By Tim Hennessy on Oct 13, 2021
If you miss any of these 10 ways to update your digital marketing strategy, you could quickly fall behind your competitors in the year ahead.
The last two years have been challenging ones for people who are responsible for keeping digital marketing strategies current. The pace of digital change accelerated at an unprecedented pace because the coronavirus pandemic forced people to do more things online than ever before. Changes that could have normally taken years to happen took place in weeks, or less in some cases. Consider the rise of virtual medical appointments, online banking and digital diamond sales.
So, what lies ahead?
We’re certain that digital marketing strategies for the next year and beyond will need to address ongoing radical change along with ongoing refinements to all that was implemented quickly in the last couple of years.
Here are ten things you’ll need to address to make sure your digital marketing strategies are ready for 2022.
Online reviews are usually the final step of any marketing and sales journey. So why are we addressing it first? Because if the online reviews of your company and the products and services you offer aren’t stellar, prospective customers may never find out about your business online, and if they do, could be ultimately turned off by negative reviews.
How important are positive online reviews? They are one of the primary factors that go into Google’s choice of which businesses appear in their top three positions when people search for information.
Add to this the fact that a 2020 Trustpilot study — that’s almost nine out of ten — check out online reviews before making a purchase. A BrightLocal Study — almost eight out of ten — shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So what can you do to get control over your online reputation?
Censuring negative reviews definitely isn’t the answer. That same Trustpilot study says that 62 percent of consumers won’t buy from a company that does it.
The right answer is to partner with a review generation service. It will use a combination of virtual and human services to get more great reviews for your organization on Google and other popular review platforms.
A review generation service uses things like surveys and polls after critical marketing and sales interactions to find out which clients, customers and prospects feel really good about them. When the service identifies someone who reports that they had a positive experience, they will send out an email or text message requesting a review. History shows that people who share positive sentiments in a survey are likely to want to do the same in a review.
A technologically advanced review generation service will also use platforms that automatically determine where a business needs more reviews and encourage people to go there. For example, if your business is looking very good in Google but is falling behind in Facebook reviews, the email or text message sent by the review generation service will encourage people to provide positive feedback on Facebook.
So, what happens if you get a negative review? A review generation service will monitor your reviews in real time and tell you immediately when you receive one. That gives you the power to respond to it quickly and resolve the issue. This allows you to demonstrate your commitment to customer service and turn what could have been a negative for your business into a positive. Consumers know companies aren’t perfect. They’re okay about doing business with organizations that address mistakes or disagreements quickly and resolve them.
Companies in many industries, including retail, banking and healthcare have been using AI to improve their marketing efforts in some basic ways, such as reporting on social results and website traffic conversions, using AI chatbots for customer service and finding ways to optimize organic search results.
More advanced firms leverage AI to monitor things like buyer purchase patterns and consumer website browsing history to predict what people are likely to purchase and recommend it to them. It could be anything from tomatoes to handbags to insurance coverage.
If your company is using artificial intelligence in basic ways, you will want to up your AI game in 2022. If you’re not leveraging it at all, it could be the perfect year to get on board with this powerful technology.
According to a recent report, more than half of marketers in the United States spend more than 20 percent of their budgets on influencer marketing. In some consumer segments like cosmetics and jewelry, the percentage is much higher.
The next generation of influencer marketing is using artificial intelligence to identify the ideal influencers for different businesses. AI is able to monitor more influencer social accounts and videos than a large team of humans could. It’s predictive analysis of potential influencers can make programs more efficient and cost effective.
So, if you’re doing influencer marketing, you will want to look at using AI in 2022. If influencers aren’t part of your current digital marketing strategy, isn’t it time to get on board? Even the most conservative financial firm can find an economics guru their clients and prospects will respect and admire.
Think about it: Do your chat bots seem “real” or “not really”? Do they provide value or do they just annoy the visitors to your website?
If you haven’t updated your chat bots lately, you should make it a priority. The latest generation of them leverage artificial intelligence to lend them a distinct personality that’s reflective of your brand. The use of AI makes them behave like virtual assistants or shoppers that provide meaningful information to website visitors, improve their experiences and make visitors more likely they buy.
If you can’t describe interactions with your chat bots as fun and meaningful, 2022 should be your year for an upgrade.
After long periods of lockdown due to COVID-19, people are looking forward to getting together again at in-person company and industry events.
Still, there has been a lot learned during the last year or two of virtual events. And some of those things shouldn’t be forgotten.
As you start planning 2022 in-person events, why not expand on or add virtual components if you haven’t already? This will make them multidimensional and more meaningful. Plus, you can broaden their appeal by attracting attendees, panelists and speakers who are unable to travel or take a significant amount of time away from work. One other benefit: A virtual component will allow your event to live on over time and be found online by more people.
Content has been a top priority for many years.
When was the last time your organization updated its digital content marketing strategy? If you’re not sure, it’s probably time.
Why not change things up and
“Mobile first” has been the mantra for a long time, ever since smartphones became the dominant tool people use to communicate, shop and get information.
Despite this, most organizations still have gaps in their mobile experiences. Prior to the pandemic, people were willing to tolerate a few online blips or hiccups. Now that much more has moved into the digital sphere and leading companies have made online experiences smooth and seamless, people are unwilling to deal with subpar user experiences. They simply move on to competitors that make it easy to conduct business with them online.
One of your digital marketing priorities for 2022 should be to conduct a “mobile first” audit of your digital properties. Find all the disconnects and other problems, and fix them once and for all. What’s the use of spending money to get people to your website only to lose them because of a shaky or disconnected smartphone experience?
Most marketing campaigns use multiple tactics to generate leads and sales. Social media, Google Ads, blog posts, landing pages, chatbots and experiences from a review generation service could all be a part of the journey.
Most organizations get the pieces of that journey right, but often all those pieces don’t really come together as a whole. For a marketing effort to be successful, the pieces need to be thought of as chapters that connect together into a complete story. Every disconnect or unexpected event will break the narrative and give prospective clients and customers a reason to abandon.
One of your top digital marketing priorities should be to become a master storyteller and use data and metrics to find the gaps in your end-to-end marketing storytelling experience.
It’s been possible for marketers to track and measure all the aspects of their marketing campaigns for a long time now.
The issue is that most are unable to connect all the pieces together into a meaningful and easy-to-read dashboard or report. By the time they connect the dots, they’ve missed out on opportunities or let small issues turn into big problems. 2022 should be the year you resolve this. Use some of your marketing budget to hire someone to create a data dashboard for your organization. The cost to do this is relatively inexpensive. And today, you’ll get far more of a return on an investment in good data than in doing more marketing that’s not backed up by solid metrics.
Google has announced that it’s planning to phase out its use of third-party cookies in 2023, although the actual date has been changing. starting next year. The time to prepare for this is now. Wait and you could be too late.
Use 2022 to expand your efforts to gather and exploit first-party data that your operation owns. Start using things like webinars for which prospects register, surveys and interactive experiences to gather data and information about website visitors and customers. It will help you build up your company’s database so you can continue to be successful once Google turns off third-party cookies.
Another option is to use tools from Google’s Privacy Sandbox, an initiative sponsored by the firm to come up with alternatives to third-party cookies or FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which allows people to browse the Internet in complete privacy and still see ads that relate to their interests.
The next year and the years ahead, promise to be a continued period of dynamic change. The time to update your digital marketing strategies is now. If you don’t take action today, you could quickly fall behind your competitors. And in today’s dynamic digital universe, you may never be able to catch up.
Want to get support for updating your 2022 digital marketing strategies? See how Umbrella Local can help.
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