Marketing, especially the way we deliver and consume content, is changing so rapidly that you may now need to refresh your marketing strategy faster than they drop new seasons on Netflix. If you're thinking, "Wasn't I just working on my 2021 strategy...?" you know what we mean. Think of us as your own personal Ghost of Marketing Past where we show you all the things you said, did, and thought in 2021 that might be giving you some twinges of regret now.
But no worries, Ebenezer (it turned out alright for him, yeah?). We'll be sure to sneak in a little Ghost of Marketing Yet-to-Come to tell you how to change your ways and throw off the chains of 2021.
First, let's highlight some of the changes throughout 2021 that WILL impact your strategy in 2022:
2021 was all about Core Web Vitals and its impact on Google’s search results.
Google’s desire for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness in searchable content (EAT) is going to dominate 2022 even more.
Data-driven content calendars will rule your days in 2022 as one of the most important strategic elements.
Video and audio formats will continue to rise and drive the traffic of search results. As per Insivia, viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10 percent when reading it in the text.
Forget B2B or B2C. D2C (Direct to Consumer) is going to have to explain those abandoned carts or abandoned demo form fills.
If you're thinking you should have gone back to watching The Holiday for the 8,382nd time rather than reading this — we hear you! But just remember, Tiny Tim was saved, and your brand can be, too, if you make some changes to your marketing strategy before the clock strikes midnight (or, you know, before it's due). Let's go a little more in-depth to understand what and how you could practically incorporate in your 2022 strategy so you can start off the year with a lot less anxiety.
Marketing Strategies You Can and Should Implement in 2022
Maybe you think you've heard it all before. Maybe you have. But let's dig into the specifics of each of these growing trends so you'll be ready for the year ahead.
Harvest Search Intent Through "Other" Forms of Content
By "other," we usually think of any content that isn't a blog or an ebook. For instance, has your brand been thinking about content optimized for voice search? You should be. But you should also be aware that any and all forms of content are going to be more inclusive and not categorized into a separate bucket anymore. We're specifically talking about podcasts, webinars, masterclasses, and the like. As Google stresses more and more each year on "search intent," it becomes difficult to keep producing content that ranks or to rank the content you're producing — and a lot of the times, both.
All of the video content you're going to be producing should be broken down into the following assets: a long-form blog/article, a recording, a SlideShare, infographics, and shorter videos and snippets for social.
All of the video content should be able to offer backlinking opportunities.
Newsletters and email marketing are compelling and proof that your ideal customer or customer is happy to let you in their personal space. The question is, are they going to keep you there? Collecting email addresses and counting them as leads is a thing of the past now as the competition and the customers become smarter, understanding the difference between quality and quantity.
What you said: "More is better, so I'll keep hitting my email list hard all year long."
What you should have said: "Quality leads are better than quantity. We need to go back to the drawing board on our email marketing strategy."
Offer "selective," but relevant content/offers to them instead of going all-in.
It might sound the exact opposite of what your plans are, but test out sending fewer emails and newsletters. Sometimes, a little breather is refreshing.
Test out sending one content offer in one email instead of quite a few and compare the open rates, CTR, and conversions.
Align your backlinking, PR, SEO, and content teams on "one" common project per quarter that caters to creating only hyper-personalized content.
Storytelling That's Data-Driven and Can't Be Duplicated
Sounds robotic? It's actually not when you're able to satisfy the analytical mind of your user through storytelling. Stories don't always have to be fiction or biographies that inspire; they can very well be beautifully weaved data intersections that still make you curious. If someone was telling a story on "How Einstein Explored the Theory of Relativity with Simple Physics While Sipping Hot Tea," wouldn't you want to listen? No wonder they say storytelling is both art and science. Your business is no less than that.
What you said: "Our customers don't care about the numbers. They just want to be wowed."
What you should have said: "Data is integral to achieving long-term, sustainable growth. And if we present the data in the right way, our customers will care."
What you can do in 2022:
Survey your prospective and existing customers as often as possible — they like to receive incentives in exchange, so make sure you have a few ideas.
Create a centralized data-gathering hub that is constantly fueling your data-driven approach. This could be as simple as creating a one-question chatbot that is dynamic and changes questions every time a/the same user is on your website.
Create infographics that speak your brand - these don't have to be boring at all.
Create unique content pieces that ONLY you can pull out of your data-gathering exercises — this can never be duplicated by someone else.
Short-Term Strategies That Value Your Customers' Time
When you start looking at your target audience as regular, real human beings like yourself and not a constantly impossible dream to achieve, you also start thinking differently about your strategies. Create short-term strategies that really reflect your genuine campaign effort, where your audience feels valued and their time respected and accounted for. This will slowly lead to you "owning" your audience and building a long-lasting relationship with them.
What you said: "Podcast, schmodcast. Our customers don't listen to those."
What you should have said: "We should ask our customers if they're interested in hearing from us in a podcast and then implement a short-term test to see if it works."
What you can do in 2022:
Remember, every follower you have is also following at least 10 other similar brands/companies and they're constantly exploring.
Your audience is never lost in the marketing noise but becomes immediately selective when not shown relevance. Make sure that any kind of messaging directed at them is relevant and meaningful.
Short-terms objectives also keep the content fresh and they're likely to be more interested in what you're going to do next.
The above also creates an unbeatable opportunity to collect data from all these different scenarios that acts as fuel to your overall, bigger growth strategy.
Specifically focus on the "optimum"/most profitable time for your business so you're making the best of it. For most businesses, this is Q2 and Q3. What is it for you?
Marketing Is Changing — Rapidly
In the end, this really spoke to us!
2022 is going to be no different in terms of staying agile and making optimum use of technology — AI, chatbots, analytics, you name it. Whether it's the demographic changing and being more and more digitally capable and aware or the effect of the pandemic, things are changing quite rapidly for marketers. And if there's anything we've learned in 2021, it's that 2022 is going to be more empathetic, connected, and real — and so will your brand.
What changes are you making to your strategy in the coming year? Not anticipating a relaxed January? Feel free to connect with us and we'll send help immediately in the form of our mini growth acceleration plan. Remember, even Scrooge himself needed a little help to see the light!