging form of online content, and the pandemic has overwhelmingly increased the amount of time people watch videos online. Current statistics indicate 85 percent of people in the United States watch online video content monthly on their devices. What’s more, 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

Key take-aways for organizations include:

  • Capture video and post! Use your mobile device to take videos whenever you have an opportune moment. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Maintain good resolution.

  • Short-form video content is gaining in popularity. Include shorter webinars and fireside chat formats into your video mix.

3. Emerging Social Media Platforms: Emerging platforms get a lot of buzz, but are they worth considering? We’re often asked by clients if TikTok is a good fit for their messaging. And in certain industries, even established platforms like Instagram are be considered emerging, since many companies haven’t incorporated it into their social media mix. Incorporating a new social media platform depends on the organization, its audience demographics, and where its audience is “hanging out” on social media.

If the desired audience is present, organizations shouldn’t be afraid of trying emerging platforms. For example, since younger generations are spending time on TikTok, this new short-form video platform can play a role in your recruiting efforts. While TikTok may not be a platform for your organization’s marketing key messages, it could be ideal for reaching the next generation of workers.

Is an emerging platform right for your organization? Here are some things to consider:

  • Get data about the platform.

  • Determine if the data aligns with the organization’s objectives and target audience.

  • If you’re trying to reach Gen Z or Millennials (and who isn’t needing to recruit the next generation of workers?), then TikTok and Instagram should be in your social media mix.

  • Instagram carousels can be a powerful tool for getting your organization noticed.

4. Incorporate Diversity: Many of our clients are seeing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion showing up in their requests for proposals. Often, DEI shows up in an RFP’s sustainability section. In today’s business climate, employees and the public expect organizations to address this important topic.

To help meet our clients’ needs in this area, AOE developed a proprietary benchmark assessment software and launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice group. These resources will help organizations map out their DEI journey.

5. Engage with Others: During the pandemic and its associated lockdown, quarantine and social distancing, social media became the primary outlet for individuals to engage with each other. Today, engaging with others on social media is vitally important to an organization’s social media success.

Following are some ideas for increasing engagement:

  • Tag other organizations and people whenever possible and as often as possible.

  • Use hashtags and incorporate the most popular hashtags for the subject. Check out online resources like to locate trending hashtags.

  • Create an engagement campaign. There are many examples of fun and successful engagement campaigns. One simple way is by hosting an online photo contest for social media followers to share a unique image with a special hashtag for the contest’s theme.

6. Utilize an Editorial Calendar: No matter what your key messages are, be sure to develop an editorial calendar that will make sure you incorporate all your messages in your communications vehicles for the year. It can be a simple task. Take a calendar and determine which of your key messages or service offerings you want to focus on each month. Examine the National Day Calendar for opportunities to tie your messages to trending topics that month.

7. Listen. Listening to the audience is more important now than ever. Why listen? To create content for your audience that resonates with them, and to show up in what they’re searching. Listening can be accomplished on social media relatively easily and inexpensively simply by following hashtags that your audience is following.

For example, a client recently contracted us to help them develop long-form content based on what people search for most. AOE will write blog articles that answer those important questions.

8. Include a Policy for Engagement: Every organization needs to be prepared with a policy for social media engagement. An internal policy should address employees’ use of social media channels. Additionally, a public statement about the organization’s expectations for followers’ engagement on social media should be included on an organization’s website; a link to the statement should be included on the organization’s social media pages’ “About” sections. An external policy for engagement sets the expectations and can be referred to when social media followers must be blocked or banned for inappropriate use.

9. Metrics: With social media usage on the rise, organizations need to keep an eye on their metrics. What’s working? What’s not? Be sure to beyond “vanity” metrics. A page’s number of followers and a post’s number of likes are great. But some of the most important information can be found in metrics such as engagement rates. When a post gets comments and shares, this is the gold that marketers are looking for.

10. Email Marketing: Email marketing continues to be a top channel for marketers and consumers. A recent survey finds that 73 percent of people prefer to receive their marketing messages via email. To maximize your email marketing’s effectiveness, consider the following:

  • Make email a two-way street. Include a question in your next email such as, “What are you looking forward to as your organization heads into 2022?”

  • Include user-generated content such as testimonials in your emails.

  • Segment your email list to reach specific audiences with your content. Doing so will increase your email’s open rate.

The future of marketing in 2022 will undoubtedly continue revealing the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People began spending more time online and on social media, and marketers in 2022 can meet their audience where they are with tried-and-true marketing strategies as well as new and emerging tactics.

To learn more about how to incorporate the marketing trends that align with your organization’s needs, contact AOE today!


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