2022 is here. If you haven’t already taken your digital strategy for the year into consideration, it’s definitely time to think about it. The professionals at Search Marketing Experts are here to help you reflect on what 2021 has taught us and use it to build your 2022 digital strategy.
What Did 2021 Search Trends Tell Us?
In 2021, consumers were still scrambling to redefine normal and navigate the consistent uncertainty that consistently loomed over their heads. While it hasn’t been easy for anyone, the insights from online searches are fascinating. We’ve pulled some of the most interesting statistics from the Google 2021 B2B Year In Search Report so you can start putting together your strategy for the new year.
- People weren’t completely offline. 2021 saw Australians return to a level of normalcy, and we were able to reunite with friends, family, and colleagues. However, virtual social experiences never completely went away. Technology that brought us together in isolation still plays a huge role in our communication, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. For example, there was a 70% increase in search terms for ‘online games with friends’, indicating that people are still quite happy to communicate virtually.
- We’re making plans again. Search terms indicate that consumers are slowly going back to the lives they put on hold at the beginning of 2020. There was a 100% increase in searches containing ‘fancy restaurants near me’, a 50% increase containing ‘wedding dress shops near me’, and a 100% increase in searches containing ‘zoo tickets’. Consumers are also looking for events that were all but non-existent for the last couple of years. For example, there was a 600% increase in searches containing ‘stadium seating’ and a 500% increase containing ‘in theatres now’.
- People were really into self-care and home improvement. Healthy living, exercise, and self-care were very popular in 2021, with a 100% increase in searches for ‘sunscreen for face’ and a 40% increase in searches for ‘best time to take a vitamin’. Consumers were also looking to learn and grow their skills, with a lot of ‘how to’ searches trending. Many homes saw facelifts as well, with a 100% increase in searches for ‘yard landscaping ideas’ and a 400% increase for ‘budget small bathroom ideas’.
- Sustainability is in. 80% of consumers say sustainability is becoming a priority when shopping, so brands that embrace environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices have enjoyed a distinct advantage.
What Should We Be Doing In 2022?
Okay, so we know what consumers were looking for during 2021. But how can we use this information to inform our 2022 digital strategy? The team at Search Marketing Experts have a few ideas.
- Preempting consumer needs. Search data indicates that consumers are trying to find the balance between a normal lifestyle and COVID-19 restrictions, and businesses that meet those needs will be far more likely to attract traffic and conversions. If you can identify things your business offers that allows people to abide by restrictions but still enjoy themselves, advertise them. Things like contactless payment, takeaway, and outdoor seating are important to consumers right now.
- Using modern search campaigns. Automation across bidding, keyword targeting, and creatives are all features of the modern search campaign. Combining broad match keywords and Smart Bidding, you have the fundamentals to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer behaviour.
- Video reigns supreme. Video continues to prove itself as a powerful performance driver, and if it isn’t already a key part of their digital strategy, businesses should look at how they can incorporate video into their campaigns. The most effective videos include creative, innovative concepts, brand-led messaging, and emotive, powerful messages. To develop videos that create impact, businesses need to consistently evaluate their existing content and make decisions based on what’s working for them.
Can We Look Further Than 2022?
If you’d like to get out the crystal ball and try to look even further than 2022, you’re not alone. With so much uncertainty and change in the air, no one can definitively say what 2023 will look like. However, the Search Marketing Experts team have a couple of predictions that might come in handy.
- Embrace the omnichannel. Businesses need to start thinking about how online and offline platforms can work together to create an omnichannel experience for consumers in all stages of the consumer journey. Traditionally, omnichannel businesses had an online presence and physical stores. However, the future will see those lines between online and offline blurring. Already, industry-leading brands are bringing digital innovations in-store to enhance the overall shopping experience. Technology like augmented reality, online grocery lists, and touch screen information stations are . It’s time to start considering how your business will embrace omnichannel.
- Use automation to your advantage. Already automation is changing the way we look at digital strategy, and it’s only going to continue to get more sophisticated as time goes on. You can make data-informed decisions to grow at scale now, fuelling growth through automation. Why not consider implementing automation software and technology to jump start your digital strategy?
- Use behavioural science principles in your digital strategy. There’s a reason why behavioural science principles work so well; they’re backed by science! These principles have been implemented in other forms of advertising for years, and they’re just as effective in digital marketing.
- Power of free. Offering free items or vouchers with purchases can be a huge motivator to buy.
- Authority bias. Use experts and trusted sources to back your products, services, and brand.
- Social proof. Reviews, recommendations, and highlighting popular choices within a relevant group are quite persuasive.
- Framing. People tend to reconsider the value of products and services when the frame of reference is altered. For example, framing can highlight convenience or time savings, making your product or service more appealing.
- Costly signalling. Demonstrate the premium nature of your products through premium associations.
If You Need A Hand With Your Digital Strategy, Contact The Team At Search Marketing Experts
At Search Marketing Experts, digital strategy is our middle name (not really, that’d be weird), and no one knows digital marketing quite like us. If you’re ready to catapult your business into the stratosphere and get your 2022 digital strategy ready to go, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Search Marketing Experts today!