Marketing isn’t what it used to be. The market is oversaturated, and customers are spoiled for choice, meaning products rarely sell themselves anymore. You have to frequently go above and beyond for your efforts to bear fruit. More importantly, your entire brand must get into alignment with customer expectations or risk becoming censured. Nothing sums up marketing in 2022 better than this quote by Seth Godin, famous business executive and author: “People do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories & magic.”
Essentially, if you want to market successfully in 2022, you have to make yourself relatable and tell a powerful story that captures your audience’s imagination. In this mini-guide, we offer relevant strategies to generate reliable results for your business:
Align with Modern Audience Values
Millennials and Gen Z have different values than their predecessors, being generally savvier and more informed. They now constitute 42 percent of the population, making them a majority consumer of your products and services. More importantly, they will become increasingly relevant over time. To appeal to these new-age consumers, you must speak their language when you market:
● Purpose: The modern audience expects businesses to have a positive social impact. Brands that don’t align with values like sustainability don’t gain traction with them.
● Authenticity: “Used-car-salesman” talk and empty promises leave a bad taste in their mouth.
● Inclusivity: They are a multicultural lot and expect brands to be the same.
● Transparency: If you don’t hide things, they are more likely to trust you.
Content consumption habits have changed. Watching TV and reading newspapers has been replaced by YouTube and social media. Consumers own a range of devices and use them all during the course of the day. To communicate with your audience, you have to be omnichannel: Be where they are, in other words – on their smartphones, laptops, and social media feeds. Besides being accessible across all touchpoints, your marketing should also offer the same uniform, cohesive narrative.
Videos Speak Louder Than Words
Videos have become the most powerful mode of content delivery these past few years. It’s more accessible than print media – people don’t have the patience to read walls of text –, allows concepts to be conveyed faster, and can connect on an emotional level. Make liberal use of videos to market. Keep in mind that your videos should be short, to the point, and relevant.
Give Your Brand a Striking Visual Identity with a Beautiful Logo
Customers are more likely to remember you if you have a beautiful logo, an essential aspect of your brand’s visual identity. Your logo should be visible across all customer touchpoints for better results from your marketing efforts. It acts as a point of reference for customers and builds awareness about your business.
Show, Don’t Tell, to Gain Their Trust
Gaining your audience’s trust will require more than words and convincing power – you will need to offer a taste of what you’re selling and allow them to form their own opinion about it, Zenbusiness recommends. If you’re selling a product, for example, you could offer a free sample. If you’re selling software, the “freemium” model may work for you. A trial run boosts your credibility and makes it easier for customers to believe you’ll deliver on your promises.
Cross-promotion is an intelligent strategy, as it allows you to tap into a ready-made pool of customers relevant to your offerings with little effort. To clarify, cross-promoting is the practice of teaming up with a sister brand to promote your products and services mutually. They allow exposure to their customers, in other words, and you give them access to yours. Of course, you must ensure any potential partner brand has a solid reputation – it will rub off on you – and isn’t directly competing with you.
Influencers are modern-day movers and shakers, holding sway over the hearts and minds of the modern generation. Savvy brands can – and do – use this influence to good effect. Influencer marketing is like cross-promotion – you partner up with an influencer relevant to your niche audience and use their power to market your product or services. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, influencer marketing campaigns earn $5.78 for every dollar spent.
Polish Up Your Online Presence
Generating views and leads isn’t enough – they need to be backed up by a solid online presence. If you don’t appear accessible and well-established online, your brand is likely to be passed over by a competitor. Make sure you have an up-to-date, good-looking website. Be present on social media channels and business listing pages like BBB and Google Business. Lastly, be seen as active, transparent, and approachable.
Gather and Use Data
Last but not least, utilize data-driven marketing and related strategies like predictive analysis to good effect. Data-driven marketing is the new normal, says McKinsey, as we recover from the pandemic and marketers attempt to capitalize on new growth opportunities. It refers to the practice of gathering customer data and using it to customize your marketing message. Every niche audience has specific behavior patterns, which data-driven marketing attempts to pinpoint.
The world is changing, and customers with it. If you want your marketing efforts to have a sizable impact, you must adapt and play to the crowd. Embody their values, engage with them seamlessly at every touchpoint, and personalize for the best results.
To learn more about marketing your small business, check out our What you need to know to market your small business article.