Customer-centric marketing strategies work better than business focussed ones. Delivering customer experiences has been our forte at efficaci and omnichannel marketing is one of the best enabling tools for us. First up, omnichannel marketing is bespoke and it is unique to every business.
Understanding omnichannel marketing
Omnichannel marketing strategies meet customer needs at their chosen touchpoints to deliver high-end customer experiences. The customer chosen touchpoint could be social media marketing platforms, blogs, physical locations, newsletters, customer delight calls or live chats.
The most critical aspect of an omnichannel marketing strategy is brand interaction and delivering brand-consistent conversations (messages and interactions with customers) across a plethora of devices and technologies. This is a customer-centric marketing strategy and customised according to the touchpoints, making it a ‘delight’ experience.
An omnichannel marketing strategy should focus on creating a seamless customer experiences, so we can connect all the touchpoints using the data collated, unify them and deliver.
We should tie each interaction of the customer to all other channels to spin a singular, delightful, seamless, and a joyful experience. In short, it is a unified service offering. A happy customer is ready to give you more business and information in the future.
A customer visits your store through a Twitter Ad, puts a few items in the basket and leaves without making a purchase. How do you handle the abandoned cart communication? What should you do to retain or regain the customer?
Since Twitter is a preferred channel for the customer, send a Direct Message along with re-targeted ads.
You have the email address of the customer, so you should email with suitable content.
Since the customer comes from Twitter, he is a heavy social media user. Re-targeted ads on other social media platforms using demographics would be a great idea.
Understanding Cross-channel, multichannel and omnichannel
The objectives of all these marketing strategies are similar, conversion, however, the difference lies in the perspective of a customer. We execute all these strategies in bespoke ways and get different conversion rates.
Look at the comparison table below:
Why adopt multichannel marketing?
There are many advantages to adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy. Let us discuss the three major ones.
Enhanced data collection through customer journey analysis: Collection of insights and analytics becomes easier and comprehensive because of enhanced customer experiences through omnichannel marketing. You can trace and collate engagement data across channels and touchpoints [Cookies, device id’s, tracking pixels CTRs, open rates etc.] resulting in deeper insights into customer journeys. Customer preferences, interactive behaviour combined with insights can help you identify profitable opportunities to grow faster. Identifying the best performing channels will help create better experiences and you have to tweak them as required.
Build better and better customer experiences: While building better and effective campaigns, you can promote better personalisation using internal synergies and collaboration. This will help deliver amazing customer experiences by reducing marketing funnel friction, improving website flows, and creating relevant content. Use enhanced customer experience to drive better targeting through personalisation.
Spend more and save more: Fine-tuning your marketing spend gets easier. Increasing spend on channels that work and weeding out others can be an initial strategy. However, more effective campaigns bring better revenue. So, by cutting marketing spend and increasing ROI, it turns out to be a win-win to adopt omnichannel marketing.
Planning an omnichannel marketing strategy
We at efficaci believe in bespoke digital marketing strategies and omnichannel marketing is right up our sleeve, because it is unique to each business.
An omnichannel strategy results from collaboration within a well-integrated business where the major stakeholders are:
Internally, your business has to ask and identify what the above departments expect from customers. The information needs to be collated and frozen. This information should contain, from each of departments:
The need to improve the present strategy
Touchpoints that are not effective
Touchpoints your business is ignoring
Touchpoints of core customers
There is no right or wrong marketing strategy. The way ahead is to create an omnichannel marketing strategy, A/B test it, and tweak it as you go. Wash, rinse and repeat.
Critical headless CMS
We have discovered that using a headless CMS is the way to go to create omnichannel customer experiences that are truly effective. The creation part of the strategy, like visual assets, messaging etc. should be segregated from delivery mechanisms.
The delivery mechanisms and collection of customer data and insights should be a unique process. This is highly critical to collect enhanced customer insights. Again, customer experiences depend on delivery logistics and there are too many delivery platforms out there.
Simply put, customer experiences are highly effective. For experience, wear the customer’s shoes in a buying journey from a business that practices omnichannel marketing . As a marketer, that will be an eye-opener.
At efficaci, we strive to empower brands, accelerate their digital transformation and create bespoke customer experiences for them to succeed and sustain.
The pandemic has revamped the email marketing process in totality. Pre-pandemic and post-pandemic emailing strategies are completely different today. So, email marketing in 2022 is considering the changed customer preferences, and buying behavior to evolve, become effective and deliver.
Adapting to customer preferences and adopting new technology is critical and email marketers today are evolving new processes and changing the way email marketing works.
I listed the expected twists and turns of this industry in 2022 in this article. Let us explore how email marketing in 2022 will upgrade to cater to the changed scenarios.
Artificial Intelligence in email marketing
Humanized emails using artificial intelligence are the biggest challenge for email marketing in 2022. Deep personalization is the key to success, and AI will be of little use here. However, AI-enhanced tools can help send triggered emails and see better CTRs.
Many AI tools, like Salesforce and Marketo, integrate predictive analytics that can help generate better and impactful emails. Their lead scoring models are the best and can help swing CTRs your way when the emails are in sync with customer expectations.
Businesses like Netflix and Amazon are leveraging these technologies and send out behavior-based emails which have great open rates and CTRs. Amazon sends ‘similar product’ emails and Netflix sends emails based on previous watch history.
More interesting is the fact that both use AI tools to construct subject lines that enhance open rates.
Hyper-personalization and micro-segmentation in 2022
Though hyper-personalization and micro-segmentation have been a long trend in email marketing, this year they will be more critical than ever. Scoring marketing leads and mail workflows have to be carefully constructed around your segments, and thinner segments will work better.
Segmentation at the level of ‘buyers’ and ‘searchers’ will not work anymore. Micro-segments within ‘buyers’ and ‘product types’ will become more relevant.
The more the segments, the more will be the variety of personalized emails. The more personalized emails get, more the chances of click-throughs. Do not forget to optimize your mail flows here.
Many AI tools are available to create micro-segments. For example, assessments, chatbots, calculators or quizzes on your landing pages can build lists or relevant micro-segments. These tools create relevant and informative interactive content and help general qualified leads with a greater chance of conversion.
Demographic and geographical segments will not cut it for email marketing in 2022. Advanced segmentation based on tastes, needs, habits and behavior will be relevant in this year.
These personalization options will provide value to the customer and increase the chances of click-throughs.
Test, test and test
Consumer preferences have changed and therefore, it is only wise to carry on with A/B testing. Guessing will not cut it and testing will be an integral part of email marketing in 2022.
A/B testing will tell us more about the audience and their preferences so that we can send customer-centric emails to create conversions and convert better. Visuals, subject lines, CTA copy, placement and personalization will play a big part in successful email marketing campaigns.
AMP in email marketing
AMP is a google innovation that helped serve web pages faster on mobiles. Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is the key and is one of the fast catching trends in email marketing today.
Many email clients like Aweber, SendGrid, Amazon SES and Gmail support AMP based emails. We will see many other providers joining the bandwagon in 2022.
Email marketing in 2022 should take an omnichannel marketing approach
Email marketing being one of the best lead-generation tools, siloed marketing will only bring down its effectiveness. A consistent, branded experience across all marketing channels will not only help to brand but ensure that the omnichannel approach gets better open rates and conversion.
Omnichannel marketing strategy will help in customer retention by about 90% compared to about 33% in a siloed approach. This is because of the customer experience such a strategy will create.
A brand that is omnipresent creates a consistent experience across all marketing channels and that is very important to customers.
Ensure that you introduce and practice BIMI – Brand Indicator for Message Identification. This is very important for omnichannel marketing. It is a known fact that about 70% of recipients open an email once they have recognized the sender. Using brand logos along with messaging is critical in BIMI, it showcases it as an authentic email.
When you take the omnichannel marketing route, BIMI helps in building trust with readers, improves brand visibility and recall, defines authenticity and thus commands a higher deliverability and open rates.
Assistive technologies are getting smaller and effective by the day, and integrating accessibility into your email marketing practices will help take your message a longer way.
There are about a billion people on the planet who are differently abled and taking your emails to them will help growth, especially if you are in the space.
Adding semantic tags, alt tags to images, suited color contrasts and animation will help accessibility, especially with screen readers. This results in an inclusive experience and helps your campaigns to do better.
The world is in trouble, not only because of politics and COVID-19 but also because of inter-family strifes and bespoke individual issues. So, being sensitive to emotions and sentiments of readers is important. Using an emphatic tone and simple language will help resonate with people better and your content marketing.
During unrest of troubling times, it is necessary to adjust your content and tone along with reducing or completely doing away with automated or scheduled emails. A customer is a human first, and push marketing does not help in such a scenario.
For email marketing in 2022, content should also tone down on aggressiveness and it should filter out inappropriate words according to the situation. Remember, compassion goes a long way in ascertaining customer retention.
Email marketing in 2022 will see more visuals
An average human mind processes visuals much faster than test – in fact, 60,000 times faster. Today, about 70% of marketers agree that visual content is critical to any marketing strategy.
Various visuals like videos, 3D images, GIFs, static images, animations are best to use in emails to make them more relevant and attractive. Grabbing attention is the key here, and such emails can do that with ease.
However, the written word is not getting obsolete. It has its own charms and will work after it gets the attention.
Brands that use visuals in email marketing see about 7X better open rates and conversions. Creating that visual oomph will be the primary aim of email designers for email marketing in 2022.
Creating appealing emails will help create an impact on the reader, which will help you grow.
While adopting the above trends, keep in mind the email marketing best practices. Advanced technologies that are a part of the above trends will stay for some time. Investing in them now can help you make the most of it. Email marketing in 2022 is moving towards better customer experiences, and the more awesome it gets, the more the open and conversion rates.
“Content is king” – repeat that in your mind a thousand times before you consider digital marketing. We estimate the yearly returns on content marketing at $42 billion and that figure is growing constantly, according to a statistical survey. Content marketing in 2022 is going to change the entire way we look at the process by integrating all kinds of content.
Your entire cradle of digital marketing rests on content and it is foundational raw material for all its processes. Content is the only ingredient of your digital marketing strategy that speaks to your customers and prospects, and without good quality content, you can kiss goodbye to all online leads.
This is the reason most businesses are focusing more on creating, distributing and monitoring good quality, relevant and valuable content. As obvious, when the right content reaches the right target audience, it helps grow your business besides making your business more findable on search engines.
So, good quality content is a two-pronged tool that enhances your SERP, besides being a tool to showcase your business in the right manner to attract customers.
Content should always address customer’s needs, problems and behavior after understanding them. Such content creates positive customer experiences and helps lubricate the buying journey.
If you are an existing business or a startup, we at efficaci recommend you to understand, follow these trends in content marketing going into 2022.
This year, raise the bar on the quality of your content by focusing on getting your content in front of more people, improving customer retention and getting more followers. Your content should focus on improving trust, enhancing your brand, and improving brand recognition. Customer retention should also be the focus of this year. Use inclusive language and get into a story-telling mode to get repeat visitors to your website.
Unless your content adds real value to a reader, it will not be impactful. Follow the golden rules of creating and impactful blog before distributing it.
User preferences and trends have changed because of the pandemic induced conditions and customers have become more sensitive to choosing the content they consume. So, content marketing in 2022 recommends constant updates to your website and enhancing customer experiences should be the aim.
Focus on Account Based Marketing [ABM] by personalizing content for B2B accounts. This needs the sales and marketing teams to work in tandem. Fostering business relationships should be the focus and ABM will help build trust and brings long-term ROI, along with better branding and brand positioning.
Practice personalization across your omni-channel marketing strategy as and where applicable. It creates a bond with the user, engages him and, improves the chances of conversion.
Use more visuals
Content becomes more appealing and understandable when incorporated with visuals. Many of your readers may not have the time to consume textual content, so using good quality images and amazing videos can help them consume better. Visual content drives more participation, besides improving bounce rates.
Test takes time to read, understand and implement. Whereas images are easier to read and take no time. While videos are also time-consuming, they will consume less time than reading. Enable one way visual communication in your content.
The most important aspect of using images and videos is that a consumer is more focussed on visuals than text. Driving home a message is much easier using visual media. Content marketing in 2022 is going to see more and more use of visual assets integrated into content.
More and more businesses are taking to podcasting, especially in the education niche. Podcasts do not need screen time from the reader and audio connects with the listener on a more personal plane. Audio highly involves and creates better understanding in the listener.
Another advantage of podcasts is that they sell better depending on the voice, tone and emotions used. Owing to the pandemic, podcasts have become more effective and are being used widely today.
We can easily deliver certain concepts, or theories that cannot be expressed in text using podcasts. Like videos, podcasts are very effective in showcasing expertise. So, making podcasts a part of your content marketing in 2022 will make it more effective and help create relationships.
Artificial Intelligence has permeated most internet based apps and process and leveraging it can enhance your content marketing initiatives. Content marketing in 2022 will see artificial intelligence creating blogs for search engine optimization.
AI will also become more prevalent in plagiarism and grammar check tools and will probably enhance your content marketing analytics. Artificial Intelligence will also angle better and relevant distribution of your content and facilitate it in various formats that hitherto take more time and resources.
Search engine optimization
When AI prevails in content marketing, search engine optimization will see great empowerment in terms of optimized blog posts and error-less content. Optimization becomes easier and will see a level of consistency. Of course, original content will always rank better and if it solves your reader’s quest or problems, it is even more valuable.
Visitor attention spans are minimal and they will see a downtrend with such abundant data. Following the trends we just discussed, it is only wise to implement them to stay head and ensure sustained growth. Content marketing in 2022 will change the barren internet landscape for the better.
Small fact: efficaci started out 18 years ago, albeit with a different name, in the content creation, curation, distribution and marketing niche. Understanding that content is critical to any digital marketing process, it remains our core strength.
Social media marketing has grown leaps and bounds in the recent years, and there is no stopping it. Though you get #nofollow links and indirect SEO juice, social platforms help businesses in myriad ways. SMM in 2022 is trending to transformational change and everything looks positive.
Right from getting traffic, branding, customer service and one-to-one interactions with customers, social platforms also help build a sustainable audience that helps boost business. SMM in 2022 is only going to take-off owing to so many technology and AI-based innovations that have enhanced their efficaci.
2022 has a lot in store for social media marketing. Let us check out a few good reasons and what you should do, and why your business should take to social media marketing, seriously.
Customer connect is critical
If not anything, COVID-19 has taught us that guesswork will not cut it anymore. During the pandemic, we did not guess the shortage of housing, electronics or lumber, did we? And, the same pandemic has changed consumer preferences and behavior drastically. This will have a dramatic impact on the economy and ultimately on us marketer’s performance. We, as marketers, have to consider a lot of these changed parameters to assess the customer and customize our marketing strategies to avoid unintended consequences.
A tough ask, but how we market our business will matter, and as a part of it, how we leverage social media will be a game changer. Families that went weekly shopping have stopped doing that and the web-savvy members, usually teens, have taken over the mantle of online shopping. In such a scenario, impulsive buying has risen along with normal shopping. Normal shopping too has changed according to the tastes of the one ordering, and that brings a twist to brand market shares.
The pandemic has ensured that eCommerce grew big along with consumer shifts. This phenomenon will take sometime to stabilize and come to normalcy, and its impact on marketing has to be assessed internally by businesses.
After assessment, it is critical to stay connected with customers, both past and present, to understand the trends and create successful strategies. This is just the beginning of a sea of change. Stay focussed.
SMM in 2022 needs you to stick to basics
Most business will make the same the same mistakes that they have been making. Changes are necessary to gain post-pandemic customers. Businesses need to pull up their socks and pay attention to a few things that should have been. SMM in 2022 has to be pro-active, not reactive.
Make videos a part of your strategy – Customers have been at home too long and the demand for video content has grown by leaps and bounds.
Display and discuss product or service pricing on the website. Be transparent. The lackadaisical economy during the pandemic has made the customer more price-sensitive.
There is a thin red line between sales and marketing. SMM in 2022 needs that line to vanish. Align them to ensure better co-ordination and conversions.
Cut down on meeting that discuss 10 year plans of the metaverse. Plan month on month and keep tweaking the SMM strategy to stabilize your customer-base.
We should keep the foundational pillars of marketing in mind at this stage. It will only improve marketing performance.
Long form content is back
SMM in 2022 is going to see more long form content. Be prepared to plan your collaterals accordingly. Last year (2021) saw a lot of short form content and this will not work anymore. Observe the subtle changes and trends that are happening on the social video front.
YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok focused on short 15 second message and today they have upped the content length to 60 seconds or 180 seconds.
With Facebook Live Audio Rooms and YouTube supporting Podcasts and Amazon Live Video emerging, it is only clear that long-form social content is back.
Long form content is going to the center stage of SMM in 2022 because social platforms want user to spend more time on them, long form content sells better.
Facebook Ads revamped and niche Facebook experiences gain importance
Messenger ads and lead generation ads on Facebook have improved drastically after the 2021 pixel debacle. The platform is working on constructive advertising. The evolved pixel and a stabler conversation API are going to change the game.
More Facebook users are looking for niche experiences on the platforms and for businesses. It is time to deepen the bonds with customers and build trust. Using Live Audio Rooms, Facebook Groups Facebook Reels and Facebook Live are the best ways to achieve these.
Meta (Facebook) will push short form advertisements, visibility becomes the main famous. Facebook is the largest social platforms user-wise, and it is only wise to embrace the new features to build and sustain business through social commerce and branding.
LinkedIn rolls out ‘Creator Mode’
2021 saw LinkedIn launch the creator mode. If you are looking to LinkedIn as a B2V marketing platform, you just have to turn it on. It gives you myriad options to build your brand and advertise on LinkedIn using original content across the platform.
Creator mode gives you:
Access to creator tools as they roll out
Publishing a LinkedIn newsletter
Access to LinkedIn live
A ‘topics you post about’ section on your profile with hashtags
Highlighting your posts
Converts your account into a follow account
The creator mode is going to see more tool rollouts this year. I foresee LinkedIn provisioning more value for money with these updates.
The Instagram bandwagon
According to Mr. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, people want to see more entertaining videos going into 2022. So, video definitely needs to be a part of your marketing strategy and there are many ways in which we can leverage Instagram for better SMM in 2022.
Instagram Reels – Short video platform that can get you the best organic reach. You can have simple videos here to drive brand messages and traffic. This is definitely a game changer going into 2022.
Direct Messages – Creating serious conversations is easy with live video chats or video messages. Connecting with leads is very easy using direct messages on Instagram and ensures that we personalized the videos used with messaging.
Instagram Live – Instagram Live can host with 3 guests good with the topic chosen. All audience members will get intimations when the live goes live. For 2022, the intended conversations are ‘intimate’. People are looking for such conversations on social media and taking the trend into your fold is good for business.
Instagram is continuously integrating newer features into the platform with amazing pace. With e-commerce and creator tools, Instagram will introduce ‘overwhelm’, although no more details are available at the time of writing this piece.
Instead of using Instagram as a part-time social media tool, businesses should leverage it like a sales tool to get the best out of this social media platform. Instagram is going to be the star of SMM in 2022.
Social media marketing in 2022 will change rapidly because of the technology driven tools introduced on the platforms in 2021. The trend of introducing more and more features will continue. I recommend businesses to keep track of all these and leverage them as required for great SMM in 2022.
Search engine marketing or Pay per Click [PPC] strategies in 2022 will be a lot different from what we have been following until now. A lot of new platform features, major innovations and myriad privacy issues are going to dictate how and where we publish our ads. All paid ad processes are going to change and, I expect SEM in 2022 will be promising and lucrative.
Feature innovation in most ad platforms due evolution of AI based technologies has brought in a sea of change in the search marketing function. There are many new avenues to publish and reach audiences in 2022, whether you are planning brand new search engine marketing campaigns or looking to revise existing PPC strategies.
We, as search marketers, always look for a better return on investment [ROI]. let us look at what SEM in 2022 has in store for us.
With Artificial Intelligence taking up the mantle of deep analytics and behavior based decision-making, a lot more vistas in terms of advertisements and A/B testing have evolved on the search engine marketing scene.
Automation using AI saves time and resources, however, manning the automation process will ensure a more effective use of technology.
Human beings make better decisions and, therefore, leaving the automated decision-making to AI makes little sense. When making use of smart bidding strategies, it is wise to keep tabs and tweak the Target ROAS or Target CPA.
It is important to decide which elements of a PPC strategy should use automated bidding [using scripts] and which ones to leave alone.
We should monitor responsive display ads and search ads on an individual level to assess performance. Use data points to compare with past manual campaigns and make the right decisions.
2. Track conversions
Analytics is the baseline and the decision-making point for any PPC strategy. As automation takes over, and technology does the hard-work, AI complicates the process by bringing in more and more trackable actions.
Of course, more trackable options mean more flexibility, but it also means more analytics and backstage work.
The typical processes of tracking transactions, contact forms, phone calls, demo requests, local directions, chats, customer goals, and offline conversions are measurable. Track all these and put a value to each of the conversion goals to understand the total ROI on the campaign. This will simplify your goal-keeping for SEM in 2022.
3. Keyword match types
Las year saw some major changes in keyword match technologies from search engines. And this change warrants a change in your keyword strategy. As far as keyword match types go, SEM in 2022 has made a quantum jump.
The ‘broad match’ type has is being discontinued and the other 2 types of matches have also seen major changes. This means the old keyword strategy will not work satisfactorily anymore and there is a need for a revamp. In fact, the keyword strategy will become more compact and simpler. You will need to make some structural changes to your keyword strategy to incorporate these changes.
4. Match customers
Long before PPC networks introduced improved targeting, PPC advertisers have been following the mantra of finding the ‘right customer at the right time.’
Today ‘customer match’ is an underrated strategy. However, SEM in 2022 recommends it is time to get back to the drawing board. The reason being the requirement of first-party data in absence of the use of third-party cookies because of the regulatory frameworks like GDPR.
List building and using in-house data is the only way out and therefore ‘customer match’ comes to the fore and becomes the core of SEM in 2022.
This targeting option is old and available on all PPC platforms. All you need to do is to test, slice, dice and integrate into your strategy.
Many advertisers use display ads to ensure brand messaging as a part of their PPC strategy. These ads have a better reach and they have a simpler creative process. Until now, text ads have been the center of PPC strategies, it is time to change that. This many sound revolutionary, but SEM in 2022 is going to change that drastically.
The best part of responsive display ads is that they can dynamically integrate all elements of the ad and fit into any ad size, unlike static ads that have to be tailored to pre-fabricated dimensions.
Responsive display ads ) can run parallel to other kinds of ads you integrate into your strategy besides being capable of using Google Ads Performance feedback.
6. Ad Copy review
A never-ending task, but critical to your PPC strategy, always perform this after a review of the keyword strategy. It keeps performance levels at optimum and ensures that your strategy is not leaking money.
SEM in 2022 advocates this to be critical because of the paradigm changes happening to the ad formats, which may render the text ads obsolete in no time.
Search are moving to RSAs (Responsive Search Ads) and they will be the default format in no time. With 4 descriptions and 15 headlines enabled for combination testing, this will ride on the machine-learning technology (AI at it, yet again!).
In the RSA era, we can pin multiple ads with specific assets. This is good news for delivering CTAs, however overuse of pins can be detrimental. And, Google recommendations to improve keyword or headlines are shown in real-time.
The technology transformations that have taken place over the last year are the reason for the above recommendations. Do remember that technology is rapidly changing and it will introduce quickly more and more changes. You need to keep up the pace and be game to beat the competition at the end game.