While it’s true that Digital Marketing has always been a dynamic field, brands and marketers alike have been shaken up even more by the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers are shopping differently, economic changes have impacted spending habits, and the way in which brands communicate with their audience has never been more important. Adapting to the “new normal” of marketing now will save your bottom line in the future. Here are some trends that we’ve seen in the past year and things to embrace in 2022:
• People expect socially and environmentally responsible brands.
• The cost of living is rising, and people are searching for deals.
• People are turning to social media for community and inspiration.
• People expect transparent brands that they can trust.
• People expect fast and personalized customer service.
• Agility is a crucial skill for any business in the post-pandemic world.
Digital Marketing Trends for 2022
How can you apply these trends in an impactful way that benefits your business? Here are six tips to consider for your strategy in the new year.
1. Create Authentic Connections with Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
The economy is globalizing on an unprecedented scale, and people expect to see faces at the table that are representative of the global population. People seek out brands that reflect their personal values and make them feel seen, heard, and represented. Be inclusive with your marketing approach. Curate campaigns with diverse groups of people to create an authentic connection with your audience. DEI isn’t just about race - so make sure you take age, gender, sexual orientation, language, education, income, beliefs, and more into consideration as well. Use diverse imagery and tailor messaging to align with each audience. Make sure to highlight pain points and experiences that anyone—regardless of background—interacting with your product would have to avoid stereotyping. Keep accessibility and inclusivity at top of mind when creating content or updating your website to ensure that potential customers with hearing or vision impairments can interact with your brand.
Finally, the best way to authentically diversify your marketing strategy is to diversify your marketing team.
Bringing on talent from diverse backgrounds will help you understand and speak to a more global audience. Besides, most people can see through performative campaigns. True DEI requires you to walk the walk.
2. Offer Coupons and Rewards
With inflation on the rise, everyone is looking for a way to cut back on the incredible price hikes we see in most industries.
Nearly one out of ten US consumers searched for coupons before shopping in 2020, with that number expected to rise as we enter 2022.
Use this to your advantage by rewarding loyal customers and enticing new ones. Here are some ideas:
Use limited-time offers to spark interest and create urgency.
Offer special deals to email list subscribers to grow your contact list.
Offer coupons and rewards for people who leave reviews for your products or services.
Offer a customer loyalty rewards program to create brand ambassadors that will keep returning to buy.
Offer product bundling to move more inventory.
Utilize influencer marketing by offering influencer discount codes. This is also a great way to track how effective different influencers are in driving conversions.
3. Lean into Community with Influencer Campaigns
The global pandemic has boosted influencer marketing, and with platforms like TikTok on the rise, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Influencers help build trust with your brand and allow you to tap into niche audiences. Reach out to micro-influencers for higher engagement and lower costs. Build a relationship with influencers to create long-term campaigns that add further credibility to your brand. Focus on short-form video content from creators to satisfy viewer tastes and the almighty algorithm. How-to videos of influencers applying your products in their “every day” will inspire consumers to act. Remember to thoroughly vet any potential influencers who are speaking on behalf of your brand. It’s important that you are both aligned on values and behaviors.
4. Trust and Transparency
Trust and transparency with your audience are key to building up your brand’s reputation. Every individual that interacts with your brand has their own unique relationship with you, so open and honest communication will go a long way. Here are some ways to build trust through communication:
Highlight your brand’s story by sharing personal stories from Founders and employees on how the brand got started and why they love working there.
Create BTS content on how your product is made or used.
Encourage suggestions and welcome feedback with polls or surveys.
Post real customer testimonials and don’t buy reviews.
Curate case studies to highlight success stories. Be specific: present the problem, the tactics you used as a solution, and the results of your work.
Give honest answers regardless of how difficult the topic or situation is. Don’t get defensive and don’t give the silent treatment. Stay in communication with your customers—even if it’s just to tell them you don’t have an answer for them yet.
5. Martech is Unavoidable—Spend Wisely
One thing the pandemic taught us was how important automation, speed, and personalization are in an increasingly digital world. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are helping marketers predict future landscapes and offer personalized content to leads. Chatbots are responding instantly to customers who have basic questions and want a quick answer, which is not only a great tool to address consumer needs for immediacy but also helps funnel potential leads into your CRM. Channels and ads cost more with algorithms making it harder to break through the noise for free. Make sure to spend wisely or risk poor budget allocation.
6. Prepare to Pivot Your Strategy
The most important thing we learned from the pandemic is the incredible value of agility. Brands that can adapt on the fly are the ones who can capitalize on challenging situations. Markets and consumer behaviors are forever changed by the pandemic. Rather than looking for things to “go back to normal,” adjust to this new normal and discover what that means for your brand and how SLTC can accelerate your growth.
With an incredibly diverse bench of talent and over 200 years of combined marketing experience in Google, Ecommerce, social media, and Email Marketing, SLTC can help support your unique business goals. Click here to see our services or contact us to discuss how we can help you start the new year on the right track.