Q1 Marketing Plays That’ll Start Your Year Strong, According to State of Marketing Data

Ah, quarter one. It is a time when many people mirror on the final yr, make new bets, and refresh our playbooks. If the fourth quarter is about ending sturdy, then the primary quarter is about beginning good.

It is an thrilling time but additionally a bit overwhelming. You could have new objectives to achieve and new methods to execute. You additionally must create sufficient room to pivot at a second’s discover.

Download Now: Free State of Marketing Report [Updated for 2024]

However haven’t any worry – right here, I’ve rounded up seven data-backed methods for nailing Q1, in addition to Q1 advertising and marketing suggestions from HubSpot specialists. Let’s dive in.

1. Fascinated with influencer advertising and marketing? Begin with micro-influencers.

Half of entrepreneurs plan to extend their influencer advertising and marketing funding in 2024. If you happen to’ve at all times needed to work with influencers — however the price ticket appears out of attain — I’ve some excellent news.

Amongst entrepreneurs who leverage influencer advertising and marketing, practically half (47%) discovered probably the most success with micro-influencers. These are influencers who’ve anyplace from 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Whereas these creators haven’t got hundreds of thousands of followers, they maintain affect with a smaller, extra engaged group.

Q1 Marketing Plays

In truth, when requested in regards to the largest advantages of working with micro-influencers, 42% of entrepreneurs say micro-influencers are inexpensive, adopted by 39% who say micro-influencers give entry to extra area of interest communities.

Need to study extra about working with micro-influencers? Try this useful information.

2. Strategy social media as an ecommerce platform.

Web sites like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have been the highest canines within the ecommerce house for many years. However now we’re seeing social media platforms — like Instagram, TikTok, and Fb — evolve into buying locations, creating new alternatives for entrepreneurs.

50% of entrepreneurs plan to extend their funding in social commerce in 2024, and 14% plan to leverage it for the primary time this yr.

On the buyer aspect, 67% have already purchased by social media platforms. What’s extra, shoppers ages 18-54 desire to find new merchandise on social media. Personally, I’ve bought far too many merchandise on TikTok than I care to say, so it is good to know I am not alone. 

Q1 Marketing Plays

What makes social media such an efficient ecommerce channel is that it provides entrepreneurs entry to a reasonably huge web of individuals. This allows them to faucet into audiences who’re already engaged, which is good for model constructing and product discovery.

On high of that, working influencer campaigns on social media is changing into far more streamlined; influencers drive consciousness to merchandise, and customers can buy them with out ever leaving the app.

However, most significantly, platforms like Fb and Instagram supply highly effective analytics, enabling entrepreneurs to achieve their audiences for max affect.

3. Double down on short-form video content material.

Quick-form video continues its reign on social media, with 53% of entrepreneurs planning to extend their funding in 2024. It is also the development entrepreneurs are investing in probably the most this yr, outpacing influencer advertising and marketing, podcasting, and live-streaming.

However wait, there’s extra: short-form video generated probably the most ROI from any media format for entrepreneurs final yr, intently adopted by photos. It is clear that audiences love visible content material, and platforms like TikTok and Instagram may help you amplify it.

Q1 Marketing Plays

Quick-form video is not essentially new (keep in mind Vine, anybody?). However it’s rapidly confirmed itself as an efficient advertising and marketing format. It is comparatively low-cost — if in any respect — with fast turnaround instances. This enables entrepreneurs to leap on traits and showcase their model’s persona. It additionally suits throughout the fast-paced social media panorama the place consideration spans are brief.

4. Up-level your customer support with a multi-channel technique.

For 1 in 4 entrepreneurs, offering customer support by social media grew to become extra necessary in 2023, and I predict this development will carry into this yr. 

In truth, 50% of entrepreneurs plan to proceed the identical funding in social media as a customer support instrument in 2024, whereas 33% plan to extend their funding.

If this development tells us something, it is that elevating your customer support to a brand new degree requires adopting a multi-channel technique. Whereas the extra conventional channels (e.g., telephone and e mail) are removed from over, you wish to benefit from different alternatives to attach together with your clients, like social media direct messages, dwell chats, and extra.

Not solely does a multi-channel technique supply extra comfort to clients, but it surely additionally permits them to have interaction and work together together with your model in the best way they like.

5. Leverage AI for productiveness.

AI: it was seen as a risk to entrepreneurs at first, however now the dialog is altering. Oddly sufficient, synthetic intelligence has given most individuals, entrepreneurs or not, a higher appreciation for human creativity and inventiveness. 

AI cannot replicate that (at the least convincingly), however it could help us within the course of. Because of this 75% of entrepreneurs both considerably or strongly agree that AI helps them give attention to the extra inventive points of their job.

Q1 Marketing Plays

A method AI is supercharging productiveness is by taking the extra monotonous and tedious work off entrepreneurs’ plates. 78% of entrepreneurs agree that AI helps them spend much less time on guide duties like information entry and scheduling conferences. AI additionally helps 40% of entrepreneurs with information reporting and 39% for analysis. 

If you have not leveraged AI but, it might be time to discover methods so as to add it to your workflow. Try this text should you need assistance determining the place to begin.

6. As AI streamlines the content material creation course of, have safeguards to take care of high quality.

If you happen to learn #5, I defined how AI could be useful to entrepreneurs wanting to spice up their productiveness — however now I would like so as to add a giant caveat.

Whereas AI is useful to entrepreneurs, it is from infallible. AI writing instruments like ChatGPT, for instance, are educated on restricted information, so they could generate outdated or inaccurate content material. And, clearly, the very last thing you wish to do is publish outdated or inaccurate content material.

Fortunately, most entrepreneurs are conscious of those shortcomings. 67% of entrepreneurs agree that AI typically provides incorrect data. Nonetheless, solely 27% of entrepreneurs are “very assured” they might know if the data AI produced was inaccurate.

The answer is not to cease utilizing AI altogether, however to have guardrails in place to take care of the standard of your content material, experiences, and so forth. All the time have a human editor to evaluation your supplies and double-check for any inaccuracies with quotes and statistics. For extra suggestions, go to this text.

7. Social duty is not going out of fashion.

For 1 / 4 (25%) of entrepreneurs, creating content material that displays their model values was the largest change within the advertising and marketing trade from 2022 to 2023. 

Quick ahead to right now, and 45% of entrepreneurs plan to extend their funding in any such content material this yr. 

Manufacturers acknowledge that value-driven content material is not only a nice-to-have; it is changing into important for contemporary shoppers. We frequently see enhanced model loyalty and higher enterprise outcomes when shoppers really feel aligned with a model and its values. 

Nonetheless, a key component on this technique is authenticity. As we speak’s shoppers are extremely discerning and may spot when a model is disingenuous. In the end, value-driven content material is about constructing a real and sustainable reference to the viewers, which requires a considerate method.

Q1 Advertising Ideas from HubSpot Specialists

Embrace an elastic method.

An enormous a part of formulating a robust advertising and marketing technique is knowing that it would change. Because of this Drue Stinnett, Content material Advertising Supervisor at HubSpot, recommends an elastic method.

She advised me, “Be adaptable and able to pivot all year long. By embracing an elastic method to your advertising and marketing efforts, you’ll be able to rapidly reply to market shifts, client suggestions, and rising alternatives.” 

The flexibility to make fast pivots additionally provides you a extra aggressive edge. As Stinnett factors out, “Adaptability additionally permits your methods to stay efficient inside a fast-paced enterprise panorama.”

Replicate on final yr’s efficiency.

Entrepreneurs ought to be forward-thinking — after all – however this typically entails trying again. 

As Carly Williams, Head of Monetization at HubSpot, advised me, “Earlier than you dive proper in, take a second to mirror on final yr’s efficiency and let go of methods that did not present a return. This train will show you how to release assets to help recent concepts and success within the yr forward.”

In doing so, you’ll be able to strike the precise stability — innovating and attempting new issues the place wanted, but additionally recognizing and executing methods that work nicely.

Return to fundamentals.

“To reach 2024, entrepreneurs will discover themselves in exploration mode,” Basha Coleman, Senior Program Supervisor at HubSpot, advised me.

And if there’s one space it is best to constantly discover, it is your target market.

“Getting interested by your viewers—what they like, and what they’re doing with the content material that they like, and the place they’re partaking with it, goes to be an evergreen technique that entrepreneurs will discover themselves coming again to all through Q1 and the remainder of 2024,” she provides.

Understanding your target market is one thing that by no means goes out of fashion. But when your content material is not sparking engagement — otherwise you’ve seen shifts in your viewers’s habits and preferences — it is a good indication to revisit your viewers and refresh your methods accordingly.

Again to You

As we wrap up, keep in mind that Q1 is about beginning good and staying versatile. 2024 already presents loads of alternative, as long as you keep inventive, targeted, and adaptable.

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