Every year, the demand generation needle moves in new directions. Part of this is driven by the emergence of new pathways to connect. Part of this is driven by changes to existing platforms.
Take Facebook advertising as an example. You may recall the announcement of a new Apple iOS policy that enables smartphone users to opt out of data collection in Facebook. This update, along with the removal of several detailed targeting categories, has limited a business’ ability to retarget website visitors with ads. And this, in turn, has prompted businesses to pivot their efforts.
Meanwhile, when it comes to ranking websites related to health and finance, Google has placed an increased emphasis on expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (or EAT for short). Driven by a company initiative to improve the quality of content generated on a search engine results page (SERP), this shift is a catalyst for brands to revisit what it means to provide valuable content.
So where does that leave us with demand generation in 2022? Let’s take a look at some of the trends to keep in mind.
5 Demand Generation Trends
1. Connected TV Ads
If you’re an avid watcher of streaming services like Hulu or YouTube, you’re no stranger to the 15- or 30-second ads that break up your viewing experience. These are connected TV ads in action.
Recognized by Forbes as the fastest growing form of video advertisement, connected TV ads have become a popular avenue for an ever-growing streaming market. Research shows that there’s at least one connected TV device in 80% of households — a higher rate than cable TVs.
Alongside being more cost-effective than traditional cable ads, connected TV ads are built into the viewing experience, so consumers don’t have the option to record shows and skip over ads.
Through platforms like StackAdapt, you can create customized targeting for your connected TV ads. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: use their existing third-party data segments or have a custom list built based on parameters like age, location, job title, and keywords. The ads will then be placed on streaming platforms and shown to people matching your selected criteria. What’s more, you can use IP addresses to retarget viewers on a third-party website with a display or native ad and have a conversion opportunity there.
2. Native Ads
Whether you’re browsing news articles on a publishing website or scrolling through your social media feed, you may come across an ad that fits in comfortably with the look and feel of the website’s user experience (on both mobile and desktop). This lends itself to the ad type’s name: native ads.
Compared to the ROI on traditional display ads, the numbers work in favor of native ads. Studies show native ads are viewed 53% more than display ads, and increase purchase intent by 18%. Further, the clickthrough rate (CTR) of native ads is 0.38%, whereas the CTR for display ads is 0.05%.
From a targeting standpoint, native ads are very similar to connected TV ads, with the ability to select custom criteria through the StackAdapt platform. While there is the option to select where the ads will be displayed, we recommend launching your native ad campaigns across all publisher websites. As you see where you’re getting the most impressions and clicks, you can exclude specific websites or categories post-launch.
3. Ad Motion & Personalization
According to HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report, paid media is the top channel where advertisers plan to devote their marketing budget in 2022. With ads becoming a more common sight across platforms, there’s an incentive to push boundaries on ad creative to stand out from the competition.
One avenue is through video ads. When comparing video ads with static ads on Facebook, one study found that video ads were seen by 25% more people and generated 480% more clicks. By using more motion within ads (and stock footage when available), your paid media ads are more likely to catch the eyes of your target audience as they scroll. An added benefit is that you’ll have a better way to convey messaging to your audience in a more digestible format — so as not to lose their attention in the delivery process.
Another avenue is to personalize the messaging of your ads. Using platforms like Demandbase, you can customize your ad or its corresponding landing page to include the name of the account you’re targeting. Through our own work with clients, we’ve seen that this type of personalization generates higher CTRs and leads prospects to spend more time on the landing page.
4. Building a Collection of Quality Content
Writing a single blog post can be beneficial in answering a common question from your target audience. But much like your audience, Google is looking for more quality content around that topic — a factor that seems to be further emphasized with each core update. When businesses deliver on this front, the search engine’s algorithms see them as more of an industry leader and their search engine rankings are likely to see uplift.
Let’s consider this in the context of a telehealth services provider. Beyond one blog post that answers what is telehealth?, building out a collection of resources around this main topic that cite other trusted resources can help you become a more-trusted authority in the eyes of your audience and Google. This might come in the form of subsequent blog posts (e.g., is telehealth covered by insurance?), infographics (e.g., what is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine?), and other diverse resources that support your bigger picture.
Another variable to consider is the author of your blog posts. Maybe you have a colleague in the healthcare industry with other posts that have been published on an authoritative .edu website. If they also author posts on your company’s blog, it adds to the credibility of the content featured on your website and thus your website’s overall authority.
5. Increased Emphasis on SERP Features
In what SearchEngineLand has referred to as the “autocomplete box”, Google is now making it easier for website browsers to find answers to their questions within the SERP. When typing in a question, Google will not only provide you with auto-completed predictions, but you’ll also see a list of related questions people ask in the SERP — with answers provided from trusted sources.
As Google continues to do a better job of providing answers to questions right within the SERP, this can affect the traffic your business sees from SERP features. But that’s not to say that the FAQs section of your website won’t deliver SEO benefits. As you rank for more keywords, you’ll continue to increase your authority and relevance within your industry and boost organic traffic.
This is an area where YouTube videos that are also on your website can prove beneficial. By ensuring that your videos are optimized with proper schema markup, Google can easily recognize the video and in doing so, provide a touchpoint that encourages visitors to click over from the SERP to your site.
Implement These Demand Generation Trends
Now that you’ve got a good grasp on demand generation trends for 2022, the next step is to find ways to weave some (or maybe all of these efforts) into your larger demand generation strategy. With years of experience helping clients kickstart and optimize their paid and SEO efforts, Kuno Creative is ready to collaborate with you to make your demand generation program successful. Schedule a consultation to get the conversation started!