Marketing is a very different kettle of fish post-pandemic. SmartCompany spoke to Lauren Oakes, CEO of Megaphone Marketing, and Sabri Suby, founder and head of growth at King Kong, to get their top tips on brand-building in 2022 and beyond.
Rising cost-to-reach = increased focus on conversion
Consumers flocked online during lockdown and businesses followed, resulting in a crowded, competitive market. And when Facebook hiked up their advertising fees to self-fund the Metaverse, SMEs got hit where it hurts.
“We’re seeing really, really expensive costs per click across the board, and the way to get around that is by engaging in conversion rate optimisation,” Suby says. “It’s not enough to just build a landing page or a website and send a bunch of traffic to it — you have to refine the process and optimise the conversions long-term.”
Officeworks’ content hub, Noteworthy, is a prime example. It’s already improved SEO and SEM performance and links content directly to products, but Jessica Richmond, Officeworks’ GM Marketing and Insights, won’t stop there.
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“I think, as we move forward, the exciting thing is how do we get a much more personalised view of their entire journey or purchase history outside just that particular interaction or that article they’re having a look at.” she said in a recent CMO webinar.
“What are they actually doing when they go into our stores, what are they doing when they go online, what are they browsing for, what are they searching for?
“How do we weave a better picture of those people together so we can serve them up more tailored, more personalised, more useful and relevant content that really hits the nail on the head of what they want?”
Google Ads vs SEO
Google just keeps getting smarter, so fooling it into thinking your brand should be ranked first through SEO is no longer a viable option, Oakes says. Plus, more paid ads at the top and bottom of the search results page means there’s less real estate available for organic listings.
Then there’s the fact that SEO takes 12 months to take effect. A lot can change about a business in that time, including the key words you want to be ranked for.
On the other hand, “Google Ads are something you can change at the drop of a hat,” Oakes says. “You can run ads; you can test campaigns — it’s so easy.”
Good copy is your best bait
With the latest iOS updates allowing people to opt out of having their browsing tracked by Facebook, available marketing data has been drastically reduced. On top of this, Google has announced it will stop supporting third-party cookies in Chrome browsers by the end of 2023.
What does this mean for business owners and marketers?
“You’re going to have to fish in really big oceans, using bait that only is going to resonate with your audience,” Suby says. “So, you need to have the ability to write good copy that can go out to broad audiences, but that only speaks to the individuals you’re looking to target.”
Texting trumps email
This year is all about relating to your customer in real time, Oakes says, and texting is a very effective way to do that. It’s also got an incredible cut-through.
“An open rate on an email could be anywhere from 13-20% for a good brand, whereas for a text message it’s virtually 100%,” Oakes says.
Once you’ve got someone signed up, using data to personalise interactions as much as possible will strengthen ties and make customers more likely to support your business.
Because a cookie-less future will make targeting much more difficult, “you’re going to have to be everywhere”, Suby says.
“We’re seeing a big focus on omnipresence and having our clients advertise on all platforms — i.e., Facebook, Google, YouTube,” he explains. “Typically, our clients have a lot more success being across all those channels, even at a lower marketing spend.”
TikTok your way to the top
The #1 fastest-growing app gives you the opportunity to be your true self, and it’s very playful and fun, Oakes says. Plus, as a marketing platform it dramatically outstrips Facebook and Instagram, where you might only reach 1% and 6% of users through organic posts respectively.
“We could put up a video around the office on TikTok and a couple of days later it’s got 35,000 views, and that’s with no money behind it,” Oakes says. “If we wanted that kind of reach on Facebook, we’d be paying thousands of dollars for it.”
There you have it — a lot has changed, but as always, it all boils down to understanding the buying behaviour and psychology of your customer.
Post-COVID, there’s a fresh emphasis on authenticity and trust, while increased consumer awareness has put the spotlight on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and social responsibility. As such, natural-fit partnerships — for instance, Officeworks teaming up with World’s Biggest Garage Sale — could do a world of good for the planet, and your brand.
Whichever marketing tips you choose, keep your customers front-of-mind and you’ll be poised for success in 2022 and beyond.
Officeworks is Australia's leading retailer of office supplies, technology, furniture, education resources, art supplies and Print & Create. Officeworks offers more than 40,000 products on its website, catering to micro, small and medium business customers to help them start, run and grow their business. With everyday low prices on quality products and services, including tech-support by Geeks2U, you’ll find everything you need at Officeworks.