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Hello, Summerville! Happy Fall! We hope you’re enjoying the fall weather and taking advantage of the beauty autumn has brought to the Lowcountry. We’re happy to have you here on the Creative Consulting blog where you’ll find the most relevant information about marketing your small business in the digital sphere. From building an outstanding webpage to graphic design to managing your social media to optimizing SEO to building a cohesive brand identity—Creative Consulting covers everything you could possibly need to know to take your business to the next level.
Our most recent articles about utilizing QR codes for advertising and using storytelling to enhance brand messaging are currently available on our site. QR codes can seem tricky or highly technical, which is why we broke down what they are and how to use them in a simple way. As well, we looked into the psychological impact of encapsulating a brand’s message in a story. Suffice it to say, people are much more likely to be interested in your business when you frame your product or service within a compelling narrative. If you’re interested in either marketing strategy, we recommend giving those articles a quick read!
Today, our focus is on the future. The past year has been unpredictable and, at times, quite frightening. The pandemic has altered our society in ways which will continue to unveil themselves in coming years, but so far we’ve seen a massive shift towards digital marketing (as in-person events became untenable) and reduced marketing budgets. Marketers have had to be quick on their feet to evolve with consumers’ shifting demands. From how we interact with each other to how we consume media, things are changing. If you and your business want to stay ahead of the curve, then planning is essential. Today’s article is all about marketing predictions for 2022. The advertising experts have weighed in and they’re in agreement about a couple of important trends. We’ll break down each of these trends and give you an idea of how you can manage their arrival. Without further ado, here’s what you can anticipate from the marketing industry in 2022!
As 2020 saw a shift towards virtual meet-ups and corporate events due to safety concerns, 2020 will likely see a return to in-person events, but only partially. While some consumers languished at home, waiting for the opportunity to attend concerts and parties in-person, another set of consumers found themselves enjoying the comfortable access virtual events provided. The latter could enjoy entertainment and conferences from their homes and save travel expenses, both of which were worth the lessened experience. As we approach the new year, many marketers are planning hybrid events, which will feature a strong digital presence (using technologies like AR and VR). The goal is to satisfy both sets of consumers—those who want to go out and those who want to stay in. As you’re preparing for 2022, consider still offering a virtual component for customers who still don’t want to leave the house.
It’s always been important to strategize and unify the content released on various digital platforms by a single brand. Just as you wouldn’t use a different logo for Facebook and your website, it’s obvious your brand voice should remain consistent no matter the digital sphere. However, as marketers level up, they develop new standards for what cross-platform alignment looks like. If your goal is to establish industry dominance in your sector, you’ll need three things: visibility, credibility, and authority. Visibility equates to brand awareness. Do people know about your business? Credibility is akin to trust. Do consumers believe your brand does what it says it does? Authority is a mark of leadership. Do other similar brands quote and mention your content?
To establish visibility and credibility, it’s important to have source content. Source content is generally blogs or videos produced by your brand and displayed on your website. These forms of media can be easily embedded in other sites and shared. By aligning your promotional materials and SEO, you can increase visibility and establish yourself as an industry leader.
More and more consumers are becoming aware of the environmental and societal impact companies can have and are now more likely to support companies which stand for something larger than themselves. Brands which give back in some way perform better among consumers. It’s important to align your brand with a mission which is genuinely dear to your heart. It’s even better if your philanthropic venture is relevant to your product of service. Investing in nonprofits can mean potential product placement, affiliate marketing, donating a percentage of your sales, or agreeing to sponsor an organization. These endeavors open your brand to a wider audience and humanize your brand in the consumer's eyes.
Influencer marketing is still on trend and experts predict the market will increase from $9.7 billion to $15 billion in 2022. Most marketing firms are spending twenty percent of their overall budget on influencer marketing. However, there’s been a shift from targeting high-follower influencers to focusing on what are termed “micro influencers.” Micro influencers, while their following is smaller, have highly-engaged followers. These followers are more likely to turn into leads and covert than the sometimes millions of followers larger influencers have. AI-technology is allowing marketing firms to invest in influencer identification (which can predict the conversions likely from a particular influencer) for a low cost. This advanced technology nearly ensures a return on investment.
Privacy Protection Impact of 3rd Party Cookies
Google recently announced a delay in their Privacy Sandbox initiative, which pushed back Google Chrome’s phasing out of third-party cookies to 2023. Third-party cookies are hosted by ad servers, social media sites, commenting aggregators, live chat pop-ups, and more. They collect tracked information on a particular user across different sites. Their purpose is to enable adware and target likely customers as they roam across the internet. Third-party cookies are responsible for the dozens of water filter ads you see after searching for one water filter on Amazon. Consumers are tired of feeling constantly watched and are taking back their privacy. This means marketers, if they haven’t already, need to plan for the eventuality when third-party cookies will no longer be supported. First-party cookies, which are collected by the brand’s site for the purpose of optimized user experience, are still viable and can still be used to learn about consumers.
Social Media Shopping
As we’ve seen Instagram increase the presence of businesses and stores on its shopping platform, we’re likely to see other social media sites follow suit. Social commerce buyers, or people who bought things from social media, increased 25.2%. This number is predicted to increase from 80 million to 100 million by 2023. If you aren’t advertising your products on social media and offering users a means of checking out without leaving the app, sorry to say: You’re leaving money on the table.
Short-form Video Content Craze
TikTok took over during the pandemic and it’s not likely to loosen its grip anytime soon. Fifteen second, one-minute, and now three-minute videos are now all the rage. Instagram even followed suit and released its popular Reel feature in August 2020. Brands have an opportunity to engage directly with consumers and capitalize on emerging trends with short-form video content. It’s a small investment which can yield massive returns, considering TikTok’s virality. One study even predicts 82% of online content will consist of videos by 2022. Can you believe that?
User Generated Content
With the proliferation of user-generated content (UGC) comes the incorporation of this content into many brand’s marketing strategies. According to research, brands which added user-generated content into their branding saw a 20% increase in return visitors, a 90% increase in time spent on their website by consumers, and an 81% increase in likeness to convert. The numbers don’t lie. Consumers want to see themselves in more companies' branding efforts.
No one can know for sure what’s coming next, but predictions like these help us prepare the best we can for the future. Here’s hoping 2022 will be a fruitful, safe year for everyone. We hope these tips help you strategize a plan for the upcoming year. Tune back in for our future articles! We’ll discuss the intricacies of email marketing soon and you won’t want to miss it! For more marketing and branding expertise, the Creative Consulting blog has you covered. Feel free to give us a call and set up a consultation. We are dedicated to helping you determine which marketing strategies will work best for your business or brand. Until next time, thank you for reading!