It’s time for our most-read piece of the year. Around this time each year we like to share our annual roundup of predictions for the world of digital marketing — and this year it’s all about experimenting and thinking outside the box!
While we don’t have a crystal ball that will magically show us the future, looking at how digital marketing has evolved last year, we’re betting that this year, you’ll be giving your marketing strategy a significant revamp. What’s worked in the past isn’t necessarily going to work today, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Rather, it’s time to stretch and grow!
We hope you’ll be inspired to try something new, take some risks, and give yourself permission to move forward bravely — even if you feel like you’re wandering into the great unknown.
Marketing has always involved experimentation, but this year it will be more important than ever. We’re predicting brands that break the mold and carve their own path will reap the rewards in an increasingly competitive environment.
It will be less about keeping up with best practices, and more about testing, learning and refining your own tactics, all while paying close attention to your unique audience. From the creative to platforms, timing, and the medium, you might want to revalidate your typical approach through testing. That means looking at your data, learning as you go, and being prepared to change things up again and again. If you don’t already, it’s time to learn to love your analytics!
Consider this an opportunity to throw out the old marketing playbook and start writing your own!
We’re predicting this year will see brands diversifying their marketing channels to find new ways to connect with customers. More touchpoints mean more opportunities to engage your audience, build relationships, and nurture them over time.
Instead of relying on one or two core channels, companies will take a segmented approach, investing more time into unique content creation for multiple different channels. The challenge will be to keep up with the demands of a segmented strategy, without sacrificing quality or blowing your budget.
When we talk about multichannel marketing, we don’t just mean social media. You may have already heard us talking about the importance of email marketing, and of course we couldn’t leave it off our list of predictions!
If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that being too dependent on channels with algorithms that you don’t control is a recipe for frustration. Our prediction is that brands will stop thinking of email as an add-on, and instead shift their focus to building their email list first through whatever channels and tactics they have available to them.
There will be less emphasis on gaining new social media followers, and more emphasis on nurturing your ideal audience and moving them over to a database that you actually own.
As marketing becomes more diversified and brands adapt their content strategies to a range of different platforms, they’ll have to grapple with the challenge of building a consistent, recognizable brand.
The rise of user-generated content (UGC) and the growth of trend-following on platforms like Instagram and TikTok only add to the difficulty. So how can you stand out and develop a unique, memorable brand identity?
We predict companies will invest more in brand strategy and content creation. Brands will need to find creative ways to adapt trends to fit their unique businesses, instead of just following the crowd (and getting lost in it).
Is it too optimistic to predict that real-world events will be making a full-scale comeback in 2022? We hope not! Events are already back in many industries and markets and we’re beginning to feel the buzz. As the year unfolds, we’re looking forward to seeing how organizers will reinvent their approach.
The pandemic ushered in a wave of innovation, and a cultural shift toward virtual gatherings. As we shift back toward in-person events, we believe things will look a bit different. Instead of following the old formula, planners have the opportunity to rethink everything about events. From blending online and offline offerings to reach more people, to scrapping brochures and going digital, we believe events will look different.
Another shift that has been accelerated through the pandemic is the growth of e-commerce. This year we predict brands will seek to take advantage of the tools at their disposal to expand into new global markets, such as the U.S.
Businesses learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t as they were forced to shift from bricks and mortar to online, and now they have the opportunity to apply those lessons to new markets. But beware, what works with one audience may not always work for another! The winners will be the brands that take a localized approach to their marketing while applying lessons learned from recent experience.
If our predictions are on track, 2022 will usher in major changes in how companies will approach their digital marketing.
So how can you prepare your business to succeed this year? Shift your mindset.
As you adapt your strategy and set your marketing goals, challenge yourself to think differently. Open your mind to new ideas, and be prepared to run with whatever works for you.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let us know whether you agree, or share your own predictions for 2022!
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Originally published on www.the-emms.com on 2 March, 2022.
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Miriam van Heusden
I believe in the power of the individual and that entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses hold the key to the future.
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