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Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2022

trend: /trend/ “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.”

While consistency is always important, being consistent also means incorporating change. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s new and useful toward your marketing efforts is key to growing your reach and your new converting customers. Let’s break it down to some pivotal elements for success.

  1. A/B Web Testing with SEO

Trends wouldn’t be trends without testing – this is a way to truly understand your audience and their subtle changes. Although A/B testing is traditionally used as a tactic toward paid advertising, a brand can also utilize A/B testing for organic reach and search traffic to the site. A low-cost tactic; identify the blog post or page that drives the most traffic and run some A/B tests. Track conversion, duration, and bounce rates to optimize your site. 

Check out how we were able to help in our partnership with Pair of Thieves to optimize their site and improve their SEO.

scrolling .gif of Pair of Thieves
  1. Motion Graphics and Video

With a reported 8-second average attention span in 2021, grabbing a user’s focus quickly and efficiently is more important than ever. And, with fast moving apps like TikTok, the average attention span is sure to shrink even further. So, how do you compete in this high speed highway of content? Try motion graphics and video content. This can be as simple as switching out a .jpg with a .gif, or creating full-blown videos for social posts and ads as they are proven to be more effective. Leverage and strategize the effectiveness of channels such as TikTok and Instagram Reels. Try different approaches to stop-the-scroll within the first 5 seconds of your content. Of course, as in all things marketing, keep brand authenticity at the forefront.

Pro Tip: Make sure all video content includes captions. This promotes inclusive usability and allows the user to enjoy your content in spaces where having sound on is not possible or preferable. This can also increase conversion rates.

  1. Mobile Optimization

With the marketing world becoming even more fast paced, on-the-go convenience will be vital to a brands success. In fact, we know that in 2020, about half of global website traffic came from mobile devices. Having the ability to purchase, navigate, and otherwise interact with your site is pivotal as millennials and Gen Z increase their buying power. Always check how the output of your content interacts on mobile devices, and with different mobile devices, ensuring the user’s journey is reflective of a more fast-paced and cross-channel user for the following key elements:

  • Ensure products are explained with the least amount of clicks. Include FAQs about the product, reviews, and images that can be zoomed in on a mobile device.
  • Consider additional customer service options. Be sure to give users many options if they have questions about your product or service – via email, phone, or live chat.
  • Make the payment process as easy as possible. This can be done by allowing the user to create an account and save their credit card information for easy check-out in the future, to allowing alternative payment options such as ApplePay or GooglePay. But, keep the fillable forms as short as possible so you do not lose the users interest or attention. In this independent study, creating payment options resulted in a 101% increase in conversions.

Pro Tip: Do a double-check on your email content, as well, to make sure it is optimized for mobile.

Example of a websites view on mobile
  1. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Often overlooked, and with minimal effort on the brand’s part, is cultivating brand loyalty through UGC. This is a direct way for users to feel like they have a voice, are valued, and increases word-of-mouth awareness. User-generated content can incentivize influencer and partnership programs, as a clearer channel toward customer reviews and feedback. Incorporating UGC into your marketing channels is cost effective, and takes a bite of content-creation off your Social Media Manager’s plate. Shopify offers a UGC app to make this easier such as Cevoid or even Shoppable Instagram & UGC.

Another tactic here is to make sure you give back to the community, especially the users helping through UGC. This could be in the form of a promo code for them and to share with friends, free product for their review, or feature them in a sweepstakes to build followers mutually.

Example of UGC from gopro

Featuring these users as Brand Ambassadors gives them a VIP feeling, and creates a partnership between them and your brand. But, don’t stop there. Reach out to your team, and empower employees to advocate for your brand. Word-of-mouth is statistically proven to be one of the most effective forms of lead-to-customer conversion, so take every opportunity to promote real-life interactions with your product.

  1. Personalization

Especially in times of bulk discounts or times where KPIs need to be met, personalizing your content output can get lost in the fray. A few ways to tighten the scope:

Identify buyer personas

How can you create content without knowing who the audience is? See how granular you can make the buyer personas. Find stock images, write out what their hobbies are, if they consume content on a Mac, PC, or mobile (and, if so, what type of mobile?), what music they listen to, what they do after a long week, etc. Writing content toward a specific audience will evoke a more emotional response and keep them engaged.

Email segmenting

Keeping a good email database is like keeping a carefully pruned bonsai. It takes careful attention and pruning to ensure that the overall channel is healthy and growing. Segmenting your email list by data points identified in your personas and customizing those emails and promotions toward the consumer increases open rates, click-through-rate (CTR), and ultimately conversions. 

Think of the consumer’s journey

From usability to personalization, keep trying to think of each personas experience as they navigate through the journey you’ve built for them. If a user converts from an email, how is their journey different from a user converting from word-of-mouth? From a social media post? From digital paid advertising? Even, from traditional physical advertising? Then, how does that user journey change over time after they are now a converting customer? Taking a look at the Human Design of each user’s path toward the main road of your core customer is key to maintaining and measuring a user’s customer lifetime value (CLV).

Infographic of success

Listen to your audience, provide opportunities for them to express their feedback, and try for those subtle changes to your interface. Interested in talking more about how we can help you on optimizing your user experience? Drop us a line.

Your Need-to-Know for Shopify Online Store 2.0

What’s new in 2.0, and should your brand upgrade now?

The summer of 2021 saw some significant changes from Shopify with the launch of Online Store 2.0. As a partner that is ever-listening to their customers, and optimizing their service, this upgrade offers streamlined solutions for developers and merchants alike.

But, when has anyone ever accepted transition without a modicum of hesitation? We’re here with our expertise and services to help. Let’s dive into some of the major updates.

  • Themes and Editor Update

On earlier versions of the online store, we were limited in the number of blocks we could include in the store, with a wide range of templates for products. Now, usability is improved with adding sections to each page (not just the home page). As opposed to needing Liquid code for templates, we can now use templates with JSON files to get even more granular with the UI both frontend and backend. With the updates to the app extension and app blocks, apps can also integrate with the themes for greater consistency across multiple themes. This means a development team can greatly improve the site for faster and easier functionality.

Before 2.0, the only fully customizable drag-and-drop sections was the homepage. Now, you can get  all that flexibility on every page of the site; no hacky duplications or workarounds with blocks to mimic the homepage sections. - Bree Therkildsen, Lead Developer at Ambaum
  • Metafields

Although integration to external apps is easier, Shopify’s Online Store 2.0 has implemented user-friendly metafields that can be edited directly from the admin view, making those apps or special urls obsolete. This is a major change, as the merchant is now able to modify metafields, as well as add content to product pages (i.e. lists and size charts). This update makes metafields more flexible and simpler for developers to keep the UI for merchants clean across market verticals.

supporting screenshot showcasing the new metafields

The metafields can simply be linked on the frontend through a field already in a section’s settings so now supported PDF files and images can be directly integrated without needing to hard code into the theme. Last, the theme editor now showcases a side view, with movable sections to allow frontend arrangement of those sections. 

  • Developer Tools

Previously development teams needed to create complex systems in order to deploy updates. Now, the Shopify GitHub integration provides streamlined use of the Shopify CLI tool and theme check for a more direct experience on deploying changes. 

supporting image showcasing the Shopify GitHub integration.

Another fantastic update is the functionality to scan the theme for errors with Theme Check. This scan highlights the possible errors of the platform and Liquid language, providing best practices before implementing. These tools enable developers to test their work, improving overall processes in Sandbox. The Shopify GetHub integration into the themes allows the developer greater collaboration in deployment before pushing updates live, with the new CLI tool giving developers a more exact view of the final customizations.

  • Do I need to update now?

At this moment, Shopify does not plan on disintegrating any older versions, but the advancements in the Online Store 2.0 deployment are hard to deny. In some examples of the clients we helped migrate, we saw a significant jump in pagespeed. Previously, even the most optimized Shopify stores would score in the mid 50’s, but our clients are now seeing 98 – 100 Google pagespeed scores with the switch to Shopify Online Store 2.0.

Example of one of our current clients on Shopify 2.0.

With the Online Store 2.0, new and expansive opportunities are available for developers and merchants alike, making the Shopify experience easier than ever before. Having more extensive sections means we’re able to reuse templates rather than repeatingly building out new ones, and simple content updates no longer require lengthy development recycles. 
Shopify has detailed the process of migrating to Online Store 2.0, and we’d love to help. Questions? Drop us a line.