As we are into the first quarter of 2022, we need to look at what is working and what is not in terms of marketing. Consider these trends that will lead the way for marketers in the new year as noted by the software company Bynder.
EAT. Since 2014, Google has used Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness as the most important ranking criteria in a search. When planning your content strategy, try to keep Google’s quality evaluation guidelines in mind and do your best to show that your brand has demonstrable EAT qualities.
How does Google do it? What is the expertise of the content creator? What authority does the creator of the main content itself have? Is the creator trustworthy? One element to consider is that all of this is hard to measure since it is subjective, but worth keeping in mind. The key is to make content relevant, personalized, authentic and valuable. If you can develop your marketing personae around the content, you will find you can generate more followers and buyers.
Short video. In 2022 brands will apply the power of short videos to tell their stories. They will take their customers on their buying journey by interacting with story-telling videos. Content length is changing. In the near past longer, in-depth videos were the standard but with reduced attention span marketers need to climb on board the more focused tools now available. “Hubspot’s most recent report also revealed that 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in short-form video or increasing their investment,” noted Bynder. “So, if you are seeking ways to promote your brand in a succinct, authentic way, it could be worth adding appetizer-sized video to your marketing plan for 2022.”
Personalization. This is nothing new. Marketers have been attempting to personalize their messaging for years. They have been tailoring their messages to be more textual and customized to focused needs, wants and desire fulfillment. To be truly successful, marketing personalization activities have to occur seamlessly across every channel and every device. Buyers have to see the same message, same value proposition no matter where they are engaged. Most personalization comes via e-marketing tools and having effective CRM (customer relationship management) tools are critical. When you are planning promotions, creating gated content, and developing loyalty programs, make sure you ask yourself if they are really adding value to the consumer. That means the kind of value that they’re willing to give up their personal information for. Then you will make the connection needed to advance the buying process.
Events/Hybrid events. Face-to-face will return, but it will be different. Trade shows, conventions and events will never disappear, but how marketers are using them will. During the pandemic we have learned that there are elements in the buying process that can be undertaken virtually and others must be in-person. Hybrid events offer a number of interesting opportunities for brands. Virtual or hybrid events make it a lot easier to involve speakers from across the globe – providing they are happy to accommodate differences in time zone, of course! Plus, there aren’t attendee limits so the events have the potential to be much more inclusive. Post event follow-up is more inclusive as well since contact information is less elusive than the face-to-face environment. Be prepared for more hybrid events as the standard.
Several of our SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands Chapter Certified Mentors have marketing backgrounds and offer some sound advice that has lasted throughout their careers and the various marketing cycles they have experienced.
“A brand should immediately and independently of any other information mean something to a client/consumer/customer when they hear or see it. Otherwise it’s just another word. When building a brand, think about what message you want that to send to your client/consumer/customer. Then make sure you’re unduly focused on consistently delivering that.” – Bob Stein
“The one thing I stress with all my clients is to identify what makes their offering different from their competitors. Your differentiator is why a buyer will decide to do business with you over your competition. What is the edge they have that will make them stand out from everyone else?” – Robert M. Kucharavy
“Don’t communicate so you can be understood, communicate so you can not possibly be misunderstood.” –David Epstein
“Storytelling can be an extremely effective way to communicate your message. Tell your audience about real clients using your product or service, and how they benefit from it. Like pictures, stories can make your business come alive, and lend tangible credibility to what you are pitching.” – Tom Soldini
Marc L. Goldberg is a Certified Mentor at SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands. For free and confidential mentoring, contact SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands, www.capecod.score.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 508/775-4884.