As 2021 comes to an end, marketers take stock and plan for 2022 in anticipation of higher marketing budgets.
HubSpot conducted a survey with over 1,000 global marketers and identified five main trends to watch in 2022:
The pandemic has propelled short-form video at the forefront of digital marketing as a fun and convenient way to disseminate information. Short-form video will continue to rise in popularity in 2022.
As revealed by HubSpot, in 2021 influencer marketing has provided the highest return on investment (ROI) for marketers, and 2022 is shaping up to be an influencer marketing year as well. One trend we might notice is brands migrating towards micro-influencers as opposed to the most popular names because micro-influencers are likely to provide access to a smaller but more engaged audience.
Audio content is on the rise. Marketers have gotten comfortable with using podcasts and other forms of audio content to engage with their audiences on the go. One can listen to audio content while cooking, hiking, or engaging in other activities and avoid the screen fatigue that comes with video content consumption. 2022 will bring an even higher consumption of audio content.
Complementary brands with a similar audience or marketing goals often engage in collaborative marketing, in other words combining resources and efforts, to amplify outreach and boost sales. Benefits of collaborative marketing include reaching out to new audiences, cutting costs, combining expertise, and benefiting from brand association. Successful collaborations enhance customer experience and sometimes even offer products and services that are exclusive to the said collaboration.
As the holidays approach, companies think creatively about marketing their products and services.
Collaboration with complementary brands may include:
Exclusive deals and discounts
Blog guest posting
Social media shout-outs
Frequently bought together items on Amazon for instance may give small businesses some workable ideas.
Here are some examples of collaborations that we love:
deals and discounts partnerships between hotels and ski resorts;
joint advertising between apparel and outdoor activities;
partnerships between gyms and personal trainers;
joint events between bookstores and coffee shops;
cooking classes hosted by farms and restaurants.
Finding the right partnership is key to a successful marketing campaign. Collaborative alliances ought to be designed as a win-win situation for both parties. The terms of participation must be clarified since the get-go. Often times these efforts lead to ongoing cooperation.
Content marketing is a critical component of digital marketing given its effectiveness in increasing brand awareness, engaging online communities, generating new leads, and increasing sales.
What makes content marketing effective is that people trust editorials more than they trust advertorials. In essence, content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing creative content for a targeted audience to generate leads and sales while informing and entertaining. Traditional marketing focuses on pitching products and services, while content marketing focuses on publishing engaging content.
Although content marketing gained traction during the digital age, the practice is nothing new. In 1895 John Deere founded The Furrow, a magazine designed to educate farmers about the latest advancement in the field, and help them find solutions to their problems. The magazine continues to exist today, not just in print but in digital format as well; it has a large social media platform, and is published in several languages around the world. The magazine helped crystallize the John Deere brand, and grow its market.
Forms of content marketing include: how to guides, white papers, newsletters, presentations, blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, and others.
#GEInstaWalk is a clever example of content marketing which allows the company’s Instagram followers to take a peek into GE’s facilities where cutting-edge technology is being manufactured. Amazon’s Building Your Book for Kindle free e-book is another clever example designed as a free guide to creating and publishing e-books. This is a great tutorial during the consideration phase when aspiring authors are weighing in their options. An example you might be familiar with is the Phyllo Shells recipes on the back of the package – the recipe itself might be enticing enough to make one buy the product, or vice versa. This isn’t something unique to Phyllo Shells however; there are plenty of food brands that offer recipes on the back of their package. It’s an ingenious form of content marketing.
Two local examples that stand out are the Catskill Dream Team’s real estate blog, and The Roxbury Motel’s whimsical themed rooms as featured on social media. How to Buy a Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guide, for instance, educates prospective buyers, but it also builds expectations of a lifestyle, and that’s exactly what a real estate blog is about. The Roxbury Motel’s internationally renowned themed rooms also have stories to tell. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for instance, designed as a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, has the walls stained to match Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue. The chandelier that hangs above the bed matches the mini chandelier in the Tiffany window at the opening of the movie when Audrey is eating a croissant and staring in the window. The owners of the motel confess that in their twenties they would go around Manhattan re-enacting scenes from the movie. The following Audrey/Truman Capote quote guided the design of the room: “Tiffany’s! Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” These fun facts shared on social media are bold examples of clever content marketing.
Moz identified four phases of content marketing, which one of them carrying out distinctive goals and types of content to pursue:
Align your content style, tone and voice with your brand’s personality (set up guidelines)
Documentation (governance rules and workflow)
Content ideation, creation, promotion and distribution (team, tools and infrastructure)
Analytics (metrics to evaluate success)
Depending on the size of your project, building an adequate infrastructure will help carry out the tactics and the execution of your content strategy, both creation and distribution. Often enough the work is outsourced to content strategists, writers, editors, and coordinators equipped with tools to designing and implementing an effective strategy.
In sum, content marketing works because:
It provides valuable information;
It provides entertainment;
It sparks conversations that bring people together;
It forms communities;
It converts potential customers into actual customers;