The Top 8 Business Trends for 2022
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The business world has been relatively unpredictable in the last few years. Even before the global pandemic, understanding various macro-trends within business could be quite difficult; Sprinkle in a post-Covid landscape, and it's beyond challenging to navigate the ins and outs of the market. These eight trends will hopefully help you find your way in 2022.
Something that should be around the top of every list, business or otherwise, sustainability is an important trend that is crucial to move forward in this climate. You don’t necessarily have to have a full team or even a person dedicated strictly to sustainability to make it within the business world but you should strive to create strategies that positively impact the environment or society. According to Harvard Business School sustainability deals with:
- 1. Climate Change
- 2. Income Equality
- 3. Depletion of Natural Resources
- 4. Human Rights Issues
- 5. Fair Working Conditions
- 6. Pollution
- 7. Racial Injustice
- 8. Gender Inequality
Now besides altruism, sustainability definitely has its benefits for a business. First and foremost, you can boost and protect your brand. There’s no need to worry about a poor reputation or bad press if you watch your carbon footprint and give your employees decent working conditions. In fact, sustainability is proven to draw both customers and meaningful employees which is a guaranteed recipe for success. There is also a high demand for sustainable goods. A Study in 2019 proved that 73% of global consumers will change their negative consumption habits in order to preserve the environment and lessen their carbon footprint. Millennials in particular are extremely willing to pay more for sustainable products. So whether you are a large business or just a small one starting out, practicing sustainability is probably your best bet in creating a successful strategy.
This trend ties in with sustainability. Having a people-first culture means that your business environment should always be evolving. Whether you’re a restaurant owner or a major corporation, your employees need to feel valued. Not only is creating a positive work environment good for employee retention but for customer relationships as well. Building a rapport with the people working around you creates trust and inspires them to succeed. Creating a people-first culture includes:
- 1. Hiring Diverse Employees
- 2. Mentorship
- 3. Education Training
- 4. Benefits
- 5. Flexible Work Environment
Now, obviously giving employees flexibility if you’re a shop or restaurant owner is not as easy as it would be for companies that can work from home. However, giving valued time off and proper trust at the workplace can fill in the caps that hybrid cultures tend to have. Happy employees result in happy customers, and what could be better than that?
Building a strong online presence is crucial to building a great brand. Whether or not you have an online store, you should still strive to create a powerful social media voice, and build a community online. Social media has given the world (more or less) free tools to market, engage and build relationships with customers from all across the globe. Maintaining a community increases customer loyalty, satisfaction, and increases sales. In fact, brands who actively respond online and on social media see an increase of 15% in retention from customers as opposed to brands who do not. So if you see your customers sliding into your company’s DM’s make sure to slide on back right away to keep that relationship strong!
Social Media Advertising
Social Media is becoming more and more important with each passing year. Finaria predicted at the start of 2021 that Social Media ads would skyrocket to $105 billion in 2021, a steady 15% increase from 2020. However, across the globe advertising on social media has surpassed those expectations. In the last few years advertising on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. have increased by 70%. Making the need for creating social media ads for both small and big businesses, crucial for sales, development and growth. If you’re considering posting ads on social media but are a little intimidated in regards to getting started—don’t fret! The platforms have made it relatively easy to advertise online. Facebook Ads Manager is accessible to anyone who has a business page on the platform and is straightforward. The platform walks you through the process, allowing you to customize your target audience, duration of the ad, and money spent. It also allows you to track your progress, reach and engagement. Facebook Ads handles all advertisements on Facebook and Instagram, but other platforms such as Linkedin and Snapchat have similar formats. You’ll be up and running ads before you know it!
The Importance of SEO
For those who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The objective of using SEO keywords is to increase your visibility online; meaning more traffic to your website which in turn can increase potential customer intrigue and sales. To put it into context, Google bases their top search listings based on SEO. The search engine only has ten key spots for the first page, and considering that the number of people that continue to search once they reach page two drops significantly, it’s probably a good idea to try your hardest to reach the top spots.
SEO works in a few different ways. The first and most common being Keyword Analysis. Keyword Analysis is based on how frequently people use certain words in the search engine to look for areas pertaining to your field or industry. Researching and finding the right keywords that can be associated with your business can help your listing increase a lot! So it’s important to put power into your words.
Another area where SEO works in your favor is Backlink Building, which is the act of linking your website text or blog posts back to other credible high-quality sites. The more you link the better for your reach, and it also prevents any risk of plagiarism, so make sure you do so when writing about your business.
The last being Content Creation. Creating content with SEO in mind allows you to communicate directly with your target audience with authority and consistency. Content can include:
- 1. Blog Articles
- 2. Videos
- 3. Graphics
- 4. Web Text
- 5. Newsletters
Or anything else directly being viewed by your potential customers. Do you research and make sure to keep SEO in mind when promoting or writing for your business, and you’ll be just fine!
As much as some people would like for influencers to go away, they have proven over the last few years that they are here to stay! Influencer marketing has become increasingly important in this social media age and is crucial for any business to become a part of. Google did a survey in 2018 and discovered that there were over 60,000 searches for the term “influencer marketing.” Google experts also confirmed in the study that 92% of the respondents would take an influencer's opinion into account before purchasing a product or service thus proving how crucial it is to jump on this bandwagon.
Influencers help with brand awareness, increasing engagement with a focused target audience. They already have their own niches, making it much easier to reach customers well suited for your products or services based on the influencers you choose. Influencers are also trusted. During the pandemic it was reported that 45% of social media users were engaged in getting updates from different influencer channels on a given day. Influencers change consumer behavior. By showing off the product or service and its full function in “real life” they entice the customer into purchasing it. Working with influencers can be relatively easy and fun depending on what market you're working with.
If you have a large company the internet could be your oyster, with macro-influencers plastered all over social media. But if you have a small business, there’s no need to worry! Micro-influencers work just as well. Micro-influencers tend to have a follower count of 1,000-10,000, and target a more specific audience. They also tend to need less compensation, but ultimately whether you pay them or simply offer free or reduced products and services depends on what’s right for you and your collaborator.
We are heading towards a cashless society, this is almost inevitable. With the payment industry rapidly growing, the need for cash money is becoming less and less necessary. Countries like Sweden are already ahead of the curve, leading the way into this new digital age and other countries are bound to follow suit. Now, this new digital climate might seem intimidating or difficult to navigate so I’m sure some of you business owners out there might be thinking: What will a cashless society look like for me? Well, there are many options out there to help you accept payments. First and foremost the classic card terminals are available to accept any debit or credit transactions. However, they can sometimes be difficult to set up and are notorious for high transactional and service fees. Alternatives like SumUp and Zettle are also valid options since the card terminals are smaller in size. But another potential solution is our Surfpay App, which utilizes Tap to Pay technology to ensure contactless card transactions on all Android devices. Surfpay accepts every payment option including card, e-wallet or Swish, is low in transaction costs and is mobile, allowing you to move around easily throughout the store to accept payments from customers. In addition, the app contains special features for monitoring your sales and contains a digital QR receipt to make printers and paper trails obsolete.
Internet security is important for every business no matter how big or small! In fact, there is no such thing as a business being too small for a cyber hack or breach in security. And as the digital world continues to grow, the majority of all our work is being performed solely online; whether you're perfecting a website, adding to your social media, sending an email or completing a financial transaction, businesses are always using the web for something. And all of these actions can seem appealing to a hacker who wishes to interfere, which can be detrimental to your business.
Security is the best thing to actively practice but first you need to know what to look out for. First and foremost, one of the most common forms of hacking can be found in Data Leaks. Whether it's personal or financial data, classified information about your business falling into the wrong hands is never fun! The best way to protect yourself from this is to limit the amount of personal information given out to the public, but you can also take measures such as setting up a “burner email,” to make sure their professional email is not being sent around.
Another hack to look out for is Phishing. Phishing is when an individual tries to gain access to your personal information. They usually do this by pretending to be from the bank or payment service that’s reporting a “problem” or discrepancy within your account. Always double check your emails and be cautious of what information you give out to keep your business safe!
Hopefully these trends were able to give some clarity on the current business climate, and help your company (old or new) as it continues to expand and grow in 2022!