A new year is on the horizon, and there’s no better time to think about getting a fresh start or exploring new ideas on behalf of your business. As technology evolves and customer expectations shift, it’s important for marketers to be constantly examining their strategies and evaluating whether it’s time to make adjustments.
If you’re looking for new ways to connect with your customers in the coming year, check out our top ideas.
Augmented Reality and Interactive Print
Print is increasingly going beyond the page as new technologies offer potential for creative integration into traditional media. Augmented reality (AR) refers to the overlay of digital elements atop the real world — typically experienced via a smartphone screen. This technology offers the opportunity for a fun and engaging experience that adds another dimension to your branding. It also allows you to curate an immersive brand experience anywhere, at any time.
The pandemic brought QR codes, which were largely fading out of popularity after a brief period of novelty, roaring back into mainstream use as businesses scrambled for safer alternatives to high-touch print materials like menus. Now, businesses are exploring more unique ways to use QR codes and other forms of augmented reality.
A few ways brands might consider incorporating AR include:
Allow customers to digitally “try on” products like clothing, glasses, and makeup
Help customers find more information about your product or company without taking up space via incorporated QR codes
Bring advertisements to life with interactive digital elements that only appear with the use of a smartphone
Ever since TikTok took the world by storm, short-form video has been springing up everywhere. Even if you’re not on the platform yourself, you’ve likely noticed this DIY style of video creation, as well as popular TikTok trends, influencing content on other channels.
All it takes is a creative vision and a little smartphone savviness to hop on this trend yourself. A fun, creatively edited video is an engaging way to tell your brand story or showcase your products and services. Plus, you’ll come across as authentic and relatable, unlike a highly produced commercial which is clearly recognizable as marketing. Have fun with it and your audience will respond.
Hyper-Local Marketing and Advertising
Consumers have grown weary of traditional marketing methods, and are likely to respond with cynicism to a one-size-fits-all, nationwide ad campaign. Instead, prospective shoppers are much more likely to conduct their own research before pulling the trigger on a purchase, ensuring that they can feel good about their decision.
The process of researching a potential purchase typically includes time spent on Google, but modern searchers are more likely to eschew website results in favor of the localized information found on Google business pages. This data could include customer reviews, hours of operation, COVID-19 related requirements, and even details like whether the business is minority-owned.
In addition to Google, consumers are turning to other locally-focused platforms for information, like Nextdoor and Facebook. Ensuring that your business appears on these platforms — particularly along with helpful and consistent information and positive reviews — is a great way to connect with customers while making them feel like they’ve found you on their own.
The hyper-local approach can be applied to more traditional media, too. For example, Every Door Direct Mail® allows you to reach every household on a specific postal route with a marketing mailer. Targeting your audience neighborhood by neighborhood allows for highly personalized messaging. By indicating that you know the community and understand their needs, you’ll build trust with your audience.
Content and Influencer Marketing
As we’ve established, today’s consumers are both savvy and skeptical when it comes to marketing. The best way to get their attention is to meet them where they are and give them something that they consider valuable. That’s why content marketing in particular is skyrocketing in popularity. By creating content that is interesting or entertaining to your customers and relevant to your brand without feeling overly promotional, you’ll capture their attention and garner positive interest.
Along the same lines, influencer marketing allows you to build a positive association between your brand and an individual that your audience already likes. It’s an effective way to get your message in front of your target audience without it feeling forced. Unlike the stiff, inauthentic celebrity endorsements of old, modern influencer marketing comes across as genuine and compelling. It carries the same weight as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted friend.
Evolving Your Marketing in 2022
Don’t be afraid to try out something new with your marketing in the new year. The more you can demonstrate that your company understands modern consumers, the more effective your tactics will be.
A partner like AlphaGraphics can consult with your brand and guide you in determining a path forward that incorporates the newest marketing trends without losing sight of what your brand stands for. From print pieces that come to life digitally, to a locally optimized web presence, to engaging brand content, your AlphaGraphics center can help you bridge the gap between traditional marketing and more modern approaches.