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As 2022 is wrapping up, businesses are beginning to craft their communications strategies for the year to come. Anticipating trends in the market is the key to appealing to the most audiences possible and positioning your brand as a leader in your space. Here are some trends we see on the horizon in the public relations industry that your business should take into consideration:
Affiliate marketing or bust
Although affiliate marketing programs have been around for years, they’re picking up speed now more than ever. Many media outlets simply will not feature a business that doesn’t have affiliate links. You’ve probably seen affiliate links in tons of listicles without realizing they give a kickback to the publication. As journalism evolves and outlets struggle for revenue, we see the presence of affiliate marketing and editors who want a commission from affiliate links becoming omnipresent in future years.
How can you prepare? If you’re a product-based company, sign up for an affiliate program or consult with an external agency if you’re unsure how. One of the easiest ways to do this is by selling your products on Amazon. All Amazon sellers are automatically enrolled in the Amazon Associates affiliate marketing program. Participating in a program like this will greatly increase your chances of publications opting to include your products in their round-ups and articles.
Data, data, data
Data isn’t necessarily a new trend, but using data to inform your content is a concept that grows increasingly integral to any communications plan year over year. Algorithms are constantly changing, and there are more social platforms to interact with now more than ever. Audiences will show what they like or don’t like, so be sure to analyze and use that information to inform your next move.
How can you do this? Use an analytical tool to help you view and digest your social media metrics. Some offer free plans with options to pay for an upgrade with more insights. Buffer and Hootsuite are among the top players, but there are tons of great data analytics programs to choose from. Once you find the best tool for your business, you’ll need to designate a team (internal or external) to monitor your social media analytics.
In today’s world, it is virtually unacceptable for a company to not be on at least a few of the major social media platforms. Make your content count with the right tools and team of experts to gather data that will set your communications strategy up for success.
Lo-fi, unfiltered content reigns supreme
If you haven’t heard the term “lo-fi” yet, you’ll get plenty of chances in 2023, because this trend isn’t going anywhere. The term originated as the opposite of “hi-fi”, a word that references audio quality. But lo-fi is a concept that has been extended to include all forms of unfiltered, raw content in general.
After years of audiences being inundated with overly filtered imagery since the inception of Instagram, the use of more authentic, point-and-shoot content is refreshing. Lo-fi content comes across as relatable and trustworthy, so it’s no wonder why these videos and photos are increasing in popularity.
Incorporate lo-fi, unfiltered content into your strategy by partnering with influencers who have organic followings or using other forms of user-generated content. Viewers enjoy seeing people just like them interacting with your products and find it easier to imagine themselves doing the same.
Quality over quantity with influencer relationships
Whether it’s related to algorithm changes, the rise in popularity of unfiltered content or just the ebb and flow of trends in marketing — we’re seeing changes in the dynamics of influencer partnerships with brands.
Moving into 2023, we predict there will be a shift in priority from quantity to quality influencer content. Mass gifting initiatives, prior to the days of algorithms that monitored engagement as closely as they do now, were much more effective before. Now, building off of the lo-fi, authentic content trends we’re seeing in social media, audiences want organic, real-feeling recommendations from influencers they trust.
To incorporate this in your 2023 strategy, focus on being intentional with choosing well-aligned influencers to partner with. Less is more, and higher quality content that feels authentic is what your consumers want. Audiences no longer want to be saturated with recommendations, they want to hear from people they trust about products that really work.
In conclusion, the trends we see coming in 2023 are centered around transparency and authenticity. Audiences know when they’re being sold to, and they’re ready for something different. Build relationships with consumers by paying attention to your social analytics, getting down-to-earth with your content and partnering with higher-quality influencers. And don’t forget to sign up for an affiliate marketing program to increase your chances of getting eyeballs on your products.