9 Digital Marketing & Creative Trends for 2022

January 13, 2022 | Written by Mary Guanciale
Professionals sitting in a row talking and looking at computers

With a new year upon us, many brands are contemplating new opportunities to connect with their audience and grow their business. The past few years have taught us that change is, indeed, the only constant; creatives and marketers must adapt to our ever-changing world to keep up with consumers’ evolving expectations. What’s more, brands are prioritizing their consumers more than ever.

With all that in mind, here are nine key digital marketing and creative trends we’re keeping our eye on for 2022.

1. Keep it Simple

Clear. Relevant. Meaningful. With the surge in digital media consumption, audiences crave high-quality content that provides real insight into a brand’s expertise and unique perspective. Developing educational, engaging content leaves consumers feeling enriched and fosters brand trust. Brands are spending more time prioritizing thought leadership via enticing social content, educational blog posts, and targeted SEO to reach interested audiences.

2. Inclusive Language and Visuals

With authentic inclusivity as a focus, brands are paying more attention to how their imagery, words, iconography, and other visuals may attract or exclude potential clients and customers. These elements are key to a favorable first impression, and being intentional about inclusivity can help convey a brand’s integrity and dedication to serving its customers equally.

3. Mobile-first Design

Smartphones are responsible for a majority of internet browsing, so designers and developers are adapting their approach to website design to ensure a positive mobile browsing experience. Simply put, more and more designers consider the mobile view first in their design process through such elements as optimized page loading, clean mobile-friendly navigation, and collapsible menus. Given the predominance of mobile traffic, this approach ensures smartphone viewers have a positive user experience, thereby increasing engagement and conversion.

4. Brands in Motion

With the constant innovation of digital platforms, brands are finding new ways to come alive online. Animated content, interactive websites, motion graphics, and video are just a few ways brands are enhancing their digital presence. Motion-based content gives brands another way to emphasize their personality and uniqueness.

5. Maximalism

After years of muted, minimalist design leading the way, brands are moving toward punchier, statement-making palettes and design treatments. This visual approach allows brands to pack more individuality into their materials, striving to be more distinctive to viewers and enhancing visual storytelling. Bold colors, dynamic graphic treatments, layering, daring typography, and high-impact imagery are just a few ways brands are boosting their visual impact.

6. Data Visualization

In a fast-paced, highly visual world, viewers crave efficient, consumable methods of gaining new information. Traditional charts, graphs, or other content-heavy methods of communicating data can be cumbersome to consumers. To engage their audiences, many brands are finding ways to communicate data points in fun, visually simple ways.

7. Conversational Marketing

With the rise in AI and customers’ desire for connection in a digital world, it’s more important than ever to engage with potential customers in a direct, genuine manner. Creating opportunities for existing and potential customers to communicate directly fosters higher customer satisfaction and a sense of “feeling heard”. Brands are doing this by showing real-life examples of their products or services at work and making themselves more accessible via effective customer service and true end-to-end user experience.

8. Goodbye Cookies

Google announced that it is on track to launch Privacy Sandbox in 2023, phasing out support for third-party cookies. Privacy Sandbox aims to prioritize the privacy and safety of users by limiting the amount of personal data that can be shared with companies and measuring response in a way that allows individuals to be kept anonymous. Stage 1 of the initiative is set to begin in late 2022, with the full transition completing in 2023. With this change, brands are already seeking alternative ways to gather information about customers and facilitate online conversion. Effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Zero-Party data acquisition will be key to maintaining beneficial knowledge about consumers.  

9. Virtual and Hybrid Connections

Since 2020, many companies have been required to adjust their approach to meetings and events. This focus on virtual and hybrid connection remains important even as workers return to office and other in-person settings. The ability to meet and collaborate virtually has transformed many businesses’ ways of working, allowing for people to connect with their teams or customers in a more flexible manner. Many brands introduced new virtual tools both internally and externally to their businesses, and these digital methods for collaboration aren’t going away any time soon.