We recently shared the top 2022 marketing trends for small businesses. Now we’re highlighting the SCV small businesses that are putting these strategies into practice.
To kick off our 2022 Visual Marketing Series, we shared the 10 Small Business Marketing Trends you can’t ignore this year.
As a business owner, these trends are meant to give you the ideas and inspiration to take your marketing to the next level.
But ideas are easy to come by – and implementation is a little harder to figure out.
That’s why we wanted to share a few examples of how our clients and friends are putting these same trends into practice with success and ease.
To help you do the same, here are examples of those 2022 marketing trends – in action.
2022 Marketing Trends In Action
1. Emotional Intelligence & People-First Values
It used to be that only “hard skills” mattered in the workplace (i.e. an accountant’s ability to crunch numbers, a photographer’s ability to edit images, etc.). But today, it’s just as important to create a culture of “soft skills,” such as the ability to empathize with others, communicate emotions effectively, and navigate stressors in a healthy way. And that doesn’t just apply to employees – it also applies to the brand at large.
For example, the SCV Chamber of Commerce is a leader in our business community. It’s a place where business owners and professionals can turn when they’re unsure, stuck or struggling, as many businesses experienced during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, the Chamber understood its leadership position among SCV small businesses and knew it was vital for them to share an uplifting, unifying message that not only addressed the situation – but also the emotions and values involved in that situation, too. This quick yet empowering video message is a perfect example of how a little bit of empathy can go a long way.
2. Social Responsibility
After multiple shutdowns had hit the business community in 2020, many SCV small businesses were struggling to stay alive – even the ones that had been giving back to the community for decades. After supporting countless causes from nonprofit events to little league teams, some of the community’s most vital institutions were struggling.
Local realtor and longtime resident Tracy Hauser recognized this need and decided she wanted to find a way to “give back to the givers.” She wanted to use her platform to help the most dedicated local businesses talk about what they needed. So she took her video show to their establishments and interviewed the owners of beloved local restaurants such as Salt Creek Grille, Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewery, Egg Plantation and more. By using her platform to create awareness, she was able to help make a difference in the local business community.
3. Personal Branding
As transparency and intention matter more and more to consumers, one strategy that really helps position your brand appropriately is personal branding. Think about it. If no one knows the face behind your brand, how can they trust it?
That’s why personal branding shoots, such as the session by Toi Everhart of Task Maven, can be so powerful. By pulling back the curtain, Toi’s audience can see how she works, what she cares about, and what makes her unique – all in one shoot. Plus she has enough marketing images to last her the year, so she can create content that’s perfectly polished and on brand, just like her.
Personal branding might have started as one of the most effective marketing trends for SCV small businesses, but today it’s an essential branding choice that cannot be ignored.
4. Marketing As Education & Leadership
One of the best ways to market your business is simply to showcase your knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Why? Your audience wants to learn from you. They want you to lead them from where they are to where they want to be.
And that’s exactly what Steffanie Stelnick accomplishes with her SchlickArt Video Content Subscription. Each month, Steffanie comes to the studio to record four new videos in one shoot. As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, Steffanie owns more than one business. But she can easily split up her videos to cover multiple businesses, or she can rotate the business she focuses on each month. With a simple outfit change, she’s creating consistent video content that showcases her expertise and positions her as a leader in her industry. That’s marketing made easy.
There’s a seemingly endless amount of research that shows: People prefer to watch video over any other form of marketing. In fact, 83% of marketers who’ve used video say it helps them with lead generation and leads directly to sales, according to a study by optinmonster.com, and viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about it, according to Internet Retailer.
So we know video works. But oftentimes, professionals struggle to figure out how to use video in a way that meets their goals. One thing we love about Eric Mitchell, Executive Vice President at Gold Star Mortgage, is he always knows the specific marketing purpose of each video he creates. He knows his goal, his target audience, and even the stage of his marketing funnel that he needs to speak with each video. Then he chooses a powerful story to illustrate his point, and speaks genuinely about the solutions he knows work. When it comes to video, we think that’s the magic formula.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing might be one of the trends that seems difficult to put into practice, especially for small businesses. But influencer marketing isn’t just for corporations and national brands with massive budgets.
Over the years, it’s become a viable model that can be modified to fit any size business. For example, some marketers argue that micro-influencers (i.e. regular people) offer a higher level of trust and engagement than even a celebrity endorsement – because it’s more real.
That’s what we love about Lauren Gates’ approach to supporting the brands she loves. As the branding professional and mural artist of Rosemont Lane, she could easily just share the work she creates for the brands she loves. She could simply share the logos and artwork she creates and call it a day. But instead, she curates stunning visuals for her brands and features them in a way that puts them in the spotlight. For example, she might post a story while she’s working on a mural and share information about the business, focusing on what makes them great.
It’s such a simple, approachable way of acting as an “influencer” for other independent brands and SCV small businesses.
Though it might seem intimidating at first, search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital part of modern marketing. Put simply, SEO is a strategy that puts your content to the top of the page when your audience is searching for your service. For example, if you’re a photographer and someone searches for a “photographer in Santa Clarita,” SEO strategies help put your website at the top of those search results – instead of buried on page 5.
The good news is you can add searchable keywords to the photos on your website, as well as your written content. This means that every time you add a photo to your website, you’re improving your searchability.
We do this at SchlickArt. Every time we add a new photo to the website, we make sure it contains the right set of keywords to help that page become more searchable. It’s a simple practice that can make a big difference over time!
8. Branded Audio Content
From podcasts to new audio platforms like Clubhouse, branded audio content is not new – and it’s not going away. More importantly, it’s becoming a more and more powerful tool to reach your audience and share in-depth, long-form messages with people who are invested in listening. Talk about a captive audience.
We see the magic of branded audio content when we produce The Ask Amanda Show, a video podcast hosted by local small business consultant Amanda Benson-Tilch. One of the biggest benefits of a branded show is the exposure you’re getting to such a highly targeted audience – a group of like-minded people who are looking for solutions to the same common problems. That’s exactly who Amanda, as well as her advertisers and supporters, is looking for. Not only is she demonstrating her expertise and helping her listeners, but she’s also cultivating a community of SCV small businesses that understand her value and are willing to pay for it.
9. Short & Entertaining Content
Think reels on Instagram and, of course, TikTok videos. These super-short, super-entertaining forms of content are engaging to the point of addiction, as well as being more accessible and easy to create. They get to the point at lightning speed and usually get a few laughs along the way.
It’s a great way to capture a new audience’s attention and form a positive connection – without selling them anything. You can draw them in with super-approachable reels and then begin to bring them further down your funnel once they feel like they’ve gotten to know your brand.
We’ve been playing with these short-form videos and reels on social media, and we’ve seen first-hand the kind of engagement they get. For example, at SchlickArt we start each quarter with a strategic planning meeting, during which we outline our goals and brainstorm new ideas. We always have fun on these motivating staff days, so last quarter, we wanted to kick one off with a fun reel. This light-hearted approach to a standard staff meeting gave our audience a behind-the-scenes look at how our team brings learning, laughter and love to the studio each day.
10. Permanent Posts
This trend may seem so old-school that you scroll right past it … and then come back to it later. But that’s kind of the point. Ephemeral content, or content that disappears from the platform unless it’s saved or archived, is falling low on most marketers’ list of effective strategies this year. Why? It disappears. All that effort is wasted after just 24 hours.
That’s why we’re opting for more permanent posts – such as standard posts and IGTV – more often than we create ephemeral content like stories. For example, look at the gorgeous feed by Rachel Cosgrove of Results Fitness. She invests in her content, so it will stand the test of time. For example, she uses our Cityscapes Professional Portraits Session to create a set of polished yet powerful images. Then, when someone new comes across their feed and decides they want to learn more, all they have to do is scroll to the next inspirational post.
Visual Marketing In Santa Clarita
At SchlickArt, we offer more than photography and video services to SCV small businesses and beyond. We do our best to provide our clients with marketing expertise and direction every chance we get. We know you need your images and video to help grow your business — that’s why you invest in them, and that’s why we do, too. Please take a minute to search through our blogs to find the visual marketing information that will help your business, or give us a call. We’re happy to help!
About SchlickArt Photography and Video
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of SCV small businesses that drives us at SchlickArt.