The last couple of years have changed the way that many businesses and marketeers approach their marketing strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic saw many businesses struggle due to lock downs and restrictions, contributing to changes in consumer behaviour which have required us to adapt to new ways of promoting products and services, raising brand awareness, and adjusting the tone of voice of campaigns to suit the climate of the outside world.
What used to be a more simple model of selling, known as a ‘sales funnel’, has now been replaced by a new model, the marketing ‘flywheel’. This new cycle of engagement, identifies and addresses the multiple ways in which businesses interact with consumers in modern times and not only aims to build lasting relationships, turning prospects into returning customers, but can also utilise the networks of those customers on platforms like social media, meaning that customers literally help you sell more by becoming a natural part of your overall marketing strategy.
As we move into 2022, we wanted to highlight some of the key trends that are being talked about in the marketing industry, that all businesses should consider when planning their activity and strategy for the upcoming year.
1. Mobile Optimisation
According to some of the latest figures from marketing platforms like Hubspot – more than half of all online traffic is now being viewed on mobile devices. Here at Blue Bee, we are always communicating the importance of mobile-friendly websites to our clients, as without this, you could miss out on customers who are looking for an easy, trustworthy and professional service from businesses online – no matter what the industry.
If your website is not already mobile-friendly, you may wish to consider factoring in a new website build as part of your 2022 marketing budget, which will be a valuable investment for years to come.
2. Short Video Content
Video content has grown in popularity over the past few years with the evolution in the way we use social media. Apps like TikTok, which only use video content, are becoming more widely used and many other platforms have adapted to utilise video content and even have specific areas of their channel to host video such as IGTV (Instagram TV) and the ‘Watch’ stream on Facebook.
Whilst you may be tempted to create longer explainer videos about your product or service, many marketeers are talking about how shorter videos will be leading the way and require impressive intros to capture user attention in the first few seconds.
Our team at Blue Bee can help you plan and create effective videos for your marketing in 2022 – read more about our video marketing services.
3. Permanent Social Media Posts Will Overtake Ephemeral Content
It may be surprising, but marketeers have noticed that permanent social media posts which are posted on newsfeeds, tend to receive higher engagement than the temporary stories that are posted throughout the social media world. It is thought that this may be because users can go back and view permanently posted content at their own leisure, or because it exists for longer, it can still be seen days after it was posted if it was missed earlier on.
It is thought that for this reason, professionals will be less likely to prioritise stories over permanent posts in 2022 in an effort to increase engagement with their followers and take advantage of the longevity of their content.
4. Use of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Experiential Marketing
As technology moves forward at an almost alarming rate, it is thought that more businesses will start to utilise virtual reality and augmented reality in their experiential marketing campaigns.
Experiential marketing invites prospective customers to become part of experiencing the brand before purchasing or investing, to give them a taste of the product or service.
These digital means of marketing to customers mean that experiential marketing can happen remotely as well as in person and provide another dimension to your marketing campaigns.
5. Increased Use of Influencer Marketing
Brands that target customers via social media via the use of ‘influencers’ is set to increase. This is due to many factors including the fact that influencers are often seen as an authority in their field with an existing audience who trust their opinion, making this an effective form of promotion. Plus the thirst for this type of content is on the rise.
As a cost-effective form of marketing, more and more organisations are opting to forge relationships with influencers and their captivated audiences to sell products and services, whom they otherwise may not have reached via traditional advertising methods.
6. Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is becoming a more widely used tactic by businesses, to develop relationships with customers. This could be due to a wide number of cultural and social changes that have developed over recent years including the rise of veganism, climate change awareness, the Covid-19 pandemic, an increase in mental health awareness and general widespread use of the internet.
The industry is recognising that more people are looking for honesty, integrity, ethics, transparency, equality and diversity more and more within consumer culture, meaning that businesses are also having to review their social responsibility policies and implement these factors into their marketing campaigns.
By communicating your ethical approach to business within your campaigns, you help to build trust with your customers and a longer-lasting relationship which means they are more likely to return, so it is well worth the investment.
7. Investing in SEO
As a web design and marketing agency, our team at Blue Bee have been banging on about SEO for years. But as of late, more and more businesses have started to realise the importance of having a top notch online presence, to ensure you can capitalise on the online potential audience and be ahead of the competition.
Keywords in your content, maintaining good practices like updating your website and social media regularly and considering voice search (due to the increased use of smart speakers) are all things that business owners and web developers should be focusing on in 2022.
8. Increase in Virtual Events
As with experiential marketing which has taken a bit of a hit during the pandemic, the events sector has too. There has been a significant increase in the use of technology to host events, which allow people to meet and perform remotely, whilst viewers can participate from the comfort of their own home.
Due to the success of many virtual events in this time period, it is thought that more and more virtual events will continue to be help as a preferred alternative to in-person gatherings where applicable.
9. Branded Audio Content
More companies are employing branded communication services such as on hold marketing (where a pre-recorded marketing message is played to customers whilst they wait on a phone line) to make the most of every opportunity to engage with clients upon contacting their business.
Branded audio could come in many forms such as radio adverts or podcasts, and years of experience show that these forms of marketing can work effectively when made to a high standard and implemented appropriately throughout your marketing strategy and communications.
10. Increased Content Marketing
Did you know that 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep?* By taking advantage of low cost, effective content marketing strategies, you can help to reach a wider audience whilst also building trust with your prospective customers as a knowledgeable authority in your industry.
Content marketing includes (but is not limited to) the use of email marketing, blogs, social media, infographics, white papers or published articles in various forms, video content, podcasts and other audio and much more. Creating an effective content marketing campaign and strategy and choosing which platforms work best for you, will depend on who your customers are, and what products and services you offer.
If you need some help with your marketing strategy for 2022, get in touch with the Blue Bee team on 01722 775500 or via our online contact form so we can discuss your requirements and help you make 2022 a successful one for your business.
*Data and information regarding this article was influenced and informed by Hubspot: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-trends