The year is coming to a close. And soon, we will be welcoming a brand-new year. With 2022 right around the corner, it is critical to plan your marketing strategies to approach the upcoming year with optimism to achieve or even go above and beyond your company’s goals.
A lot has happened this year that brings about a lot of changes on how we should approach marketing to make a sale and increase the ROI. For instance, the world is beginning to embrace the new normal, which has changed a lot of our habits. The pandemic has put the spotlight on the digital world as we stay socially distanced. And it seems that even when the pandemic is over, these new habits will stick around. Therefore, if you want your marketing to be effective, your strategies should be aligned with these changes.
Online marketing will continue to be essential, and so will content marketing. The demand for more information that educates, entertains, or both, will drive marketing machines to reach potential customers. Educating and engaging the audience will continue to be the best way to grab consumers’ attention. With social media still taking the driver seat, companies should put their money in Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) marketing.
The Rise of Online Events
Although we are slowly returning to in-person events, online events will increase in 2022. A global survey by Kaltura found that 94% of organizers plan an online event in 2022, and 48% plan more online events in 2022 than in 2021. Virtual events such as online product launches and webinars are convenient avenues to spread the word about your business, acquire new customers, and proactively retain existing ones. They are cheaper to host, and the content drives more engagement.
Online events allow you to gather data from those who are attending. You can use this data to reach out to them later to convert your attendees into customers. You can also use the information to build customer avatars, enabling you to target a specific audience and sell to them directly. It eliminates the need for third-party information and can build a stronger relationship with your audience.
Even if virtual events do not bring instant conversion, they are an effective way to generate leads. Just make sure to verify your leads, so you don’t waste time and money trying to reach outdated or incorrect contact information.
The Art of Soft-selling
People will not want to buy from you if you keep selling all the time. Therefore, you should learn the art of soft-selling—marketing in such a way that you teach or entertain your audience instead of selling to them. Approach and engage them in a way that you do not always have to bring up your brand or products. Focus on their needs instead of what you are selling. Use data to create personalized experiences based upon the challenges your audience faces. Obtain the skills to understand your followers and to build a strong, trusting relationship with them.
Stop pushing your products every time you post on social media or create content on your website. Variety is essential when it comes to communicating with your audience.
Invest in building a community around your brand, resulting in a group of loyal customers. The community does not need to be focused on your products but a shared interest relevant to your brand. For instance, instead of focusing on the shoes, you are selling, you can focus on staying fit and healthy or dressing up fashionably, whichever is applicable to the type of product you are trying to sell. Features tell, but benefits sell, so focus more on how your online community can benefit from your company.
Produce High-Quality Content
With tons of content on the internet today, which will only increase in the coming new year, people’s attention is definitely trickier to grab. So, simple, one-of-a-kind, and high-quality content is key to getting their attention. Instead of creating a “list article” on a specific topic, it is best to bank on an unexpected twist or informative tips that cannot be found anywhere else. Tapping on personal experience is an excellent source of unique content.
Work on longer articles that the audience can learn from. SEO will remain important, so make sure that it is a top consideration in your content. If you can make it interactive, all the better, as that will always drive more engagement.
Visual content will continue to get more eyeballs. So, invest more in producing photo or video content. Social media has put a premium on this type of content, and it receives greater exposure than a link to a website. Your visual content does not need to be professionally made all the time, as that will seem like a hard-sell and can be off-putting to potential customers. Personalize and humanize yourself. After all, people want to do business with people, not machines. Organic visual content that is simple and cheap to create can make a difference when marketing your brand.
Posting every hour will no longer be the norm. Even if you post with less frequency but guarantee that your content is high quality and engaging, you are bound to reach more people. High-quality, engaging content also gets shared more, which increases the number of people who will see your content.
Personalize Your Messages
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others have opened communication channels for businesses to talk directly to their customers, which is why D2C marketing will skyrocket in 2022. Companies need to develop ways to communicate better with their audience and engage them with the message.
It is crucial for brands to understand their audience more so they can customize the way they talk to their followers and fans. Personalized messages are more appealing to customers and can lead to more sales. Social selling will gain popularity, too. It should be a two-way street so give your followers a way to respond to you and listen to what they have to say because that can help you realign your marketing strategies.
Although not everyone will follow you on social media, those who do will have interests that are relevant to you. Form your following, nurture it, and soon you will benefit from it.
Automate Your Marketing—Work Smart, Not Hard
The upcoming year will increase data-driven marketing campaigns, and it does not matter what industry you work in. You need to stay on top of things through automation in order to stay caught up because many things are happening fast. Therefore, taking advantage of marketing automation can make your strategy more efficient since you will be spending less time on repetitive tasks and focus more on things that really matter—your customers.
Your marketing efforts will help you shape your customer profiles and drive them down the sales funnel. The one-size-fits-all approach is now obsolete; you need to learn how to segment your techniques, content, and approach depending on your audience. It can be tedious, so automating whenever you can make the process more efficient.
People online are becoming more intelligent and savvy. If you want to stay in front of them in the sea of noise, you need to track everything—from the websites they visit, the blogs they read, the links they share, to the posts they react to. Knowing how they engage with you online can also help you assist them when they need to decide whether to make a purchase or not.
There are many tools that allow you to automate. Facebook and Instagram give you options to configure your auto-replies so that your followers are never left unanswered. You can use third-party tools to schedule your social media posts in advance. Hence, you never miss an opportunity to reach out to your audience. Chatbots are also found to be effective in keeping communication lines open and assisting your audience whenever they require help. Marketing automation is vital in 2022.
The Future of Marketing—2022 and Beyond
The upcoming year is a year of transformation in the marketing world. The changes in our habits due to the pandemic are something that must be addressed moving forward. There are still many uncertainties in the world we live in, and there are enormous changes on the horizon that will impact the way we market.
One thing is for sure though, grabbing people’s attention will continue to be challenging. Therefore, you should not be scared to think outside the box and try new things. As Mark Zuckerberg said, “move fast and break things.” Try new things, measure, repeat what worked, and eliminate what didn’t.
Make sure people are listening. It is a waste of time and money keeping outdated strategies that fail to reach your target audience. If you are following the strategies mentioned above, the next thing to do is check that you can actually communicate with potential customers. If you have a leads database, keep it updated before running any marketing campaign. Verify that the contacts on your list are reachable before reaching out to them.
So, what are your marketing plans for 2022 and beyond?