The best marketing campaigns all have one thing in common — they do much more than just promote a brand, product, or service. The campaigns we love and that make the biggest impact make us think about the industry, the world at large, and our place in it. Channeling your creative energy into your marketing campaigns can help your business attract more attention from customers and leads. Here are ten creative marketing ideas you can incorporate into your digital marketing campaigns in 2022. Read them all or use the links below to jump from tip to tip.
- Update & Optimize Your Website Regularly
- Heat-Mapping to Collect User Data
- Personalize Your Messaging
- Create Content People Actually Want to Read
- Use Chatbots to Help Visitors Find Resources
- Pull Back the Curtain With Social Media
- Repurposed & Evergreen Content
- Personalized Video for Sales
- Find Conferences, Events, and Giveaways That Align With Your Brand
- Use Guest Blogging to Your Advantage
1. Update & Optimize Your Website Regularly
We've said it before and we'll say it a thousand times again: your website is the foundation of your digital marketing. Updating and optimizing your website should happen at the least on an annual basis. Ideally, you should be looking at your website infrastructure, content, and usability on a quarterly basis to keep up-to-date with what your leads are looking for. These updates can include optimizing your website for search engine traffic based on new targeted keywords, learning from user-data (see Tip #2) to improve conversion flows, and updating product or service content to provide the most accurate information to leads.
Far too often we see businesses who treat their website like a brochure — once it's printed, nothing can be changed until another is made a few years later. This is not how websites should work. Your website should be designed to be easily updated by either developers or marketers. While you want to keep the overall design and voice consistent across your website, effective marketers are continually publishing new content, creating landing pages for lead capture, and improving on website performance for search engine ranking.
There's a lot that goes into optimizing a website. If you're looking for professional help to enhance your website functionality, check out our Growth-Driven Design program. For do-it-yourself success, here's how to test and improve your website speed and how you can fix common website performance issues.
2. Heat-Mapping to Collect User Data
There are very few things more powerful for your digital marketing than knowing how your website visitors are using your website. Having user data readily available or easily gathered when you're crafting a marketing campaign allows you to more accurately provide your users with the information they're looking for.
By adding heat-mapping software like Hotjar to your website, you can start to get aggregate insights into how far your visitors are scrolling down on each page (across device types), where they're clicking, and also get a clearer picture of their journey on your website.
PRO TIP: Data is only useful if you act on it. Seeing that only 30% of visitors are viewing your form doesn't do you any good. But, acting on that and adjusting your website to move that form up on the page so that 80% of visitors are seeing it can make a huge difference. Look at your data and make adjustments based on it. You'll find patterns and themes of how people are using your website (or how they want to use your website). By changing your site to match your user's preferred workflow, you can convert more leads, help them find what they're looking for, and create a much better overall user experience.
Want to keep learning about how users impact your marketing? Check out this blog post about the psychology of marketing and the cognitive biases that might be affecting your success.
3. Personalize Your Messaging
Consumers don't care about you.
One more time for the people in the back: 🗣️ CONSUMERS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!
They care about themselves and the problems that they're trying to solve. They don't care about what you do for others or what you're doing for your business. They care about what you can do for them, their company, or their industry. That's why personalization is more important than ever.
Personalization allows you to incorporate user data from tracking that includes details like name, company, prior content viewed, etc. into your messaging. Many marketing platforms enable this functionality. Our favorite is HubSpot Marketing Hub, but a quick Google search of your platform will likely let you know if personalization functionality exists.
Most businesses have started implementing personalization with outreach opportunities like email marketing, but can you take that even further? Start personalizing the full experience for your prospects and customers. By fully embracing personalization, you can create an experience that feels unique and specific to your user. This can (and should) go further than just adding their first name. Here's how you can take personalization to the next level.
Create smart content through your website
Give your website visitors a custom experience by delivering content that is specific to their industry, goals, or interests based on their previous interaction with your company or by making assumptions about their role, company, or industry. Even just a little reference to their industry or problems can go a long way. If you're tracking what content a user has viewed, personalization can suggest a related piece of content or ask clarifying questions about their interest and needs.
By determining which pages someone visits on your website, you can gain insight into what your user cares about which then informs what content or messaging you should put in front of them next. By using that data, you can serve display advertising to get them to come back to your website based on their actual interests — not your best guess of what their interests include. If you personalize your advertising outreach, you can increase the likelihood of a return visit.
Even though we said that email personalization is probably the most common use, that doesn't mean that it should be forgotten moving forward. Continue to personalize your emails with details like company name, first name, and industry. And then take it even further! Pay attention to the content your contacts are consuming and deliver content to them that aligns with their interests. Personalization isn't just about delivering something that says, "Hey Sarah", it's also about serving relevant content to the right people at the right time.
While personalization is based on real-user behavior, it starts with understanding your target audience. Buyer personas are an organized way to create semi-realistic representations of the exact users you want to be talking to. Here are 5 reasons why inbound marketing and buyer personas go hand in hand.
4. Creating Content People Actually Want To Read
Arguably the hardest part of creating digital content is determining what your users will find engaging and valuable. But taking the time and effort to figure out what your website visitors are actually looking for is the (not-so-secret) secret to content marketing success.
No one goes online to feel like they're reading a textbook or a string of keywords stuck together. If you're still stuffing keywords into your content, please, for all of our sakes, stop now. Today's online audience responds to content that is engaging, creative, and valuable. This is especially true when it comes to your company blog.
A blog is a valuable resource to provide leads and customers with regular, reliable information in one central location where they can easily look when they have questions about your industry, what you do, and how your products or services can help them. Blog posts should have an authentic voice that represents your brand and is relatively consistent across all content, even if you have different blog post authors. When creating blog posts (or any digital content) think more about what you can offer your visitor rather than how you can move them closer to a purchase. The focus should lean heavily towards growing awareness for your brand. As your audience grows, you'll notice leads coming back to you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Your digital content is what your leads are using to answer their questions, solve their problems, and do their own research. If you're not providing them valuable, easy-to-read content, they're going to look elsewhere to find it.
Want to improve your content? Here are 10 Powerful Tips for Your Content Marketing.
5. Use Chatbots to Help Visitors Find Resources
The way that we as consumers use websites has changed dramatically. We no longer like to search around a website to find what we want. It takes too long and gets frustrating. That's why we've turned to chat and chatbots. More and more consumers are turning to chat right away when visiting a website to find the answers that they're looking for.
While live chat is really only realistic during business hours, a chatbot is available 24/7 365 days a year. By developing a strong chatbot that gathers any information or input that you need while providing information, education, or direction to help the user find what they're looking for can be extremely effective.
PRO TIP: Don't require a user to give up their contact information in your chatbot unless absolutely necessary. You can ask for an email address to respond to them later, but asking for their personal information creates a barrier. Your chatbot should be a helper, not a gatekeeper.
PRO TIP 2: You can start building your first chatbot for free using HubSpot! Check it out and use AI to power the way your visitors use your website.
6. Pull Back the Curtain With Social Media
The internet has changed the way brands interact with customers. Particularly with social media, where brands can have direct interactions with customers and leads, the messaging behind your social communication can have a big impact on whether any social channels actually help support your digital marketing.
For years, "authenticity" has been growing as a marketing buzzword, and businesses are paying attention. Everyone is trying to find new ways to show their customers who they really are. Have you (or your kids) seen the Duolingo owl taking TikTok by storm?
Social media is one of the best ways to show your brand authenticity because it removes the marketing middleman. Posting photos and sharing stories makes customers feel like they're getting a real sense of what goes on behind the scenes. It also gives you a chance to respond to customer comments in real time, and it gives your business an opportunity to speak directly with customers and leads.
With an authentic approach, you'll engage with your customers without ever making them feel like they're being marketed to. Pulling back the curtain on your business and showing your human side can help you develop trust. And remember, unless you're using paid social media advertising to promote specific products or services, your social media presence should focus more on building a community and your brand than selling something.
7. Repurpose Content
One big opportunity any business has is to evaluate all the content you own and find new and fun ways to use it. Have you written a blog post that got a lot of traction? Make it into a video! Break it up and share it in chunks through social media! Update it for the next year (like we've done for this post)!
You likely have a gold mine of content that is just begging you to repurpose it into new formats. You don't have to spend a ton of time recreating the wheel, just take some time to find new ways to get your current content into the hands of your target personas. This can be especially impactful for organizations that have created content in the past but don't have the time or support to be publishing brand new content frequently.
PRO TIP: Google LOVES fresh content and updating well-performing posts fairly regularly is viewed very positively.
8. Personalized 1:1 Video
We are so excited about the evolution of one to one video. There are a lot of very cool things coming from companies like HubSpot and VidYard around using video to attract target accounts and prospects to you through the use of personalized videos. We have started using them at HIVE for some account based marketing and it's taking off like wildfire! We're getting responses almost immediately and our prospects are loving them!
Video dominates our attention today anyway, but why stop there? By using personalization in your video, you can gain more attention to your videos and ensure that your prospects watch the whole video!
Here's how to start using videos in your sales and marketing emails.
9. Find Conferences, Events, and Giveaways That Align With Your Brand
Conferences, events, and giveaways are a great way to gain attention online. These opportunities are powerful options for marketing teams with an expert speaker on staff, companies doing a lot of hiring, or marketers with an overabundance of branded swag overtaking your office.
Conferences & Events
Both digital and in-person events are excellent opportunities to share your brand with a larger community. Whether your company attends as a sponsor, booth, speaker, or simply as attendants, getting face-to-face time is valuable for expanding your audience and brand.
Before attending an event or conference, either as a company or a team, prepare ahead of time with business cards, updated LinkedIn profiles, and an easily shared link to your homepage or an event-specific landing page.
Giveaways are an easy way to get engagement, because everyone loves winning something! By consistently running fun, low cost giveaways, we've been able to quadruple the following for one of our clients over the last two years. Focus less on what it is you're giving away and more on how you're getting people to participate. For example, offer an entry in exchange for new customers liking your Facebook page or for existing customers to refer a friend. The more you can encourage (or require) leads to continue to follow your content or to pull from their network of friends and family, the better continued engagement you'll see long after your giveaway is over.
PRO TIP: When contests fail, it's typically for one of two reasons — 1. you require your followers to do too much in order to qualify or 2. the prize that they win does not align with your target persona. You don't have to give away a car in order to garner interest and create excitement around your giveaway, but the prize and the amount of effort required to qualify should be in alignment and should line up with your target personas.
Planning your own event or conference and looking for a fun, knowledgeable speaker? I'm Dustin, the fearless leader of HIVE, a marketing expert who has a gif problem, so obviously a great presenter.
10. Use Guest Blogging to Your Advantage
Guest blogging is definitely not new, but a lot of businesses fail to see the potential here. There are two sides to guest blogging that can be beneficial for your business — accepting guest posts and submitting guest posts.
Accepting Guest Posts
First, we all know that content is driving so much of the marketing that we do online today. People are looking for answers, education, tips, tricks, and ways to solve their problems. They're turning to Google and doing their own research to find what they're looking for. This creates a huge opportunity to be the source for that information. It also creates the need to pump out a lot of content. By opening your blog up to guest posts, you are essentially getting free (they may even pay you) help in developing that content. Remember to always review the content before it goes live to ensure that guest posts are up to your blogging standards.
PRO TIP: Ensure that all content stays educational. A lot of people who are looking to submit guest blog posts are writing sales pitches. That's not what this should be used for. Allow no more than one backlink to that person's website and require that the content stay educational and helpful, not salesy.
PRO TIP 2: Require that all content is original and not posted anywhere else online. The last thing you want is to get dinged for duplicate content because you posted someone else's content that already lives on their website.
Submitting Guest Posts
While it can be a full-time job just to create the content to come from your own website, it can be a huge benefit to your company and your website to start creating content on other websites as well. Reach out to well respected websites in your industry or even adjacent to your industry and ask if you can submit a blog post. Share potential titles with them and ensure them that it will be educational in nature. Many websites will welcome this contribution as it takes some stress of creating content off of their plates.
PRO TIP: Make sure that you research the website first. Run it through a domain authority checker and even website traffic estimator to ensure that you're putting out the effort for a website that is going to benefit you. We recommend looking for websites with a domain authority (DA) of at least 20 (the higher the better) and with solid monthly search volume. The higher the domain authority and website traffic, the more valuable that post will be for your business.
PRO TIP 2: Make sure that you include a backlink to your website using good anchor text. The word or phrase that links back to your website should be inline with your overall SEO strategy in order to get the biggest bang for that link.
Want To Improve Your Digital Strategy? Start with your website.
Depending on the capabilities of your marketing team, some of the ideas shared here might be more realistic to implement than others. If you're going to pick a single tip to implement into your marketing in 2022, we recommend our first: update and optimize your website regularly. There are always opportunities to improve your online presence and this is one area of digital marketing where we often see the quickest and longest-lasting returns. A revamped website is the foundation for any marketing campaign you're creating in 2022, which means that if your website isn't in top shape you're missing out on attention from leads and customers.