As we all return to work after a lovely festive break, we picked the refreshed brains of our team to find out what each of them believe will be the key trends in marketing and PR for the coming year.
The continued focus on CSR
“With the current state of the country (and the world) I think social consciousness is increasing, which means businesses need to take CSR activities to the next level and avoid greenwashing.
This could lead to great opportunities to build that positive organic presence on owned media channels.
PR and comms experts need to champion research and data-driven campaigns and stories in order to achieve coverage in tier-one publications and national media as both businesses and consumers are now savvier than ever to ‘fake news’.”
Affiliate marketing for the win
“Many people have been plotting its demise for years now but affiliate marketing continues to grow from strength to strength. Especially in the wake of the pandemic and the MONUMENTAL shift to digital marketing and e-commerce, the choice to adopt the affiliate marketing model is more popular than ever with 8 out of 10 brands running an affiliate scheme. In fact, 84% of marketers claim that affiliate marketing alone has increased their ROI by 20% since 2019.
“Setting up an affiliate marketing scheme can boost brand awareness and augment sales without spending a huge amount on advertising. However, it is worth keeping in mind that success in this area requires selecting brand affiliates that share the same niche or target profile as you. Oftentimes, these influencers will come to you as they know the benefits affiliate links can provide for their income!”
Links with purpose
“As the last few years have passed us by, digital PR and its importance in marketing is now unavoidable. As search engines get smarter and their influence on people only continue to grow, every good PR should be thinking about how they can consider this within their strategy. Having worked particularly in SEO and digital PR in the past, I came into a more traditional role here at Source as I hated the idea of chasing links for links sake!
“However, in 2023 I hope to see more of a shift to PR with purpose in digital, and I think that’s where we can help! It’s important to think of the PR benefits of any coverage or online activity first, but then ensure links are considered as a very important afterthought. I think more PRs will begin to understand the value of sending out solid, relevant stories and building a good rapport with journalists, and that in turn will win them backlinks for SEO benefits, AS WELL AS gain lots of lovely PR coverage which is beneficial to brands in far more ways than one.”
Podcasts are the future
“With the rise in demand for video and audio content, it is no surprise that this is an integral part of the future of PR. We hope to see a demand for podcasts (both audio and video) in 2023 as it allows for brands to give a unique, in-depth look at the people behind business that you wouldn’t normally see on fast moving, image-based platforms like Instagram.
“In addition, younger audiences are moving away from highly curated feeds towards raw, real-time platforms like BeReal and TikTok, in part because they feel more authentic than their overly produced counterparts. Podcasting fits into the realm of channels that offer realism which many people want to see, as well as deep diving into topics that just can’t be covered on the ‘gram.”
Don’t blindly follow the crowd
“As the digital marketing world continues to grow at an exponential rate, it is important companies don’t get carried away with the latest fad but remain focussed on their core strategy.
“Too often companies focus on the latest marketing tools or trends to get themselves noticed. Before you even consider what delivery tactics are needed, look at the strategy first – who are you, what do you stand for, what are you great at, who do you want to influence and what space do you want to own?
Once that’s determined, assess the tools and tactics available to best achieve it.”
Greater use of video in B2B
“It’s already near-ubiquitous elsewhere, but in B2B PR video content is largely neglected and still not used as widely as it could be.
In 2023, however, video should become more prevalent in the B2B world and businesses will increasingly see their stories told through this medium whether that’s on LinkedIn, Twitter or even TikTok.
“Fundamentally, businesses are made up of consumers and consumers find video content on social media more engaging than the written word so B2B must adapt to incorporate this type of content into its social media strategy.
Video stops the scroll, and with TikToks and Reels firmly embedded within online advertising and marketing, it’s a medium that can no longer be neglected by B2B.”
The rise of AI
“2023 is surely going to be the year of expedited development in AI technology and its application. In December last year, we saw the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI and it was immediately heralded as impressive and human-like in its ability to create content by the world of PR and marketing and in the media. Even Elon Musk tweeted about its remarkable abilities – “ChatGPT is scary good. We are not far from dangerously strong AI” – and Google reportedly expressed concern internally about its abilities to disrupt the search engine business due to its unexpected strength.
“As we start 2023, we in the PR and marketing industry are scrambling to test its abilities to see how we can harness its power as well as worry about its potential threat to our bread-and-butter activity of writing content and how we stay ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, the potentially negative uses of the chatbot are starting to appear and the New York City education department has blocked the use of ChatGPT on the internet and devices within schools due to its worries about it leading to a wave of ‘cheating’ in essays and other schoolwork.
“Whether it’s seen as a negative or positive tool, the fact remains that AI is only on its way up and we will see more applications of it as the year progresses in marketing and PR.”