As 2022 draws to a close, planning and preparation for the New Year begin. For many of us, that means making new goals, focusing on new opportunities and aspirations. How our next year goes doesn’t lie solely with us. Outside influences such as the economy, family, and politics all affect our everyday lives.
So, how should business leaders best prepare for 2023?
Here are our top 10 predictions for what’s likely to come and suggestions about how to deal with the coming changes.
1. AI: Potential for Greatness
For some companies, AI has become primary, and their human writers secondary. These AI powerhouses write blogs, curate content, and even publish at the right time. Their insights are unmatchable - but, their quality isn’t.
No matter how smart a computer becomes, it will never have the nuance and creativity of a human being - nor should it. As AI becomes more commonplace, people will be looking for quality by people-for-people content. For AI to truly succeed, it needs to partner with a really great human to reach its full potential. Use AI to gain suggestions, learn about your audiences, and catch human errors.
AI should be a tool, not a hire.
2. SEO isn’t all about Google
40% of people aged 18-24 are using TikTok as their main search engine. This massive shift is likely going to be reflected in the way we market. If Google isn’t the be-all end-all anymore, we are going to have to readjust our strategies to attract the attention of the younger generation.
However, TikTok isn’t only used by Gen Z. B2B, and subsequently, business professionals, also have a place on TikTok. Adobe has gained more than 70,000 followers on the app. It is important to remember that B2B doesn’t mean selling to businesses, but rather selling to the people behind the operations (B2P).
SEO and social strategies need to address the growing need of businesses to be present on social platforms. Develop an ad and hashtag strategy for these sites, and diversify your content to attract a larger crowd. Just be careful – due to the nature of TikTok itself, make sure you aren’t too flippant about your brand. While the videos are informal, your brand should always be portrayed as professional.
3. It is Going to Get Better
Brands are having to up their game. Similar to how product placement isn’t as easy as it once was – viewers are all too aware of the soda placement in their favorite movie - brands can no longer rely solely on traditional advertising. Consumers are smarter than ever before and are finding ads to be untrustworthy. To attract their audiences, brands must make their marketing relevant and unique, creating truly useful content that adds value. The brands that persevere will adapt genuine engagement strategies, make use of relatable influencers, and take stands on issues their audience feels passionately about – again, without compromising the integrity of the brand.
4. It is Going to Get Harder
In that same vein, as content gets better, placing media is going to get harder. Journalists are getting tougher when it comes to news, and brands must have to meet. Interviews will need to be worthwhile, and stories will have to be truly newsworthy. If you think that is already the standard, just wait…
Those that make that extra effort to turn exchanges into strong relationships will stand out. Follow your target media on social, so you can approach them with genuine familiarity.
5. Video Content Will Become More Common
Video content is already the norm for some marketing activities. Video reels are becoming more prevalent in marketing and personal consumption, and video content has been proven to be 1,200% more effective than other content. Additionally, as Google is improving its technology and beginning to index video and audio content, this trend is expected to keep growing. Start gathering ideas and strategies so you can be prepared to release content. Employ the best writers for your scripts, and graphic designers and videographers for the visuals.
6. Pace Will Be Everything
Newjacking is already a fundamental part of successful PR. Being able to ride off someone else’s wave is a fast way to gain attention. News cycles are moving faster than ever before, so effective newsjacking means being among the first to get their attention. Know what you are looking for, know who your competitors are, and set up Google alerts for both. Never miss a news cycle. Add in a couple manual sweeps throughout your day to be confident you didn’t miss anything.
7. Social Media Will Be Social
People are sensitive to being marketed to and are looking for messages that feel authentic to them. This is where social media comes into play. Brands will lean more into their humanity in the coming years, embracing the personalities of their social media managers. The uniqueness of the content creation will lie entirely in the hands of the person creating it – bringing the authenticity to strengthen the brand-client connection.
Make sure your social media manager is smart, creative, and likable. Social media goes beyond pretty graphics these days. A day of behind-the-scenes shooting or clever tweeting can be the difference between a viral sensation and just another post. Notice how fast-food chains like Wedny’s are embracing snarkiness and sass.
8. Diverse Channel Strategies
Delivering the right message at the right time to the right channel will be ever more critical. The PESO model is going to become increasingly more relevant, as content and messages need to be reinforced across a variety of channels, while keeping in mind that different platforms have different users, demographics, and target audiences.
This may take time but familiarize yourself with all the social media platforms your clients are on. If you understand the nuances of each one, you will be better prepared to create content that fits your audience. Remember, Boomers and Gen Z aren’t consuming the same media and aren’t frequenting the same platforms. The more you know…
9. Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay
Influencers are not a fad. What started with blogging and moved to YouTube and Instagram has recently landed on TikTok – for now. Influencers are a fundamental part of any social media platform, and brands are embracing it more than ever. This industry will continue to grow and encourage creativity across all online platforms.
Audiences often find their favorite influencers to be genuine, relatable, and trustworthy people. Team up with these social media mavens to reach your audience without seeming cheesy.
10. Customers Care - So Will Brands
Consumers are educated, connected, and opinionated. They feel passionately about social issues - they care where their products are made. To stay on top in today’s climate, brands are going to need to do more than not be the problem - they’re going to need to be part of the solution. Find causes you care about, find causes your audience cares about, and then find the overlap. Customers want to know the brands they support are socially aware. Donate to charity, team up, or even tweet in support of the cause that feels closest to your brand.
Which one of these changes are you most excited about?