Whether it’s new social media trends or ground-breaking advertising tactics, the world of marketing seems to move at warp speed. At least, that’s how it feels when you’re in the midst of planning a brand-new campaign strategy for your business.
New data, statistics or tech releases – and in the case of 2020 and 2021, a global pandemic – can completely change how you attract and connect with your audience — and, in turn, the marketing tactics you employ. So how can a small business owner keep up?
Staying on top of trend shifts doesn’t always cut it. If you want to succeed, it’s crucial to stay a step ahead of your competition. That could involve studying your previous marketing strategies to learn from past performance, or listening to your consumer to find out their latest interests and communication tools.
To help you get started, let’s take a look back over the past year or two and get an idea for what’s to come…
Last Year’s Tactics — What’s Changed?
In the midst of social distancing and regional lockdowns, 2020 saw eCommerce double its share of retail sales in Canada, as small businesses had to reach their customers online rather than in-person.
This rise in digitization continued into 2021, creating a virtual shift in many industries, from retail to hospitality, hotels and restaurants. Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing played a vital role in this, ensuring brands could still reach and engage with their consumers.
With connection and communication limited to our phones, social media also proved its worth. New platforms such as TikTok stole the spotlight with their short-form video snippets giving customers an insight into their favorite brands. Consumption doubled globally, with TikTok users in Canada spending more time on the app than Facebook.
It looks like these changes are here to stay. So, get ready to take note of the tactics you’ll need in your 2022 marketing strategy.
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Essential Marketing Tactics for 2022
Ready to put your 2022 marketing game face on? Try these handy tips and tactics to boost your brand over the coming year:
A marketing strategy driven by goals
Setting goals never goes out of style. If you’re not goal-setting, how do you expect to gauge the success of a campaign? But before you begin your agenda, review your marketing strategy from 2021 and see where it could be improved.
For instance, did you try an email drip marketing campaign? Or maybe a new advertising method? It never hurts to look back at what you’ve done — at what worked and what didn’t — and tweak your methods accordingly. Here are some goals to get you started:
- Try a strategy you’ve never used: If you don’t yet have an Instagram or TikTok account for your business, set one up. It might help you reach a new market.
- Improve your KPIs: If you’re used to counting how many people come through your door or visit your website, consider counting the number of sales you make each day. You can also use a CRM suite to track your customers’ repeat purchases and find out more about their spending habits – what’s their favorite product?
- Boost your lead conversion rate: In a small business, this can be something as simple as counting the likes on your social posts or views on your stories and tracking which consumers turn into paying customers.
Implement the SMART goal-setting model when writing your marketing agenda. This acronym stands for:
It can help you make sure your goals are realistic and you have a clear path to achieve them – whether that’s a revamped email newsletter or a social media posting schedule. Speaking of social media …
Don’t forget about your presence on social media platforms
More than half of the world’s population uses some form of social media. More importantly, 83% of Canadians are on social media – making us one of the most connected online populations. So, it’s important you’re utilizing this audience.
It isn’t crucial to have an account on every platform. If your small business relies on sales from social posts, research the platforms that your target market uses the most. And be selective about where you spend your social media advertising budget. Some platforms work better for certain businesses, but not for others.
Don’t have a social ad budget? Don’t worry. Having happy customers that post their experience on their social media accounts is just as good, if not better.
Create the perfect customer experience
Making sure your customers have fantastic experiences with your brand is a vital part of your marketing strategy – whether that’s on your website or in person. So, how can you boost your customer’s experience?
Streamline the purchase process with an all-in-one POS system that makes things easier for you and your customer.
Keep a line of communication open with your clients at all times, through social media channels or a direct messaging hub like Square Messages.
Consider rewarding loyalty with a dedicated loyalty program. It’s a simple way to give customers a reason to keep coming back.
Make your content educational — not salesy
The long-running king of marketing is content. A lot of small businesses rely on educational content marketing in their lead-nurturing and trust-building phases.
You can focus on any topics that tie in with your brand or market, from food and travel guides on your blog to short quizzes on your social media. You can also employ different SEO techniques across your website content to improve page rankings on Google and other search engines. Go the extra mile and start showcasing your thought leadership knowledge on your own website.
While customers are your focus, you can’t forget about your employees. In fact, they’re the backbone of your entire operation. If your employees aren’t happy, how can they provide a happy experience for your customers?
You can incentivize your employees in small ways that produce big results. Consider empowering your team with a more accessible scheduling system – that way they can take charge of their own time. If viable for your business, you could also implement flexi time to help them align their work duties with their personal responsibilities.
Looking for a little reward? Treat your employees to a gift card they can use at nearby businesses. Better yet, partner with another small business to reciprocate the custom. Only have a few employees? Pick a date and host an out-of-work get-together like bowling or karaoke.
There’s nothing more disheartening for a small business than a data breach. The data you maintain is exceedingly valuable, and not just to you.
Whether it’s email addresses, credit card information or smartphone server locations, customer data is prized information, and they have a high level of expectation that you’ll take great care in handling it.
Make sure you’re up to date on the latest data protection regulations and be careful when handling sensitive information. Even small businesses can become targets, so be mindful of how you maintain your customer information too.
So, that sums up the most important marketing trends for 2022. Take a look at your current strategies and campaigns. Do they align with the above tactics? If not, all is not lost. Simply begin applying changes to your efforts.
If you can maintain a handle on the rapid changes in marketing trends — and always realize there’s room for growth — you’ll navigate the future world of marketing just fine.