As we get ready to enter 2022, marketers face a landscape disrupted by a pandemic, new business models and new applications of technology.
Change is not something new to marketers. Consumer preferences have always evolved and marketers have been forced to adapt. The biggest change in the recent decade was a strong shift towards digital marketing.
Now, as countries around the world amble towards a “new normal”, what habits from the last 18 months will continue to shape marketing in 2022? What messaging will resonate and what channels should marketers consider?
Here are some marketing trends you can expect in 2022.
1. Content is king again
Renowned marketer Seth Godin once said, “content marketing is the only marketing left”. This has never been truer as storytelling becomes integral to attract customers and get them to take action. In 2022, these goals stretch a bit further where hotel marketers are not just seeking a reaction from guests, but also for them to engage and share it.
Whether it’s a blog post or a video product review, your content unlocks the key that connects your hotel to your audience. This connection is important to generate rapport and trust with consumers. Extend your storytelling beyond your property to your location. Partner with other local businesses and travel marketing organisations to reach further and be more authentic.
2. Video and social would still be in vogue
By 2022, more than 80% of consumer online traffic will involve video watching according to a Cisco report. Every market report points towards the dominance of video in the digital space. From being an expensive proposition, videos have become an easy and user-friendly way to engage your target audience. You don’t need an expensive production house. Just get your smartphone out, invest in some video editing software and away you go with producing engaging videos that showcase your property’s unique proposition.
Social media platforms will remain dominant. In 2022, experts recommend using multiple content types on different social platforms. Mix things up for your paid and organic social media growth.
3. Leverage the power of small influencers
Influencer marketing has always been a popular marketing method for the longest time. 2022 is not changing that.
Big influencers have a big pull. However, their services also have a big price tag. This led marketers to switch to smaller influencers such as comedians, podcast personalities, etc. In 2022, we expect marketers to also choose smaller influencers with smaller than micro-influencer audiences. These are just everyday consumers that are very loyal to the brand for organic reasons. These could be your existing guests with a large social media following.
4. Say hello to the “flywheel model”
Funnel marketing has been dominant for decades. And, while it is not out of the picture, “flywheel marketing” is expected to become more dominant in 2022.
What is the flywheel approach? It is about keeping customers happy and concentrating on how to motivate guests to keep coming back for more. It deploys client marketing strategies and excellent customer service as a marketing approach, building out loyalty programmes and other direct engagement strategies. It puts guests at the heart of marketing and building them as advocates to get new guests through the doors.
5. Hybrid events
When the pandemic forced closures and social distancing requirements, marketers faced the cancellation of all manner of in-person events, from store grand openings to big-ticket concert series. Virtual events replaced these events during the pandemic. For hoteliers that rely on conferencing, this was bad news.
In 2022, marketers will try to attract an audience that is ready to come back to live events but also prefers attendance from the comfort of their couch. The result will be hybrid events – in-person events with a strong digital component. As hoteliers, your facility needs to be able to adapt to such events through the right technology and distancing requirements. Making these a key part of your communication to event organisers is important.
6. Rise of AR and VR
Recently Metaverse came into being – Facebook’s new iteration of the internet with 3D spaces for a “different world” interaction. Founded on next level virtual reality, augmented reality and other sensory enhancements, this and all connected similar worlds are the next step in marketing.
2022 may not be the year when they come into their full form, but you need to start adapting it now. Extend your content and experience to enter these spaces to interact with next-gen travellers.
As every fabric of today’s marketing world continues to evolve, hoteliers must also adjust to survive. Hotels and vacation rentals must stay on top of these revolutionary shifts to successfully connect with their guests. Build and deploy an efficient marketing strategy around these trends, but remain agile enough to adapt to the next change.