Biggest Digital Advertising Trends of 2022 

New technologies are always emerging and to be successful in digital marketing, we have no option but to adapt to them. Remember the days before TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts? Remember IGTV? Instagram only started back in 2011, yet it’s difficult to imagine a time before its existence.  

The rapid pace of change can be overwhelming, so I have created a list of digital advertising trends to watch out for in 2022.  

1. The World of Micro Ads

Video marketing strategies have evolved in recent years – shorter video ads are becoming increasingly popular compared to the typical length ads we might expect to see on TV.  

Paul Neto, director of research at Yume said, “Having sampled nearly 10,000 consumers, we’ve learned that micro-ads enjoy an advantage on smaller screens, where video ads dominate the entire screen real estate and where bite-sized content is the norm.”  

Considering the comment above, short ads give you a huge advantage in terms of meeting your audience where they are – on mobile devices. Almost everyone has a smartphone and as marketers, we need to leverage that.  

The challenge is to make these ads impactful, given the short amount of time you have to win your audience over. Investing time in understanding the metrics of micro-ads is worthwhile for your video marketing strategy.  

2. In-Game Advertising

In game advertising may be the most underappreciated digital marketing tool out there. Using ads in games will help you stand out from the competition and give your brand more visibility. Gaming is not limited to high-end consoles as many gamers play on their mobiles so it’s vital to cater to both audiences.    

The power of advertising in video games is unprecedented with 81 percent of media buyers aiming to boost their expenditure for this strategy in the coming year. Moreover, this form of advertising is predicted to produce nearly $14 billion between 2021 and 2028, up from just over $6 billion in 2020, at a “healthy” 11.2 percent CAGR.  

Using in game advertising is relevant for all businesses because of the diverse audience you can reach. More than 60% of American adults indulge in gaming. 63% of the women that make up this audience tend to play mobile games, while 72% of the men prefer video games. Any company that does not invest in this technique is missing out on a big opportunity.  

Barack Obama’s election campaign in 2008 made use of a diverse range of advertising methods. His digital ads appeared in apps like Madden NFL 09 and NBA Live 08 and his overall campaign proved to be successful. So, think outside the box and make sure you develop a robust strategy where you don’t miss out on important advertising channels.  

3. Brand Authenticity is Key

Audiences today do not react well to overly corporate content. Instead, they prefer brands that come across as genuine and that communicate in a way that feels human to human. You want to position your brand as a peer – on the customer’s level.  

The Oasis ad below is a good example of authenticity in marketing. The use of colour creates a friendly, down to Earth impression and there is nothing corporate about it.  

Another example of authentic advertising is Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. They championed that “beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety” and celebrated people owning their natural skin condition. With Dove’s sales jumping from $2.5 million to $4 million, this campaign was a phenomenal success.  

The Oasis ad
The Oasis ad
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign

3. Artificial Intelligence

AI is being implemented extensively in many industries. It is already used in many aspects of digital marketing including chatbots, targeting, and image recognition.  

 AI will play a huge role in understanding consumer behavior. Advertisers will be able to target consumers more accurately, enhancing their experience and increasing ROI. 83% of IT leaders believe that AI tools are enhancing customer engagement and 69% of them believe that it is transforming their businesses.   

For now, the human element of digital marketing is not obsolete, but AI certainly brings a great deal of precision and saves time through automation. This lets us give more attention to creating digital ads that have an emotional impact on our audience.  

4. Privacy

With Google proposing to disable third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023 and iOS limiting tracking, it’s time for marketers to re-evaluate their rules and ensure they are up to date. With the overuse of digital advertising, consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of the information they are being targeted with. As a result, digital marketers should prepare for stricter privacy restrictions, and this will alter how they track customer behavior.  

According to Gartner Inc., by 2025, 80% of marketers who have used customisation will give up their efforts owing to a lack of ROI, the risks of consumer data management, or both. As marketers, we need to be sensitive to people’s privacy, but it’s a double-edged sword – while I understand the need to protect personal data, as a marketer, I cannot overlook the importance of customised ads. Time will tell how much we need to adapt to changing regulations and preferences. 

5. Environmental Sustainability

Demonstrating that you uphold values about sustainability is crucial these days and again, being authentic is key here. Make sure you communicate this value in a suitable way for your brand and avoid using messaging or supporting campaigns that you don’t believe in. Advertising that shows sustainability values will perform well but only if you can do it authentically.  

6. TikTok

“Don’t Make Ads. Make TikTok videos.” That’s the first tip TikTok gives to businesses and there are impressive results to back up that statement. With statistics showing that the platform has 732 million active users globally, TikTok marketing can be a useful tool for your brand to unleash its creativity and engage with the toughest audience out there – Gen Z.   

There is much more to TikTok videos than dancing in front of the camera. Many people are creating meaningful content such as author and TikToker, Joanne Lee Molinaro aka “The Korean Vegan”. Joanne left her job as a lawyer to make videos about her two greatest passions – vegan cuisine and her culture. She shares meaningful stories and vegan Korean recipes from her mother’s kitchen.  

 If your brand does not want to post directly on TikTok, you can reach the younger audience through influencer collaborations. Whatever your opinion of TikTok, being on the platform will soon become a necessity for businesses to survive.  

7. Pinterest

Pinterest is the place to go for inspiration. In fact, 89% of their audience use it for inspiration on their path to purchase. Pinterest ads are normal pins that you pay to have placed where people are most likely to see them.  

Users can create boards for pinning diverse types of content, and this makes it easier for people to find new brands. For example, if you had an interior design company and you want people searching “kitchen décor” to find you, you could create a board to showcase your kitchen design projects.  

Pinterest creates an ecosystem where all brands can co-exist – where the only competition is the value you provide to your audience. If you are looking to target a female audience, you need to have a strong presence on Pinterest as most of its users are women (of its global audience, 66% are women between the ages of 25 and 54). Also, Pinterest advertisers are raving about the great performance metrics they’re seeing from the channel. 

8. Influencers – the New Ambassadors

In the last five years, the global influencer market has grown from $1.7 billion to more than $14 billion. Marketers should compile a list of relevant influencers and be prepared to invest in influencer marketing. Most sites, such as Instagram Collabs and TikTok Creator Marketplace, now have their own centers of influencers for you to explore. 

With so many new channels available, advertising is not what it used to be. It is getting more complex by the day due to intense competition and evolving technologies. Consumers are becoming more aware and more discerning. While we need to keep up with these new digital advertising trends, what matters most during these changing times is – as always – providing value to your audience. Provide value through your products and services and communicate that value through your ads.