As we look back on 2022, there’s no doubt it was a banner year for marketers. 

From embracing the latest technologies to making their brands incredibly relatable, companies of all sizes have made substantial strides in connecting with customers. As we reflect on what we’ve learned at The Old State, here are 22 key takeaways that you should make part of your marketing strategy moving forward.

By the way, If you’d like to dive deeper into any of the following marketing tips, be sure to read The Old State’s upcoming Immersive Marketing white paper- a trove of unique data points and industry-leading analysis on ways to amp up your ROI- coming soon!

Without further ado, here are the 22 things The Old State learned in 2022…

1. Digital Marketing is Essential 

In 2022, digital channels contributed to over 60% of businesses’ total advertising budgets, and for good reason. Digital marketing allows businesses to reach audiences on a much larger scale than traditional methods, allowing them to target potential customers more accurately and promote their products or services more efficiently. This increased reach can lead to higher brand awareness and help businesses build relationships with more customers, which can result in more conversions. 

2. Virtual Reality Can Be An Effective Marketing Tool

Virtual reality (VR) has become a mainstay in the marketing world, with many companies utilizing this technology to create immersive experiences that engage potential customers better than ever before. This technology can be used in various marketing scenarios to increase customer engagement and create meaningful relationships between brands and customers. 

3. Marketers Can Use Artificial Intelligence to Their Benefit

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in highly targeted campaigns and can be used to create marketing copy, identify consumer behavior patterns, as well as optimize customer service delivery for a better user experience. In order to keep up with competitors, many businesses are looking to AI solutions.

4. Don’t Forget About Social Media

While many marketers have focused on new mediums of digital communication (such as Web3 and virtual reality), it’s important not to forget digital marketing staples such as social media. Social media platforms are an important tool for connecting with customers and creating a personal relationship with them through social content, visuals, video, and interactive elements like quizzes or polls. With social media, you can learn more about your audience while building valuable relationships. 

5. Upgrade Your Calls to Action

In addition to creating engaging content, businesses must focus on driving conversions from those who engage with it. To do this successfully, marketers need to have a thorough understanding of what constitutes an effective call-to-action (CTA). Companies should make sure that every CTA takes viewers further down the funnel towards taking an action such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. The more targeted CTAs are combined with targeted content, the more likely they will translate into sales or leads.

6. Utilize Chatbots

Chatbots have become effective ways to capture leads, gather information about customers, and provide personalized recommendations quickly and easily. Chatbots can be used to deliver personalized messages to customers as well as provide helpful information like product recommendations, new offers, and more. They can even be programmed to personalize their interactions with customers based on past behaviors, preferences, or interests. Additionally, chatbots are often used to capture leads through forms that ask users for their contact information.

7. Incorporate Influencers Into Your Marketing

Influencer marketing has seen a surge in popularity over the past year as brands seek out influential social media personalities to promote their products. When done correctly, influencer marketing can be an incredibly effective way to reach a large audience of potential customers in a short period of time. By leveraging an influencer's personal brand and online presence, businesses can tap into an already established network of followers that trust the opinion of the influencer. 

8. Make a Connection Via Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, is a strategic tactic used by brands to directly interact with consumers and motivate them to participate in engaging brand experiences. This method of marketing seeks to create memorable and interactive events, activities, or services that connect the brand and its products or services with the consumer in an exciting and immersive way.

9. Personalize Messaging as Much as You Can

Personalization strategies, such as emails tailored to individual users based on their buying history or preferences, help build trust and loyalty between brands and customers. While also providing valuable insights into consumer behavior trends.

10. Keep Churning Out Those Blogs

Digital content such as blogs, articles, infographics, and videos are becoming increasingly important for driving traffic and engagement. This medium attracts potential customers via search engines and the right SEO techniques, such as keyword optimization or link-building tactics.

11. Native Advertising Works

Native advertising is a type of digital advertising that blends in with the content of the website it appears on. It looks and behaves like regular content, but is created to promote a brand or product and can be directly linked to an advertiser’s website. Native ads are designed to benefit both advertisers and publishers by providing a more relevant experience for users by matching the look and feel of the surrounding content, while also helping drive conversions for brands. Native advertising has evolved into sponsored content that blends organically into users’ feeds without jarring them with intrusive ads. Often resulting in higher click-through rates compared to ad formats that are more easily identified by users.

12. Ensure Your Website is Optimized for Mobile Devices

Mobile optimization has become a priority due to growing smartphone usage amongst internet users; therefore websites must be designed so they render correctly when accessed from mobile devices .

13. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is an effective means of marketing in today's digital age, as it allows companies to benefit from increased brand visibility, trust, and engagement from their target audiences. UGC has taken off thanks to the rise of social media channels where it’s easy for users to share reviews, photos, or ideas about products they use. Studies have shown that potential customers are more likely to act upon UGC than any other type of advertising material; particularly when the content is produced by someone they know or admire. Additionally, customers often view UGC as being more trustworthy than traditional marketing materials such as advertisements since they believe that it has been created by people who genuinely understand the product being promoted.

14. Meet Your Audience Where They Are Via Google

Your ideal customer likely uses Google to search for anything and everything. Ensure they see your site and its offerings by setting up Google Ad campaigns. Google Ads are an invaluable tool for marketing because they offer businesses unprecedented capabilities in reaching people who are interested in their products or services. Google Ads allow businesses to create highly targeted campaigns that reach consumers at virtually any stage of the buying journey, from initial awareness to a purchase.

15. Optimize Your Site for Voice Search

Voice search optimization is becoming increasingly common among marketers looking for more effective ways of reaching users who prefer voice commands over typing queries into search engines. Voice search optimization is the process of upgrading and streamlining the information on your pages to appear in voice searches. Voice search optimization aims to optimize your page to answer questions for people when they conduct verbal searches. 

16. Consider Account-based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to Business to Business (B2B) marketing in which an organization identifies and prioritizes specific target accounts and tailors its marketing strategy to those accounts. It’s different from traditional lead-based campaigns, where the focus is on targeting individual leads. With ABM, the goal is to acquire, retain, and grow revenue from key customers—often large, enterprise accounts with multiple decision-makers—through personalized campaigns tailored to their needs.

17. Programmatic Advertising Could Take Your Paid Ads to the Next Level

Programmatic advertising is an automated system of buying, selling and placing digital advertisements. It is a type of online advertising that uses technology to purchase ad space on websites through real-time bidding (RTB) systems. This process eliminates the need for direct negotiations between buyers and sellers as well as manual processing of orders, resulting in more efficient media buying. Programmatic advertising technology can be used to target specific audiences according to factors such as demographics, interests, location and device type. It offers advertisers the ability to reach their exact target audience with greater accuracy and allows them to scale campaigns quickly.

18. Make a Video

Video advertising—both through pre-recorded videos and live streaming—has grown hugely popular on platforms like Youtube, Instagram Live and Twitch. These platforms enable businesses to reach potential buyers in memorable ways. Video advertising can be a powerful tool for marketing, allowing brands to communicate with their target audiences in an engaging way. Video content is especially effective at conveying complex topics or product features and can be used to explain concepts that would otherwise require more words and text on a website or in print.

19. Retarget Your Customers

Online retargeting is an effective tool for marketing that helps to increase visibility and drive customers to take action. By placing ads in front of existing customers or prospects who have already shown an interest in a product or service, companies can use retargeting to stay top-of-mind and nurture relationships with their target audience. 

Through retargeting, marketers are able to deliver messaging tailored specifically toward each user's browsing history, helping them target their message more precisely. By leveraging the latest technology and data-driven insights, online retargeting enables marketers to personalize each ad experience with highly customized content that resonates with potential customers on a deeper level.

20. Increase Your Visibility Via SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an invaluable asset to marketers as it helps to increase the visibility of their organization's website on search engine pages and, as a result, help drive more organic traffic to their website. Through SEO, marketers can target potential customers more effectively by optimizing content with keywords that are in line with what customers are actually searching for. This means looking at the most popular search terms related to the products or services being advertised and incorporating those words into content so that when someone types them into a search engine, they will be more likely to find the advertiser's page.

21. Deliver More Content with a Content Distribution Network

A Content Distribution Network, or CDN, is a network of distributed servers that are used to deliver web content to end-users more quickly and efficiently. CDNs cache static, dynamic, and streaming content on their servers located around the world in order to provide users with the best possible experience when accessing a website. A content distribution network (CDN) can be a powerful tool for digital marketers. A CDN allows marketers to serve up large amounts of content quickly and reliably, improving the customer experience while ensuring that marketing campaigns are seen by as many people as possible.

22. Feature Products on Multiple Channels (The Omnichannel Approach)

An omnichannel is a modern approach to retail and customer service that seeks to provide customers with a seamless experience across all channels of communication, including brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping, phone conversations, email exchanges, and even social media.  Omnichannel strategies aim to create a unified customer experience across all touchpoints by carefully analyzing customer behavior and preferences in order to create more personalized experiences that meet their needs. This approach ensures that customers have the same experiences regardless of which communication platform they are using. Additionally, it allows retailers to better tailor their products and services to meet customers' expectations.

To pull it all together, this is just a sample of some of the interesting trends and developments we witnessed in 2022 that are shaping the future of marketing. We’ve seen marketers shift to new technologies, such as virtual reality and AI-driven automation, which signal major changes in how they engage customers. Marketers were also encouraged to think outside the box more and put effort into content that can help form relationships with customers beyond their physical presence in stores or on websites. In addition, data is becoming an increasingly integral tool for marketers to tailor messages and inform decisions on campaigns or products. Ultimately, whatever the future holds for marketing, these 22 lessons from 2022 provide a valuable starting point for any business looking to keep up with rapid changes in the industry.

If you’d like to learn more about our marketing insights, be sure to check out The Old State’s Immersive Marketing White Paper- coming soon!. That’s right, we decided to compile a comprehensive white paper dedicated to discussing the latest in marketing trends, full of useful advice and tips on how best to reach your target audience. So if you're looking for an experienced guide as you navigate today's often confusing digital marketing world, read our white paper—it'll give insight into everything from A/B testing campaigns to boosting your ROI!