It’s time for our most-read article of the year. Around this time every year, we like to share our annual forecast roundup 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 over the past year, we bet this year you’ll be giving your marketing strategy a significant overhaul. What worked in the past won’t necessarily work today, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. On the contrary, it’s time to stretch and grow!
We hope you’ll be inspired to try something new, take risks, and give yourself permission to bravely move forward, 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 anticipate that brands that break the mold and chart their own course will reap the rewards in an increasingly competitive environment.
It will be less about following best practices and more about testing, learning and refining your own tactics, while paying close attention to your unique audience. From inception to platforms, timing and support, you may want to revalidate your typical approach through testing. It means reviewing your data, learning as you go, and being prepared to change things over and over again. If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn to love your analytics!
Consider this an opportunity to throw away the old marketing manual and start writing your own!
We predict 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 main channels, businesses will take a segmented approach, investing more time in creating unique content for multiple different channels. The challenge will be to meet the requirements of a segmented strategy, without sacrificing quality or blowing your budget.
When we talk about multi-channel marketing, we’re not just talking about social media. You may have heard us talk about the Importance of email marketingand of course we couldn’t omit it from our list of predictions!
If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that being too dependent on channels with algorithms you don’t control is frustrating. Our prediction is that brands will stop viewing email as an add-on and instead focus on building their email list through the channels and tactics available to them.
The focus will be less on acquiring new social media followers, and more on nurturing your ideal audience and moving them to a database you actually own.
As marketing diversifies and brands adapt their content strategies to a range of different platforms, they will face the challenge of build a consistent and 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 do you stand out and develop a unique and memorable brand identity?
We expect companies to invest more in branding and content creation. Brands will need to find creative ways to adapt trends to their unique businesses, instead of simply following the crowd (and getting lost in them).
Is it too optimistic to predict that real-world events will make a full-scale comeback in 2022? We hope not! Events are already back in many industries and markets and we’re starting to feel the buzz. As the year progresses, we look forward to seeing how organizers reinvent their approach.
The pandemic has ushered in a wave of innovation and a cultural shift towards virtual gatherings. As we return to in-person events, we suspect things will be a little different. Instead of following the old formula, planners have the option to rethink everything about events. From combining online and offline offerings to reach more people, to scrapping brochures and going digital, we think the events will be different.
Another change that has accelerated during the pandemic is the growth of e-commerce. This year, we expect brands to look to leverage the tools at their disposal to expand into new global markets, such as the United States.
Businesses learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t when they were forced to move from bricks and mortar to online, and they now 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 to how businesses approach their digital marketing.
So how can you prepare your business for success this year? Change your mindset.
As you adapt your strategy and define your marketing goals, challenge yourself to think differently. Open your mind to new ideas and be ready to run with whatever works for you.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let us know if you agree, or share your own predictions for 2022!
If you want to learn more about email marketing trends, contact me at [email protected] for a marketing chat.
— — —
Originally published on www.the-emms.com on March 2, 2022.