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Though infinitely better than 2020, 2021 had its own unique challenges. With 2022 off to its start, it’s a chance to start fresh and do all the stuff we swore we’d get done every other year.
Whether personal or professional, the new year is a time to set goals and start delivering on your plan. If you’re a business owner, that includes setting marketing goals and developing your marketing strategies.
So, what’s going to be hot in 2022? After so much time spent apart, we expect 2022 to be about telling a compelling brand story, connecting with customers online and embracing the new and experimental marketing channels that flourished during the pandemic.
Get comfortable in the spotlight
As evidenced by the rise of TikTok and short-form video content, video marketing is the future. Appealing to shorter attention spans and offering more raw and authentic storytelling, videos remove a lot of the salesy tactics that younger generations hate and humanize a brand.
Don’t believe it? Consider that Google announced that YouTube reaches more people between 18 and 49 in a week than all the cable networks combined in the U.S. That’s right — cable.
And according to social media data, users are showing increases in video views and engagement over photo or text posts.
If you’re not using video yet, you’re behind the curve. It’s effective, your audience expects it and you have an opportunity to build strong, loyal relationships with customers who care about the human behind the brand.
Make it personal
Another possible leftover from social distancing, consumers care more about being seen, heard and valued by brands. It’s no longer one-sided — your customer wants to feel like they have influence and they’re part of the community.
These customers want personalized product recommendations, highly targeted content and tailored promotions and discounts. The same old boilerplate email and ad copy won’t do.
Personalization is a high priority for marketing in 2022. Create targeted content, emails and landing pages with personalized messaging for your ideal segments and personas. If needed, segment your database and drill down your buyer personas to craft relevant messaging.
Approach your copy and content like a human, not a faceless brand. Use your customers’ names and respond to emails or social media comments and messages.
Adopt a customer-centric approach
These marketing trends have something in common — the customer. You might be thinking it’s always been about the customer, but there’s a difference between understanding customer focus and putting it into practice.
Customer-centricity means putting the customer at the front and center of all that you do. It’s not the same as saying you’re focused on customer satisfaction or unparalleled customer service. It’s about truly understanding who your customer is, what they need, how you can deliver it and how to wrap the whole thing up in a meaningful and lasting experience.
Truly customer-centric brands create a culture around the customer. They consider the customer in every business decision, organizational change and customer touchpoint. All that legwork pays off when you get higher retention rates, less price sensitivity, more referrals and higher revenue.
Think more CX, less UX
User experience (UX) was a buzzword recently and became the beginning and end of everything for product or app design. Designers poured everything into creating the ideal perception of efficiency, utility and ease of use.
UX is only one piece of the puzzle, however. Customer experience (CX) encompasses the entire perception and impression across all touchpoints — from the moment they become aware of a brand to the support they receive after purchase. While UX is part of CX, the full picture is necessary to create a cohesive and memorable experience that keeps people coming back.
Content is still king
The internet and social media aren’t slowing down, so we should expect to see more noise and clutter on the internet moving into the new year. It’s likely to be even harder to stand out, especially if you’re only relying on advertising.
Content has been and will continue to be an excellent way to connect with customers, offer value and solutions and build their trust. Over time, customers come to see your brand as the go-to source for answers and information about a topic or industry.
That is if the content is good. Churning out content for the sake of it not only wastes your time and money but can damage your brand image and create negative customer sentiment.
A solid, effective content marketing strategy is an important part of your digital strategy and can have a lasting impact long after 2022 comes and goes.
Elevate your marketing in 2022
Start the year off right with effective marketing strategies that keep the customer at the forefront, embrace the human elements of your brand and personalize the experience to fuel your business growth in 2022 and beyond.