An uncertain future demands greater investment from corporate brands
By Ellinor Olmarken
While corporate storytelling is still a top priority and companies are hiring more people within corporate website management, it seems that comms departments are also focusing on improving their strategic work. What will be the key to improving communication when the competition for investors and talent intensifies?
Although it was assumed that 2023 would be a tough financial year, the budgets of the communications departments don't seem to have been reduced. This may be because many companies see it as more important than ever to continue to invest in their communication. As the competition is getting tougher, this especially concerns investors and job seekers since the job search is likely to increase in the future. As our sister agency Nordic Morning says, in hard times, marketing is an investment, not a cost.
In our annual Web Management survey (where we ask communication professionals what their biggest challenges are), some common trends were found regarding their management and how to work with corporate communications in 2023:
Strategy — a top priority
One of the latest trends this year is a substantial increase in strategic competence within the in-house departments.
According to the survey, the majority of the limited companies see that the biggest short-term challenge is strategy work. With the maintained budget, they seem to focus more on strategic strength from within — since 2022, the percentage with strategic competence has gone from 60% to 82%. Both SEO and Analytics should be integrated as a part of the overall communications strategy.
Learn more about how to get started with your strategy work
Based on the survey, companies are nowadays mainly using analytics as a tool to update the content structure and to follow up on KPIs. Some companies, however, don't seem completely sure of how to optimise their use of data and use its opportunities: most of the respondents claim that the key data is still concluded on a monthly basis. The risk with this very common action among companies is that a monthly report might be used just as that — a monthly report without day-to-day actions based on key insights.
Based on the survey, many of the respondents are concerned about privacy regulations and how they affect the daily analytics work. The regulations make it difficult to use some of the insights, as cookie consent is a necessity:
"As we have an explicit consent approach we do not even know how many people are not accepting setting tracking cookies. The reliability of the numbers is really a hard guess besides seeing some trends over time."
Despite the long history of the comms industry, where more and more experts are claiming the importance of SEO optimisation, companies don't always appear to have insights on how SEO can help them understand what their web visitors are looking for. As corporate storytelling still is a top priority for listed companies, SEO could also be one of the next steps for those activities.
Learn more abot how to opitmise your copywriting for SEO
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AI is still a debated topic
AI will continue to be an area that creates curiosity and can come to play an important role in companies in the coming years. However, it doesn't seem like AI will be quite as important as predicted; many of the respondents to the survey believe that, in addition to the opportunities, they also see risks with AI. When asked whether companies currently use AI tools, many respond that they only choose to use AI when needed for translations, beta testing and proofreading.
"Besides the AI chatbot, we're yet to discover for what purposes AI can be used."
Although many of the respondents show some scepticism about the overuse of AI, many still seem to believe that AI will have a great impact on corporate communications in the future.
"Support the existing process of content creation, implementation and delivery (prediction what's next) regarding text, imagery and maybe look and feel."
Last year's content focus areas remain relevant
Just as last year, Sustainability, Careers and Investor relations are top prioritised content topics. Sustainability has decreased slightly, but there's no doubt that it will stay relevant in the near future. Most of the companies find the challenges for these sections to be how to communicate key insights in the best way possible, e.g., how to share IR reports via HTML, pdf or interactive data; what jobseekers would like to find on a careers site; and how to share candidate journeys, application processes, accessibility and so on.
Would you like to know more about how your corporate website could be improved?
Learn more about our Webranking Report
How can we help?
In 2023, Nordic Morning, Comprend, Petra, Pyramid and Graal will become one strong agency with offices in Stockholm, Malmö, Helsingborg, Gdansk, Helsinki and London. We offer our clients 360 solutions in marketing and communication. Just reach out if you would like to learn more about us!