More local businesses are turning to digital marketing strategies to generate leads and traffic than ever before. At the same time, the technologies and tactics being employed are rapidly changing and will continue to evolve into the year 2022 and beyond.
Your business needs a strategy to stay a few leaps ahead of the competition. If you're wondering what digital marketing techniques you should employ in 2022, continue reading through our list of insights and tips below:
1. Start Optimizing Website Pages for Voice Search
While not a brand-new technology, AI assistants and voice search tools are present everywhere and are changing the way we discover information on the web. More users are turning to these virtual assistants as their accuracy and reliability become more improved with each new iteration. Today, a person can find a local business in seconds by simply asking their mobile device for the best solution to their problem in the area.
The question becomes - how do you optimize a website page for voice search technologies? If you've already implemented an excellent SEO strategy based on the best-known practices, you're already off to a good start. This includes adding a healthy amount of high-quality, relevant content to the page, focusing on primary and tertiary keywords, and optimizing your metadata.
To understand how voice search impacts SEO, we need to examine how a person typically employs voice search. When you type a query into Google with a keyboard, you typically truncate your entry into the minimum number of keywords necessary. For example, you might search for the best Thai restaurant in the area by typing “best thai food.” Google already knows your location through your device and generates all of the relevant businesses local to your area.
When we search with voice search, we typically ask a question as if we were talking to a real person. Instead of the above query, the user might ask “Where can I get Thai food?” The technology actually works by taking that spoken query, converting it to text, and performing the search automatically. In other words, a voice search typically sees users focusing on long-form questions and long-tail keywords that might not currently be a focus in your SEO strategy.
Finally, consider creating an FAQ page that accounts for common concerns presented to you by your customers. Because voice search is so commonly in the form of a question, providing quick, succinct answers on this page can be a recipe for success if you want your responses to be chosen.
Accounting for this conversational way of gathering information should be a focus of your content now and into 2022. You still need to ensure that your content is clear, accurate, and tailored to your audience. However, customers are looking to get more familiar and personable with brands. Optimizing your content to present a more conversational tone can not only help your SEO, but build authenticity and rapport with your customers.
2. Implement Structured Data
Structured data, otherwise referred to as schema markup, is an advanced SEO tactic that effectively classifies the content on a page with relevant tags. These clues help search engines quickly identify what sections of content mean, so that they can better deliver the best information for highly-targeted searches. Structured data will also help you to better deliver your content in the voice search queries discussed above.
Google offers helpful documentation to assist webmasters with understanding structured data and how to properly implement it within your site's HTML code. There are three types of notation you can use to implement structured data, but JSON-LD is the recommended format for most websites.
Structured data not only classifies snippets of a webpage, but can actually nest other items in groups to demonstrate how these variables relate to one another. Instead of necessarily looking at the content itself and attempting to make sense of it, it can employ this outline and quickly understand the full picture.
If you look at an example search, you will see examples of structured data already being used by other major websites and publications.
If you search for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy film, Google is automatically able to identify the right result with relevant information thanks to the clues provided in the page's HTML. It understands that we want to find the 2014 film. Without a markup that classifies the content as a film, Google may have pulled up results pertaining to the comic books instead.
Below the meta description, we see additional data highlights that likely do not appear in a search result for one of your own web pages. This page nests additional structured data within the film classifier and tags the budget, production company, box office, and producer. Google is able to grab these key data points and generate them in the search result snippet because the structured data helps it understand what this data is and how it is relevant to the original search query. This results in a much more attractive and highly valuable search result to attract more clicks.
By marking up your pages with structured data, you can help Google deliver the best information to your inquiring customers. If they want to know if you sell a product, that product will appear immediately along with any additional nested data. If they want to know your specific pricing, they can find the answer to that question with a search through keyboard or voice search with ease. This reliability builds customer confidence and will push your conversions to new levels in the coming year.
3. Start Employing AI-Automated Marketing Tools
The top business owners and marketers are already accelerating their workflow by employing artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. These allow you to effectively automate countless tasks that would otherwise require additional time, effort, and budget that your team could be devoted elsewhere.
Platforms like DashClicks offer software that can automate the process of managing your sales pipelines, gathering analytics, and communicating with the contacts in your CRM. Instead of manually gathering new leads from your latest landing page, organizing them, and qualifying them, you can utilize these automated tools to qualify your leads from the start, add the worthwhile ones to your contacts, reach out with templated emails, and assign them to the best sales representative without pressing an additional button.
This machine learning is especially vital when it comes to analyzing and optimizing your latest campaigns. Every marketer worth their salt is employing tools and platforms such as Google Analytics or Facebook Ads to automatically gather metrics and insights regarding their creatives and audience engagement. These types of platforms generate millions through ad revenue and are eager to provide you with all of the data you need to ensure your marketing efforts are a success.
With all of these tedious elements taken care of by machines, your experts will have more time and freedom to focus on the things they do best. Your salespeople will have a list of the hottest leads along with qualifying data that can better help them close the deal. Your paid ads managers will have access to information such as demographics, clickthrough rate, custom goal conversions, and heat maps to understand what aspects of an ad are connecting with audiences and which need to be improved.
All of these tools allow your team members to be more agile and produce better content and media as a result.
4. Start Segmenting Your Audience
While your broader audience is made up of individuals interested in your products or services, not all of these people will be exactly the same persona. There are a lot of factors that naturally segment your audience into smaller groups such as household income, age, sex, race, education, or interests that can impact the exact way that a consumer chooses to engage with your brand.
Because no two people are the same, it makes sense that you shouldn't market to different groups the same way, either. This is why we recommend that every business begin to take efforts to further qualify and segment their overall audience for improved marketing success in 2022. This digital marketing technique will aid you in creating highly personalized, tailor-made ads and content that will improve your conversion rate within that specific audience segment.
Your current ads may feel cold, robotic, and designed simply to get your name out there. By taking the time to closely approximate who you may be sending your message to, you greatly increase your chance of converting. A segment-targeted message will feel much more personalized and evoke the feeling of having a one on one conversation with a representative from your brand.
5. Create and Promote More Video Content
Audiences are demanding more high-quality video content from brands and the statistics are there to support that fact. A near-unanimous 93% of marketers expressed that video content is now an important part of their marketing strategy. Regarding the actual ROI, 86% of website owners said that video improved traffic, while 78% said that it played a direct part in increasing sales.
Video content can include content for YouTube, social media, your website, or specifically for ads and landing pages. You can also effectively repurpose existing content you've created for your blog or an eBook to create compelling video that appeals to broader audiences. You don't necessarily need to spend thousands on professional equipment, either, as most mobile phones support audio and video quality that's more than sufficient for a quick video.
Creating video content is also the ideal way to capture the attention of audiences in an era where such a thing is becoming more of a rare commodity. Your average consumer is not as likely to engage with high amounts of text that require careful attention to extract key details. However, a video provides much more dynamic engagement that allows the user to feel as though you are speaking and presenting to them personally.
There are also AI-assisted tools and platforms like Synthesia that can generate personalized videos from only a script. Video creation and editing is more accessible than ever, and it will be a vital strategy for you to add to your list of the latest digital marketing techniques for 2022.
6. Place More of an Emphasis on Local Search
Local search is always a high priority for small, local businesses, but the events of the 2020 pandemic are continuing to ripple throughout everything we do to this day. While more consumers started to do their shopping online for the first time, we are now feeling a whiplash effect that sees buyers once again looking for local alternatives to purchase products and services.
There are a number of ways you can utilize SEO tactics to boost brand awareness among those in your immediate geographic location. Be sure to leverage your location whenever possible in your content to appeal to those nearby. Additionally, look into creating and optimizing your business profile within online directories, particularly Google My Business.
Your GMB profile should contain your address, phone number, email, hours of operation, shop images, and a description of your products or services. Be sure to always keep this profile up-to-date if you change your hours to comply with local or state regulations regarding pandemic hours. Keeping your profile accurate and optimized will make your business much more likely to appear near the top of search results. Users will have everything they need to make immediate contact with your business.
7. Partner with Influencers That Can Elevate Your Brand
Every business needs someone to be their face, so that there is a person rather than a faceless organization for customers to connect with. A popular strategy that businesses are using more than ever is partnering with online influencers to gain additional publicity and traffic.
These influencers are individuals that have already cultivated a notable online following for a number of reasons. The most common reason is that these individuals are existing content creators that represent themselves and are able to make one-to-one connections with other like-minded individuals around the web.
You can take advantage of the trust this person has with their community and grant the influencer the opportunity to promote your brand. Brands will generally agree upon a form of compensation for the promotion as well as access to your products or services for them to try before agreeing to the deal. In fact, it is a federal regulation that an influencer cannot promote something that they do not have actual experience in using.
Regulations also mandate that companies and influencers clearly disclose the nature of the advertisement. However, these influencers always have the option to refuse to promote something that they do not believe in or support. Because the influencer already has rapport and trust with their audience, their audience is more likely to trust any brands that they happen to feature on their various channels.
Influencer marketing is inexpensive but effectively allows you to take advantage of built-in audiences that are already qualified and show interest in what your business offers. For this reason, you should primarily look to partner with influencers who already create content that's either directly or tangentially related to the nature of your business. This type of marketing can work for unrelated brands, but there's a greater chance that the promotion will feel disingenuous or stilted due to the lack of relationship between your brand and the content the influencer creates.
Take Advantage of the Latest Digital Marketing Techniques for Success in 2022!
Leveraging these cutting-edge strategies will aid your brand in staying ahead of the competition in the year to come. Take advantage of the increased focus on local businesses by tailoring your content around the way people ask questions and search. If you have yet to do so, be sure to create and complete your Google My Business profile to ensure that your business is listed among your local peers.
Streamline your workflow by taking advantage of the countless AI-driven automation tools that are now available to marketers and businesses. These types of tools can even allow you to create compelling video content for little to no cost that drives both traffic and conversions. If your business lacks the resources or ability to accomplish these tasks, consider using the DashClicks platform, where our team of experts can implement these techniques on behalf of your brand.