News and insights • Posted on 28 March 2024

Insights from below deck: March 2024

Content that ‘takes the pressure off’, social media consumer secrets, and 2023’s most successful digital PR campaigns are some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the digital marketing landscape and how we expect brands to leverage updates throughout April and beyond.

Content should ‘take the pressure off’ consumers in 2024

Cedar’s flagship Spark+Fuel content marketing trends report for 2024 highlights a core marketing theme: 'Take the Pressure Off', addressing both marketers’ and consumers' desire for relief from negativity and stress. This entails a shift towards personalised, humorous content and a more sophisticated approach to audience targeting focused on mindset rather than demographics.

Supporting trends emphasise the importance of:

  • Entertainment in content creation

  • Brands' use of data and AI for inclusive experiences

  • Blending reality and fiction through technology and creativity

  • Personality-centred content over demographic tokenism

All of this highlights the rising need for wellbeing support from brands through nostalgic formats, tailored inspiration, and innovative mental health solutions.

Carrie Webb, group head of content, The Bigger Boat and Scriba PR

Social media consumer secrets

Social media. Everyone uses it — but are brands using it right?

Maintaining relationships via Xs and posts is important to businesses, giving you a direct line to speak to prospective or returning customers, and Hootsuite’s recent report surveyed over 6,000 individuals from Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia to find out the influence of social media on buying decisions.

The report’s most significant finding highlights how 52% of users are tired of self-promotional brand content. It also looks at the worst social media sins that can be committed, the proof that social media followers are actually valuable to your bottom line, and which is most valuable between paid, earned, and shared content..

The relationship you build with your followers matters — they’re the ones buying your products after all — so make sure to post content they want to see.

Lauren Boyles, PR executive, Scriba PR

Most successful digital PR campaigns in 2023

For ‘The Grapevine Report 2024’, Heroine analysed over 2,400 digital PR campaigns and their respective pages throughout 2023. Lifestyle campaigns emerged as the most prevalent, likely due to their broad appeal. Conversely, tech and gaming campaigns lagged behind, possibly owing to their niche audience. However, technology campaigns garnered the highest number of backlinks, suggesting untapped potential. Categories including pets, fashion, sports, sex, and relationships accrued fewer links, perhaps due to their rapid news cycles necessitating reactive PR strategies.

Purpose-driven content — aiming to raise awareness or inspire action — ranked third in backlink acquisition, with an average of 59 links per campaign. In the UK, gaming campaigns notably topped the list of most-linked categories, boding well for some of our BeFibre campaigns. Surveys emerged as the most popular campaign type, offering rapid insights into public sentiment, albeit at a potentially high cost. Expert commentary ranked third, underscoring its importance, despite being challenging to quantify in terms of success.

Grace Lenihan, account director, Scriba PR

Ideal content length and post frequency for social

How long should your social posts be? With more than 1.1 billion pieces of content published on social media daily, producing engaging material is crucial. Tailoring content length to its purpose shouldn’t be overlooked: motivational posts thrive with 14 to 21 words, while educational content performs best at 173 words.

Regarding optimal video lengths and posting frequencies:

  • Instagram reels should be 11 to 17 seconds for entertainment and 38 to 51 seconds for educational content.

  • LinkedIn favours short-form videos of 40 to 46 seconds and long-form videos of three to four minutes.

  • TikTok thrives on 18 to 31-second entertaining videos and 42 to 54-second educational ones.

  • YouTube suggests shorts of 28 to 33 seconds and long-form videos around seven minutes.

  • Facebook remains elusive regarding posting patterns.

Ultimately, remarkable content transcends frequency, but using these guidelines can enhance social media performance.

Liam Hayward, digital marketing executive, The Bigger Boat

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