A new year means new plans, budgets, strategies and goals. The new year introduces the opportunity to reflect on your current campaigns and reassess – is this still working? Does this resonate with my target audience? Is it time to go back to the drawing board and shake things up?
For us, the new year is a welcomed fresh start in the constantly evolving marketing and communications landscape. It offers us the chance to practice trendspotting and get creative. So, what should you be looking to incorporate into your strategy in 2023? We’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true practices that we anticipate being at the forefront of successful work in the coming year.
Use numbers to illustrate success
Data collection has made understanding target audiences and how your material resonates with these audiences immensely easier. It’s become a key component of successful campaigns as more brands take to engaging with audiences on digital channels. Utilizing measurable data to guide campaigns and programs is a surefire way to ensure you’re going down the correct path – especially if your campaign is integrated with both a digital and media relations element.
There are countless ways to measure campaign success through data in digital marketing. On social media sites, you can track clicks and how much each click costs, compare months to see any change in engagement and see the type of audience interacting with your content.
If you want to dive deeper, there are additional tools on platforms like Sprout Social that allow you to analyze data further – like understanding which product is resonating most with the public on social media and seeing how often your business is weaving trending topics and current events into content. These data points can be a clear guide to what’s working and where you can adjust and optimize.
From a communications and media relations perspective, it’s not quite as simple. We don’t always get insights regarding readership and circulation from publications. However, there are workarounds to ensure you’re measuring success, like “data-fying” a story. For example, you can code each piece of coverage to see if key messages are included, topic frequency and any product mentions. As the year progresses, changes to campaigns can easily be made with coding, pointing out strengths and weaknesses.
Another way to understand if media relations work is successful is to continuously conduct Share-of-Voice (SOV) analyses. An SOV measures how often competitors are mentioned in the media with the goal of understanding where your brand falls among competitors, who is leading the conversation and which outlets are most interested in talking to competitors. Conducting an SOV on a quarterly basis can provide insight into traction against competitor brands.
Get personal with your pitching
The trend of changing newsrooms is not going anywhere soon – meaning reporters’ beats will change and often become broader, leading to limited bandwidth and an inbox flooded with emails. It’s imperative to tailor your pitches this year to stand out and land the perfect reporter. Be sure to do your research. Let the reporter know you understand what they write about and show them why your story will benefit their readers.
If you know your story is perfect for a reporter, let them know. Include how it’s related to their past work but also provides intriguing new insight their readers will want. Understand what the reporter’s preferences are and include them in your initial pitch – executive interview, pictures, background information, etc.
This will take more time than plugging and chugging a reporter’s name into the same drafted pitch. If you're pressed for time, at least tailor your introduction to reporters. Make them feel understood and prove you're not wasting their time. It’s all about relationship-building.
Create bold and unique POVs
Electric vehicles, automated vehicles and AI are topics that have been trending in the tech world for years – and the conversation isn’t slowing down. So, prepare your spokespeople with new and interesting POVs to stand out with reporters and drive public interest.
The truth is, unless you’re a Fortune 100 company, many reporters won’t be jumping at the bit to hear your spokesperson talk. Instead, you’ll need to provide a new idea or bold stance that readers have never seen.
A PR partner can help you hone in on this messaging to be effective for media while keeping stakeholders and brand goals top-of-mind.
Integration at the forefront
Everyone is vying for attention online and in the media. Combining digital work and media relations offers you a powerhouse approach to maximize results with your intended targets.
For example, if you’re launching a product, proactive media relations outreach will secure media interest and coverage to go live on the day of the launch in key outlets audiences are reading. At the same time, you can further extend your reach through organic and paid social posts, putting money behind promoted posts to guarantee the right people see your product.
Using both methods in tandem creates a greater opportunity for your product or messaging to be seen by the public and, most importantly, the right audience.
If you’re struggling to execute these concepts or need help navigating your next campaign, set up a needs-analysis call today to learn how Airfoil can elevate your business.