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4 New Ways to Connect with Customers in 2022

A new year is on the horizon! There’s no better time to think about getting a fresh start or exploring new ideas on behalf of your business. A new year is a great time to reexamine your goals and strategies to see where you can make improvements.  With evolving technology and shifting customer expectations there is no better time to give your strategies a boost. If you’re looking for new ways to connect with your customers in the coming year, check out our top ideas.

Augmented Reality and Interactive Print

New technology is making it far more attainable to take print beyond just the printed page. Augmented reality (AR) refers to the overlay of digital elements atop the real world — typically experienced via a smartphone screen. This technology offers the opportunity for a fun and engaging experience that adds another dimension to your branding. It also allows you to curate an immersive brand experience anywhere, at any time. The pandemic gave a breath of new life to QR Codes after a brief period of novelty in the early 2010's. Roaring back into mainstream use as businesses scrambled for more sanitary alternatives to high-touch print materials like menus. Now, businesses are exploring more unique ways to use QR codes and other forms of augmented reality. One way we like to use QR Codes and Augmented Reality is with the Zappar app paired with Adobe After Effects. Zappar also has their own creative studio to create content natively in their apps. We like Zappar because of it's powerful AR capabilities and breadth of knowledge available. If you're looking to get into AR on your own, Zappar is a great place to start.

Short-Form Video

Ever since TikTok took the world by storm, short-form video has been springing up everywhere. Even if you’re not on the platform yourself, you’ve likely noticed this DIY style of video creation, as well as popular TikTok trends, influencing content on other channels. All it takes is a creative vision and a little smartphone savviness to hop on this trend yourself. A fun, creative video is an engaging way to tell your customers about your story or showcase your products and services. It will also help you come across as authentic and relatable. Have fun with it and your fans will too.

Hyper-Local Marketing and Advertising

Consumers have grown weary of traditional marketing methods, and are likely to respond with cynicism to a one-size-fits-all, nationwide ad campaign. Instead, prospective shoppers are much more likely to conduct their own research before pulling the trigger on a purchase, ensuring that they can feel good about their decision. Today's consumer is more likely to use localized information typically found on a Google business page. The information could include customer reviews, hours of operation, COVID-19 related requirements, and even details like whether the business is minority-owned. In addition to Google, consumers are turning to other locally-focused platforms for information, like Nextdoor and Facebook. Ensuring that your business appears on these platforms — particularly along with helpful and consistent information and positive reviews — is a great way to connect with customers while making them feel like they’ve found you on their own. You can use a hyper-local approach in traditional print as well. For example, Every Door Direct Mail® allows you to reach every household on a specific postal route with a marketing mailer. Targeting your audience neighborhood by neighborhood allows for highly personalized messaging. By indicating that you know the community and understand their needs, you’ll build trust with your audience.

Content and Influencer Marketing

As we’ve established, today’s consumers are both savvy and skeptical when it comes to marketing. The best way to get their attention is to meet them where they are and give them something that they consider valuable. That’s why content marketing in particular is skyrocketing in popularity. By creating content that is interesting or entertaining to your customers and relevant to your brand without feeling overly promotional, you’ll capture their attention and garner positive interest. Along the same lines, influencer marketing allows you to build a positive association between your brand and an individual that your audience already likes. It’s an effective way to get your message in front of your target audience without it feeling forced. Unlike the stiff, inauthentic celebrity endorsements of old, modern influencer marketing comes across as genuine and compelling. It carries the same weight as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted friend.

Evolving Your Marketing in 2022

Don’t be afraid to try out something new with your marketing in the new year. The more you can demonstrate that your company understands modern consumers, the more effective your tactics will be. A partner like AlphaGraphics can consult with your brand and guide you in determining a path forward that incorporates the newest marketing trends without losing sight of what your brand stands for. From print pieces that come to life digitally, to a locally optimized web presence, to engaging brand content, your AlphaGraphics center can help you bridge the gap between traditional marketing and more modern approaches.

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