HubSpot is a beacon of valuable knowledge for marketers. They’ve recently released their latest report, a free State of Marketing Report (updated for 2023) with lots of insights that can inform savvy legal marketers.
What are the main takeaways? We’ve scoured the report and have distilled the robust concepts into some actionable highlights that you can apply to your firm.
What Changed In Marketing This Year?
According to the report, the most successful marketers are those who can adapt to change and remain nimble. There is more emphasis on data-driven decision making and agile methodologies in marketing. Furthermore, social media is not letting up, but instead is being used as a tool for brand building. In summary, most marketers are looking for ways to speed up processes and focus more on digital tactics in an increasingly connected world. Other notable changes from the report include:
- Marketers are making pivots a more essential part of their planning.
- Data-informed marketing strategies are vital and more emphasis is put on information gathering before making decisions.
- Brands are working harder to create content that is a reflection of their values.
- Marketers are using CRM more than ever to track and organize data.
- There is an increase in client experience as a way to bridge the gap between service and marketers.
- Social media DM practices are becoming more popular.
- Building online communities is a vital part of generating engagement.
Top Marketing Trends of 2023
As you know, marketing trends of all types continuously evolve. Ten years ago only cutting-edge brands were focusing on video, and now we know that video content is a staple in effective marketing. Here are the trends from 2023 with the most traction:
- Short-form video continues to explode – The report concludes this is the “most popular” trend among marketers, with one third using short-form video content. Directly from the HubSpot report: “90% of marketers using short-form video will increase or maintain their investment next year, and 21% of marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2023, also the highest of any trend.”
- Influencer marketing is gaining a higher ROI – According to the HubSpot report, only 1 in 4 marketers are leveraging influencer marketing. However, several people invested in it this year for the first time, and more people plan to based on the expected ROI.
- Branded social media DM methods are expanding – Using social media DMs for client support is a newer tactic, but a promising one. According to the report, “It has the 3rd highest ROI of any marketing trend and use will grow in 2023, with 15% of marketers planning to try it for the first time.”
- Website SEO is still crucial – SEO isn’t new, but it’s as important as ever. Leveraging a blog with an effective SEO strategy is a powerful lead-generating tactic, and important for standing out from local competition.
- Marketers should try to humanize their brand with content – Creating content that reflects your company’s values is a big trend right now. The report showed that many marketers already have a thoughtful content plan in place and will increase their investments here.
- Data offers serious benefits – Again, this really isn’t a new phenomenon. However, lots of research is showing that data-driven marketers will win in 2023 and beyond. Data can be used to reach target audiences more effectively, create more impactful content, increase the ROI of all marketing efforts, and better allocate resources.
Marketing Takeaways for the Future
Given the trends that have come and gone in recent years – and the overall state of marketing – there are a few concepts to keep top-of-mind as you plan future marketing efforts. The research from HubSpot confirms that a few things can set marketers up for more success in 2023/2024.
- Deeper data is required to know your audience. As mentioned above, data-driven decision-making is key and can help in all facets of your marketing. When it comes to your audience, go beyond the demographic basics. Learn about where they spend time online, which communities they are part of, what values they appreciate. Taking things to a deeper level will help you to reach more people and be more relevant.
- Have a plan to pivot. Even the best-laid plans don’t always work out, and successful marketers tend to be flexible. Think about the pandemic and following political turmoil – society is always changing and facing new circumstances. As we face a potential recession, firms should consider how to best allocate their resources and focus on lead-generation and lifetime value creation for clients to ride out the long-haul.
- Building online communities is crucial to engagement. You need to meet your potential clients where they spend time, and that means understanding online communities. Whether you focus on LinkedIn groups, online forums, a knowledge sharing app like Reddit, or other online spaces, plan to up your participation. If you can build a space that feels like a true community, you’ll have more loyal followers and you’ll be more top-of-mind when legal help is needed.
- Marketing roles are shifting back to in-person. According to the report, “A whopping 80% of marketers are at least partially back in the office in 2022, while only 20% are fully remote.” It’s important to be aware of these trends as individual marketers consider their own career prospects.
Lots of things are changing this year – but lots of things haven’t changed much. The biggest takeaways from the report are focusing on short-term video content and social media DM strategies, along with focusing on data and using more information to understand your target audience. Other than that, general advice for moving into the future is to be flexible and adaptable in the face of what may end up being a challenging economic climate. For more insights on other HubSpot reports, make sure to follow our blog. We break down the complex concepts shared in research so that you don’t have to. For deeper insights that are specific to the legal industry, check out our webinar: Behind the Scenes of the 2022 Good2bSocial Social Law Firm Index.