Digital marketing continues to evolve, and 2022 will be no exception when it comes to changing advertising trends. Digital ad spend is growing tremendously and will continue to do so. Banner ads, social media ad campaigns, video ads, and pay-per-click advertising are all part of the digital advertising landscape—a field that grows more crowded by the day.

Of note is that global ad spending declined in 2020 by 4.2% to $569 billion. Out of that, traditional media (print, broadcast) was $233 billion, an 18% drop from 2019. But digital media spend grew by 8% to $336 billion. Digital also had bragging rights for being 59% of all global ad spend in 2020 (Forbes, 2020).

2021 Trends

In 2021, we saw:

  • Increased use of mobile as an advertising and marketing platform
  • More video viewing
  • The continued strength of content creation as part of advertisers’ SEO arsenal
  • Influencers seemingly everywhere
  • Foreshadowing of the death of the cookie

So how do these affect trends in digital advertising and marketing for 2022?


More mobile and geofencing advertising

Advertisers can capture the attention of their audience with targeted text messages or banner ads on any mobile device. However, geofencing takes mobile advertising further—and often, more creatively. Geofencing enables advertisers to serve ads to mobile users on their smartphones based on their location. And depending on the data behind the ads, based on their preferences as well. For example, as a consumer approaches your coffee shop, you can send them an ad for a free cup of coffee, or free pastry with purchase. These ads can be delivered as notifications, in-app ads, or search or display ads.


Video, video, video

Video is an increasingly important advertising tool. According to HubSpot, 86% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, with 93% of businesses reporting that video is important in their marketing strategy. Plus, Cisco has projected that by 2022, more than 80% of consumer online traffic will involve video watching. With so much video viewing happening every second of every day, advertisers have numerous opportunities to show up to audiences online.


Digital ads can be bought on specific video channels, and adjacent to various types of content that align with the brand, as they are on YouTube. YouTube Ads uses Google data to match advertisers’ messages to the right viewers at the right moment. Similarly, video can be bought against context or even keywords.


SEO and content creation

Search engine optimization is a foundation of digital marketing for websites. Providing highly relevant, high-quality content is an important part of SEO (search engine optimization) for advertisers. This means creating content that answers users’ search queries. Pieces such as educational blog posts and thought leadership articles. (Note: if those thought leadership pieces are posted on a third party’s website or publication, make sure you have backlinks to your website in there.) Posting content your audience wants and that users will engage with is a plus for demonstrating your site’s value to search engines—and as a search engine marketer.


Influencer marketing

There is a networking saying, “People buy from people they know, like and trust”. That directly relates in the digital advertising world to influencer marketing. It’s where creators, celebrities, and interesting people with followings intersect with social media to create buzz and demand for brands. When influencers endorse products, their followers listen.

The Influencer Marketing Hub reported that the spend in this category was projected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021 and will continue to grow. eMarketer reported that in 2020, influencer marketing rose from 55.4% in 2019 to 62.3% in 2020. Experts predict that that figure could reach 72.5% in 2022.

This had been the domain of B2C advertising but is now gaining traction among B2B brands. Authors, academics, business consultants and other respected professionals in the business sphere can wield as much influence as lifestyle gurus or athletes for consumer brands.


These paid endorsements can be money well spent when the influencer has a strong following that includes your target consumer. And they don’t have to be major celebrities. Micro-influencers can be perfect brand ambassadors, as consumers may trust someone who is more like a peer.


Death of the Cookie

It’s here and it’s growing . . . and must be a focus of your online advertising strategy in 2022.


Digital advertisers rely heavily on loads of data they collect based on our online behavior – the browsers we use, the websites we visit, the searches we conduct. This data is collected and shared through computer networks via cookies.


  • What are cookies? Cookies are text files with data that identify your computer and IP address to websites that can then remember you. Cookies also tag your website logins, shopping cart activities, and more. They are supposed to improve your web browsing experience by managing your online sessions and tracking your shopping carts; however, storing all that data leads to privacy issues for users (and can lead to cybercrime in the wrong hands).

What Is Happening

The data from cookies are used by advertisers to guide their online advertising and retargeting campaigns. Cookies help advertisers place their ads in the right places to the right consumers. But growing internet privacy concerns, and the regulations developed to address those concerns, are behind this cookie extinction.


  • What’s happening with cookies? Google announced last year that it was ending its support of third-party cookies on its Chrome browser in 2022 and has already started pulling them (Chrome has 70% of the browser market). Apple has already pulled them; Firefox is in the process of doing so.

Consumers can opt out of the third-party cookies and tracking which forces digital advertisers to change their online marketing tactics. Advertisers must start owning their audience with first-party data. Of all the trends in digital advertising this may be the most important for the next couple of years.

  • What can advertisers do? Companies will need to focus on owning their customer data to market to existing customers more intelligently. And find new audiences that mirror their existing customer base. Maintaining a strong database will help produce accurate customer avatars to use in digital marketing campaigns. Creating more personalized content and deploying lead generation tactics are part of this shift to first-party data collection.


What’s your advertising goal in 2022? Trends in digital advertising will impact your goals. At Metro Valley Advertising, we help businesses navigate the evolving digital advertising and marketing options—and traditional advertising as well. From media planning to ad creation, we’re here to help you make 2022 a robust year. Contact us to get started!