The changing UK digital landscape

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the UK’s relationship with digital for work and leisure. However, thanks to our experiences of living in and out of lockdowns, the pandemic has also highlighted digital and wealth inequalities across the country. In 2022, organisations need to consider whether they have a role to play in reducing the digital divide here in the UK.

Philippa Bevan, Director, comments:

“For some B2B organisations, adopting a digital marketing approach has been a challenge, requiring a considerable leap forward. However, in the last two years, working from home has propelled companies to embrace technology solutions simply to enable staff to work from home.

At the same time, the B2B sector has also seen value in how technology plays a vital role in marketing as the nature – and places – where organisations can engage with potential customers has changed.

For example, increasingly B2B companies are embracing the use of video content to reach their audiences, similarly, website redevelopments have also increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic – to create suitable digital storefronts.”

So what does the UK social media market look like in 2022?

Social media is now the preferred channel for researching brands – with search engines coming in second. Even in B2B markets, companies need to review how users will experience their company on social media.

In January 2022, there were 57.60 million social media users (over 80% population) using social media in the UK. There are also a little under 67 million internet users in the United Kingdom.

WhatsApp is the most-used social media in the UK, with Facebook and Facebook Messenger claiming second and third place.

TikTok’s popularity in the UK is currently soaring with user numbers rising by more than a third in the past year to over 21.8 million adults.

What does this mean for B2B marketing?

LinkedIn and Twitter continue to form the mainstay of any B2B social media strategy with both platforms offering appropriate opportunities to engage with buyers and influencers. However, as the chart above shows, with growing numbers of social media users, across multiple platforms, 2022 is the year to reconsider and re-evaluate where best to meet your audiences.

One trend that may bring parallel benefits in the B2B space is being driven by Gen Z who are using social media to learn. Learning has long played a role on platforms like YouTube, but recently there’s been an upturn in the number of people turning to social to learn. Informal learning of practical skills in their social feed equips users with knowledge that they may not be able to access in conventional education. For complex products and services sold in the B2B space, social media may provide an opportunity to educate users.

Video trumps all

According to YouTube, there are currently 57.6 million YouTube users in the UK. It is unsurprising that the UK’s digital advertising spend increased by 22% last year to $27.22 billion, of which $4.61 billion was spent on video advertising – a huge 24% increase on the previous year.


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