The Top 5 B2C Marketing Trends of 2023 [New HubSpot Blog Data]

In 2022, 51% of B2C marketers plan to increase their marketing budget.

The question is where is that budget going? Will marketers reinvest in the same strategies or try new trends?

To understand what trends B2C marketers are leveraging in 2022, we surveyed 1,067 global marketing professionals working in B2B and B2C companies. 

From influencer marketing to virtual events, there are so many efforts brands can focus on. Let’s see what our latest research says about what worked well for B2C marketers this year and where they plan to invest in 2022.

1. Short-form video will be a priority.

Short-form video took off in early 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Back then, TikTok was the number one place to go for short-form content. Today, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are also competing for users’ attention.

This is good news for brands, as the short-form video trend content offered the second-highest ROI for B2C marketers in 2021, behind influencer marketing.

Despite coming in second for ROI, it’s the trend marketers plan to invest in the most in 2022. Roughly 33% of B2C marketers already invest in short-form content, while one-third of those who haven’t will do so for the first time in 2022.

Why now? Well, short-form video is such a key feature in social media today. And according to the data, social media takes the lead in marketing investments for businesses.

That’s likely because three key goals B2C brands will have when running marketing campaigns in 2022, will be increasing brand awareness (49%), advertising products (44%). and increasing revenue (43%). 

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With social media, you can accomplish at least two out of three. Brand awareness was always the main benefit of using social media but things have evolved.

Today, with so many platforms offering in-app shopping experiences and advanced ad formats, brands can meet more of their marketing goals.

2. Influencer marketing will still be a key lead/revenue driver.

For most B2C marketers, the power of influencers is clear.

In 2022, 61% of B2C marketers surveyed in the study plan to leverage it. In fact, it’s the third-highest trend they plan to prioritize, behind short-form video content and inbound marketing.

This is because in 2021, it offered B2C brands the best returns. When asked to select their top ROI driver from a list of 27 tactics and strategies, 11% of B2C marketers chose influencer marketing. 

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What might be different in the future is the type of influencer brands focus on. Historically, brands have focused on the biggest and most popular influencers to partner with.

However, some data suggest that micro-influencers with under 100K followers may be more effective.

While the verdict is still out on that, one thing is clear: Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere.

3. Audio content will take a front seat.

Data suggests that video is the leader when it comes to content marketing. However, audio is slowly creeping up into the mix.

According to the survey, only 19.1% of B2C marketers use podcasts or other audio content in their marketing. Of those who do use it, 37.4% find it to be one of their most effective trends.

Even though adoption was seemingly low in 2021, the data suggests that more B2C marketers will add audio content to their marketing efforts in the new year.

Roughly 43% of B2C marketers plan to increase their investment in podcasts in 2022 while 38.4 plan to keep it the same. Another interesting fun fact is that this particular piece of data is virtually the same for B2B marketers.

This suggests that across all industries, brands recognize the power of audio content.

4. Social responsibility will be more important.

Now more than ever, consumers want and expect brands to be more transparent and take a stand on social media.

In fact, a 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer survey revealed that many consumers see trust as a leading factor in their purchasing decisions.

In the past two years, particularly in the height of the COVID-19 crisis and calls for social justice, consumers have started holding brands more accountable. In 2022, brands will be addressing that demand.

Currently, only a third of B2C marketers surveyed find social responsibility to be an effective marketing trend. Despite that fact, 45% plan to increase their investment in 2022.

5. Brands will continue to apply inbound marketing strategies.

Inbound marketing is all about meeting consumers where they are. Instead of marketing efforts that push messaging out to consumers, this focuses on attracting them toward you.

Behind short-form video, inbound marketing is the top trend marketers will invest in next year.

In fact, over 80% of marketers plan to keep the same budget or add more for this strategy.

This is done by following the “Attract, Delight, Engage” model that leverages content marketing, SEO, marketing automation, social media, and more to nurture consumers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

There you have it – some of the top trends B2C marketers will invest in 2022. Between publishing regular video/audio content on social media and developing a strong inbound marketing strategy, marketers have a busy year ahead.

To keep up with the latest trends in marketing, stay tuned for more upcoming marketing strategy research posts, download the 2021 HubSpot Not Another State of Marketing report to learn what marketing professionals focused on this year. 

The Great Resignation: How It’s Changing Hiring for Companies and Job Prospects [+ Expert Insight]

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021 — this is what’s now known as The Great Resignation.

As there has been a significant increase in the number of vacant positions and the number of workers who have left their position, it makes sense that hiring priorities may have changed.

In this post, we’ll discuss The Great Resignation’s impact on hiring with insight from marketing decision-makers and expert HubSpot recruiters.

Has The Great Resignation Impacted Recruiting?

Gabby Reynoso, a Marketing Recruiter, says, “What the great resignation has done is highlight the importance of flexibility, growth opportunities, and work-life balance in the workplace.” She adds that the pandemic has empowered employees, more than ever, to prioritize flexibility, growth opportunities, and work-life balance in the workplace in their current positions and those they are considering.

Kanani Rose, a Senior Sales Recruiter, says, “Anecdotally, I’ve seen a bit of a cool-down in this phenomenon as the market continues to be unpredictable, but I’m certain that one of the long-term effects of the Great Resignation is that workers will continue to be interested in the scope of their work, from a wider lens than just their general job responsibilities.” This can include health insurance, financial benefits, 401K, stock options, work from home stipends — incentives that are becoming just as important as the job itself.

She also says that compensation and job satisfaction were and continue to be top reasons candidates apply for specific positions, but the push that many businesses made to have their employees return to in-person work drove many workers to the job market in search of more flexible work opportunities.

How Has Recruiting Changed Post Great Resignation?

When it comes to the recruiting landscape, candidates are more selective: “Employer branding, pay transparency, and empathy in the recruitment process have all been key strategies on our recruitment team to make sure that we are giving candidates the power to make the best decisions for themselves in a competitive market.”

Rose says, “As a sales recruiter, I’m no stranger to candidates fielding multiple offers during the hiring process, but the market was especially tough in 2022.”

In a recent Glimpse survey, marketing decision-makers in the U.S. have stated that their hiring processes have changed in the past six months, primarily due to the economic changes that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most commonly reported changes are:

Having a harder time getting recruitment traffic and finding qualified candidates
Using more and more virtual resources in the hiring process (like online recruitment tools and video interviews)
Hiring with remote work in mind as people want more and more flexibility in how they work
Working harder to fill positions and attract qualified candidates through things like referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses, more time off, etc.

Over to You

As recruiting and finding top talent is likely a top priority for your business, it’s important to stay on top of workforce trends and what employees are expecting from the businesses they choose to work for.

If your hiring and recruiting have taken a significant hit post great resignation, consider how your business can speak to employees’ selection criteria when applying for jobs, like offering flexible work options, virtual recruiting, increased benefits, etc. You don’t have to overhaul your entire process, but you can forge a new path to successful recruiting.

Which SEO Metrics Matter Most to Marketing Leaders, According to Semrush’s VP of Brand Marketing

Having a strong SEO strategy is critical for reaching new audiences and generating leads for your business.

In fact, 43% of marketing directors, VPs, and C-suite executives reported SEO as one of the most effective strategies their companies currently leverage.

Creating a powerful SEO strategy requires consistent testing and iteration. Over time, certain metrics can help you identify which areas of your strategy are working — and which aren’t.

It can be difficult, however, to determine which SEO metrics actually matter. To truly evaluate the success of your SEO, what should you pay attention to? Organic traffic? Leads? Keyword rankings? Conversions?

Here, I sat down with Semrush’s VP of Brand Marketing, Olga Andrienko, to discuss the SEO metrics she’d advise leaders pay attention to in 2023. Let’s dive in.

The SEO Metrics That Matter Most, According to Semrush’s VP of Brand Marketing

1. Focus on the metrics that tie directly back to revenue — like conversions and new MRR.

You might’ve expected Andrienko to start with organic traffic or rankings as a top SEO metric, but instead, she advises leaders to start with the bottom line — revenue — and work backwards.

Andrienko told me, “When we discuss quarterly goals, we always look at new user monthly recurring revenue (new MRR). And, in that case, conversion is the only thing that matters. I think the metrics that matter are the ones that can tie back directly to revenue.”

She adds, “For instance, using analytics, you can see where the user came from, and how long it took them to convert and become a customer. So if we know most users come from organic search, then organic would be the metric I’d be focused on measuring. Whatever your success element is is the most important outcome. Rankings don’t matter much. People need to land on your website, and they need to buy or show they’re interested.”

Hearing ‘rankings don’t matter much’ from the VP of Brand Marketing at Semrush, a platform often used for online ranking data, initially surprised me. But it makes sense.

Let’s say you rank #1 for the keyword query: “What is marketing?” If your company sells products or services related to marketing, that’s great. But if that same post isn’t driving the right kind of traffic, or isn’t converting that traffic into qualified leads and revenue for the business … Does it matter, really?

Focusing on the metrics that tie back to revenue can greatly impact where you spend your time and resources. To effectively evaluate your content based on revenue, consider making a spreadsheet that tracks all your top-converting posts. Even if those posts aren’t the ones that bring in the most traffic for your site, those are the posts you’ll want to focus your historical optimization attention on — since those have proven most valuable to your business’ bottom line.

2. Don’t forget about branded keyword search volume.

Andrienko admits this next metric likely matters to her because of her role as a brand marketing leader, but it’s worth mentioning since it’s a metric that can demonstrate your brand value.

As she puts it, “For me, being a brand marketing leader, I specifically focus on branded keyword search volume — which means how many impressions and search volume the keyword ‘Semrush’ is getting over time. That gives me an understanding of how good we are at strengthening the brand and growing brand awareness.”

This is a particularly important metric if your goal is to grow brand awareness for your business. As you test strategies meant to increase brand awareness, such as co-marketing campaigns, sponsored events, or new types of content like podcasting, you’ll want to obsess over branded keyword search volume. Is it going up over time? If it is, this is a strong indicator that your brand awareness strategy is working.

While this can seem like a more superficial metric, it’s not. Consumers want to buy from companies they trust — and familiarity is a powerful factor when it comes to developing trust with your prospects.

3. Consider click-through rate and how it correlates to organic traffic.

“If you see a lot of people are searching for select keywords, but your CTR isn’t growing, then that means something is off,” Andrienko told me.

She continues, “For instance, we noticed the organic CTR on one of our keywords was dropping, and we discovered it was because Google added an AdWords top search feature — so we bid on the keyword. Ultimately, we saw that even though organic CTR was dropping, we were able to get the clicks anyway in a different form.”

“It’s important you don’t just look at organic traffic … But also how it correlates with the click-through rate. That’s a very important connection to make.”

In a world where almost two-thirds of Google searches end without a click, it has become increasingly difficult to achieve high click-through rates. And Andrienko admits it’s not always feasible. Consider, for instance, a user who searches “How can I measure click-through rate?” They’ll be shown this featured snippet, which concisely answers their query:

This is where the power of long-tail keywords comes into play.

Andrienko told me about one of Semrush’s customers, a dentist. After struggling for a while with attracting audiences to his website, the dentist decided to search for any dental-related queries. Then, he took those keywords, grabbed a recorder, and went to his doctors. After recording their answers to his questions, he put them up on his blog and started ranking for the long-tail keywords related to his industry.

While this strategy might not work for everyone, it’s worth noting that creating content that requires users’ to click on the link to get the full benefits is critical for optimizing your SEO strategy.

For instance, rather than writing a post that answers the query “how can I measure click-through rate?”, you might also create content that answers more long-form queries, like “What are the best strategies to increase CTR?”.

Informative, helpful content that leverages long-tail keywords isn’t just for attracting audiences. It’s also vital for building trust and creating stronger relationships with your audience. In fact, Andrienko told me her favorite type of content is informational. “It’s where you can really help the user because the information is a direct answer to a problem they’re experiencing. It’s not about your company. It’s about helping them, which is where trust is built.”

4. Don’t ignore rankings, backlinks, domain authority, and user behavior metrics.

Finally, Andrienko provided a list of a few other metrics that she believes still deserve a mention in this post.

For one: Rankings and positions.

She told me, “I wouldn’t focus on rankings and positions as the first metric, but you still need to see how you’re performing against competitors. So it’s an important day-to-day metric to watch.”

A few other metrics Andrienko encourages leaders to watch:

Domain authority
User behavior metrics, like page load speed

There are other metrics she uses for more qualitative purposes too, like bounce rate. She says, “Bounce rate is important to track because it indicates whether the content is actually interesting and compelling to your readers.”

She continues, “And pages per session is another metric you’ll want to pay attention to — because let’s say users land on ‘What is SEO?’. We know they won’t immediately convert on that page. We need to encourage them to go to another page, and another page after that, so we’re able to grab their attention and ultimately convert them. If they only visit one page per session, it means we didn’t do a good job of retaining them.”

The SEO metrics you care about ultimately depends largely on your goals as a marketing leader. As you approach 2023, you’ll want to consider your goals, and then work backwards from there to identify which SEO metrics will help you evaluate how aligned your strategy is with those goals.

Not sure which goals to focus on? Take a look at The Top Goals of Marketing Leaders in 2023, or find other helpful content related to leadership in 2023 in the post, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader: Data from 300+ Marketing Directors on How to Take Your Team to the Next Level.

Instagram and TikTok Resumes: Are Marketing Managers Watching Them?

Instagram and TikTok are apps typically used to share special moments, connect with others, or promote our brands — but can we also use these platforms to create and share resumes? In 2021, TikTok launched TikTok Resumes, a program designed to “continue expanding and enhancing TikTok as a new channel for recruitment and job discovery,” according to a news release.

The New York Times calls TikTok the new search engine for Gen Z, so it makes sense that Gen Z users could also search for employment opportunities on the app. It also makes sense brands looking for young talent may turn to the app for job postings. But are marketing managers and recruiters watching TikTok videos and accepting them instead of resumes?

To find out, I asked recruiters at HubSpot and surveyed marketing decision-makers for their thoughts on resumes in the form of TikTok videos. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of filming your next resume.

What is a TikTok resume?

A TikTok resume is a 60-second video posted to TikTok showcasing the job experience, skills, and creativity of a user looking for employment. To ensure the resume reaches recruiters, job candidates must include #TikTokResumes in their posts.

Below is an example of a TikTok resume:

Almost half of TikTok users in the U.S. are between the ages of 10 and 29, so the program likely targets job seekers looking for entry-level positions.

What do professionals think of TikTok or Instagram resumes?

Since videos on TikTok often find their way to Instagram Reels, I figured it’d be safe to assume users would also upload their videos to Instagram to get more eyes on their resumes. With that in mind, I surveyed 98 marketing professionals to gauge their thoughts on TikTok or Instagram resumes. Here are the results:

When asked if they’ve ever considered a candidate with an Instagram or TikTok resume, 68% said they have, and 32% said they have not.
When asked if they would review an Instagram or TikTok resume, 71% of respondents said they would.
27% said they would review one, but only with a traditional resume document. The remaining 2% said they do not know and are unfamiliar with Instagram and TikTok resumes.

I also asked respondents to explain their reasoning for why they would (or wouldn’t) accept a TikTok or Instagram resume. Respondents in favor of these video resumes often said they found the resumes to be unique, fun, creative, and interesting.

Respondents not in favor of TikTok and Instagram resumes often said the resumes were unprofessional or wouldn’t give enough insight about the candidate. Once again, some respondents said they’d rather accept the video with a traditional resume document.

I also asked HubSpot marketing recruiters for their perspectives.

“I would more likely want [a TikTok or Instagram resume) as an addition versus replacing a resume completely,” Marketing Recruiter Kassandra Pirela said. “A resume gives more insight on the experience and whatnot … I would like this as an addition to show that they put more effort into applying, and it’s just nice to get to know them a little more.”

Some HubSpot recruiters seemed to agree that video resumes like a TikTok or Reel are best as a supplement, rather than a replacement, for traditional resumes. However, other HubSpot recruiters also pointed out that video resumes can be more efficient than conventional resumes since they’re quicker to view and showcase personality.

However, a common concern brought up by the recruiters is that a video resume could trigger unconscious biases in the job-searching processes. For example, a recruiter may be more interested in the interactive video than a traditional resume, regardless of either candidate’s experience.

Should you make a TikTok or Instagram resume?

In an increasingly digital world, social media resumes could likely become more acceptable in the professional world in the coming years. However, candidates should always research the job they are applying for and adhere to the job posting guidelines.

In other words, if the job posting says to submit a resume document and cover letter — do that. You can include a link to your TikTok resume in your application to stand out, but you still need to have the materials the job posting specifies. A TikTok resume could be beneficial if you’re applying for a reactive position like a videographer or social media manager — but make sure to have a traditional resume on hand.