Let’s be real, 2021 was a rocky year for digital businesses.

We were hit with the iOS updates, increased ad costs, felt the impact of COVID greater as PPE funds ran out, and so much more.

So if you struggled this year, I hear you.

But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. 

We’re coming up on a new year, and I truly believe that 2022 will be so much better for digital businesses.

And in today’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m excited to share my 2022 Marketing Predictions with you!

I’ll be honest, there are a few of these that you probably don’t want to hear because they’re going to challenge you to think differently about your marketing and your business, but you need to be prepared for.

I’m sharing my predictions on the direction of marketing and where we’re heading, what I believe Facebook has in store for us and so much more.

I even have a prediction for a strategy I believe digital businesses are going to be able to tap into next year that physical product businesses have been having MASSIVE success with for years… now it’s our time to shine!

Come this time next year, I hope be saying “I told you so” because I truly believe this is what we can and SHOULD anticipate in 2022.

Tune in to uncover what they are!

Which of these predictions do you most strongly agree with? DM me on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and share it with me!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

 

Hello my friends. Happy December. Here we are, in the final month of the year. I am experiencing so much excitement slash slightly overwhelmed with all that I have going on in my life, in my business right now and launching a new company in January. I had one of those moments that I think is like the entrepreneurial curse, where I was trying to go to sleep last night, and I went to bed early. I keep my phone on in my room. I did all my things, right? And I laid in bed for an hour and a half because I was just excited. My brain was going, like ideas were coming and I’m like, just stop, like just go to sleep. And it, when my brain went stopped, so I actually got up, got a piece of paper, wrote everything down, and then I could sleep.

 

It’s happened to any of you guys. It wasn’t even like I was stressed or anxious. I just, the ideas wouldn’t stop. And it just like was flooding in. It was the weirdest thing that happens to me sometimes when I’m falling asleep. I think it’s that like in between conscious state where you’re not fully awake, but you’re not asleep. And so I always think of the craziest things or come up with the ideas or there will be something that pops into my head. That’s like, you need to check on this. And it was like, exactly, right. I don’t know. 

 

I’ve talked to my dad about it before who’s an entrepreneur. And he said the same thing happens to him. So I think it’s an entrepreneurial thing and that was happening to me last night. So I didn’t get a lot of sleep, but I’m full force today and still very excited. We have so many exciting things happening and I just feel so pumped up by all the changes that we’ve been shifting in our offers over the last three months at Hirsh Marketing, both are done for you, stepping into complete done for you, offer where we do everything has made such a massive impact on client results. 

 

Then in our program, which is going to continue to get some uplevels to it. We’re just slowly rolling them out pretty much through January. But I did a call yesterday with the, with the whole group and I was, I left that call so fired up because it’s those moments where you’re like, yes, like this is why I do what I do and everything is coming together. You know, those moments I had that where the students like were just one after another, just wins about cost per leads and webinar registration is going down another, um, member had a $50,000 launch last month and he did a hundred thousand the whole year, but 50,000 in one month, and just celebrating that.  I actually want to go deep onto that story cause I was like, yes, you are like why I do what I do. And the epitome of marketing always works. It’s just a matter of when. And I just, I was so pumped up by it. So I think that’s probably why I couldn’t sleep too. Cause I was like, I know what we’re doing is changing lives is changing businesses and I’m so excited for it. 

 

So today I have a fun episode, which is marketing 2022 predictions and I sat down and really brainstormed this next year, and do you have some good news, you guys we’ll see if this rings true, but I think 2022 is going to be better than 2021. I don’t know about for you guys, but it was a rocky year. There was a lot that happened in 2021 with the iOS updates, increased ad costs. I think this year we felt a lot of the COVID impact at least online that we didn’t feel last year because last year businesses online were crushing it. We weren’t impacted by COVID at all in terms of getting shut down and everybody was flooding online. So that actually helped us. There was PPE money to go around for everybody, and I think that this year that wasn’t there. And so we felt that impact more. At least my connections did and I did. 

 

So I think 2022 is going to be better. I don’t think that ad costs and the way marketing is, is going to get any better than it is now. Like we’re not going back to the golden days, right, four or five years ago where ad costs were a dollar we’re never going back there. But I think now this year has been a lot of people facing the reality of what it’s going to require to be successful. They’ve put in the work, they’ve done the pivots and adjustments. At least those of you guys who are hopefully listening to me have done that and it’s going to start to pay off. I think it’s going to start to stabilize this next year. So that’s the good news. So let’s talk about my predictions. 

 

Here’s my first one, which is probably not a surprise, and I think that it was true this year, it’ll continue to be true next year, which is back to the basics. We are back to the basics in marketing, where your messaging, your foundational strategy, your connection with your audience, your ability to stand out, those are all of the most important things. And any hack or cool like retargeting strategy or funnel hack that you’re trying to, you know, follow from some influencer who’s showing it to you, those things aren’t going to be, they’re not gonna work anymore. We’ve got to go. We’ve got to go back to the basics. We’ve got to understand. At the end of the day, we boil marketing down to it is building that connection, building that trust, building desire from your audience. That’s what leads to sales period. And that is going to remain and the businesses and the companies and brands who are continually willing to put in the work to stand out, to connect with their audience, to really build that emotional connection, to really understand their audience so they can build that emotional connection will continue to crush it into this next year. 

 

I think that I, myself, experienced this, where we had to go talk to our audience and we had to go make changes because I wasn’t growing the way I wanted to. And I was like, what is wrong? And you know, the only thing I know how to do when that happens is just go talk to our audience and figure out what we’re missing. And we did exactly that. That’s why I feel this energy right now because we did that about three months ago. And I’m really starting to see it pay off. It’s really starting to snowball and pay off. And I’m excited about how clear we’ve gotten the changes that we’ve made. And so I think if you’ve done some of that work this year, it’s going to, to pay off next year because you’ve worked on the foundation, you filled the cracks and the holes of your foundation, and that’s going to propel you forward. So messaging is still number one is my marketing, you know, 2022 prediction and your ability to stand out your ability to have an offer. That is extremely good. That is still number one. So that’s the biggest thing. 

 

The next piece is around video. I think that short form entertaining, grabbing attention, video Reels, TikToks, short video is still going to be king. That is the content moving forward, having that content plan, being able to produce quantity and quality content is also going to continue to rise. Now, one thing that’s interesting to note going into this next year is that they are actually increasing the length in some cases of content. So like stories I think can be longer now, not in every account, but I’ve seen that it’s not in mine yet. But I’ve seen that start to roll out and then Reels can be up to 60 seconds. So that is interesting. Maybe they’re trying to play with, if they give creators a little bit more time, what does the engagement look like? I think it will work up to a minute. That’s still very short, you know, videos a minute. We’re not talking 20 minute long Facebook lives that it used to be. So figuring out how you can show up with that entertaining grab the curiosity short video is going to be key with it being still relevant to your brand. So that’s another piece that’s going to carry over be really critical will be a core component for next year. 

 

The other prediction that I have is I think opt-in funnels are coming back. I think that basic lead gen PDF downloads, checklists, basic downloads guides, are coming back. And the reason I actually talked about this at T&C, whenever that was in October, of the new way of looking at your marketing strategy. If you Google that, there’s a podcast episode where I talked about it too, where you’re kind of shifting your budget to be about lead gen and brand awareness and visibility. And because ad costs has gone up, you then kind of re-target and nurture those leads into things like your webinar and to the more expensive ways, what I called complex lead gen because of the ad costs because of the increased ad cost. So it’s shifting the way that you look at your marketing. 

 

Now, when I talked about this, this was only if you’re struggling with your cost. If you’re still getting five, six, even $7 cost per webinar registration, you don’t need to pivot your strategy, but we have experienced in several client accounts and for myself utilizing a really valuable playbook or guide or checklist or any, any sort of PDF basic download has been really successful in continuing to grow our list and our leads at an affordable cost because I don’t want to pay $20 a lead, $25 a lead. That is oftentimes what webinars can go up to unless you absolutely nailed the messaging, which you can’t do it every time. You might, you might not.

 

So playing with that, I think they’re coming back. And the key with them is that they have to be insanely valuable. And the other thing is I think even higher level entrepreneurs and people out there who lack time, that is something they will still download and consume. So where you might be fighting against people’s attention span to go to a webinar, they might still download a PDF and consume it because it’s easy for them to consume. So I think those basic opt-in funnels, those lead magnets that were popular four or five, six years ago to grow your list it’s coming back. The reason is because ad costs have gotten so expensive with things like webinars. So you might want to consider that. 

 

It’s a strategy I’ve talked about, and I think people will continue to play with next year because you can also leverage the real estate of the thank you page on those type of funnels, so you can put an application, or a webinar, or a Facebook group, or something strategic right on the thank you page. So that way, you’re getting leads and you’re sending them to your next step. I’ve seen that work really, really well. It’s something we’re doing right now that is working for us. We have some exciting coming this month that you can kind of see our funnel where I’m putting the application on the thank you page and testing that too. So that’s the other thing that I think will continue to make a comeback and be effective in your strategy going into next year. 

 

The next kind of prediction that I have on here is around Facebook. So I do think Facebook is going to improve its tracking and attribution next year. I think they’re going to roll out kind of their next phase of tracking and attribution and improving that. I think it’s probably going to be a new attribution system that’s based off of guessing because that’s what they’ve, you know, the statistical modeling they’ve started doing, where if they don’t have the data there, they’re guessing for you, what ad sets, what campaigns, your leads, or your purchases are coming from because they’re losing the data. So it’s never going to go back to how it was in terms of accuracy. But again, you guys, since I started my company, Facebook tracking has never been accurate. Even before way before iOS, they over-reported all the time. So you always needed backup ways to track your ads. I think that’s just going to continue. I have a great solution coming out in January around this, but I think that we will see a new attribution system come out from Facebook, which will be more around like their statistical modeling, their guessing on results, their own AI around guessing on like where conversions are coming from, what’s working. 

 

I think we’ll also see an improvement in the features that lean on Facebook’s algorithm. So things like dynamic creative, and CBO campaigns, and automatic placement. We kind of saw those slip in the last couple of months where they actually, in some cases, weren’t doing as well as they used to do. I think that’s going to change back and they’re figuring out their algorithm. I think it’s already improving, honestly, from what we’re seeing. So I think that we’ll continue to improve. We know that Facebook is working with hundreds of engineers to rework their backend of their ads manager and all the algorithms they have. So I think we will see a new attribution system come out, potentially improve tracking that will come, kind of make a rebound after iOS updates, but it won’t go back to, we’re not going to get that data back. You know, iOS is done, it’s rolled out and that will only potentially get worse, but I don’t think it’ll impact you as a business, because of the workarounds and things that you can do. So that’s my prediction with Facebook specifically. 

 

I do think we’re going to see something around Meta. I don’t know at all what their first move is going to be, but just based on what I’ve been watching and observing, I think they’re going to try to start garnering curiosity and desire around whatever it is they’re going to do next. I think they’re probably going to try a lot of things and that won’t all happen next year, but I think they’re going to try and see like what can stick, what won’t stick the thing with web 3.0. It’s still, in my opinion, so far away, because people aren’t going to just wear ugly goggles all day and web 2.0 is a better experience.

 

I had this conversation recently with someone where it’s like, I already can just go on a website and quickly order something and buy something, or have a really great experience. I don’t want to go into that store in this virtual reality world, that’s not actually a better experience. So they still have a lot of figuring out to do in the visionaries. They’ll do it, they will. I don’t think it’s really coming next year, but I do think they’re going to try some things. Now I don’t know what those are, but with the name change, I think they will start to try to normalize the components of web 3.0 I think there was some like ad or something where they were showing, like, instead of going to your fencing class, you can just fence our house or something like that in the virtual world.

 

And it’s like, who wants to go to a fencing class in real life, let alone in a virtual world? 

 

So I feel like it’s still disconnected from what people want. And the reality is, people aren’t going to do something that’s not cool, and wearing those big goggles is not cool. So I think that they’re far off still from moving in that direction. It’s coming, it’s been coming, but I don’t think we’re going to see a big shift next year in terms of like, oh, by the end of the year, we’ll all be wearing goggles and we’ll be in this virtual world. I don’t think so, but I do think we’re going to see Facebook try some things, and it’s going to be just interesting and intriguing to watch what they’re doing. I like looking at the fact that even Facebook, who is a multi-billion dollar company, they are going to try things and fail. That is the process. no matter how big you are. Just like you guys should be trying things in your marketing, trying things in your business that will fail. That is the key, because you’re going to fail maybe eight, nine times out of 10, but those one or two times out of 10 that you succeed are going to be big. That’s a good lesson to learn too, and I think that’s what we’re going to experience from them in the next couple of years. 

 

My next prediction is that direct messages, ManyChat, those specific ways of interacting one-on-one with your audience, with potential leads, is going to continue to do really well. I’ve seen that kind of come back. I think ManyChat has made some changes in terms of its software to be more compliant and just an overall better experience. We’ve started playing with using it again, I’ve been using DMs, loved them. I think that’s going to come back, especially if you sell high ticket, because that is such a way to create a great experience with your audience and a potential lead. I think any way that you can kind of leverage that and build it into your strategy is great. 

 

Now, I don’t think that should be like your core only strategy where you stop growing your list and everything’s going through the DMs, or everything’s going through ManyChat. It should happen in conjunction. So maybe on the thank you page of your opt-in, there is a ManyChat button or something, or you can leverage it in your organic social where people comment and it goes into Messenger. There’s ways to integrate it into your strategies. I don’t think it becomes the strategy, but I think it’s a really awesome tool and strategy to, again, integrate into your existing, bigger strategies. I think any way that you can create that type of connection is going to be successful in your business.

 

And it’s going to become more and more important, because one of my other predictions is the importance of relationships and the importance of building that connection has just increased this year, that will continue to increase. With all of the online businesses and companies out there, there’s just so many options, and unfortunately, so much of mistrust that you have to work harder as a brand to prove yourself because it’s just more crowded. So one of the ways that you can do that is have those specific interactions.

 

Okay, I have two more predictions for you guys, and one you guys, some of you may not like to hear, but one thing that my team and I have noticed this past year is that people with very low ticket funnels are struggling to be profitable. So if you sell something that’s $97, $197 up to like $500, it’s tough to be profitable with ads because of the increased cost in ads. I’ve been thinking about this for weeks, because we did a whole analysis of the clients that have left, the clients that were successful. And over 80% of the clients who weren’t where we wanted them to be, which is at least a two X return on ad spend, but more like three to four, had a product price below $500, which was really telling. So I was thinking to myself, you know, what if I have a business that needs to have that lower price product, and I’m targeting consumers or something and they’re not going to pay more? What do I do then if I am that business? And my thought is unless you have a big organic following or the ability to generate organic traffic in conjunction with your paid ads where they’re helping each other so you’re not just counting on your paid ads to generate a hundred percent of your sales, or you have a runway where you have like three to six months that you can invest in marketing and you don’t have to make the profit back, it’s difficult, almost impossible. Because if you just do the math and you look at the cost of ads, and then you look at if you get a sale and it’s a hundred dollars sale, how many sales you’ll have to have, how good your sales conversion has to be. And if you’re a brand new business, it’s tough.

 

I tell you guys this, because if you’re in that boat, you may want to number one, consider can you raise your price at all? There’s a lot of companies who have raised their price, there’s a lot of corporate companies raising their prices right now. So it’s absolutely acceptable and appropriate to consider that because if ad costs are going up, it might be something you need to do too. Is there a higher ticket upsell, or path where you can lead people to? So if you have a $200 offer, is there then like a $600 offer and that your becomes your bread and butter? That’s how you can make more money. 

 

And three is also considering, you know, can you create that runway? When I looked at it, even the clients that we were able to get 2 to 3X return on ad spend with that product price, then you add in their business expenses and expenses of paying an agency or paying team members, and it’s hard as a business to be profitable. That’s where, if you have organic sales and you have other methods where you have sales coming in, that that helps a lot. So I think that low ticket offers, low ticket funnels are going to continue to struggle to be profitable if you’re solely counting on paid ads, if you’re just counting on Facebook and Instagram ads or paid ads in general, to generate a hundred percent of your sales. It will be really hard because even if you get the ad spend profitable, you have business expenses, right? So even at 2X return on ad spend, if you look at what that actually equals, and then you add in your business expenses, your business is probably not profitable. 

 

Which is where you need to have other channels of sales coming in, or the ability to catch that snowball effect, because what happens is if a company can go three to six months and break even on their ad spend or become profitable with their ad spend, but break even as a company as a whole will. Then you start growing your email list, you start growing your following, you start growing your warm audiences, and all of a sudden people who bought three or who joined your list three, four or five months ago are now buying and you’ve got the snowball effect happening. But most businesses can’t wait that long because they need the return on ad spend so quickly that then they give up.

 

I’ve seen this cycle happen so many times. I actually want to do a whole separate podcast on that beause it’s really common. So I think next year, if you have a low ticket funnel, you should consider one, it shouldn’t be your focus. Like if you’re trying to monetize a SLO funnel, a self-liquidating offer funnel at this point, I would ask you why, because it’s very difficult to do that. If you don’t have something higher ticket that you’re going to, and you’re in the B2B space with expensive ad costs, it’s virtually impossible. And number two, how can you create other channels bringing in sales as a business? Because you need paid ads to generate leads and to generate an audience, but it can’t be a hundred percent of your sales if you have a low ticket offer. 

 

Which leads me to my final prediction, and I think I’m going to state this and say more about this as we test it, because I haven’t heard anybody talk about this yet, which is leveraging influencers to potentially promote your brand. So I’ve been watching and I’ve been asking myself that question of, okay, if ad costs are so expensive, if organic marketing is so difficult to get traction because the algorithms don’t favor organic marketing, what is the solution? And people don’t really pay that much attention to like dream 100 anymore maybe. So then if you think about it and you watch these big influencers and they will promote products, right. 

 

It was just black Friday, and anybody who has a big following probably was promoting products that they buy and they are getting money for that, right? Sso I actually can’t believe I’m saying, because I think this is so good you guys, if you can figure this out and crack this code, I just want you to think about this. Why can’t that work for digital businesses? Why can’t you build a relationship with an influencer and say, “hey, I’ll pay you a thousand dollars if you make a post, or do a story about my webinar,” or whatever your funnel is? Think about it, because the reach that you would get from that is so much compared to what you get from spending a thousand dollars on ads. Obviously that’s not a sole, you can’t just do that as your strategy, but I really think that the direction we’re going is influencers are becoming celebrities.

 

In the past, when you used to pay a celebrity to endorse your product on TV, right, and be like, oh, you know, whoever is using that product, so it must be cool. Now it’s become, okay, we have these influencers online, they’re celebrities. So when they endorse a product it’s really successful. But why does it have to be limited to just physical products? If you’re a physical product business, that’s a great strategy. It’s difficult to do because an influencer is not going to promote something that isn’t a value that they believe in because their reputation is at stake, right? They’re also not going to just promote things all day long because they have to provide value. That’s how they built their following. So they’re going to be protective of that, but if you were able to get one or two influencers to promote even like a free, valuable thing that you have, free webinar, a free guide, and you’re like, “hey, I’ll just pay you to do one single post,” that would pay off so big. So how can we make that work in the digital and the service industry world? 

 

The other thing is, I feel like everybody’s trying to become this influencer when not everybody has the personality for it, nor is there room, right? There’s not room, just like there’s not room for everybody to be a celebrity. There’s not room for everybody to be an influencer. There will always be a cap at that. So instead of trying to become the big influencer and thinking that is your end goal, maybe it is, and maybe it’s possible. I think you should continue to try and grow your impact, but also how do you leverage and provide value to people’s audience who already have a big audience? I don’t think it’s necessarily directly just affiliate marketing. Obviously, when influencers promote products, they are getting a kickback for that sale. They give their code, use their code, they make money. But why can’t it just be like, you’ll just pay a thousand dollars or whatever it is, depending on the influencer, to mention you on their podcast or a post or a story. I would do that, right, for certain people where my audience was. 

 

So I think that I’m going to start playing with that myself to test it out for clients. Obviously, it’s not, again, a scalable, the only thing you can do, but I think it could lead to a lot of success because it’s clearly working for physical products and the direction we’re going is influencers. They have the biggest reach and the fastest reach because also, they have this trust with their audience that instantly. Anytime that I’ve been on a big podcast, we’ll get sales and they’re easy sales because that specific influencer, that specific brand gave me credibility and their trust, which gave their audience, instant trust to their audience.

 

So I think that one of the strategies and directions that we should move in and you should move in is building those relationships and trying to provide value. That’s the key, like I’ve said it three or four times, the value. It’s not about leveraging and manipulating influencers to promote your stuff, it’s about how do you provide value to their audience? Because that is how you’re going to get them to talk about you. Maybe you’ll come up with a better idea than I am, but I do think that influencer marketing, leveraging people who have an audience and have a platform is going to become more of a thing next year. So I’m stating that I’m going to be testing some things around that. I’m sure I’ll fail with some of them, and I’m sure I’ll create success with some of them, but I’ve been thinking hard about it. I think it’s a really great idea. So that’s another prediction I have is the importance of relationships and of leveraging influencers to potentially promote your digital products and services, because obviously that already already exists for physical products. I see it all the time, but I don’t think the digital landscape has tapped into it yet. 

 

So I hope to be able to come back to this and be like, “I told you guys so,” with my strategies, but those are my 2022 marketing predictions. We have a really cool, really amazing, I’m super excited, free playbook coming out in about a week from now. So be on the lookout for that because we have been working so hard putting, I think it’s over eight different kind of strategies, case studies and examples into this really amazing robust playbook for 2022. That is coming and you guys can get access to that for free as soon as we launch it. So I’ll announce it on the podcast. Happy December, let’s crush it this month and I’ll talk to you guys next week.

 

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