Tips & Guides — 21 Feb 2022
20 Tips for Growing Business in 2022
Starting a small business might seem like a combination of savvy knowledge on the one hand and sheer, sometimes desperate, blind luck on the other. When you throw in a volatile economic landscape caused by a growing list of global concerns, the ratio between knowledge and luck appears to have become even more lopsided.
How can any new business regain control of their growth?
As businesses peer trepidatiously towards 2022, it’s worth remembering that growth opportunities are still out there. The climate of commerce has undoubtedly morphed more than usual in recent times. But the same hard work, dedication, and patience that saw continually successful companies make it through the pandemic can be applied to any growing venture.
By taking the fail-proof marketing advice that the past has proven over and over, and mixing it with the savvy needed to navigate the marketing landscape in 2022, accelerating your growth is completely possible.
This guide explores exactly what marketing strategies and tips every startup or growing business and the entrepreneurs behind them should keep in mind to make 2022 a year of newfound growth.
Scaling business the right way takes strategy—marketing strategy, that is. Marketing is the magical touch needed to establish your brand and generate sales leads. If you can offer the right product to the right target market and sales channels, in the right way, by choosing the right techniques, you’ll get the highest possible ROI, even in 2022.
Making your ecommerce marketing strategy about measurable, objectively attainable goals, while harnessing the ever increasing innovations in technology, can transform stagnation into realistic growth. Marketing in 2022 is about becoming even more clever when it comes to listening to your audience, capturing data, and responding accordingly.
Here are the best marketing ideas and tips for growing any business, right here, right now.
It’s not exaggerating to say that if you don’t know who your target audience and buyer persona is, your marketing attempts will fall flat. Especially in an age where new niches are created and targeted constantly.
You can’t engage and entice the right audience if you don’t know who they are, and you can’t know who they are until you know who you are. This is exactly why your business needs to explore the benefits of process mapping even before you begin identifying audience and personas.
Buyer personas and target audiences are intrinsically linked. Whereas a target audience defines a group of customers, a buyer persona looks at specific members of that group—and identifying both is the first step in successful marketing. They’re both incredibly important because they allow you to segment your customers into different groups.
When you know the motivations and purchasing habits of your existing customers, you can target different groups in the best way to generate leads. So ask yourself: What’s pushing customers to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you create marketing messages that resonate with your audience specifically.
As we move into 2022, there’s an even stronger need for businesses to optimize their websites for an omnichannel and mobile-heavy ecommerce experience. Any patience your customers may have had for putting up with a less than perfect mobile experience has truly evaporated. Our customers don’t just want an omnichannel experience, they expect it.
Everything from your web design to your content should be created to be mobile-friendly. While many businesses have adopted a responsive web design, there are ways to take your optimization efforts to the next level.
For one, you can try prioritizing elements for mobile devices that are absolutely crucial for users to see—like CTA buttons on landing pages, for example—to avoid the problem of limited display space. It’s also important to remember that mobile design is more limited than desktop, so focus on content that is easy to read and easily accessible. And, make your mobile navigation a top priority.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that email in today’s flashy ecommerce universe is irrelevant. In fact, leveraging your email list and employing a smart email marketing strategy can be hugely beneficial. Email acts as a direct link between you and your customers, and if you utilize it correctly, you’ll achieve the direct and targeted online marketing your customers want.
Although designing attention-grabbing messages with top-quality, unique content is crucial, you can go one step further and harness the power of automated email marketing tools to provide hyper-relevant material to every inbox. How? By setting up an email preference center that segments your contacts according to their own self-selected desires, is how.
When a customer provides a preference to your automated preference center, it can trigger an email delivery to that subscriber based on their likes. Adopting an automated behavioral email marketing strategy based on the customer’s interactions with your company is a hands-free way of delivering marketing suggestions based on specific needs, rather than generalizations.
Like email, small businesses may overlook customer loyalty programs and focus their efforts on more expensive and trendy marketing strategies, such as using influencers. But the simple fact remains that customer loyalty programs are proven methods for growing and sustaining market share. That is, if they’re given the right kind of attention.
So how can the small businesses of 2022 revive their loyalty programs? Well, firstly, businesses need to remember that dusty, rigid, and old loyalty program structures can’t simply be pasted into your current strategy. They need to be simple, relevant, and appealing to today’s digital consumer.
The loyalty programs of today need to be flexible and malleable, with attention-grabbing surprises rather than outdated explanations of why customers can benefit from certain products. And they need to be driven by an accurate measurement of customer experiences and a business model that uses this data effectively.
Ecommerce in 2022 is more fluid than it has ever been, and current marketing strategies can’t afford to stand alone. Utilizing partnerships with other small businesses can boost the revenue potential of your business exponentially, and these partnerships are mutually beneficial.
Your products and brand reach more potential customers, and your partners get the chance to grow their brand authority by recommending your excellent products. Partnerships and partner programs are a way to form bonds with other companies that share the same vision and goals, as well as solidify your own brand and company to boost profits.
Today, there are many ways to connect with the right potential partners, and platforms like Affise Reach make it simple and easy. There are also many ways to take advantage of partnerships in 2022. Partners can:
6. Social Media Marketing
As a small-business owner in 2022, one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing that you can invest in is social media marketing. But beyond this, social media allows businesses to connect and engage potential customers from the customer’s own perspective and vantage point, whether that’s via Facebook Ads, Instagram Stories, Youtube, TikTok, or Twitter.
Social media is the easiest way to get into the minds of your customers by engaging with them on their level. Because of this, one of the best ways to use social to your advantage as a marketer is to tap into its potential for customer engagement. Brands that communicate, interact, and respond to their customers make a much better impression, and increase sales.
Social media engagement enables brands to react on a continuous basis, and this makes them better at serving their customer’s needs. The impact of bringing yourself to your customer’s vantage point and actually talking to them cannot be understated. Personalization and humanization builds a deeper, more authentic connection, and this is the secret to marketing success in 2022.
Not only does social media marketing give you a direct platform to reach new customers, it gives your customers a platform to share their great experiences with your business. A strong social media marketing strategy can:
Moreover, social media marketing is a way to create opportunity out of what people are saying. With the right strategy, businesses can translate customer posts into their CRM to help understand needs and actions. And, with social media management tools, businesses can track key performance metrics.
Social media presence is also becoming more and more crucial for calculating SEO and rankings. Remember, the algorithm that builds your company’s overall SEO ranking is ever-changing. Keeping abreast with these changes isn’t just a good idea, it’s a responsibility.
So, rather than just assessing your perfectly optimized website and blog, your ranking seems increasingly linked to your media presence. This presence acts as an indicator to search engines that your business and brand is honest, credible, and above all trustworthy. You can use your social media platforms to build crucial anchor links and high-quality backlinks.
Social media business pages provide opportunities for your business to communicate directly with existing and potential customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales.
A business page is a way to remain human to your customers, to help them immediately with issues, or to thank them immediately for their advocacy of your brand.
While customers are expecting to receive useful information from your business page, you can also collect helpful details from them through their participation. Social media business pages provide useful information about your customers and their interactions. Businesses can learn huge amounts about what their customers want through their interaction, comments, and feedback.
As 2022 looms over us, some businesses may choose to abandon quality content due to the time and effort it takes to produce, but this would be a huge mistake.
Content matters now more than ever when it comes to marketing, and it should always remain the foundation of your website and your social media presence. The fact of the matter is, even in today’s lightning fast ecommerce universe, customers still value good communication.
And it’s not just about improving that all-important SEO. Quality content helps to attract the right audience to your website, apps, and your brand in general, and is the leverage that gets you leads. If a customer finds value in your content, they’re more likely to share it with others and build a meaningful connection with your vision.
Some of the most common KPIs to determine the value and effectiveness of your content beyond SEO include:
A brand identity is made up of what your brand values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with you. Your brand identity is your character and personality, and customers expect a strong, consistent, and cohesive identity and story across all touchpoints.
For small businesses, a strong brand identity and story positions you in the mind of the customer as memorable, and as providing quality products that are worth the cost. A well-branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced, reliable, and trustworthy, all while standing out in the overcrowded ecommerce landscape.
In a marketplace where everything in the universe is for sale and available almost instantly, customer trust is perhaps even more important but even harder to achieve. Ecommerce is rife with businesses willing to cut corners and deceive customers for their profit. And, in order to foster lifelong customers, companies need to build trust through brand consistency.
The more consistent your brand logo and assets, the more recognizable they are to your consumers, providing a feeling of reliability and dependability.
By consistently adhering to a unified approach across all touchpoints, your brand will stay firmly in the minds of consumers. This gives you a competitive advantage by building a strong rapport with your audience, becoming instantly recognizable, and striving to live up to customer expectations.
Great SEO goes hand in hand with great quality content, and both can make or break your marketing efforts. Google uses the quality of your content and the links within to establish page rankings in search engine result pages, or SERPs. The higher your content ranks, the easier it is for customers to see you. SEO, in essence, is the very best way to become more visible to your market.
Visibility means more traffic, and more traffic means more opportunities to turn prospective customers into loyal ones. With great content, potential customers are more likely to click on your links, and this improves ranking because Google sees these click through rates, or CTRs, as a way to determine content relevance.
So, ensuring that your content is designed to answer, help, or inform customers is necessary for improving SEO, particularly for local businesses with a smaller potential customer pool.
Businesses that want to improve their SEO in 2022 will benefit immeasurably from harnessing Google Analytics. It can help you understand how you’re ranking and why, and also help you learn about your audience to create better content for them specifically.
Marketing analytics shines a light on the inner workings of your customer base by allowing you to gather the information that you need to find leads and create a lasting foundation for growing your business. Not only that, in 2022, you’re unlikely to find a business that doesn’t take advantage of analytics.
Investing in data insights and analytics like artificial intelligence (AI) driven predictive analytic tools gives companies a competitive edge in the disruptive markets of today. Sophisticated analytic tools can provide essential insights that help businesses understand how best to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints and omnichannel communications, as well as compare the past to the present.
The ability to dive into historical data to uncover past successes, and then apply predictive algorithms to become more successful in the future, is a surefire way to stay relevant and competitive in today’s market, and great analytics can help you get there.
Maybe even more relevant than ever in the shadow of a global marketplace that has been completely upended in the last two years, coupons, giveaways, and promotions are still a great marketing tactic.
There are all kinds of ways that giving a little bit extra can help your overall marketing campaigns:
With the rise of video-centric social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, webinars are a great marketing strategy for 2022. The benefits of producing webinars are many. They’re basically lead generation tools that provide super specific, expert, valuable information to customers.
Because they’re a visual medium, webinars are a direct way to forge communication between your brand and your customer base. They’re also a quick and easy way to grasp information, because who has time for lengthy product guides?
As well being great for making sales and lead generation, other important features of webinars include that:
Influencer marketing is an important part of a cohesive digital marketing plan in an age where authenticity counts for more and more. Because influencers operate independently and integrate advertising into their own content, they’re the ones in charge of how they choose to portray the brand and message.
By forming relationships with influencers that operate within your marketing niche, they’ll genuinely be keen to try out and discuss your product. And, instead of throwing a marketing campaign into the uncertain sea filled with unlimited choice for audiences, targeting influencers can be an immediate way to reach potential customers who have already chosen to engage with them.
Trust, credibility, authenticity, reputation. These all matter when it comes to generating leads in today’s market.
So, getting your hands on authentic customer reviews and testimonials and broadcasting them as widely as possible can go a very long way. And it makes sense when you think of your own habits. Who are you more likely to buy from, the brand with no reviews or the one with hundreds of great ones?
Beyond this, reviews and testimonials are a fuss-free way to enlist your most enthusiastic fans to build your reputation for you. And, customers who give testimonials of course want to tell people about their experiences, their history, and their background.
When they share their stories, they’ll help both build your community by solving a recurring problem that common buyers may have, and cater to what your customer base wants in terms of new products.
Even besides the fact that it’s getting more and more popular, affiliate programs and brand ambassadors are the gift that keeps on giving in modern marketing.
Simply, an affiliate program incentivizes people (the affiliate) to market another person’s or company’s products by earning an incentive for every sale they make the company. So not only is it mutually beneficial, it’s also a great way to widen your marketing scope.
But how is this process monitored, and how do companies keep track of who’s selling what? Affiliate management systems are a company’s eyes and ears when it comes to their affiliate program. If you don’t invest in the right one, the whole venture might not pay off.
You need to make sure that your management system can keep up with business growth, for one. But beyond this, you won’t be able to keep track of marketing insight if you don’t have detailed analytics, automation tools, and responsive support service. And it’s not actually complicated at all to migrate to a better performing affiliate platform. Not if you migrate to Affise, anyway.
With the right rewards and referrals, your marketing strategy can immediately skyrocket in terms of engagement. Customer loyalty can increase your profits, improve sales, and sustainably grow your business because customers don’t just like these programs, they expect them.
Referral programs and rewards are your way to thank customers for their loyalty, and reciprocally they make them even more loyal. Members of customer loyalty programs are more likely to make another purchase after receiving an incentive, and they’re a great way to engage customers beyond just the point of purchase, creating better retention and further referrals.
At the expense of repeating what’s already been said, the customer of 2022 loves a well curated video. Tutorial and explainer videos are excellent marketing leverage to show off new products, communicate a specific message to an audience who chose you (and not the other way around), and to detail a new service.
Not only that, they’re super helpful, showing customers how to use a product, how it works, how to maintain it, and how easy it is to assemble and use. This, in turn, decreases customer support queries or complaints, and this can help improve your overall brand image. They can make complicated assemblies easy and visual, they’re cheap, and are great at explaining how beneficial a product can be.
Industry influence is an absolute necessity in today’s competitive marketplace. There are innumerable ecommerce endeavors to compete with, so your business needs to be able to sway opinion. Influence is the best way to achieve this.
Businesses must exercise their utmost ability to be and remain relevant, useful, and above all credible in the spaces where consumers are present. Customers are paying less and less time focusing on advertisements and bland brand content, and more time listening to other consumers as well as industry experts and influencers.
To achieve this in your field, you can audit your brand’s influence, advocates, and influencers, identify gaps, and then search for internal influencers and map topics of interest that will boost your authority. When credible information comes from a source that has gained consumer trust, influence is born.
Above all, establishing your influence employs businesses to take advantage of many marketing strategies.
Establishing your influence in 2022 is so much more than having authority, although authority is a big aspect of it. You need to be an expert in your business, sure. But influence comes from all of the strategies we’ve discussed above and more. Businesses grow influence, and simply just grow, by employing the right combination of digital marketing, analytic intelligence, software savvy, and brand building.
Influence requires consumer trust because much of the time we invite real influencers and real people to help endorse our products. But it also requires trust because we’ve optimized our functionality so that customers can rely on us at any time, in any place, on any digital channel. Businesses need to be actively present online, within their content and in their social media activity to really build lasting influence.
So get guest posting on niche and mainstream sites, boost engagement through influencer partnerships, ensure your content is great, increase presence through social media, take advantage of all the intelligent software, and dispel the myths you may have heard about moving your affiliate program to SaaS. The fact is, if you’re unwilling to embrace a multifaceted marketing approach, you may as well not embrace any of them.
Before you take all of these excellent pieces of advice, step back. Start by hiring the right employees to think outside of the box when it comes to your marketing strategy and approach. And it helps if they’re dedicated to your overall business success. Instead of focusing on new growth, build the customer base that will form the stable base you need to stabilize new expansion.
And don’t forget to mitigate risks whenever possible by investing in ISO certification. Although risk is pretty inevitable when you start to grow your enterprise, there are several ways that you can mitigate both internal and external threats—the threats that can stop your growth in its tracks.
As you grow, you may add space or equipment, create new products or services, or increase your operating and distribution radius. All of these can add exponential risk to your operations and your customer’s data. Keep them safe by keeping yourself safe.
At the end of the day, there’s no surefire formula for instant business success. The same old hard work and dedication that we’ve always needed to thrive in the world of commerce, and ecommerce, are just as applicable today, even though our focus points have drastically changed. Growth is an ongoing and multifaceted process that will always require patience to really thrive.
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