6 Small Business Marketing Trends for 2022 You Shouldn’t Ignore

If customers can’t find you, all the work, time, and resources you’ve poured into your business is for naught. This is what makes marketing so important. While many small and medium businesses (SMBs) can keep their customers once they’ve found them, the challenge is always growing that loyal customer base and expanding your reach. 

At Taradel, we’re here to help! Beyond the services we offer—which literally grow your reach—we also believe in empowering you with education on the latest marketing trends and best practices to make sure you’re equipped to make the most informed decisions. Today we’re bringing you the top marketing trends you need to know about in 2022. 

These 6 trends are pulled from what we’re seeing across hundreds of clients and thousands of campaigns. Here’s how you can stay ahead of the curve:

  1. QR Codes

QR codes are everywhere these days! If you watched the Superbowl this year, you may remember the Coinbase commercial, which featured colorful QR codes bouncing across the screen. Or, if you have eaten at a restaurant since the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have been presented with a QR code to scan with your smartphone to see the menu—rather than being handed a printed menu. 

With QR codes, anyone with a smartphone can scan the code and instantly be linked to a website. The convenience of this technology has landed QR codes a clear place in the top marketing trends of 2022. 

There are many different ways you can use this technology for your business. QR codes can be

  • Strategically positioned online or in your brick and mortar location to prompt customers to leave you a review. 
  • Placed in your promotional materials, such as magnets, stickers, or mailed advertisements (more about direct mail below!)
  • Used to help customers to book appointments or order a product.

The entire idea behind QR codes is to give your customers an easy way to interact with your business online—so don’t be afraid to get creative with them.

  1. Social Media

Over the last 20 years, social media has become an inescapable part of the internet landscape—and a powerful tool to help increase the awareness of your business. 

There are so many different ways you can use social media to attract customers and spread the word about your business. Social media is a chance to exercise your creativity and find ways to spark users’ interest, whether by making them laugh, exposing them to your product, or engaging them to give feedback. 

Here are just a few ideas on how social media could fit into your strategy this year: 

  • Influencers—they’re not just for the big brands anymore! By definition, a social media influencer is an individual with a large following who promotes your brand, product, or service to their audiences for a mutually agreed upon compensation. When the notion of social media influencers first took flight, it was mainly celebrities with millions of followers endorsing large brands. These days, there are influencers of all kinds—activists, minor celebrities of “micro” influencers, niche bloggers—and this allows businesses of all sizes to partake in this tactic. 
  • Short-form videos like TikTok or Reels have proven to be a powerful way to spark the interest of potential customers. Social media gurus recommend keeping track of popular trends in these videos, such as using certain songs or background noises, so your video will come up earlier in the algorithm.
  • User-generated content is a two-pronged strategy. You engage potential customers by inviting them to create their own content, which links back to your business and gives you more content you can use in your promotional efforts. This content can be linked back to you through social media tags to your business page, a special hashtag you create for your business, or by asking the social media user to directly send you their content through a contest. 
  • Targeted advertisements and e-commerce platforms on social media sites can also lead customers to your product or service mid-scroll.

Experiment with these strategies to find what works best for your SMB.  

  1. Direct Mail

Snail mail is far from dead and it is still one of the most effective ways to market your business. No other method is guaranteed to reach every home in a given area, and with Taradel’s help spreading the word about your business with this strategy can be easy and inexpensive. 

But we can hear you saying, “Do people even read mailed ads anymore?” YES! Yes, they do.

Research shows that, in our sea of digital information, physical ads are not only processed more easily by our brains, but they also last longer in our memories. There is something powerful about holding something in your hands. It also takes people an average of 17 days to throw out a direct mail piece, giving your business repeated exposure. Compare that to the mere seconds of attention that an email or social media ad gets! All of this is why this tried-and-true practice is still one of the top marketing trends in 2022 

And remember that direct mail is a great opportunity to use any QR codes you’ve created to increase engagement across different platforms! It’s also a perfect segue to our next top trend…

  1. Local Targeting 

Supporting your local community builds awareness of your business and offers you the chance to tap into your local consumer base and build a loyal audience. Take opportunities to advertise on local channels and billboards––you may even want to sponsor a local sports team or event to get your name out there. And remember to take advantage of any local pushes to support small businesses in your community, like Shop Small Saturday or other community events. 

Local targeting can be a powerful way to connect your business with the people you serve and MapFire, Taradel’s local mapping app, can guide you step-by-step in creating your own locally targeted marketing plan to reach your audience. 

  1. Digital Marketing

There’s no question that we are living in a digital world, and we’re seeing more and more marketing resources focus online as the years move on—so it’s a no-brainer for digital marketing to be on our list of 2022 trends. 

Digital marketing can quickly bring attention to your business from a wide audience, so it’s important to consider how this tactic could fit within your broader marketing strategy. One of digital marketing’s top strengths is meeting your audience in as many of their preferred online hangouts as possible, whether through targeted ads, engaging social media content, or compelling reviews, giving you an incredibly efficient way to connect with your potential customers. 

Discover where your potential customers spend their online time and get yourself a piece of that digital marketing real estate! This will ensure your SMB is visible and accessible to the people who need your product or service wherever they are online. 

  1. Expand Recruiting Efforts

Sometimes marketing trends can get pigeonholed into focusing on lead generation—but you should also consider the other audience you serve: employees.

Your employee audience is where our final 2022 marketing trend focuses. And as the workforce has changed in our post-COVID landscape, your recruiting efforts are more critical than ever. It’s important to expand beyond the basics like popular job recruiting sites or simply hanging a “Help Wanted” sign on your door. Tactics like social media and digital marketing should all be high on your list, and don’t forget about direct mail too! We published an article a few years ago all about how Amazon used direct mail to boost their recruiting efforts and it was a win on multiple levels. Sending out a broad message to the market can help you find the right employees to fill those open positions so your business can continue to grow.  

Find Your Customers

At Taradel, we’re on a mission to help SMBs grow and thrive. We work on thousands of marketing campaigns each year, which offers the opportunity to see just what’s working (and what’s not). Each of these trends is a powerful tool that can make a difference in your SMB’s success.

If you’d like help applying these trends, or you’re looking for more ideas on what would make a successful campaign for your business, reach out today. Let us help you build a marketing campaign that can expand your reach and connect you with customers.

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