In 2022 there are some massive shifts coming, that will up-end marketing as we know it.
Mark Z and his metaverse.
The trend away from social media.
Next level A.I. for marketers.
Oh, and did I mention The Great Resignation?
One thing is for certain.
The need to cut through the noise and “be found” and “be desirable” is going to amp up - a lot - next year.
The whole game is changing.
A lot of what worked 1-2 years ago has little relevance now and will need to be shelved next year as the rules are reset.
The social honeymoon is quickly sunsetting...
Organic social media has been great for traffic, lead generation even sales in the last 10 years.
But anecdotal evidence* indicates there will be a “Great Resignation” of around a third of business-owners from social media in 2022.
(* Linkedin Polling, and constantly observing social-fatigue in most of the people I know!)
I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me they intend to drastically reduce the time they spend on social media or go off altogether.
Influencers, business leaders, and many big-name marketers who have built their empires on social.
At first it was just a few doing digital detox but the move is growing in momentum and it’s becoming a trend.
As people grapple with post-pandemic screen fatigue, toxic conversations, mental health and and general information overload.
Yeah, a good chunk of their target audience weaning off social media will be another shifting landscape marketers will need to contend with in 2022.
"Move to email" I hear you say….
Yes good point – and “building your email list” is more important than ever, BUT if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, what’s the point?
It’s just “more noise” and people will tune out there, too.
Your emails will probably go to the promotions tab (at best) and the spam folder (at worst) unless you have something meaningful that’s actually entertaining or useful to the reader.
And once you get into "email sin bin" it's VERY hard to recover and restore that credibility with your service provider & audience.
(Hint: A good sign you’re on the right track is that people reply to your emails and let you know they like your content. If you’re not getting that regularly, I’d hazard a guess that you might be missing the mark there too).
Yes it’s sobering look at the current state.
But with the volume of marketing noise out there, misleading people by selling "systems" that worked for them years ago - and spouting silver bullets everywhere - it’s critical to get a cold hard dose of reality.
And then we’ll move onto the good news. :-)
But first, let’s look at just some of big shifts that affected marketers in 2021:
It’s like we all need one big squishy group hug, letting us know everything is going to be ok.
And it WILL be.
It just won’t be like what we saw in the “good old days”.
(Change is always hard, right!)
This sounds like doom and gloom – but I’m actually excited – because it’s going to usher in the way for a new era of marketing, as slowly, a lot of the icky, spammy, slimy things that we hated about marketing in the online space for the last few years, will start to fade into the background.
Like Goldrush fever
The last decade has really been like the goldrush – where anyone could pick up a few tools and dig.
While they likelihood that they would “strike it rich” remained elusive, the chance that they would find “something” was pretty good, as they went to the crowded goldfields and dug alongside thousands doing the same.
And over time, the fields became so full of people all competing for the same gold, it wasn't effective anymore.
People went home. Left their tools on the field in many cases. Decided it wasn't for them.
That doesn't mean that there hasn't been gold mined in the years since.
Chances are that the gold that went into the ring on your finger or pendant was mined in the years following, by someone who knew what they were doing.
But as the rules change, the bar goes higher.
Different skillsets are needed.
And that’s what’s starting to happen now, and will continue in 2022 in the digital arena, ESPECIALLY when it comes to marketing.
The biggest shift coming
If you think the online space is crowded now, wait until another 6 months, when the predicted millions resign for their fast-paced, soul-sucking jobs in the hope of a new life and turn online to make that happen?
More noise. Less bandwidth to consume information.
Many will succeed (hopefully you're one of them!) - while many will have a crack, get tired, and put down their tools.
I’m seeing it as a great opportunity for all the things that true marketing professionals hold dear, to be skillfully used to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Where audiences are already fatigued now, what is it going to be like in 2022 when there is potentially double the number of people trying to push out their message online?
That’s where being strategic, building relationships, and genuine authority come in.
Because you can’t fake these.
Oh well, you can try, but people will see through it straight away and switch right off and it will do more damage than good to your brand.
Here’s my take on what each of those will look like next year.
What STRATEGY looks like in 2022
What RELATIONSHIPS look like in 2022
What AUTHORITY looks like in 2022
I talk a lot about thought leadership because it’s the most enjoyable and leveraged way to achieve all three.
Not just because of the impact it has on your business, but because of the impact it has on your audience, your clients, and YOU.
Recent research indicated 66% of business decision marketers would pay a premium to those who share good thought leadership content. So it’s a very smart commercial move.
Definitely, something to double down on next year.
If you’re already doing it – be hyper-attentive to your messaging and positioning – then do more of what you’re doing.
If you’re not doing it consistently – here’s where you can start:
It's about getting clear on which corner of the marketplace you want to dominate and having a strategy and a plan to follow.
2. See it as something that is DO-ABLE for you.
No-one has the time or energy to take on a full-time job and many don't have a team. But the good news is you can realistically do it in just a couple of hours a week.
3. Know you don't have to choose between IMPACT and REVENUE.
They work together. Good content doesn't have be one or the other. You can have both - helping people, and feeling really good about what you create, while seeing it open the door to higher prices, more business opportunities and better clients.
Remember - building authority isn't an overnight thing - and the two things you need is to be confident about how you can help people, and a willingness to commit to the process.
It's a long-term game and yes, while it requires consistency, it's a lot of fun, and very rewarding to be positioned as a credible expert that becomes aspirational for premium clients.
Many of my clients say the process itself totally lights them up and re-energises them personally as well as professionally - so the results and impact on you and those around you is totally worth it.
Do you have ideas for what marketing will look like 2022 and beyond, or questions or comments about anything I’ve shared? Pop them below in the comments.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nina Christian is a Marketing & Brand Strategist who is all about doing marketing in a more connected and human way. She helps business leaders and social-change-makers use thought leadership content to build their authority and widen their impact.
She is the Director of Braveda, (est 2000), which was recognised as "Best Marketing Agency" at the Australian Marketing Excellence Awards.
She is a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute & AMI State Chair (Vic) and runs two businesses of her own.
She has a knack for simplifying the complex which comes from being a hands-on mum to five young children, and uses this to turn time-sucking activities into easy to follow systems and processes that get outcomes fast.