Digital Guide to Navigating Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing

Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing is a complex landscape. A long-standing emphasis on in-person rep sales and difficult to navigate privacy laws have made the industry slower to adopt new marketing technologies and trends relative to other industries. 

This guide aims to debunk the uncertainty surrounding healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing best practices and provide a clear roadmap to creating a best-in-class digital strategy for your brand or the brands you partner with. 

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How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

What social strategies should your brand be focusing on 2022? Here are the trends we are seeing that could impact your brand’s advertising strategy this year.

#1: Growth of Social Commerce

The pandemic-driven need for ecommerce availability drove accelerated growth in social commerce in 2020 and 2021, a trend that is predicted to continue on into 2022. 

What you need to know:

Tips:

  • Stay on top of platform updates and feature launches, including those on emerging platforms like TikTok. Build room in the budget to test and play to see which tactics drive the most conversions for your product.
  • Continue working to build trust and prove legitimacy with your social commerce efforts. How can you show your audience that they can trust the process? What platforms do your audience trust the most?

 

#2: The Rise of Micro- and Nano- Influencers

A major component to social commerce that should not be ignored is influencer marketing. Marketers are dedicating budgets to this multi-billion dollar industry because it is an increasingly effective and, in the case of micro- and nano-influencers, a cost-effective and trustworthy way to build awareness for your brand. 

What you need to know:

  • Brands increased influencer marketing spend by 42% in 2021, for a total of $13.8 billion, with spending in the US expected to rise 12.2% to $4.14 billion in 2022.
  • 56% of social media users would rather follow normal people than celebrities because of the authenticity of their content.
  • According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” 
  • Micro and nano-influencers (between 1,000-100,000 followers) are gaining traction due to their affordability as compared to macro influencers with 100,000+ followers. Data from HypeAuditor shows influencers with smaller audiences (1,000 to 10,000 followers) charge around $100 per post on Instagram, while macro- influencers typically ask for $1,000 or more.

Tips:

  • Concentrate on finding and engaging micro- and nano-influencers whose content aligns with the interests of your target audience and whose followers look most like your core consumer. 
  • Incorporate your influencer marketing into your overall digital media plan for omni-channel consistency and efficiency with other tactics – don’t isolate it from the broader strategy. 

 

#3: Building an Effective Video Content Strategy

Video creative has and will continue to be King of Content in 2022.  

What you need to know:

  • Video will continue to dominate the creative space. In 2021, the average person spent 100 minutes per day watching online videos.
  • Short-form videos are what consumers want to watch – whether on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Snapchat Spotlight. The social media giants know this and have shifted their algorithms to prioritize and incentivize users who utilize these features.
  • Animoto surveyed 580 consumers, 93% of which said video is helpful when purchasing a product while 71% have purchased a product or service after watching a brand’s video on social media.
  • GenZ shoppers cite YouTube as their mostused platform for researching products, indicting that video is an effective 

Tips

  • Lean into video content – it’s what the people want to see and the social platforms are prioritizing it. 
  • Adapt video style to fit the expected user experience of the platform. For instance, a fully-produced, high quality commercial may not resonate on TikTok, where users are used to more informal, user-generated content. 
  • Follow video creative best practices to create a captivating and engaging experience for the consumer without the need for high dollar production budgets. 

#4 AR, VR and the Metaverse

Facebook’s 2021 name change to Meta and the rise in AR and VR features on multiple other platforms are a signal that immersive, 3D online consumer experiences may soon dominate the social space. 

What you need to know:

  • Gaming is currently the most widely used iteration of the Metaverse, with more than 3BN gamers who spend over $100BN per year.
  • Social platforms have started investing in the Metaverse by developing in-app gaming options for users. 
    • Facebook leads the pack with over 400 million people playing games on the platform. 
    • 30 million people play games on Snapchat.
    • In 2021, TikTok partnered with Zynga for game development. 
  • AR and VR experiences, such as filters and virtual “try before you buy” shopping options, have begun to enter the social landscape, with apps like SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest leading the way. 
  • Half of US adults have either an interest in or have used AR and VR while shopping online. 

Tips: 

  • While the Metaverse and AR/VR technologies are still new, it is vital for brands to follow developments in this field and begin brainstorming ways they can use the technology to enrich the consumer’s experience. 
  • Watch this video for more insight from Coegi on the future implications of the Metaverse and how brands may be able to use it in the future. 

 

#5: Privacy Permissions = Strategy Shifts

In the past two years, Apple has released iOS updates that give users more control over what data apps can and cannot track through their mobile devices. This change will limit targeting capabilities on social platforms and will force marketers to explore other channels, incorporate more first party data, and expect further implications to scale and measurement as privacy becomes even more important to consumers.

What you need to know:

  • The most impactful changes with the iOS updates have been downloaded app permissions and email privacy, both of which will affect marketers abilities to target and track user behaviors across Apple’s mobile devices. 
  • For social media apps in particular, the biggest blow comes from the new automatic prompt to block an app from tracking their activity, which can limit social media platforms from gathering key targeting and retargeting data needed to reach Apple users on mobile. 
  • iOS’s privacy changes are one of many, including cookie deprecation and other limitations being implemented within the social platforms themselves. This is a signal that privacy concerns will continue to shape how marketers are able to reach and measure their audiences across all tactics, including social. 

Tips: 

  • Use social platforms and advertising capabilities to build your own banks of first- and zero-party data. Targeted polls, surveys and form submissions can open up opportunities for you to gather this data directly in the platforms themselves or by directing users to your site. 
  • With limited access to user data, brands will need to develop their own means of proving ROAS and ROI for bottom funnel tactics on social media on iOS. Learning how to overlap social data with website metrics for measurement is one way this can be accomplished. 
  • Continue tracking privacy updates across all social platforms and remain flexible in your strategies so your efforts are not derailed as new updates are announced and implemented. 

 

Overall, we are seeing a convergence across social channels. Platforms are no longer one dimensional: a photo-sharing app, a shopping app, or a gaming app. Instead, we have channels blending shopping, video entertainment, online gaming and image sharing all into one community-based platform. 

Explore the channels your core audience is most active on. See how you can take advantage of these trends and emerging technologies to build relationships with your consumers through some of the most high impact advertising tactics available. 

Further Reading: 

Digital Trends for 2022 – What You Need to Know

In the past two years, there have been significant shifts in the marketing and advertising landscape. From COVID-19 to privacy changes to evolving and growing social media channels, there is a lot to keep track of (and look forward to) in 2022. We asked the Coegi Account Strategy team what they predict will be trending in 2022. The following playbook uncovers seven of the top trends they predict for digital media.

  1. Pandemic-Driven Shift to Digital
  2. Cookie-less Future Preparation
  3. Updates to Privacy Policies
  4. Demand for Performance-Based Marketing Strategy
  5. Need for Audience Testing
  6. Evolving Creative Messaging
  7. Shrinking of the Sales Funnel

Download the full guide here to learn more about what to anticipate for 2022!

Advertising on Reddit: Reach Your Niche Audience

Reddit is not always the first platform that comes to mind when advertisers are thinking about paid social, but it should not be overlooked. Reddit is a fast growing platform that allows advertisers to reach a very niche audience at a reasonably low cost. The Reddit platform does have some downfalls though, such as a less advanced reporting platform as compared to competitors. Here, we discuss the benefits and challenges of advertising on Reddit and some helpful tips to create a successful campaign.

What is Reddit and who uses the platform?

Reddit is a network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies and passions. It is a discussion-focused platform and is often referred to as “the first page of the Internet.”

There are 52 million daily active users, which represents a 44% increase from October 2019. The platform sees 430 million monthly active users.

  • The vast majority of Reddit users are in the United States. 221.98 million users are in the United States, followed by Australia with 17.55 million users and India with 13.57 million users.
  • Two-thirds of Reddit users identify as male.
  • Reddit is most popular among the 25 to 29 year old age group. 64% of Reddit users are between the ages of 18-29.
  • The majority of Reddit users have a college degree or some college education.

Benefits of advertising on Reddit

  • Reddit ads can reach very niche audiences. There is a community for anything you can think of on Reddit. Ex: If you are selling liquor, you may consider targeting the r/cocktails or r/Bartenders communities.
  • Because Reddit has such a large number of users, CPMs are more efficient than some other social platforms.
  • Audience targeting is not only based on interests like other platforms, but also based on communities, also known as subreddits. These communities are often made up of very engaged users, so it is important to learn about the communities you are targeting and tailor your creatives to these communities.

Challenges of advertising on Reddit

The Reddit platform reporting capabilities are not as advanced as some of its competitors. It offers basic metrics, but does not go into as much detail as some of the other platforms, specifically with regards to engagement.
For example, users upvote and downvote on Reddit to express their approval or disapproval on a post, but this data is not available to view on the Reddit dashboard unless you are an admin. This would be important information for hands-on keyboard execution partners to have.
The Reddit dashboard only displays six months of data, so you are unable to see spend and performance for campaigns longer than 6 months ago. Because of this, we recommend Reddit campaigns run for less than 6 months.

Best practices for advertising on Reddit

  • Utilize community targeting and interest targeting in each ad set. When testing interest targeting vs. community targeting, we have found that community targeting tends to perform more efficiently when it comes to CTR than interest targeting, but combining interest targeting and community targeting in one ad set outperformed both.
  • Conduct research on the communities you would like to target. Look to see if these communities have many active members and what they discuss. Use this information to tailor your creatives to these users’ interests.
  • Use creative that feels authentic to your audience. Users of Reddit appreciate advertisers to meet them where they are.
  • Utilize both placement options (conversations and feed) at the ad set level in order to diversify where your ad will be seen.

Reddit is an excellent platform for reaching niche audiences at a relatively low cost. The platform is not as sophisticated as some of the others, but the ad performance on Reddit speaks for itself. If you are looking for a new platform for paid social, do some research on subreddits that your target audience may identify with and give Reddit ads a try.

How to Reach Customers Using Social Commerce: Instagram Shop

If you use social media, you’ve probably noticed the online retail purchasing process has shifted onto social media sites and apps. More recently, social commerce has become increasingly popular on Instagram with the extension of Instagram shop, a page where users can explore different brands and products. This experience integrates all of a brand’s photos and videos of their products into one showing, making it easier for customers to research and compare products. While scrolling, customers can purchase items directly from the posts they interact with. This process creates a seamless experience for the user and simplifies the purchasing process because the consumer doesn’t need to be redirected to different webpages. 

Social commerce will be a $79.64 billion industry in the US by 2025. It’s important that D2C brands don’t miss out and one of the best places for you to start is Instagram. 

According to internal data from Instagram, 81% of respondents say they use the app as a way to research products and services. 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month. This underscores the importance of the Instagram platform as a way to both promote awareness of your products as well as drive sales. The rollout of Instagram Shops has made it even easier for brands to offer their customers a seamless purchasing experience that doesn’t require them to leave the app. 

Instagram shopping functions as an extension of the ecommerce experience on brands’ websites. The tools offered by Instagram allow for customization that can individualize the purchase process for customers. The collection tool allows for the curation of products into themes such as new arrivals, gifts, seasonal trends, and more. Users can also shop your products throughout Instagram through the usage of Product Tags, which allow users to tap to learn more. Product Tags are also available to use in ads which can increase reach and drive more conversions. 

Instagram has also rolled out ads within the shop tab to make it easier for users to discover brands when they are in the mood to shop. The ads appear as a tile within the shop home page and clicking on an ad will take users to the product details page where they can then view the product on the website. In addition to serving ads within the Instagram Shop feed, using shopping ads in conversion based ads can be a strong way to increase conversions and drive increased ROAS. The user experience of setting up a shopping ad is seamless, with the ads manager pulling shopping posts directly in from what has already been shared. These ads will include shopping links that take people directly to the product details page and allow them to checkout within the Instagram app.

A Forbes study showed that two thirds of shoppers use social media as part of their shopping strategy and 77% of Millennials and Gen-Z use social media to shop. This trend towards social media emphasizes the importance of integrating

Instagram Shop as a vital piece of a company’s ecommerce strategy. The platform allows for a streamlined path to purchase for potential customers that integrates seamlessly into their social media routine. The placement of ads in the shopping feed also allows for a brand to reach customers who are already in a shopping mindset, which can lead to higher conversion rates for consumer product brands. 

Key Takeaways

  • Social commerce’s rapid growth cannot be ignored, especially for D2C brands. Instagram is a key player in the space, offering some of the most advanced features.
  • Instagram Shop places products in front of relevant audiences when they are in a shopping mindset and receptive to new products. 
  • Instagram allows for a seamless, in-app shopping experience that improves the customer journey and drives streamlined conversions. 

 

If your brand is interested in setting up an Instagram shop, visit the linked page and review the steps from Instagram found at the bottom of the page. For assistance running ads for your company’s product, contact Coegi to learn more.

 

Nine Easy Ways to Stay Up to Date Social Media Trends

Social media is an ever-growing and evolving landscape with new platforms launching and new features being released on a frequent basis. Being able to reach your target audience on the right platform with the right feature or placement is crucial. It may feel overwhelming to try to keep up with the continual changes without committing significant time – these nine tips will help you stay up to speed without sacrificing too much time.

Spend Time on Social Media Every Day

Try to set aside 10 minutes every day to scroll through your brand’s social media feeds. This is a great way to see what people are talking about, what’s trending today, and what changes are happening. Tips To use your time efficiently:

  • Customize your feeds so that you can easily see relevant and trending content/topics.
  • Save articles to read for later so you can revisit when you have more time.  
  • Ask your team to also spend 10 minutes a day on social media and share interesting findings/articles amongst your team regularly.
  • Familiarize yourself with new social platforms, even if you don’t intend to regularly use them, to understand new consumer trends

Use SEO to Find Places Where Your Business Could Fill a Market Gap

Use tools like SEMrush, Keyword Hero, Screaming Frog, or SEOquake to see what your customers are searching for in your industry and vertical, analyzing their behaviors at various stages in the funnel, and understanding nuances between various types of consumers.  Using keyword and search research will not only help you stay on top of trends, but can also help guide your brand’s content creation and create best practices.

Utilize Customer Feedback

Solicit customer feedback via surveys and customer interactions on your business’s social media pages. Surveys and feedback will help you to better understand your audience, their needs, and their interests, allowing your team to provide even better customer support and service. Additionally, feedback from your customers and social media followers helps you identify what type of content resonates with/performs best. 

Ideas of questions to ask:

  • What’s one feature/product/service you’d like us to start offering?
  • What [BRAND/COMPANY] product can you not live without?
  • What kind of [BRAND/COMPANY] content would you like to learn about?
  • What’s your struggle with _________?

Of course, once you receive feedback, you need to apply it

  • Your customers have the best pulse on your products and services and may think of things you didn’t. Listen to their suggestions of how to improve current offerings, things they’d like to see, or new ideas.
  • Don’t ignore negative feedback. Negative feedback is an opportunity to understand pain points, make improvements, and improve customer service.
  • Incorporate feedback into your product roadmap.
  • Thank your customers who provide positive feedback. These people will become positive advocates for your brand.

Keep an Eye on What Your Competitors Are Doing

Set aside 10 minutes a week to look at what your competitors are posting and promoting. Ensure you derive inspiration regarding emerging trends in your industry, or even some of your personal favorite brands, but are not copying content. Share your unique POV and showcase the expertise of your brand.

Subscribe to Trade Journals, Publications, Newsletters and Magazines

Schedule time on your calendar weekly to read through your subscriptions to keep on top of the latest trends and changes.

Some good publications that frequently share the latest and greatest on social trends include:

Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a great way to network with other business owners and social media enthusiasts. You’ll be able to ask questions of your peers to learn from their experiences and discover new social media sites/trends. Some great groups to join include “Social media Marketing Group by Connect365.io”, “Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile, & more”, and “Digital Marketing.”

Attend Conferences Monthly or Quarterly (whether in-person or virtual!) 

Get the most up-to-date and relevant information about social media trends and advice from industry experts. Conferences are a great way to network and interface with other professionals in the social media industry who have different backgrounds.

Stay Current with Twitter and TikTok Trends

Twitter and TikTok function differently in terms of the type of content and algorithms than the other social media platforms. Here are some tips to help stay on top of what’s trending in both platforms:

Twitter

  • Create a stream on Twitter with hashtags such as #socialmediamarketing, #smchat, or #TwitterTip to help understand what to expect in the coming weeks.
  • Follow social media marketing influencers on Twitter and LinkedIn (sometimes discovered through hashtags!) and spend time reading their content.

TikTok

  • The “For You” page is a great place to start to see trendy and viral videos but this should not be the only place to look for trends.
  •  Hashtags help people find relevant content (think #mentalhealth, #prank, or #taylorswift). The most-used hashtags in video captions are the best place to see what is trending on TikTok. Many users will often use hashtags relevant to their niche in addition to one or two trending hashtags to help boost their content organically.
  • Keep an eye on challenges on the platform. Users are actively creating and engaging in challenges, which can create new trends. Many challenges include lip-syncing, dancing, or skits.
  • Observe what influencers on Tik Tok are posting. Influencers and celebrity posts on the platform will be popular in addition to clueing you in to what is trending.

Commit to Learning

The world of social media is always growing and changing. By spending time daily or weekly on social media platforms and news, you’ll be able to have a firm grasp on trends and changes. 

Staying on top of social media trends can be a daunting task. Using these 10 tips can help you use your time efficiently and stay in the know.

 

Written by: Anissa Reko, Social Media Specialist

Moderating Trolling on Facebook

Trolling is the act of leaving frequent, offensive/negative comments on social media posts. This can be done by a single person (troll) or a group of people (trolls). Handling a troll on social media can be uncomfortable. Here are a few strategies to help eliminate trolls on your Facebook page. 

Utilize Facebook Filters

  • Community Standards –  Facebook automatically conducts moderation on the Facebook platform as a whole. In order to use Facebook, users are required to agree to the Community Standards. These standards ban things like nudity, hate speech, excessive violence, and fake profiles. 
  • Profanity Filter – Any page admin can implement the Profanity Filter setting on Facebook. When using this filter, admins have the option to set the filter to either “medium” or “strong.” The difference between the two settings is the offensiveness of the profanity allowed. This is determined by Facebook and is not completely defined.  
  • Keyword Blocking – Facebook allows admins to block up to 1,000 keywords from appearing on their pages. This setting is not case sensitive and will block variations of the specified keywords from appearing as well. 
  • User Banning –  In the case of an individual or small group of trolls, it could make sense to simply ban the offending users from the Facebook page. The banned user(s) will still be able to share content from the page, but they will not be able to comment, like, or post on the page. The banned users will also be blocked from sending messages to the page’s inbox.

Additional Considerations

While each of the aforementioned Facebook settings can be incredibly useful, those filters are typically preventative. When actively dealing with a troll, the following recommendations should be considered: 

  • Responding to the Troll – In general, it is best practice to respond to comments on your posts. The same applies when it is a troll commenting. If possible, address the frustration or concern of the commenter and provide a solution. This could be through encouraging the user to reach out via personal message or phone call. Other users generally react positively to a brand being responsive and helpful by commenting back. Alternatively, ignoring the troll can give credence to the troll’s complaints and even encourage other trolls to comment. 
  • Deleting Comments– If responding to the user’s comment is unsuccessful or if the user’s comment leaves no room for a solution, it is possible to delete comments from your posts. This should not be the first course of action as it can lead to frustration from the commenting user. Deleting a comment can provoke the troll to leave another, more offensive, comment. It is also important to consider the fact all comments (negative or positive) play into an ad’s engagement rate. A higher engagement rate leads to better performance. 
  • Resetting Ads– If there is one ad causing the trolling, it is possible to reset the ad. This is not ideal as every time an ad is reset, all of the data and learnings associated with the ad is reset as well. After resetting an ad more than once, it is worth considering sunsetting the ad in question and replacing it with a new ad. Resetting an ad is an extremely manual process and is not something that can be done for all live ads frequently. 

Ultimately, having a troll target your page be a nuisance. However, there are multiple strategies and resources that can be used to help stop a troll. Inconvenient as it may be, appropriately responding and reacting to a troll can be a positive reflection of your business.

 

Written by: Emma Beverlin, Account Manager

Why Influencers are Relevant for Nearly Every Industry

Pushing through a crowded marketplace

Consumers have become accustomed to consuming vast amounts of media on a daily basis, which heavily captures their attention and influences decision-making processes. Continuous collection of data and resources published online makes it easy for consumers to search or view specific content they want to see. According to an article on Forbes, “we have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers choose what they listen to and who they trust.” This forces brands and marketers to fight for consumers’ attention, often leading them to pay high prices for ultra-premium content and placements.

One way to push through the crowded online marketplace is to introduce your brand through content your consumer already subscribes to – in other words, an influencer. The market size for this tactic is growing immensely, with global influencer market value reaching $13.8 billion dollars in 2021 (Statista). This industry has increased in value by $12.1 billion over the past 5 years and is projected to steadily continue this growth. This upward trend is unsurprising given consumers’ outspoken desire to have brand interaction in a way that is more personal and authentic. Influencers offer brands the opportunity to go beyond simply responding to consumers’ questions and concerns on their social posts to using creators as a vehicle to showcase real life product use-cases while building brand equity in a way that doesn’t feel invasive to the consumer – if done properly. This approach builds brand authenticity and awareness, because it gives consumers an additional resource to reference and interact with when considering your brand or product.

Consumers have diverse interests pertaining to their personal and professional lives. Many follow influencers on social media that they find inspiring, relatable, or a helpful source of knowledge. Because of this, influencers impact the way their followers think and feel about certain things, including your products. The followers of influencer accounts are often actively looking to discover and seek out recommendations surrounding their preferred areas of interest. Advertising in an environment where consumers are already seeking these recommendations gives your brand a competitive edge because consumers are more likely to take interest in your message rather than scroll past it and consider it irrelevant.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer’s opinions or recommendations. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion to your product/brand increases brand equity among audiences. Providing a connection to your brand through a trusted influencer can improve consumer engagement, retention and loyalty.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer's opinions or recommendations.

Consumers have become accustomed to consuming vast amounts of media on a daily basis, which heavily captures their attention and influences decision-making processes. Continuous collection of data and resources published online makes it easy for consumers to search or view specific content they want to see. According to an article on Forbes, “we have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers choose what they listen to and who they trust.” This forces brands and marketers to fight for consumers’ attention, often leading them to pay high prices for ultra-premium content and placements.

One way to push through the crowded online marketplace is to introduce your brand through content your consumer already subscribes to – in other words, an influencer. The market size for this tactic is growing immensely, with global influencer market value reaching $13.8 billion dollars in 2021 (Statista). This industry has increased in value by $12.1 billion over the past 5 years and is projected to steadily continue this growth. This upward trend is unsurprising given consumers’ outspoken desire to have brand interaction in a way that is more personal and authentic. Influencers offer brands the opportunity to go beyond simply responding to consumers’ questions and concerns on their social posts to using creators as a vehicle to showcase real life product use-cases while building brand equity in a way that doesn’t feel invasive to the consumer – if done properly. This approach builds brand authenticity and awareness, because it gives consumers an additional resource to reference and interact with when considering your brand or product.

Consumers have diverse interests pertaining to their personal and professional lives. Many follow influencers on social media that they find inspiring, relatable, or a helpful source of knowledge. Because of this, influencers impact the way their followers think and feel about certain things, including your products. The followers of influencer accounts are often actively looking to discover and seek out recommendations surrounding their preferred areas of interest. Advertising in an environment where consumers are already seeking these recommendations gives your brand a competitive edge because consumers are more likely to take interest in your message rather than scroll past it and consider it irrelevant.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer’s opinions or recommendations. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion to your product/brand increases brand equity among audiences. Providing a connection to your brand through a trusted influencer can improve consumer engagement, retention and loyalty.

 

Written by:  Samantha Schmidt, Marketing and Innovation Assistant

2021-22 Consumer Trends: What They Mean For Your Digital Marketing

7 Trends for 2022

Consumer brands must constantly be getting to know their evolving audiences in order to personalize digital messaging and strategy across channels. In the US, “over 3 in 5 consumers say they have changed their shopping routines,” according to a YouGov report. 

So, CPG brands, it’s time to meet your new customer. Here are some of the key consumer trends for 2022 and how you can tailor your digital strategies to capitalize on them. 

7 Trends to Consider

  • Customer first approach
  • Brand loyalty risk
  • Omni-channel activation
  • Social commerce dominance
  • B2C to D2C
  • Smart technology adoption
  • Influencer growth

What do these trends mean?

Customer first approach

Putting customers first is no longer an added value proposition, it is an expectation. Household brands are finding unique ways to engage consumers and insert their brand into the consumer’s story. A Netscribes article quotes that brands must, “go beyond the commodity to fuel engagement and advocacy by delivering context-specific interactions at the right junctures of the consumer journey.” 

Takeaway: CPG products can’t be treated as commodities anymore. Build a relationship with customers, no matter what your product is. Prioritize 1st party data through loyalty programs to understand where your customers are and better serve them with a custom experience.

Brand loyalty risk

Consumers are more open to trying new brands and have less stringent loyalty to major household brands. A YouGov.com survey showed 71% of grocery shoppers tried a new brand in 2021. Brand names are losing their power among household products as curious consumers are trying new things and preferences shift towards value, price and convenience. 

Takeaway: Use brand awareness campaigns to reach open, younger audiences who are willing to try something new. Engage current customers through various channels to maintain brand favorability and showcase your brand’s value.

“Adults surveyed anticipate that a year from now, they will be shopping in person and online equally.”

Omni-channel activation

Online and mobile purchases are sharing the limelight with brick and mortar. Verizon’s Look Forward study on consumer trends stated, “Adults surveyed anticipate that a year from now, they will be shopping in person and online equally (42%).” Consumers are split between online and brick and mortar shopping, so retailers have to give both channels equal emphasis and ensure they work together smoothly. With e-commerce numbers steadily rising year over year, more traditional brands and retailers must work rapidly to improve the integration of their online stores with every other customer touchpoint. 

Takeaway: Look at your marketing strategy holistically and build touch points with smart retargeting and customized creative to maintain your customers’ attention from the consideration phase to point of purchase. Blend traditional and digital channels across all funnel phases to be at every key customer touchpoint. 

Social commerce dominance

Social commerce is on the rise with platforms such as  Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest adding and testing new in-app shopping features. And for good reason. According to the Global Web Index, 37% of users use social media to research products and brands. Enabling a quick and easy shopping experience lets brands engage customers when they are actively thinking about making a purchase.

Takeaway: Explore different features and tools to utilize social commerce, making it as easy as possible for a customer to add your product to their cart. Consider retargeting engaged social audiences from paid or influencer campaigns with shoppable ads and a seamless in-app purchase process.

Putting customers first is no longer an added value proposition – it is an expectation.

B2C to D2C

More brands are moving to D2C options cutting out the store entirely and connecting directly with customers. Sales numbers are still insignificant, but will continue to rise as, “20% of consumers aged 18-40 years prefer to buy directly from a brand’s website, as opposed to a marketplace or third-party retailer.” 

Takeaway: Use D2C channels to build a loyal following and speak directly with your customer. Build brand equity and loyalty – not just a Shopify store. Use these direct channels to bring your like-minded customer base together creating a sense of community. 

Smart technology adoption

Expect greater adoption of smart technologies in 2022, including voice technology and virtual/augmented reality. These technologies are being refined and retailers are jumping on board due to the abilities for personalized customer experience. Voice shopping and chatbots particularly stand out. The number of voice shoppers is expected to increase by 55% by 2022 and roughly 91% of internet users interact with a chatbot on a daily basis. 

Takeaway: Utilize AI machine-learning to customize the customer experience. Use interactive ad formats and promotional activities to engage the customer and gather more meaningful data. For digital campaigns, use AI-models and tools to predict a customer’s likelihood to purchase, and tailor the creative messaging accordingly. If possible, explore voice shopping applications for your product with smart speakers such as Google Echo and Amazon Alexa. 

Influencer growth

Influencer spend and impact is still on the rise. Social platforms are improving ways for influencers to monetize content and work with brands, which helped pave the way for the social commerce trend mentioned above. In 2022, the influencer market is projected to reach up to $15B

Takeaway: Blend influencer marketing into your media mix model to build authenticity and trust in your brand. Use your media agency to help blend influencers into your holistic digital strategy. Also, consider using influencers for bottom funnel campaigns as well as awareness campaigns.

Why Short-Form Video is Critical for Your Brand’s Success

Not new, but increasingly important.

While short-form videos are not a new tactic, they are becoming increasingly important for brands to include in their strategy and marketing tactics. Online video consumption has been growing steadily year over year but was propelled by coronavirus and lockdowns. It is predicted that in 2021, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos.

As TikTok continues to dominate the social media landscape, other social media platforms have shifted to create similar features in order to keep users on their platform. Instagram is a prime example of this with its creation of Reels, a veritable clone of TikTok. The company also announced this year that they are “ no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app” and are pivoting to full-screen video, among other things.

Short-form videos are what consumers want to watch – whether on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Snapchat Spotlight. The social media giants know this and have shifted their algorithms to prioritize users who utilize these features.

Each social media platform has different placement options and nuances.

Whether you’re using video on organic or paid social media, short-form video increasingly wins the day. One study found that attention spans last an average of eight seconds, so getting your brand and message across in an “elevator pitch” increasingly is becoming the norm. Seventy-three percent of people want to see “entertaining” videos on social media so your content needs to hook consumers immediately.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer's opinions or recommendations.

Consumers have become accustomed to consuming vast amounts of media on a daily basis, which heavily captures their attention and influences decision-making processes. Continuous collection of data and resources published online makes it easy for consumers to search or view specific content they want to see. According to an article on Forbes, “we have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers choose what they listen to and who they trust.” This forces brands and marketers to fight for consumers’ attention, often leading them to pay high prices for ultra-premium content and placements.

One way to push through the crowded online marketplace is to introduce your brand through content your consumer already subscribes to – in other words, an influencer. The market size for this tactic is growing immensely, with global influencer market value reaching $13.8 billion dollars in 2021 (Statista). This industry has increased in value by $12.1 billion over the past 5 years and is projected to steadily continue this growth. This upward trend is unsurprising given consumers’ outspoken desire to have brand interaction in a way that is more personal and authentic. Influencers offer brands the opportunity to go beyond simply responding to consumers’ questions and concerns on their social posts to using creators as a vehicle to showcase real life product use-cases while building brand equity in a way that doesn’t feel invasive to the consumer – if done properly. This approach builds brand authenticity and awareness, because it gives consumers an additional resource to reference and interact with when considering your brand or product.

Consumers have diverse interests pertaining to their personal and professional lives. Many follow influencers on social media that they find inspiring, relatable, or a helpful source of knowledge. Because of this, influencers impact the way their followers think and feel about certain things, including your products. The followers of influencer accounts are often actively looking to discover and seek out recommendations surrounding their preferred areas of interest. Advertising in an environment where consumers are already seeking these recommendations gives your brand a competitive edge because consumers are more likely to take interest in your message rather than scroll past it and consider it irrelevant.

Using an influencer in your broader marketing strategy helps put a face and personality to your brand, which makes your audience feel more of an affinity for your brand. Because of this familiarity, consumers usually trust the influencer’s opinions or recommendations. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion to your product/brand increases brand equity among audiences. Providing a connection to your brand through a trusted influencer can improve consumer engagement, retention and loyalty.

 

Written by:  Samantha Schmidt, Marketing and Innovation Assistant

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