2022 Digital Trends Wrapped | Brunswick Group

2022 Digital Trends Wrapped

Our experts outline the top industry trends they’re seeing.

From the global pandemic and 'great resignation' affecting how and where leaders interact with employees, to social injustice and geopolitical upheaval compelling instantaneous action, resiliency was key for effective Connected Leadership in 2022.

As we plan for 2023, leaders must remain resilient, build agility into their digital strategy, and follow top industry trends to break through the crowded online landscape.

Below we’ve outlined the top 6 industry trends we’re seeing and how you can use them in your 2023 strategies to increase reach and efficacy online.

1. Video content reigns supreme: Capitalizing on TikTok's success, other platforms – especially Instagram – have found ways to adopt short-form video to help creators capture audiences' short-lived attention. In the new year, find ways to use short-form video like GIFs and Reels to showcase personality and keep an eye on TikTok. If past is precedent, we will see more business leaders and corporate messaging there.

2. We’ve entered the age of the influencer: As the influencer market continues to grow, platforms are investing heavily in content creators to capture audiences and keep users on-platform. Companies and leaders alike should aim to post more creative, engaging original content via partnerships, collaborations, and even outsourced content with other creators to cut through and reach new audiences.

3. TikTok, Instagram, and Reddit pose a threat to Google search: Audiences are turning to social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Reddit for reliable information, likely due to their visual-based content, crowdsourced information, and decrease in ad frequency. While Google is still king, companies and leaders must find additional ways to increase their discoverability (see my last newsletter for tips on how to do this), invest in social monitoring capabilities, and create a strategic search and social content strategy.

4. Podcast popularity continues to rise: With over 383.7M people globally listening to podcasts and trends showing a user shift away from longer-form content, podcasts are a way to reach specific, niche audiences with in-depth content. As you plan for 2023, consider launching or joining a podcast, sponsoring a podcast via ads, or partnering with a major podcast.

5. Digital is increasingly the primary news source: Digital channels have overtaken traditional for news consumption, with a majority of the world’s population preferring to access their news digitally. And our 2022 Connected Leadership Report found that when there is breaking news or a company crisis, majorities of financial readers, investors, and employees want to hear from leaders directly. While every breaking news moment does not warrant a response, companies must have a framework in place for an agile, values-driven, action-oriented response from leaders.

6. 1st party data will lead the way for advertisers in a “cookieless” future: Brands will need to explore ways to collect and leverage first-party data to successfully reach users, as the digital space expects to move into a cookieless future by 2024. In 2023, find ways to collect first-party data to reach key stakeholders (i.e., email lists captured through the corporate or IR website, email newsletters, or opt-in pixel tracking).

Effective Connected Leadership requires a strategy, resources, and commitment. When creating your 2023 plan, remember that, above all, the best leadership platforms are human. This style of leadership helps foster relationships and build a reservoir of trust that, almost certainly, will be needed.


Craig Mullaney is a Brunswick Partner based in Washington, DC. He is an experienced advisor and a New York Times best-selling author. Meredith Hessel is an Executive with the Digital team also based in the Washington, DC office.

Illustration by James Yang.