As Directwest’s Research Manager, part of my role is keeping up with trends in the local search world. A number of the trends I anticipate in 2022 will impact Saskatchewan small businesses, and the way consumers interact with them. For this reason, I wanted to share them with you. I have also included a few predictions from Directwest’s leadership team.
The 2022 trends that I believe will impact your business are short-form video, social media, social responsibility and sustainability, and the continued growth of voice search.
The Growth of Video
2022 may emerge as the year of video. Short-form videos (like the short snippets you see on TikTok) can be easy to make and engaging. According to Hubspot, 33% of US marketers plan to use such videos for the first time in 2022.
Videos are great for grabbing the attention of consumers. They can highlight products, services, facilities, provide advice to consumers, show testimonials, and create comments and dialogue. A good video can be repurposed on many platforms – they are great additions to your website, your social media posts, and YouTube. And videos can do all this while “humanizing” your business and showcasing the people behind the brand.
“Digital video marketing strategies are becoming a vital component of any company’s marketing strategy. Those not using video marketing will begin to lose business to their competitors. Talk to us about visually representing your business through video.”
Steve Tillie, VP – Sales, Directwest
I recommend that you spend some time in 2022 considering how the content you currently create could be used in a video format. Perhaps that great blog post could achieve larger reach and more engagement if the story was told through a video.
“A recent RBC survey found that 77% of Canadian consumers intend to spend more money on small local businesses.
This is great news for locally owned Saskatchewan businesses. In 2022, Directwest will focus on being the conduit between those consumers and your business.”
Keith Jeannot, President & CEO, Directwest
Social media will continue to grow in importance in 2022. Social media is already the most common medium used by marketers in the United States. According to a survey by Hubspot, marketers used Instagram the most, followed by YouTube and Facebook. That’s not to suggest that Instagram has more usage than Facebook, only that the marketers who were surveyed found it a great fit for businesses.
If your business is not involved with social media, you may be missing a great opportunity to not only attract customers, but to engage and build loyalty with them.
More than ever, social responsibility factors into consumers’ buying decisions. They want to choose a supplier whose values and culture align with theirs. They want to know how the business treats customers and employees. They want to know about the environmental sustainability of the business and its products and services.
“The impact of the pandemic was really felt by businesses that didn’t have a digital presence. Many of those businesses have recently invested in websites and will now need to drive traffic to them. Directwest provides tools like Search Marketing and Digital Billboards that are designed to do just that.”
Clayton Zurowski, VP – Revenue Growth & Technology, Directwest
Take some time to think about what your organization’s value and culture are, and how broad their appeal may be. Then, take some more time in 2022 to update your website to reflect that, and share those messages on your social media channels. Just remember to always be transparent and authentic!
The Impact of Voice Search
Voice search is changing the way consumers ask for information. Twenty percent of all internet searches are now voice based – meaning they start with a request to an assistant like Siri or Alexa. This may require you to think differently about the digital content you provide and the keywords you choose to describe your business. Voice search is conversational – rather than typing “Music Stores” into a search engine, the query becomes “hey, Siri, where can I buy guitar strings in Regina?”
Best Wishes in 2022
At Directwest, we are proud of every local business that has overcome the challenges of the last two years. We hope this information will assist you in having a prosperous 2022!
Allan Millham is the Research Manager on the Brand & Platforms Team at Directwest.