Since business objectives are never set in stone, every brand must adapt its operations and initiatives to the dynamic world surrounding it. While your team should regularly assess a marketing strategy throughout the year, New Year's typically encourages us to set ambitious new goals, both personally and professionally.
If your business doesn’t stay on top of the latest marketing trends, you can quickly fall behind the competition and get left in 2021. If you don’t know what’s trending, you likely don’t know what to set as marketing New Year’s resolutions for your business. That’s where Forge Apollo can help. We’ve listed five diverse resolutions below based on the latest marketing trends your company should consider adopting as we head into the new year.
With the help of our award-winning Philadelphia digital marketing agency, one of these resolutions could help advance your digital marketing strategy and achieve your brand's next media milestone. Contact us today to get started.
1. Focus more on insightful consumer psychographics.
Typically, meaningful demographics are the foundational basis of market research because they tell your marketing team generally where and how to concentrate their efforts. However, relevant psychographics can help take your marketing campaign to the next level by hyper-focusing on your targets' values and more profound feelings. Knowing where your target market lives and works is certainly valuable when building your strategy, but catering to their deeper emotions will captivate your audience more effectively.
Up until recently, tracking consumer data using cookies was an incredibly popular method for gathering analytics. However, as online privacy becomes more important to users, developers will have increased difficulty monitoring activity and metrics on web pages. Marketers will have to put more effort into creating interactive communities surrounding their industries instead of simply identifying individual browsing habits. At Forge Apollo, our media specialists don't just track user metrics, we create detailed buyer personas and inbound strategies based on specific market needs.
Additionally, the fragile cultural state directly resulting from a global pandemic poses an obvious reason to make consumer attitudes and interests a priority. People are feeling especially disconnected from one another, expanding the need for engaging, positive spaces that people can utilize to express their emotions and opinions. Gaining insight into these communities will allow you to gather the constructive customer psychographics necessary to truly understand your audience.
Cultural attitudes and beliefs will continue to dominate the digital business space, and it's the marketing team's job to delve into these segments. If you're looking to establish credibility and membership into these groups, try to pinpoint what they believe in:
"As more people come together in communities to discuss large societal topics like sustainability, we will begin to understand more about attitudes, opinions, and the behaviours stopping mass adoption. This will bring better insight to brands on how to frame and position their products and services."
- Dr. Jillian Ney, founder of The Social Intelligence Lab, Hubspot & Talkerwalker's 2022 Social Media Trends Report
Your target market's worldview will significantly impact the way they view your posts and ads. For example, Millennials and Gen Z have vastly different expectations in terms of what they want to see on social media. Millennials tend to be drawn to an aesthetically pleasing presence, while Gen Z typically prefers a more raw and realistic image. Tapping into these types of audience objectives can allow you to successfully tailor your posts to a certain population of users.
2. Prioritize in-depth personalization of posts and profiles.
As previously stated, tracking cookies are becoming less reliable; therefore, marketers must find innovative ways to understand user viewing habits. Consumers crave a personalized experience that ensures a smooth customer journey. This means following your audience to its desired platforms, channels, and conversations and authentically connecting with them in these spaces.
So what has caused this shift in consumer needs? As the pandemic brought in-person interaction to a screeching halt, online connections were forced to somehow become more physical. "Content demands adapted as people’s lives changed," Hubspot and Talkwalker's 2022 Social Media Trends Report explains. "The shift from working from the office to working from home meant people wanted more personalized experiences shaped around their lives."
These niche but widespread commonalities cause the formation of dynamic communities where members can share opinions and resources. Tapping into these groups not only helps you gain insight into your market's deepest concerns but also allows you to build trust and authenticity within a targeted population.
When Forge Apollo starts working with a new business, we begin with a client discovery call, where we can clearly and proactively establish business objectives and audience. We use this information to create a buyer persona and suggest the best platforms to reach those profiles, adapting our advanced marketing methods to fit your brand goals. From that point on, our digital team will plan, create, and optimize your content to ensure a genuine connection with your viewers.
3. Create more quality audio content and implement it appropriately.
As digital marketers, we understand the importance and ever-growing popularity of quality video content. However, creating great posts doesn't stop at your ability to capture attractive visuals or compose good copy. Following 2021's social media trends, creators are urged not to overlook a key asset of their campaigns - sound.
Our video team at Forge Apollo considers sound quality equally as important as superior visual imagery, whether we're producing content for clients or our own pages. We don't stop at good graphics because representing your company is so much more than a pretty picture. With top-of-the-line recording equipment in the hands of our master videographers, we can perfectly showcase every aspect of your brand's personality, down to the last sound byte.
In the Hubspot Trend Report, Twitter Marketing Expert Madalyn Sklar states "audio content is the social media trend to watch for in 2022," and countless other industry professionals cite several reasons for the emphasis on audio content. Users don't need to be on camera or use expensive equipment, they can connect through live conversations, and new immersive communities are being built around audio platforms every day.
The appeal of podcasts continues to grow, and users are looking for new ways to interact with each other and their specialized groups. Hubspot suggests that live audio platforms are the natural progression from podcasts because they introduce a new and exciting listener experience. They are drawn to platforms that allow them to engage on a more intimate level, particularly in the midst of a pandemic emphasizing physical distancing in person.
4. Take responsible social action.
As corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes a bigger topic of conversation every year, more and more brands are realizing the importance of CSR in business. It's no longer possible (nor beneficial) to remain quiet about political issues and current events in your marketing efforts. For one, ignoring these topics can make you appear disconnected or stoic, not only to your customers but to your employees. Who wants to work for a company that disregards the concerns and opinions of its staff members?
Additionally, implementing effective CSR strategies helps build accountability and improves the perception of your brand. According to Forbes Contributor Sarah Landrum, millennials in particular "prefer to do business with corporations and brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods, and ethical business standards."
Not only do consumers want to purchase from an ethical brand, but being socially responsible also makes you appear more attractive to stakeholders. A 2016 study by Aflac found that 61% of investors claim CSR reduces investment risk because it's considered an indicator of corporate morality.
However, by no means is it necessary to revolve all your content around social issues, nor should you post all your cultural opinions. Your CSR agenda should be approached similarly to other marketing objectives - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART goals). Touch on incentives that can improve the lives of your targeted audience while simultaneously creating brand awareness and engagement.
Essentially, consumers want to know that you care - not only about them but about their viewpoints and lifestyles.
Over everything, Forge Apollo wants to accurately represent your brand and what it stands for, which means we'll do everything in our power to gather and maintain a loyal customer base that's on par with your beliefs. We do this by implementing personalized SMART goals and strictly adhering to your company's overall message and voice in order to truly connect with that ideal audience.
"2022 will be about substance over spin. Amid Covid, geopolitical tension, climate change, and a firehouse of fake news - purpose, action, and authentic dialogue will make brands and organisations stand out."
-Tom Williamson, APAC Managing Director at Telum Media, Hubspot & Talkerwalker's 2022 Social Media Trends Report
5. Introduce an online community or metaverse.
With technological breakthroughs occurring every day, modern communication is constantly being improved by experts and amateurs alike. Marketers that don't monitor these online innovations are sure to be left behind and abandoned in obsolete communities that no longer serve a meaningful purpose within their industry.
The most recent triumph of digital platforms is the metaverse, and what is known as the "phygital space" - a buzzword for the accessible combination of the physical and digital space. When distancing and isolation took over, people developed a greater need to connect with each other in a safe and convenient environment. Simultaneously, augmented and virtual reality software skyrocketed in popularity over the past year, as consoles like the Oculus became readily available to consumers. The combination of these two advancements has set the stage for digital advertising in the future, further blurring the line between the virtual and real worlds.
In order to stay relevant in 2022, businesses will need to effectively identify their position in the phygital space and implement their presence within the metaverse strategically. Snapchat, for example, introduced its wildly successful Bitmoji avatars back in 2014, and their momentum has hardly slowed. Since then, countless prominent brands (to name a few: Crocs, Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden, Levis) have partnered with the social network to integrate and promote their products to its 306 million daily active users.
Uncovering the opportunities of the metaverse may be the key to molding your audience into a community:
"Across industries and markets, advertisers have realized the unique potential of the metaverse and what VR can offer. If carried out correctly, companies can connect with their audience on an even deeper level. In 2022, we will see an increased interest and value in brands investing in the phygital space - a term already mentioned 62.5k times in the last year. "
-Hubspot & Talkwalker 2022 Social Media Trends Report
Although as a marketer you may be hesitant to jump on the latest tech train, it can't hurt to do a little research. In what ways can methods like AR and VR help your business? For example, Forge Apollo recently utilized an augmented reality headset to simulate an island paradise as part of the "Experience Dreams" campaign for our client Dreams Resorts. Content you can physically interact with is the new wave of marketing innovation, and it's up to you to stay current.
Make Your 2022 Marketing New Year's Resolutions Now
Overall, the social media trends from 2021 urged marketers to put customer gratification at the top of their wishlists. In 2022, brands that can truly empathize with their target audience will gain the most traction on news feeds. Your timeline will feature more companies focused on creative personalization, social solidarity, and community outreach
because these corporate qualities appeal most to consumers in the years following a worldwide crisis.
Forge Apollo can help your business implement marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2022 that will help you stay ahead of your competitors and boost your business. Contact us today to book a consultation and get started.