Types of Marketing to Consider for 2022

Marketing the past year or so has become something like uncharted territory. Without it, businesses wouldn’t have survived. We all had to pick up new tactics and channels to keep afloat online since in-person wasn’t an option. 

Since its introduction in the ’90s, the internet has been one of the most disruptive and useful tools for marketers. Let’s take a glance at some tools and channels marketers should already be in, if not start using, in the upcoming year:

Influencers are a basic need

Influencers are a great way to generate brand awareness and provide honest feedback to consumers. They help get your product in front of another audience set by someone they trust. Influencers, though, are becoming more common and basic in a social campaign. Almost every brand has some influencer, whether they’re a niche or micro-influencer all the way to the macro.

Keep in mind though, influence marketing is more effective against generation z more than any other generation with “56% of Gen Z are more likely to try a product or service if their favorite online influencer recommends it.” Be aware of what market you want to target, and who the influencer’s audience is, so you’re accurately targeting the correct one.

SEO opportunities grows 

By now, you should have some sort of online website for your product, and your audience and potential customers need to be able to find it. That is where Search Engine Optimization can help. The goal of SEO is for your website to organically appear on the first page of the search results when someone is searching for your product or service, based on certain keywords. Being first on the Search Engine Results Page, organically, is a HUGE win for businesses since we all know that roughly no one goes to the second page.

Even more so, the pandemic made more and more things move online so much that  “68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.”, and as of July 2019, Google specifically had 92.18% of the market share within the Search Engine Market. With more people going online for inquiries, it’s vital to get your keywords up and running to get on the first page.

Virtual is the newest normal

Going into the new year, we fully expect to be bringing our virtual and hybrid events with us. For almost 2 years, we’ve maneuvered marketing efforts into the online realm, and those efforts won’t go in vain. With new and old worries about the virus, there’s still a large market of those who want to be online over in-person. Budgets will more than likely shrink compared to the past year, but according to Hubspot, 80% of marketers plan to keep their budget the same or add more, through 2022.

The Expansion of Audio Content 

Audio content is just content consumed through listening. Things such as podcasts, audiobooks, and more. As we know, this field has grown massively this past year. More people are listening to and starting their own podcasts. 

To really explain how this will continue to show, Podcast advertising alone is expected to grow to 1.33 billion in 2022 according to Exploding Topics, which is huge considering they also cite that 80% of listeners listen to the entire episode, including ads. 

For platforms to consider for ads, Spotify and Apple Podcast are still tied as market leaders for anyone consuming audio content.

Start getting prepped 

2022 is going to be a mixture of old, with new developments throughout them. The virus is still hanging around and that’s going to be affecting people and business for a while. It’s still the marketing era of being creative and up front about how to get your brand out and about the world. James Ross is also no stranger to being creative with our ideas! Contact us here, or email us at hello@jamesrossadvertising.com and let’s start talking about how creative we can be for you!

Branding Trends to look for in 2022

Branding Matters

Branding is all about connecting. As we know, connecting and design aesthetics have become a major eye-catcher thanks to social media platforms. However, it’s never been just social media that matters as companies have been, and are continuing to, add more emphasis to their online presence. To accomplish this, companies are relying on their branding because of its ability to boost reputation and recognition through a unique story that stands out amongst their competitors. Even the best well-known brands today would not be as successful without good branding. 

To learn and understand just how much branding matters, read a previous post here!

2022 Branding Trends

The past year and a half exposed our reliance on virtual connections, making businesses and customers realize the importance of an online presence. This meant most people and companies had to quickly adapt from face-to-face to behind-the-screen interactions, creating an expansion in the online market with new trends constantly popping up every year. A couple of trends carried over like minimalism, neutral colors, and natural designs, but a whole new level of creative trends will be seen in 2022.

Here are 5 trends to keep an eye on:

1. Brand Activism 

This trend isn’t just a trend anymore, considering more and more customers today demand some sort of stance on today’s issues. Here, your company should convey what it stands for socially and/or environmentally, and even give benefits or donate to charities, non-profits, and other platforms. Being active for social issues is a crucial factor many are expecting from companies considering generation Z is the most motivated in giving back to communities and being environmentally conscious. If your company is aiming to target this younger generation with your products and services, you will need to include this somewhere in your strategic planning.

Lush does a great example of brand activism with their products that aim to better the environment

via Lush

2. Brand Inclusivity

Today, inclusiveness within a brand is just as important as activism. People want to see companies include and promote diversity across the map in their campaigns for the long run. Customers are searching for businesses that are including this component within their marketing strategy, and are pushing away from businesses that don’t. Inclusivity is not exclusive to only different sized models but can be applied to race, gender, sexuality, and more, but also different products and price points as well.

Gap is a great example of including many different body types and ethnicities in their marketing campaigns:

via Gap
Via Gap

3. Nostalgia

There’s no secret the 1990’s and the early 2000’s fashion has made a comeback today, but it has also started to integrate its way into the online business world. The use of nostalgia in branding has been used by multiple different types of companies, and through the use of it, people are brought back to their memories. Creating a connection to people’s feelings and reminding them of their childhood joys isn’t just a trend that will carry over but is a way for your brand to connect on an emotional level with your consumers as well!

4. Authenticity

As technology and the internet continue to grow, the utilization of authenticity integrated within a company has become important. It brings a sense of originality and trustworthiness, something that every company needs to build a loyal consumer basis. So much so, that in a 2019 study, 90% of consumers stated authenticity was important when choosing brands to support, that being up 3% from 2018.

One aspect of this is for brands to use UGC, or User-Generated Content, on their social media pages. As stated by the same study as above, 58% of global consumers see it as the most authentic form of content. It’s recommended to move away from the content that takes all day to make, and instead listen and show off your consumers on your platform to make them feel important.

 5. Consumer Interaction is key

Interactive marketing is where your brand’s advertising and website become a bit more dynamic and, obviously by the name, interactive with your customers. This tool helps businesses engage with consumers in a new and more memorable way. The best thing about this tool is that any business – no matter the size – can benefit from it. It’s all about inviting responses, driven by the customer, and creating a two-way dialogue between company and consumer. In doing so, it opens up the ability for the customer to grow alongside the brand. The benefits of being interactive include honest feedback from customers and insight on what audiences want, as well as help with product decisions, expansions, manufacturing, and marketing.

How Branding Agencies Can Help

Making changes to your company website can feel like an overwhelming task when you don’t know where to start. However, the right branding agency can make the branding process easier with help from professionals. With 30+ years of experience, James Ross Advertising can provide you with a unique branding strategy filled with all the services a modern brand might need. Our team of creators, designers, writers, directors, and strategists will give you renewed confidence in 2022. Contact us here to get started on your well-deserved branding experience!

Two New Reasons Email Marketing Is Critical for 2021

Whether business or personal, 99% of email users click into their inbox every day.  Email has always been a strong tool, but this year it’s more important than ever. Why?

  1. Less targeting in digital media. Apple has been rolling out IOS 15 which gives users privacy options that ultimately reduce the number of targeting options for your company’s customer acquisition and retention campaigns.  For the details, here is a great article from Forbes. If targeting is more difficult or unavailable, then ROAS (return on ad spend) drops. Instead of having ROAS of 5, your campaigns may drop to 2 or lower. 
  2. Higher digital marketing costs. Digital ad spend, according to eMarketer, is estimated to grow at least 18% this year. To ensure your marketing budget can meet your sales goals, you will need to find less expensive, but effective approaches. 

These two reasons mean it’s critical to be smart email marketers. The following tactics can help your team this year.

Capture as many Emails as possible, as early as possible

Consider an offer on your home page, such as a discount in return for an email address. You’ll capture far more emails this way, instead of waiting until checkout. You can also capture emails by offering downloadable content, contest entries, exclusive offers, and more.

Improve your Email effectiveness

The first step is A/B testing. That’s the process of taking your current best email (A) and testing a new version (B) with a segment of your customers. It’s important to test only one thing at a time in each segment, such as a new subject line, new offer, design, or other content. Don’t test all those things at once in the same segment, but if your file is large enough, you can run several segment tests at once. Savvy companies run A/B tests all the time, and seek new ideas from numerous people inside the company, not just the email team.

Ensure you use Email for Retargeting

Retargeting emails go to visitors who abandoned browsing your website or left a cart instead of checking out. A retargeting email the next day reminds consumers they were interested in your company. You can test sending a richer offer to a segment of the cart abandonment group, to see if some return and buy.

Be aware though, it’s possible to overdo retargeting, so have a weekly cap for the number of retargeting emails.

Good Email improves SEO 

Smart marketers have a strategy for which site content and keywords they want to rank highly for in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Interesting topics in email, that feature these keywords, can result in click-throughs to your site, with the hope of visitors sharing your article or content. This sharing and traffic will alert Google of your audiences’ engagement, which can improve your rankings. 

Make sure your Email design is “Responsive” for Mobile

Responsive is the term for the design that works well on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. If your email design is not optimized for mobile viewing you could be frustrating customers and losing sales. As mentioned earlier in this article, 99% of users open their emails every day. It’s also a mobile world with 59% of Millennials and 67% of Gen Z using their phones to check their inbox.

Measure your performance

How are you doing this year compared to last? Email performance statistics vary significantly by industry, such as government emails having a stronger open rate than gaming emails. Here you can see what the click-through rate is by Industry, as well as open-rate, bounces, and unsubscribe rates. Plus each of your email campaigns can vary as well, by day of the week, time of day, topic and subject line. So it’s vital to monitor your email performances over time as well as compare them to your specific industry.

What’s your next step to Email excellence?

Consider sending an email to the team at James Ross Advertising today. We have 30+ years of experience not only in design and copy, but also skilled at the technology for email platforms, testing, segmenting, and analytics. Make sure you reach out to get started with us on improving your business.

The Covid Effect on Social Media

When left to our own devices, we turned to…well, devices.

It’s no secret the Covid-19 pandemic has caused our screen time to go up, but by how much? Here we’ll touch on some of the impacts of Covid on social media usage that just might shock you.

How much are we talking?

Pre-pandemic social media was already thriving, and most people already had an account on at least one platform. Nonetheless, covid threw a curveball making social media usage soar to new heights.


Facebook reported for their third quarter of 2020 that their daily active users (DAUs) increased to 1.82 billion while monthly became 2.74 billion, both a 12% increase over 2019’s third quarter. Furthermore, Facebook reported in their third quarter that their social media app counted 2.45 billion users and was reported as the second-most used app in the world. 


Twitter in 2020 had 1.3 billion accounts and reported in their fourth quarter that their DAUs were 152 million while MAUs were 330 million.

Tik Tok & Instagram

Instagram threw in a new feature called “Reels” to compete with the new app Tiktok, which became the most downloaded social media app with 82 million downloads in 2020.

Disney Plus

Besides scrolling through Facebook or watching Tik Tok videos, during the covid lockdowns, people clung to entertainment in the form of online streaming. Most noticeably, the new pride and joy of online streaming is Disney plus. Their exclusive shows like Wanda Vision and The Mandalorian surpassed 100 million subscribers in just less than a year and a half, and their social media app had 22 million downloads in the first four weeks.

The common theme

Social media provided users with an escape from reality, while Disney Plus provided the warm and fuzzy nostalgia of our childhoods. The common theme? These platforms all provided comfort and distraction during a time of very little human interaction. 

So, consider this

Take a look at how far we’ve come. This time last year, we were confined to our homes and disinfecting our groceries. Now we are on the horizon of “normalcy” as vaccine rollouts take place across the country. But even new habits die hard. Over the last year, we have used social media as a coping mechanism and will likely continue to do so in the near future. 

The reality is that no one is quite sure where the pandemic will leave our collective psyches. So, while your customers or clients may still be seeking comfort and nostalgia, it’s just as likely they’re not and have moved on. Understanding your consumers’ mindset should be your top priority when it comes to social media marketing, especially post-pandemic. It’s okay to ask your customers questions, pick their brains, and understand their current emotional state so you can offer up content that meets their needs.

Here at James Ross Advertising, we’re constantly identifying and catering to customers’ mindsets in order to appeal to customers more effectively. Reach out to us today, we’re all ears.

The Anthem Video; A Rallying Cry

More and more brands are creating brand anthem videos. And for good reason. It’s harder than ever to get the attention of the people you’re trying to reach. With the plethora of media choices available to us every day, it’s hard to break through the clutter. More than ever, people need to be entertained to pay attention to content. 

What is a brand anthem video? 

It’s an entertaining video for customers and employees to rally around which expresses who you are as a brand. It’s a dive into the company ethos that captures the fundamental truth of what your brand stands for. Think of a brand anthem like a movie trailer. Exciting, entertaining, inspiring and relatively short, the trailer makes you want to see more and gets you pumped about the full-length film. 

And just like a movie trailer, an anthem video should make the viewer feel an emotion. 

Here is an anthem video we created for Gillz Performance Fishing that expresses their essential brand truth. 

So, what makes a successful anthem video? 

1. Make sure you communicate what you stand for. Today’s consumer wants you to stand for something that’s important to them. What are your guiding principles? Why is the company in existence? Do you stand for durability, creativity, or something else? Make sure that comes across in your branding video. 

2. Communicate an essential truth. As humans, certain truths reside in all of us. Expressing one of these commonalities will bring people together to support your brand. Choose a theme we can all get behind and support. 

3. Don’t go on long-winded product descriptions or features and benefits. Pick an overriding theme and hit that home. Remember, an anthem video is something for customers and employees to rally around. It’s not a sales video. 

4. The tonality of your video should reflect what your company offers. The tone and style of a video for a hospital would obviously be different than one for a software company. 

5. Hire a professional marketing firm to shoot original content. Sure, you can try to D.I.Y it, but professional brand anthem videos should be seen as an investment. They can have diverse marketing uses and have a long shelf life. The bottom line- don’t cut any corners. There’s nothing worse than an anthem video that features generic, amateurish, poorly shot footage. 

6. Make sure the music creates the emotion you’re after. Video content allows you to connect with a consumer on multiple levels. The audio shouldn’t be an afterthought. Select music that tells the story of your brand.

An agency that works in brand design can guide you in creating a video that not only resonates with customers but tells the story of your brand. Want to get started crafting your company’s brand anthem? Reach out to us, and we can create the brand anthem video of your dreams.

Social Media Marketing: Shoppable Posts

Social media marketing already plays a huge role in physical goods’ B2C strategies. Still, the new feature of Shoppable Posts is a complete game-changer, converting followers into leads, and leads into customers, directly on the platform. Instagram users can now scroll into your catalog, click on a product, and get directed to a landing page to complete the purchase – making the sales cycle shorter and faster. 

This is a great new added feature, but it still doesn’t replace the capabilities and marketing opportunities of a custom eCommerce website. Also, the tool requires landing pages to go on effect and paired with paid ads on Instagram. Remember, this should be an addition to your strategy, not a replacement. Tagging your products is only as good as the checkout experience on the site. 

Here are the steps you should take in order to set up your shoppable posts:

Step 1: Open an Instagram Shop

To get started, there are a few steps you must take to meet the criteria:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app
  2. Convert your Instagram account into a business profile
  3. Have the admin role on a Facebook page or Business Manager account
  4. Have a product catalog associated with your Instagram Shop

If you have an eCommerce account with Shopify or BigCommerce, you can easily set up the shopping feature through them. 

It shouldn’t take long for your profile to get approved. 

Step 2: Activate the shopping feature on your account

The way this type of posts works is, like tagging a person on a picture, you tag your products on a post. Only that the products available will be the ones that you add under your “Catalog Manager” on Facebook Business Manager – which is an added feature for your social media marketing strategy since the products can appear on your Facebook page as well. Here are the steps to activate tagging:

  1. Open your Instagram profile and click on the menu on the top right
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Business
  4. Tap Shopping (will only be available after the account has been approved for an Instagram Shop)
  5. Tap Continue
  6. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile
  7. Tap Done
social media marketing

Step 3: Create shoppable content

Now that you have an Instagram Shop and have activated the feature on your account, it is time to start creating content! You can add tags and stickers with your products to either Instagram posts or Instagram stories. You can feature up to five products per post and up to 20 products on carousel posts. 

social media marketing

Step 4: Get Insights

Do you want to know how your shop is performing and track these KPIs along with your other social media marketing metrics? It’s easy! 

  1. Open your Instagram profile and click on the menu on the top right
  2. Tap Insights
  3. Check your status

Through there, you can see how many views your product had and how many people clicked on it. 

You should be all set! Mix and match Instagram Ads, Shopping posts, and landing pages. Get tagging and get selling!

James Ross specializes in building experiences, whether it’s an eCommerce, lead generation, or an informational site. It’s all about the experience.

How and Why You Should Build Brand Value

You may have the best product in the market, but industries are saturated with similar products that perform similar activities. The chance you have to highlight your brand in the midst of every other one is by adding value to it. Of course, your logo, website, and social media should be up-to-date, but these are factors that can easily be changed with time. What should be sticky about your brand is what it stands for, and your target market should care about it. If it is not clear what exactly that is – since this is not an easy task – here are some tips from us:

  1. Take a look inside.

Which colors did you use for your brand? What typography did you choose to represent it? How is the personality of your employees? What problems do you seek to solve with every customer/client? 

These are some of the questions you might want to answer to understand what your brand represents. The color blue, for example, tends to be associated with technology, security, and transparency. Red, on the other hand, tends to be associated with passion, excitement, or anger. With colors and style, your brand might already be telling a story that you do not know about. 

  1. Be unique.

There are way too many outdoor clothing brands that have set their mission and advertising capital to make people “go outdoors,” “get adventurous,” and “go places.” So, what could differentiate you among them? Your story. Go back to the beginning of your brand, what motivated you to found it? What problems were you trying to solve? These are what will make your brand unique. Telling that to consumers is a chance to start a conversation and allow people to connect with. 

  1. Find meaning, don’t create it.

Empty or vague statements won’t help you and might do the opposite. Your value proposition needs to be real, clearly defined, and, most importantly, actionable. Advertising has, for years and years, tried to create meaning, fortunately – or, unfortunately, – consumers are no longer tricked by it. Whatever your company chooses to fight for, it must be something that your target market cares about. 

brand value

Take a look at the marketplace; companies that are striving do offer a unique perspective on what they are selling. An example of this is Nike. Even though their products are at the top of the active apparel market, that’s not the only thing they are selling. Their mission statement is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.” And this is how they act on their mission:

  1. Consistent

If you look back in 1982, when Nike released its first television commercial, their message is the same as today in 2020. They were and still are talking about innovation and how people should test their limits. This consistency in their message not only guides their advertising strategy but also what products they are putting in the market and who is the consumer that is going to identify with the brand. They have a clear and consistent vision of who their customers are because they have clearly defined who they are as a brand.

  1.  Actionable

The brand also puts effort into making people come together. 5, 10, or 21k, Nike organizes runs and workout classes all over the world. This builds a community around the brand, bringing people together, and reinforcing their brand value. 

  1. Achievable

The brand sponsors many of the top athletes in the world. And they also sell you the idea that you will be wearing the same clothes as those athletes – making you feel like one. They want to inspire. It’s in their core value and mission. 

Find your niche, know your target market, explore your brand. Quality is not the only thing that sells a product. Now more than ever, consumers demand that brands stand up for causes that they relate with. If your brand can do that, consumers will become your brand’s advocates, and you will be left with very little work.