Digital trends to look out for in 2022
In the ever-changing digital landscape, there is always something new to behold. From the rise in popularity of Virtual Reality to the development of Web 3, let us take a look at the events that are changing the landscape of the internet forever:
- E-Commerce and Social Commerce
- Reels, short video content and live streaming
- Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Metaverse
- Influencer Marketing
- Chatbot Communication
- LinkedIn marketing for creators
- OTT platforms
- Omnichannel brand set-up
- Social media as a Learning Platform
- The advent of Web 3
Due to the pandemic, many business owners have shifted their services online. In the past 2 years, over 25% of business owners have digitized their businesses. This change is especially visible in the Asia-Pacific region. A subset of E-Commerce, ‘Social Commerce’ is also gaining significant traction. It is the buying and selling of products and services through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.
Examples of Social-Commerce websites include Meesho, a website where small business owners can showcase their talents by selling fashion and lifestyle products online through Whatsapp and Facebook enabled marketplace, with zero investment.
Due to the advent of reels, short video content has become immensely popular. Instagram itself said that it will no longer remain a just photo-sharing app, but will evolve into a video-based app.
Research also shows that 82% of audiences prefer live videos on social media. It is seen that many public figures use live videos in order to connect with their fanbase while widening their following at the same time.
Although Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have been around for more than a decade, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. We will be seeing immersive virtual reality games developed by Sony in the next few years. An experience to behold indeed! Although games such as Pokemon Go have already delved into the world of Augmented Reality, it will be taken one step further when fashion brands start offering try and buy options virtually. Augmented Reality is said to become much more mainstream in 2022.
Metaverse is a new concept that will take the world by storm. It combines aspects of Virtual and Augmented Reality technology to provide a mesmerising experience in which you not only see but feel and experience different virtual scenarios.
All of us remember Aishwarya Rai and her long beautiful hair in Loreal ads. Gone are those days of celebrity endorsements. The focus has now shifted from big celebrities and public figures to smaller content creators and businesses, to provide a more personalised, wholesome, genuine and engaging experience. To achieve this experience brands, businesses and influencers have changed marketing tactics and have adopted an informal approach and provide more user-generated and customer-oriented content. Due to the pandemic and the new opportunities presented to smaller content creators and businesses, there is a surge in business owners and content creators marketing their services on Instagram, which has led to its rise in popularity.
Chatbots have become increasingly efficient in troubleshooting queries of customers and have greatly shot up in popularity. In recent times chatbots have become increasingly complex and will soon replace the customer service industry, as they reduce labour costs. Many AI-powered chatbots are already used by businesses in order to manage their social media pages and improve brand-customer relationships.
LinkedIn is another website that is also shifting its focus towards content creators and will not just be a professional networking website anymore. Many job seekers on LinkedIn have already developed extensive connections and it has developed its own sense of community.
This was encouraged further by the Creator Mode which was introduced to create a sense of engagement within the community. It was fast-tracked at the end of 2021 with the help of the Creator Accelerator-funded program, introduced as a test project for 100 creators. In this program, the creators were equipped with the necessary tips and tricks to build an extensive community on this platform.
Although the popularity of OTT platforms was on the rise since 2014, their popularity has grown exponentially since the pandemic. Various Web series’ and movies on Netflix have received critical acclaim and have also been nominated for many award shows. Web series’ such as ‘Squid Game’ have become a household name by now. One can say that OTT platforms have already replaced traditional television and movie theatres.
Because of this rise in popularity advertisers and brands have become interested in OTT platforms and have been including various product placements in movies and web series’. It is predicted that traditional advertising segments will soon be included on OTT platforms as well.
Brands and businesses have become well aware that marketing on one social media platform is not enough. Hence the use of the omnichannel approach, which includes paid and unpaid advertising on various social media platforms. This approach is key if you want to reach a wider audience. It also helps create more engagement.
Using more than one social media platform is not the only omnichannel approach. Many businesses cleverly combine online as well as offline advertising to generate maximum profits. They offer their services in brick and mortar stores as well as online stores to make shopping more convenient for their customers.
Gone are the days when YouTube was the only channel that offered educational content. There is a boom in the popularity of various educational hashtags on Instagram, some of them are even trending. Many creators are now offering their expertise on various subjects on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.
Apart from this development, the way we work and learn will also be digitized in the post-covid world. This change will in turn affect the type of data we consume.
Although the definition of Web 3 is not clear yet, it is said to be a decentralised form of the internet which includes some features of Web 2 along with a tokenized economy, Augmented and Virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Graphics and much faster connectivity. Web 3 is said to be run on a blockchain approach and will have a token economy. The token approach is already visible in the case of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Billionaire Elon Musk has called it “a marketing buzzword rather than reality” whereas Moxie Marlinspike, creator of Signal, expressed that Web 3 is not as decentralized as it appears to be.
All in all, Web 3 appears to have a mixed bag of reviews.
Although it is easy to get carried away by these promising trends, contemporary trends will not go out of date, at least for a few decades - be it web surfing for data consumption or expressing one's voice to the world with the help of the internet.
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