By Kim Prince | Point of View
With a New Year comes a chance to check in on your business’ communication strategies to make sure that you’re reaching your audience (AKA potential customers and clients) in the most effective ways. To help you plan for 2023, our team of communication experts at Proven Media have compiled some of the latest communication trends.
A picture is (still) worth 1,000 words
While quality written content is always vital for successful communication efforts, the right visuals will continue to make or break even the best brands. We recommend that companies invest in quality visuals that showcase the work they do—this includes high resolution photos of products and staff, videos (especially how-to videos if your products require them), and top-notch logos and graphics.
Social media is here to stay
According to recent statistics, in 2022, 92 percent of marketers who work for companies with 100+ employees were expected to utilize social media in their marketing strategies. Add this to the facts that, in 2021, Tik Tok had 656 million downloads, Instagram had 545 million downloads, and Facebook had 416 million downloads, and it’s no secret that social media is vital for brands of all shapes and sizes.
That said, how businesses use social media is always evolving. For optimal success, social media should be a two-way street, with brands regularly interacting with followers and customers. The focus should also be on quality posts, not necessarily quantity, and utilizing social media metrics to post at the times that work best for your targeted audience.
We also recommend that businesses research how the new Metaverse can be best used to boost business; look at online sales options like Facebook Shop; consider affiliate marketing and influencer partnerships; and having a dedicated social media manager who exclusively keeps on top on the latest trends and, most important, consumer feedback.
Use data to your advantage
While not a new trend, the ways in which businesses can collect and monitor data of their communication efforts are always improving and being streamlined. Your audience will show you what posts they like or don’t like, as will the media your PR team reaches out to.
On social media, many platforms come with free or low-cost tools to measure your reach. And there are similar tools that your communication team can use to monitor media mentions. The more information you have, the better set up you are for success or to pivot if something isn’t working.
Media relations still matter
Earned media (essentially, any media that your company didn’t pay for) still reigns supreme when it comes to customer trust and brand awareness. In fact, according to recent stats, 92 percent of consumers trust earned media. How do you go about making sure your business remains in the spotlight in local, national or industry-related media outlets? Work with the PR professionals who have built-in relationships with media who can send them pitches, press releases, and keep them in the loop.
Keep diversity, authenticity and community in mind
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has been a vital conversation and effort in every industry. Do your communication efforts match the audience you’re communicating to? Is your company authentic in who they are and the community they do business in? Post-pandemic, especially, today’s consumer is socially conscious and aware when businesses not only have quality products and services but are conscious members of society. Speaking of socially conscious, keep in mind your company’s ESG.
ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. Essentially, while it looks different for every business, it comes down to “doing business responsibly and having a framework in place that enables you to demonstrate due diligence,” according to a recent Forbes article. Many investors want to invest in a socially conscious, environmentally-friendly business, so it’s important to take a look at your company’s ESG strategy. Need help? We found a handy guide here.
Listen up and consider podcasts
Businesswire.com notes that the number of podcast listeners globally are expected to increase from 383.7 million to over 500 million by 2024. Many traditional media outlets, like national and even local and regional newspapers, have their own podcasts, as do most industries and even individual journalists and other influencers. To take advantage of this growing trend, keep a pulse on your industry’s most popular podcasts and work with your company’s thought leaders to be ready for podcast interviews.
Artificial intelligence—the way of the future
While you don’t have to know how to code, developing a basic understanding of AI and automation in general can help you and your business when communicating with current and future consumers.
In 2023, we will see these communication trends and many more lead the charge in how we connect to those who matter most—our consumers, stake holders, and the community at large.
Editor’s note: Ms. Prince is founder of Proven Media, a multidisciplinary design and communications agency.