As part of the bi-annual ECCO conference, many topics and industry insights on best practice, communications trends, and learnings are shared.
A global survey conducted among ECCO’s 30+ independent, award-winning agencies ranked the top five most in-demand products for 2024.
We explore what they are and why they should be part of your communications strategy.
1. Reputation Management
Building a company’s reputation should be the foundation of any business. It’s arguably an organisation’s most valuable asset that can take years to form, yet seconds to destroy.
While a brand is something an organisation can create internally, a business’s reputation is an aspiration that is cemented by the broader public.
Whether it be customers, media, community, industry stakeholders or its own employees, managing reputation requires a proactive approach monitoring and adapting to the changing perceptions and external factors that affect an organisation over time.
To reach and maintain the desired reputation, communications strategies that support these goals are not only non-negotiable, they need to be ‘always on’.
2. Issues and Crisis Management
You don’t need to look far to find organisational issues and crisis dominating media headlines, but did you know that an issue doesn’t always have to spell disaster? The recent Optus and Qantas events were both born out of issues that escalated into crises.
For a business, weathering an issue or crisis can cost hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, when you consider loss of customers, penalties, not to mention the price attached to a company’s reputation that may have been decades in the making.
Like an insurance policy, issues and crisis management strategies are plans businesses hope to never use but are ready and waiting should they need to pull the trigger.
Thorough and considered preparation into issues mitigation provides businesses with the tools to be able to respond and navigate an event in a timely manner. In the best-case scenarios, a robust issues and crisis plan can help reduce company risks internally, prevent issues from materialising externally, or neutralise them if they do.
3. Content Creation
The evolving landscape of communications and the 24-hour digital cycle, means content never sleeps.
Data into national media consumption trends show Australians spend almost 20 hour a week watching a combination of Pay TV and commercial free-to-air TV (excluding on-demand).
While streaming services lead overall screen content time, the usage of other websites and apps, such as facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram, significantly increased year-on-year, particularly for accessing news and current affairs, for laughs, and for watching user-generated video content.
In fact, news access is shared almost equally among commercial free-to-air TV (56%), radio (56%), and news websites or apps (53%).
While the options for producing materials for these channels are virtually endless, whether it’s a byline, blog, copywriting, social content, multimedia script, or media assets, the key is to ensure content connects and resonates with your audience.
4. Influencer Marketing
The past decade has seen shifts in many things, from consumer behaviours to flexible working, and the communications landscape has been no different.
Bloggers (remember those), who published their thoughts and opinions online, morphed into influencers, who built audiences that “followed” the themes and topics they shared. IMPACT’s annual Influencer Pulse Check charts this evolution and how we work in this space.
Now an essential part of any social media strategy, influencer marketing involves content generation through considered collaborations and partnerships with creators. What sets it apart from more traditional methods of media outreach is the inherent and invaluable trust held by an influencer’s following.
The attraction for brands also lies in the ability to amplify top performing content and pivot to where opportunities lie to drive the best results. The key is to ensure collaborations between brands, influencers or content creators are authentic to achieve cut-through.
5. Social Media Strategy
With a variety of platforms available, the ECCO network of communications agencies expect LinkedIn to dominate the global social media landscape in 2024, followed by TikTok, Instagram, facebook, and finally, rounded out by X (formerly known as Twitter) and BlueSky.
The reality is your customers more than likely already exist on one or more of these social media platforms; it’s just a matter of understanding which channel aligns with your business objectives to attract, convert, and retain customers.
From a local perspective, IMPACT’s research says Instagram is still the winner among influencers, due to its social commerce capabilities and tenure in the social media space.
However, TikTok’s wide offering of engagement and sharing options is better suited to increasing brand awareness, nurturing audiences, and encouraging user-generated content on sponsored posts.
LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important for organisations and can be particular effective, given its ability to identify and target specific audience profiles, meaning content has a higher probability of engaging the right people.