More and more consumers are moving toward online shopping for all manner of goods and services. While this transition to digital-based consumerism was happening before 2020, the pandemic sped it up significantly. More than 80% of people around the world have turned to online shopping in the last couple of years alone. What’s more, this trend is likely to remain, meaning that a solid digital marketing strategy is a must for your business.
Digital marketing encompasses the things you do to market your business and connect with potential customers online. That includes web searches, emails, social media, and other digital channels. Your digital marketing strategy is the plan you create to achieve specific goals with the help of various digital marketing tactics.
The online world is ever-changing, though. The things that worked just a few years ago to reach your target market and secure leads may not be as effective today. Here, we’ll help you create and fine-tune your digital marketing strategy for 2022.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
The online world is highly competitive. Developing, employing, and adapting your digital marketing strategy is vital to the success of your business.
For one thing, a solid digital marketing campaign can help you reach your target audience. These are the people who need your particular products or services. It can boost your brand awareness, making potential customers aware of who you are and what sets you apart.
With so many online channels through which to engage with the public, digital strategies make you more visible. Your presence on search engines, social media, and other platforms reminds them that you’re there, ready and waiting to help them with their needs. Some channels even help you encourage engagement, which enables you to build positive relationships with prospective and existing customers.
Common Types of Digital Marketing
You have numerous options when it comes to digital marketing:
Many customers looking for products or services to meet their needs start with an online search. They type their problem or what they’re looking for into the search bar, and the search engine populates results. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you to rank higher on the results page, making you more visible. This visibility allows you to generate more organic traffic.
Content remains one of the most relevant and critical components of digital marketing. The creation of valuable blog posts, infographics, ebooks, and more can help you to attract your target audience, encourage them to buy your products, and retain them as loyal customers. Regularly publishing digital content and incorporating keywords can also help to boost your SEO.
More than half (59%) of consumers say that emails affect their purchasing decisions. What’s more, email marketing offers one of the highest returns on investment, generating $36 for every $1 you spend. There are numerous emails you can send, too, including transactional (following a sign-up or sale), abandoned cart (to encourage a prospective customer to complete their transaction), and promotional (such as exclusive sales or offers). Effective emails can help you engage customers, boost retention, and encourage more sales.
SMS (Text Message) Marketing
While some companies have been hesitant to add it to their digital marketing strategies, statistics indicate that texting could be a valuable tactic. Customers want to hear from the brands they like, and the right texts can influence their purchasing decisions.
SMS messaging has many uses. Businesses can extend promotional offers and exclusive deals, send appointment reminders, thank customers for their business, request feedback, provide customer service, and so much more.
Paid advertisements have costs associated with them. Essentially, you pay to increase your visibility. You can easily reach people you know will be interested in your products and services. You can also re-target those who have previously visited your site but haven’t yet made a purchase. Paid advertisements can be run on search engines, other websites, and social media.
With more than 3.78 billion users worldwide and the average user spending nearly 2.5 hours a day on social media, it’s easy to understand why businesses are creating profiles on various platforms. It enables you to reach your customers where they spend the most time. There are various social media channels for you to use. Some for video content and others that work great with text. Be creative on social channels, communicate with your audience, and use it as a way to reach a wide range of people rather than promote your brand. The key to making your social media marketing efforts work is to be social.
Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you provide a unique link or code to another company or professional to promote a product or service. Along with the affiliate link, you also pay your collaborator a commission for their promotion of your business. These partnerships can increase your overall brand awareness and enable you to reach more of your target market.
Influencers are the people on social media with incredibly loyal followers. Some have massive audiences, while others have a smaller, but just as devoted, following. They’re knowledgeable, and their audiences trust their recommendations. A partnership could help you grow your brand awareness and your customer base.
Referral marketing offers an alternative, allowing you to leverage your customers instead. For every friend that uses their code to get a discount on their purchases, they receive a discount or other reward, too.
Digital Marketing Strategies to Employ in 2022
The digital marketing strategies that businesses utilized a few years ago may not be as effective in today's consumer climate. The rapid shift to shopping online for goods and services and the ever-changing search engine algorithms mean businesses need to adjust their strategies to reach customers.
Here are a few digital marketing strategies businesses may consider employing in 2022:
Optimize for Voice Searches
While most people type their queries into a search bar, the popularity of voice search is growing. Smart speakers (or home assistants) are becoming more commonplace in homes across the US. Consumers are also becoming more familiar with the voice search features built into their smartphones. They’re using these assistants to get hand-free answers and to find products or services that fit their needs.
Optimizing for voice search can help you improve your overall SEO strategy. One way to do this is by incorporating more long-tail keywords into your website. Long-tail keywords are more targeted and provide search engines with more information. For instance, a tax consultant could target “do I need a tax consultant to prepare my taxes” or “what should I look for in a tax consultant,” rather than “the importance of tax consultant” or “qualities of a good tax consultant.” Making your web content more conversational can help, too.
Focus on the User Experience
There’s a good chance that prospective and current customers will end up on your website multiple times during their purchasing journey. Their experience on your site can play a vital role in their decision to explore your offerings and make purchases.
Several factors go into optimizing the user experience of your site. A clear layout can make your website easier to navigate. Visitors should be able to find what they need in only a few clicks. Seeing as approximately 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, ensuring quick load times is crucial.
You’ll also want to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and that the mobile experience is just as seamless as your desktop site. Blips of any kind could affect user experience, driving prospective customers away.
Create Content That Matters
While publishing regular content can help your overall SEO strategy, quality tends to be more important than quantity. Your content should be relevant to your brand and should offer something of value to those who view it. Possible content includes blogs, ebooks, infographics, videos, and even social media posts.
Case studies and testimonials are also beneficial forms of content. They demonstrate how your company has helped customers with issues in the past, while ensuring prospective consumers that you can help them with any similar problems. Seeing a positive testimonial can be the encouragement your audience needs to choose you over the competition.
Take Your Influencer Marketing Game to the Next Level
Influencer marketing can be an effective digital marketing tactic for almost any business, from cosmetics and fashion to finance and entrepreneurship. Finding the right influencers, however, can be a time-consuming process.
In 2022, you can kick your influencer marketing strategy up a notch by using artificial intelligence to help you pinpoint the best influencers for your brand. AI can monitor and analyze several accounts at once, which can make for more successful partnerships and affiliations.
Turn Chatbots into Virtual Assistants
The concept of the site chatbot isn't new. However, older versions of the chatbot feature often had limited functions and couldn’t always provide the help customers needed. Newer chatbots use AI, transforming them into something more akin to a virtual assistant. They have more personality than previous iterations and can provide more meaningful information. They help improve overall customer experience and satisfaction, increasing a customer’s likelihood of purchasing from your site.
Focus on Personalization
Personalization is more than using a customer’s name in an email. It’s a strategy that involves addressing the unique needs of your customers. It demonstrates that you understand who they are and what they want, which can improve their experiences with your brand.
Not only are consumers more likely to buy from a business that personalizes experiences, but they’re also more likely to become repeat customers. Personalization helps you to craft better content, humanizes your brand, and builds loyalty. These factors can lead to higher customer engagement and conversion rates.
Social media platforms make it easier than ever to connect with your customers. Instagram and Facebook even make it possible for you to interact in real-time with live videos. You can host interactive Q&A sessions and interviews with experts in your industry. You can also give a behind-the-scenes look at your business, make important announcements, hold giveaways, and more. YouTube Live is also a great platform for businesses to hold webinars such as product demonstrations and workshops.
Tips for Creating Your 2022 Digital Marketing Strategy
Your digital marketing strategy will be unique to your business. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Buyer personas represent your ideal customers. Using them to inform your marketing decisions (digital or not) is essential for your success. Creating these personas requires you to understand the people you’re trying to reach and includes such information as:
- Demographics (age, location, income, etc.)
- Hobbies and interests
- Challenges and pain points
Identify Your Digital Marketing Goals
Before you can implement an online marketing strategy of any kind, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve. For example, a new business may want to work on increasing its brand awareness, while a more established company might want to increase its leads. These goals will help you decide what digital marketing solutions to use to achieve them.
Determine What Digital Marketing Tools You’ll Need
There are countless free and paid digital marketing tools available. For instance, Google Analytics is an effective tool for tracking visitor actions on your website. Sprout Social and Buffer are great tools for maintaining your social media marketing strategy and identifying changes and growth on various social platforms. SEMRush assists with your SEO efforts. The specific tools you choose will depend on the digital marketing tactics you want to use.
Evaluate Your Progress and Adjust as Needed
Once you start implementing your digital marketing strategies, you’ll want to track and evaluate your progress. If you find something isn’t working the way you want, adjust accordingly and continue monitoring.
Examples of Digital Marketing Strategies
Beís, a brand that sells travel accessories, implemented an ad on social media to showcase an update made to one of their cosmetic cases. In the ad, they demonstrated the difficulty of removing a makeup spill from the liner of their old case versus the ease of removing it from the updated product.
The ad did more than show the tangible improvement of the item: it proved to their customers that they listen to feedback and are dedicated to continually improving their products.
AMEX went the route of creating content that matters with “Trends and Insights” (formerly Open Forum). The company began producing a constant flow of relevant articles covering topics such as current business trends, financial news, productivity tips, and more. It soon became a go-to reference for those looking to start and grow their organizations.
The mission of the non-profit organization charity: water is to bring clean drinking water to people in developing countries. The organization sends personalized emails to its donors periodically to show not only the projects they’ve donated to—and how much they’ve donated—but the progress of those projects, too. The reports keep donors more engaged and foster real connections with the non-profit.
Get Your Digital Marketing Strategy Ready for 2022
Digital marketing is vital to businesses of all shapes and sizes. However, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Your digital marketing strategies will look very different than those of another company. Understanding the digital marketing strategies available to you will help you develop a digital marketing plan that helps you achieve your business goals.