The best practices of digital marketing are always changing. For businesses eager to capitalize on emerging opportunities—and to maximize the ROI potential of their marketing budgets—there’s value in paying attention to these trends and maintaining a flexible marketing strategy.

At the beginning of the year, we’re all eager for forecasts predicting the big digital trends that will shape the year ahead. Make no mistake, it’s important to look ahead and anticipate industry changes and new opportunities on the horizon. But as we pass the halfway point of the 2022 calendar year, it’s just as important to look back at the previous six months to see what marketing trends actually developed—and what it means for where we’re headed for the rest of the year and beyond.

With that in mind, here are four of the biggest trends that have asserted themselves in 2022.

Data Privacy Remained a Priority

Earlier this year, we predicted that the slow decline of third-party cookie tracking would continue throughout the calendar year. Six months later, that prediction rings true: more and more businesses are investing in alternatives solutions that reduce their reliance on third-party cookies, moving this legacy tracking tool closer to the dustbin.

In June, Firefox announced that it would prevent cookie-based tracking as a default function of its web browser. While users can still opt in to third-party cookie tracking, the move all but guarantees that most Firefox users will no longer be trackable through traditional cookies. 

With Google Chrome set to phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2023, businesses are facing even greater urgency to consider first-party data acquisition channels to support relevant, effective ad targeting.

To that note, Cox Media is ready to adapt and already has partners such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon who will remain largely unimpacted due to their strong first-party data sets. We have eyes on how ad tech, media companies, and brands are adjusting to this change, and we will continue to be transparent on any changes we make moving forward.

Social Commerce Attracted More Advertising Dollars

Shoppable content became a mainstream eCommerce solution well before 2022 arrived, but the role of social commerce in overall eCommerce has continued to grow—and in 2022, more money has flowed into emerging social commerce opportunities to take advantage of this “shoppable content.”

This growth has occurred on multiple fronts. While businesses are more eager to create shoppable social content, social platforms are expanding their inventories of this product both domestically and in emerging markets.

The rise of this marketing content is also being driven by recent research documenting the impact and ROI potential of shoppable content: Think With Google reports that brands adhering to shoppable content best practices enjoy a 30 percent lift in short-term sales through this content.

Cross-Channel Marketing Grew Its Influence Over Retail Sales

Consumers continue to move freely from one digital channel to the next, and businesses have no choice but to follow suit. But building a multi-channel strategy can come with great benefits to businesses: even for brick-and-mortar stores, cross-channel campaigns have demonstrated an ability to boost retail sales and overall customer retention.

Given the well-known correlation between ad impressions and brand recall, local businesses can align cross-channel campaigns to engage audiences with consistent messaging that tells a clear story and leaves a lasting brand impression in the mind of those prospects.

Short-Form Content Maintained Its Popularity Among Consumers

TikTok’s influence on consumers’ content preferences—in particular, their desire for short-form content—has been a driving force of new content formats and experiences launched on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms. Halfway through 2022, that influence hasn’t lost any steam: YouTube recently caved to these short-form appetites by creating a new content format known as “Shorts.”

Within the first month of its launch, those short videos accumulated more than 1.5 billion views, underscoring the popularity of short-form content. As platforms build and improve products around this format, businesses should be looking for opportunities to create their own short-form content at a low production cost—even as this format delivers high video completion rates and stronger overall engagement.

Struggling to keep on the latest trends shaping today’s best marketing strategies? Team up with a trusted partner who can track these changes and keep your marketing strategy at the forefront of opportunity.

At Cox Media, we pride ourselves on being a digital advertising partner that simplifies the complicated and incorporates the latest best practices into each of our clients’ marketing strategies. Find out how we can help your business—contact us today to learn more.