These Marketing and PR Trends Will be Big in 2023
The future of marketing and public relations (PR) is changing fast. In fact, the pace at which it changes is so fast that it can be hard to keep up.
Here’s a quick recap of how PR and Digital Marketing has already changed over the past few years:
- The world is getting smaller and more connected every day–and with it comes an influx of new technologies that can help marketers reach their target audience more effectively than ever before.
- New platforms such as Facebook Messenger or Instagram Stories allow brands to engage directly with consumers in ways they never could before–but the trick using them properly!
- In short: It’s no longer enough just being able to create great content; now we need to figure out how best-of-breed technology can help us deliver that content where our customers are most likely going (and staying) online.
Over the past two months, we received feedback from over 200 PR and Marketing Pros about the marketing and PR trends they’re seeing (and expect to see) as we venture further into 2023.
Trend #1: PR, Digital Marketing and SEO Link Building Should Work Together Seamlessly
While SEO is a great way of building links, it’s no longer the only (or even the most effective) way! Similarly, press coverage can be immensely helpful for improving a brand’s digital presence, but it becomes infinitely more so when it includes a backlink to the brand’s website.
The intersection of PR and SEO is hardly a new trend; in fact, we’ve been talking about the relationship between PR and SEO since mid-2015. (What can I say, we’re ahead of our time!) But it is a trend that’s here to stay, and we’ll likely see the intersection of PR, link building, and digital marketing become even more convoluted this year. The smartest brands recognize the importance of building complementary strategies that all seek to improve the results of the other marketing channels.
How are you prioritizing media outreach, content marketing, and organic, relevant link building your 2023 PR strategy? Is your strategy cohesive or disjointed? How can each of these channels complement the others?
Trend #2: Micro Moments for the Win
Micro moments are the tiny windows of time when people are most likely to buy. They can be as short as five seconds and last a few minutes, but they’re long enough for you to get their attention and make an impression on them.
- For example:
- A customer is browsing your website, looking for information about a product or service
- The customer finds what they want and clicks on it immediately because they’re so excited about it! This is a micro moment where you have an opportunity to engage with them–but only if you do it right! If you don’t have any good content ready for this person after their click (or even before), then chances are good that they won’t come back again in the future.
Serge Volokonsky of LinkChecker.PRO explains it this way, “At times like these, customers want what’s on their minds and are attracted to a brand that meets their needs. As more and more consumers do everything via mobile devices, marketers are using micro-moments to capture their audience’s attention by making their decisions happen instantly.”
How can you give customers and clients what they’re searching for, when they’re searching for it? How can you get to know your customers and clients better so you can anticipate what they’ll need (and when) this year?
Trend #3: Importance of Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is hardly a new buzzword in marketing and PR, but it is a PR trend that’s becoming increasingly more important to consumers. It’s not just about philanthropy, but more importantly, how your company can play a role in making the world a better place.
In fact, a 2021 study suggests that 77% of consumers feel more motivated to buy from a company that prioritizes making the word a better place.
According to a recent blog post by PR software company, Prowly, “It’s no longer enough for brands to give a simple nod to their corporate values, ethics, and their responsibility to their communities. Consumers are quick to call out companies that aren’t sincere in their efforts and the effect can truly damage a brand’s reputation.”
It may be time to revisit your brand values, company mission, branding guidelines, and target audience. What do you stand for? Why are you doing what you’re doing? How can you show up in a purpose driven, authentic way so that you can attract customers and clients with similar values?
Trend #4: Billable Hours are On Their Way Out
Billable hours are becoming a relic of the past, and it’s about time! I’ve been complaining about the traditional PR agency pricing model since 2019 when I wrote an article for Forbes, titled, “Why Smart Agencies No Longer Use a Retainer Pricing Model.” Fortunately, other agencies and PR pros are finally starting to follow suit.
Billable hours have been a PR and Marketing industry standard for decades, but they’re not a good way to measure productivity and they don’t necessarily encourage innovation. It’s important to remember that your work should be measured in results–not hours spent working.
Paul Holmes, founder of Provoke Media, puts it succinctly, “Billable hours are bad for clients too, creating perverse incentives. If it takes you twice as long to think up a strategy or write a press release, you can bill twice as much. How does that make sense? It’s time for a better way.”
If you want your agency or company to succeed in 2023 and beyond, consider moving away from billable hours and focusing on results instead.
Are you still charging clients for billable hours? Is this actually working for your organization and for your clients?
Worse yet, are you a brand still paying for billable hours? It might be worth considering whether or not a different pricing arrangement would be more suitable and predictable for your organization.
Trend #5: Emphasis on Data and Analytics
You’re probably familiar with the term “data-driven” and the idea of using data to inform your decisions. But if you’re not, it’s time to get up to speed.
Data is critical to the success of any public relations or marketing team–and it can be used for everything from making better strategic decisions, improving the customer experience, better understanding customers, measuring the results of a campaign, personalizing your communications, and everything in between!
In fact, according to data analytics firm SAS Institute Inc., “90% of companies that leverage analytics see improved performance in their organization.”
“Multiple channels bombard customers with marketing messages to the point that they have begun to tune them out. Improvements in technology such as AI paired with greater data collecting and insights from social media and other sources have made it feasible and simple to
hyper-personalize everything from content to design to product suggestions and everything in-between,” says Jamie Irwin, an E-commerce Growth Expert at James and James Fulfillment.
What tools can help you better understand your customers this year? What tools will help you better evaluate the results of your digital marketing and PR campaigns?
The Future of Marketing and PR is Changing Fast.
Staying agile and flexible is important to staying relevant. You also know that these skills are critical in order to successfully navigate the changes happening in your industry.
So what should you be doing right now? Starting with the PR considerations mentioned above is a great place to start.
One thing is for sure though: no matter what new public relations trends emerge next year or beyond, there will always be human beings behind your campaigns—so if you do nothing else, don’t forget the actual people you’re marketing to this year. Striving for connection, and authenticity is a winning strategy no matter what year it is.