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The Top 7 Marketing Challenges Faced Globally in 2022 [HubSpot Data + Expert Tips]

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The Top 7 Marketing Challenges Faced Globally in 2022 [HubSpot Data + Expert Tips]

Every marketer faces different challenges. And, ever since 2020, the ways we’ve had to pivot, adjust campaigns, and address challenges has been unlike anything many of us have had to do before.

And, even if you’ve somehow navigated the past two years without any surprising or tough marketing challenges, there’s likely at least one task, tactic, or strategy you’ve always wanted to improve upon. 

Today, marketing is so fast-paced that it can be difficult to identify which areas you’ll want to develop to facilitate stronger growth in 2022 and beyond. For that reason, it’s important to pause for a moment and reflect on the biggest challenges marketers feel they’re facing this year.

Below, let’s review the current global marketing issues impacting the industry, according to data from HubSpot’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Report and marketing experts.

1. Training Marketing Talent

While you might expect the top challenge to involve one of the many KPIs marketers are goaled around, our research shows the top barrier facing marketing teams today is actually much more fundamental than quantifiable goals or simply hiring top-tier talent who will easily hit them.

In fact, according to our survey of over 500+ marketing professionals, the top overall challenge marketing departments are facing is team training.

Why? When you hire someone or get hired by your dream company, your the work needed to grow doesn’t just stop at the offer letter.

If you’re a manager or marketing leader, you’ll need to take time to teach that employee how your company works. This could include voice and messaging training, helping them understand buyer personas, or getting them acclimated to the tech stack or processes you use. 

Meanwhile, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned marketing team employee or new hire, you might wish your company had more opportunities for training, onboarding, or professional development that could allow you to excel and learn while also hitting your KPIs.

Why It’s a Challenge

Unfortunately, in the fast-paced world of marketing, it can be challenging for leaders to find the time to train while employees might not have the time or money to access professional development outside of their day to day tasks. 

That’s why it’s not shocking that 30% of marketers say that team training was the biggest challenge of 2021 and 21% say it will continue to be athe top challenge for marketing departments in 2022. 

What Can You Do?

The first step to solving this problem, regardless of whether you’re an individual contributor or manager, is reframing what “training” means to you. Remember that even the most top-tier, ROI-generating unicorn marketer will need time to get used to how your company works and grow as an employee and potential leader.

Ultimately, businesses should think of training and professional development offerings as indirect ROI-generators. Ultimately, even the most top-tier, unicorn talent will need time to get used to how your company works.

On one end of the spectrum, companies and leadders can retain employees and save money on talent searches because of their offerings. Meanwhile, their talent will learn more, grow more, become even more competitive, and — most importantly — feel more fulfilled and supported in their role. Additionally, you don’t always have to hire instructors or take time out of your day to train. For example, you can:

  • Encourage project managers or individual contributors looking for visibility to present experiments, strategies, or learnings at events, weekly meetings, or annual team conferences.
  • Book an annual professional development day during a slow season where all employees are asked to take a free online course of their choosing and report back on how it went.
  • Consider hosting quarterly or bi-annual new employee or new manager training days where newer hires and new managers can plan to go to in order to train with minimal impact on their quarterly projects. 
  • Create evergreen training videos, internal quizzes, or other resources that you can send to new or newly promoted employees on their first day.
  • Have managers develop 100-Day Plans for new hires or those that transfer to their team which includes training assignments, resources to read through, and a contact list of people to meet or schedule training with.  

On the other hand, if you’re an individual contributor, participating in your company’s professional development training and/or taking free or affordable courses online could help you negotiate a stronger role and salaries for yourself at your company or elsewhere. 

If your company doesn’t offer training or reimbursement for it, check out this list of free courses

2. Generating Traffic and Leads

While you might have been surprised by the top challenge, you probably aren’t surprised by No. 2. As you might expect, generating traffic and leads is always top of mind with marketers. And, even if teams are doing well with these metrics, they’ll always want to improve them. 

In our survey, 27% of marketers across industries believe generating traffic and leads will be their top challenge in 2022. 

Why It’s a Challenge

John Lee, Head of Evangelism at Microsoft Advertising, believes that generating leads will be a particularly big challenge for marketers. He told me, “Getting quality traffic isn’t a challenge today, and likely won’t be tomorrow. There has been growth in search and content marketing in 2021. New channels continue to surface and show promise, too (TikTok or audio chat rooms anyone?).”

Lee adds, “‘Sea change’ is the phrase that comes to mind for the state of digital marketing today. Change in the realm of privacy, identity, and changes to cookies. Change in the form of lost data clarity (will cookie-based conversion tracking continue to work, GA4, access to search queries, etc.). And all of this sits within the context of change to how and where we work and economies in flux as the world continues to move through the pandemic.”

Fortunately, privacy changes don’t mean the end of generating leads — it simply means learning how to re-think strategy.

As Lee told me, “To weather this storm of change, marketers need to be vigilant in monitoring and understanding industry-wide acceptance of privacy protocols and updates to search, social, and display/native platforms (consumer-side and marketing/advertising-side). And last, but not least — lean into the power of peer support and networking for sharing best practices and learning.”

Additionally, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the year’s progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.

What Can You Do?

When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?

For instance, when asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 69% said they’d prefer to watch a short video over a text-based article, infographic, or ebook. This means, if most of your product-related content is in ebook format, you could be missing out on the majority of consumers who prefer video.

Additionally, the length of videos produced by businesses has increased (albeit more slowly than the increased creation rate of short video). While short-form video is still King/Queen, the number of videos in the 30-60 minute category grew 140% in 2021, compared to 2019 — suggesting that long-form video content is still a viable option for companies.

To ensure you’re creating content that resonates best with your audience, you’ll want to refer to analytics often. Use effective tools to properly track the types of content that perform best with your audience to generate more leads in 2022.

Additionally, once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice.

More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notifications. To keep up, consider exploring alternate distribution methods — like social media or podcasting — to increase brand awareness.

Lastly, if you have the budget for online advertising, one example of a helpful distribution method is by promoting your content with HubSpot’s LinkedIn Ads Integration. Learn more about it here.

3. Demonstrating ROI of Marketing Activities

Measuring the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing activities has remained a top marketing challenge globally year-over-year.

In our survey. 28% of marketers saw it as their top challenge in 2021 while 21% of marketers expect to see this continue to be their biggest issue in 2022. 

Measuring and gaining ROI continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign or piece of content. It also can be what decision-makers at your company rely on when determining if they’ll invest more in your project, deparment, or team headcount in the future. 

Ultimately, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget.

Why It’s a Challenge

Although return on investment is a crucial stat that shows your campaigns success or progress, tracking the ROI of every single marketing activity isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have two-way communication between your marketing activities and sales reports.

What Can You Do?

Providing ROI often comes down to using effective analytics measurement tools. For instance, Beautiful.ai Director of Marketing Kim Giroux told me, “Marketers are constantly challenged to illustrate the ROI of their efforts and [this year] is no exception. Proving ROI doesn’t always have to mean extra work or effort though. In fact, certain technologies bake ROI into existing work processes.”

Giroux adds, “Take presentation software, for instance. Savvy marketers today can create and use pitch decks with built-in presentation analytics that offer real-time data — such as how much time was spent viewing individual slides. Armed with these insights, marketers can better gauge stakeholder interest, inform their strategies, and adjust their campaigns.”

Christina Mautz, CMO of Moz, believes measuring ROI comes down to redefining the marketing process as a whole. She told me, “My biggest challenge, and one all marketers face in providing ROI, is the prospect of meeting traditional KPIs in the modern workspace.”

Mautz says, “Instead of leads and trade show success, marketing wins are now largely digital: engaging prospects and generating more clicks, downloads, and page visits.”

CMO of Moz Christina Mautz says, “To better measure marketing progress, we have to redefine the marketing process, encouraging collaboration with sales and reaching KPIs together.”

“For example, statistics such as page visits per sale or rising higher in the search engine results page (SERP) give marketers and SEOs tangible evidence as to how their work is meeting their ROI. New buying patterns and a customer-centric world require a divergence from the old, but measuring ROI will look far different than it did before and some leaders may not understand how or why.”

When it comes to providing ROI, there’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results.

This means using both marketing software (like HubSpot) and a CRM solution (like HubSpot’s free CRM) and then tying them together to close the loop between your marketing and sales efforts with a service-level agreement (SLA). That way, you can directly see how many leads and customers are generated through your marketing activities.

4. Justifying Your Budget

How can you create a winning marketing campaign without a budget? The truth is, it’s pretty hard. But, even when you have a great, revenue-generating idea, you still usually need to get your budget approved by a higher-up.

As the global pandemic began, some companies didn’t have the means to increase marketing budgets or shifted budgets to other key priorities like paying staff or operations teams.

But, in 2022, marketers are running into a good problem to have. With the importance of marketing, online content, and digital media being proven time and time again for businesses during the pandemic, marketers actually began to see budget increases.

In 2021, more than 80% of marketers’ budgets increased or stayed the same as in 2021 (with over 40% saying budgets increased). Moving into 2022, 48% of marketers expected their budget to increase in 2022. 

While this is great news for marketers, it poses a new set of unique challenges that they might not have dealt with before. 

Why It’s a Challenge

Securing a budget has always been a pressing challenge for marketing globally. And, while marketers seem to be getting what they need for budget in 2022, companies could be eager to shift back to pre-panddemic strategies of placing money into sales, facilities, and other departments in the future. 

Now that marketers have their budget, they’ll need to fight to keep it and grow it even more. 

And often, getting and keeping more budget is easier said than done — especially for smaller organizations that aren’t working with sizable or flexible marketing spend.

But the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex. Here’s what you can do.

What Can You Do?

The key to unlocking budget lies in being able to prove the ROI of your marketing efforts (as we’ve noted above). Use your whole budget to demonstrate need, but also ensure you’re spending money on things that will provide high performance, like high-traffic, lead-gen, or revenue-generating projects or headcount.

According to our research, organizations that can calculate ROI are more likely to receive higher budgets.

Again, success with inbound marketing also plays a large role in driving higher budgets. Effective strategies obviously produce results and make a strong case for increasing your budget. But remember, inbound marketing is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off — in fact, you might consider doubling down.

To learn more about how to understand and leverage marketing ROI, check out this simple guide.

5. Managing Your Website

In 2021, 64% of companies said they were investing in website upgrades. Meanwhile, 27% of survey participants said that managing their website was the top challenge in that year, with a chunk more saying they will continue to rise to this challenge in 2022. 

And, honestly, this isn’t surprising. If you have an online presence for your business, your website serves as a key place that consumers will go to when researching your brand. And, there, they might find company information, marketing content, and other resources that nurture them into becoming a lead or buying your product. On the marketing end, your site can also be a tool that can help you drive search result and social media awareness when it is optimized and shared around the web. 

Although managing a website is consistently a challenge to marketers, it seems to be growing less threatening. While website management was the third-biggest challenge facing marketers in 2021, it didn’t even make the Top Five Challenge list for 2022. 

However, we’re still placing this challenge in the fourth slot because — more than ever — businesses need to continue growing, improving, and optimizing web experiences, especially on their website. 

Why It’s Still a Challenge

Chances are, your website’s performance is high on your list of priorities — particularly since website speed and performance plays a major role in your website’s SEO ranking. It’s an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, convert them, and help you hit your goals.

Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful webpages. Here are a few things marketers can do to deal with this challenge.

What Can You Do?

First, try HubSpot’s free website grader to determine how your website stacks up on key metrics including SEO, mobile, and security performance — and how you can improve it. 

If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren’t alone. This is especially true for small companies who don’t have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimization, design, and back-end website management.

One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. To find freelancers, we recommend:

  • Tapping into your personal and professional network by posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks with a description of what you’re looking for.
  • Browsing freelance writers and designers based on their portfolios and areas of interest. 
  • Browsing HubSpot’s Services Marketplace, which lists a wide variety of designers from partner companies and agencies we’ve deemed credible.

Overall, you can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels like HubSpot’s COS.

Finally, for the projects you want to keep in-house, here is a list of ebooks and guides that might be helpful to your team:

6. Reaching Global Audiences

Targeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing.

With 65% of marketers currently marketing internationally, it’s important to have an international strategy.

But, international marketers face a whole bunch of challenges that can make it difficult for your brand to gain awareness globally. And, even if you aren’t on an international marketing team, knowing this data can still help you help them. 

That’s why we asked international marketers specifically about their biggest challenges. The top three they pointed out were:

  • Cultural differences (44%): Creating content and marketing campaigns can be different from country to country, or require different strategies entirely due to cultural differences, trends in different regions, and even regulations in different areas. 
  • Exchange rates (43%): Creating, tracking, and updating pricing for products, services, or resources can be tricky when exchange rates change nearly all the time. 
  • Localization (43%): Along with taking cultural differences and geographical trends into account when creating content, brands going global need to have a localization strategy to ensure their content is readable, searchable, and discoverable in different languages, which can cost a great deal of time and money. 

Why It’s a Challenge

Building or maintaining an international marketing strategy can be a big challenge not only when figuring out the best ways to target and market to different regions, but it can also be hard to organize and optimize your site so it can be easily navigated in different countries.

What Can You Do?

Download our free ebook, The Global Marketing Playbook. There are some really helpful tips in there that’ll help give you some direction on global marketing, including how to identify your top three growth markets, how to explore local trends, and tips on choosing the best localization providers.

Additionally, when marketing to a new region, the most common tactic marketers use is to shift their product offering.

Remember, your website visitors might speak a plethora of different languages and live in totally different time zones.

To make your content appealing to a wide audience, you’ll need to keep your global visitors top-of-mind when creating all your content. This means being aware of seasonal references, translating units of measure and monetary references, and giving translators the tools and permissions to customize and adapt content for a specific audience when they need to.

When in doubt, solve for local or cultural challenges by hiring locally. With a newly hybrid workforce, physical location is no longer a limit to who you can hire. 

Finally, be sure you’re optimizing your website for international visitors, too. For more SEO-related tips and resources on global marketing expansion, take a look at How SEO is Different Around the World, According to HubSpot Content Strategists.

7. Hiring Top Talent

As we mentioned above, 21% of marketers expect hiring top talent to be their biggest challenge in 2022. And, we’re not too surprised. Hiring talent with a great track record takes time, effort, and money — which many marketing teams do not have. 

While hiring is a challenge marketing teams have faced throughout the past five years or so, concerns are continuing to grow even more with news of worker shortage and recruiters competing for applicants that have chosen to shift roles following the global pandemic. 

Why It’s a Challenge

Many companies are shifting more resources to inbound marketing, which means higher and higher demand for top marketing talent. But supply simply isn’t keeping up. From sourcing the right candidates to evaluating for the right skills, finding the perfect person could take months … or more.

What’s more, the type of marketing talent companies are looking for is changing, too. According to a report from LinkedIn, employers are seeking marketers with soft creative skill sets as well as hard technical skills. And the quick rate at which the demand for these jobs are rising has caused a marketing skills gap, “making it difficult to find candidates with the technical, creative, and business proficiencies needed to succeed in digital marketing.”

What Can You Do?

Stefanie Grieser, co-founder of Shine Bootcamp, a professional speaker accelerator for women, understands the challenge of hiring top talent.

She told me, “When I talk to high-growth companies or marketing agencies (and the marketers running those teams), I’ve found that hiring not only top talent, but diverse top talent is extremely challenging. In fact, I was just having a conversation with an agency owner who hires SEO and paid marketers, and he told me, ‘Hiring is still the biggest challenge we face.'”

In 2022, hiring talent can be incredibly difficult — particularly as more companies become competitive with 4-day work weeks, transparent salaries on job descriptions, and the adoption of remote work, which enables companies to hire anywhere.

Fortunately, Grieser provided me with a few tips for employers to stand out from the crowd. She told me, “My suggestion here is for marketers to invest heavily in their employer brand for the long-term. Just like you need to market your product, you also need to dedicate resources, time and energy into marketing your company as an employer.”

biggest marketing challenges 2021 is hiring top talentGrieser adds, “I would suggest Diversity Tech Co, Tech Ladies, and Girlboss as go-to resources to post jobs. These organizations are run by incredible individuals who really care about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality. I’m also seeing niche communities and job boards pop up. For marketers specifically, I would post your open roles here: Dave Gerhardt Marketing Group, Hey Marketers, and Superpath (which is focused on content marketers specifically).”

While it might seem random to discuss employer branding in a post about marketing challenges, it isn’t — since it’s often the marketing team that cultivates a strong employer brand.

As Grieser points out, “Airbnb has an Engineering and Data Science blog, Intercom has an Instagram dedicated to their design team, and Dooly posts short, LinkedIn posts (see an example here) interviewing their fun team with a few fun hashtags #doolydreamteam and #meetadooligan.”

“Guess who leads this initiative? The marketing team. Think about how you and your team can showcase your work and your team’s work. I won’t try to assume that employer brand falls solely in your court, but as a marketer, you have natural skills that will lend themselves to marketing the company as whole.”

LinkedIn data shows that the number one reason candidates will consider or accept a job is career growth. This means that job listings and a company culture that offers employees a plan for growth will see the most interest from talent.

Other Common Challenges

While our survey identified the biggest challenges in marketing, teams are still facing dozens of other challenges that are worth mentioning, but weren’t ranked as a top concern. Here are just a few:

Content Marketing Challenges

The content marketing world is vast and full of different strategies. And, each major tactic comes with its own challenge. 

For example, if you’re a blogger or video creator, SEO and ranking on Google will likely be one of the biggest hurtles and opportunities your team will face because both blogs and videos are always competing for the covered first-page of search results on Google.

Meanwhile, if you focus on multimedia, such as videos, podcasts, or design, views, view-time, and shareability could be key to nurturing a lead. And, as many marketers struggle with demonstrating ROI — your efforts will be no different. While bloggers could include a form, purchasing link, or landding page URL in their posts which are easier to track, you won’t always be able to easily determine the ROI of content that doesn’t allow URL embedding in it. 

As a content marketer, it’s important to determine which goals are most important to your team and company’s growth and focus first on the challenges that will hinder reaching them. 

Email Marketing Challenges

Over the last year, email marketers have run into all sorts of challenges, such as pandemic-related low engagement and Apple iOS 15‘s privacy protection policy impacting open tracking and open-rate based strategies. 

But, by far, the biggest challenge email marketers will probably always face is gaining and retaining subscribers. In fact, our research found that 19% of marketers see email and social media list growth being a top challenge throughout the year. 

If you identify with our participants, check out this post with more data on why consumers subscribe and unsubscribe from email. 

Affiliate Marketing Challenges

Sometimes, spreading the word requires the help of partners (or affiliates). These could including other companies willing to feature your brand on their site, thought leaders or influencers who will share links to your products and even happy customers who will spread the word in order to get a reward. This is why affiliate marketing has grown much more popular over the years. 

However, despite its popularity, affiliate marketing takes work. To launch a campaign, you’ll need a clear message, process, a commission budget for your partners, and — oh yeah — affiliates who will help you reach your goals. To learn more about how to execute successful and effective affiliate marketing, read this guide

Some of these challenges aren’t new.

If you’re a marketer who sees the same challenge year-over-year, it might be a barrier worth putting on your radar. However, some challenges can be industry-wide. Year-over-year challenges across the industry are incredibly important to note, regardless of whether they impact you or not.

Why? These challenges might not just be something you’re facing, but could also be faced by your competitors. If you can figure out how to navigate a reoccurring industry challenge effectively, you could have a leg up against the competition. 

With that said, let’s look back at some of the data we gained las year, 

In 2021, I surveyed over 120 marketers on our HubSpot Marketing Blog subscriber list to gauge the biggest challenges affecting the industry. Here’s a quick graph highlighting what they said. 

biggest challenges for marketers 2021By far, “Generating traffic and leads” was marked by nearly half as the biggest challenge marketers are facing this year. 

This challenge was followed by 21% who said “providing ROI for your marketing activities” was their biggest challenge. 

“Delivering an account-based marketing strategy” (8%), “securing enough budget” (6%), and “managing your website” (5%) were the other three notable challenges marketers feel they’re facing in 2021. 

It’s important to note, a few other marketers marked “targeting content for an international audience”, “training your team”, and “hiring top talent” as their top challenge … but these three challenges were marked by less than 3% of the respondent pool, so they’re less statistically significant. 

Identifying Your Marketing Challenges

A thorough analysis of your marketing strategy and its current performance will help you discover where your biggest marketing opportunity lies. This will allow you to focus on improving the areas that need the most attention, so you can start making your marketing far more effective.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated annually to include new, exclusive HubSpot data and expert insights. 

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MARKETING

Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

1716522964 432 Top 3 Strategies for Success

In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

1716522964 713 Top 3 Strategies for Success

If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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