The approaching new year should mean employing new marketing strategies
Well, you did it. Your business survived 2021. So, what did you learn? What were your greatest challenges? Strengths? Were you able to adjust and pivot to unpredictable situations and changing landscapes?
As we approach the new year, it’s a great time to take inventory of what you’ve accomplished and to be intentional about your marketing strategy for a successful 2022.
If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s that we are living in dynamic times with constantly shifting customer behaviors and preferences. So what trends are we seeing in today’s marketplace that should inform your 2022 plan?
1. Authenticity is king
As consumers become more savvy, they are demanding authenticity from the brands they engage with. Buyers want to know that they are dealing with a real person: someone they can relate to who cares about them and will personalize their experience. This means polished, perfectly crafted content and photography may be on the way out. Consumers want to see a brand’s “humanness.” They respond to content that is more conversational, less formal, and more personable. Social posts and web content may resonate better when it includes your team’s latest baby announcement, happy hour antics, or pet photos. Anything you can do to bring your human side to life and make your brand more relatable will go a long way to building customer advocates.
2. Customer retention is tops
Attracting new customers is exciting and rewarding; however, we all know it’s easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention can deliver up to 95% increase in profits. Are you maximizing your efforts to retain, cross-sell, and up-sell your existing customers?
As businesses grow and change, they often hear from existing customers, “Oh, I didn’t know you did that.” It’s easy to overlook marketing to and educating your existing customer base to ensure they are aware of your new products, services, and capabilities. Consider inviting them to an in-person (or virtual) customer appreciation event or company tour. Host a ‘lunch and learn’ to educate them on industry trends and new offerings. Send them a gift or handwritten note to let them know you appreciate their business.
3. Virtual events are here to stay
While we all pivoted to virtual events out of necessity during the pandemic, some of these trends are here to stay. Many companies are not going back to in-person offices, and travel continues to be uncertain. You shouldn’t abandon your virtual strategies, either. Instead, you can expand on them by inviting consumers to virtual seminars, lunch and learns, and even virtual plant tours. This is an opportunity to bring your brand to life through technology and to find ways to engage and build relationships through the computer screen.
4. Don’t jump the email ship
Email has long been a key, cost-effective communication tool for B2B marketers. Email usage is expected to grow 4.4% over the next four years; more than 99% of online consumers check their email every day. Email marketing offers B2B companies a way to reach out and build deeper relationships, stay top-of-mind, and push consumers to new calls to action. It remains an essential tool for regular, repeated touchpoints with your prospects and customers.
5. Short-form video is essential
As attention spans continue to decline, short-form video is a critical way to quickly capture attention and bring your brand’s story to life. A recent study shows that 58% of videos that are 60 seconds or less are watched to completion. Facebook recommends that small businesses keep videos to around 15 seconds, as 47% of value in a video is delivered in the first 3 seconds. On Instagram, videos that average 26 seconds receive the most comments. So if you want your audience to engage with you through video, shorter is the clear way to go. One tip is to repurpose your long-form video by cutting it down into ‘snackable’ segments that will satisfy shorter attention spans.
6. Don’t abandon content marketing
The majority of marketers – 82% – reported actively using content marketing in 2021. That’s up 70% from 2020.
Content marketing is hard work, but it pays dividends if you commit to a long-term strategic content marketing plan. Combining a mix of short-form and long-form content with a focus on driving home key words works. In fact, 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Rather than giving up on your content marketing strategy, double-down, be consistent, and have patience.
7. Mobile friendly is nonnegotiable
With 82% of consumers engaging with content on their smartphone, it is no longer enough to “try” to create a mobile-friendly digital footprint. It is now critical to ensure you are providing a mobile-friendly search experience for your audience. Aspects to consider include quick loading speeds and mobile-responsive sites. You can check to see how mobile friendly your site is with Google’s tool.
8. Know your brand’s story
One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in marketing is a focus on brand storytelling. With the increased clutter in digital marketing, your brand can no longer be generic or suffer from a “sea of sameness.” Your brand needs to have a personality, a story of its own that connects with customers and authentically engages on a personal level.
To bring your brand’s story to life, you must ensure your story is memorable, invokes an emotional response, and delivers the facts about your company. Storytelling is 22 times more memorable than simply sharing information about your company. Keep in mind, your customer should be the hero. Help them see themselves in your story to build that personal connection.
As you look to 2022, be sure to incorporate these latest trends and strategies into your marketing plan. TMC is ready and willing to help you ensure your marketing strategies are on track and working hard for you to ensure a successful year ahead.