Marketing and advertising strategies look a lot different today than they did just a few years ago. Companies used to drop serious cash on highly-coveted TV and radio spots, but tactics have shifted majorly towards personalization and hyper-targeted content.
Practically, this means brands are more concerned with launching targeted campaigns within particular demographics than casting a wide net over an entire audience.
These days, competition is fierce and brands are having to work harder to retain loyal customers. A study by McKinsey & Company found that 25% to 50% of a brand’s highest-paying customers also shop at competitors, and that percentage has certainly risen in light of changing consumer behaviors brought on by the pandemic.
Competing against the largest retailers is an uphill battle, but smaller brands have an opportunity to use the latest marketing strategies to their advantage in 2022. Here, we’ll discover the most effective tools brands can use to make a name for themself.
Own your audience
The consumer attention span is shorter than it’s ever been, and thanks to a constant flow of information, it’s tough to ensure content actually reaches an intended audience. Fortunately, 2022 is an opportunity for brands to own their audience in ways they haven’t before.
We’re all accustomed to using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but not every brand is getting as much out of them as they could. Over 500 million Tweets get posted every day, so how does a brand guarantee that their message cuts through the noise?
One of the ways brands are standing out in this category is by creating personalized and targeted content that’s relevant to specific groups. This means understanding a demographic’s age, location, gender, education, and even their pain points and motivations in an attempt to satisfy a particular market segment.
Building a tribe
Second to owning an audience is building a tribe. When 64% of marketing professionals believe word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective branding tools out there, there’s reason to believe every up-and-coming brand should prioritize building a ‘tribe’ of customers.
Seth Godin, the author of the bestselling book “Tribes”, argues that there are two ingredients required to create a tribe: connecting people and making sure customers follow a brand’s lead. Of the two, the latter crucially differentiates a loyal tribe from a group of customers.
Conjuring these ingredients when there’s so much competition out there is not easy, but Godin explains that making good on promises, getting personal and vulnerable, and shifting the focus from “I” to “You” allows brands to craft compelling messages for their existing audience.
A strong brand image
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we all judge a book by its cover—and that’s true for brands as well. Investing in a strong brand image is by and far a priority for any company that wants to get its name out there, but it’s easier said than done.
Digital marketing strategies including Google and social ads are getting more expensive every year, so finding the most effective communication device(s) is key to survival. Many have accepted the price of these tools, but others are looking towards organic growth strategies that provide long-term value.
Fortunately, every social media platform mentioned above makes it easy to interact with audiences, post and share content, and advertise products without making a financial commitment.
Educate instead of sell
Consumers are inundated with advertisements virtually every day of their lives and that led many of them to become immune to the hard-selling tactics associated with traditional mediums like TV and radio.
Instead of pressuring customers to make purchases, brands must educate their audience on why they need their goods or services. One of the most prevailing examples of brand education is Apple, whose Genius Bar acts as a customer support tool that encourages product exploration, questions, and guidance.
As brands continue to digitize operations, finding suitable educational opportunities online is becoming more important than ever. For many, this means creating accessible points of contact for customers on social platforms, personalized web pages, and email.
Whether it’s videos, podcasts, online articles, apps, or other forms of interactive content, personalization is ever-present in today’s marketplace. Brands like Nike and Sephora are known for their recent innovations in this space, but there are certainly opportunities for like-minded retailers to encourage customer engagement using similar strategies.
Brand marketing that utilizes personalized content requires a clear understanding of an audience’s demographics. Thankfully, there are quite a few data collection solutions for retailers who wish to appeal to specific groups of customers more strategically.
Heading into 2022, expect personalization to stand above when it comes to boosting brand loyalty and tailored experiences.
Adopt marketing automation
Data-driven marketing campaigns are on-the-rise and brands have an opportunity to automate workflows and spend less time performing repetitive tasks.
A “one size fits all” approach isn’t nearly as effective as it once was, so brands must take a segmented approach that utilizes varying content, marketing strategies, and communication devices based on audience demographics.
Consumers are also more intelligent when it comes to marketing effectiveness, and to say ahead of the curve, brands will need to understand the articles, social posts, and links their respective audiences interact with the most. From here, automation encourages strong customer relationships through consistent streams of personalized content.
Not only is marketing automation more effective in 2022, but new and improved software makes it easier for small to medium-sized brands to use daily.
Become a better storyteller
If the digital era has taught us anything about how to market a brand in a sea of competition, it’s that storytelling can go a long way. Storytelling enables brands to set themselves apart from competitors because it gives them the chance to persuade consumers with personality.
Furthermore, customer connections that are personal and emotional help brands deliver messages that encourage customers to think about the impact of a product or service. Some brands, like HubSpot, have gone as far as creating social media pages that showcase company culture, employee backgrounds, and personalities behind the brand.
The bottom line
Marketing and advertising have undergone major changes in recent years and brands who want to hook their audience with hyper-targeted, personalization content will need to adopt the above strategies going into the new year.
Nobody thought marketing a brand was easy—one false step and a plan can fall apart, different moving parts are hard to organize, and making developments is slow and sometimes costly, but every brand has an opportunity to make their voice heard in 2022.