Hubspot's 2021 Marketing Report shows ROI from LinkedIn at 9%, compared to last year at around 5%. Whilst this number is still small, it's a massive leap in a year to nearly double its percentage! LinkedIn has recently become a platform for more than just job ads, with business owners posting more about what their company does than ever before. Many LinkedIn influencers are surfacing, too; those who had lost their jobs in COVID-19 took to LinkedIn to advocate personal branding alongside other topics and obtained thousands of followers in the process. Watch this space!
This year Hubspot also reported that 77% of companies saw more engagement from email marketing than the previous year, and the most used email marketing tactic was message personalisation. Valuing your customer in e-shots and segmenting your audience into categories based on their values seems to be a key trend for 2021 and something to continue from the high level of engagement seen this year. Google's latest report also echoes this idea of personalisation, adding that "you need to understand the many identities that matter to people in your market and get hyper-local with your efforts".
It's been made into memes hundreds of times and was reported on extensively in 2021, but just in case you missed it, the Metaverse is coming. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Meta (formerly Facebook), really has the monopoly on ROI this year. The same Hubspot report showed that just around 32% of marketers saw the best ROI on Instagram, leaping up from over 20% last year. Whilst still the most popular for ROI, Facebook's percentage was down by around 10% this year. Facebook was getting a little stale, becoming more about finding out what's going on in the local area, which of your friends has just been on a lovely holiday, and the place to buy secondhand frying pans on Marketplace - but this refresh could mean something big for 2022. Now encompassing Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Meta could be a game-changer next year. What will the Metaverse do exactly? This Fortune article on how to join and what it does tells all.
Looking to gain brand awareness on a small budget but struggling to stand out? Whilst a company's social media account remains incredibly relevant to a brand (even with Lush's social media blackout - this still got people talking!), it's a known sales fact that people buy from people. People buy from those who seem personable, have character, and are actually 'social' on social media. Getting your employees to post their own professional content, particularly on LinkedIn, is a great way to stand out from the crowd. It's not proven, but in many cases, algorithms seem to favour posts from personal profiles over businesses profiles, encouraging companies to stand out from the noise by buying ads instead. Asking employees to post is free and practical, not to mention that personal branding is VERY 'in' right now.
The Technical University of Denmark recently found that attention spans are decreasing due to the enormous amount of information constantly thrown in front of consumers. Companies are trying to grab their customer's attention persistently - so if you want to be seen, make sure you're quick! Webpage loading times are a primary factor not only for your SEO but may also increase your bounce rate if they're not fast enough. People get bored of waiting for your page to load and click off it before the content you've worked so hard on has even appeared. Take a look at Semrush's advice on page loading times here, and ensure that your site is optimised for dwindling attention spans.
According to WyzOwl, 84% of consumers were convinced to purchase a product after watching a video, and 94% have watched explainer videos to learn more about a product or service. If you're not already utilising video on your webpage, at events, or as part of your social strategy, it's time to think about it! Of course, not any old video would do, and if you don't have the capabilities, we highly recommend hiring somebody who does. If you're camera-shy, animations work just as well. Having a moving image rather than static links back to the point about attention spans, but remember not to make it too long, as you want a consumer to watch it the whole way through!
This might seem slightly off-piste, but brands and consumers alike seem to be talking about sustainability more and more. With COP26, Greta Thunberg's influence, foodbank demands, and the documentary Seaspiracy released this year; customers are more interested than ever on this topic. They want to know where your products came from, what you're doing to reduce your carbon footprint, and they're taking more care over the brands with which they associate themselves. 2022 might be the year to think about reporting on your own environmental impact, or think about the suppliers that you use, to target the environmentally-friendly subsection of your audience.
Discount codes and loyalty programmes are just not as effective as they used to be - consumers are becoming more intelligent in marketing. Offering someone a 20% discount when they sign up to a mailing list might work in the short term, but you might find that three months later, they've unsubscribed and have never placed another order after using your one-time code. Consumers need to be hooked in; when you read a book and the first few pages are rubbish, are you really going to bother with the rest of it? The same applies to marketing - marketing that encompasses a 'here's the product, get 20% off today' initiative might be a good short-term solution, but consumers want to KNOW your brand for the long-term. Tell them the story of your brand - how you started, where you are now, what your values are. You'll be surprised at how much this works.
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