As we head into a new year, businesses are gearing up to revise their digital marketing strategies. This begs the question: What methods do you need to incorporate into your marketing efforts? We’ll answer this very question as we explore the 9 digital marketing trends you need to get ahead in 2023.
Agile Marketers Will Win the Day
How well does your business respond to change? And more specifically, how well does your marketing respond to market changes? For many companies across the globe, these are the questions being asked of them in the wake of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, political war and troubling economic crisis.
But despite these enormous challenges, savvy marketers have shown agility in the face of stagnation, coming out on top and embracing the new norms of marketing. HubSpot reported that over half of marketers pivoted in 2022 and 83% of those that did, pivoted 2-4 times in one year. How’s that for agility?
Agility is more than just responding to change though. It’s about anticipating change and planning accordingly:
- Will your budget need adjusting?
- Is your data solid and does it tell a story for your customers?
- Are you leveraging the right channels?
- Could you do more or less and what would the effects be?
- How are your customers shopping online and what do they care about?
Agile Sherpa’s annual state of agile marketing report states that 51% of marketers use Agile methods, and is easy to see why. Agile is a highly flexible and iterative management style primed for the rapid advances of technology and customer expectations; using work sprints, fostering wholly collaborative environments and placing the customer experience over and above all else. It’s a philosophy we can certainly get behind!
Short-Form Video is Here for the Long-Haul
Video is a big hit with marketers. 87% of businesses already use video as a marketing tool and 81% of marketers intend to use it in the upcoming years making it the channel that will see the highest growth in 2023. Why? Simply put - short-form video has the highest ROI.
So where is video being used? TikTok, Instagram and YouTube are among the most common channels and bear some pretty eye-popping stats so far in 2022:
- TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users.
- 60% of 18-24-year-olds visit TikTok daily
- 20.83% of global internet users, use TikTok
- Instagram has 1.5 billion monthly active users
- 9 out of 10 users watch Instagram videos at least weekly
- Instagram generates more leads from videos than any other social media platform
- People watch 1 billion hours of YouTube content daily
- YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google
- YouTube mobile users pay twice as much attention compared to television
Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Grow
Through 2022, influencer marketing’s popularity has exploded, with 93% of marketers having used it in their overall strategy. Following closely behind video marketing, influencer marketing has the second-highest ROI and will see the second-highest investment of any digital marketing strategy for businesses heading into 2023.
So what is it about influencer marketing that is so darn powerful? Well, much of its profound success comes down to consumer psychology. As humans, we naturally seek validation and the approval of others, this plays into the role of influencers (the people who do the “influencing” for brands) as they promote products and services on behalf of companies. When customers see a product being advertised by an influencer with a large audience, it establishes instant credibility for that brand and customers feel safer trusting the opinion of the influencer, which is deemed an expert.
Here are some key takeaways for influencer marketing in 2022 that will inform the year ahead:
- Raising brand awareness was the top priority for 86% of marketers.
- 61% of consumers trust recommendations from influencers.
- 8 out of 10 people bought something after seeing an influencer recommend it.
Customer Experience is Everything
Marketing as a whole has seen a dramatic shift in how products are sold to customers. No longer are people reliant on powerhouse advertising to reach them, in fact, 81% of online shoppers start their buying journey by conducting online research.
What this means for businesses is that their customer touchpoints need to deliver best-in-class experiences, that not only make them want to buy but also come back again and again. From websites to social media pages, to blogs and email campaigns - every channel you use has to maintain the same level of quality that customers have grown to expect.
Here are some key aspects of your marketing strategy that can enhance customer experiences:
- Having knowledgeable and friendly staff.
- Responsive mobile sites.
- Personalisation in your marketing messages.
- Having a strong sense of social responsibility.
- Up-to-date technology.
- Great design/UX.
Leveraging Website SEO
Using SEO tactics to get content seen - primarily on Google - has been the status quo for some time now. Investment in SEO strategies isn't set to change for 2023 either, with 88% of marketers planning to increase or maintain their current level, 4% up on the previous year.
Blogs represent entertaining yet educational links between customers and brands. Despite rising popularity in visual content, blogs can’t be matched as the go-to research tool for customers wanting long-form insights. And their versatility means blogs can be deployed pretty much anywhere - on websites, social media, affiliate pages, embedded in emails and more, making them a multi-channel marketing tool.
Here are some takeaway blog stats for 2022/2023:
- 59% of B2B marketers say blogs are the most important tool they use.
- Blogging leads to 55% more website visitors.
- Content costs 62% less than traditional marketing formats but generates 3x the leads.
- The first 5 search engine results get almost 68% of the total clicks.
More Investment in Socially Responsible Content
Digital marketers will almost double investments in producing socially responsible content that incorporates brand ethics and mission values into their marketing. Whether it’s Patagonia’s owner giving away $3 billion worth of the company to help fight environmental causes or Apple launching Pride Edition Watch bands in support of LBGTQ+ communities - modern-day consumers want to see responsibility in brands and transparency on important social and political issues.
How a company responds and acts on these issues is an important factor in the customer decision-making process, with Gen Zers and Millennials in particular:
Gen Zers - 50% want companies to take a stance on racial justice, LBGTQ+ rights, gender inequality and climate change.
Millennials - 41% want companies to take a stance on similar issues, including human rights, affordable healthcare and income inequality.
AI & Machine Learning in Marketing
Digital marketers will continue to utilise technological advances in AI and machine learning to better understand customer behaviours and to deliver streamlined experiences that save money and time.
SEO strategies already use machine learning tools such as Google’s keyword forecast tool to see how keywords will perform in optimal settings. Companies like Netflix and YouTube use tech to suggest new content and predict user behaviours. Data can be cleaned and organised to help segment customer databases. Chatbots give customers the answers they want in a fraction of the time. There are dozens of applications for AI and machine learning in marketing that reduce human interaction and refine the customer experience.
Take a look at these stats for AI in 2022 and beyond:
- Almost 100 million people will work in the AI space by 2025
- 83% of companies consider AI a top priority in their overall strategy
- AI algorithms increase leads by as much as 50%
- More than 80% of employees say AI improves productivity
- Around 62% of customers are willing to submit their data to AI to improve their experience
- 54% of companies are already using conversational AI
Gathering First-Party Data
In an effort to fight spam and bots, and to increase the relevancy of ads online, Google is planning to phase out third-party cookies sometime in 2023. Cookies are super-important for some businesses right now because they track what customers are doing across the web in their sessions. Marketers use this data to tailor more relevant and accurate advertisements for customers. While it won’t necessarily affect every business in a dramatic way (for those that don’t rely on third-party cookies for data and retargeting) it will require some strategic pivoting.
This shift from third-party cookies to first-party means that companies will collect data from their websites alone. Building trust and loyalty with customers will be the priority when they visit your site, prompting marketers to lean into first-party data-gathering methods like email signups, using lead magnets, customer surveys, asking customers to sign in using Google and more.
Preparing for 2023
Digital marketers have plenty to think about going into the next year and there’s no better time to start planning for it than right now!
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