5 Social Media Challenges Brands are Facing in 2022, According to 500+ Marketers

TikTok.

Clubhouse.

Twitch.

These are just some of the many new social media apps we’ve seen grow in popularity over the past year — and that’s along with all the ‘oldies but goodies’ like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The expanding list of popular social media platforms undoubtedly makes a social media marketer’s job harder: Which platforms will provide the highest ROI? Where’s your audience hanging out? And which ones aren’t worth the effort?

As the social landscape changes, HubSpot’s Blog team surveyed over 500 marketers to determine the biggest challenges social media marketers will face in 2022 — and how to prepare.

Let’s dive in.

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5 Social Media Challenges Brands are Facing in 2022

1. Determining on which platform(s) you should market your brand.

In 2022, 26% of marketers say their biggest challenge will be determining which platform(s) they should invest time and resources.

This makes sense: The most popular social platforms aren’t always the best fit for your brand or business goals, so it can be difficult to determine which apps you should include in your marketing strategy.

To choose the right platforms for your brand, HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Social Media Kelly Hendrickson told me, “It all comes down to your audience. Who is your audience, and where do they spend their time on social media?”

She adds, “[Most] platforms share broad audience demographics data, so even without a study, you may be able to figure out where your low hanging fruit is. If it’s a bit harder to test out a few hashtags related to your business on various platforms to see where your audience is already participating.”

Alternatively, it’s helpful to consider which types of content your audience prefers. For instance, if you’ve conducted market research and found your buyer persona enjoys video content, then you’ve narrowed down your platform(s) to video hosting apps like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Stories — to name a few.

Finally, keep in mind your social media goals when choosing your platform. For instance, if your primary goal is to increase sales, then perhaps you want to test out targeted, personalized Facebook ads. If, alternatively, you’re hoping to expand your brand awareness, you might test out some newer platforms like TikTok or Clubhouse.

Additionally, in regards to TikTok, Instagram Reels, or Snapchat, Hendrickson told me, “The data shows that generally each of these channels skews towards a younger audience base. While that may seem less opportunistic if your audience is older, just remember, your audience of tomorrow may be on these platforms.”

hubspot quote on social media challenges for 2022

2. Creating engaging content.

As a content creator, I can tell you firsthand: Creating content is hard.

And, apparently, most marketers agree. In fact, 24% of marketers say creating engaging content will be their biggest challenge in 2022.

Creating high-quality social media content is time-consuming, so consider how you might get the most bang for your buck by repurposing content across channels. For instance, if you take the time to create a 10-minute YouTube video on a topic, cut short snippets from the video to repurpose on short-form channels like Instagram Stories, Snapchat, or TikTok.

You can also create a social media post with some of the information you researched for the video.

Additionally, Rachael Samuels, the Senior Manager of Social Media at Sprout Social, believes dedicating time, resources, and headcount towards social media is vital for long-term success.

As she puts it, “The social landscape is becoming increasingly saturated with new networks and seemingly endless potential audiences to engage. Social teams of one are no longer enough to keep up with the demand.”

Samuels adds, “As consumer preferences and expectations continue to grow in the year ahead, social marketers require greater investment in their teams and resources to be successful. To get ahead of this challenge, brands must ensure social is prioritized as a critical communication tool and provide their teams with the resources needed to produce creative, relevant, and authentic content.”

sprout social quote on social media challenges for 2022

Additionally, to truly see ROI from your social efforts, you’ll want to take the time to integrate it into every stage of the customer journey. Perhaps you can use certain platforms for support for existing customers, whereas you use others to reach new audiences.

Samuels says, “Having an integrated marketing plan that addresses social media at each touchpoint of the customer journey is critical for overall business success. When brands fail to invest in social and their respective teams, they run the risk of losing customers and perpetuating burnout.”

3. Finding ideas for new content.

23% of the marketers report that finding ideas for new content is their biggest challenge heading into 2022.

It can be tricky to consistently pitch new ideas for social platforms — particularly when social platforms feel overcrowded with content already.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are a few social media content suggestions when brainstorming ideas for your 2022 calendar:

  • Post your new blog on your Instagram Stories.
  • Conduct a poll on Instagram.
  • Share user-generated content on Twitter.
  • Create and share website content on Facebook.
  • On LinkedIn, post articles/stats about your industry.
  • Highlight milestones of your company on LinkedIn.
  • Create graphics for Instagram and Facebook.
  • Show the faces behind the company on Snapchat or Instagram.

To combat this challenge, you also might consider using user-generated content to spruce up your pages. Alternatively, take the time to research what types of content are trending on which platform(s).

Christina Garnett, HubSpot’s Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community & Advocacy, suggests researching what already exists when looking for new ideas. She told me, “In his book, The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time, Allen Gannett writes that ‘to create something novel you must know what already exists.'”

Garnett says, “When trying to find the new you must consume and see what kind of content is already available and then look for gap opportunities. Are there questions not being answered? Different perspectives not being shared? Maybe the content exists but not in a format that is tailored for a specific learner or audience.”

Garnett adds, “Once you determine what you can create, you need to determine who needs it, and how it can best be packaged to improve their experience. Content has the same need to find product-market fit as products and solutions do. In the pursuit of the novel, you not only need to determine what doesn’t exist, but why it doesn’t. Creating for the sake of creation isn’t enough when it needs an audience.”

While this research can be time-consuming, it can enable you to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and will undoubtedly lead to new content ideas.

4. Measuring ROI.

In some instances, measuring ROI can be relatively easy — particularly when it comes to monetary value, such as how many sales you received from a specific Facebook ad.

But when your social media goals involve more abstract concepts, such as “increase brand awareness”, it can be difficult to quantify and measure your campaign’s success.

22% of those surveyed agree that measuring ROI is their biggest challenge as they enter 2022.

Fortunately, measuring ROI across social platforms can be done, but it’s not straightforward. Take a look at HubSpot’s free lesson, How to Measure Social Media ROI, to learn more about how to track social media ROI when it comes to building brand loyalty, retaining customers, protecting your reputation, and more.

5. Creating content that generates leads.

Finally, 22% of those surveyed report creating content that generates leads to be their biggest challenge as we enter the new year.

To create a strong social media lead generation strategy, consider driving your audience from certain social platforms back to dedicated landing pages, or track clicks on specific CTAs for each campaign.

For instance, if you’re running a campaign aimed at driving revenue towards a new product offering, you’ll want to create a product landing page that you link to on each of your social profiles. Then you can track how many clicks come from each page, and alter your strategy accordingly. (If you see most clicks coming from Facebook, perhaps you put paid advertising behind your Facebook strategy.)

Alternatively, if you’re hoping to drive sign-ups for an email newsletter, you’ll want to create a CTA for social pages that drives your social audience to sign-up for your newsletter.

Social media advertising is another powerful way to generate leads through social media.

However, it’s important to keep in mind — to create truly unique social media ads, you’ll want to ensure those ads seem spontaneous and casual.

As Talkwalker’s CMO Elena Melnikova puts it, “The challenge will be brands, used to producing highly-polished commercials, creating ads that come across as spontaneous.”

“Too commercial, and this young audience will scroll past your brand, looking for the next dance routine. Read the room. Follow the trends. Be spontaneous.”

Melnikova adds, “Savvy brands will work with influencers to create content. And with the majority of TikTok influencers being Gen Z, they’ll understand how to ensure their content stands out, and increase a brand’s engagement figures.”

And there you have it! The biggest five challenges facing social media teams in 2022.

Now that you know which challenges you might be up against, take the time to brainstorm unique solutions that will help you level up your social media strategy into 2022 and beyond. 

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2021 Advertising Stats You Need to Know

2021 was a big year with advertisers, as they managed the remnants of the COVID-19 crisis and pandemic along with growing data privacy concerns.

Download Now: State of Marketing Report [2021 Version]

So, how exactly did advertisers fare in terms of strategy, challenges, and ad spend? To help you prepare for your 2022 strategy, we’ve gathered 27 stats.

You’ll learn which strategies advertisers are leveraging today, which ones they plan to invest in, and the challenges they faced and may face in 2022.

Current Ad Strategies

  • 84% of marketers’ companies run marketing campaigns and for 42% of respondents, advertising products is one of their main goals. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • This year, print advertising was a low priority for marketers, with only 19% of marketers leveraging it. It was also one of the least effective channels for advertisers. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • Paid social is a top paid channel for marketers. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • In terms of account-based marketing (ABM), paid ads were one of the top three tactics marketers used, behind creating custom content and identifying target contacts/roles. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • In 2022, 21% of marketers plan to leverage paid social for the first time. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • In 2022, around 66% of advertisers plan to respond to data depreciation by 1) learning how to leverage their data in privacy-forward ways, 2) demanding more data transparency from partners, and exploring the adoption and experimentation of artificial intelligence. (Forrester)
  • Advertisers plan to leverage AI for privacy-safe targeting, identifying conversion-ready audiences, and dynamic creative optimization (DCO). (Forrester)
  • Around 18% of advertisers plan to divest from print advertising and direct mail (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • Some advertisers will also divest from physical ads, such as signage and billboards. (HubSpot Blog Research)

Pro-tip: For your ABM needs, consider Terminus (formerly Sigstr). The platform allows you to create and target custom account segments, keep your team in the loop through connected data and insights, and measure your success in a user-friendly dashboard.

Advertising Challenges

In the past two years, data privacy has become a top concern for both consumers and marketers. In 2020, we faced the death of the third-party cookie, with Chrome blocking this type of data tracking. In September 2021, Apple announced that the IOS 15 update will affect marketers’ ability to track user behavior.

All of this has translated into challenges in paid media and many of them listed below relate to data privacy:

  • 65% of advertisers are confident in their creative assets while only 26% are confident in their targeting abilities and only 10% in media. (Forrester)
  • 87% of advertisers believe traditional targeting and tracking methods are at risk today due to data privacy concerns and policies. (Forrester)
  • 64% of advertisers fear a loss of consumer trust in their ads, which can translate into a decrease in brand loyalty. (Forrester)
  • Most advertisers (91%) believe consumers expect more personalized and engaging ads. However, 87% of advertisers say stricter data privacy implementations have made it harder to scale personalized ad experiences. (Forrester)
  • 85% of advertisers say they have a ton of data but struggle to find privacy-friendly ways to use it. (Forrester)
  • In 2021, U.S. advertisers spent $153.2 billion on internet ads, $81 billion more than on TV ads. (Statista)
  • Paid media is the number one place advertisers plan to allocate their marketing budget in the next year. (Not Another State of Marketing Report)
  • Total ad spending declined year-over-year by 1.2%, driven by a dip in traditional ad spending. (eMarketer)
  • B2B digital advertising is expected to reach $12.6 billion in 2022. (Statista)

Ad Spend and Budgeting

  • In 2021, U.S. advertisers spent $153.2 billion on internet ads, $81 billion more than on TV ads. (Statista)
  • Paid media is the number one place advertisers plan to allocate their marketing budget in the next year. (Not Another State of Marketing Report)
  • Total ad spending declined year-over-year by 1.2%, driven by a 15.7% contraction in traditional ad spending. (eMarketer)
  • B2B digital advertising is expected to reach $12.6 billion in 2022. (Statista)

Looking Forward

With data privacy becoming a big part of the conversation surrounding paid media, recent data suggests that the big focus moving forward is finding privacy-friendly ways to target users and track performance.

  • In 2022, around 66% of advertisers plan to respond to data depreciation by 1) learning how to leverage their data in privacy-forward ways, 2) demanding more data transparency from partners, and exploring the adoption and experimentation of artificial intelligence. (Forrester)
  • Advertisers plan to leverage AI for privacy-safe targeting, identifying conversion-ready audiences, and dynamic creative optimization (DCO). (Forrester)
  • Around 18% of advertisers plan to divest from print advertising and direct mail (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • Some advertisers will also divest from physical ads, such as signage and billboards. (HubSpot Blog Research)
  • In 2022, 21% of marketers plan to leverage paid social for the first time. (HubSpot Blog Research)

As you think about AI and its impact on your advertising strategy, consider the ad platform AdRoll. It uses AI to personalize product recommendations on various channels, including the web and email. AdRoll also supports other tools so you can connect your ad ecosystem simply and easily.

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The Ultimate Guide to Database Marketing

No matter what your service or product is, you need to get in front of potential customers in order to make the sale. Many businesses put their faith in social media.

While social media platforms are an amazing way to get in front of people, they have two major drawbacks. First, you may have tens of thousands of followers on your platform of choice. However, thanks to algorithms that few (if any) humans understand, you only reach a small percentage of those followers with any given post.

Second, what happens if that platform ever goes away? Don’t think for a minute that you’ll receive a neat list of contacts. If a platform ever shuts down, your audience will evaporate in seconds.

→ Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template

Fortunately, knowing this is half the battle. Now that you understand that you don’t “own” your contacts through social media, it’s time to look at how to safeguard your audience and take ownership of and responsibility for their contact information and data.

This is called Database Marketing and you’re about to learn why it’s essential to your business as well as how to utilize it properly.

What is database marketing?

Before our digital landscape became as vast as it is, businesses would collect names and addresses and send out direct mail pieces like postcards, brochures, flyers, etc. to potential and existing customers.

While traditional direct marketing still exists and can be an asset to your business, digital options give business owners a world of choice when it comes to reaching their audience. It allows you to figure out how customers want to be marketed to and then give them what they want.

Database Marketing is where businesses collect customer data such as:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Purchase history
  • Customer support history

Once collected, this information is used to create personalized experiences for each customer and house personal and buying information about them.

The Benefits of Database Marketing

Now that you understand what database marketing is, you can determine if it’s right for you.

Hint: It’s probably right for you.

No matter the size of your business, keeping your database fresh, constantly adding to it, and nurturing it is absolutely essential to your business success. You’ll see a variety of benefits, such as:

1. “Own” your contacts.

Information is power, and when you put all of the power in the hands of social media platforms, you put your future in jeopardy. Social media is wonderful and should be a part of your marketing plan, but it shouldn’t be the whole plan.

2. Speak directly to your audience members.

It’s so loud out there! It’s impossible to turn on the television or the radio, or surf the web without being bombarded with marketing and sales messages touting the next best thing that you absolutely must have.

These messages are meant to cast a wide net and reel in any customers they can. You, however, are savvy. You know that in order to be “heard” above the noise, you’ll need to adjust your messaging to your specific audience. Database marketing allows you to do this.

3. Identify avatars or buyer personas.

Who is your best customer? How do they live? What keeps them awake at night? What problem of theirs have you been able to solve? Where can you find more people just like them?

Database marketing allows you to understand your ideal customer and then target individuals who “look” just like them on paper.

4. Segment your buyers.

Create different “audiences” based on their demographics, behaviors, and buying history. This helps you understand them better and offer them more of what they want and less of what will lose their attention.

5. Create loyalty programs that inspire repeat purchases.

Figure out what is the best channel and time to contact your customers so you receive maximum engagement.

6. Kick your customer service into high gear.

Give your staff the opportunity to view all of the interactions a customer has had with your brand.

Database Marketing could be the answer to your business prayers. Of course, like anything, you have to do it properly to see a good return on investment. For that, we need to look at building a database marketing strategy.

Avoid These Pitfalls of Database Marketing

Before we dive into strategy, let’s look at a few challenges you may encounter with database marketing.

1. Data Decay

People move, change jobs, change names, abandon email addresses, and start new ones. Life changes like these could render their information relatively useless.

2. Data Accuracy

Typos happen. Sometimes accidentally, but sometimes purposefully. Some customers know that you’ll be sending them marketing emails once they provide an email address, and they don’t want to hear from you.

That’s okay. If they don’t want to hear from you, you don’t actually want to reach them because they aren’t your ideal audience.

While there’s no easy way to avoid purposeful typos, avoiding accidental errors is possible with drop-down choices instead of blank comment boxes. You can also confirm people’s information when you speak with them.

It’s important to clean up your database frequently, purging contacts with out-of-date or inaccurate information, and merging contacts with multiple profiles. This allows you to focus on reaching the people who could be your next customer or client and take care of those who already are.

3. Using Customer Data Quickly and Appropriately

If you’ve ever received an email two years after doing business with someone, it’s probably come as a shock. Chances are, they don’t update their database in a timely fashion so they completely missed the window to build rapport with you after that first interaction.

Don’t make this mistake. Once you receive information, greet them in some manner and then touch base with them on a regular schedule to nurture the contact. You’ll also want to keep their information to yourself.

Tips for Building a Database Marketing Strategy

Without a strategy, you’ve just got a whole lot of pointless data. Put your database to work for you by creating a sound strategy from the very beginning. Here’s how:

1. Identify who you want to reach.

Who is it that you’d like to do business with and what do they look like on paper? This can include demographics like age and gender, marital status, income level, and location. It might also include psychographics such as their interests, activities, and opinions.

Create an ideal customer profile or persona and then use this to determine what information you need to capture for your database.

2. Make it a team effort.

While it may have “marketing” in the title, database marketing can be influenced by multiple departments in your organization. The marketing, sales, and customer service or support departments all have contact with potential and existing customers. Look for feedback from them to build the most effective database.

3. Use the right tools.

There are countless database marketing software options out there to meet your needs. Do some research, ask for recommendations, and find one that suits your business best. Once you’ve chosen a solution, provide your employees with the training they need to utilize it fully.

4. Gather customer data.

Now that you know how you’re collecting data, it’s time to decide what you need and get started. The options are endless, however here are a few things to consider:

  • Demographic Data – This includes gender, age, marital status, parental status, health, and financial status.
  • Psychographic Data – This includes interests, actions, and opinions. What do they value? What type of lifestyle do they lead?
  • Acquisition Data – Through what channel did they enter?
  • Technographic and Activity Data – How do they connect with your brand? Is it through a desktop or mobile device? Android or iOS? Do they use your website, social media pages, or a mobile app to interact with your brand?
  • Transaction and Correspondence Data – How often do they purchase from you and what do they buy? Have they reached out outside of a sales situation for assistance of any kind?

5. Keep your data clean and safe.

As we mentioned before, it’s very easy for data to become outdated and useless. Review it frequently and back it up so if something happens to your database, your entire customer history is not lost.

6. Don’t be creepy.

You can find out a lot about people on the internet. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Respect your customer’s privacy and don’t collect or brandish information on them that won’t help serve the end goal of earning the customer and serving them better.

Examples of Database Marketing

Database marketing can be used in a number of ways and really depends on your needs and goals. Here are just a few of the ways you can incorporate database marketing into your business.

Provide amazing customer support.

Acquiring customers is important, but if you can’t keep them, you’re just spinning your wheels. Your customer service team should have access to your customer database. This allows them to review a customer’s buying history when they call in with an issue.

Imagine knowing exactly what product they are calling about and expressing your ability to help with that product before they even launch into the problem. Your approach will be personalized and will save them time explaining.

For example: “Thanks for calling. I see that you just purchased our new state-of-the-art alarm system. I can help you get that set up today.

Know what products and services your customer needs.

Having a chat about the weather is a great way to build rapport with a customer or potential customer. Do you know what’s an even better way? Not trying to sell them things they don’t need.

For example: Looking at a customer profile, you can see that they live in a high-rise apartment, have no pets, and have small children. You can skip trying to sell them the latest doggie door.

Identify your best customers and potential upsells.

When you understand who buys frequently and in large amounts, it becomes easier to identify options for upsells.

For example: Perhaps your customer has received a wine-of-the-month for two years now. You’ve just started a cheese-of-the-month add-on. You can target them with emails designed to introduce this new product opportunity.

There are a variety of ways to reach your existing and potential customers. A well-rounded marketing plan will include many of these. However, if you’d really like to get the most bang for your marketing buck, make sure that you include database marketing.

You’ll reach the customers you want to reach, and learn how to speak to them in a way that helps them hear what you’re saying. Your database will be the gift that keeps on giving.Marketing Plan Template

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Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is and How to Measure It

We’ve all had it happen to us: we try to choose an option on a website, and right before we click, the page jumps away and we end up clicking something we didn’t mean to. Doh!

Like a game of “down low, too slow”, this website behavior makes us feel slow and frustrated. Fortunately, website developers are now incentivized to improve their site experience with the release of Google’s Core Web Vitals; a set of metrics that help site owners measure and improve the user experience of their web pages.

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Cumulative Layout Shift is one of these key metrics that measures the “jumpiness” of a website and how it unexpectedly moves as elements load. Let’s take a closer look at how this metric works, and how you can make sure your own website is following best practices so you rank higher on search engines and provide your users with a better experience.

What is Cumulative Layout Shift?

Cumulative Layout Shift (or CLS) is a measure of how much a webpage unexpectedly shifts during its life. For example, if a website visitor loaded a page and, while they were reading it, a banner loads and the page jumps down, that would constitute a large CLS score.

Along with Largest Contentful Paint (the amount of time it takes to load the largest piece of content) and First Input Delay (how long it takes for a page to be interactive or “clickable”), CLS is part of Google’s Core Web Vitals. Google’s web crawlers measure CLS on each page they index.

What causes Cumulative Layout Shift?

Page shifts happen when content loads at different speeds and causes the layout to change and alters what the viewer is looking at. Advertisements loading slowly, videos of unknown size suddenly appearing, or DOM elements being dynamically added are all potential causes of CLS.

The example below shows what happens when an ad banner is loaded after the rest of the webpage loads. The content is pushed down, and the user experience is negatively impacted.

Source

It can be difficult to know if your users are experiencing CLS, because not every device or environment operates in the same way. If you’re loading your website in a development environment you may have elements cached or they may be loading locally. Personalized web content based on cookies will behave differently for every visitor, especially depending on their location. Plus, mobile users can have a very different experience – a small shift on a web browser may be monumental to someone viewing the site on a small screen. Really the only way to understand your users’ experience is to measure CLS, which we’ll go over below.

Why is CLS important?

Understanding CLS is critical for two reasons: your visitors’ experience and your search engine ranking.

Your visitors have high expectations when it comes to your site’s performance. In 2020, 93% of people reported leaving a website because it didn’t load properly.

Jumpy websites that load in pieces or with unexpected behavior will cause your visitors to find another website to browse. And if they do stick around, a high CLS score is likely to cause usability problems like choosing the wrong option, checking out too early, or missing parts of your website altogether.

This problem is only exacerbated by the large number of internet users who are browsing on their smartphones. When viewing your site on a small screen, any jumps and layout shifts on the website are certain to have a big impact on mobile user experience.

Optimizing your site and reducing your cumulative layout shift is essential to providing customers with a good experience.

Secondly, Google ranks sites based on their page performance. A better user experience results in a higher search ranking. If your page doesn’t meet the standards that Google lays out in their Core Web Vitals guidelines, your site will be penalized.

Google doesn’t want to direct people to sites that don’t perform well. Aligning with CLS best practices can help your website move up the rankings. And since 68% of online experiences start with a search, making sure your site shows up on the search results page is important to generating inbound traffic.

How do you measure Cumulative Layout Shift?

The good news is that you don’t have to measure CLS yourself because Google makes it really easy to analyze your page performance with their PageSpeed Insights tool, or in the Chrome browser using Lighthouse Tools.

To analyze performance in PageSpeed Insights:

  1. Enter a website URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
  2. Click ‘Analyze.’
  3. Check your performance. You can review both mobile and desktop performance, which you can switch between using the top left corner navigation.

The page analyzed below shows a good cumulative layout shift score of 0.001.

pagespeed insights exampleTo analyze performance using Lighthouse tools:

  1. Open up the website you want to analyze in Chrome.
  2. Navigate to Developer Tools by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window, choosing “More Tools” and then “Developer Tools.”
  3. When the console opens, choose “Lighthouse” from the options along the top.
  4. Click “Generate Report.”

The page below shows a CLS of 0.109, or “needs improvement.”

CLS score example Lighthouse provides a detailed audit of what contributed to that score. To review the audit, scroll down and choose “Show audits relevant to CLS.”

lighthouse audit example

More About Impact Fraction and Distance Fraction

Two terms you might see when researching CLS are “impact fraction” and “distance fraction.” These are the two variables that Google uses to calculate CLS.

layout shift score = impact fraction x distance fraction

Impact fraction relates to the size of the unstable element in comparison to the viewport. Distance fraction is the amount the unstable element moves as a ratio of the viewport.

So a high CLS would consist of a large element moving a long distance. A small CLS would be the result of a small element moving only a small distance.

CLS is the largest “burst” or group of layout shift scores that occur during a session window. Essentially, if a bunch of shifts happen within a five-second window, this would be considered disruptive and result in a large CLS score.

What is a good CLS score?

A good cumulative layout score is anything less than 0.1. The reports from PageInsights or Lighthouse tools will automatically flag any poor scores, as well as provide advice on how to optimize the page for better performance.

cumulative-layout-shift-1Source

How To Improve Cumulative Layout Shift

There are a few best practices that website owners can follow to improve their CLS score:

1. Use a CMS (content management system).

Especially one that integrates with Google Lighthouse or other diagnostic tools. This will make sure that you’re designing with best practices in mind, and flag any issues before you launch your site.

2. Specify size attributes for images and videos.

Rather than letting them set their own height and width, dictate size attributes for your media. By setting these attributes, you’re telling the browser how much space to set aside, even if the image isn’t loaded yet.

3. Understand how ads can influence your layout.

Google Publisher Tag offers extensive guidance about how to reserve space for ads.

Load new content below the viewport. Loading content above what the user is viewing will often cause a page to shift.

4. Use transitions and animation to provide context around page changes.

For example, a “Read more” link that scrolls the user down the page would not impact CLS because it’s an expected layout shift.

A Note On Expected Vs Unexpected Layout Shift

CLS only takes into account unexpected changes. If the layout changes because of a user-initiated action, there is no impact on CLS. This is a helpful tool to use when you don’t need to load everything all at once. Instead, offer users the opportunity to choose which elements they want to view through “read more” links or “expand topic” accordions within your page.

Offer A Better User Experience With CLS Optimization

Paying attention to CLS not only provides a better user experience, but it also boosts your search result rankings. It’s a win-win.

To meet Google’s standards for CLS, start by using a diagnostic tool to measure your website’s current performance. Take into account the basic guidelines outlined above, and keep layout shifts top of mind when designing your website, especially around transitions and content additions. With these few simple considerations, you’ll see better results across the board.SEO Starter Pack

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A Simple Guide to Lean Process Improvement

There are many businesses out there that operate with a mindset of “Well, that’s how we’ve always done it.” Unfortunately, this type of close-minded thinking can lead to a great deal of waste.

Tasks may be unnecessary to achieve the final goal, processes may be repeated multiple times when one would be sufficient, employees may be wasting time on superfluous responsibilities, and materials may be wasted during manufacturing.

When this occurs within an organization, employee satisfaction decreases so turnover increases, quality suffers so customer satisfaction and retention is decreased, and one look at the books will likely indicate the company is hemorrhaging money.

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You might think that this type of operational inefficiency only occurs in large corporations and organizations, however, it’s just as prevalent in small-to-medium-sized businesses and can be seen throughout every department.

Efficiency is the name of the game for successful businesses, and you’re about to learn one of the best ways to turn your business into a lean, mean, money-making machine.

Lean Process Improvement

What is lean process improvement?

Lean process improvement is a concept originally developed by Toyota to decrease the amount of time it took from receiving an order to delivering it. While lean process improvement is often discussed in a production environment, the concept can be applied to service, healthcare, technology, and even government.

Consider a marketing department that has multiple people working on the same project but not communicating. Rather than each handling a specific aspect of the campaign, several people tackle the same task while other activities go unhandled.

It’s not a traditional production environment, however, the team could benefit from creating an easy-to-follow process that looks at the desired end product and finds the simplest route to get there.

The whole idea behind this way of thinking is that when you look at the big picture, you can find ways to eliminate waste, whether that’s financial, physical, time, or employee energy that could be spent elsewhere. This concept may take a while to implement, and that’s okay. It’s not meant to be a short-term solution, but rather a change to the entire mindset and culture of a business.

What are the benefits of lean process improvement?

Businesses that incorporate lean process improvement see a variety of benefits from this shift. These include:

  • Less waste
  • Less inventory
  • Increased productivity
  • Better quality
  • Happier customers
  • Fewer costs
  • More profits

It makes perfect sense that when you remove the redundancy, streamline processes, and create less waste, your bottom line will increase. When your customers receive their product faster and with less hassle, you’ll have happier customers who return and recommend you to others. With more customers, your bottom line increases once again.

If you’d like to see this type of improvement in your organization, read on to learn lean process improvement steps.

How do I incorporate lean process improvement into my business?

You guessed it … there’s a process to lean process improvement. There’s actually a series of nine steps you’ll need to implement to create this level of efficiency in your organization. Let’s take a closer look at lean process improvement steps.

steps of lean process improvement

1. Review the process you want to improve.

This step is essential because if you don’t know what you need to work on, you won’t know where to focus your efforts. In order to do that, you need to talk to employees on the front line.

The biggest mistake companies make during this process is implementing changes without ever speaking to the people who do the job day in and day out. Interview your frontline workers, and ask them what’s not working well in their daily routine.

2. Identify what improvements need to be made.

Once you’ve identified what needs to be fixed, it’s time to involve your team once again. There’s a very good chance that they already know how to fix the problem and just haven’t been able to implement it because of a “That’s-how-we’ve-always-done-it” mindset.

3. Implement the suggested changes.

How will you put the changes into action? Create a plan so everyone involved understands and buys into the process. This is the best way to ensure organization-wide success.

4. Monitor how the changes are impacting your efficiency.

While it would be great if your first attempt at execution was a success, the reality is that once the process is tested in the field, it will need to be further refined. The only way to do this is through constant monitoring and reevaluating. As new issues appear, you can address them and make the necessary changes.

5. Identify what activities add value.

Throughout these steps, you’ll be assessing every single action and every aspect of your process. During this time, you must evaluate every single activity to determine whether it adds value to your process, or detracts. If an activity is deemed unnecessary, it should be removed and the process tested without it.

6. Limit risk.

Production and often business, in general, is inherently risky. This time should be used to identify any risky activities or aspects that are part of the current process and eliminate or simplify these tasks. This may involve automating an activity or simply changing the way in which it’s executed.

7. Standardize the process.

As you create and refine the process, document your progress thoroughly. This allows the process to be repeated, properly, by other employees or depending on the specific process, by other teams or departments in your organization.

8. Ensure compliance.

While lean process improvement should be a company-wide shift in culture, your industry or governing body may have specific metrics, procedures, and standardized measurements that you must adhere to. Compliance may not be sacrificed in the name of efficiency.

9. Improve the customer experience.

In determining the success of a lean process improvement plan, Marketers consider the customer experience to be “the moment of truth.” Ultimately, whatever improvements you make during production or service must trickle down to positively impact the customer.

Lean Process Improvement Tools

As you embark on this journey, there are a number of tools available to you. These tools can help you organize your thoughts, identify issues, and implement your plan. The following are just some of the tools you can look to for support.

Just like any other tool, the one you choose must be the right one for the current job. If you start out with one and don’t find that it meets your needs, consider trying another.

  • Why Analysis: By asking “Why?” repeatedly, you can identify the root cause of the challenges you’re experiencing.
  • Ishikawa Diagram: Also known as a “Fishbone diagram” or “cause-and-effect diagram”, it allows you to examine a problem from multiple angles, including measurements, materials, people, methods, machines, and environment.
  • Affinity Diagram: This works great in the early stages of lean implementation as it can help sort and organize large amounts of data. Identify the value you bring to the customer and then uncover problems with your existing processes.
  • FMEA Analysis (failure mode and effects): Catching issues before they get out of hand can help you eliminate waste and save money. This tool allows you to examine your flow and identify problems early on.
  • 5S Dashboard: This approach can help you organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. While the original tool has five S’ based on Japanese terms, many businesses have added a 6th practice. These stand for:
    • Sort
    • Set in order
    • Shine
    • Standardize
    • Sustain
    • Safety
  • Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) Cycle: Create continuous improvement by repeatedly analyzing a problem, testing a hypothesis, reviewing, and then analyzing the results, and finally, putting the plan into action once it’s successful.

Lean Process Improvement Techniques

There are a number of approaches that have been created to assist in lean process improvement. Just like the tools, it’s important to find the right technique for your project and your organization. For example:

Six Sigma (DMAIC Model)

With a goal of reducing the variation in processes, Six Sigma works to increase both external and internal customer satisfaction by standardizing workflow. The DMAIC Roadmap stands for:

  1. Define
  2. Measure
  3. Analyze
  4. Improve
  5. Control

Kanban

These boards allow you to visualize your workflow and use value stream mapping to break down your workflows into stages. Having a visual representation of your workflow, and all the activities that make it up, can assist you in identifying inefficiencies.

Sharing this board with your entire team allows anyone to stop the process when a problem occurs. Now, it becomes everyone’s job to find a solution.

WIP Limits

Within Kanban boards exist a concept known as WIP Limits or “Work in Progress Limits”. Every stage in a Kanban board workflow is represented by a column. WIP limits force you to stay under a maximum number of work items for each stage. This can be per person, per work stage, or for the entire project.

Having these limits in place ensures that current tasks are finished before new ones are started, and helps to complete activities faster.

Final Thoughts on Lean Process Improvement

Now that you understand how important lean process improvement is to a successful, efficient organization, it’s a good time to reiterate that this is an ongoing process. If you attempt to overhaul your entire organization overnight, you will undoubtedly fail and most likely make things worse than when you started.

Identify the biggest sources of inefficiency in your organization and target these first, one at a time, until you’ve created a well-functioning business.

Finally, remember that your most valuable assets are the employees getting their hands dirty every day. Attempting to identify problems and create solutions without getting their input is akin to driving blind when you could simply open your eyes.New call-to-action

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How Do Conversion Paths Work? A Step-by-Step Guide

As a marketer, a big part of your job is to convert qualified website visitors into leads. Simple enough.

More specifically, inbound marketing requires you to create remarkable content they’ll want to trade their contact information for. From there, those leads turn into opportunities, who turn into customers and even promoters.

Clearly, conversions are a big deal. So how can you optimize yours? By creating conversion paths optimized to most effectively convert your ideal visitors into leads.

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While not all conversion paths are identical and depend on the type of business they’re for, they have a few common attributes: a landing page, a call-to-action, a content offer or end point, and a thank you page.

  • Landing page: A landing page is a specific page on your website designed to collect a visitor’s contact information in exchange for a resource, like a course, ebook, or other product.
  • Call-to-action: A call-to-action is a section on a webpage or advertisement that persuades the visitor to act or do something. These can take the form of buttons prompting website visitors to sign up, subscribe, or buy a product.
  • Thank you page: The thank you page shows your visitors that you appreciate them for taking a desired action. For example, a thank you page might appear after a visitor has signed up for a newsletter or filled out a form.
  • End point: This may be in the form of a content offer, which is any material or resource given to a visitor in exchange for their contact information, completing the conversion path. These materials could be guides, ebooks, courses or other products. For e-commerce, instead of a content offer, a conversion path may end in a purchase.

Conversion Path

In order to convert into a lead, a visitor sees a content offer of interest to them (or product in the case of e-commerce), clicks on the call-to-action button to access that content, and is then taken to a landing page. On that landing page, the visitor can provide their information on a form in exchange for access to the offer itself. Upon submitting that form, the now-lead is taken to a thank you page where they receive the offer.

Voila! Conversion path complete.

By designing and implementing the right conversion paths, you can most effectively move website visitors through the buyer’s journey and help them become customers and promoters.

Conversion Path ExampleConversion path example landing page

Let’s say you’ve been lured to the landing page above after searching online for tips for preventing frizzy hair.

You’re then prompted by a CTA (pictured below) that invites sign up for their email list in exchange for 10% of their products.

Conversion path example CTA You decide you’d like to try one of their satin-lined caps to fight frizz and take them up on the offer.

conversion path example thank you page A thank you page pops up once you’ve filled out the form giving instructions on how to access your discount code. Once you get the code from your email, you use it to purchase one of their caps. Ta-da! The conversion path is complete.

What makes a good conversion path?

Well as you might have guessed, you need content, a call-to-action, a landing page, and a thank you page. But with so many conversion paths out there on the internet for your potential customers to explore, it’s more important than ever to create the RIGHT paths — paths that your ideal customers are drawn to and most effectively convert the right visitors into leads.

What are the steps to creating a conversion path?

Let’s explore the key items you need in your inbound toolkit to create effective conversion paths that turn casual visitors into customers.

1. Attract your target audience with context-appropriate content.

Content is the fuel that powers effective inbound strategies—and it’s what you’ll use to convert those website visitors into leads. The good news is that content is everywhere! Content is what your website pages are filled with, what goes into your emails, and what’s hosted on your blog — your website pages, emails, and blog are just vehicles to deliver that content.

Although content is in no short supply, in order for it to act as your inbound rocket fuel, you need to create the right content. As you can probably guess, the right content is optimized to appeal specifically to your buyer personas. It should focus on the challenges they’re trying to overcome and the goals they’re looking to hit. Most of all, it should be relevant and interesting to them.

But here’s the kicker — it’s not enough to just create persona-specific content. That content needs to be relevant to your persona based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.

The buyer’s journey is the active research process your personas go through leading up to making a purchase — and specific content is more relevant to your personas at different stages of that journey. This is where the “context” piece comes in: It’s not enough to just create content for your personas. You have to make sure that content is relevant to what they’re interested in and hoping to learn more about.

Most visitors to your site are still at the very beginning stages of that journey — they might not even know what your product does or how it can help them. All they may know is that they have a problem or there’s an opportunity at hand. So, the content that will most appeal to your personas when they’re first visiting your website and converting a lead will generally be high-level and educational in nature.

In order to be an effective tool in your conversion path toolkit, make sure you have remarkable content tailored to your buyer personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

2. Create landing pages that speak to your personas.

After you’ve developed a remarkable content offer that speaks to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey, the next step is to leverage that piece of content to convert website visitors into leads. That’s where landing pages come in.

Landing pages are specialized website pages whose sole purpose is to collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for something of value to them. Landing pages contain forms that potential leads must fill out and submit before getting access to your remarkable content offer. And like that offer, great landing pages must also be tailored to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

In order to most effectively convert website visitors into leads, your landing pages must present the benefits of your offer that are most relevant to the particular problem your persona is experiencing — and discuss the aspects of that problem that are most important to where your persona is in the buyer’s journey.

Imagine, for example, you work at a pet store and have created an ebook on raising a puppy. Someone who’s at the beginning of the buyer’s journey probably won’t be too interested in downloading your ebook if your landing page talks all about how your ebook contains the best techniques for housebreaking. Instead, an effective landing page for this persona might highlight how your ebook discusses how to choose the right dog breed for you.

Great landing pages focus on both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

3. Use attention-grabbing calls-to-action.

While having a remarkable content offer and great landing page are key to creating a successful conversion path, your website visitors need a way to actually access that landing page in the first place. That’s where calls-to-action come in.

Calls-to-action or CTAs, are buttons you can embed throughout your website that advertise your content offers. When a visitor clicks on one of these calls-to-action, they’ll be taken to your landing page. In effect, every call-to-action you have on your website is the beginning of a conversion path.

To create calls-to-action that get those clicks and act as key steps within your conversion paths, you must ensure that the message displayed on your call-to-action aligns with the message on your landing page — and the content itself.

Great calls-to-action should be just that: action-oriented. Since their main objective is to garner clicks and direct people to landing pages, ensure that they’re click-worthy by using actionable language and colors that help them stand out from the rest of your website.

4. Close the deal with optimized thank you pages.

If a call-to-action is the beginning of a conversion path, a thank you page marks its end. Thank you pages are the final item you need in your inbound toolkit to lead your website visitors down a conversion path to become, well, a lead.

Thank you pages are specialized website pages from which your now-leads can download the offer promised by your call-to-action and landing page. They’re also an opportunity to move people further along in the buyer’s journey, by including things like additional calls-to-action that complement the offer you’ve just provided your lead.

Improving the Mobile Conversion Path Experience

Designing for mobile is no longer optional, it’s a must. According to a 2020 report from Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA, formerly Groupe Spécial Mobile), nearly half the world’s population uses a mobile device to access the internet. By the end of 2019, 3.8 billion people were mobile internet users, an increase of 250 million users from the previous year.

With those numbers in mind, there’s a good chance visitors will access your website from their phone or tablet versus a desktop. If you want to create an effective conversion path, It’s imperative to consider the mobile user experience. Follow these steps to create a mobile conversion path that sets visitors up for success.

  • Start with a responsive design: A responsive design adapts to both desktop and mobile devices by rendering the display differently based on screen size. Visitors won’t have to pinch or zoom in while browsing your website via mobile, which leads to a better user experience. Additionally, having a responsive design signals to Google that your site is mobile-friendly, which will help improve your rankings in search results for mobile users.
  • Nix cluttered landing pages: When it comes to smaller screens, minimalism is a virtue. Having long-form, relevant content, images and video may translate well on desktop, but can be too busy for mobile devices. Avoid unnecessary text, images, and features that may make it difficult for visitors to find the information they’re looking for. Visitors can’t become leads if they can’t navigate your website. Consider the information most relevant to your audience, and leave out the rest.
  • Keep CTAs to a minimum: As noted above, with smaller screens you’ll want to take extra care with how that real estate is allocated. Opt for one (or a few), clear call-to-action button as the main focus that your potential customers can easily find. Keep sign-up forms short, only asking for the information you absolutely need. Avoid burying the call-to-action at the bottom of the page after several paragraphs of text. In most cases, mobile users will not scroll down to the end of the page to see it.

As people become increasingly attached to their phones, taking the mobile user experience into account will improve your chances of converting more leads.

Conversion paths are invaluable in inbound marketing as they convert website visitors into leads. When done right, an effective conversion path can move leads beyond an initial conversion, ultimately turning them into customers.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May, 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Report: Data from 1,000+ Global Marketers

The only constant in the world of marketing is that things are always changing.

And, if you’re a marketer, business leader, or entrepreneur aiming to plan an effective 2022 strategy that puts you far ahead of your competitors, you probably want to know:

As the HubSpot Blog’s Research Analyst, I launched our Marketing Industry Survey to help fellow bloggers and readers answer the questions above — and gain further industry insights into 2022 planning.

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Our Survey Sample

We surveyed 1,067 global marketers from across B2B and B2C companies from small to large employee sizes. The sample included professionals at varying experience levels from seven countries: the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, France, and Japan.

Read on to learn about some of the most interesting key findings, get strategic recommendations based on our data, and find even more blog content that dives even deeper into our research.

Which trends are marketers already leveraging today?

Influencer marketing, mobile-friendly website design, short-form video, virtual events, and experiential marketing are the top trends marketers currently leverage.

These trends will see continued growth in 2022 as most marketers will increase their investment in them or continue investing the same amount.

Let’s dive into each trend and how marketers are thinking about them moving into the next year.

1. Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing was once less accessible to small brands that couldn’t budget a high-priced celebrity or a top-tier social media user, the growth of social media has led to an abundance of influencers with nano to macro followings.

Now, as more businesses invest in influencer marketing, they’re beginning to see solid benefits. In our survey, Influencer marketing was the most popular and most effective trend with the biggest ROI.

By working with an influencer that’s gained trust, expertise, or notability in a specific industry, brands can gain awareness, traffic, and potentially conversions from that influencer’s audience.

2. Short-Form Video

As TikTok’s virality grew in 2020 and 2021, other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube rushed to get into the short-form video game. And, as more platforms continue to shift to prioritizing quick, fast-paced content, so have marketers.

Our Marketing Strategy Survey results show that short-form video is popular, effective, and still growing, especially among social media marketers.

In fact, 30% of social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form video than any other social media marketing strategy in 2022. Meanwhile, 33% plan to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2022.

3. Virtual Events

Virtual events are popular, effective, and will continue to be a top trend marketers leverage in 2022.

However, 17% of marketers who leverage virtual events will decrease their investment in 2022, the second-highest decrease of any trend marketers invested in during 2021. Additionally, while 31% of marketers currently leverage virtual events, just 9% of marketers plan to leverage them for the first time in 2022.

If you have virtual events planned, don’t let this research panic you. Virtual events are still the third most prominent trend marketers will invest in throughout the next year.

Additionally, the decreases noted above could signal a natural transition from virtual to hybrid or physical events as more public venues fully re-open in the next year. As an event marketer, it will be important to weigh all of your options and local mandates to determine which event type will be most effective and comfortable for your audience in the coming year.

Which trends do marketers plan to leverage for the first time in 2022?

Short-form video, social responsibility, and inbound marketing are the top trends marketers plan to leverage for the first time in 2022.

While I explained some of the appeals to short-form videos above, here’s a quick snippet about the other two trends.  

trends marketers plan to leverage for the first time

Brands Will Take More Social Responsibility

In 2020 and 2021, consumers paid more attention than ever to how companies treated their customers, audiences, employees, and the world around them. And, many companies used this time to take a stance on their values. As these brands took on more social responsibility, they found that current or new audiences shared their values and gained trust, credibility, memorability, and awareness from those consumers.

Moving into 2022, more marketers are recognizing the importance of social responsibility. Investment in social responsibility will continue to grow from those already leveraging it and from marketers using it for the first time.

Digital Transformation Will Boost Inbound Marketing Use

As we move into 2022, consumers will be more connected to the web and digital platforms than ever. And, outbound strategies have gotten even more out of date.

To meet customers and audiences where they are, 23% of marketers will leverage inbound marketing for the first time.

To read more about short-form content, social responsibility, and other key trends analyzed in this survey, check out these posts:

Which marketing channels are businesses leveraging?

The top channels marketers currently use are social media, website/blog, and email marketing.

the top channels businesses are leveraging

1. Social Media

Social media is the most popular and most effective marketing channel, with the highest ROI.

The use of social media will continue to grow, with 39% of those who don’t use social media planning to leverage it for the first time in 2022.

Additionally, 26% of marketers plan to invest more in social media than any other channel in 2022

In 2022, 51% of marketers who leverage social media plan to increase their investment in social media marketing, and 37% will continue investing the same amount.

The Top Social Media Platforms

1. Instagram

Instagram is the most popular social platform, just ahead of YouTube and Facebook.

However, Facebook has the biggest ROI of any platform, and 25% of social media marketers say they will invest more in it than any other platform in 2022.

2. YouTube

YouTube is No. 2 in terms of usage, but ROI lags behind Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Still, expect to see the platform continue to see marketing growth as brands continue to leverage it for its ginormous audience and growing brand opportunities.

3. TikTok

While TikTok is the No. 6 platform in terms of usage by social media marketers, 62% of those who leverage it plan to increase their investment in 2022, the highest of any social platform.

The Top Marketing Content Formats

Video content, blogs, images, and infographics are the top media formats.

1. Videos

Video leads across the board as the most popular and effective format with the highest ROI, and 30% of content marketers plan to invest in video more than any other format in 2022.

2. Blogs

Blogs are popular, effective, and have the 3rd highest ROI of any format.

The use of blogs will continue growing in 2022, with 29% of content marketers planning to leverage blogs for the first time and 10% planning to invest more in blogs than any other format.

3. Infographics.

Adoption of infographics will continue growing as 45% of content marketers currently leverage them and 38% plan to leverage them for the first time in 2022.

Additionally, 56% of content marketers who leverage infographics say it is the most effective content format they use.

4. Podcasts and Audio Content

Only one in three content marketers use podcasts or other audio content. While 51% of those who do plan to invest more in 2022, 43% plan to continue investing the same amount 

Despite low ROI reports, 53% of content marketers who leverage podcasts and other audio content say it is the most effective format they use.

5. Audio Chat Rooms

Just 14% of social media marketers leverage audio chat rooms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, but 68% of those who do say it’s the most effective social media strategy they use, despite low ROI.

Additionally, 49% of those who already use audio chat rooms plan to increase their investment in 2022, while 47% plan to maintain their current investment next year.

More Insights From the HubSpot Blog

Has this data inspired you to build out or refine your marketing strategy in 2022? Be sure to keep following the HubSpot Blog’s data-driven content to dive deeper into current and emerging industry trends.

Next, check out this post where I give 11 recommendations for marketers based on the data above, plus survey findings that didn’t make it into this post. 

Below are a few blog posts that further break down the findings of our Marketing Industry Trends survey. We’ll continue to update this list as we publish more articles, so be sure to bookmark this page!

More Marketing Industry Trend Insights

The Marketing Trends of 2022: The Ultimate Guide

The Top 5 B2C Marketing Trends of 2022 [HubSpot Blog Data]

6 Short-Form Video Trends Marketers Need to Watch in 2022

11 Marketing Recommendations for 2022 [Based on HubSpot Blog Data]

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Why Twitter Fleets Were Discontinued [+Alternatives for Brands That Used It]

The social media landscape is constantly changing with new features being introduced, and old features being retired constantly.

Sometimes though, a new feature doesn’t quite do what the platform developers intended. Maybe it doesn’t work properly, or perhaps it just doesn’t have the outcome they were expecting. When that’s the case, it’s removed to make way for newer and better.

Download Now: Social Media Trends in 2022 [Free Report]

This is exactly what happened with Twitter Fleets. That’s right, after just 10 short months, Twitter Fleets have been discontinued.

The Short Life of Twitter Fleets

When the production team over at Twitter designed Twitter Fleets, they were hoping to increase the number of new people joining Twitter. Fleets were highlighted at the top of the screen and were similar to Instagram Stories and Snapchat in that posts disappeared in 24-hours.

Ilya Brown, VP of Consumer Product said in a Twitter blog post from July 14th that, “We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts.”

Snapchat has been building loyal followers since it debuted in July of 2011, and Instagram Stories became a thriving feature for users of the platform in August of 2016, allowing them to share images and videos with their audience which disappear within 24 hours. The idea that Twitter users might enjoy the same low-pressure posting seemed reasonable enough.

The main goal for the feature was to attract more users, Brown said, “Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others.”

The announcement in early July had many people wondering why Twitter Fleets was discontinued. Well, after implementing the feature and testing it out for several months, they saw no notable increase in the number of new people on Twitter and decided to ax the project.

It’s now back to the drawing board for Twitter as they look for new ways to inspire people to join the conversation, not only by sharing others’ Tweets but also by creating their own. Brown said that they are using what they learned during this experiment to optimize some of their other features and improve the experience for their users. They found that the top of the timeline is still a great spot to highlight what’s happening now so users will still see Spaces up there when someone they follow is “hosting or speaking in a live audio conversation.” They’ll also explore different updates to improve photos and videos such as the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and the use of GIF stickers.

Social media platforms don’t usually act that quickly to remove a feature that’s producing sub-par results. While Twitter Fleets may not have done what it was intended to do, it has shown the world that if something isn’t working, it can be shut down quickly.

Alternatives to Twitter Fleets

With Twitter Fleets gone, many social media users are looking for alternatives. For now, it looks like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook stories are the best options for those looking to post quick pieces of content that are live for 24 hours.

For brands looking to stay connected with their communities on social media, Instagram stories are currently best for reach. According to Rival IQ, brands that have the highest engagement on Instagram post stories approximately 16 times per month, sharing one to three frames each time.

As mentioned before, the social media landscape is constantly changing. There could be an existing platform adding new functionality, or an entirely new social media platform in the works as we speak. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s next on the horizon.

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Why Millions of U.S. Employees are Quitting Their Jobs and How Companies Can Navigate

The past two years have been anything but consistent.

The pandemic left the United States in the worst recession in history. People struggled to adjust to remote work, and what we defined as “normal” varied day-by-day.

And yet: Out of that turmoil and inconsistency, we now see a record number of people quitting their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 4 million people quit their jobs in April 2021, and July saw another 4 million leave.

Which leads me to question: Amidst the past two years of unpredictability — and a resulting lack of security — why are so many people taking the leap now?

Here, we’ll explore what employee turnover is, how much it could be costing your business, and how to calculate employee turnover. Plus, how employers can minimize the effects of what’s being called the Great Resignation, according to experts.

Download Now: Free Company Culture Code Template 

What is employee turnover?

Employee turnover refers to the percentage of employees who leave your company during a given period of time.

Your company’s employee turnover rate includes anyone who leaves for any reason. This includes resignations, terminations, or retirements. However, turnover rate typically doesn’t include internal movement, such as an employee switching teams or being promoted.

Turnover can cost a business thousands — if not millions — of dollars, and can negatively impact team morale and performance.

All of which is to say: The lower your turnover rates, the better. Low turnover rates signal a healthy, engaging company culture— which is critical for any business’ long-term success.

To determine how your company’s turnover rates compare, let’s explore average turnover rates by industry next.

Employee Turnover Rates in 2020 (By Industry)

Employee turnover rates vary by industry, so you’ll want to do your own research to determine how your company’s turnover rates stack up against competitors.

However, to give you a sense for an appropriate range, let’s take a look at a few turnover rates by industry as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor(it’s important to note, these turnover rates are from 2020, which had unusually high turnover rates):

  • Professional and business services: 69.2%
  • Health care and social assistance: 45.2%
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities: 60.5%
  • Retail trade: 69.7%
  • Leisure and hospitality: 129.3%
  • Government: 24.2%
  • Real estate and rental and leasing: 49.4%

Next, let’s look at average employee turnover rates.

Average Employee Turnover Rates

In 2021, the overall turnover rate across industries was 57.3% — but that drops to just 25% when considering voluntary turnover alone.

Voluntary turnover trends continue to rise. In fact, the Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report states that there’s been an 8% increase in turnover rates since 2018, and an 88% increase since 2010.

Average turnover rates varies significantly depending on your industry. However, a 90% employee retention rate is generally considered good — which means the closer you can get to a 10% turnover rate, the better.

Cost of Employee Turnover

The cost of employee turnover is broken down into the costs of four factors — the cost to terminate, the cost to hire a replacement, the vacancy cost (i.e. how many days the job is open multiplied by the average value of the job per day), and the productivity cost (i.e. how long it takes the new hire to get up to speed).

Josh Bersin of Deloitte says the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2X the employee’s annual salary. This means, if you lose an employee who was making $70,000, you can expect to lose upwards of $140,000.

Alternatively, the Work Institute cites the cost of employee turnover at roughly 30%of the employee’s salary — meaning, if you lose an employee who was making $70,000, you’ll expect to lose closer to $21,000.

Employee Benefit News suggests a similar turnover cost at roughly 33% of a worker’s annual salary.

So, whichever way you slice it … you stand to lose a lot of money with each individual employee who leaves. Of course, turnover costs are so difficult to quantify because they’re so specific to each employee’s role and salary.

When determining your own turnover costs, you’ll also want to keep in mind the negative impact high turnover rates can have on company culture and employee productivity — which could lead to even more lost revenue down the line.

How to Calculate Employee Turnover [Plus High and Low Rates]

To calculate your turnover rates, you need to divide the number of employees who leave your company by the total average number of employees, and then multiply by 100.

And, to find your average number of employees, you’ll want to take the number of active employees at the beginning and end of each period, and then divide by two.

how to calculate employee turnoverTo understand this concept, let’s consider an example. If you have 1,200 employees at the beginning of the month, and 1,250 at the end of the month, your average number of employees on a monthly basis is 1,225 (1,200 + 1,250 / 2).

Now, let’s calculate your monthly turnover rate. In the month of September, if 7 people left your company, your turnover rate formula looks like this:

how to calculate employee turnover monthlyTo calculate annual turnover (which is typically the number companies use when assessing employee trends), you’ll want to find your average number of annual employees. If at the beginning of 2021 you had 1,200 employees, and at the end of 2021 you had 1,500 employees, your average number of employees is 1,350 (1,200 + 1,500 / 2).

Now, let’s calculate your annual employee turnover. If you had 200 employees leave in 2021, your annual turnover rate formula looks like this:

how to calculate employee turnover annualTo put these numbers into context, you’ll want to determine what a high and low turnover rate for your industry looks like, since turnover rates vary greatly depending on industry. For instance, retail and e-commerce saw a 30.7% turnover rate in 2021, while the technology industry’s turnover was roughly 20%, and financial services was closer to 15%.

Why is turnover so high?

To reduce employee turnover, we first need to understand what’s causing it.

For starters, we’re seeing employee turnover increasing on a national scale. The Labor Department reports that job openings outnumbered the unemployed by more than 2 million in July as companies struggled to fill positions.

Additionally, Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index predicts 40% of the global workforce will consider leaving their employer this year.

This extreme workplace shift — being called the “Great Resignation” — is due to a variety of factors.

To better understand the high turnover rates of the past year, I spoke with Lily Zheng, a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategist and Consultant.

Zheng told me, “We call it a great resignation but it’s more of a great correction. These are employees who had already resolved to leave in 2020 but felt they couldn’t.”

Our HubSpot Blog analyst further investigated this issue by polling 500 marketing professionals to learn why turnover was high at their companies. (Those polled belong to both B2B and B2C companies.)

As shown below, 41% of respondents cite lack of work-life balance as the primary reason for high turnover. Another 37% additionally cite a lack of flexible work schedules.

why was turnover high in 2020 and 2021

HubSpot Blog Research

In 2020 and 2021, flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to work from anywhere became a necessity as the world shifted to a pandemic and post-pandemic workforce. And even as offices begin to re-open, we see employees continue to prioritize work-life balance and flexibility.

A few other factors? Lack of remote work options, lack of career growth opportunities, burnout, and employees switching careers to pursue other passions.

For better or worse, the pandemic permanently shifted people’s mindsets when it comes to what they value. And one of the biggest value shifts is a newfound prioritization of time.

Simply put, people will work hard for your company if you enable them to choose when, where, and how they work best.

Next, let’s explore a few tips for reducing employee turnover at your organization.

How to Reduce Employee Turnover

1. Give employees a remote or hybrid option (if conducive to your business and work culture).

Now that people have settled into a remote lifestyle, many of them don’t want to return to the office. In fact, when HubSpot surveyed roughly 500 marketers, 40% of respondents said they’d like to continue working remotely full-time even when given the option to return to the office.

A remote lifestyle enables employees to dedicate more time to priorities outside of work. For instance, I have one colleague who now spends her mornings journaling and meditating — which greatly outweighs her old mornings of being stuck in traffic on her commute to work.

I have another colleague who spends lunch break with his kids.

People have recognized the amount of valuable time they win back when they’re fully remote. So if your company doesn’t offer remote or hybrid options, some of your employees will inevitably leave.

2. Prioritize your employees’ well-being.

Promoting wellness at work has been proven to result in better productivity and less employee turnover — which is why it’s a critical strategy to consider when aiming to reduce turnover.

As Lily Zheng writes in her LinkedIn post with over 19,000 reactions, “Your employees aren’t leaving just because they’ve found better opportunities elsewhere. They’re leaving because this is the first chance they’ve gotten to re-balance the scales of their own wellbeing and success, scales that you and your company swung out of whack during the pandemic.”

Seeing as the post received over 19,000 reactions, I’m willing to bet many employees — and employers — agree that, in some instances, well-being wasn’t prioritized by companies in 2020.

To invest in your employees’ well-being, consider creating a wellness program, which includes strategies aimed at increasing physical activity, reducing employee stress, and offering information on nutrition and health.

Additionally, a few big factors that contribute to a positive workplace experience include flexible work hours, an emphasis on autonomy, an investment in diversity and inclusion, and a focus on employees’ mental health and psychological safety above all else.

3. Foster a sense of belonging.

If you want to reduce turnover, take belongingness seriously.

A sense of belonging is undeniably critical for long-term employee satisfaction. In fact, there’s a 91% correlation between employees who say they belong and those who stay engaged at work, and a 50% drop in attrition among employees who report a sense of belonging.

As Belonging Strategist and Managing Director of BelongingIQ Abam Mambo puts it, “Employees who feel a sense of belonging tend to stay engaged, productive, and are far less likely to leave than those who feel excluded. So if you want your good employees to stay, invest in belongingness.”

How can you invest in belongingness? While this list isn’t exhaustive, Mambo lists a few strategies you can implement to begin facilitating a sense of belonging on your team:

  • Appoint and pipeline inclusive leaders
  • Recruit and empower a diverse workforce
  • Implement fair and equitable employment practices
  • Reward performance
  • Reframe your ‘speak-up’ program to ensure employees are heard, treated fairly, and not retaliated against

Ultimately, a sense of belonging contributes to an employee’s sense of pride, happiness, and satisfaction at work. So investing in belonging won’t just help your turnover rates — when done right, it will also positively impact your bottom line, as employees who belong are also employees who are engaged.

abam mambo quote on turnover rates-1

4. Use a net promoter score to measure employee satisfaction.

A net promoter score (NPS) survey can help you measure your employee satisfaction, and how likely your employees are to suggest your workplace to friends or family.

The survey uses a 0-10 scale, and those in the high range (between 9-10), are your most loyal and engaged employees who will help fuel your growth through word-of-mouth. The next batch (scoring between 7-8), are satisfied but slightly more indifferent — these are employees who are more susceptible to competitors’ offers.

And, finally, you have your lower scorers (between 0-6). This signifies a group of employees who aren’t fully satisfied at your company. These people are less engaged and more willing to leave.

To lower turnover rates, it’s vital you determine what’s working for your employees, and what isn’t. If you aren’t measuring employee satisfaction, there’s no way for you to know how to improve it. A NPS can help you determine weak spots in your current culture and opportunities to strengthen your employee offerings, which will enable you to keep more employees around for the long-haul.

5. Offer competitive pay and benefits.

Earning more money is the top reason people leave jobs. In fact, PayScale research found 25% of people surveyed left their jobs for higher pay — ranking far above people who left because they were unhappy, wanted more flexibility, or needed to relocate.

Offering competitive pay depends on a variety of factors. You’ll want to consider your geographic area and industry to determine a baseline competitive rate.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind the level of expertise for which you’re hiring, as well as supply and demand — for instance, if you’re looking for a senior developer and you know the pool of developers is relatively small in your area, you might need to increase base pay to compete.

If you can’t increase base rate, consider offering competitive benefits packages, instead. Tuition reimbursement, PTO, flexible hours, fitness discounts, and parental leave are all factors to consider when creating a comprehensive employee benefits package.

6. Provide professional development opportunities.

Learning and professional development matters for long-term employee satisfaction.

Consider, for instance, how 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if the company invested in helping them learn.

Additionally, did you know Gen Z learners watched 50% more hours of learning content in 2020 compared to 2019?

Ultimately, the desire to learn and grow is fundamental to human nature. So investing in training and development opportunities is vital for reducing employee turnover.

As Greenhouse’s Director of Talent Acquisition Ariana Moon puts it, “Investing in growing and up-skilling employees is especially important in the context of our rapidly evolving digital environment today.”

Moon says, “Recognizing the talent you have and prioritizing internal mobility is not only key for retention and engagement, but also a win-win for your company due to opportunities to cross-pollinate knowledge and skills across teams.”

While Moon acknowledges the hesitations some team leaders might feel when considering internal mobility programs (due to anxiety about vacancies they’ll have if people move off their teams), she says it’s ultimately critical for the success of the business as a whole. 

As Moon puts it, “Companies need to think holistically about how internal movement can benefit the overall business — through improving morale and productivity, elongating tenure due to new opportunities for growth, and developing employees who have multifaceted skill sets and are more resilient to change.”

At HubSpot, we offer development and training courses that focus on clear communication, leading effectively, giving and receiving feedback, and expanding impact. These trainings are offered by HubSpotters, for HubSpotters.

To create an effective learning and development program, you’ll want to map out a clear career growth plan for each department. Next, you’ll need to determine which skills are vital for each role. Once you have a list of skills, you can begin mapping out a plan that includes training and development opportunities for each of those necessary skills.

7. Be thoughtful and strategic when hiring new candidates.

Retention rates will vary greatly depending on your hiring process. The more time and effort you can put into finding the right candidate(s) who will fit well into your existing organization, the less likely you are to see high turnover rates. 

As Co-Founder and CEO of Crosschq Michael Fitzsimmons puts it, “Historically, hiring managers have been incentivized to increase headcount as fast as possible, but the data shows that approach is a losing proposition. As recruiters work quickly to keep pace with filling roles, they rely on imperfect gauges for candidate quality — including resume claims, interview feedback, and perhaps traditional reference checks.”

“Unfortunately, these methods are scattered at best, introducing bias and frankly, noise. In fact, Crosschq’s research has shown only a 9% correlation between interview scores and the quality of a hiring decision.”

Fitzsimmons adds, “The finish line isn’t the new hire’s first day on the job … it’s the productivity, culture fit, and retention of that hire for months and years to come. It’s important to align what you’re hiring for with what you’re expecting on the other side.”

To improve your hiring strategy, Fitzsimmons recommends modernizing your hiring tools and processes to better leverage data insights for improved hiring decisions. 

Additionally, it’s vital you’re clear and honest upfront with candidates about a role. Even though it might be tempting to paint an unrealistic picture of a role to secure high-quality candidates, it’s better in the long-run if you ensure your candidates are fully aware of both the perks and challenges of each role before they’re hired.

Ariana Moon agrees that hiring is vital for long-term retention — as is onboarding.

She told me, “Many industry surveys have shown that over 85% of new hires make the decision [to stay or leave] within the first six months of employment. That number can be traced back to the onboarding experience. 69% of employees will stay for longer than 3 years if their onboarding experience is good, while 1 in 5 will leave within 45 days if it’s bad.”

To improve your onboarding process, Moon suggests taking a hard look at your programming through the lens of various employee personas, and focus on creating experiences where each new hire can feel heard, represented, supported, and enabled for success.

8. Develop an inclusive culture for distributed teams.

Inclusivity is undeniably paramount for ensuring each employee feels valued — but as the workplace changes, you’ll need to adjust your approach to ensure you’re still creating an inclusive environment for a hybrid or fully remote team.

“To create an inclusive culture,” Zheng told me, “I’d first encourage employers to show humility and admit you don’t know the best solutions for a new, hybrid environment. Host focus groups and listening sessions, and ask your employees what would be ideal for them — and then collect the data.”

As Zheng describes, an inclusive workplace will look different for everyone. Perhaps your data shows your team wants to return to the office — in which case, the ideal solution is to support a return-to-office policy.

Alternatively, maybe your workforce has people who want to feel a greater sense of connection, but don’t necessarily want to return to the office. “In that case,” Zheng says, “maybe you’d benefit from considering a model where you ask people to come back to the office for social activities or team-building activities, but outside of those activities you support remote work.”

Of course, if you have a distributed team with employees across the globe already, you’ll want to brainstorm how you can create a more inclusive culture in a fully remote environment.

Reducing employee turnover will likely require more than just the eight tips mentioned above. Employee satisfaction varies between industries and individual companies, so you’ll want to take the time to research what truly drives people towards — or away from — your business.

lily zheng quote on turnover rates

And, as Zheng reminds me — reflection is key. “It’s important for employers to recognize that employees have a lot of power right now, and so it’s not the time to be complacent … And, [as you reflect on your employees’ experience], go back and consider which aspects of the ‘status quo’ have always failed a large portion of your workforce. What do you need to reckon with if you want to survive into 2022 and beyond?”

Ultimately, the pandemic shifted people’s perspectives and values when it comes to work. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you notice your turnover rates are higher than normal, consider what you need to change to remain competitive in a post-pandemic landscape.

company culture template

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The Marketer’s Guide to Process Mapping

Imagine you’re tasked with baking a cake for a friend’s birthday. You’re not exactly an expert baker, so you hop online and look for an easy-to-follow recipe that will help your dessert be the star of the party.

Your mouth is watering as you scroll through photo after photo of delicious-looking cakes. Finally, you settle on a gorgeous strawberry shortcake photo and dive into the recipe. It has a list of ingredients and then one line of instruction that says: “Bake cake.”

Confused, you frantically scroll down looking for more guidance. With none available, you end up wasting ingredients when you have to remix your batter and it takes forever to bake because you have to stop and repeat earlier steps or start from scratch because you’ve done something wrong.

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Your cake is an utter failure and you end up swinging by a bakery on your way to the party.

Perhaps you’ve never had to bake a cake, but no doubt, you’ve been given assignments at work that leave you wishing you could rely on a bakery.

The only information provided to you is an end goal and you struggle to meet your boss’s expectations because you have no idea how to complete the task they’ve given you.

It happens more than you think, and if you’re a manager, you may even be guilty of doing this to your employees.

When this happens, projects don’t get done on time or don’t get done properly, employees are frustrated and employee satisfaction tanks, and with missed deadlines or no finished product at all, customers will go elsewhere to have their needs met.

If only there were a way to avoid this type of problem.

You probably guessed that there is. It’s called business process mapping, and you’re going to learn how this could help save your business.

Business Process Mapping

What is process mapping?

Creating a process is when you break down a project into a series of tasks and activities that will eventually create your desired end result. Process mapping is a strategy whereby you create a visual representation of this process which is easy-to-follow and can be communicated to everyone involved in the project.

Going back to our cake example, a process is the steps that take you from gathering and measuring your ingredients, all the way to leaving the cake in the oven for a prescribed amount of time, and everything in between. You are transforming inputs (ingredients and steps) into outputs (delicious cake).

When you get the process down on paper or on a computer, you’re able to see inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and the challenges that your team or your customers may be facing. Armed with this information, you can tweak your process to correct these problems and create a well-oiled machine.

The Benefits of Process Mapping

No matter what industry you represent, product or service you offer, or department you work in, process mapping can help you improve efficiency, employee and customer satisfaction, and your bottom line. Here are just a few of the benefits of incorporating process mapping into your organization:

1. Identify redundancies.

If you make a product, materials may be wasted if employees have to repeat activities before they get them right. Whether you offer a product or a service, your employees’ time is valuable and care should be taken not to waste that either. To that end…

2. Improve employee efficiency.

It’s been stated that between 15% and 20% of employee time is wasted due to overlap in jobs and not understanding roles and responsibilities, redoing tasks that have been done wrong, and not having a full set of instructions before they begin their activity.

When you clearly state every step involved in creating an outcome, and who will complete that step, employee efficiency will improve as will your company culture.

3. Increase employee satisfaction.

Most people don’t enjoy being confused. Employees want to know exactly what they are responsible for and how to complete those tasks. With this information, employees are happier, less likely to look for a new job, and more likely to treat each other, and your customers, nicely.

4. Foster happier customers.

When customers receive their product or service in a timely fashion, delivered by employees who are pleased with their work and excited to help them, customers are happier. They then return as customers and tell their friends to do business with you as well.

Why should I use process mapping as a marketer?

As a marketer, you may be wondering how to do process mapping for your projects and responsibilities.

Just like producing a product, you have certain steps that you must follow in order to reach your end goal: attracting leads and converting them into customers. You might not even realize that you’ve been doing it all along.

For example, do you create random content and visuals before you know who will be seeing them? Hopefully not. Do you close your eyes and point to a marketing route without researching where your ideal customer spends time? If you do, you’re probably not seeing a lot of ROI.

No, you have a series of steps you take to identify the right opportunities to reach potential customers and then speak to them. Now, we’re going to get that process down so it can be improved, tested, communicated, and replicated.

How do I use process mapping as a marketer?

The first step to process mapping is to determine your desired outcome. Your process may look slightly different depending on your goals and your company’s specifics, but here are seven steps you can use to guide yourself and your team through a marketing process map:

Process mapping exampleSource

1. Do your research.

Research who you want to market to, where you will find them, and when they will be there.

2. Segment your audience.

Allocate your audience into groups of customers or potential customers with similar attributes. This will help you perfect your specific messaging.

3. Target the best fit segment.

Identify who needs what you want and has the ability to buy it.

4. Position yourself apart from the competition.

What makes you different? This is called a unique selling proposition and will help you craft your marketing message.

5. Determine what you will offer.

Then strategize around how much it will cost, where it will be distributed, and how you will promote it to your audience.

6. Implement your process.

This is where you put your strategies into action. This may include marketing automation.

7. Measure your success.

Use the goals you’ve set to measure how you’re doing. These may include reach like web traffic and conversions, or revenue-based goals like profit.

Don’t try to change your process until you’ve mapped out exactly what it is you do now. Once every activity is listed, you can begin looking for ways to improve. If you have a team assigned to process creation, you can assign roles and responsibilities to each member.

Process Mapping Tools

When you’re ready to begin process mapping with your team, there are a variety of tools that you can use to get the job done. Some of these can be used for free while others have a paid version that’s helpful or necessary to create your process map.

We’ll take a look at a few of these options here.

1. LucidChart

LucidChart is a professional diagramming software that can be used on any browser or device.

Process mapping software, Google DrawingsSource

It can be integrated with productivity apps such as Google Suite and Microsoft Office and allows users to chat and comment in real-time.

2. Google Drawings

Google Drawings is a free mapping software that allows you to create various diagrams and charts with basic shapes.

Source

Google Drawings is browser-based and completely online. It includes free storage without expiration.

3. Edraw

Edraw is process mapping software that looks similar to the Microsoft Office interface. If you’re familiar with that environment, this tool will be easy for you to navigate.

Process mapping software, EdrawSource

Edraw includes an automatic layout for mind maps and allows you to customize everything simply.

4. Gliffy

Gliffy is great for those of us who are not particularly artistic. With a variety of templates and themes available, users can create professional looking process maps without a lot of headache.

Process mapping software, GliffySource

With Gliffy, you can easily revert back to a previously saved version of your work. This is a helpful feature if you missed something or encountered an error while you were working.

5. Cacoo

Cacoo is the perfect process mapping tool that can be integrated with a number of apps.

Process mapping software, CacooSource

Cacoo is extremely collaborative and allows multiple users to work on a project, tracking changes, reviewing the status, and working together to reach the goal.

Depending on your needs and your budget, there are a number of tools that can assist you along your process mapping journey.

Process Mapping Examples

Remember that your process may look different than the next marketer’s. Because of this, the visual representation you use will differ as well. You can find a number of process mapping examples. Use the tool and the setup that works best for your business’ needs.

Process mapping exampleSource

process mapping exampleSource

When you create your process maps, remember that “good” is sometimes good enough. This doesn’t need to be a museum-worthy work of art. It just has to be a functional, easy-to-follow plan that everyone can understand. Keep it simple. Ultimately, this needs to work for you and your situation.

Marketing is inherently risky. You never know if the money and effort you put into a campaign or ad will produce results. To mitigate the risk, spend more time on the planning phase before you move on to execution.

Once you know who your audience is and how you will reach them, you can focus on the messaging and the specific strategies that you’ll use to attract new leads and convert them. Without this step, you’re basically crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Luckily, when you use process mapping to map out your project’s plan, you’ll have a better chance of seeing the return on investment you were hoping for.

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