Sally Falkow, CEO, Meritus Media
2023 is right around the corner. A new year always brings unknowns, but this year preparing your digital PR and marketing strategy is more important than ever.
The current economic climate has been tough and financial experts warn of a recession in 2023. The Conference Board predicts a 96 percent likelihood of a recession in the US within the next 12 months, based on their probability model.
These six Digital PR and marketing trends can help you thrive in 2023.
Social Media Audit – Gather Insights and Intelligence
The more you know about your customers, clients, employees, and competitors, they better your planning will be. You need to understand your potential clients’ mindset and craft a business strategy that provides what they need and want. Find gaps and threats you would otherwise not have known about. In depth insights can uncover opportunities that allow you to thrive in a tough economy.
Build a community of loyal advocates
Use what you learn in your social audit to identify the audience most likely to support you in 2023. You now have the data. Use it to attract and gather a strong community of people who like and trust your brand. Facebook is still an excellent place to do this. Over 60 percent of people worldwide are on Facebook and almost three billion users visit the site every month! While many younger people have moved on to other platforms, Facebook is still the best place to effectively reach your audience. Facebook’s demographic data allow you to use their knowledge to inform your PR and marketing choices and tailor the type of content you share in your posts, stories, and ads.
Story-driven Content Visualization
Sixty-five percent of people are visual learners and the use of color in visual increase their desire to read that content by 80 percent! So, not only does your content have to be tailored specifically for your audience – their needs, desires, questions, and intent – it also must be visually appealing. Adding data visualizations, infographics, images, and videos to your text not only makes it more interesting and attractive, but it can help your message to be absorbed better too. Your 2023 digital PR and marketing strategy will require excellent graphic design. Just popping a stock image on a story will no longer be enough. Using the information you gathered in your intelligence phase, create stories that touch your audience and deliver it with visuals that extend and enhance their experience of the content.
Each year video usage online continues to grow. If a picture is worth a thousand words a video really brings a story to life. The current average viewer spends 100 minutes a day watching digital videos. The most popular videos are entertainment and music, but there is also a growing demand for livestreams and tutorials rank. They rank third and fourth for the types of videos watched. Livestreams help to foster the feeling of connectedness and community with your audience. Tutorials answer questions and improve their understanding of your brand and your products. Short, animated videos can help you build long-term relationships with customers and promote your products and services creatively.
Affinity and Trust
A successful digital PR and marketing strategy is never one-and-done. One of the most important factors in building affinity and trust is to stay connected and keep listening Once you build that audience, don’t abandon it. Keep you finger on the pulse and learn more day-by-day. People respond to brands who share their goals and values. Affinity is the feeling your audience gets from a constant interaction with you. The more you know about your audience, the better your content will be. The more consistently you show up, the more affinity and trust there will be.
Search Engine Optimization -Position Zero and Featured Snippets
Content has always been an important part of digital PR and marketing, but even though it’s more than 20 years since we’ve had search engines, SEO is still not a staple skill for PR pros. Yet nothing could be more important. No matter how smart you are at identifying audiences and creating stunning content if no one sees it, it’s useless.
Google has a specific set of content guidelines. Learn what their latest updates and requirements are. Craft every piece of content with SEO in mind. Aim to have your content found and seen by as many of the right people as possible. One of the changes is the focus on “position zero” and featured snippets. This gives the searcher what they were looking for right on page one of Google. How do you get your content ranked in these coveted spots?
In this digital age it is possible to track everything. And in the current climate, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of your digital PR and marketing campaigns. Don’t wait till the end to discover that it didn’t work. Set measurable goals and start tracking right away. Course-correct if you are not making headway and reaching your milestones. Performance tracking will show which campaigns work and which ones need to be changed. In a recent Meritus Media survey, learning analytics and how to track results was the number two skill PR people wanted to learn. Now would be a perfect time to do that.