Well, it’s that time of year. On top of the holiday shopping and slightly terrible family events you have on the horizon, you likely have next year’s business strategy on your plate.
The past couple of years were packed with challenges that compelled a lot of teams to rapidly shift their game plan. Whether you’re still working on getting your business to where it was pre-COVID-19 or looking to explore new avenues for growth, our team at Big Leap has got you covered.
With a well-rounded digital marketing strategy, you can effectively illuminate your brand and fuel profitable connections. Here are 16 tips to help you establish the right digital marketing plan and boost your revenue in 2022.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
First things first—who are you trying to reach? Before you can win customers and boost your sales, you need to understand your target audience.
Listen to your prospects’ questions and problems. Be conscientious of the way they consume content and how their online habits can change the way they seek information and services like yours.
The key is connecting your solutions and strategies to your audience’s needs. Any disconnect can push people away and have them looking elsewhere.
Start by finding out who your current customers are. What are the demographics? Use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms to gain more insight into their buying and online habits.
Also, be sure to conduct a competitive gap analysis. What are your competitors currently offering? Who are they targeting? Where are they ranked on Google and other search engines?
Finding these answers can help you:
- Identify ways to refine your unique value proposition
- Discover the gaps you need to fill to win trust and loyalty from your target market
- Unveil specific marketing areas you need to invest more on and areas that are just not worth your time and money
2. Get Your SEO in Order
SEO changes constantly, which throws marketers for a loop, but we still keep it central to our strategies. Why?
Seventy-five percent of online users don’t look past the first page of search results. So if you’re not on the first page, your business basically doesn’t exist to more than half of the global population.
SEO doesn’t just help you stay visible—it helps drive traffic a.k.a. potential customers to your site. And if they like what they see (we’ll get to this in a bit), they’re more likely to convert.
There are numerous ways to level up your SEO game, but here are a few to get started:
- Conduct a site audit: Do you have broken links? Is your site slow? Do you have duplicate content? A site audit via tools like Screaming Frog can give you direction on both the technical and creative aspects of your site that need some work.
- Come up with better keywords through search intent: Keywords are crucial in helping people find your company for search queries. But rather than focusing on the specific key phrase itself, focus on the context surrounding it. In other words, think about search intent. Why is someone typing a certain phrase into Google? This can help you discover related phrases and more specific queries to create long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords generally have a higher conversion rate than regular keywords.
- Identify missing inbound links: Other sites and blogs are likely talking about you. But are they linking to you? With tools like Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer, you can find out. Reach out to these sites/businesses, kindly asking them to link to your business. Inbound links are one of the strongest factors Google uses to rank sites.
- Bolster your local SEO efforts: If you’ve got a business that serves specific geographic locations, local SEO is a must. Local SEO helps you show up for searches related to your business and the areas that you serve. When 97 percent of users search online to find a business, you don’t want to miss out on this strategy.
Now, there are various tactics involved in local SEO but here are two key areas to get you started on the right foot:
- Google My Business (GMB): Make sure you have a GMB profile. Once you have one, be sure your business info (e.g. name, address, phone, website) is up to date and you consistently respond back to reviews, both the good and the bad. Doing this will help increase your chances of winning a local 3-pack and knowledge panel spot—two types of zero-click searches.
- Local keywords: Location-oriented keywords and “near me” phrases (e.g. hairdressers near me) are pivotal in bolstering your local SEO rankings. Find relevant local keywords via keyword research and optimize your site pages by naturally weaving them into your content.
For the full rundown, be sure to check out this comprehensive guide to local SEO [& the top 16 local SEO tools].
3. Automate like Crazy
Time is money. It can get tricky finding ways to efficiently get tasks done AND win more leads and conversions. But one marketing tool that can make it all happen? Marketing automation.
Marketing automation enables you to reach more people on a more personal level. We know, this sounds impossible. But with the right marketing automation tools, it’s possible alright.
Automation generates 451 percent more qualified leads. Not to mention, 77 percent of marketers have seen their conversions increase.
Look into marketing automation software like Hubspot and Pardot. Then, depending on your marketing needs and goals, you might want to consider looking into:
- Segmentation: Marketing automation lets you segment your potential customers based on specific characteristics. That way, you can send out unique messages to each group. Those who segment their email campaigns see a 760 percent increase in revenue.
- Reporting and analytics: Making impactful decisions starts and ends with data. Marketing automation allows you to monitor the progress of your business goals. By establishing relevant dashboards, your team can track key metrics like lead sources, MQLs (marketing qualified leads), SQLs (sales qualified leads), and revenue rates. These benchmarks can help you assess what areas of your business are reeling in the most profit.
- Sales enablement: Combine your marketing automation platform with your CRM system. Doing this can help your marketing and sales teams collaborate and find ways to unclog friction areas in your sales pipeline and speed up the sales cycle. The results? Higher profitability.
For tips on setting up your marketing automation platform the right way, check out our ultimate guide to marketing automation. It’s important to set up the right foundation to efficiently drive customer engagement and sales.
4. Engage through Email
Every dollar spent on email marketing brings an average ROI of $42. Better yet, you can drive these dollars even further by using marketing automation to automate your emails. Start sending out messages to the right people at the right time.
Here are a couple of ways to make the most of your email marketing campaigns:
- Create autoresponders: Your prospects want to feel heard, seen, and loved. Autoresponders is a simple and effective email tool that allows you to send a series of scheduled follow-up emails to your leads and customers. It helps you build relationships and encourage them to take the action you want them to take.
- Promote stellar content: As much as it’s important to stay connected with your leads, if you aren’t showering them with valuable content, then you’re just throwing dollars down the drain. So think about what your prospects want and need. Use this to put together a content strategy, which brings us to our next point.
5. Plan out a Robust Content Strategy
Seventy-two percent of marketers not only say content marketing increases their engagement rates, but it also increases the number of leads. In this case study, a solid content marketing strategy boosted our client’s site sessions by 80 percent and organic revenue by over 1,000 percent.
Content should be central to your digital marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond. It’s the love language that kindles trust and lasting relationships. After all, how else are you going to communicate with potential customers?
With your team, discuss each section of the marketing funnel. What are some types of content you can create for every stage of the buyer’s journey?
Here are some ideas:
- Awareness stage: Blog posts, infographics, videos, and newsletters
- Consideration stage: Case studies, E-books, downloadable guides, and quizzes/surveys
- Decision stage: Free trials, testimonials, and customer support/help documentation
Don’t be afraid to repurpose older content. If it has value, update it with new statistics, facts, and examples. Then, re-promote it. This can save time and allow more room to focus on big-picture strategies.
6. Create 10x Content
The online landscape is loud and crowded. To help you really stand out, consider creating 10x content.
Coined by Moz founder, Rand Fishkin, 10x content is content that is 10 times better than your competitors’. It’s about providing the highest quality content and a uniquely positive user experience.
Get started by:
- Taking a look at the topics your competitors are covering: What are some ways you can add further detail to these topics? Maybe it’s adding in reputable sources and statistics; maybe it’s providing actionable takeaways. Whatever it is, make them bigger and better by providing educational value.
- Creating a good mobile experience: Every piece of content should be optimized for easy viewing on mobile. Why? Fifty-one percent of the time we spend online is spent on mobile phones.
- Making it fun and creative: Find exceptional ways to present your content. Whether it’s illustrating your findings in a helpful graph or including an interactive component to it, create something people will want to stick around for.
Keep in mind, it takes experimentation and practice to find something that really lands. The more you create, the more you’ll develop a better sense of what works and what doesn’t.
7. Host Webinars
Three-fourths of B2B and sales leads believe webinars are the best way to generate high-quality leads. As more businesses were transitioning their efforts online due to COVID-19, webinars were the biggest increase among marketing strategies.
Webinars can help establish your team as thought leaders in the industry. After all, people are immune to hard-selling tactics—they need to be educated before they feel inclined to convert.
- Build community: Webinars provide the opportunity to gain real-time communication and put faces to names. This can humanize your brand and grow your network. Who knows, your future business partner might be in the audience.
- Drive authentic conversations: Through Q&A sessions and interviews with industry leaders, your audience can gain real-life insights. These insights can be monumental in helping audience members find ways to overcome their pain points. And when the audience finds tangible solutions, you’ll likely gain their trust.
An efficient way to approach webinars is by using your existing content as the foundation. For example, let’s say you have a comprehensive guide on HR in the finance industry. You can pull essential parts of the guide and incorporate them into an outline and script for your webinar.
By using existing content to build your webinar foundation, this can help close potential gaps in your customer journey. Not to mention, this strategy can be a great way to further promote your business content to potential new leads. During your webinar, you can encourage your audience to check out your guide and other content materials to further grow their knowledge.
For webinar-hosting tools, take a look at GoToWebinar and WebinarNinja.
8. A/B Test to Boost Your Site Conversions
Got some pretty stellar content on your landing pages? Great. But how’s it laid out on your site? Does it compel people to click and take action?
Having a website is crucial, but if it isn’t generating leads and customers then it’s all just junk. That’s why you need conversion rate optimization (CRO)—a digital marketing strategy that boosts your on-site experience and increases conversions.
If CRO is done right, you can enjoy a 223 percent increase in ROI. Good CRO involves A/B testing or comparing two variations of an element on your page.
There are a ton of tips on how to boost your CRO and what to test. Here are a few good places to start:
- CTAs: Are you using boring language like “submit”, or are you using active language like “grab yours” or “claim your free site audit”? Weave in active words and test out different CTAs to see which ones convert the most.
- Longer landing pages: Longer landing pages make up to 220 percent more leads than shorter pages. If your site page is rather short, try going long-form. Address all of your customers’ queries. Then, A/B test your short and long pages.
- Pop-ups: Add in a 30-second delay on your pop-ups and provide different offers. You might just win up to a nine percent conversion rate.
9. Site Performance
If you’re in a rocky relationship with Google, take a good look at Core Web Vitals. In June 2021, Google updated its algorithm to incorporate page experience as a ranking factor.
One good chunk of this page experience is Core Web Vitals, which are a specific set of metrics Google uses to assess your site. Here they are:
- Largest contentful paint (LCP): How fast your pages load
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS): How stable the visual layout of your pages is
- First input delay (FID): How interactive and responsive your pages are
Examine your Core Web Vitals report in the Google Search Console. This report should provide a good rundown of where you need to improve.
Here are some examples of possible issues and solutions you can use to improve your Core Web Vitals:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- Issue: Slow page-load time
- Solution: Remove problematic third-party code. Or, lazy load the code so that your page loads content only when the user scrolls down your page.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- Issue: Page layouts that suddenly shift when the user takes action, such as clicking on a link
- Solution: Clearly define the width and height of images/videos in your HTML. Or, if it’s a third-party ad issue, reserve enough ad space on your page with the help of Google’s ad optimization tips.
First Input Delay (FID)
- Issue: A time lag in getting users to the next step/page when they fill out a form
For more tips and tricks to help you stay on track, check out what you should know about Core Web Vitals and your 16-point site health checklist. Giving your site the best chance at winning Google’s trust and amplifying your online visibility begins today.
10. Stay Active & Transparent on Social Media
More than half of the world’s population is active on social media. Are you?
Failing to be present on social media gives the impression your brand is dead. And failing to respond to people’s comments/questions gives the sense you don’t care about your customers.
Get a social calendar going and test out different types of content to feature in your posts. This will likely take some experimentation in the beginning to see what brings in the most engagement.
By creating a social calendar a month in advance and providing valuable content, one of Big Leap’s clients was able to win a 1,500 percent increase in engagement and over 900 percent increase in reach.
11. Focus on Reviews
Ninety-three percent of users say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. And a one-star increase in a Yelp rating brings a five to nine percent boost in revenue.
How’s your online reputation looking? Do most of your customers love you or do they despise you? How’s this impacting your business?
If you’ve been the victim of bad reviews and publicity, luckily, we’re reputation management professionals that can lend a hand. We can help bury the negative reviews/results and shed light on the positive aspects of your business.
And if you’re just swimming through a pool of positive reviews, great! Keep at it by asking old and new customers for referrals and reviews. For more ideas, check out the five ways to gain more positive reviews to help further enhance your online presence.
12. Network & Collaborate
Find your tribe! Take advantage of any events or organizations related to your industry.
Rather than thinking, “What’s in it for me?” think about how these resources will help build valuable relationships. The people you meet can help you formulate new ideas and introduce you to new people and customers.
Reach out to friends or former colleagues by posting on your social platforms. Ask your contacts to refer you to those who might be interested in your company and initiatives.
You could find a potential partner who can help drive new business in the future.
13. Offer Freebies/Samples
Ninety-three percent of U.S. consumers believe discounts and offers are important factors when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Moreover, more than half search for coupons online before making an online purchase.
Committing to a new product and service is a big decision. Whether you sell hand cream, provide roof repair services, or sell CBD products, always present discounts and special offers.
Provide 2-for-1 deals, free samples, or referral programs to your customers. Give them the opportunity to get to know your services. Make committing to a new brand a pleasant experience.
14. Get Ready for Voice Search
Nearly 22 percent of the world’s population uses voice search every day. If you haven’t already updated your SEO strategy to accommodate voice search, you gotta do it now.
Siri and Alexa have made quite the impact on SEO. Voice search results load in about 4.6 seconds; this is 52 percent faster than the load time of the average web page.
Optimize your site for voice search by:
- Aiming for featured snippets: 40.7 percent of all voice search answers come from featured snippets. With tools like Answer the Public, you can find common questions relevant to your keywords. Use these key questions as H2s in your content and answer them directly below in the body. Make it direct, concise, and short.
- Earn quality backlinks: The average domain rating (DR) of voice search is 76.8. This is high. To boost your DR, you have to circle back and fine-tune your SEO, content marketing, CRO, etc.
15. Add Paid Search for an Extra Boost
Add a kick to your organic efforts by peppering in paid search/PPC (pay-per-click) methods. PPC entails:
- Retargeting: Ads that remind your past site visitors of your products and services. Since 97 percent of users leave a site without making a purchase, retargeting is a good way to woo them back.
- Display ads: These are ads that are embedded and displayed across various site pages. You can create customized display ads for each stage of your customer journey to help encourage your leads to move closer to a conversion.
- Paid search ads: These search results are usually above organic results when you look up something on Google. They are marked with an “ad” next to them. Since paid ads are at the very top of search results, they can offer the visibility you need.
Start with organic marketing strategies to secure the long-term success of your company. This can help you decipher what converts well, too. Then, add in paid search strategies to fill the gaps.
Platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and AdRoll provide PPC options. So, find out where your audience is hanging out and plan your paid strategies accordingly.
16. Prepare for Change
In 2018, Google reported over 3,000 updates to their search algorithm. In 2020, 44 percent of marketers faced mid-year budget cuts due to COVID-19. In 2021, Google rolled out their Core Web Vitals update.
What will be the new normal tomorrow? Will you be ready to move swiftly with the changes our world throws at us?
Brainstorm and create agile marketing strategies in 2022. This means considering:
- Activity/performance: If organic methods have been bringing in the most returns compared to paid search, you need to move your money accordingly.
- Changes in the marketplace: Your competitors can change their strategies and products at any time. You should be ready to shift your plans, too, to stay competitive and relevant to customers.
- Shifts in the digital economy: With the numerous Google algorithm updates and tech inventions we have yet to see, your business needs to adapt to these transitions. One small change can affect your rankings and how people see you online.
Amplify Your Digital Marketing Strategy in 2022 with Big Leap
Do you have ideas for your marketing strategy and want some input? Contact us. With over a decade of experience in the digital marketing world, our team has helped 600+ businesses elevate their online presence and get well-prepared for the challenges ahead.
Whatever success looks like for your business in 2022, we’re here to be your trusted partner. So reach out to us, and we can get you started with a free 30-minute strategy session.