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Guest post by viral marketer Andrea Casanova

2020 changed our lives (and businesses) forever.

It forced us to look into interactive technologies and digital channels as the main sources of lead generation. To some businesses, this was an easy transition and to others, due to lack of resources and financial support, it was devastating. Which is why, now more than ever, founders, managers, and executives should be investing time into learning about new era marketing trends to stay ahead of the curve.

As a founder who grew up with social media and understands the importance of a digital legacy, here are my top 5 tips to future-proofing your brand.

1. Understand Gen Z culture

Even if your target audience isn’t Gen Z, you have to admit that most outlets are influenced by this tech-savvy & outspoken generation of consumers - which means that in order to generate social buzz, you need to understand the culture Z’ers have created within digital platforms. However, it’s not just about emojis and trending sounds. In order to appeal to this crowd and genuinely connect with them, you have to care about what they care about and know that they’re great at holding brands accountable for their impact on our day-to-day.

2. Digital marketing isn’t just for interns

Some business owners see digital marketing as only social media. Some even believe that this should fall under the responsibility of an intern. The truth is that digital marketing involves much more than hopping on a viral trend. If you’re unable to produce results with digital strategies, hire for it. Tech isn’t the enemy; it’s the future and we all have to adapt. Make sure to dive deep into your brand messaging and how it ties into the other roles within your organization - a social media presence should not come before you have clarity on your overall marketing strategy.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of relatability

Consumers no longer trust the traditional influencer flaunting their PR box. They want to follow a hero’s journey. Brands like Duolingo, Scrub Daddy, Lionsgate, and Ryan Air are making their way to Top 5s and Top 10s by embracing their own digital persona on TikTok. They’re embodying a brand archetype that allows them to connect with their audience almost on a friendly level. Humanizing your brand is probably the strongest form of marketing in 2022, and organic vertical video content could be a great inexpensive way to generate social buzz if done right.

4. Learn about Web 3 marketing

Even if your business doesn’t take place in the metaverse (yet), investing time and effort into learning about Web 3 is a must. We’re moving at a fast pace towards a decentralized internet, and a world in which customers are not only utilizing your product but earning rewards as they do it. This doesn’t only affect the tech space, though. This means that every single industry will start learning how to come up with online offerings. The best thing we can do as founders is educate ourselves - YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter Spaces are all great platforms to start with.

5. Look for strategic brand partnerships in other industries

This past decade we’ve seen the fashion industry merge with other industries like tech & gaming. This has given brands a competitive advantage because not only are they opening themselves up to newer, younger audiences, but they’re also staying culturally relevant. Instead of just thinking about a collaboration within your own field, ask yourself: What other fields have congruent elements to my business? How can we truly think outside of the box? How can my brand be part of important conversations?

Remind yourself that marketing is the story you keep telling from the second you build your brand

As all these channels grow, so should your brand. It’s not about attempting to catch up to these futuristic strategies, but rather making sure your brand’s story has a lifespan that can expand past your current mediums.
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