It’s that time of year, when we read the tea leaves — or, in our case, all the top communications news — to predict the top trends that will shape PR professionals’ efforts in 2019.
Here’s what we’ll be paying attention to in the new year, and what you should keep an eye on too!
Sophisticated content strategy. We expect to see brands and organizations invest in more sophisticated content strategies. Audience engagement is becoming even more critical to success, and as Public Relations Today reports, more organizations will start with a well-documented strategy that relies on research and provides a clear roadmap for how to reach key audiences. We see content strategies and comprehensive content calendars becoming more important than ever to keep teams effective and on track!
Creative advertising. Truth be told, advertising is almost unavoidable now, and we see this trend continuing in 2019. With Facebook’s announcement earlier this year about prioritizing content from friends and family, targeted advertising will become one of the few ways to get your page some traction. But in this pay-for-play world where we’re all competing for eyeballs, the trick lies in making creative, personal ads that encourage engagement. Say goodbye to bland banners and text ads.
The power of podcasts. With a rapid-fire news cycle and fragmented news media audience, podcasts will become a media relations strategist’s new best friend. According to Edison research, 26 percent of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. That’s about 73 million people! That number is slated to increase year after year. In case you haven’t already, start developing a list of popular podcasts that reach your audience, and include a podcast strategy as part of your overall communications plans.
Video: more important than ever. According to a report by Cisco, online video, including live and traditional video, will be responsible for 85 percent of internet traffic in the U.S. in 2019, so it should not be ignored as a tool to reach audiences. Communicators should think through how to develop creative videos and accompanying marketing strategies to leverage these videos to their fullest. In the two years since Facebook Live launched, there have been more than 3.5 billion Live broadcasts and more than 150 billion reactions. It’s time to meet your audience where they are!
The rise of the micro-influencer. Bigger isn’t always better, and in the world of influencers, micro could be the way to go. Micro-influencers are people with smaller followings (1,000 – 10,000 followers) who tend to focus on specific topics and draw a more engaged audience. They present a cost-effective communications tactic and should be considered as you plot out your next partnership strategy.
And remember, while a strong strategy is key to the success of any campaign, it’s also important to be flexible for anything unexpected that might crop up. We wish you a very successful 2019!