Looking ahead to the Year of the Pig and the end of the zodiac cycle, it’s understandable to be feeling a bit lazy. Here at Sinclair, however, we’re opting for pig-like optimism. With a positive perspective, we are gearing up for a year of foraging .
Here are some of the trends we are looking out for in the year to come.
The case for integration: It’s time for the siloed approach to communications to end. Integrated PR is proving its value time and again, as a combined approach to strategy and resources has true pulling power. Focusing efforts towards the big idea, and considering media, social media, influencers and digital as channels rather than campaigns or actions, we bring the holistic story to consumers through a variety of viewpoints.
Getting personal with content: Connections and engagement go hand in hand with personalised content. As the amount of consumer data continues to increase and our reliance on online media consumption rises, the opportunity for brands to be truly personalised is huge. Personalisation is a step towards the true and authentic engagement with consumers that we have been earning for.
Standing up for values: Brands are being looked to by consumers to stand up for their values and viewpoints, being proud of who they are and speaking out for their communities. To do this, however, the value must be inherent in the brand culture and communications. Perhaps it’s time to review values and make sure your brand is living them, and then go and shout from the rooftops. A shout out to Samsung here for doing just that with its commitment to reducing plastic.
Searching, searching: YouTube and YouKu are the search engines of the next generation, making searchable video content an essential asset in the communications toolkit. Ensuring that up-to-date. on-message UGC and branded video content is top of search on video platforms is now critical rather than just nice to have.
Influencers proving their ROI: There’s a fyre in the house. Influencers and KOLs are being asked to prove their ROI track record as influencer marketing comes of age. It’s about time. Just as with other paid communications channels, KOLs must be responsible for showing their value and speaking with brand marketers about the communications impact of their efforts.
For results, KOL x SEO: If you still think partnering with a KOL is just paying them and asking them to create content, it’s time to change your mindset. The combined power of KOL x SEO is where the impact is. Working with KOLs to agree on strategy, keywords and hashtags will maximise the result of each video or feed. Creative content is not impactful if it is not seen or part of the wider brand conversation.
Creative people in the house: If we keep hiring the same people, we get the same results. It’s time to think differently about creative people and how we can invite them into our workplace, rather than trying to fit them into our way of work. Adapting to new talent with diverse personalities helps create teams that are more dynamic and brings in a new mix of capabilities.
Partners in collaboration: Brands want to work with like-minded brands and creative personalities, and they are striving to find ways to do this authentically. We all understand that co-creation leads to exciting and unique outcomes, but how do we find the right partner? Insights, research and a strategic PR mindset are usually the route to success, with storytelling at the heart and a genuine desire for authenticity.
Earning the story: Speaking of authenticity, we are seeing a strong refocus towards earned media coverage in credible publications and platforms that is refreshing. As audiences look for authentic and credible sources, brands are refocusing energy (and budget) on earned media and influencer campaigns that drive brand reputation and awareness. The value of owned and paid channels for driving long-term results may be starting to be questioned.
Broaden your reach: We are living in a borderless consumer landscape, where localisation needs to go hand in hand with reach. Consider the potential of Greater Bay Area campaigns, for example, that widen impact from single market Hong Kong activations into a whole new dimension.
We would love to hear your thoughts, so give us a buzz (does anyone do that anymore?) and we can chat over a coffee.
May the Pig be with you!