What are the biggest communication challenges for companies in 2023?
By Freja Nilsson
In this year's Web Management survey we noticed that corporate communication professionals struggle with creating a unified brand experience across digital channels whilst also producing engaging content that resonates with their audience. They are also worried that they won't be able to keep up with the fast-developing technological landscape.
Highlights from the Web Management survey 2023:
- Jobseekers are now the most prioritised target group for the companies' communication efforts.
- The corporate website continues to be the most used communication channel, followed by press releases and the annual report.
- Short-term challenges mainly revolve around branding, content and strategy topics.
- Long-term challenges relate to digitalisation, analytics and tech.
- Companies will increase their focus on corporate storytelling and creating social media content.
- LinkedIn is the most used social media channel to reach the target groups.
Read also: An uncertain future demands greater investments from corporate brands
Jobseekers the most important target group
Last year the most prioritised target group for the companies' communication was financial analysts, followed by institutional investors, jobseekers and socially responsible investors. This year we see a change where jobseekers have taken the place as the most prioritised target group, followed by financial analysts and institutional investors.
An explanation for the increased importance of jobseekers is the very tough competition for talent, especially in some professions. It is more important than ever for companies to build a strong employer brand and communicate their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) clearly.
Learn more about building a trustworthy employer brand
As the communications landscape is getting more diverse with an increasing number of communication channels, it is essential to know which channels your target groups are using. As one of the respondents said:
"Uncertain digital channels making it more relevant to pick the right mix/right channel."
The most prioritised communication channel for reaching jobseekers, analysts and investors continue to be the corporate website, followed by press releases and the annual report.
Branding, content and strategy short-term challenges
When asking which short-term challenges the companies face in their digital corporate communication, the respondents mention challenges related to branding, content and strategy.
Positioning your brand in digital channels
As the number of communication channels and brand touchpoints for companies is ever-increasing, it is getting harder to maintain a consistent brand image in all channels. Companies are struggling with positioning themselves and getting their messaging heard and understood in digital channels.
Here are some examples of brand-related challenges according to the respondents of the survey:
"Clarifying our brand positioning and improving affinity to our brand, countering negative reputation through campaigns and information in digital channels."
"Continue to please the fan base yet reaching out to a wider target group in order to recruit and build brand equity."
"Providing a consistent digital experience across (too many) websites, SoMe channels and apps."
"To reposition the brand and simplify communication."
The quotes make it obvious that consistency and clarity are key when it comes to building a corporate brand. Building a consistent corporate brand is crucial to creating a strong and recognisable image that resonates with your stakeholders.
The brand also goes hand in hand with your overall communication strategy. If the overall mission, vision and goals are clear, you will have a stronger foundation to build your brand strategy on. A comprehensive corporate brand strategy should outline your brand's positioning, messaging, visual identity, and tone of voice. This strategy should be used as a blueprint for all your brand communications.
Learn more about creating a brand strategy for a digital world
Creating relevant content
As we have noticed in previous editions of the Web Management survey, content creation continues to be on top of the agenda for corporate communication professionals. Content creation is among the most common responsibilities among the respondents, together with managing the corporate website and analytics.
The content-related challenges revolve around everything from finding the right CMS (content management system), content structure and creating relevant content for a diverse group of stakeholders. These are some of the content-related challenges, according to the respondents of the survey:
"Streamlining the content and keeping to the core."
"Content generation, with concomitant currency and relevance."
"Find relevant content for the different stakeholders."
We also notice that most companies will increase focus on corporate storytelling this year, where 42% of the respondents say that they will increase the focus on it.
Creating social media content such as stories, posts, and videos will also be a priority, according to 38% of the respondents who will increase the focus on this. LinkedIn is the most used social media channel, used by 70% of the respondents to reach their target groups.
We also asked about the usage of TikTok this year, as we have noticed that some large corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, BBVA and Dassault Systemes have started to build a presence on the platform. However, none of the respondents answered that they use TikTok, but it is in the pipeline for some companies. As one respondent said:
"Opening a TikTok account, managing internal stakeholder expectations and ensuring we have the right content to make the channel work for us."
Digitalisation, analytics and tech long-term challenges
When looking at the long-term challenges that the companies face, they are mainly centered around digitalisation, analytics and tech.
As the digital development is going at a very fast pace, companies struggle to keep up. Tougher regulations regarding data privacy and accessibility are also affecting companies.
Some of the respondents said that their biggest long-term challenges are:
"Continue to stay relevant combining new digital possibilities and still making them relevant for our stakeholders combined with sound communication that resonates with our target audiences."
"Adapting to the changing digital landscape (Speed of development)."
"Keep up with the fast-moving development."
There is no doubt that communication professionals are facing great challenges, and these challenges are definitely not predicted to become fewer in the coming years.
Companies need to invest in their communication to make sure they will meet the increasing requirements. If the companies are able to meet these challenges successfully, they are well prepared for the long run. Companies that have a strong and clear brand image, as well as a coherent and consistent communication strategy, will have the best possibilities to navigate new media channels and long-term trends in corporate communication successfully.
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