Social Networks, Influencers, and Data Key to 2022 Marketing Success

This year, organizations are focusing their marketing efforts on social platforms, influencers, and data to improve their revenue. While these areas are looking strong, one expert says a holistic approach will also be important in 2022.

As associations head into 2022 and try to come back from some of their pandemic-related revenue losses, digital marketing strategies are sure to play a role. Todd Lebo, CEO of marketing research firm Ascend2, said several trends will be in play in 2022.

“Social networks, influencer marketing, and first-party data—marketers identified those three as new opportunities that [they] need to pay attention to,” Lebo said.

On those three themes, he noted that people are looking to social networks gaining in popularity, such as TikTok, and new features on longstanding platforms.

“Some of the networks now have altered and changed how you can engage with their audience,” Lebo said. “Snapchat made pretty significant investments to their direct response offerings.”

Influencer marketing is also expected to be more prominent this year. When influencer marketing first came onto the scene, many looked at it as something limited to consumer beauty and entertainment products, but the entire realm of influencers has expanded.

“We definitely see that as an emerging marketing tactic for companies,” Lebo said. “I believe one of the reasons is that influencer marketing was probably started a little more narrow in the industries that felt like it pertained to them, and now it’s expanding into other industries. There is also a lot more influencer marketing now, so find those people’s influence you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.”

For example, the Association for Advancing Automation shared that influencer marketing helped boost attendance at its automation conference.

The final area Lebo sees as an important trend is data collection. More organizations will rely on first-party data rather than seeking info from others.

“Less third-party data is available, so it really is important now for companies now to focus on that first-party data that they can collect and have ownership over,” Lebo said.

Holistic Approach

While social networks, influencer marketing, and data are hot in 2022, that doesn’t mean other aspects of marketing are irrelevant. Everything from content marketing to text messaging, also referred to as SMS, will be in play.

“I think marketers are continuing to work on the aspect of this holistic approach,” Lebo said. “Instead of saying SMS works, now I’m going to do a ton of SMS, figuring out how SMS can be a small part of the puzzle, as compared to overusing it.”

Having a holistic approach is important because it often takes several touches with potential customers before they make a purchase.

“We know that people don’t just come and purchase,” Lebo said. “You always have to be working on all parts of your funnel: so your top, your middle, your bottom. If you’re maximizing all your efforts to the bottom, you’re not going to be getting enough people into the top of the funnel to grow.”

Content, Lebo said, is a big part of the top of the funnel and will continue to have a significant role in marketing plans. That’s because it is helpful in acquiring contact data so marketers can have multiple chances to reach out.

“To collect first-party data, it requires the type of content that people want to give that information for,” Lebo said. “To make that trade, they say, ‘I’ll give you more information about myself because I want the content you’re providing.’ Marketers need to make sure they’re properly allocating budget for content. That’s the fuel that drives a lot of these. Be careful not to take quality content for granted.”

One report that Ascend2 conducted with Wpromote, Red Alert: Execs Reveal Disconnect Between 2022 Marketing Budget & Planning, noted trends in marketing budgets going up. “We saw that they were getting more allocation of budget, and they were confident that that budget was going to be sufficient for them to meet their goals,” he said.

As your organization plans it marketing efforts for 2022, what areas are you focusing on? Please share in the comments.

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Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a former editor at Associations Now. MORE

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