Affiliate Marketing

9 Public-Relations and Digital-Marketing Trends for 2022

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I’ve been hearing frustrated entrepreneurs and freelance publicists lament for weeks:Getting media exposure for my brands has been tough!From the rise of influencers to the consolidation and collapse of media outlets,the past twoyears dramatically altered the public-relations and digital-marketing landscape, making earned media, even for the most seasoned marketing professionals, more challenging to secure.

While having established relationships with media and influencers, knowing how to write and pitch intelligently,and being authentic and accurate are still integral for generating brand awareness, there is an increased need for digital marketing and PR to connect to a brands overall marketing plan.

Below are 9 PR and digital-marketing trends that you’ll be seeing more of in 2022 and can yield greater ROI for brands and businesses.

1. Growth of affiliate marketing

If you are selling a product or service and are not onShareASale,Skimlinks,Rakutenor something related, you should look into it.Most media outlets are in search of affiliate opportunities, and many require them, as theyhelp drive revenuefor the media outlets, influencers and retail partners.

2. Shorter pitches

Journalists, editors, influencers, podcasters (and yes, even us, as business owners and leaders) are inundated. Exhausted. Theres so much noise around us, and we need to know how to break through it, bend a reporter’s ear and stand out. Make pitches succinct. Lead withthe perfect headline. Some journalists even appreciate short bullet points on the who, what, when, whereand why.Whythis is relevant to their readers tends to win. Intrigue a journalist or influencer, and he or shewill usually request more info. Alternatively, you can hyperlink more info, but do not add copy to the body of the email.

3. The blurring of paid and earned media

Marketing and PR managers are now collaborating more with editors and influencers to help them promote exposure via social networks, digital ads and influencer marketing so that all parties can benefit. From using swipe up features on Instagram tocreating educational video reels, digital tools for promoting brands and press exposure will be more prevalent.If everyone can win, and messaging and promotions can become more monetizable, the PR exposure is more likely to happen. Whilepaid, earned and owned media are three different silos, they are now melting into the same pot.

Related:Are You Ready to Start WithPaid Media? Here’s What You Need to Know.

4. Does your pitchtake inclusion, diversity and awareness into account?

Consider the gender, social, environmental, political and cultural sensitivities. Social consciousness is a big one here, as is an interest for brands that speak up and take a stand. This means you need todo your research, know your audience andbe sensitiveabout how you pitch and build relationships with your media community.

5. Authentic influencer partnerships

Consumers purchase on trust, and strong influencer partnerships and campaigns can grow brand social proof, build engagement numbers and drive success by having a trusted person speak tohis or her audience. A knowledge of TikTok and video-reel creation is also essential for most PR campaigns. Professor of marketing, speaker and author ofThe Influencer Code,Amanda Russell explains that in orderto understand influencer marketing, we must first understand influence. To do this we must shift thinking from influencer as a job title, to influence as an outcome. Russell continues, The problem I see across businesses of all levels, is conflating content creators and anyone with a social media audience with the term influencer.’ Authentic partnerships start with identifying who AND what is really influencing your audience and working to build mutually beneficial relationships that go far beyond a transaction. In fact, the most powerful relationships often will not involve any monetary exchange.

6. Podcasts are more prevalent andproven to perform

I personally lovehealth and wellness podcastswhile on walks, commuting or doing chores, but everyone has his or her beat. More founders are being heard on podcasts, and its provento be an effective platform to story-tell because it offers audiences the opportunity to listen to more in-depth conversation about a brand and founder. Podcasts are also a vehicle for brands to hyper-targetaudiences given that 80% of podcast listeners listen to all or most of an episodefrom their preferred shows. With over2,000,000 podcasts out there, and 75% of the U.S. familiar with the term podcasting,its no surprise that advertising spend for them ison the rise.

Related:Listen Up! 4 Reasons WhyPodcasts Are One of the Best Life Hacks Around

7. Media outlets will be looking for more contributedarticles

Just ensure you arent writing a TV commercial about your brand. Newsrooms are shrinking, but most good editorial heads appreciatestrong contributed contentEntrepreneurbeing a key example.Research what the outlet covers, collect data on the stories you are trying to tell and look to engage, entertain and educate. For example, if youre going to write about how TikTok is going to dominate in PR and digital marketing for 2022, explain and show proof for how out of the 4.48 billion people using social media globally (up from 2.07 billion in 2015), TikTok’s on track toreach 755 million monthly usersin 2022. The article could also outlinespecific social-media statsacross all platforms.Vague writing wont get you far, but specificity and direct examples will.

8. PR pros will develop tighter relationships and pitch across broader networks and digital platforms such as private FB groups, Slack, Twitter, IG messaging and Linkedin

Cision, HARO emails andMuckrackare three terrific platforms for journalists and PR pros, but the means to connect will expand to morepersonal and efficient outreachacross smaller pods of media groups. For example, private FB groups, chatrooms, Clubhouse and journalist newsletters have become more effective platforms for reputable members of the media to connect with trusted publicists and influencers. Just ensure you know who likes to be communicated with by what means.

9. The mass email pitch and press release blasts will go sixfeet under

Mass pitching and mass releases have been dead (read: ineffective) for a few years now, but for 2022, these media blasts will be ignored.Journalists want personalization, exclusivity and PR pros that can be helpful for sources and experts, whether they are client-related or not.The hot trend for 2022 isdecentralized PR, meaning that press releases go through many trusted platforms and sources. All this said, a press release is still a key tool to have and most effective when personalized and kept concise.

Related:How toWritea Winning PRPitch

To succeed as best as possible with digital marketing and PR, remain authentic, be personal and work across multiple platforms to amplify your brand and message.Expand beyond marketing lingo and be transparent about messaging all while offering value to the media outlet. Nothing is one-size-fits all, and the more you can establish trust andoffer value with media partners, the more they will be willing to work with you. Ultimately,we all want to enjoy our work and the people we surround ourselves with, all while having our stories told.

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