Happy New Year! 2021 had its time to shine, but now it's all about 2022. After another turbulent year, the bets are off for what 2022 brings. If there was ever one safe assumption, however, it's that 2022 will bring about its own unique set of challenges and developments to test the resolve, the creativity, and the innovation of marketers, brands, and businesses of all shapes and sizes. But the new year also opens another new door to a world of exciting new opportunities to take your brand to the next level. Maybe now’s the time to open it…
Seeing as January is officially ‘Get Organised Month’ (one week in, how’s that going for everyone?) now seems the right time to lay the groundwork and get yourself organised & prepared for whatever spanner gets thrown your direction. Looking to get ahead of the curve and deliver a year that’s worth celebrating? Here’s part one of our tips and trends to pay attention to so you can up your marketing game in 2022.
Show of hands for everyone who’s heard ‘content is king’ so much that the words have started to lose any meaning. The saying has been coached into the minds of every marketer and brand on every street corner and office building to the point where it's felt like words your business should live and die by. Well no more! Kind of… In 2021 there was a growing feeling that content was transitioning from a much-heralded king to a disproportionate dictator. With increased access and more channels, we’ve all got SO much cultural content in our day to day lives to consume that it can often feel just a little overwhelming, and eventually, things are going to be cut. The same is true of marketing and what we want our target audiences to see. It's becoming increasingly difficult to deliver high-quality, unique content that lands, purely because of just how much is already out there.
Now, we aren’t saying just drop all content and go radio silent in the hope it’s so against the grain and unique people will immediately respect it and flock to you. Content is still important. We just need to learn to adapt and develop it. Your audience doesn't want to just keep seeing the same thing time and time again. Instead, look at how your brand can provide a unique or personal twist to your content. Why not try to include interactive elements like quizzes and questionnaires? Similarly, look at how you could approach things from a different lens through longer-form content that is more educational and sets you out as an industry leader? With so much already out there, be careful. Hitting your quota and going for quantity over quality could soon become annoying.
It's not just your content marketing plans that require some unique innovation and a sprinkle of personality to break away from the rest this year, it could also be time to have a little shake up on your approach to how you manage and utilise your digital channels and social media platforms. One trend that isn't going to buck this year is that consumers will continue to be more demanding, wanting something different from the brands they consume online. Over the next 12 months, you should be looking at how you can experiment and innovate with various advertising methods and emerging marketing tools.
Going live on social media is one such tool with a lot of innovative potential. Although not necessarily brand-new (going live on social media has been around for a couple of years), there has been an emergence of more brands utilising the tool, popping on live to say hi and connect with their audience, building plenty of momentum in the process. Whether on Facebook or Instagram, creating live events on socials is a fantastic and personal way to reveal who is behind the brand by hosting Q&A's or showing insightful behind the scenes live footage of how the office operates. Why not take it a step further and host a live event webinar by letting your followers know about it in advance? Webinars are a great way to spread the word by creating unique and engaging, personal content that provides your audience with the opportunity to learn more about who you are.
Everybody loves to be hooked on a great story. We all want to be captivated by a tale and taken on a ride that rewards us with a sense of fulfilment. Although not quite Shakespeare, the literary world of marketing and branding should be no different. Whilst not always a direct sales tool, storytelling has its benefits firmly rooted in the long run. Telling a great story about your brand boosts awareness and generates a great reception and positive feeling towards you so that when the time does come for consumers to put their money where their mouth is, they will of course think about the fantastic brand that beguiled them with their captivating storytelling. Too often, brands rely on fancy wordplay and cute descriptions to sell themselves but it's high time to move on. This year, every brand should be looking at how they can deliver key marketing messages in a format and tone that sells a story.
Chances are, (we'd hope) you believe in your brand, and you know how good your products are. That's why it's your job is to convince people! And storytelling is the ideal tool to do that. Of all people, you should know how good your products are so it's up to you to convince people. Using real-life examples of your products or services in action can become part of a wider narrative to convince your audience their lives would be oh so much better if they just simply embraced your brand and the possibilities on offer. All great storytelling needs to evolve and grow, as well as react and innovate to the world around you. Continuously looking at ways to explore and experiment to think outside the box to keep up with your ever-developing and demanding consumers and their habits is a sure-fire way for your brand to stand out.
Stop wasting time, energy, and of course, money by repeatedly whacking your audience over the head with the hard sell. It’s not going to work anymore. Despite what many marketers may think (not us obviously), customers and consumers aren’t as dumb as you think, nor is your brand always as desirable as you’d like. Like we’ve said, we are all hit with so much content in our day to day and so much of that is trying to sell us on something. Whether a product, a service, or an idea, we are all constantly being pitched to. The estimated daily average is now between a mind-blowing (or sickening) 6,000 - 10,000 per day - nearly double since 2007 thanks to the internet and the many forms of online advertising we encounter. Not only does that back up what we’ve been harping on about innovation and standing out with our previous entry but it also shows how exposed we are to ads, and just how sick of them we all must be.
Your audience knows when they are being sold to, and that can be a major turn off for your brand. They’ve become almost immune to the usual tactics. Instead, look at ways you can educate your audience about why they need your products, not why they should want them. Look at how your products can fit into their lives and make their days easier, more convenient. As hard-selling becomes less effective, show your audience how you can help them.