Let’s start with the basics for a second. What exactly is a trend? “Trend” is defined as a general direction in which something is developing or changing. There are clothing trends, PR trends and everything in between, but we’re not here to talk about white pants in the winter.
What we are here to share with you is how best to reach your audience, tell them who you are, what you do and why you’re different in the year to come. What you did last year may not lead to a successful outcome this year.
We’ve done the research for you and compiled the top five PR trends for 2020. No need to thank us. We just want to help you be heard...but you’re welcome anyway.
1. Content is still king
You better believe it. While that saying isn’t new, it’s still very relevant and the need for better content is a big trend for 2020. Fun fact: Bill Gates coined the term in an essay he wrote in 1996.
Successful and well thought out content marketing strategies that are geared towards visitor’s interests are key for brand growth. Quality over quantity is what we’ll continue to see in 2020. Potential customers don’t want to see a boatload of advertisements. They crave high-quality content that is relatable, honest, unique, entertaining and valuable. This builds trust and trust, as we know, leads to loyalty.
It has and will continue to become more and more about storytelling and everyone wants content that tells a story. It’s really all about the target audience. Are you delivering content that answers their questions, educates them and provides solutions? If not, it’s time to re-evaluate.
We agree with Michelle Crawley, Public Relations Director for TriComeB2B, and have a similar mindset when it comes to communicating the importance of content for our clients. She says that “agencies can better position themselves in 2020 by helping clients understand the value of creating the right content as part of a broader thought leadership message and by knowing where to reach their audiences.” Well said, Michelle. Well said.
Everyone needs content. Producing engaging content that is automatically ready to publish is crucial for building relationships with journalists and gaining media coverage, especially for startup clients.
Voice content is going to be huge in 2020. This year, over 100 million Alexa devices have been sold and people are using them to gather information, making it the perfect platform for brands to utilize.
This brings us to Podcasts, which makes sense since it’s our number two trend for 2020.
Voice content means podcasts and podcasts are great when it comes to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Getting your voice heard as a guest on a podcast should be on your 2020 to-do list and as we like to say, securing interviews is one of the foundations of PR.
According to the market research company Forrester, “Podcasts will be the next $1 billion media market. Forrester Analytics’ Consumer Technographics data shows U.S. consumers spend more than three hours per week listening to audio content. The types of people who are consuming podcasts are especially appealing to marketers as listeners are 45% more likely to have more than $250,000 in income. Again, secure those interviews sooner than later.
3. Thought Leadership
We’ve already mentioned thought leadership above, so let’s dig a bit deeper. What is thought leadership? It’s positioning yourself as a trusted authority figure in your field. Every single brand, company, entrepreneur, and public figure depends on thought leadership content to make first impressions.
From your blog to articles in the media, the content you publish determines how people see you. Your writing needs to actively engage, position you as the authority, and entice potential customers, clients, or fans to connect with you.
It’s not just about the revenue a thought leader brings in, but their power to influence the thinking of others. When it comes to brand growth, that’s a pretty powerful concept.
Thought leadership is no longer reserved for the big dogs and we will see more and more lower-level employees reaching out for thought leadership. Why? Widening the “expertise” of a company’s thought leadership helps the brand target a wider audience and of course, provides the opportunity to deliver more content.
As we know in PR, every opportunity to get yourself out there is a stepping stone for further opportunities. What you did in 2019 to establish yourself as an authority will secure media attention in 2020.
4. Press Releases
Speaking of stepping stones, press releases are a favored example. While it’s not a new way of getting noticed by journalists, it still remains an effective way of getting an editor’s attention. Due to the fact that 70% of media professionals spend less than a minute reading press releases, it’s key to communicate the essentials quickly and efficiently.
While the perceived necessity of press releases has decreased over the years and we haven’t heard much about them for the upcoming year, dismissing their power in 2020 is a big mistake.
Writing press releases and understanding the right targets to gain sufficient coverage are just the first steps. There are always multiple pieces to the PR puzzle.
Press releases have been and will remain a great springboard for further exposure in 2020, especially for a startup. What do startups need? Funding. What do investors want to see? Track records, proof of authority in their field and of course, press releases.
When a client has a press trail, the ability to gain further attention through media features are more plentiful and accessible.
Press releases are a great foundation for opportunities down the road. If you want to get your client mentioned in Forbes and the publication can refer to a previous press release on Yahoo Finance, for example, the chances of it happening automatically increase.
5. Brand Connection
Social media has made it easier than ever for brands to connect with their current and potential targets. It has also created an environment where targets can directly interact with brands to create a more personal experience.
In 2020, brands are looking to build on that connection because it’s what will keep consumer’s loyalty up. Sproutsocial conducted a study of 1,000 consumers to understand their desire for connection. They found that 57% will increase their spending with a brand they feel understands their needs and 76% will choose them over a competitor.
It’s no longer just about the product itself, but the emotional connection that exists between brand and consumer. Authenticity goes a long way towards building that connection.
In order for brands to establish this trust and devotion, they need to speak the same language and relate to the customer. Social media platforms are of course a very effective way to accomplish this. When both parties speak social media, the connection is birthed and continues to grow. This applies to any and all thought leaders of a company.
Influencer marketing is here to stay and a very important tool for brands to utilize in 2020. The influencer industry is projected to reach between $5-10 billion by 2020.
While the number of influencers keeps increasing, the type of influencer that is attractive to brands has shifted. Micro-influencers have been more beneficial to brands than macro-influencers. A brand no longer has to seek out a major celebrity like Kim Kardashian and pay an insane amount of money for one post.
Why do brands like micro-influencers? “At the micro level, there’s stronger engagement, better costs, and tons of opportunities,” says Buffer.com.
It’s more advantageous for a brand to partner with multiple smaller influencers who have real followers who fall into a brand’s target market, than one large influencer whose followers may not be one hundred percent real and fall into too many different niches.
Influencers will focus on organic storytelling through audio and video content in 2020 due to demand. Maddie Raedts, the Founder and COO of influencer marketing company IMA believes,“People are looking for unique feeds – less polished, but much more real, interesting, and artistic. This makes you stand out from the tough-to-beat algorithms these days.”
Instagram will remain the top social media platform for influencers to interact with, however, Tik Tok, Pinterest, and YouTube will also be utilized quite a bit.
So...now that you’re in the know, we wish you a successful 2020!