• Tom Berry

Build A Smarter Marketing Strategy



What is the current state of Marketing?


TikTok influencers, Reels creators, and YouTube personalities are dominating digital engagement, creating and producing consistent, high-quality content that rivals major brands.


One of our sources for writing this blog is, Hubspot State of Marketing Trends Report 2022, whereby over 1,600 marketers across the globe were interviewed. We have also added our own insight based on supporting businesses with CRM, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing.



Marketing in Focus


Influencer marketing will continue to rise, marketers should invest in short-form video, and content audits should be part of every marketing organisation's strategy.


Marketers are working smarter, not harder.


Templates are one of the most popular and effective tools for fast-paced marketing teams.


During a time of environmental, social, economic, and political challenges — marketers need to be ready to pivot, and being flexible pays off.


Social media marketing is going nowhere but up, and the more innovative and creative, the more likely a post is to start a trend or go viral.


More and more, the creator economy and niche content are dominating — the top trend marketers are leveraging in 2022 is influencer marketing.


This year, companies are also investing more in short-form video content and refining their mobile marketing strategy.








Top Marketing Channels in 2022

Social media is the top channel for marketers in 2022. Interestingly, influencer marketing is more popular than SEO, showing a rise in interest in the creator economy, and hinting that it may be wise to invest in creator partnerships and programs in your community.


It’s important to note that no matter what these benchmarks say, the most important metrics for your business’s success are your own. Once you’ve created and launched your marketing campaigns, website, emails, social media posts, and events, you can continuously test and optimise your marketing strategy based on how your audience responds.


It is helpful to understand where to start. Developing on-brand marketing campaigns takes time, effort, and budget. Should your team put the majority of your efforts into email? Video? Podcasting? TikTok? The channels marketers from B2B and B2C brands are using in 2022 are reflected above and might also provide you direction on where to start.



Where are people spending time online?


While people have their own preferences when it comes to researching their favourite brands and gathering information online, social media continues to be a common path for building relationships with companies.


Additionally, direct and organic enquiries on search engines and the associated keywords are critically important for online visibility. Keep in mind — all web content should be responsive and optimised for mobile, desktop, and tablet views.


Content Marketing


Content marketing is a top priority for marketing teams, encompassing multimedia formats and becoming more interactive and accessible in recent years. This year, video is the top media format (for the third year in a row) — but specifically, short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels are growing the fastest. While marketers are most likely to use content that matches their brand identity or industry, the most effective posts are 1) funny and 2) interactive.


Top Media Formats Marketers Use


Brands will continue to show up and be authentic in their marketing, highlighting user-generated content and employee-generated content to showcase the voices of their organisation.



Marketers are increasing investments in interactive content, taking the time to design quizzes, engage on social media, and collect valuable information from their audience. They are also sharing more “behind the scenes” content and authentic brand stories, which resonate during a time when community comes first.


Top Content Types Used Most Effective Types of Content

in Social Media Marketers Use in Social Media


The Marketing Impact of Customer Data


The last couple of years were extremely interesting, and important, for any digital marketer. The broad and unchecked access to customer data, one of the main pillars of digital marketing, is being heavily criticised and the landscape is quickly changing. There’s a good reason behind that. The amount of data we are collecting became a major privacy issue, and governments are not happy about it. To avoid problems, the big players are acting proactively, and a lot has changed recently: iOS14 changed the way data is collected, multiple smaller browsers have killed the 3rd party cookie, GDPR and other similar laws are becoming stricter every day. Access to data will become harder and harder.


All of that means that investing in tactics that rely on aggregate data is becoming more expensive, and relying only on extremely optimised last-touch advertising will no longer be a viable strategy. But let’s be honest: just operating tools to maximise CPC isn’t actually marketing. There’s no long-term brand building, product positioning, and all the basics of actual marketing. Even though these changes appear to be negative at first, they are actually a big opportunity!


Now For A Smarter Marketing Strategy




The Challenge


Advertisers are learning the importance of creating an online presence that covers the entire customer journey, guiding and delighting their audiences.


This is a powerful way not only to generate a positive brand perception and increase awareness, but it’s also the best strategy to collect first-party data, which is becoming essential for any future-proof marketing strategy.


The best, maybe only, way to create this future-proof marketing is by creating a really good online presence with amazing content and a well-structured, privacy-oriented, data collection strategy.


That’s great news for content marketers everywhere, but we also need to adapt, so let’s understand what that means in the short and long term.


If your strategy still doesn’t include the creation of an owned channel with great content, that’s the obvious first step. Having your own blog, podcast, or newsletter is no longer optional if you want to cover the entire customer journey. You can’t simply rely exclusively on building on “rented land” - PPC or Social Media - because that means that you’ll be hostage to an algorithm that could change at any time.


Even if you already have a strong content marketing strategy in place, with your own channels, it’s time to start thinking about adapting your distribution. SEO is a great example: it will still be a very important acquisition channel for a while, but it’s not wise to put all of your eggs in that basket anymore. Zero-click searches are always increasing and, just like with social media, you are hostage to an ever-changing algorithm.


The question marketers should ask themselves for the future is: how can I create an audience that I can reach whenever I want without depending on any distribution channel that I don’t have control over?


The Solution


Think like a Publisher! A publisher needs to create amazing content frequently to have a recurring audience that chooses to pay attention to what you are saying because it resonates with them. These are your newsletter or podcast subscribers, the frequent readers of your blog that keep it in their bookmarks instead of finding you on Google, etc.


Each person that chooses to actively go after your content, your brand, is worth a hundred times more than a single Instagram follower or someone who just found your blog on Google and never returns. Rand Fishkin calls it the “Netflix Effect” and I believe it’s a good definition. When someone is eager for your content to reach their inbox, you win.


Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean at all that we should stop investing in SEO, social media, or PPC. These are great channels for our audience to find us, but we must create a journey that turns these one-time visitors into fans of our content and our brand.


The second most important action that digital marketers should take, right after creating the journey, is to have it attached to a strong first-party data collection structure, something that’s commonly not prioritised by content marketers.


Collecting first-party data has always been important to a proper content marketing strategy, after all, that’s the essence of marketing automation: collecting relevant data about your audience to segment them, deliver customised content, and, of course, identify the leads that are a good fit to become customers. But now it’s becoming even more important.


Without access to the same amount of data as before, PPC is becoming less efficient, and that’s where the customer journey and first-party data come in.


Without access to the same amount of data as before, PPC is becoming less efficient, and that’s where the customer journey and first-party data come in.


Final Thoughts


This year, look at your marketing plan holistically and be ready to pivot and test at every turn. More and more, digital audiences are seeking out brands that are authentic, transparent, and innovative. Being creative and taking risks will pay off, so don’t be too blinded by metrics and tracking to experiment with new channels or media formats.


Pro Tip 1: Ensure you put the right marketing, sales, service, content and operations tools in place and build out your first-party data strategy and don't be held to ransom by the algorithms and governmental and data privacy police force. If you have limited budget, we recommend starting with the free or starter version of HubSpot, if you have a little bit more budget and want to leverage more Marketing Automation, then our recommendation would be ActiveCampaign, and finally for biggest bang for your buck and more of a starting out budget, our go to recommendation is SharpSpring.


Please note the tools recommended above are based on our deep expertise using them, implementing them for our clients and professional partnerships with all of these organisations.


Pro Tip 2: Recruit in-house marketing expertise to help evolve marketing best practices or hire a good marketing agency or fractional CMO to help steer your Marketing ship and get results.



 


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About Autus


Autus provide Revenue Growth Platforms, Marketing & Sales Automation and Digital Marketing services to help sales and marketing personnel and teams build efficient and effective sales and marketing best practices and automate their marketing and sales processes by leveraging personalised content, various digital marketing tactics, segmentation and behaviour of their prospects and customers. Find out more here.


Autus provide a done for you social media management service for clients that don't have the time or know-how. Find out more here.


Our founder, Tom Berry, also provides selective fractional CMO services and is a member of some client boards.


Let's keep in touch!


If our team at Autus can help advise further, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our founder, Tom Berry.




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