As the new year approaches, you likely feel the need to overhaul your branding strategies and embrace new technologies and opportunities in 2022. If you’ve been in business for a bit, you likely have some tried and true strategies you’ve tested and know work. But, if you really want to step up your game, you need to add some new tricks to your tool kit.

Bynder’s latest State of Branding Report found 85% of marketers felt the pandemic significantly increased the demand for digital content. There are many ways of generating content and creating a brand image for your company. Here are some of our favorites for 2022 and beyond.

1. Fresh Content

The new year is a great time to take an inventory of your site’s content. What is stale and needs a refresh? Is anything off topic? Cut any clutter and make a list of current topics you can address. Is there anything newsworthy that impacts your industry? Look at questions you get frequently from potential customers and how you can answer with an article, video or webinar.

2. Start a Podcast

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity. Mastering sound quality is vital to a professional finished product. Different platforms use different sound levels, so familiarize yourself with the ones you plan to upload your podcast to.

Most sites offer a test platform. Upload your recording and get feedback about sound quality 
and other issues.

3. Highlight New Products

The new year is a chance to show off new products or improvements to existing ones. Prior to January first, you should already have a marketing campaign planned. Think about the things you want to highlight in the first quarter of the year, so you can hit the ground running when that giant ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

4. Embrace New Technology

Technology advances at a rapid pace. A few years ago, virtual reality required huge headsets and special equipment. Today, e-commerce brands use augmented reality to place an item in place within a camera image of your home.

Think about which technology might most benefit your particular niche. How can you use it to show your customers what you have to offer or let them experience it virtually?

5. Repair Damage

Did your reputation take some hits from early mistakes or things out of your control? A new year is a great time to do some damage repair and fix reputation issues. Start by looking at various reviews and single out the bad ones.

What is the complaint and is it something you’ve already fixed or do you need to work on the problem? Make sure you respond to any notes by apologizing and letting the user know you’ve worked hard to make things better.

You can also hire companies to repair your reputation, but many of the tactics they use you can do yourself, such as asking your happy current customers to post more recent reviews and voting them to the top.

6. Activate Employees

One newer trend that seems to be taking hold is enlisting the help of your staff to promote your brand. Even though they work for you, it puts a human face on your brand when your workers talk it up.

Train your workers with some social media policies and how you prefer your brand to be referred to. Then, reward them when they tell others about what you do. Them spreading the word benefits everyone.

You’ve probably seen this in action with automotive brands. Someone who works at Ford buys a new vehicle and shows everyone they know. They offer a Z-plan or A-plan if the person wants to buy one as well. Ford rewards them with points, gift cards and other items for each person they refer who buys a new car.

7. Drive a Story

Since the beginning of time, people have loved to hear a good story. Ancestors sat around fires and shared tales of the hunt. Cave people drew tales on the walls with rocks. People today are no different. A good story drives engagement and user imagination.

Look for ways to tell a brand story and collect additional tales along the way from your users. Stories are great for your site, blog, social media and video clips.

Think Outside the Box

If you want to take advantage of unique branding strategies, you must try new things. Don’t be afraid to stray outside the lines a bit when you color. Use new ideas, fresh wording and bright colors. Grab user attention however you can. Ask for feedback and repeat what works, while replacing what doesn’t.

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine.