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Which Marketing Channels Will Brands Prioritize in 2022 [HubSpot Blog Data]

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Which Marketing Channels Will Brands Prioritize in 2022 [HubSpot Blog Data]


Even though Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies, the saying “If you build it, they will come” sadly doesn’t apply to content marketing. Too often, we forget that content marketing consists of two separate words — content and marketing. Creating content is usually the most fulfilling and enjoyable part of a marketer’s job but distributing that content is just as important.

After all, if no one sees your content, they definitely won’t come.

This is why it’s important to understand marketing channels and which ones you should use to leverage your content marketing goals. In short, marketing channels are the different tools and platforms you use to communicate with your target audience. So, while the decision to use specific channels should come from your audience insights, it’s essential to understand different channels’ value.

To learn more about the marketing channels that are being used by businesses today, the HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketing professionals working in B2B and B2C companies to find out the channels they leverage.

Top marketing channels according to HubSpot Blog researchIn this post, we’ll discuss the findings that will help you understand how to amplify your reach, resonance, and revenue, all while prioritizing what matters most: your customers.

Top B2B Marketing Channels

According to HubSpot data, the top channels used by B2B marketers are social media, websites and blogs, and email marketing (as shown in the image below).

top b2b marketing channels

Social media is the top-used digital marketing channel likely because of LinkedIn (which is reported as their most effective channel). It’s filled with business-minded individuals, which is exactly who you want to reach as a business-to-business marketer.

B2B marketers likely focus significant effort on website and blogging channels because buyers often rely on websites before making purchasing decisions, so a website is a great way to convey information to people involved in B2B sales.

SEO is one of B2B marketers’ primary marketing strategies, likely because of the popularity of websites. Using keywords that are hyper-related to your business helps you draw customers to your website, as they can search for keywords directly related to what you offer and come upon your site in SERPs. Considering that search engines are the primary source of discovery for new products and services and people make 97,105 searches on Google per second, SEO has significant implications for businesses using the strategy for advertising.

Email is a powerful channel for B2B marketers because it helps share educational content with customers. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers say that newsletters are critical to success. When sending emails, subscriber segmentation and message personalization are the most effective strategies.

In 2022, you can expect B2B marketers to continue their investments in blogs and email marketing and increase their investments in social media.

Top B2C Marketing Channels

B2C marketers invest in the same top channels as B2B marketers, but the order is different: social media, email marketing, then websites and blogs. However, despite using similar channels, B2C marketing is typically focused on offering enjoyable content and quick solutions than B2B desire to build long-lasting business relationships with their customers. 

top b2c marketing channelsThe focus on social media likely centers around the fact that 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and Statista predicts this number will grow to 4.41 billion in 2025. Given this, B2C customers are likely already on social media. When using social media, the trends that marketers typically choose to leverage are short-form video content and influencer marketing.

While you may only associate email marketing with newsletters, you can use it for B2C-type content like personalized communications, time-relevant notifications like product launches and sales, and cart abandonment emails for reminders. Also, email is an owned media channel — nobody is dictating when, how, and why you can contact your prospects (but keep in mind that customers will unsubscribe from oversaturation).

When it comes to websites and blogging, the two work hand in hand; blogging helps you generate brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, convert leads, and, most importantly, establish yourself as a source of authority. When you create your blogs with SEO tactics in mind, you’re even more likely to meet your marketing needs as you’ll surface in SERPs when customers make queries related to your business content.

Like B2B marketers, B2C marketers will continue their investments in websites/blogs and email marketing and increase their investments in social media.

Omni-Channel Marketing

While it may seem best to focus your efforts and investments on one single marketing channel, that strategy no longer suffices. In fact, HubSpot research shows that 92% of marketers leverage more than one channel, and 81% leverage more than three.

number of channels marketers leverage

Neil Patel, CMO & co-Founder of NP Digital, champions this tip and says that marketing is shifting its focus: “All good channels eventually get saturated. In 2022, brands will prioritize all channels and go more omni-channel…It’s the only way to stay competitive.”

A strategy that many marketers leverage with omni-channel marketing is content repurposing, with 82% of social media marketers repurposing content across various social channels. This practice, however, is more popular for B2C companies than B2B companies.

Video Marketing

If you’ve yet to consider video marketing, now is the time to do so. Video can boost conversions, improve ROI, and help you build relationships with audience members. Video is the top media format marketers leverage their strategies. In addition, 69% of consumers prefer to learn about what a brand offers through video.

When creating video, short-form content takes the cake for both B2B and B2C marketers, and they plan to increase investments in the strategy for 2022 (29% of marketers even plan to leverage it for the first time). When sharing video, the most popular channels are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, with Instagram being among the most effective video marketing channels.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is when a business partners with a relevant, popular creator in their industry to put out advertisements or specific pieces of content. It’s a valuable marketing channel, and 71% of marketers say that the quality of traffic generated from influencer marketing is better than other ad formats. Leveraging influencers to meet your marketing goals can be beneficial in terms of generating brand awareness, as well as increasing social proof.

Consumers trust marketers less and less, and they shy away from sales-to-drive leads type content. Instead, they trust influencers, as they view them as a person like themselves, especially when they share common interests. The content that influencers create is a form of user-generated content, a.k.a word-of-mouth marketing.

53.6% of B2B marketers and 59.5% of B2C marketers who use the strategy say it is effective. Your competitors are already sharing this high-trust and high-return content with their audiences, and you should be too. A bonus is the return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing, with every one dollar spent totaling $5.78 ROI.  Marketers will also continue using the channel in 2022, with 87% planning to continue investing the same or increasing their investments.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engines are also one of the highest converting marketing channels, and HubSpot data found that 56% of marketers say that it is effective in helping them meet their goals.

This means that optimizing all of your business’ existing channels will likely bring traffic and increase conversions. While a website may be your first thought when optimizing for SEO, this also applies to your YouTube channel, Google Maps Google My Business profile, your blog, and even your podcast episodes.

To build a thriving organic presence online, consider implementing the pillar-cluster model into your blog (35% of B2B and 59% of B2C marketers report it as an effective strategy). By doing this, you’ll create a single pillar page that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages that delve into the topic’s subtopics — signaling to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic.

Other SEO tactics that marketers report as effective include using a search insights report, optimizing photos or videos for visual search engines, and optimizing load speed.

Podcast Marketing

55% of the U.S. population aged 12 and above listened to podcasts, and 37% listened in the last month for an average of six hours per week. The demand for audio content has exploded, so it’s worth considering podcasts to meet your audience where they already are.

Not only is demand high, but podcasts and their hosts can help you develop a unique relationship with your audience as episodes feel conversational and share a more human side of your business.

Podcasts also create more opportunities for interaction, as customers aren’t restricted to listening while staring at their phone screen. For example, your ideal listener can play an episode in their car during their morning commute, while walking their dog, and while they’re cleaning their house.

Featured Resource: How To Start a Podcast For Your Business

According to researchers in the neuroscience field, storytelling is one of the best ways to capture attention and resonate with consumer emotions. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to a well-crafted narrative — that’ll never change.

Only 1 in 3 marketers reported leveraging podcasts or other audio content in their strategies, but 53% of those that do say that it is the most effective media format they use. In addition, 51% of those who already use the channel will invest more in 2022, and 26% of marketers plan to leverage it for the first time in the upcoming year.

Word of Mouth Marketing

70% of consumers say that trusting a brand is more important today than ever before. Unfortunately, consumers also trust brands and the paid content they create less than ever before. So, what’s a marketer to do when the very people they need to persuade don’t trust them? They need to rely on their customers’ recommendations of their brand to inspire other customers to make purchases, also known as word-of-mouth marketing.

People trust other consumers over marketers because marketers have an agenda. They promote their products and services to generate sales, but customers will only rave about a product or service if it truly benefits them. If you’re skeptical, consider the following research findings:

  • Consumers report that a person like themselves (another consumer) is 14% more credible than a brand employee.
  • 39% of consumers build trust in a brand from peer-to-peer conversations than from a brand’s paid advertising.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews when making purchasing decisions.

Word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t just have to be a face-to-face conversation, though. For example, satisfied customers will post about you online, tell their roommates they like your service, and leave positive reviews on your product pages. Only one of those examples involves an actual, in-person conversation, but they all include consumers vouching for your brands’ credibility and authenticity to inspire others to purchase your products.

You can encourage this type of marketing by creating a customer experience that meets your audience’s needs and providing top-notch customer service. In other words, you need to serve your customers’ needs before your own.

Over To You

Different marketing channels bring various benefits, but most businesses can find a way to use different channels in their marketing strategies to meet business goals.

After all, your audience is likely diverse and spread out, so using different channels creates multiple points of contact, which, in turn, will help you nurture leads and increase conversions.

Marketing Plan Template

 



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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub

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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub


Enterprise customer data platform ActionIQ has announced the launch of a new product, CX Hub. The company has also rebranded as AIQ. The CX Hub is designed as a set of modules offering self-service access to customer data, allowing users to build audiences and orchestrate experiences at scale.

After eight years of growth as a CDP serving B2C, media and other sectors, the changes represent a “new approach to our product and brand,” said CEO and co-founder Tasso Argyros in a release. The modular framework will ingest data from any source, integrate with any activation channel, and also allow components to be used with a third-party CDP.

The modules. CX Hub is comprised of four solutions:

  • Customer data platform.
  • Audience center.
  • Journey management.
  • Real-time CX.

The Hub is also designed to be accessible to business users with a friendly UI and extensive automation capabilities.


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Why we care. This is a significant development in the CDP space — a space that has been transforming rapidly, with many of the early established CDPs being acquired and ingested by more extensive suites such as digital experience platforms.

ActionIQ, one of the leading B2C CDPs, is now describing itself as “the leading CX solution.” It seems to be future-proofing itself by extending its capabilities across orchestration and execution channels, not by acquiring or building those solutions, but by seeking to provide modular integration between its (or a third-party’s) customer data management tool and orchestration and execution channels.

Sometimes we wonder how many independent, traditional CDPs will be left standing a year from now.

Read next: Deep changes in the CDP space


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update


Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll

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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll


Earlier this year, revenue orchestration platform LeanData released a report suggesting that lead management remains a “heavily manual” process. Based on a survey of more than 1,700 sales, marketing and operations professionals, the results showed that, despite all the talk of digital transformation, the number two challenge for revenue teams was too many manual processes and not enough automation (the number one challenge was insufficient pipeline).

LeanData, which partnered with Sales Hacker, Outreach and Heinz Marketing in conducting the survey, is interested in that result, of course, because lead management is precisely the process they offer to automate. We were struck by the contrast with Scott Brinker’s recent statement that we are arriving at a post-digital-transformation era: “(C)ompanies are no longer planning to become ‘digital.’ They are digital.”

And then we got the results of our 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey. Among the surprising nuggets to be mined from our findings was that 77% of respondents identify spreadsheets as the tool they spend most time (10 or more hours a week) working with. That doesn’t mean that spreadsheets are a marketer’s most important tool, but it does suggest that manual processes remain a key part of daily life for marketing managers and staff.

We wanted to extend the opportunity to all our readers — B2B, B2C, agencies — to give us a reality check on spreadsheet use. MarTech is marketing, we like to say, and certainly today’s marketing is fundamentally data-driven and digital. But is it too soon to say that marketers are working in a digital and largely automated environment?

Download the 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey here


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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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