Q1 Marketing Plays That'll Start Your Year Strong, Acco…
Ah, quarter one. It's a time when many of us reflect on the past year, make new bets, and refresh our playbooks. If the fourth quarter is about finishing strong, the first quarter is about starting smart.
It's an exciting time but also a little overwhelming. You have new goals to reach and new strategies to implement. You also need to create enough space to move around at a moment's notice.
But have no fear — here, I've included seven data-backed strategies for improving Q1, plus Q1 marketing tips from HubSpot experts. Let's dive in.
Data-Backed Marketing Strategies for Q1
- Interested in influencer marketing? Start with micro-influencers.
- Think of social media as an ecommerce platform.
- Double down on short-form video content.
- Elevate your customer service with a multi-channel strategy.
- Leverage AI tools for productivity.
- As AI streamlines the content creation process, so do security measures.
- Social responsibility is not going out of style.
1. Interested in influencer marketing? Start with micro-influencers.
Half of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing investments in 2024. If you've always wanted to work with influencers – but the price seemed out of reach – I have some good news.
Nearly half (47%) of marketers who leverage influencer marketing had the most success with micro-influencers. These are influencers who have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Although these creators don't have millions of followers, they still have influence over a smaller, more active community.
In fact, when asked about the biggest benefits of working with micro-influencers, 42% of marketers say micro-influencers are less expensive, followed by 39% who say micro-influencers reach more specific communities. provide.
Want to learn more about working with micro-influencers? Check out this helpful guide.
2. View social media as an ecommerce platform.
Websites like Amazon, Walmart and eBay have been at the top positions in the ecommerce sector for decades. But now we are seeing that social media platforms like^( , TikTok and Facebook are evolving into shopping destinations, creating new opportunities for marketers.
50% of marketers plan to increase their investment in social commerce in 2024, and 14% plan to leverage it for the first time this year.
On the consumer side, 67% have already made a purchase through social media platforms. Additionally, consumers aged 18-54 prefer to discover new products on social media. Personally, I've purchased more products on TikTok than I care to tell, so it's good to know I'm not alone.
What makes social media such an effective eCommerce channel is that it gives marketers access to a much wider audience. This enables them to reach audiences that are already engaged, which is ideal for brand building and product discovery.
Additionally, running influencer campaigns on social media is becoming more streamlined; Influencers increase awareness of products, and users can purchase them without leaving the app.
But, most importantly, platforms like Facebook and^( provide powerful analytics, allowing marketers to reach their audiences for maximum impact.
3. Double down on short-form video content.
Short-form video continues to dominate social media, with 53% of marketers planning to increase their investment in 2024. It's also the trend marketers are investing in the most this year, surpassing influencer marketing, podcasting, and live-streaming.
But wait, there's more: Short-form video generated the highest ROI of any media format for marketers last year, followed by images. It's clear that audiences love visual content, and platforms like TikTok and^( can help you amplify that.
Short-form video isn't necessarily new (remember Vine, anyone?). But it has quickly proven itself as an effective marketing format. It is relatively low cost – if at all – with quick turnaround times. It allows marketers to jump on trends and showcase their brand's personality. It also fits into the fast-paced social media landscape where attention spans are short.
4. Upgrade your customer service with a multi-channel strategy.
For 1 in 4 marketers, providing customer service via social media became more important in 2023, and I predict this trend will continue this year.
In fact, 50% of marketers plan to continue the same investment in social media as a customer service tool in 2024, while 33% plan to increase their investment.
If this trend tells us anything, it's that you need to adopt a multi-channel strategy to take your customer service to a new level. While the more traditional channels (for example, phone and email) aren't over, you'll want to take advantage of other opportunities to connect with your customers, like social media direct messages, live chat, and more.
Multi-channel strategy not only provides more convenience to customers, but it also allows them to engage and interact with your brand as per their choice.
5. Leverage AI for productivity.
AI: Earlier it was seen as a threat to marketers, but now the conversation is changing. Strangely, artificial intelligence has given most people, marketers or not, a greater appreciation for human creativity and inventiveness.
AI can't replicate that (at least concretely), but it can help us in the process. That's why 75% of marketers either somewhat or strongly agree that AI helps them focus on more creative aspects of their work.
AI is a way to increase productivity by removing more mundane and tedious work from marketers' plates. 78% of marketers agree that AI helps them spend less time on manual tasks like data entry and scheduling meetings. AI also supports 40% of marketers with data reporting and 39% of marketers with research.
If you haven't taken advantage of AI yet, it's time to explore ways to add it to your workflow. If you need help knowing where to start, check out this article.
6. As AI streamlines the content creation process, take safeguards to maintain quality.
If you read #5, I explained how AI can be helpful for marketers who want to increase their productivity – but now I need to add a big caveat.
While A.I. Is While helpful for marketers, it is far from infallible. For example, AI writing tools like ChatGPT are trained on limited data, so they may generate outdated or inaccurate content. And, obviously, the last thing you want to do is publish outdated or inaccurate content.
Fortunately, most marketers are aware of these shortcomings. 67% of marketers agree that AI sometimes provides inaccurate information. However, only 27% of marketers are “very confident” that they would know if information produced by AI was inaccurate.
The solution is not to stop using AI altogether, but to put guardrails in place to maintain the quality of your content, reports, etc. Always have a human editor to review your content and double-check for any inaccuracies in citations and statistics. For more tips, visit this article.
7. Social responsibility is not going out of style.
For a quarter (25%) of marketers, creating content that reflects their brand values was the biggest change in the marketing industry from 2022 to 2023.
Fast forward to today, 45% of marketers plan to increase their investment in this type of content this year.
Brands recognize that value-driven content isn't just good content; It is becoming essential for modern consumers. When consumers feel connected to a brand and its values we often see increased brand loyalty and improved business results.
However, a key element in this strategy is authenticity. Today's consumers are highly savvy and can recognize when a brand is fraudulent. Ultimately, value-driven content is about building a genuine and lasting connection with the audience, which requires a thoughtful approach.
Q1 Marketing Tips from HubSpot Experts
Take a flexible approach.
A big part of creating a strong marketing strategy is understanding that it can change. That's why Drew Stinnett, content marketing manager at HubSpot, recommends an elastic approach.
He told me, “Be adaptable throughout the year and be ready to pivot. By taking an elastic approach to your marketing efforts, you can respond quickly to market changes, consumer feedback, and emerging opportunities.”
The ability to make quick pivots also gives you a greater competitive edge. As Stinnett points out, “Adaptability also allows your strategies to remain effective in a fast-paced business landscape.”
Consider last year's performance.
Of course marketers need to think forward – but this often requires looking back.
As Carly Williams, head of monetization at HubSpot, told me, “Before you dive in, take a moment to reflect on last year's performance and discard strategies that yielded no returns. This exercise will help you save resources. “To support new ideas and success in the year ahead.”
In doing so, you can strike the right balance – inventing and trying new things where necessary, but also identifying and implementing strategies that work well.
Go back to basics.
“To be successful in 2024, marketers will find themselves in exploration mode,” Basha Coleman, senior program manager at HubSpot, told me.
And if there's one area you should constantly explore, it's your target audience.
“Being curious about your audience – what they like, and what they're doing with the content they like, and where they're engaging with it, is going to be an evergreen strategy that marketers find themselves in Q1 And the rest of 2024,” she adds.
Knowing your target audience is something that never goes out of style. But if your content isn't driving engagement – or you've noticed a change in your audience's behavior and preferences – it's a good sign to revisit your audience and refresh your strategies accordingly.
back to you
As we conclude, remember that Q1 is about starting smart and staying flexible. 2024 is already presenting plenty of opportunities, as long as you remain creative, focused, and adaptable.