The 2022 Digital Marketing Trends You’ll Run Into

In today’s digital era, online marketing has become crucial for businesses. People can browse articles, email friends, and search for information on the web, so sharing content and interacting with the content is a large part of digital marketing.

With today’s technology, so much is possible. From SEO to email marketing, successful digital marketing strategies aren’t just something that should be read or heard; they should be seen, felt and experienced.

Here are some emerging digital marketing trends that may be useful to your campaign:

1.  The Use of AI and Automation

Automation has changed the way many websites are designed. People can now schedule posts, send emails and update social media accounts without human interaction. Through automation, businesses can build trust, create leads and retain customers without worrying about the time investment or human error.

On the other hand, the use of AI is becoming more advanced, making it an essential aspect of digital marketing. AI can help you to market better by providing you with information and data that can be used to improve your SEO and reputation management, among other aspects.

2.  Storytelling in the Digital Landscape

People keep scrolling down their Facebook or Instagram feed and are exposed to a variety of posts from brands that they love. However, most of them don’t even see the post. The reason? Too much clutter. Brands are constantly creating content that is not relevant and doesn’t target the right users.

Brands should focus on the three key elements of a story to create the perfect story instead of just publishing content. The three key elements are characters, plot and perspective.

3.  Influencer Marketing Getting Stronger

Influencer marketing is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Companies can to hire influencers to promote their products to their followers. This allows them to reach their desired audience and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Influencer marketing is growing fast, and companies are finding it hard to choose the right influencers. The influence score has been introduced as a way to measure an influencer’s social following and the quality of their content.

4.  Shorter Videos

YouTube and other platforms have made it possible for brands to create videos that are shorter than 15 seconds. These videos are called micro-videos, and they have gained popularity in the last few years because they are quick and easy to produce.

They are similar to the old-fashioned GIF, but they are better because they are more attractive to viewers. While they may appear to be a bit strange at first, they are actually good for brands since they will help connect with audiences faster.

Conclusion

As the digital landscape is constantly changing, the way brands market themselves is also changing. New trends are popping up all the time, so it is necessary for you to follow the right digital marketing trends to keep your customers engaged and coming back to your website.

This is why you need to work with the best if you want to achieve success for your business.

Get the results you want from your digital campaign, with the help of a digital marketing agency in Calgary. We’ll help you come with a clear strategy that will help you reach your goals.

Connect with us, and cut through the noise!

Essential Digital Marketing KPIs To Track In Your Next Campaign

article

Nowadays, there are more metrics than ever that marketers can use to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns or broader marketing efforts. Choosing the right digital marketing KPIs, then, is a critical first step in terms of measuring the return on investment of your various marketing efforts. From SEO to bounce rate, customer lifetime value, marketing ROI, customer acquisition cost, click-through rate (CTR), and many more, we asked several of our key partners and experts in various marketing activities to offer their thoughts on the essential key performance indicators for your digital marketing in 2022 and beyond.

Importance Of Choosing The Right KPIs For Your Marketing Goals

Our panel consisted of experts from several fields, including marketing strategy, social media, PPC, SEO, email marketing, and numerous other digital marketing categories. And most of them started their KPI advice for 2022 (and many years to come) by pointing out the importance of setting goals for your digital marketing metrics before you began measuring and analyzing the results. 

“One of the most important things to consider when tracking and measuring KPIs is how clear goals and objectives are to the entire process. Without a clear sense of what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to properly interpret the data. And KPIs should be used in conjunction with other data points to get a complete picture of your marketing efforts.” – Natalia Osorio Quintero, Digital Marketer at NataliaOQ

There can be as many KPIs and metrics as there are types of marketing collateral and outlets. If lead generation is your goal, for example, there may be different measures that help paint a clear picture of your campaign success than those you’d use if retention rate or brand awareness is the goal. Regardless of the specific goals, you have for your marketing investment, clearly establishing your goals will often dictate the right mix of KPIs and measures of success. 

“A business can’t accurately assess whether a marketing investment was viable or wise if there isn’t an observable benchmark for what kind of dent the campaign made for them. The right KPIs, collaboratively established during discovery, quickly and succinctly give business owners a clearer picture of the campaign so they can observe growth, then scale or pivot if things aren’t converting as they want.”

– Max Zoghbi, Founder & Creative Director at Loupe Theory

“Campaign success, while generally subjective, is based on whether or not a brand can meet or exceed its goals. KPIs are put in place to measure progress, hence the term. They’re meant to be adjusted over time.”

– Ceara Milligan, Social Media Manager at STIR Advertising and Integrated Messaging

And while your organization may tweak the important digital marketing KPIs that you set for your campaign, the types of campaigns you plan to run will help you narrow down the list of important metrics that matter. 

“It depends on the type of campaign you are running. For search engine optimization campaigns, it is important to measure the site health, organic keywords, organic keyword position, organic traffic, keyword ranking position, and so on. For ads, you want to know the impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per conversion. And these are just two examples of how different KPIs vary depending on your campaign type.”

– Masha Kaprian, Principal at iMedPages, LLC

While different types of campaigns and marketing channels can have different goals, businesses still need to drive revenue. And measuring digital marketing KPIs for any kind of campaign will tell you exactly what’s working, what isn’t, and where you can make changes that strengthen your campaign.

“Even if the main goal of a campaign is not sales or conversions, the ultimate goal of any business is to make enough money. The ad can be beautiful, the landing page can be breathtaking, and the copy can be engaging, but if new customers and established customers are not taking the action you want them to take, the campaign is not generating the results you need.”

– Blake Nolan, Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Storm Brain

“Everything can be measured, whether it be phone calls, emails, form fills, account signups, app downloads, product sales, and cart abandonment. But many businesses and agencies are only reporting on total-number site metrics such as time on site, page views, new users, and so on. Proper conversion mapping will not only showcase real-time results (including customer engagement and sales), it will also show lost revenue opportunities and areas where conversion rate can be improved.”

–  Dave Taylor, Cofounder of In Front Marketing  

In addition, measuring your digital marketing campaign goals is important not because it will point out failings, but because they tell you about the opportunities that exist and ways that you can improve performance. 

“KPIs should come with goals that you want to reach. That will ultimately tell you whether or not your campaign is a success. But if you do not meet your goals, that does not mean your campaign is a total failure. Rather, it shows that you have an opportunity to continue to improve your campaigns, so next time you run a campaign you know to make small tweaks that can lead to incremental improvements.” –

Nick Mattar, Founder, and CEO at Digital Detroit LLC 

Specific Digital Marketing KPIs And Metrics To Consider In Your Marketing Campaigns

As you can see, our experts agreed that goals will play a huge factor in determining which KPIs matter the most. Just like your digital marketing strategy overall, choosing the right measures of success requires spending some time evaluating what your metrics for achievement are. From there, however, many of the panelists and marketing experts did have specific recommendations for the key marketing metrics and measures to consider for your current and upcoming campaigns. 

“Start with Customer Lifetime Value. CLV will dictate which prospects you should be focusing your campaigns on. From there you can move on to tactical KPI metrics, such as Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CLV is key guidance in regards to determining who your campaigns should be targeting, while RoAS and CPA will empower you to judge the effectiveness of the campaigns.” – Alonzo Foreman, SVP of Marketing at OppGen Marketing      

Measuring the effectiveness of channels was a key takeaway from our conversations with marketing leaders and digital experts, as it fed into several other metrics and it can help determine the best places to increase or decrease spending. 

“Two metrics that help determine which channels are most effective are ROAS (return on ad spend) and CAC (cost of acquiring a customer). These metrics help us determine the LTV, or lifetime value, of a customer. Since we know how much it costs to acquire them, we can measure that against the average life of a customer or how much a customer spends with us. This helps us know how profitable each channel is.” –  Nicole Denson, Marketing Manager at Big Leap

Just as was the case with our discussion of goals above, your KPIs are very dependent on what you want your campaign to achieve, and what you consider to be a measure of success. Ecommerce campaigns will undoubtedly call for different metrics than a brand awareness campaign, for example. 

“From an SEO firm’s perspective, two primary KPIs to track in a digital marketing campaign include search engine keyword rankings and organic website traffic. If a company is executing a sound on-page optimization strategy, complete with value-add SEO tags that align with relevant industry terms and detailed, long-form content on landing pages, these factors can help improve search engine rankings.” – Asad Kausar, CEO at Dabaran Inc.                 

“I think that link CTR, CPA, and CPM are three of the most critical metrics to track in all digital campaigns. Your link CTR is the gauge that allows you to truly see if your creativity and messaging align with your market. Your cost per acquisition will help you determine if your campaigns are profitable and worth running depending on what a client is worth to you. Finally, your CPMs can help dictate if you have a fair bid in your advertising campaigns.” – Ashley Monk, CEO of Onya

With many different options and different places to start, the metrics you choose to track most closely may shift and change as you continue to develop and implement new campaigns. But certain measures provide anyone with a solid assessment of how your marketing campaign is impacting your business goals. 

“Total revenue and average conversion rate can act as the anchor of your marketing initiatives. When doing A/B testing, a simple comparison of these macro metrics will spotlight which campaigns performed better overall. It’s essential to track, define your goals, and build them out in your preferred analytics system.” – Edan Ben-Atar, Founder of WebLime

“Website traffic and lead-to-visitor conversion rates are two of the most important KPIs for digital marketing campaigns. It’s important to have a healthy mix of new and returning site visitors, as well as to make sure that the traffic we are driving is relevant traffic based on search intent and keyword targeting. And while website traffic on its own is a great metric, it only tells half the story. If you are seeing an increase in site visits but not an increase in conversions, this could mean that some adjustments need to be made.” – Ashley Ismailovski, CRO & Operations Manager at SmartSites

“My top nine most important and most essential KPIs that every digital marketer should use to measure the success of their campaigns are: Web Traffic Sources; Leads; Page Views; Cost per Lead; Returning Users; Conversion; Goal Completion Rate; Click-Through Rate; and Customer Acquisition Cost.” – Joe Smith, SEO Expert at Market Media Connect

Some of the most valuable metrics for your campaign may not be strictly numerical, too. There are some insights that you may not get from Google Analytics, but which are incredibly important for helping you see how well your marketing budget is being put to use. 

“Lead sources. You should investigate the source of your sales. This is one of the most crucial marketing KPIs for your company’s long-term success. If all of your leads originate from one source, a server outage or a store closing could be disastrous for your business. Diversifying your lead sources now may help secure your business in the future.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy

“Qualified website traffic (or qualified leads) is always a primary KPI for any online campaign. This metric measures the number of website visitors (and potential customers) that result from your marketing efforts. By tracking website traffic, you can gauge the overall reach of your campaign and compare it with other marketing initiatives.” – Andre Kay, CEO at Sociallybuzz

And the quality of your leads, if that’s one of the metrics you choose, is even more informative than the raw number of people who found your site or the number of leads your form generated.

“Consider Profit Per Action rather than cost per action. Cheap leads are not guaranteed good leads. To assess the performance of a campaign, we should be looking at how much profit the campaign is bringing in, instead of focusing on the raw number of leads.” – Justin Chan, Senior Business Developer at Coding Bull Web Redesign Agency

“When looking at conversion rate, it is helpful to look at how many actions were real leads and not just bots or spammers. We look at where traffic is coming from, which pages they are taking action on, and what types of action are most often taken (e.g. phone calls, contact form submissions, email sign-up, etc.).” – Charity Maddox, Owner of Carve Digital Marketing

Finding Out How Your

Campaign Measures Up

Whether you’re launching an organic search effort, upping your content marketing game, or simply ramping up your social media efforts, the bottom line is that you need to be able to see your marketing performance in terms of what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust with that information in hand. Our experts here have provided some great examples of key metrics and KPIs for you to begin your planning and strategy with, but this is only the beginning. Whether you need help with an inbound marketing campaign, lead conversion, or any other digital marketing and analysis project, our group of expert digital marketing partners is available to help you make the most of your marketing spend and see the results.

Building Functional Ads

Getting the most from creative services in ad design.

Have you looked at the price of a good creative agency lately? One that gets you great ads on time, works normal business hours and isn’t your niece’s best friend who’s getting an art diploma?

It’s not cheap.

Shocked Homer Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

via GIPHY

As a result, many small to medium businesses blow most of their budget on work by big creative agencies. This leaves little money to spend on getting the ad where it actually needs to go: in front of the right audience. Then, when their big, expensive ad underperforms, they are unsure where they went wrong.

Untangling creative

The problem with creative isn’t that it’s too expensive – the time and effort a good design firm will invest into a re-brand or an advertisement is huge.

The problem is that creative occupies a strange space in advertising.

In effect, creative design is both the bones of every ad, as well as its style. If you look at an advertisement as a pyramid, with the foundational aspects at the bottom and the ‘nice to have’ aspects at the top, it would look as follows:

  • Messaging is the foundation of your ad; the idea you’re trying to communicate.
  • Ad creation builds a piece of advertising around your message.
  • Medium/Traffic is placing that ad in front of the right audience.
  • Branding/Creative ensures your ad is performing to its top potential.

The first three levels of the pyramid are integral: you need a message, an ad and an audience. However, that top-tier Branding/Creative isn’t. When you have the budget for high-level creative, the cost is worth it. However, for those who don’t have the budget, that big, initial spend makes advertising prohibitively expensive.

The key for businesses with constrained ad budgets is to balance ad spend across the foundational aspects of an ad – and that means avoiding big ticket creative design.

Creating A More Functional Ad

To help these businesses, IFM offers in-house ad design to support our traffic/medium services. To make sure our ads perform how they should, we follow a few data-derived insights we’ve found to be incredibly powerful.

Our ad creation process:

K.I.S.S. (or Keep It Simple Stupid)

Less is more. This isn’t just a design concept for us – it’s backed by real numbers, and proven through constant iteration and refining over years of ad creation. Over and over, we’ve seen ridiculously simple ads out-perform complex, overly-designed ones.

Good messaging lasts

No matter how great your ad design is, it will fall flat without a cogent message. Good messaging is foundational, and will ensure even the most mundane ads stick with your audience. Whether you need all new messaging, or need to simplify an idea, we can help refine what you want to communicate to your audience.

Branding vs calls to action

Branding ensures the recognizability of your ads, so you can create a relationship with your customers. A call to action compels viewers to move to the next step, i.e., pursuing that relationship, and working with you. By balancing your ads with consistent branding and CTAs, your ad will be more effective.

Partnering with freelance creatives

While that high-level design isn’t essential to the success of your ad, good design and good designers are. We’ve cultivated relationships with some of the best, most dependable creatives, helping to both keep costs down, and ensure quality work for our clients. 

Balancing your ad budget 

For any business dealing with a constrained ad budget, it’s important to strike a balance between ad creation and media buying. Paying big design firms big money just to create an ad doesn’t make sense if it hampers your ability to get your ad out there, in front of your ideal audience. 

There are tons of options out there (like yours truly) who can work with you to get the most out of your ad budget, giving you functional ads with powerful messaging – and featured in the right space: where your potential customers are watching.

So what are you waiting for? Reach out and let’s talk.
Contact Us Today

IFM’s Top 100 Magazine Feature

We’re excited to announce we’ve been featured in the Top 100 Magazine in both The Top 100 Canadian Professionals and The Top 40 Under 40.

We first learned about this months ago but had to keep our lips sealed and wait for the actual magazine to come out. For those who’ve dealt with print magazines, you know this takes a long time – especially for someone used to instantaneous digital ads.

It’s been tough, but finally, we can tell everyone.

This is a great honour for us, and we’re so happy that taking the leap from employee to self-employed to push for a change in the industry has led to this.

From the ground floor to Top 100 in 5 years.

Since we started In Front Marketing in 2015, we knew we wanted to do things differently in the advertising arena. But, we never anticipated the success we’ve seen.

IFM started out as a way for both of us (Dave and John) to do advertising right. After working in the industry for years, we knew the then-current method of asking for money in exchange for a handful of promises and more ‘impressions’ wasn’t going to cut it.

With technology always advancing to gather more information, and our clients pushing for more from their ad-spend, we knew it was time to change. But the corporation didn’t.

That’s why we walked away.

That was a big step. The opportunity was there, but there were no guarantees for success.

Now, just five(ish) years later, we’ve been able to create change in our industry by focusing on data and the return on investment for every campaign and every client. As we’ve gained momentum, we’ve gone from self-employed to employers. This has been an exciting time as we grow to meet the needs of our customers and offer a great place for others with the same drive for excellence to work.

This honour is further vindication for those two guys (that’s us) who stepped out to make a change.

The prestige of the Top 100 Magazine

Read in over 30 countries, Top 100 Magazine publishes a range of career-specific content, highlighting industry leaders, academic institutions, Fortune 500 companies, private and public businesses, and social media influencers.

Those featured in the magazine are chosen through nominations or through proprietary software that searches social media, blog posts, peer reviews and Google indices. 

After the first round of nominations, the magazine’s R&D department manually analyzes each candidate to choose the businesses and individuals that will ultimately be featured.

With over 400,000 readers online and another 20,000 in print, this puts IFM, and our unique digital advertising approach, in front (sorry, couldn’t resist) of hundreds of thousands of people, including C-level executives, attorneys, doctors, entrepreneurs and academics.

We’re so excited at the chance to introduce our data-driven approach to new clients across the world.

Thanks for celebrating with us!

Social Advertising Adds Value to Your Organic Reach!

Almost every business owner at some point will close their Instagram app as angrily as one can close an app and call the whole d*mned thing useless.

It’s impossible to get followers.

Even when you get followers most of them don’t see your posts.

And, even when they see your posts, they don’t convert.

However, just because you’ve hit these walls in the past doesn’t mean social media can’t work for you indefinitely.

Start with a strategy

Without a cohesive marketing plan, posting on social media is a bit like yelling into the void.

But with a proper plan, you can utilize both organic posts and paid advertisements on social media to work for you.

Last month we looked at the importance of organic social media, so this week we’re covering how paid advertising plays a unique role that’s equally critical for your business.

“It’s one of the easiest ways to generate a direct return on your investment through an advertising platform,” John, our ad guru, said.

The unreal reach of social media

Social media has an almost unfathomable reach in our current culture.

If you combine the US and Canada, there are less than 150 million television viewers – and that audience is chopped up among hundreds of channels and costs thousands to access.

Those numbers don’t come close to the behemoth of Facebook, which has 2.7 billion active users that can be accessed at almost any budget.

“On social media, the potential for your audience is nearly limitless,” John said, “but, your budget isn’t.”

While you can start to access that immense reach with even simple organic posts, the days of finding a huge following using strictly organic posts are gone.

Today, there’s too much noise.

You’ve got to pay to play

Social networks aren’t designed to let you cut through all that distracting noise made by those billions of users organically. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever social network pops up next, they all cater to the pay to play crowd.

It used to be, if you posted at just the right time, when people were typically on their phones and scrolling their chosen social media – you would pop up.

But, posts aren’t dictated by timing anymore. That serendipity has been replaced by an algorithm that no one can predict – an algorithm that’s not there to serve your posts to your people, but to make the social media giant money.

So, they only deliver your message to those who want to see it.

“Facebook is only serving organic stuff to your highly engaged, participating user or follower,” John said. “But, with paid you’re going to hit people based on your specific targeting.”

So, if you want to find new audiences to fill the top of your funnel and introduce your brand to people who have never heard of or interacted with you (or haven’t interacted much) to drive traffic to take action, you’re going to need to pay.

A great spot to dip your toes

While organic social isn’t the place to go to grow your audience from zero, paid social advertising is.

“It’s one of the best places to start advertising,” John said.

With all the information social platforms have on their users, it’s incredibly easy to find the audience you want on almost any social platform. So, if you know your audience, which is critical for any successful campaign, you can make sure you’re talking to them whether they follow you or not.

And, best of all, you can do this no matter your budget. You can start with a meager $500/month and carefully track your success. When you nail down your advertising and start seeing a positive return on advertising spend (ROAS), then you can start to ramp up your investment.

Paid plays well with others

Though paid social advertising is a great place to start, it’s very rarely where you want to keep all your proverbial eggs.

The truth is, your audience is constantly switching between search, websites and social, and advertising is more effective when it follows users across all three. And, the good news is, paid social works really well in tandem with other advertising.

“Social is nimble – it can be a primary part of your ad campaign, or just a reinforcement of your total campaign,” John said.

Now, this is when advertising tends to get a little more tricky, as simply adding more dollars to your ad spend won’t create a cohesive campaign. But, with the right key performance indicators (KPIs), an understanding of which platform is the best primary for your product, and a tight focus on the right audience, you can really start to fuel your campaigns.

The future is murky

We touched on the death of the pixel in an earlier article. If you haven’t read it already, we highly recommend it, because it will be one of the biggest changes in online advertising since the pixel first appeared.

And, it’s going to have a major effect on paid social.

“The targeting and the impressions and the reach is still going to be there,” John said, “but we’re losing a lot of the functionality in terms of some of the tracking and the results of the analytics – for now”

Facebook has a plan to deal with this loss of granular data, but they’re not revealing what it is, or how it will work.

So, for those doing their own advertising campaigns currently, that means the ROAs of social advertising is going to get a little more hazy.

The IFM Advantage

The key to making your social media campaigns truly perform is to use an advertising partner who understands how to create clarity in ad planning and execution – especially as the tremors from the death of the pixel shake up the social world. Then, together you can maximize your ROAS on a social platform.

At In Front Marketing, we work with you to give you transparent results that allow you to make the best decision for your business.

We help you find the right audience, the right platform, then work with you to spread your advertising dollars through search, organic and paid social media advertising to create the most effective advertising campaign – and the greatest return for your advertising budget.

Welcome Tarila to the IFM Team!

Tarila Uti

Our social media maven, Tarila works with brands and companies to grow and monetize their social media presence. She approaches social media management from a dual perspective: one part marketing and one part business. This allows her to create sharper, well-rounded content for each campaign. When paired with her flair for building stunning visuals, she’s got a solid recipe for conversion. 

Tarila’s natural skill for engaging audiences extends well beyond the initial job. Her dedication to a job well-done makes continued growth of these ongoing relationships possible, and for that, we’re grateful, and lucky to have her.

Before joining us, Tarila managed social media streams for a variety of companies across industries. After joining IFM, she fell in love with the workplace culture and all the ‘perks’.

“It’s a fun, collaborative environment to work and also we have great coffee :)”

When Tarila’s not here working and drinking coffee, she is somewhere outdoors, capturing images and enjoying nature to its fullest.

Experience  

  • 5 years managing social media 
  • Worked in 12 different industries
  • 7 years of photography experience
  • Has over 2 years of video editing experience

Specialties: content marketing, graphic design, new media, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram