The pandemic, as well as the rise of TikToc, have changed the way digital marketing is reaching audiences in 2022. While younger people are using TikToc and Instagram, other audiences are relying on Facebook, LinkedIn and Discord to connect. There is still a large Twitter audience, and in some regions, channels such as Weibo and WhatsApp reign supreme. Social media is one of the biggest assets to online businesses wanting to connect using content.
While trends move in waves, there are some digital marketing strategies that have proven to be riding the peak of the wave in 2022:
- Storytelling on Social Media
- Consumer-Driven Content Gets Attention
- Personalized Content Builds Loyalty
- The Need for Shareable Assets
- Using the Creator Economy
- Social eCommerce
- Accessibility in the Digital Age
- Improved SEO
Storytelling on Social Media
Welcome to the start of free-market capitalism. As people are increasingly shopping online, regulation is struggling to maintain pace with the marketplace. However, the important aspect of this rise for marketers is the power of narrative to influence consumers.
Storytelling allows you to create a connection with your customers. You can develop a voice, an image, and a community that your core audience connects with and follows on social media.
You can create brand awareness via storytelling in many creative ways, and these are just a few examples:
- Testimonials: Customer reviews and testimonials are powerful. They are an authentic response from actual customers. This type of feedback connects customers with your brand in a way you cannot manufacture.
- Number Narratives: Particularly useful in B2B content marketing, using your data to provide insight for your customers can motivate them to move down the sales funnel and take action.
- Visual Content: Infographics, videos, and photos all help create an image for your brand. Video has become one of the most effective ways for brands to connect with audiences online, with TikToc gaining increasing popularity in 2022. The completion rate of interactive videos is 90 per cent, and 93 per cent of marketers consider video content critical to their marketing strategy.
Creating stories and generating a narrative that suits your brand and speaks to your ideal customer persona is an important part of digital marketing. Sharing those stories on social media so that followers will engage and spread your brand further.
Conscious consumerism has risen as a lasting trend in the past few years. This means that customers are seeking to engage with brands that have a strong identity or that share their values with their customers, who also hold the same values. By selecting your brand, customers are virtue signalling that they also support the causes your brand does, such as people who buy TOMS shoes or those who drive electric vehicles.
Consumer-Driven Content Gets Attention
Consumer-driven content is an easy way to understand your customers’ needs. Using data, posting surveys and promoting their content on your social media gives you an insight into what your customers love about your brand, how your solutions work in their everyday lives and what they want to engage with.
User-generated content is more specific and engaging for brands than marketing-generated content. This is because when a brand establishes itself as a desirable product, seeing how others use your product, especially unknown people, inspires social media followers to consider the value of your brand differently. Your brand becomes accessible, desirable and achievable for consumers.
Knowing which user-generated content to share requires analysis:
Examine your data and analytics to help reveal customer behaviours.
- What types of educational content do they spend the most time engaged with?
- What products drive the highest sales?
- What posts drive organic traffic?
Organic brand growth is not generated entirely through blogs, videos and online engagement. Inviting your followers to participate in your product development and brand awareness is a clever way of creating customer loyalty. Simple campaigns, such as ‘send us your best picture on Instagram to go in the draw to win a month’s free supply of our product’, is a great way to promote yourself at little cost. It also opens a discussion space for users to comment on how they feel about your product.
Personalized Content Builds Loyalty
A recent study found that 66 per cent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. Personalized interactions and connected experiences are necessary. People follow your brand across platforms and using a number of devices. If a user has taken the time to share their personal data, they expect you to create a seamless experience personalizing their journey. Personalized content uses demographic, behavioural, or contextual data to provide customers with ultra-relevant and relatable messaging.
Gathering this personal data to create a personal experience can be done in creative ways that contribute to your users’ experience. That includes quizzes, chatbot connections, giveaways and discounts and exclusive content access. Don’t ask your users to surrender their data for free instead, motivate them and keep them engaged with content that can be personalised.
The Need for Shareable Assets
Shareable assets are content meant to generate brand awareness through social engagement, digital public relations (DPR) and backlinks. Sharable assets are the property that you share with your followers, such as templates, infographics and research. This type of engagement increases your trust rating, helps your SEO, and overall helps drive traffic towards your site.
Shareable assets can be used to touch on relevant social and current affairs. These assets can secure your position in your industry as a leader and attract your target audience.
- Drive traffic back to your site.
- Define and bolster your brand values.
- Increase brand awareness or promote a new product or service.
- Gain new data and insights.
Using the Creator Economy
According to research, the influencer marketing industry more than doubled in value between 2019 and 2021, growing from US$6.5 billion to US$13.8 billion, with that figure expected to rise a further US$1.2 billion this year to US$15 billion.
Influencer marketing is essential to organic social media strategy. It has been shown that users trust an influencer they follow on social media endorsing a brand. Brands have been creative in leveraging this power, but users have also become more acutely aware of this tactic.
Consumers take the time to research a product. With such a large choice and almost everything available online, seeing the item they are searching for used by an influencer they trust is more likely to lead the user further down the sales funnel.
To use influencers and micro-influencers as part of your strategy, you need to know who your audience follows. The strategy can be very affordable if you are willing to send an influencer free samples and ask them to review your product. Be aware that this can backfire if the influencer gives a bad review.
Last year, Moncler’s Bubble Up challenge was named one of the best influencer marketing campaigns of 2021. TikTok mega-influencers Bella Poarch and Charli D’Amelio took the #MonclerBubbleUp campaign to 7.6 billion views and successfully spread awareness of this Italian high-fashion outdoor clothing brand worldwide.
The creator economy is rapidly expanding. Brands are partnering with influencers to build relationships with their audiences and stay in view in an instant-satisfaction environment.
Social eCommerce is the blending of eCommerce and social media. Social media feeds are filled with advertising, marketplaces and instant purchasing options. While it was slow to creep in after its beginnings in 2018-2019, the pandemic saw platforms adopt not only marketplace access for users but even try to create their own cryptocurrency. Meta is attempting to create a Web3 metaverse for users, and it seems that when it is one day launched in earnest, it will be filled with ways to spend, from buying new avatar clothing to entire metaverse homes.
Retail experts are forecasting social eCommerce sales to increase by more than 35 per cent, reaching nearly US$80 billion by 2025, meaning that 5 per cent of the US retail eCommerce sales will be through social media channels.
According to research, 73 per cent of businesses already include social eCommerce in their marketing strategy, and 79 per cent expect to include the option in the next two years.
This marketing strategy relies on UGC. Creating clickable posts that draw users further down the sales funnel. All posts should include calls to action, photos, video and scannable content.
Accessibility in the Digital Age
Accessibility elevates your brand. Digital accessibility refers to reducing barriers to enjoying a system’s design, tools, and technologies. This means that people who are blind, deaf, physically disabled or otherwise have specific ways to access the internet find your site easy to navigate and use.
A universal design ensures all online properties are optimized for people with disabilities or impairments. Fifteen per cent of the world’s population experiences some form of disability, and if your brand is an industry leader in the field, making your site accessible could make your brand a transformative inspiration to others in your industry and secure loyal customers. In the US and Europe, your website must legally follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Brands that have not followed these guidelines have been the subject of litigation, so it isn’t just a social responsibility, it is also a legal one.
SEO enhances the discoverability of websites and content, especially on Google. And finally, multilingual SEO and multicultural content are boosting the rankings of sites. Engaging with people in regions that have multiple languages as the main language, and providing options for translation of pages, gives more people the opportunity to connect with your brand. The investment is worth the additional engagement.
2022 Marketing Trends & Shifts
This year has been about a return to a more social and active life for most people. As vaccination rates in many nations have been high, and the pandemic has slowed its pace in the summer months of the northern hemisphere, the importance of personalisation, customer engagement and creative strategy has become more than a trend, it has become a necessity.
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