2022! What?! It doesn’t matter how many times we look at the date, we still can’t believe it’s already here. It’s time to take a step back and look at what’s on the horizon and what’s heading out in the ever-changing world of marketing. We’ve got the inside scoop on which trends are going to thrive this year and you should add to your marketing strategy. However, nothing stays in fashion forever, so there are also some ideas that you should retire this year.
With consumers finding companies inauthentic in their branding and advertisements, many brands have turned to user-generated content (UGC). UGC is any visual content originally created and published by social media users about a brand. This style of content is usually well-received with consumers as 60% of them
think UGC is the most authentic form of content. TikTok is a popular platform for this type of content as users can stitch themselves with current videos.
Consumers trust what they know to be real and are more likely to listen to honest reviews of a product or service over a message coming directly from the brand. With a large group of people posting about their interest in the same topic, a community will begin to form. You’ll be able to start conversations with users to establish trust and make them feel heard.
TikTok is mentioned on this hotlist multiple times and it’s for good reasons. The platform created the perfect algorithm to capture audiences and people are flocking to join in on the popular trends. The app has over 3 billion downloads
, making it the only app outside of Facebook to reach this milestone. But TikTok isn’t the only platform to take advantage of the growing popularity of short-form videos. Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Triller are all benefiting from this trend. A short-form video can be anything from brand challenges to influencer ads, but they boil down to any video content that is around 2 minutes and 30 seconds or less. Marketers are already preparing for short-form videos to continue to dominate the digital world; 51% of marketers
who currently use this strategy are planning to increase their investment in 2022.
Often people hear the word “influencer” and jump to the highly sought-after, celebrity-status influencers with millions of followers across their social channels as numerous brands battle for their attention. All the while, micro-influencers are a virtually untapped resource with the potential for incredible results. Now, don’t be fooled by the term “micro” as these influencers still have a significant social presence with around 10-100,000 followers. Their smaller community creates a relatable and authentic environment that leads to highest engagement rates across all types of influencers.
In addition to their engagement rates, the cost of working with a micro-influencer is significantly less, roughly one cent for every follower, giving you a high ROI. Since their audiences' interests surround a few niche topics, it makes it even easier to target and connect with a very specific group.
Content Marketing is always piping hot and we don’t see it cooling down anytime soon, but personalized content is a great way to up your game. This goes way beyond an email addressed as “Dear *Customer Name*”. People want to connect with brands. Eighty percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that offers personalized experiences. Segmentation identifies subgroups of your audience and provides more relevant messaging depending on individual groups. A popular use of segmentation is targeting loyal customers or frequent buyers.
Retail and social platforms have advanced their algorithms to analyze a customer’s behavior and recommend products based on their past purchases and search histories. You’ll often notice a list of “might be interested” items below that have been calculated using your website data while online shopping. Personalized content is all about using the right data to make connections and create loyal customers. By engaging, you’re encouraging them to reply, which could give you valuable insight into a customer’s wants and needs.
Overly Curated Content
Consumers crave authenticity. They don’t want mass manufactured content by a corporate team that’s disconnected from their wants and needs. Instead, they want transparent messaging that shares a company’s values and actions rather than hiding behind the curtain. “Off-the-cuff" Instagram Stories, snippets of behind-the-scenes and working with influencers will allow you to connect with your consumers and establish meaningful relationships. Not only do you get to connect with your audience, but you can also gain instant feedback to know what their exact needs are. Companies often share what they want to say rather than information that is useful to their consumers and now is the time to shift focus. Interactive content, mostly over social media, allows you to gather this information and earn the trust of consumers. By interacting and responding, you’re showing the personality of your brand.
Excessive Posting & Advertising
Consumers are tired of being bombarded with constant content and advertisements, finding them invasive and annoying. While we encourage consistently posting content on your social channels and your blog, posting too often can turn into spam. It’s all about the quality of the message. Each digital platform has an algorithm to show users content that’s more relevant and useful to them, not who pushes out the most.
In addition to being strategic with the frequency of your posts, it is also important to determine where they will be shared. Not every social media channel works for every type of business, it is more important to focus on a few channels that you can dedicate your efforts to rather than spreading yourself thin across every single one.
Focusing on Followers
Your follower count is referred to as a vanity metric. It looks good, but it doesn’t necessarily represent the success of your account. There’s no value in having thousands of followers if only a few hundred ever engage with your content. People may see your posts, but they are not interested enough to engage with it, let alone navigate back to your profile or website to make a purchase. You need to be sharing relevant content and tracking engagement rates. In addition, metrics themselves are useless unless you have something to compare them to. Collecting weekly or monthly data shows you how your page is developing and that you are posting useful and interesting information. You can also track the path which a customer or lead followed to your site.
Generalized Mass Email Sends
Email marketing is alive and well, but only if you’re implementing the appropriate strategies. The first mistake is using a singular email list and sending out every message to everyone on that list. You should regularly clean out your email lists for unengaged and outdated subscribers that can hinder your campaign performance. You can also divide the list into subgroups to reflect attributes, such as geolocations and past purchases from your brand, to send relevant information. One way to increase your open rate, once you have updated your email list, is to use subject lines that are useful to your audience and hint at the email contents. General email subject lines with no context will be skipped over and your performance will suffer.
To sum it all up, personalization is vital. When sending your emails, address the message by the customer’s name or include product recommendations. This way you’re connecting with your customer and establishing the trust that consumers are wanting.
It’s time to leave these strategies behind and keep focused on what lies ahead. Customers are looking for authentic and transparent content from brands, and you should be prepared to see this reflected in marketing strategies in 2022.
The new year has only just begun, but we have a feeling that it is going to be a good one. If you need help getting ready for the year, contact us and we can help make this the best year yet!