Charlotte Nichols, managing director of PR, social media and content marketing agency Harvey & Hugo, explores the best ways to reach your potential customers in 2022.
After the upheavals of the last two years, there’s never been a better time to revamp your marketing efforts. From influencers and authenticity, audio to visual, 2022 has some valuable marketing channels up its sleeve. Here’s how to make the best of them.
PR has always been about authenticity, but as the wider landscape continues to be uncertain, and greater mistrust in authority figures abounds, it’s more important than ever.
Above all, consumers want their brands to take a stand and mean something, rather than simply selling – it’s all about tapping into those emotional selling propositions.
We’re all desperate for some good news, and firms can really tap into that, as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. I always tell clients that CSR is a great way to show their authentic self; as long as they pick causes that are genuinely close to their heart, it can be a really powerful marketing tool.
Research shows that companies with a clearly defined sense of purpose are up to 50 per cent more likely to successfully expand into a new market, while 40 per cent of consumers deliberately choose purposeful brands, trusting them to act in the best interests of society.
So if you’re doing good, make sure people know.
When it comes to social media, influencers will continue to play a key role. The value of influencers is that the audience is already there and engaging; you just need to access it. You also benefit from the trust your chosen influencer has built up, as well as increasing your authentic – there’s that word again – appeal.
TikTok was one of the real winners of the pandemic, and video is likely to continue to dominate our social feeds.
It’s predicted that by this year, online videos will make up more than 82 per cent of all consumer internet traffic, 15 times higher than it was just five years ago. On social, videos get 12 times more shares than text and images, which is why we always encourage clients to work with what they have to create moving content, even just using their phone to share tutorials or behind-the-scenes footage – again, it creates that authentic feel.
In fact, video content continues to be a major player across all the marketing channels, not just social. The stats show us that one third of all online activity is spent watching video, and globally, 40 per cent of shoppers have said that they purchased products that they had discovered on YouTube. Video can be used to create explainer films, interviews and product demonstrations, in a more engaging way than lines of text and diagrams.
Away from the visual, for brands that really want to make their voices heard, I’d also recommend podcasts.
With so many people working from home nowadays, you have a captive audience. Podcasts perform the same function as a blog or a video, but they allow people to fit it more easily into their busy lives, while they’re working or doing chores.
Having someone’s ear – literally – is incredibly powerful, and can build a closer relationship than simply words on a page.
Staying local and being found
SEO is nothing new, but with the amount of content on the internet these days, it’s more important than ever.
A massive 95 per cent of searchers only look at the first page of Google. That means that if they don’t make the top spot for your chosen keywords, they may as well not bother – it’s as simple as that.
To boost findability, websites need content that is unique, creative and original – as well as hitting all the right notes when it comes to keywords.
A further element to focus on, prompted, perhaps, by the lockdowns and restrictions of the past two years, is local SEO.
Over the past year, nearly half of all Google searches had local intent, while searches for business or services ‘near me’ have grown by over 900 per cent since 2018. This has clear advantages for smaller, regional businesses, so local SEO should definitely be built into such firms’ overall SEO strategy.
With attention spans waning over the past year or two, as audiences were bombarded with facts and stats and stories, short, snackable content is a great way to stand out from the crowd in 2022.
Ephemeral content, like Insta Stories or Snapchat, perfectly captures the current mood. Times change so fast, and viewers don’t have the patience they once did, so giving them short snippets that last for 24 hours at most is just what they need.
These snippets, whether on Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels or TikTok, are perfect for the idle scroller, but I always remind clients that just because it’s short, it doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. These short bursts all add up to form an impression of a brand in the mind of the viewer – even if they don’t realise it.
For more information about Harvey & Hugo and its range of PR, social media and content marketing services, visit www.harveyandhugo.com