While the pandemic appears to be heading towards a long-overdue end, its impact on consumers and businesses continues in 2022. As a business owner or marketer, your success this year depends on your capacity to be flexible and versatile in your operations and advertising efforts to succeed within a still highly dynamic business landscape.
Despite current economic volatility, many marketing fundamentals are now more critical than ever, while newer trends have taken on heightened significance. To grow your business, you'll need to shore up your integrated marketing efforts while taking advantage of 2022's most important trends to build and implement an effective marketing plan.
Make Your Marketing Cohesive on All Fronts
By some accounts, digital transformation was still largely a buzzword pre-pandemic to as much as 60 percent of the U.S. business community. However, early in the pandemic, companies adopted digital technologies in earnest, starting with digital marketing programs. Many of these newer entrants adapted to their unique situations, and more companies than ever before are advertising online.
You must ensure that your marketing work is clear and consistent across channels. Within the unique bounds of each marketing channel, your brand's voice should be solid and uniform, allowing existing and would-be customers to recognize and recall your brand easily. Your digital footprint should be consistent into 2023 and beyond, offering consumers multiple ways to engage with your brand.
While there are more businesses online, not everyone is doing digital well. Some corporate Twitter accounts with discontinued logos remain silent, while a Facebook page teems with videos that don't appear on its corporate blog. None of this content connects to TV, radio, or print advertising work. Success in this new normal requires consistency and uniformity across online and offline channels. Otherwise, your brand and business may get lost in the sea of advertising clutter.
Hold Events Both Online and In-Person
Even as more consumers resume normal outdoor functions, online events won't disappear. Nor should they. Many businesses found online events helped expand their brand recognition, gain a foothold in new markets, and grow their business. In-person events are generally preferred, but they come with some limitations. Offering hybrid events that pair live events with a virtual component helps you accommodate customers regardless of their preference.
These hybrid events will keep existing and would-be customers outside your service area or who have other time restrictions engaged with your brand. You can proactively use online event components to test and enter new markets. With some strategic planning, you can reduce costs and environmental waste with your hybrid events.
You can also recycle the online components and monetize them further after they occur. Additionally, from an operational perspective, offering hybrid events will keep you prepared if a sudden shift in public health conditions shuts down your live event component. Doing so also keeps organizational cybersecurity front and center.
Invest in Local Influencers
Partnering with local influencers also helps improve your brand awareness and keep your image fresh and dynamic. Influencers are often thought solely on social media or making YouTube videos in their parent's home, posting reviews or promotions about specific products. However, influencers encompass a broader range of people. Influencers can be local radio broadcasters, local TV hosts, or credible business bloggers in your region.
Influencers are respected individuals who have the ear of people in your community with a sizable social media following. They may or may not call themselves influencers, but your would-be customers listen to them when they speak. You can offer sponsorship or pay them a commission to advertise your product or service as a business.
You should select influencers who reach your customers, align with your brand values, and who may use your products themselves. Choose an influencer who can genuinely speak favorably about your brand. Leveraging organic influencer marketing to grow the awareness and credibility of your brand has been one of the most significant developments in recent years and is and will be a staple of 2022's marketing trends.
Leverage the Growing Impact of Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is another huge 2022 marketing trend. Consumers, especially younger ones, want to do business with brands that share their values. Some recent research estimates 83% of Millennial and Gen Z customers expect their business of choice to align with their values, while 65% would boycott a company if it took a stand for a contrary cause. Making a positive impact in your community or a specific cause is moral and just, but it can also help your brand build trust with would-be customers.
Partner with causes you genuinely support or build them into your identity. The companies that are effective at cause marketing have woven doing good into their history and fundamental operations to weave it naturally into their marketing. Take Oregon's own Dave's Killer Bread, whose founder, Dave Dahl, formed the company to give back by offering others who were once incarcerated work as a second-chance employer.
You don't need to convert your existing business into a full-on social enterprise for cause marketing work for you. However, you can choose a cause that resonates with the company's founding, history, or products and find creative ways to give back that resonate with you and your employees. When you identify a natural way to give back and do so, you'll be surprised at how many consumers embrace your business.
How Else Will Advertising Change in 2022?
While hybrid events, influencer marketing, and cause marketing are undoubtedly among the most prominent of 2022's marketing trends, other advertising changes have yet to unfold. It is essential to keep your message consistent across media channels while capitalizing on these and emerging trends that resonate with your existing and would-be customers.
Throughout the pandemic, the business environment has challenged some of the world's largest corporations. Navigating these difficult waters and knowing what strategies can help them survive and thrive is even more difficult for smaller businesses. By working with a trusted media partner like FOX 12, you can ensure that your business has the counsel and tools they need to prosper in today's complex world.