The past two years have taken digital marketing professionals on a long and treacherous journey through the unknown. That’s why we conducted our 2022 State of Digital Marketing Survey, which asked nearly 200 marketers and decision-makers about their top trends and initiatives for the new year.

We’re excited to be sharing the insightful analysis of the answers in our upcoming 2022 State of Digital Marketing Survey, which will be released by the end of Q1. There, you’ll uncover an in-depth look at the data segmented by role, industry, company revenue, and more. But for now, let’s take a look at a high-level overview of the data to give your brand an idea of what to do in 2022.

Top Trends for Ecommerce Marketers in 2022

Our survey asked respondents to share the top trends on their mind going into 2022. And there are lots of trends on everyone’s minds – not one answer had a response rate of over 50%. But there were definitely some clear winners.

49.4% of marketers say that attribution is the most top-of-mind trend for them in 2022. Indeed, eMarketer found that 84.4% of companies are expected to use digital attribution models and 65.7% are expected to use multichannel attribution models this year.

The issue of attribution is only going to increase with the impending deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome, government regulations like the GDPR and CCPA, and Apple’s iOS 14.5 update that requires users to opt into data tracking. Apple’s privacy updates cost Facebook, Snap, YouTube, and Twitter nearly $10 billion in revenue last year.

34% of data professionals say that to navigate the loss of cookies, they’re increasing their investment and emphasis on contextual advertising. Personalization is a key way to do that – so it’s no surprise that 48.3% of our survey respondents named it as a top trend for 2022.

41.4% of digital marketing professionals say that emerging social media platforms are a top trend. TikTok was the most downloaded app last year by a long shot, coming in at 94 million downloads, with Instagram next at 64 million followed by Snapchat at 56 million. TikTok is now the third largest social network in the US, second only to Facebook and Instagram. That means TikTok has more users than Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest!

As Facebook faces serious declines not only related to the iOS update but also general user wariness – its total user base declined for the first time ever in Q4 2021, and Meta’s stocks dropped by 25% in the first week of February 2022 – brands will increasingly look toward emerging social media platforms to build their brand presence and reach new customers.

With TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat ranking as the top downloaded apps in 2021, it makes sense that 40.8% of marketers named video as a top trend for 2022.

The fifth most popular trend that digital marketing professionals named is direct to consumer, with 49.4% of our respondents saying D2C is a top trend on their mind going into 2022. After hitting just $76.68 billion in 2019, US D2C ecommerce sales are projected to reach $151.2 billion this year before climbing to $174.98 billion in 2023.

Top Initiatives for Ecommerce Marketers in 2022

On a slightly different note, what are the biggest initiatives that marketers are pushing for their own brand this year?

The top strategy for digital marketing professionals this year is SEO, with 55.2% naming it as a big initiative for their brand. Paid search follows next at 54%. The push for organic over paid advertising can save brands money in the short run and have a big payoff in the long run, but the best way to dominate the first page of search results is to have an optimized strategy for both paid search and SEO. You can learn more about how to strategize a successful plan for both in this webinar replay and this white paper on the digital search duopoly (what we like to call the combination of PPC and SEO).

Once you get the traffic to your site from your paid and organic efforts, you’ll want to be sure your website is optimized to convert that traffic. 51.7% of our survey respondents named conversion rate optimization as their brand’s biggest initiative for 2022. Higher conversion rates mean a lower CPA, improved ROAS, and potentially bigger budgets for your advertising campaigns. To learn more about amplifying your brand’s PPC success by optimizing for conversions, check out this webinar replay.

We already mentioned the staggering importance of social media, but it’s worth noting that 50% of marketing professionals named it as one of the biggest initiatives for their brand this year. Competition will be high, so having optimized ads and accurate audience targeting (and attribution!) will be key to your brand’s social media success.

Finally, one thing marketers have learned over the course of the past two years is that content is king. 47.7% of marketers named content marketing as one of their brand’s biggest initiatives for 2022 – and for a sneak preview of the more granular data you’ll get in our 2022 State of Digital Marketing Report, that number as 63.64% for brands making over $1 billion in annual revenue, and 58.82% for brands in the home goods industry.

Next Steps for Your Brand in 2022

Insights like these are great, but they only go so far until you actually apply them to your brand – which can be a daunting task. The proven digital experts at ROI Revolution can help. As an extension of your team, everything we do revolves around your brand’s success. With over 20 years of online advertising experience and as an elite agency partner with Google, Amazon, Meta, and more, our experts are uniquely positioned to drive full-funnel brand growth and customer acquisition for big and growing brands. Reach out to us today to learn more.