As we look forward to 2022, we use this time to evaluate what’s on the horizon.  With every new year, comes a new wave of trends that will impact media and marketing. The WitMark team has outlined our predictions for what to expect in the year ahead, including creator-led content, brand personalities, and the importance of video.

The global pandemic has caused entrepreneurship to blossom and influencer marketing to skyrocket. Consumers are connecting to these new businesses and influencers by engaging in creator-driven content. Discovering and identifying with small businesses that emerge on social platforms helps build trust and connectivity. People are seeking new content, and find a lot of it through videos, like ones found on TikTok and Instagram reels. Today’s consumers are consuming video as a form of advertising and are making more and more purchases online. This results in a rise in social commerce which we will see continue in 2022. In addition, more and more people are seeking out email and podcast content. They want original thinking and original content in all areas – from retail to business and more.  Access to content through subscriptions will continue. 

An impressive 97% of Gen Z consumers say that social media creators influence their purchasing decision. On top of that, 62% of people ages 13-39 say that they purchase items directly from creator feeds. To fuel this potential rise in creator led shopping, companies have favored this type of marketing due to its affordability and quick turnaround times. More and more, creators are participating in long term brand deals rather than one time brand deals because brands are recognizing the consumer power of loyal followers. Loyal followers have a strong bond and high trust in the creators they follow. Creators played an important role in building a sense of community as well, something people search for when living in isolation.

Another trend that will potentially be more common is the growth of brand personalities. An ongoing theme among consumers is that they find it difficult at times to connect to brands. This is especially true as people continue making online purchases – there is rarely a physical connection between brand and consumer. In order to create this trust through digital platforms, brands are creating relatable personalities and finding influencers who resonate with their message. While this is not a new marketing concept, it has become more of a priority for brands as they focus on how to continue building relationships while people navigate Omicron and other related COVID variants.

To delve deeper into the topic of brand personality, a company should strategically choose their personality due to the fact that nowadays a consumer’s feed can look quite differently from the person sitting next to them. Algorithms and individual preferences can make it harder or easier to reach niche target markets. In order to reach the specific type of individual a brand wants to reach, they must fit into their preferences.

We also know the power that movement has in grabbing attention and believe that the use of video and moving graphics will continue to be an important part of any marketing strategy. As they say, “a picture can say a thousand words” but GIFS and short videos can say a million more! The best GIFs aren’t always the brightest or flashiest. Simple lines of interchanging text are sometimes all it takes to spell out your message. Moving images can express emotions and messages that words cannot. GIFs have the power to increase engagement, reinforce your brand, and bring your information to life. Creativity, humor, and intention are what makes an effective GIF or video. Analyze your audience. What type of language do they use? Do they react via GIFs or emojis? Do memes drive engagement? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are GIFs would perform well in your content. If you are still not sure if your audience would engage with gifs, don’t be afraid to try it out.

While there are constant trends entering and exiting the marketing world, remember that understanding your audience is the most important aspect of any strategy. If the coming trends make sense for your business, consider giving them a try! 

From everyone at WitMark, we wish you the best start of 2022.