The last few years have been a turbulent time for marketers. The pandemic shredded original marketing plans for 2020, pulling off the same disruptive trick again in 2021. If you’re approaching 2022’s marketing plans with a pinch of anxiety it’s completely understandable.
Luckily, marketers have always shown their flexibility and willingness to rise to a challenge. We live in a world where consumer preferences are constantly evolving, and plans must change to meet these needs. The disruption of pandemic life has served to speed up this rate of transformation. As a result, trying to predict the road ahead has never been more difficult.
While we live in a fast-changing world, we can still make some solid predictions for marketing trends in 2022. We’ve chatted with SBBC’s Marketing team to get their thoughts on the upcoming marketing trends for 2022. Let’s dive in.
Marketing Trends for 2022
An example of SBBC’s video marketing.
Short-Form Video is Exploding
Led by TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, short-form video has exploded in popularity during the pandemic. Approximately 33 per cent of business to consumer marketers already invest in short-form video, with another 33 per cent likely to invest in 2022. Several reasons exist for the format’s popularity. For starters, it’s easily shareable on social media. It also shows fantastic return on investment, and it allows businesses to inject more personality into their marketing. The best part? Short-form video is easy to record. All you need is an iPhone and some good ideas.
Interested in learning more about TikTok and short-form video? Read our article on Should Your Business Use TikTok for Social Media Marketing?
The Power of Community
Small businesses have faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. Some survived by pivoting to service new target markets; some thrived by increasing their eCommerce operation. No matter what the business did, they were uplifted and supported by their community. In the last two years, we’ve all had our eyes opened to the power of community. This power can be harnessed to grow your marketing efforts.
Customer reviews now play a key role in the purchasing process. They provide credibility, a voice and a ‘seat at the table’ for your customers. They also help you better understand the people you serve. In 2022, take steps to increase the involvement of your community in your business. Engage in dialogue on social media, seek out their feedback, and encourage them to leave a review. Google Reviews are displayed prominently alongside your business in Google searches. Positive reviews will make all the difference in the decision making of a potential customer.
Small Business BC’s Made Possible Podcast
The Growth of Audio Content
It sure feels like everyone started a podcast during lockdown. Truth is, there’s still plenty of room for marketers in this space. According to a recent survey, only 19 per cent of marketers use podcasts or other audio content in their marketing. Of those who do use it, 37 per cent of respondents said it was their most effective marketing channel.
Podcasts offer a relatively cheap way for a business to establish itself as a thought leader. They can be produced on a budget, and businesses can tap into existing audiences presented by guests.
In 2021, Small Business BC started our own podcast, Made Possible. We made the decision to start a podcast to help us reach new audiences and tell impactful stories from entrepreneurs in our community. Consider whether your audience is one that would be interested in the podcast format. If they are, it might be worth the investment.
The Death of the Cookie
Are you familiar with the concept of a cookie? We aren’t talking about delicious baked treats. Instead, for the purposes of this discussion, a cookie is a piece of code that tracks users between websites and displays relevant, personalized ads based on browsing history. In an effort to increase online privacy, Google has announced they’re killing the third-party cookie in their Chrome browser. This change will occur in 2023, and it means Google will stop selling web ads targeted towards a user’s browsing habits.
This represents a challenge for marketers as it’s estimated 70 per cent of people use Chrome to go online. Currently, these third-party cookies are displayed on millions of websites. They represent big business for Google and marketers. As we move towards a world without third-party cookies, companies can re-focus their efforts on SEO, keyword optimization, and the collection of first-party data.
Education vs The Hard Sell
We’ll finish by acknowledging that marketers have a really hard job. Each day, consumers are bombarded with advertisements. We’ve become accustomed to tuning these messages out. Marketers are navigating this issue by educating rather than providing the hard sell. Consumers nowadays don’t want to hear how fantastic you are. They’ve heard this message enough. Instead, they want to know how your product solves a specific problem they’re having.
- Did your product increase efficiency? Show it.
- Did your service grow productivity by 40%? Show it.
- Did your product solve a long-standing problem? Highlight it.
It’s that simple!
In 2022, move toward education in your messaging. The era of the hard sell is over.
Here to Help
In 2022 and beyond, Small Business BC is here to help with every aspect of your small business. We’ve got a range of live business webinars, free resource downloads, and one-on-one business advice to help take your business to the next level.