As a geeky technology salesperson coupled with a digital marketing specialist, it is in my interest to keep up with the latest trends in my technology B2B biased workplace.
Every year I like to write a blog on the emerging digital marketing trends. And I also like to see what everyone else is up to, and what the industry is thinking as a whole.
But it seems this year I haven’t been smoking the same tea-bags as everyone else. Google gave me a top rated “Trends of Digital Marketing for 2022” list on its front page, claiming the following as the top 8: –
- The Metaverse
- Non-fungible tokens
- Zero and first-party data
- Supply chain buffering
- Social and live stream commerce
- Simple content
- Sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
At the risk of becoming non-relevent, outdated and cancelled, my first reaction of this Generation X marketeer was to assume I had been carted off to a parallel universe. I am no boomer, but I know hype stretched to extreme when I see it. Some of it is irrelevant to the process of marketing, some of it we have been doing for years, and some of it was done before and it didn’t work back then. For Metaverse think of Second Life (which I gladly discovered still has a regular following), but now with Metaverse you have the ability to launder lots of money on potentially useless and highly expensive non-tangible things that all the rage.
Perhaps with the exception of social and live stream commerce, which is more B2C and is more of a favorite shopping-channel-meets-zoom scenario, none of these are underlying foundations of digital marketing. It’s like saying your car will go faster if you pay for your eco-electricity with your wife’s mobile phone while eating jelly baby ice-cream. Feels good on many levels, but actually it doesn’t help the problem we set out to solve.
When it comes to Digital Marketing, some things don’t really change drastically. Creative and engaging content, distribution and backlinks is still the main focus. Maybe with a bit of paid advertising thrown in. How do I know this? Because I do it every day and have been involved with successful Digital Market campaigns for over 15 years. I have seen it evolve over the years and success is measured in sales qualified leads, not website traffic.
So maybe you think it is easy for me to criticize new trends. I like trends, but sometimes we need to speak from our own experience. What do I think is new in Digital Marketing? Mmmm, let me think about that for a second. My thoughts as follows:-
· Content is always king. But it’s the creative process that continually evolves. People may claim virtual realties are evolving, but remember how content it is consumed and on what device. A quick synopsis on content: –
o Short-form videos (less than 90 seconds) can be compelling to watch. It is now easier to produce more cost effective creative videos with more online tools and templates, especially if you have a creative streak within you
o Use more engaging infographics that are easier and cheap to outsource (think of Fiverr)
o Write more educational futuristic content and less product pitches
And remember people (your potential customers) like to consume bite-size bits of information, so the 30 page War & Peace meets the Hobbit eBook you have been authoring for months is highly unlikely to work for the type of consumer you are targeting.
· Another favorite of mine are the tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Organic SEO link building can be quite complex with a few methods at your disposal. Tools like AHREFS, Moz and a range of others including free ones from Google can help you with plenty of initiatives that you can use such as Skyscraping. Skyscraping actually first appeared in 2015, so maybe I am a bit late to that SEO party now in 2022. But it’s also a great method of understanding and analyzing your competitors and beating them at their own game.
· Any technology company worth its salt is jumping on the AI bandwagon. Hang on I saw Terminator in 1985, and Skynet became self-aware on 29 August 1997. It’s 2022 and I am still writing content. Can I subcontract to a bot? There are many AI tools now that can write content and in several languages. But it does rely on existing content to go and scrape, so a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. AI is also very good at analyzing data which can help you define your content marketing strategy. No doubt AI is coming fast and I plan to try it soon. But I would also expect the search engines to downgrade and penalize any AI generated content it discovers.
· And let’s not forget distribution. Content needs distributing to relevent news platforms, blog publication platforms, industry relevent trade associations and other influencer platforms. Relying on social media platforms is not a complete distribution strategy. There are evolving platforms to automate and optimize this process.
· Talking of social media – which of these new 2022 platforms are right for you? Twitch, Discord, TikTok, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Caffeine, Instagram Reels. Have I signed up to all of them? Big fat no for now. It all depends on your target market. For me LinkedIn still looms big in my B2B efforts, but the others maybe become relevent later.
Well that’s my thoughts for the moment but always interested in your feedback and thoughts. Maybe next year I can get a bot to write this. But is it capable of distinguishing hype from reality? I suspect not but maybe later this year I will write a series of my own vs AI blogs and see if you can tell the difference.
About RainDance: Based in the heart of Europe and serving a global audience, RainDance Digital provide digital marketing expertise for technology, broadcast and TV production companies wishing to scale-up their inbound sales lead generation strategy and improve brand awareness. RainDance also provide flexible sales freelance services for technology startups and companies wishing to open a European sales office without the initial legal overheads, costs and employment liabilities that such a venture would require.