I don’t know about you but 2021 seems to have gone by in a flash. It’s only when we look back at our ‘Small Business 2021 Marketing Trends’ that I’ve realised how much and yet how little has changed.
With the return to the workplace for many in the latter part of the year, more people have now shifted to a hybrid model of working and with it brings challenges for marketeers and small business owners. Word has it that ‘The Great Resignation’ is also looming early next year, with about a quarter of employees seeking to change roles to work for an organisation which reflect their own values.
As with every year and magnified by the recent COP 26 summit in Glasgow, sustainability quite rightly is still at the forefront of everyone’s mind which also crosses into the world of marketing. There also continues to be trends evolving across the whole marketing mix, such as the importance of personalisation, a good customer experience, customer retention and conversational marketing. So without further ado, let’s delve into all the small business 2022 marketing trends you need to be aware of as we head into the new year:
1. Systems and Processes
Given experiences over the last two years, one thing which is really important is that small business owners have the right systems in place to support any potential business growth and deliver exceptional customer service. What we mean by this from a marketing perspective, is to ensure that you have a solid CRM system in place to manage your client relationships and any sales opportunity. As part of this it is also important that you have automated marketing communications in place such as your abandon cart, sales or onboarding email sequences.
2. Clear brand values
Over the last two years, many have take time to reflect and work out what is important to them. There is lots of talk about “The Great Resignation” early next year, reflective of an anticipated large shift in the work force as they seek new roles which reflect their values, often putting family first. We may see people not only moving roles internally, externally but even starting their own business. If they do wish to continue to work for an organisation, it will be about finding a company that reflects their personal values, so flexible working hours, mental wellbeing, charity and environment policies will become event more important. Moving forwards businesses will need to nurture their talents that they feel valued. Internal communications to assess employee engagement or motivation will be really important to watch. Simple programmes such employee or the month or team spotlights to highlight the great work that is being done will be an effective way to recognise employee loyalty and performance.
3. Hybrid way of working
Thanks to lockdown, teams are definitely moving away from needing to be sat at their desks 9-5pm every day, instead a more flexible way of working is here and hopefully achieving a better work/ life balance for many. This has been quite a shift in mindset for many employers. However, this presents a marketing challenge for many businesses wishing to connect with this audience as their habits change. A simple example – historically posting in Linked In between 7.30am – 9am has been a good time, now we are seeing a decline in engagement as people are perhaps doing other things, such as taking the kids to school, going for a run or taking the dog for a walk. As a small business owner a good way forward will be to review your own insights, to understand what your audience are doing and respond accordingly.
4. Sustainability and the Environment
With the recent COP 26 summit still fresh in our minds it is more important than ever for businesses to have a focus on sustainability and the environment. This can be achieved in different ways from recycling business stationery to planting trees on behalf of your team, offset a carbon footprint, there are lots of different ways businesses can make a difference. Mindfully focusing on this area, will not only become increasingly important to your teams, but also tocustomers as well, with many of them voting with their wallets to businesses who reflect their own values.
5. Mental Wellbeing
With 1 in 4 people cited to have a mental health problem each year and 1 in 6 people experiencing a common mental health challenge such as anxiety or depression, it has never been more important to be aware of how to help friends or colleagues if they are struggling. It will be key that organisations put the right provisions in place to support their teams wellbeing and helping them to work through the challenges they may have.
6. Customer Experience
One way that small business owners really have the advantage over larger organisations is their ability to be flexible, responsive and provide that personal touch. During lockdown there was a definite move to encourage people to shop locally and support small businesses. For a small business personalising and curating content relevant to your audience is a great way to go. There is also a great opportunity to share your story behind the brand and the owners passion for what they do – it will resonate and connect with their audience. Personal service is also much easier to deliver as often you are on hand to answer any bespoke questions.
7. Video Marketing
This continues to be a a big focus, with more people cited to be spending time watching live videos than pre-recorded videos this media has to continue to grow and expand across 2022.
If you would like to understand how the 2022 small business marketing trends will affect your organisation, would like some help in kick starting your marketing for 2022 and not sure where to start, or you are not seeing the results you would like, please get in touch to arrange your free no obligation discovery call.