Now Trending: The Era of Digital Dominance

50 years of Hager Sharp! Now that’s fun to say. As we reflect and celebrate our exciting accomplishments over the last five decades, we’re also keeping an eye on the expanding marketing horizon.

We picked some of the top trends we’re paying close attention to as we venture forward in generating and implementing ideas that make a difference, including the rise and fall of social media platforms, new artificial intelligence developments, and more.

Short-form videos can do it all.

Powerful short videos have the potential to cover so much while catering to the average consumer’s attention span. Readily customizable for different platforms, short videos are extremely dynamic and a great investment if you’re looking to connect with diverse audiences.

Influencers will stay in the spotlight.

The average internet user spends more than two hours a day on social media—a trend that has steadily increased since 2012. Social media influencers can fulfill our human need to be part of the “pack” or keep up with current trends. They are often viewed as credible sources of information on topics and can amplify the dissemination of health and education information to a broad audience.

QR codes are here to stay.

In 1994, Masahiro Hara developed QR codes for Japanese company, Denso Wave, to track automobiles and parts during manufacturing. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of QR codes as a touch-free part of daily life. Used in TV commercials, direct mail, billboards, posters, and other materials, they offer a quick and efficient way to direct audiences to websites to find information and resources—like nutrition information for restaurants or course catalogs for education institutions.

When designing content, mobile-friendly should be a priority.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated nearly 60% of global website traffic. Confirming that content and resources are mobile-friendly is essential to promote an optimal user experience. Improve a mobile-friendly experience by chunking content using short paragraphs, protecting whitespace, applying subheaders, and using images and lists to make pages as serviceable as possible.

The rise of the podcast continues.

Nearly 40% of all internet users were active monthly podcast listeners in 2021, a figure that is projected to steadily increase over the next decade. With more than three million podcasts in market, it’s safe to say the podcast landscape is saturated—full of advertising opportunities via host narrated or produced audio ads.

Artificial intelligence is making a big splash.

Communication and artificial intelligence are meeting, and in a big way. The rise of ChatGPT and recent release of GPT-4 signals that a lot is likely changing, and quickly, in communicating about health, education, climate change, and many other complex topics. Misinformation and disinformation are already widespread, posing countless challenges for communicators. Recent news is peppered with concerning headlines about how ChatGPT inquiries can create misinformation and give out uncensored medical advice. As communications professionals, we have a responsibility to use AI mindfully, to attribute content authorship to select platforms, and to keep ethics front of mind.

Hybrid work communications strategies are a must.

Companies, including Hager Sharp, need to maintain flexible hybrid work communications strategies as we continue to embrace the “new normal” of hybrid workplaces. Here at Hager Sharp, we’ve implemented “The Ten”—our keys to building a thriving culture based on respect and understanding. Each month we host a company-wide discussion to mindfully integrate and adapt our communication styles to ensure they work well for both in-person and remote staff. We apply these discussions to our internal work, across our account teams, and in our client relationships to ensure we’re communicating respectfully, inclusively, efficiently, and effectively throughout our remote and hybrid workplace. Interested in learning more about working with or for us? Check out our capabilities and send us a note. We’d love to hear from you!