We always describe the mobile industry as ever-changing, fast-paced, unpredictable, etc.
These adjectives are especially accurate for the pandemic years behind us. The pandemic has greatly influenced mobile marketing, and its consequences will remain.
When it comes to mobile marketing trends, we are not only talking about human tech advancements anymore. We must also consider how the new circumstances (the new normal) have helped shape the mobile environment.
What had happened during the pandemic was a powerful push the mobile industry needed to grow faster in the years to come. For this reason, marketers need to make sure to find customers at the right places and approach them with the right strategy.
To help you with that, we’ve created a list of mobile marketing trends for 2022 to keep an eye on.
Looking Back at 2020 and 2021
In 2020, the world realized that a lot of things could be done from home.
People have started working from home, having food delivered, shopping and “dating” online, etc. Most of what people wanted to do from home, they could’ve done over their mobile devices. Okay, except work.
While on mobile, people spend most of their time using mobile apps – as much as 92% (Datareportal). We are social creatures, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that social apps were our #1 choice during the last couple of years. Even those who had rarely or never used social media before have started using it to communicate with others.
The most downloaded apps of 2020 were social apps like TikTok, Facebook, and WhatsApp. On the other hand, users have spent the most money on Tinder, TikTok, and YouTube (App Annie).
In August 2021, the lineup was only slightly different. According to Sensor Tower, the apps with the most downloads in that month were TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Mobile gaming as a form of entertainment has also skyrocketed in the years behind us. It has grown on all ends – from hyper-casual to hardcore titles.
Over the last few years, hyper-casual games have been the top choice for app advertisers. In 2021 and beyond, App Annie predicts that the focus will shift to building reach and engagement across multiplayer and social games. After all, over the past year, people have become increasingly social online.
In the years to follow, we can expect people to continue living with the new habits they formed during the pandemic, along with some new ones. In order to know where and how to reach their target audience, mobile marketers need to keep their eyes wide open.
Mobile Marketing Trends in 2022
Okay, now that we have the past covered, it’s time to talk about 2022 and beyond.
Here is our list of top mobile marketing trends in 2022.
Platform Shifts Bring Great Opportunities
As a mobile marketer, you should be quick to adapt.
Yes, standard channels like Google and Facebook are great. However, if you’re not open to other marketing channels, you might be missing out.
Every now and then, a new and unique platform suddenly emerges, and the whole mobile landscape changes.
The best example of that is TikTok’s success in the last two years.
In 2020, it got to the #1 place in app downloads and made it to second place in consumer spending. If we compare the numbers to the previous year, it grew by 325% (App Annie). In March 2020 alone, it reached 115 million downloads (Influencer Marketing Hub). Yes, you read it right – TikTok’s growth was that crazy.
In August 2021, TikTok got over 66 million installs. Sure, this is less than its peak times. However, the numbers are still impressive.
TikTok is well known for its young user base, mostly Gen Z. For this reason, some even call it the TikTok generation. In 2021, 47.4% of its US users were between the ages of 10 and 30, and the majority fell into the 10-19 group. However, we’re starting to notice that the share of younger users is decreasing by the year. This can only mean one thing – older generations are starting to embrace TikTok as well.
We believe that the TikTok trend is not going anywhere. The numbers might not be equally impressive, but it will remain an important mobile marketing channel in the near future.
This platform has great advertising potential. It brings users video content and immersive experiences, which makes it more than just an ad platform. It also allows advertisers to approach users in original and user-centric ways.
One of the great examples of how brands utilize TikTok is Red Bull. It’s almost like this platform was created for their brand. TikTok’s short video formats are the perfect fit for Red Bull’s adrenaline-filled videos. Besides that, they have a famous #givesyouwiiings hashtag that comes along with their crazy stunts. They also invite users to send them their own stunts. All of this creates a perfect blend of content that feels like this brand and talks to its audience in the best way possible.
Just like Red Bull, brands should be ready to utilize new platforms and tailor creatives specifically for them.
Ideally, they should do it before their competitors. Done right, this will result in a new audience and brand awareness.
Mobile Commerce Is Changing
Let’s talk about another area the pandemic had a tremendous impact on.
Social and e-commerce are nothing new. However, one of their segments deserves a special place on our list – mobile commerce. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, 2020 was the biggest mobile shopping year ever. In 2020, people spent over $53.2 billion on mobile in the US only– a 55% increase compared to the previous year.
It looks like the mobile commerce trend is not something we left behind in 2020. The pandemic has only fueled this mobile trend, which is here to stay. App Annie predicts that time spent in shopping apps will increase by 40% by 2025.
People all over the world have developed a habit of mobile shopping, and there is no reason for that to change.
Providing smooth mobile shopping experiences is just a tiny part of the job. Brands also have to utilize the array of consumer data they own, from location to spending habits.
One of the best things they can do is have a shopping app.
Nowadays, when people research a store’s online offer, they expect an app. They know that a well-designed app will make everything about them. They will get recommendations tailored to their preferences, notifications about special deals, etc.
All other existing shopping features are here to support m-commerce. For example, social commerce and shoppable ads allow businesses to leverage social media and all other consumers’ go-to platforms.
When it comes to shoppable ads, the latest trend is shoppable video ads. According to Marketingdive, 40% of marketers use them today. You can create shoppable videos on all sorts of platforms, from Instagram to Amazon and YouTube. This includes things like interactive fashion runways, videos starring influencers, etc.
Another big mobile commerce trend in 2022 will be social commerce. All major apps are already supporting it (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat). Thus, we can expect even more brands to create social commerce experiences in 2022.
The best thing about them? They meet viewers where they are and give them more than just a viewing experience.
Mobile Streaming Is Becoming Mainstream
Streaming is no longer reserved for the big screens.
Netflix, HBO GO, Twitch, Amazon Prime, YouTube… You can watch it all on mobile. These streaming services also boomed in 2020. During the times when users sought on-demand entertainment, they were there to deliver it.
Even though people spent more time than ever at home with all sorts of devices, they chose mobile.
In 2020, the number of hours streamed on mobile devices jumped 40% compared to the year before (App Annie). Moreover, according to Social Media Week, in 2021, the average US user had 9.5 streaming apps on a mobile device. This is an 85% increase in comparison to 2019!
Some even consider social networks like TikTok and Snapchat to be a type of streaming service. Unlike the traditional ones, they deliver user-generated, short-form video content. This makes them competitors in the streaming field, especially among young people.
Mobile Games as Social Networks
More and more mobile games are focusing on social features.
This includes things like in-game chats, social media connections, spectator modes, etc.
Spectator modes are especially important to mention here. This mode allows players to watch others play the game from a third or first-person point of view. It is highly prevalent in first-person shooter games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Mobile.
The thing is, a lot of people don’t engage with the playing part – they just watch others play mobile games.
I’ve already mentioned how big of a trend mobile streaming has become. Well, that’s also the case for mobile games.
According to Nielsen, 71% of Millennial gamers watch gaming or gaming-related video content on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
These platforms even have the power to make a game popular. It happened with Among Us in 2020. The game has caught traction after popular video game streamers on Twitch started playing it.
All in all, you could say that mobile games are becoming social networks 2.0. In 2022, we can expect even more social features and maybe even some new innovative solutions.
Video Content Remains a Big Deal
The popularity of video content is growing by the year, especially on mobile.
In 2020, 63% of all mobile traffic was video traffic. This number is predicted to grow to 76% by 2025 (Ericsson Mobility Report).
The thing about video content is that it’s very engaging and attention-grabbing. In fact, users pay more attention to video than other content types. According to Facebook, this type of content holds user attention up to five times longer than static images.
For these reasons, it’s crucial for mobile marketers to utilize video advertising. However, not every video gets the job done. Best practices for creating video ads are – starting strong, keeping it short, and staying relevant to your target audience.
Some of the best examples of video advertising come from mobile games. For example, I’m sure you’ve seen Coin Master’s ads featuring celebrities, the notorious Homescapes and Gardenscapes ads, etc. All of these have certainly caught people’s attention.
The next step in video advertising is choosing the right platform(s) to deliver your video ads. Social media plays an essential role in boosting video content. After all, some of the world’s most popular social networks today are video-based (e.g., TikTok). Nevertheless, most of them are all about visual content (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.).
According to Statista, video advertising revenue will reach $35 billion by 2024. Leading mobile ad networks have been adapting to this trend for years now. They are constantly introducing different interactive and dynamic video ad formats to stay on top of things.
We can conclude that creative production is a great thing to invest in because this trend is not going away any time soon.
Personalization Is More Important than Ever
With everyone shifting to mobile, standing out from the crowd can be hard… In just one day, the average mobile user is exposed to dozens or even hundreds of ads.
Something that may catch their attention is ads that really speak to them. According to Adweek, personalization can increase advertising spend efficiency by up to 30%!
To be able to create personalized content, marketers must rely on, of course, data.
By analyzing user data and behavior, marketers can learn a lot about their customers’ preferences. For example, what kind of content, messages, or CTAs they want to see. After you find out what your customers want, it is time to segment them and deliver the right content.
Another thing that can help you create more personalized content is user feedback. Whether it’s reviews, A/B test results, or customer service issues, mobile marketers should listen.
All of that data will guide you to better user engagement and mobile user experience.
Relying on Value Exchange
When I say value exchange, I primarily mean user-generated content (UGC). This is any brand-related content users create and post themselves.
UGC has been an advertising trend for a while and will remain one in the following years.
You may be wondering – what is so special about this type of content?
Among other things, it is incredibly authentic and reactive. For this reason, users find this content trustworthy and relatable, which results in great engagement rates.
In 2022, brands should put a special focus on video content exchange. Finally, the main thing mobile marketers need to figure out is how to get users to participate.
One of the most popular ways to do this is by creating a challenge. This is extremely popular on TikTok, where numerous brands fight to win users’ attention. As you may have guessed, during the pandemic, a lot of them based their content precisely around this trend.
For example, Kaiser Permanente created a popular #OwnTheCurve challenge. This challenge encouraged people to stick to pandemic guidelines and stay active and creative while at home. Therefore, users made videos of them washing their hands, putting a mask on, doing yoga, working out, reading, etc.
Mobile Influencer Marketing Has Its Own Trends
There is also the more expensive version of UGC – influencer marketing.
This type of content may not be as trustworthy as UGC, but it comes with other benefits. Influencers have their own fan bases and authority in their niche. The key to successful mobile influencer marketing is choosing the right influencer. Therefore, make sure your influencers are:
- Relevant to your target audience
- Use the same platforms as your target audience
Besides these things, you should always make sure you’re keeping up with current influencer marketing trends.
For example, in 2022, the trend is to focus on micro and nano influencers. According to Later and Fohr, micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates on Instagram (about 7%). What makes these influencers so influential? They have a deep, personal relationship with their followers.
Another big trend in influencer marketing is video content. I know this one is not very surprising, but it’s undeniable. For example, the number of live video viewers increased by 50% in 2020 (Facebook). Okay, there was a lockdown, but still.
Users crave video content, and influencers (and brands) should deliver on this.
5G Opens up New Possibilities
Let’s close this article with a tech opportunity.
The 5G network is currently being adopted across the world. You might be wondering – what does internet speed have to do with mobile marketing?
Here comes the answer.
People are craving rich and interactive experiences. They want to experience them without internet disturbances. The 5G technology will help marketers with this, allowing them to deliver data-heavy experiences they weren’t able to provide before.
Here’s which 5G capabilities will help out mobile marketers:
- High-speed data delivery
- 4K video streaming
- HD augmented reality
- HD virtual reality
Marketers can also expect that 5G will bring them better targeting options. As more and more devices are connected, more data will fly around. At this moment, we don’t know exactly how this is going to happen (especially with the ever-changing privacy regulations). However, we can expect this technology will help create super personalized ad experiences.
Consequently, as more and more users get access to 5G, they will demand more from marketers. For this reason, it is crucial to stay up to date and harness the opportunities offered by the 5G network. Make sure to do it before your competitors.
Finally, some even say that the introduction of 5G goes beyond just smartphones. Everything will be connected, and smartphones will be just a tiny part of it. They believe this is going to be the real beginning of the IoT era. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Industry Leaders’ Statements about Mobile Marketing Trends
Want to know what industry leaders think will be the biggest mobile marketing trends in the following years? We have collected statements from 10+ leading mobile companies like Apptopia, PubNative, ARPU Brothers, App Growth Network, InMobi, and many others! Let’s see what they have to say about up-and-coming mobile marketing trends.
Ilia Kukharev, Head of ASO at AppFollow
“One of the main events of this year influencing trends in the industry is the abolition of the IDFA (The Identifier for Advertisers). No one knows for sure what kind of changes await us in the future. The data is being aggregated continuously, including the percentage of users that do allow tracking on their devices. But even now, you can make a forecast based on present market data and trends.
First, organic user acquisition will get more focus. We’re speaking of ASO optimization in this case, including keyword analysis and the graphical assets on the app page – the app icon and the screenshots.
Second, is the use of an official and specialized ad platform, like Apple Search Ads. This platform helps to promote the app in the store itself by placing the app even before the relevant search results are present, on the top spot. It’s safe to say that a portion of marketing budgets will be allocated exactly to Apple Search Ads since Apple does support proper install attribution available from this ad network.
Third, is the reallocation of the ad budgets on Android. On Android, all attribution systems still work perfectly fine, the data is aggregated well and can be analyzed successfully.”
Peter Plachta, Founder at ARPU Brothers
“In the next year, the importance of metadata (title, short description, subtitle, keywords, keywords in the description) in terms of its impact on positions in search results will decrease. Google Play has announced that the application title will be limited to 30 characters in the next few months. It has been visible in the App Store for a long time that reaching the TOP 10 position in search results requires several months, not several days or one month. Traffic from browsing the App Store and Google Play will be much more important.
App Store Optimization will rely on browsing traffic over the next few years. Probably, new categories and new promotional tabs with selected games or applications will be added. Here, the winners will be games and applications with the best quality (retention, high ARPPU), but also with a budget for user acquisition.
I think that in the following years, the App Store advertising ecosystem will be expanded, and search results will increasingly correlate with Apple Search Ads. It is very possible that Apple will go into the development of the video advertising network and become strong competition for Audience Network and Admob. As of today, attracting advertisers to Apple Search Ads is very difficult due to the high cost of acquiring a user on this platform.
Due to changes in attribution in iOS in 2021 and Apple’s move towards SKAdNetwork, mobile game developers will be more cross-promoting their mobile games.”
Lina Danilchik, Marketing Manager at SplitMetrics & SearchAdsHQ
“I would like to highlight omnichannel marketing and shift towards “traditional” marketing channels as some of the main mobile marketing trends. For example, email; augmented reality; automation in order to reduce or eliminate routine, manual, time-consuming tasks and optimize performance.”
Venkatesh C.R, MD and CEO of Dot Com Infoway
“We have witnessed exponential growth in the mobile app marketing industry over the past few years. It would not be wrong to say that mobile app marketing is steadily gaining an edge over the web. As compared to the last year, the total mobile ad spend is expected to reach USD 290 billion, which is a whopping 21% higher than last year.
Although the shift to a mobile-first approach has been in practice for a couple of years, the pandemic has accelerated this trend in 2020/21. This dramatic leap will surely cause a drastic increase in the availability of mobile apps, leading to a booming app marketplace. Moreover, companies and businesses are launching more and more mobile apps to increase their customer base.
In the coming years, if you want to stand out among your competitors, then you must deploy an end-to-end mobile app marketing strategy that increases user acquisition, app discoverability, and most importantly, revenue generation.”
Jonathan Kay, Co-founder and COO of Apptopia
“I think the technology that enables less human interaction (where there doesn’t necessarily need to be any) will be more deeply integrated into society. For example, my Lyft driver and I should not have to confirm with each other that we are the right person. If I allow the permission, the driver should know (maybe something lights up green on his/her screen) that my phone has just entered their vehicle, and my phone should notify me that I’ve just entered their vehicle. An example of this theme (less human interaction for the sake of efficiency) is already taking place with Chick-fil-A’s dine-in mobile ordering. Consumers come to the restaurant, sit down and order at their table via their mobile phones. Soon enough, hot and crispy chicken is coming at ya.”
Daniel Peris, CEO at TheTool.io
“In my opinion, the next year will be the year of ASO (App Store Optimization), and this discipline will, without any doubt, be one of the biggest mobile marketing trends. ASO has changed a lot since its birth in 2007-2008, and, unlike at the beginning, it does not only have to do with adding keywords to listings anymore. Now, algorithms in the stores – Google Play – work with Machine Learning to recommend apps (similar or related). Also, user retention and product quality (app or game) are having more and more impact on visibility on the app stores.
Therefore, this will be what developers, brands, startups, and mobile video games companies will have to focus on. Mobile app marketing will evolve, just as it did until now: app stores won’t stop evolving, and, consequently, the same will happen for App Store Optimization. The fusion of ASO and UA, the focus on user retention + solving bugs, crashes, ANRs, and listings’ advanced on-metadata optimization on App Store & Google Play will be trends to follow if you don’t want to become obsolete.”
Ionut Ciobotaru, Founder & CEO, PubNative
Shorter supply paths and an increase in the disintermediation of media agencies will be accelerated as the need for total transparency from advertisers will continue to grow, with many more marketers moving parts of their programmatic activity in-house. Also, on the supply side, we’ll notice more SSPs seeking and growing direct relationships with advertisers. Full transparency will increasingly become a requirement in programmatic media buying, not only in regards to pricing but in regards to ad placements and creatives as well.
The proliferation of in-app header bidding will continue to be a major trend with significant advancements on both the client-side as well as on the server-side, with solutions such as Prebid, the open-source header bidding project, becoming more widely adopted across the industry.
Fouad Saeidi, Founder of App Growth Network
“At App Growth Network, we believe one of the top mobile trends is the continued rise of AI and voice technology. As users expect more personalization and for apps to do more with less effort, voice recognition is major consideration app owners, and developers will need to take into account.
In terms of app marketing, this also means considering Voice Search optimization in addition to the traditional Search Engine and App Store optimization tactics. Different strategies are involved as technology continues to advance and become more sophisticated – which makes it keeping up with the changes all the more important for an app’s overall success.”
Abhay Singhal, CEO of InMobi Marketing Cloud
Data Usage in Mobile Marketing is Evolving.
“In the years that follow, marketers’ relationship with data will shift in favor of higher-quality sources and more thoughtful utilization. Rather than managing a firehose of data from myriad sources, marketers will be deliberate and selective with how data is collected, where it’s coming from, whether it’s a mobile source, and what insights can be derived.
With compliance, privacy, and trust at the helm of marketing initiatives, higher-quality data sources yielding higher-quality data, will help marketers better understand their consumers across environments and utilize insights in a compliant and more thoughtful way. Looking ahead, marketers will develop a holistic understanding of consumers no matter where they’re based or what device they’re using for better a mobile in-app experience, thanks to quality data.”
Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO & Co-founder at AppFollow.io
“Trustworthiness will be super important for app businesses. Mobile apps that struggle with poor ratings, performance issues, or other trust issues highlighted in the App Store and Google Play reviews will have a hard time competing for users.
It is time to develop your Online Reputation Management strategy, adopt ORM tools to speed up and simplify the process, and stay consistent with your responses. The goal here is not only to clean up negative reviews. The really smart app developers will work with app reviews to find out what users really want from their app and make proactive changes to the product roadmap, find and fix bugs and app performance issues before they become critical, gain users’ trust and credibility, and keep them coming back. Working towards strengthening app’s reputation will also positively impact app’s visibility in stores and conversion rates.”
Alexei Chemenda, CRO USA Adikteev
“The ad-tech industry went through a few phases: first it was growth (at all costs), then advertisers looked at retention, then unit economics, and more recently, incrementality. The next year will be governed by consolidation & marginality. Or in other words, does an advertiser’s marketing actions really move the needle for them, and are these actions really worth the team’s time? We already see this trend, and it should only accelerate moving forward: the number of channels an advertiser works with is dropping fast.
In the past, some advertisers were spending on 300+ digital channels every single day. Consolidating to a few strong initiatives (brand awareness, installs, retention, revenue) and selecting only the top 3 partners in each initiative will allow for a much-needed efficiency in today’s marketing teams and deliver overall stronger profitability for marketing departments.”
Steve Young, founder at AppMasters
“I would say email marketing will be one of the biggest mobile marketing trends. It’s a tried-and-true strategy for many businesses, yet app publishers have not adopted as much as they should. It’s a great channel for retention and revenue. The lowest hanging fruit would be an activation email sequence that is triggered once a new user signs up. App developers should provide content that will introduce the most relevant features of the app and also use this opportunity to give users a discount on their subscription packages. If you analyze the big apps out there, you’ll find that they are all using this sequence.”
Wrapping up on Mobile Marketing Trends in 2022
That’s it! Those were the biggest mobile marketing trends to look out for in 2022.
As you can see, you can forget about trends from a few years ago. To be able to create a great mobile marketing strategy, you have to keep your eyes wide open.
You want to be a trendsetter, not just a follower.
The most important thing in 2022 and the years to follow is to stay ahead of your competition. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, too. Make sure you don’t disappoint them. The only way to avoid doing so is to stay innovative, creative, and up-to-date with the latest mobile marketing trends.
Need any help with implementing these mobile marketing trends? Want to know more about what’s coming? Leave a comment below! We’d be happy to help you.