Trends in integrated marketing communication 2023

Last year, we described marketing trends as the process "from idea to insanity" (Trends 2022), but this year we must say: the "new normal" begins to settle in - we get used to it and adapt. Cohesion is important - integrated teamwork of marketing, public relations and sales specialists, because there are several "becauses": global awareness of socially responsible processes, technological developments, data, etc. It's the alignment of sales, marketing and PR, or the dream team.

#1 Hypervirtual and interactive content marketing

Three years of the pandemic have brought us closer to the virtual world, which has undeniably entered the marketing strategies of brands. Interactive content on social media is not only the most used, but also the most effective. A Wix survey of 1,600 marketing specialists says: “45% said interactive content was the type of content they use most often on social media, and 77% said it was the most effective.” In addition, interactive content attracts more views and increases the time that the target audience spends on the posts. The most popular examples of interactive content that should be included in marketing strategies in 2023: games, quizzes, various calculators and surveys, virtual reality, dynamic presentations, explainer videos and simulations, software demos, image sliders, interactive maps and infographics.

#2 AI or artificial intelligence marketing

Who hasn't played with the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence! Crucial: we are already so close that even campaigns can be predicted that will be driven by artificial intelligence in creative material and content. Images of DALL·E 2 have already flooded social media, which means that the share of global artificial intelligence in the marketing market will increase.

#3 Live broadcasts, short videos and blogs

Marketing communications in 2023 are expected to see heavy investment in live streaming, especially in Twitter Spaces and Instagram Live Rooms. It's an opportunity to get to know your consumer, gather feedback and understand sentiment. Importantly, streaming requires little equipment and technical knowledge, and the content can be formatted for different channels and contents. When it comes to video, it is expected that companies will continue to invest in it this year as well, as such content has been proven to work due to the attention economy. All of this is closely related to SEO tactics. It is estimated that in 2023, marketers will invest the most money in short videos, influencer marketing and SEO. Blogging is not going anywhere because it is closely related to SEO. It is not outdated - on the contrary, it works effectively. Research by Hubspot shows that the majority of consumers read blogs several times a week and after reading them, they have bought something from the brand. (Source: here ) For a website or online pages, blogs also provide consumer engagement and potential conversion. So websites with influential blogs have more search potential. If you use SEO, then you also need to place links, as well as provide them for everything - both written content, images and videos! Updating and optimizing historical records helps a lot.

#4 Long-term partnership with influencers – quality, not quantity

In order to ensure not quantity, but quality, stability and inclusion in the structure of the world of influencers, it is expected that companies will invest in long-term partnerships, researching, selecting and using the most strategically relevant and effective partners in the promotion of their goods or services. It is possible that the number of influencers used by companies will decrease. So again - quality, not quantity.

According to Shachaf Rodberg, Marketing Trends Analyst at Wix: “It's not just influencer partnerships that are changing - influencer marketing seems to be changing marketing as a whole. Social channels of marketing are changing. They either bring in semi-famous content creators or let their in-house creators be the face of the company.” These influencers have also found a niche in their industry, so they have more influence in attracting potential customers, communicating with the audience and promoting brand awareness. So influencer marketing turns into a common marketing tactic. Another thing to add is that while micro-influencers may not be considered as influential compared to celebrities, their audience is more likely to trust their opinions and recommendations, so planning strategically and using them will work better in the long run.

#5 Advertising users, customers instead of products - a marketing strategy led by society

User generated marketing: reviews, demos, comments. It works and makes an impact on potential customers. There are even companies that are buying community businesses, such as product management company Pendo earlier this year acquiring Mind the Product, a community of more than 300,000 product managers, designers and developers. What should be done strategically to reach these groups? You need to befriend, support, sponsor or even buy. This is already happening and the trend continues to develop. Content isn't always created and distributed by high-level influencers – it's also employees, customers and industry experts.

#6 Media marketing on your channels

This means placing your content not only in traditional media, but also in self-created media, as long as we can legitimately call them media by definition. It must be said, however, that the definitions of the old masters of the media do not correspond to reality for quite some time and will most likely be improved. Read more: here

#7 TikTok is a big player in social media marketing. A revolution in social media is likely to follow

Tik Tok continues to grow, dominate and is a major player in social media marketing. Initially, companies were skeptical about this trend, but now we see that more and more serious brands have started using it, looking for content creators, and also trying to create content themselves, and with incredible, amazing results.

There is also a decentralization of social media, with attempts to create seemingly unique, comprehensive platforms in the face of competition. A great example is the site Twitter, which has certainly reflected the vulnerability of social media. One thing is clear: customers no longer want to cooperate with those platforms that try to excessively control content and data. Time will tell if Mastodon will replace Twitter, but the mass trend to look for something more honest, more transparent in society is visible. Other apps are also in development, such as BlueSky, created by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. It is expected that there will be some kind of revolution. The new social media culture shows a focus not on the number of followers, but on the content itself, which further encourages brands to collaborate with influencers and content creators. There is also a concentration of companies on specific platforms, for example five or only three.

Read more: here

#8 Being creative is key in B2B marketing. LinkedIn as a serious platform for communication with customers

B2B marketing is and can be creative too. There is a particular increase in video content on various channels to explain, introduce, draw attention. Yes, explainer videos are the most popular, followed by social media videos and presentations. The top three channels are YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. Video certainly plays an important role in the B2B sales and marketing cycle, especially with LinkedIn, which has become an influential communication platform for customers. It should also be noted that LinkedIn is a great site for sharing user-generated content, thus enabling the all-important interaction between brand, client, business partners and potential customers. It is also important to trust your employees when communicating with customers on social networks. It will definitely work more powerfully, especially in the B2B sector. Also, don't be afraid to share content created by others. Shared content consists of self-generated, shared, and user-generated content. Only these three elements at the same time can create interaction, encourage conversations and show that the company is interested in information exchange, not just sales.

#9 Strategic content marketing and brand partnerships

Currently, it is evident that not all brands are taking a strategic marketing approach to the content they distribute. It is important to remember that society wants and even demands content. It can be used strategically at all stages of the marketing funnel. It is important to create content in different communities, such as closed groups, also in B2B marketing. It is also important to reflect the brand's values, ethics, social corporate responsibility, success, etc. Not just to simply reflect, but to show by example what actions are taking place. For example, if there is green thinking, it is good to show how it manifests itself in the company. Because people choose brands with a similar value system. Most content is driven by communities – so we create, interact with, support and have a presence. According to Deloitte's annual research (here), there will be more investment in content, with brands forming partnerships (not just sponsorships). In this way, the content looks more natural and balanced, without showing only a sales goal.

#10 Social corporate responsibility as a priority

Customers look for their value system in brands. Given the context of the war in Ukraine, this tendency has only intensified. Society even requires brands to express their position. Hubspot says: “50% of Gen Z and 40% of Millennials want companies to take a stand on social issues, especially regarding racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender inequality and climate change. When companies take a stand on these issues, it strongly influences purchasing decisions.” (Source: here)

It should be mentioned that in recent years, according to Edelman Trust Barometer data (here), public trust in politicians, mass media and PR specialists has decreased, while trust in entrepreneurs has increased. This curve changes from year to year, but the overall trend is visible. Corporate social responsibility is a voluntary action, a philosophical concept that serves as a statement of values to society. Everything seems simple - first, strategic directions and topics are chosen, then they are developed in communication. (Read more: here )

#11 Sales automation and e-commerce in social media are currently relevant

More and more companies are starting to use and have sales automation tools widely available, meaning 2023 sees a greater shift to signal marketing using them in CRM, social media, advertising, e-mail marketing or purchasing management. This makes it easier to predict what customers want, later feeding it into automated processes, making marketing and buying easier for both parties involved. It is definitely a new way of digital thinking and personalized, tech-based marketing. This path has already been started by Google Ads, as well as by Facebook and other social channels. So far, the most advanced tool known to help marketers automate sales is GPT-4 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer). It is a text generation deep learning model developed by OpenAl, specially trained for use in online content. It is designed for question, answer and text aggregation, machine translation, classification, code generation and conversational AI. These are definitely new opportunities for marketers. Read more: here

On the other hand, e-commerce will continue to develop in social media. “Consumers want to engage with brands via DM, especially Millennials and Gen Z. HubSpot's 2022 Consumer Behavior Trends Survey found that 20% of Gen Z and nearly 25% of Millennials have engaged with a brand on social media in the past three months to receive customer service.” It is also important not to forget about mobile optimization. (Read more: here)

More on sales trends: here, here and here

#12 Generation Z conquers the Internet. Experiential marketing and case studies will make a comeback

Here, Google experts tell more about the trends, predicting more inclusive media planning, targeted advertising, privacy policy, the conquest of the Internet by Generation Z and other trends (here). Experts predict that experiential marketing will also make a comeback, as such campaigns allow the audience to engage. Case studies are on the rise in content marketing to convince a potential buyer as quickly as possible.

#13 AI also in PR

In 2023, artificial intelligence will also play a key role in the public relations sector. AI can improve content ranking through SEO optimization and improved audience personalization. It will also help you track media and calculate audience response more effectively. In the future, artificial intelligence will be able to write for us, including press releases, will be able to convert speech to text or text to speech, translate, identify the most relevant influencers, etc. Chatbots are already being used to interact with the audience, which are expected to continue to be stable assistants for PR specialists.

#14 Interactive content also in the field of PR. Podcasts thrive and flourish, LinkedIn is a channel for contacts

Also in 2023, it is expected that podcasts will thrive and flourish (both in audio and video form). Importantly, they can also be used in crisis communication, integrating as additional listening content for the media, distributing press releases, etc.

Brand image and reputation improvements through social media are also likely to continue. They will continue to help brands manage the PR crisis and neutralize negative publicity. It is also expected that PR specialists will increasingly use the LinkedIn platform for making contacts.

In general, the use of interactive content, as well as close cooperation with marketing and sales specialists, is expected in the future in PR, as in marketing. So it will be a team effort. Interactive content will continue to play a role in the future of PR. Read more: here and here

#15 Internal communication – e-mail is still an important strategic communication channel

Internal communication has become an even more important function in almost every organization in the world, and this has been especially facilitated by the virtual conditions experienced during the pandemic, to which almost every workplace was exposed. In 2023, it is expected that there will still be heightened concerns about the individual employee experience, as well as the introduction of improved hybrid work models that will help focus on creating a new internal communication environment in the future. Read more: here

Some more insights for the coming year: in the context of internal communication, CEOs are prioritizing communication and taking the lead, communication is becoming more immediate and personal than ever before, internal communication is moving towards a multi-channel approach and reaching employees where they are, e-mail remains an important strategic channel for internal communication, IC uses internal influencers strategically, internal communicators are learning to occasionally hit the "pause" button on communication, and new dialogue formats are flattening hierarchies in the new world of employment. So authenticity, relevance and the right channels are the keys to a successful communication strategy. Read more: here

#16 Daring nostalgia and retro collages are relevant in branding

Envato leading industry experts have selected and named the most important branding trends for 2023: daring nostalgia, powerful use of colors, pushing the boundaries of design, new eco-branding, animated logos, statement typography, humanized brands, pop culture influence and retro collages. Read more: here and here

People want authenticity, transparency and honesty when embracing this era. Action, not inaction. Brands are built with a conscious, strategic mission and should try to reflect that at every turn.

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Sincerely -

Jolanta Derkevica-Pilskunga, PhD