If the past two years have shown us anything, it’s that digital marketing is more important than ever for local small businesses.
Whether during a pandemic or during our daily lives, customers are trying to find your business online, and they will find your competition if your digital presence isn’t up to snuff. While you might have scrambled to update your website and include e-commerce solutions, 2022 is your time to continue your digital marketing efforts. By maintaining any momentum you’ve built over the past couple of years, you can reach a whole new audience while engaging your current loyal customers.
For next year, be sure to keep an eye on these 5 digital marketing trends when planning your next campaigns.
1. Unify Your Brand and Digital Content
In order to become a leader in your industry, you need a consistent message across all your mediums. Google rewards websites that are thought leaders, meaning they have content that provides credibility, authority and visibility.
- In order to build credibility, you need consistent positive messaging where customers and other industry leaders speak highly of your services and reliability.
- For authority, you need to lead the conversations in your field, answering the right questions that your industry is asking.
- Visibility relies on solid SEO practices, meeting your clients wherever they’re searching for your services.
The best way to unify all three elements and start your journey to thought leadership is through original, high-quality and consistent content. These can include:
- In-depth blog posts
- Regular engaging social media posts
- Strategic email marketing
- Quality video content
- Consistent brand messaging
By owning your own content and speaking directly to your clientele, you can work your way to becoming a local leader in your industry during 2022.
2. Plan for Hybrid Events
2021 has been the year of hybrid marketing events. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and figure out how to return to some sort of normalcy, clients are expecting more options when it comes to attending industry and business events.
Through the popularity and accessibility of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and even Facebook Live, industry leaders and fellow business owners are able to host events through virtual means. These can include panel discussions, webinars, client mixers, networking events and so much more.
Organizers are creating events that cater to people who can meet in person and those who cannot. With a computer or smartphone and a reliable internet connection, you can instantly access these informative events.
When planning community outreach or marketing events in 2022, make sure to include virtual options for your clients. With more ways to attend your event, you could see a stronger turnout and more engagement in the long term.
And with technology like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality becoming more commonplace in event planning, the future is looking more friendly to hybrid events.
3. Put a Face to Your Name
In the spirit of unifying your brand and content, it’s important to make your brand more personalized and open. Over the past few years, we’ve seen top brands become more transparent about their values and showcase the people behind the scenes.
As the saying goes, people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.
By showcasing your company’s beliefs and values, you create trust with your clients. Client trust leads to more opportunities for your business.
Humanizing your brand can take many forms. You could update your Instagram account with photos of your company events and day-to-day activities. You can personalize your emails to connect with your specific clients. You can even get into brand activism if there’s a cause you care deeply about.
As a local company, word of mouth is still a key marketing channel. And through engaging community events, honest and authentic updates and inspiring messages, you can connect with your target clients.
4. Rely on Alternatives to Third-Party Cookies
Earlier in 2021, Google announced that by 2023 they will no longer support third-party cookies. While marketers and business owners won’t see the effects of this until the end of 2022 at the earliest, it still shows a shift in how consumers use the internet.
Online users want greater privacy and control over their data, and the largest search engine and one of the largest web browsers are choosing to support this mindset. While there are first-party cookies, like Google’s Privacy Sandbox and Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), you may want to find more engaging ways to find out what your clients want.
Some alternative options include:
- Customer surveys
- CRM tools and data tracking
- Social media analytics
- Targeted ads
- Email-based content
These alternatives to third-party cookies take more effort but will serve you well throughout 2022. They allow you to create unique and engaging content, directly interact with your target audience and collect more informative data about your users’ habits and needs.
5. Make All Your Marketing Efforts Responsive
The average person’s attention span is 8 seconds. And that number is only getting shorter every year. With TikTok, Instagram and Facebook prioritizing shorter videos, and Twitter valuing shorter content, it’s clear that future marketing efforts in 2022 need to be efficient and snappy.
While your website should have long-form content for SEO and educational purposes, your social media and marketing efforts should be short and sweet. By appealing to your client’s busy schedule, you can create more engaging content for every medium.
This also extends to your website design, which is required to be mobile-friendly in 2022. More users than ever are using their smartphones and other mobile devices to search for businesses and services. If your website is difficult to navigate, your potential clients will go to your responsive competitor.
In essence, all things digital related to your business need to be responsive: your website, your social media and your marketing efforts. With a clear brand identity and a strong understanding of your clients’ pain points, this process can easily be achieved.
How to Take Advantage of These Trends
If there’s any common theme to these digital marketing trends for 2022, it’s about making a personal connection with your audience. No matter their demographic or interest, people gravitate towards people like them. And if they can easily see that you share values, understand their pain points and keep them informed, your quality services will just be icing on the cake.
But you wear enough hats as it is. Running your business or managing a team is no easy task, and you can’t afford to spend money and time on marketing efforts you’re unfamiliar with.
Start with a defined plan: By clearly defining your brand and marketing goals for 2022, your content will follow suite. While you can adjust this plan based on client feedback, you can easily create a large quantity of effective content if you know the ultimate goal.
Don’t rush into mass-producing content: It’s always better to start small and develop a sound process so you can more easily grow your operation. Try with one blog post a month, or one social media post a week. Once you have the formula down, you can expand your efforts and see your 2022 plan fully through.
Partner with a marketing agency: Staffing up for your marketing efforts takes plenty of time, effort and money, all of which you could be investing into your marketing efforts. Rather than try to expand your own workforce, why not partner with the experts in digital marketing?
Market With Confidence in 2022
2022 is bringing the future of digital marketing, and you need to stay ahead of these trends to lead your industry. By making your company more transparent and personable, you can get a leg up above your local competition.
From ongoing digital marketing efforts, website redesigns and SEO management, Key Web Concepts is your digital marketing partner in Richmond, VA. With over a decade of experience and an ever-growing knowledge base, we can help improve your visibility and convert more users into clients.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation and enter the future of digital marketing.