Are you looking ahead and strategizing your marketing plans for 2022? Marketing trends are ever-changing, and the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the world into a virtual atmosphere. Businesses and consumers alike have learned that you do not need to attend live marketing events at overcrowded expo centers to connect, hold in-person meetings to close deals and earn consumer confidence, or even snail-mail out your marketing tools and information.

If you feel like you are lost at sea with all of the new and ever-changing ways to get your brand noticed and gain consumer loyalty, you are not alone. We have compiled six of the most important trends your company should be paying attention to when creating marketing campaigns during the upcoming year. Read on to learn more.

1. Consumer Privacy Protections Will Hold the Spotlight 

For businesses who target their advertising to consumers based on the little bits of data collected by 3rd party cookies, the cookie jar will soon be empty. As consumers have become more vocal about their demands for privacy protections, Google announced that they will no longer support cookie tracking as of early 2023.

This is great news for consumers who wish to keep their internet searches private, but it is bad news to marketing professionals who target paid advertisements based on consumers’ previous internet searches. As an alternative, your business should consider using zero-party data instead, which is data collected by consumers on a voluntary basis. Zero-party data can be collected by asking customers to do activities like fill out surveys or install a plugin on their computer that collects search data in exchange for a gift.

Another recent development for the sake of consumer privacy is Apple’s iOS 15 update. If you’ve been keeping up with this, then chances are you’re already prepared and have made a few changes to your email marketing KPIs. However, if you haven’t quite figured out how you’ll track the success of your email marketing, given that email opens are no longer a reliable metric, it won’t hurt to give your email list a good scrubbing.

2. Trusted Brands Will Thrive 

Brand loyalty is huge because it helps you retain customers, which is an essential component of a growing, thriving business. 

Consumers are exposed to over 10,000 ads per day, on average, which is daunting, to say the least. We live in the information age where all consumers have to do is a simple Google search, and they’re bombarded with potential solutions to their problems. It’s hard for brands to stick out, but the ones that last are the ones that take connecting with their audience seriously and focus on building trust right out of the gate. 

But, building trust takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight. So yes, getting in front of your audience is important, but finding a way to lead them back to your site where they can sign up for consistent communication from you is even more important. It’s the best way for you to reach your audience directly and begin building that trust with them. 

How do you do it? Make sure you use a marketing automation solution that enables you to generate and track leads on your website, create email lists, and send engaging email nurture. Fill that nurture with high-quality, educational content that addresses your audience’s pain points, and they’ll begin to consider you a trusted, reliable resource they can’t live without. 

3. Short Videos Will Be King 

Making its debut in 2020, TikTok is a short video social media platform that has revolutionized how people communicate, share information, and receive daily doses of entertainment. Since its debut, it has racked up a huge following of over one billion users (and counting!). If your company is not already on TikTok, you are officially late to the party. 

TikTok isn’t necessarily for every brand. However, it isn’t a bad idea to consider adding it to your 2022 marketing plan. There are plenty of ways you can use TikTok for business; you just have to get creative. Create demos of your software using TikTok’s bank of audio samples and songs. Or, use TikTok to introduce people to the team behind the brand so they can see the real people steering the ship. Whatever you do, just make sure you have a strategy and include it in your social media calendar for consistency.

TikTok isn’t the only outlet for you to create short-form videos. You can also take to YouTube or Instagram to create engaging video content for your audience. You can even add these videos to your digital ads and blog posts to get the most out of them

4. Consumers Will Want More Digestible Marketing Content 

Looking ahead to 2022, your marketing team’s focus should be on creating attractive content that is easy to read and easy to digest. As previously stated, consumers are bombarded with thousands of ads, emails, and newsletters each day, and most go unnoticed due to information overload. Instead of focusing on the quantity of content, focus more on the quality of each piece so that you capture your audience’s attention and entice them to read on and learn more.

Make sure your written content is broken up with subheadings and lists. Create infographics so readers can easily pull the most important nuggets, and make sure they have enough visual components and don’t rely too heavily on written words. You want to make sure that if people need to quickly scan your content, they can and still leave learning something valuable. 

5. Online Events Will Add Substance to Your Marketing and Sales Strategy 

Online events have been on the rise for the last few years but have really gained traction since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. These virtual events benefit both the business and the consumer and are likely to become the way of the future. Businesses save time and money as you do not need to have employees physically present to run the event, rent event space, or produce tangible marketing materials. Consumers benefit because they can relax at home while attending the event via Zoom or another video conferencing platform. 

If you’ve ever hosted a webinar, then you know how great these events can be at generating leads. However, they’re also great for building the trust we mention in point two. By putting a real person front and center to represent your company, you’re humanizing your brand and providing real-time connection and support. That can go a long way, especially in a time when one-on-one interactions aren’t as prominent. 

Knowing video content is increasingly popular, smart businesses plan out their online events and webinars to become their lead generation marketing assets of the future. By creating evergreen webinars, the content is reusable as lead magnets and by chunking longer videos and presentations into smaller bits for social, the create-once-use-often will amplify the result you will get from your marketing efforts. 

6. SEO Will Continue to Drive Sales

Since content is literally everywhere, it makes it hard for brands to be seen. The digital ocean is huge, and if you want your audience to cast their reel and hook what you’re putting out, then you need to continue to prioritize your SEO strategy

Having SEO success today goes beyond using keywords in your content and having a backlinking plan in place. Google loves throwing us curveballs, and one of their more recent ones is Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals are essentially UX metrics applied to your website that Google takes into consideration in their search ranking signals. So, if you want your SEO strategy to stay on-point, then you need to be taking your site’s UX into consideration. 

At BenchmarkONE, we strive to make your business run as smoothly as possible, no matter what is going on in your industry and which trends are disrupting it. We have developed a robust set of easy-to-use CRM and marketing tools, so you never have to lose a beat. If you’re interested in checking us out, take a quick tour of our software and sign up for our free plan