Digital Marketing Remains a Powerful Strategy for Industrial Manufacturers
Many of the marketing trends for 2022 focus on digital components. A strong online presence has never been more important, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is expanding, and there are more social media options than ever before. In addition, trends toward specialized company content and personalized content are proof that in the marketing world, content is (still) king. Here are six of the top marketing trends for the coming year—relevant and applicable to all sales pipelines, not just industrial manufacturers.
6 Top Marketing Trends for 2022
- Continued digital transformation
Companies have been incorporating digital channels into their marketing campaigns for some time. Think email marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). However, as we move into 2022, the continued digital transformation means leveraging technology to improve the ways you connect with customers. Customer data platforms and Google Analytics are two examples. Companies will continue to adopt AI technology that can analyze customer data and predict outcomes. As new data is collected, predictions and outcomes improve. This “machine learning” can have a tremendous impact on your ability to both retain customers and improve the customer experience. In the future, new AI tools may even enable the creation of marketing material such as optimized blog posts.
- Strong digital presence
A compelling digital presence will continue to be a significant trend in 2022. In addition to your company website and social media accounts, digital ads, search engines, business directory listings, online reviews, even Google Map listings, all contribute to creating an impression of your brand, along with the most requisite task—helping people to find you in the first place. These digital mediums form a platform for you to educate customers about your business, build credibility, and create opportunities for customers to engage with you. Your company’s digital presence defines your areas of expertise and helps differentiate you from your competitors. With a strong presence across multiple digital channels, you are more likely to rank higher in search results, which reinforces your company’s legitimacy and reliability.
- Specialized company content
The trend of engaging customers with compelling, relevant website content will continue in the coming year. Specialized content focuses on what makes your company unique. By highlighting the best aspects of your company, specialized content builds brand recognition and helps you stand out from your competition. One example of specialized content is pillar content, which is robust, high-quality information that establishes a company’s reputation in its industry. Pillar content can become the foundation for the content of other channels, including blog posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, or social media updates. Here is an example of a pillar page. Evergreen content is material that is instructive and useful no matter when it was created. This content includes tutorials, educational articles, FAQs, quick assessments, and company stories. And never underestimate the power of storytelling. Sharing stories about how your products or services helped solve a specific customer problem—often done in a case study format—is a powerful way to demonstrate your company’s proficiency and makes for convincing specialized content. A related benefit? Unique, specialized content also drives high-impact SEO. Here’s an example of evergreen content.
Conversational marketing refers to the ways AI technology can help you drive conversations with customers. It is a form of marketing automation that helps companies build relationships with customers and learn more about them. For example, digital ads on social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn can connect customers directly with you by using a “click to messenger” feature. AI-powered chatbots, voice assistants, and live chats on your company website enable real-time interactions with your customers. Chatbots have the potential to improve the sales process because they can gather more detailed customer information and pre-screen prospects to determine quality leads. Chatbots also can drive engagement, and therefore, conversion rates. Increasingly, customers are expecting instant answers to their questions. The continuing trend of conversational marketing allows companies to respond to customers quickly, which builds trust, loyalty, and improves the customer experience.
- Highly personalized content
We have all experienced content that has been personalized for us. Think about your Facebook newsfeeds, your Amazon home page showing products related to your browsing and purchase history, and recommendations from your favorite streaming services based on your viewing history. Research has shown consumers respond better to content that is relevant to them. Companies will continue the trend of expanding their use of AI technology and CRM platforms to collect consumer data and apply comprehensive data analysis to develop highly personalized content. Tailored, relevant content helps you engage more closely with your customers and increases the likelihood they will respond to calls to action (CTAs). One targeted approach often used here involves account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a marketing strategy widely used by B2B marketing agencies. The basic premise is that you target companies you already do business with, or businesses that are in your close orbit or ecosystem, to drill deeper into their organizations to attract prospects that are, by definition, already a good customer fit. (We wrote more about ABM marketing in this blog.)
- Social media marketing
The existing trend to use social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to connect with customers will continue to flourish in the coming year. Social media is an essential way to share news and information that reinforces your company’s brand, but the key to successful marketing through social media is to focus on the platforms most used by your audience. In addition, to stay relevant, you need to ensure a consistent, active social media presence. One specific trending feature on social media platforms for 2022 is video content. Research shows that video content is more likely to be shared and has higher customer conversion rates. In the coming year, more companies will take advantage of social media channels to livestream content or post reels to engage their customers.
Does Your Digital Marketing Strategy Look Strong?
When’s the last time you took inventory of your digital marketing tools? Are you taking advantage of any of the above tactics? We’re happy to talk you through them to see how we can help you prepare and implement a more thorough digital marketing strategy—including ABM marketing. Start the new year strong! Contact us now to set up a time that’s convenient for you.