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TODAY’S CONSUMER

As the global marketplace slowly regains momentum, one thing is certain: the way brands communicate with and attract customers has changed forever. The public relations discipline, in particular, has had to adapt and overcome the challenges inherent in engaging the consumers of today. 

The advent of new technologies has compelled brands to embrace the drastic swing into the digital sphere, to operate with greater levels of empathy and integrity, and to immerse themselves in what their audiences and consumers want more than ever before. Here are seven of the top communications and consumer trends that will dominate 2022:

CATCH THE

ATTENTION OF

TODAY’S CONSUMER

As the global marketplace slowly regains momentum, one thing is certain: the way brands communicate with and attract customers has changed forever. The public relations discipline, in particular, has had to adapt and overcome the challenges inherent in engaging the consumers of today. 

The advent of new technologies has compelled brands to embrace the drastic swing into the digital sphere, to operate with greater levels of empathy and integrity, and to immerse themselves in what their audiences and consumers want more than ever before. Here are seven of the top communications and consumer trends that will dominate 2022:

main header trend talk 2021

Focus on the green

While the financial benefits or the “green” are always top of mind, focusing on the environment will continue to be a hot topic of discussion. This on the back of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26, where more than 140 countries pledged to reach net-zero emissions in a bid to stave off climate change. 

With this in mind, it’s important for brands to be green-conscious, particularly with research from Harvard Business School claiming that as many as 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from brands that are committed to making the world a better place. Brands need to adopt a mindset of sustainable and green branding into their strategies to ensure successful campaigns in 2022.

The ongoing e-commerce surge

As one of the most popular online activities, online shopping, or e-commerce, is set to continue its dominant growth pattern for years to come. So much so that Findstack states that by the beginning of 2021, e-commerce sales hit $4.891bn, a figure that is expected to reach $6.388bn per year by 2024. In South Africa, RMB expects e-commerce to surge by 150% and be worth as much as R225bn by 2025. 

This means that competition between brands will only increase as they fight for their place at the consumer’s table and aim to rank higher online. To this end, brands must place an even stronger focus on avenues such as SEO, in-content backlinks, and blogging to improve brand awareness across the global online environment and increase their reach in 2022 and beyond.

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Create immersive augmented advertising

As technology continues to impact all aspects of our lives, advertising will continue to evolve with an immense focus on the digitisation of the customer experience. Immersive tech is the name of the game and augmented reality is and will continue to be the future of an engaging and effective social media campaign strategy.


Augmented reality’s potential in bolstering communications planning is evidenced by McKinsey research, which reveals that the digitisation of customer interactions increased by a staggering 58% in 2021 alone. TechJury adds that as many as 67% of media planners and buyers are already punting the use of AR and VR advertising in digital marketing campaigns. Those that don’t will miss out on the potential 1.73 billion AR mobile users by 2024, according to figures released by Statista.

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TikTok’s continued rise to fame

Amassing over three billion downloads and engaging a third of all social media users in less than four years, TikTok surpassed the likes of Facebook and Instagram which both took nearly a decade to attain a similar user base. As the sixth most popular social media platform in 2021, according to Statista and Wordstream, SocialMediaToday suggests that TikTok is set to surpass 1.5 billion active users this year. 

The Small Business Blog notes that TikTok is the number one downloaded app, making it the ideal platform for brands that are looking to increase brand awareness and engagement in the prominent 19-29-year-old demographic group (35% of total users according to Business of Apps), and certainly must play an integral part in a brand’s 2022 strategy.

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Lead the way with thought leadership

Thought leadership is the driving force in building credibility, trust and loyalty amongst a brand’s target audience. It is an incredibly useful tool in placing the brand into topical conversations and is a key element in fostering brand recognition and awareness. 

This is evidenced in research by Marketing Insider Group, which claim that close to half of
C-suite executives form an opinion about an organisation based on its thought leadership, while 81% note an increase in trust after engaging with this form of content. As many as 79% of business leaders emphasise the importance of thought leadership content to remain updated on pertinent business issues, 76% add that it informs decision-making, and 76% claim it helps get a glimpse of the future.

Jump on the bandwagon

Defined as brands taking advantage of current events or news stories to promote, advertise a product, or join a conversation, newsjacking has become an increasingly popular tool since the advent of the ongoing pandemic. It has seen considerable success, with Unmetric’s Eyeball study revealing that newsjacking on Twitter saw brands’ follower growth and baseline metrics increase significantly after a successful newsjacking attempt, with follower growth ranging from 0.09% to 18.9%.

Brands should prioritise staying abreast with news events and related social media hashtags. Piggybacking on trending and viral topics will assist in promoting the brand, garnering awareness and increasing engagement.

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Enlist the influence of the influencer

Influencer Marketing Hub’s recently released The State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report highlights that 90% of respondents believe that influencer marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing today and that while 67% of influencers use Instagram for their marketing purposes, there has been an immense uptake in influencer marketing activities on TikTok. 

 

Driven by the power of social media, influencer marketing is quickly rising as a mainstream form of online marketing endeavours, largely driven by the influx of online social media visitors since 2020. It will remain a mainstay for years to come, and must be considered should a brand want to add a personal touch to its online presence. Choosing the right influencer set remains critical.



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Want to know how to drive sentiment, increase public perception and strengthen brand awareness in 2022? Send an email to info@eclipsecomms.com and one of our experts will be in touch.

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