A brand new year! I love a new year, it always feels like a fresh start – ideas buzzing around, optimism for the possibilities over the next 12 months, and a clean slate in the office (usually with a new notepad just because). With that in mind, I always like to take a look at the upcoming ‘trends’ for websites and social media – what will be popular over the coming months that we can utilise? What do we need to keep in mind for our clients, and for when we’re planning strategies and campaigns? Well, let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular trends circulating.
An interesting trend that is being talked about is the rise of one-page website – removing the requirement of pages but instead relying on the scroll, on one page, for the information. These websites are often less complex, but can be effective. We’ve created a number over the past year, where we’ve felt clients would benefit from the one-page design, rather than creating a website that potentially loses a message because of trying to fill a particular amount of pages.
Another trend which we’re seeing a lot of is ‘pride of place’ or personality. Websites for a while were quite impersonal, but there is a slow shift now towards making website more chatty, personable and adding that pride of place. Elements like handwritten fonts, or images that suggest a particular location (e.g. Aberystwyth) are a part of this trend.
Many of the expected trends for 2022 are based on design, but the final trend I want to mention is another big push towards optimisation. Making your websites faster for your visitors, and giving them an excellent user experience. Optimisation has always been important of course, but with changes to the Google algorithm again in 2021, page speed load continues to be at the forefront. If you have a website, consider looking at how you can optimise it for speed, and user experience. For example, reducing your image sizes for faster loading. It doesn’t mean having a new website, but working with what you have for the benefit of your visitors.
Social Media Trends
Community is on the up – if you’ve been to any of my webinars over 2020 and 2021, I’ve talked about the importance of community and groups a lot. The trend is still on the rise, and there’s a lot of talk about how important building communities around your brand will be, no matter the size of your business. Don’t forget, social media is all about being sociable and building relationships with your target audience – otherwise known as community building.
Social media is a super important part of any digital marketing strategy if you are selling online, did you know that in 2020, 81% of shoppers used social media to find new products? The next step is making that purchase easier. This is a big one for 2022, with expectations that social media users will expect to buy your products directly on social media platforms. We already had Facebook introduce the Shop feature last year, and you can buy products directly from there, and by now Instagram and TikTok too.
Another trend that really isn’t going away is video. But, what we have learned over 2020 and 2021 is that actually, audiences do prefer short form videos (under 2 minutes). Despite the hope that longer videos would gain popularity, platforms like Instagram changing IGTV and other platforms removing videos, it’s clear to see that the short video content is here to stay. How can you work it into your strategy for next year?
The final trend I want to mention is the rise of audio social media. Think radio shows, discussions or podcasts – but via your social media platform. Clubhouse launched in 2021 and has enjoyed steady popularity as being an audio online social media platform. Others introduced audio features, for example Spaces on Twitter. In a world where we’re becoming fed up of heavily filtered images and highly curated content, we’re leaning towards the most authentic, and engaging audio content.
Which trends will fit into your digital marketing strategy for 2022?