From Facebook rebranding to Meta and Apple’s privacy protection initiative, 2021 certainly was a year of change in digital marketing. Also small and medium businesses (SMB) are more open to procuring marketing services than ever before. This includes implementing more automations and diversifying beyond social media marketing.

However, the impact of the ongoing pandemic on in-person networking events is making it difficult to develop meaningful customer relationships.

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SMBs who were hit by COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 have learned their lesson and become serious about investing or strengthening their digital marketing capabilities.

While it may be easier to engage prospects and clients, local businesses have become more discerning about who they work with, and as such, the owners shouldn’t take customer relationships for granted and focus on delivering strong results for them.

Diversifying beyond traditional digital marketing channels

Small Business Owners will need to be more strategic about how and where they market to customers.

For a start, this means not being too heavily reliant on any one specific communication channel.

Instead of just relying on email or social media, they will need to be able to more easily use different channels including SMS marketing and video marketing. Adding videos are an essential tool to create “authenticity and authority for local businesses.”

The move from Facebook to Meta will be a key component of social marketing going forward. There are new channels that Meta will be opening up.

Implementing automations

There is so much software out there and it’s too difficult for a business to make it all work together manually. Embracing marketing automation go beyond just alleviating the need to perform repetitive tasks and boosting productivity. Automations helps optimize the customer experience and the efficiency of the campaign process.

Examples of automations include scheduling social posts across multiple platforms via a single tool, using templated responses for customer interactions and reviews, and sending cart abandonment emails when shoppers don’t complete their purchase after a period of time.

Networking and virtual events

The negative view is that some business owners are worried about the ongoing pandemic’s impact on real-life networking events.

Many industries rely on that face-to-face interaction for leads and growth. Finding alternatives for networking is a new challenge for many.

However, virtual events can have benefits such as low cost and the ability to meet people across different jurisdictions. Businesses have started to adopt technology to meet and network much more than before. Businesses that can figure out how to network and market via virtual events would be well rewarded in 2022.


The key to success will be in how businesses adapt to change and take advantage of new opportunities.