Own Your Customer In 2022

10 Ways To Rethink Your Marketing Strategy

Living through 2021 was more than a challenge. Making it through this past year with your sanity in place — as well as a marketing strategy — was a major accomplishment. As we discussed in the first part of this series (published in the Dec. 2021 issue), the way we marketed changed drastically due to the pandemic. The lockdown and the restrictions required people to stay indoors, so we had to change the way we do business, because our customer changed the way they did business with us.

The statistics laid out in last month’s article showed the substantial growth in the use of video and social media platforms during the past two years. We also saw how the consumer changed their content preferences. As a result, the online marketing world is now using video as its number-one strategy. You see it on all the social media platforms: different types of video marketing created and distributed by companies, brands, retailers and individuals.

Consumers switching to a specific form of content and marketers changing their content marketing is nothing new. But how do we market to a customer whose buying habits have changed so considerably over the past two years?

Take Ownership Of Your Customer

Make 2022 about owning your customer. Because probably at this point, you don’t. The social media networks do. There are so many metrics and dependencies in today’s algorithms affecting the delivery of your message that most likely your customer is not hearing you. There are over 500 million tweets sent out every day and over 6 million businesses use Facebook ads to reach their audience. That’s a lot of noise to drown out and we all know the attention span of today’s consumer is even less (!) than a goldfish.

If you don’t know your customer base, where they are, who they are, what their needs are and how to reach them, then find out. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible and in the end, you’ll see some amazing results.

”We had to change the way we do business, because our customer changed the way they did business with us.“

A New Strategy

So, how do you begin? There are more marketing trends being tossed around for 2022 than ever before; here, we’re going to focus on owning your customer.

Google announced in 2020 by 2022 it was ending support to third-party cookies in their Chrome browser. This may not seem significant to many, but keep in mind, Chrome has almost 70% of all market share and cookies are how companies and brands understand their customer.

There are other ways to find out about your customer and build loyalty without the metrics and analytics digital marketers rely on and more often than not, it’ll give you a better picture of who your customer is.

1. Start A Newsletter. Getting into your customers’ email space will give you their undivided attention. But the content within the newsletter needs to be compelling and entertaining. A listing of products and services available is a quick turn-off. Instead, converse with your customer. Ask the product manager, sales manager and other key staffers to write columns. It can be about anything. Let your customer get to know you through the newsletter.

2. Create Online Events. Start doing webinars, seminars, even product launches. Use your existing website to promote the event and glean data directly from your attendees. You’ll know who they are and where they are — and make it interactive so they can ask questions. You can use that to build customer profiles for future marketing campaigns.

3. Create B2B Content. Surveys are showing B2B managers are going on Google more and more to find products and services they need. B2B content should be part of your 2022 strategy. Instead of cold calling or sending an introductory email on LinkedIn, create content specifically targeting the B2B manager and promote it as such.

4. Have A Strong Brand Image. In today’s world, image is everything. The car you drive and the clothes you wear are all taken into consideration, so why would it be different with your brand? Choosing the right words and creating the right message in marketing campaigns will have your customer trusting your brand over others.

5. Become A Resource. Create a monthly video tutorial, a weekly podcast or vlog so your customer comes back to your website on a regular basis to see what’s new. It can be about a specific product or weekly promotions. Make it interesting and enticing so it becomes a regular habit for them to tune in.

As you know, “Content Is King.” But if you can be a “content twister,” your message
will stand out from the several-thousand ads customers see every day. Thought-provoking
content, like a fresh take on belts, will advance sales opportunities.

6. Connect Instead Of Sell. Sales have been up and down over the past two years — screaming out “Buy from me now!” will only turn off customers. Connect with them, don’t sell to them. Explain why this particular product or service is needed and how best they can use it. Putting an ad on your website with a price that can’t be turned down may get you a sale, but it’ll be a one-time sale instead of a long-term customer.

7. Be A Content Twister. The phrase “Content Is King” has been ingrained into every marketer and content creator, but let’s take a look at it. It’s estimated the general public sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads each day. That’s mind-numbing and has forced consumers to turn a blind eye and ear to those ads. Instead of content that merely sells, make it thought-provoking.

As FMG Publications’ Video Producer, I recently created a video for a company that makes belts. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of excitement and sexy sizzle when it comes to a belt. They hold up pants and carry holsters. When the video was presented to the client, they were thrilled saying, “We turned something you don’t think much about into something you have to have.” Twist your content and the upshot will be higher sales.

8. Become More Personalized. In 2022, there will be more and more video channels, websites, podcasts, etc. Find out what platforms your customer is using and personalize your message to those channels. Each platform appeals to a different group of customers and by personalizing your message to it, you’re reflecting their voice, reaching them more effectively.

9. Improve Storytelling. I’m a big believer in storytelling and being a better storyteller will set you apart.
Consumers are tired of hearing how fantastic the product or service is. They expect it. Instead, explain how it will solve a problem, why they need it or how it will improve something they already have. Storytelling will be the way to market in 2022. It may not sell product directly, but it will get the consumer thinking about you.

10. Be Different. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Just because something hasn’t been done, doesn’t make it wrong. New approaches will garner new results. Try TikTok or a short-form video ad on Facebook. Create a news-style virtual event or put a video ad in the chat box. Be different and stand out.

Consumer habits have changed and 2022 are bringing some very fundamental changes to digital marketing. Be prepared for it and embrace it. It’ll be a fun ride!

Editor’s Note: To see part one of this story, visit shootingindustry.com/discover/look-back-to-move-ahead.

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