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3 PR trends to keep an eye out for in 2018

By Rachel Carey
PR trends

Believe it or not, 2018 is almost here. Many of us have already begun planning for the new year, putting together our budgets and plans for the first few months.

For PR pros it essential we stay up to date with how the industry is changing and we know what to expect in the new year. To lend a helping hand we’ve put together a list of three trends that you should keep an eye out for in 2018.

Consider the influence of dark social

 

Dark social is a growing trend that will continue to grow and need monitoring in 2018. Dark social is people sending links to content to each other via private messaging platforms. For example, instead of sharing the link to a blog post with a friend on Facebook people are now sending the link through Whatsapp or Facebook messenger.

This is causing the numbers of direct traffic to websites to rise dramatically and has many PR pros scratching their heads as to how they got there. If companies are using only standard web analytics to measure their traffic they may be missing key insights into how people are discovering their content and products. This could lead to PR pros missing out on campaigns opportunities.

The best way to combat this is to start measuring dark social. A simple way to do this is to prominently display your social sharing buttons on your site and it all communications, and make sure all buttons have trackable links. Another way is to take a look at your direct track URLs. If the URLs look particularly long it’s unlikely they have typed it into their browser. These can be categorised as dark social.

Owning your digital landscape

 

Building your online presence has evolved to mean more than just using your social media accounts. It now involves also owning the space you’re in so that it brings people to your site time and time again.

As the industry becomes more saturated people will begin to choose specific sites for content instead of looking everywhere online. This will make it difficult for brands to gain their attention and attract a new audience.

In order to carve out your own persona in the vast landscape, it’s important PR pros create sources of information that fill the needs of their audience. Map out your landscape and ask yourself what you see. What do potential clients see when they search online? What are your competitors doing or saying? Who is being featured in publications your target audience are reading? By answering these questions you will be able to see where your audience is going and start building your own presence.

Your brands CEO and key people need to become known on social media. Having thought leaders at the heart of your brand maximises exposure for your business. It is also important these key figures brush up on their media training should they be called upon.

Continued growth in influencer market

 

You may have thought the influencer market has already grown in 2017 but it is set to become even bigger in 2018. Many brands and their PR pros have already begun enlisting influencers to help push products and services and have been successful in generating new business.

In 2016, 94% of marketers found influencer marketing to be effective causing many businesses to double their influencer budget. This trend is continuing into 2018.

Influencers have the capability to bring a host of potential new business to a brand. They are able to connect with audiences both old and new. This is usually done through social media, meaning brands do not need a large production budget to plug new products.

Can you think of any 2018 PR trends we should keep in mind? Tweet us at @mediahqnews.

Are you a PR pro and planning ahead for 2018?  Here at MediaHQ, we have a database of over 8,000 media contacts and a dedicated research team to keep up with the daily moves and changes in the industry. A perfect platform to send out your message. Find out how MediaHQ can save you a lot of time and effort when sending out your press release.  For more information please click here or call Gaye on 01 254 1845.

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Rachel Carey

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