Editor’s note: This article was published in the Record-Eagle’s Momentum ’22 special publication. For more stories from northern Michigan’s economic engine, click here to read Momentum in its entirety online.
A new year, a new list of digital marketing trends is upon us, but with this year’s Momentum column, I wanted to take a slightly different approach.
This article balances the idea that new technology trends should be in tune with, and an affirmation of, themes that have been true for the last 10 years.
It should come as no surprise that, despite all the advances that have been made in technology and the ease with which you can seemly accomplish so many daily tasks without ever needing to communicate with another person, recent events have really put into focus how much we still crave human interaction.
At our agency, we continue to see that marketing tactics which leverage human elements far outperform those that don’t.
Telling stories with video, leveraging customer reviews as social proof and creating a platform to celebrate your best customers are all tried-and-true practices to humanize your brand that you should consider putting into practice.
Eighty-eight percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Thirty-nine percent of customers will abandon a site if images won’t load or take too long to load.
Eighty-five percent of adults think a company’s website should be just as good, if not better, when viewed on mobile versus desktop.
With these stats in mind, now is a great time to consider a website redesign.
Even if you don’t have the resources to contract the work out to an agency, companies like Wix and Squarespace have really come a long way to offer competitive solutions for small businesses looking to refresh their website.
I would also highly recommend hiring a professional photographer to provide you with a library of new images that you can use for your website redesign versus defaulting to stock photography.
It’s obvious to consumers when you do. You can also bank some of those original images for use in social and for any new print collateral that you would like to see made.
With new privacy laws placing more anonymity choices in the hands of consumers, you’ve probably heard phrases like “Marketing in a Cookieless World” or “The Death of the Third-Party Cookie.”
These new privacy laws will make it harder for tech platforms to aggregate audiences for you to target from an advertising perspective.
Tech platforms are getting ahead of it by emphasizing the importance of first-party data. Essentially, they want to borrow the customer data that you personally collect and leverage it to ensure that you’re getting your messages in front of the right audiences.
It’s as easy as exporting a file from your CRM and uploading to the Ad publishers.
If you don’t already have a CRM, like Mailchimp or Zoho, you should consider setting one up.
Anything that allows you to capture at least basic information like names and emails will be helpful.
Many CRM tools also have the added benefit of serving as an email marketing platform.
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with customers and keep them apprised of any new offers or products you may have and it’s also a relatively low-cost way to keep your brand top of mind.
Humanizing your brand fosters connection between your business and your customers.
An easy-to-use website filled with original photography featuring real people creates strong brand recognition and (usually) repeat customers.
With those tools and an email marketing list of engaged contacts (past-purchasers, subscribers, wholesale clients) your business will be ready for changes to technology in 2022 and beyond, because you’ll be creating powerful, positive brand connections.