Top Marketing Trends for 2022
Top Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2022
Another wacky year has come and gone. So, let’s spend some time analyzing upcoming trends and brainstorming ways to stay agile for 2022.
Death of the Chrome Cookie and What it Means for Your Business
While the announcement that Google intends to phase out the third-party cookie on its Chrome browser isn’t new, unease grows as the 2022 deadline approaches. Cookie death has already been accepted on other browsers, but Chrome is the largest, accounting for over half of global web traffic.
So, if your business relies on this data for marketing, you’ll need a plan B.
On the upside, if you have strong first-party data (from your company website), you can still get a firm grasp on customer habits and preferences, enabling you to personalize communications and create a more positive customer experience. Here are a few tips for boosting your base and strengthening your data stream:
- Host Online Events: Webinars, product launches, and other online bonanzas not only promote brand awareness and solidify relationships, they let you gather vital customer information. The more you get to know people on your turf, the more advanced your customer profiles become. And as you build trustworthy profiles, your ability to upsell and cross sell increases.
- Create Messages That Go Straight to Your Audience: Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the potency of SEO, business listings, and social media advertising, but you should recognize their limitations, especially as metrics and algorithms change. On top of the dizzying mathematics involved, relying solely on third-party mediums (cough, social media) means your content has to cut through All. That. Noise.
The solution? Balance those avenues with compelling, custom content that builds its own audience. From blogs and newsletters to brief industry updates, solve customer’s problems via their inbox (thanks to all your top-tier data) and you’ll go a long way in creating a loyal following.
- Aim to Educate, Not Sell: It’s no surprise that modern consumers will avoid aggressive advertising any chance they get. Can you blame them? They’re bombarded on every front these days. So, instead of resorting to a steady stream of Buy My Stuff, empathize with your customer’s problems and show them how your product/service comes to the rescue.
When you educate instead of advertise, you position yourself as helpful rather than annoying (always a plus in the marketing world). Content that falls under this umbrella includes anything that leads people in the right direction but gives them control over the timeline. Here are some of the most popular examples:
- Product demos or videos
- E-books, webinars, podcasts
- White papers, case studies
Covid’s Continuing Effects on Consumer Preferences
Of course, Covid messed with countless aspects of our lives, including how we interact with businesses. Pandemics will do such things.
In-person events became one of the first realities to change, and many companies came to realize the benefits of digital gatherings:
- Analytics: Ah, the math marketers love to hate. For better or worse, digital platforms let you collect vital data like daily attendance, average watch times, audience engagement, and more.
- Accessibility: While the logistics of in-person events limits who can attend, virtual events allow people from any location to participate. And when you increase your business’ reach, you win.
- Cost Savings: Everyone saves cash when events go digital. Companies don’t have to budget for venue, food, and swag, and attendees save on travel costs.
On the flip side, you can’t deny that face-to-face interactions help facilitate strong relationships, communication, and overall business development.
But here’s the beauty of 2022 as a new era—hybrid events. Yes, you can host shindigs that welcome in-person and virtual attendance. Those who want to network live can check out vendor booths and soak up the social atmosphere, and anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to attend in person can access the same event on their favorite device.
Here are a few tips for mastering the mix:
- Treat Both Formats Equally: If you focus time, resources, and energy to ensure all attendees can access outstanding content—think Q&As, special offers, demos, and other educational materials—you’ll have an easier time winning over both audiences.
- Plan Ahead: See above. To pull it off, you’ll need solid research and an eager team of experts.
- Market to Both Audiences: This one goes without saying, but don’t forget to communicate before, during, and after the event…to ALL attendees.
Along with affecting desire and ability to attend events, Covid realities influenced how we consume media.
Digital marketing has been a thing for a while, but when isolation blurred the line between home and office, the simple act of reading an online article became tricky for many folks. Between the responsibilities of parenthood (overseeing virtual learning, keeping little ones away from disaster, refereeing sibling arguments) and work (Zoom meetings, Zoom meetings, Zoom meetings), people’s time and attention spans shrunk even more.
Some experts point to this shrinkage (at least partially) for the tremendous rise in video content popularity. It’s hard to argue otherwise, since videos let audiences easily digest information. Not only do they provide convenience and visual appeal, they’re relatively easy and inexpensive to make. It’s no surprise then that one of the top trends for 2022 is video marketing.
Especially as you adopt the education-over-selling strategy for your business, you’ll find videos extra helpful. From product demonstrations and customer testimonials to behind-the-scenes looks at your team, master the art of a short, engaging video and you’ll stand apart from your competition.
Social Shifts and Being a Company Who Cares
It’s hard not to recognize the collective awakening taking place, especially when it comes to social values, environmental sustainability, and the importance of community. People have strong opinions, and they want to back companies whose values align with their own.
This trend has been years in the making, according to this 2018 report claiming 62% of customers want companies to take a stand on important current events. A global pandemic and political division have amplified this desire, and as we enter 2022, both small and mammoth businesses are publicly proclaiming their points of view.
There are many ways to embrace a cause and market your philanthropy, and it might take trial and error to find which ones work for your brand. But consider these jumping off points:
- Start on the Inside: To stay authentic and consistent with your business’ convictions, it helps to start from within. Decide what beliefs and behaviors you value as a company and outline how to incorporate them into everyday work practices.
- Hire people who model company values – In the early stages of an employee lifecycle (preferably during the interview process), be clear about your organization’s mission and values. This transparency can save time and resources down the line, as well, since a ‘bad fit’ benefits no one.
- Keep leaders accountable – If you expect folks to behave a certain way, leadership should do the same. From major business decisions to the everyday treatment of clients and staff, executives and managers must reinforce organizational values.
- Make Company Values Visible: While you don’t have to stand on a platform in every social media post (that level of zeal might backfire anyway), having a Mission & Values section on your website is a fundamental way to showcase your company’s beliefs. This public display will help prospective employees and customers understand and appreciate your business.
The work shouldn’t stop there, though. Continue to back up those words with practices—contribute to nonprofits that align with company values, volunteer in your community, and tastefully market both—and you’ll connect with people in a meaningful way.
- Build Partnerships: Team up with other local businesses or nonprofits actively helping your community. Not only will these alliances strengthen professional bonds, they’ll establish your company as a helpful community resource.
- Stay Positive: As you promote your brand’s views, you might offend someone no matter how delicately you craft the message. That said, it helps to stand behind your beliefs without excluding different opinions. It’s a tricky line to walk sometimes, but aim to be FOR something instead of AGAINST its opposite.
Take REI’s #OptOutside campaign, for example. Instead of condemning screens, it makes a strong but gentle call to get outside and connect with nature.
Staying up-to-date on trends is vital for small and large enterprises. Understanding changing technology and consumer psychology will help you propel your business forward in 2022 and beyond. Yet, as we analyze what’s to come, many marketing best practices remain relatively unchanged.
It’s never been a bad idea to create high-value content, embrace technology, and maintain strong company values. But with the market packed with brands trying to stay ahead, adopting these strategies is no longer optional.
For more insights into industry-specific trends for 2022, check out these downloadable Marketing Guides from Xpressdocs. We support your marketing efforts. So you can take a breather.