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Just like the chameleon that changes color and adapts perfectly to its surroundings, digital marketing evolves to meet the needs of the times. In 2020, digital marketing trends adapted drastically to the online consumer in the areas of telehealth, esports, product delivery and much more. Each year is a major step forward as technology, AI and algorithms change the advanced methods of commerce.
Here we are, at the tailend of the year 2022, where digital marketing trends included a big push for ads and video-related content on TikTok and Instagram, and optimizing SEO for voice search became a must-have for every company. 2023 is up next – and from changes in metaverse advertising opportunities to AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities, there is much to uncover and put into practice. We checked in with our Head of Digital mastermind, Melisha, to unpack what’s really slated to be the biggest digital marketing movements in 2023, and she had some eye-opening insights to share. Grab your New Year party hats, because we’re about to celebrate some of the biggest digital marketing trends to expect next year.
This isn’t Syfy's metaverse. While books and movies of decades past had us thinking about a digital universe as a stale and mindless world, it’s actually the most intelligent and living, breathing universe we could have ever imagined. The metaverse recorded approximately 400 million active users per month in 2022, and that number is expected to grow dramatically each month. Web3, NFTs, and brand-building in the metaverse are all expected to evolve and grow in 2023. Advertising in the metaverse is no longer a concept, but a real thing, with new revenue streams growing through digital events, 3D stores and immersive eCommerce experiences, gaming and more.
Even with the rapid growth and adoption of the metaverse, it’s hard for smaller brands to envision themselves in this digital world. While 74 percent of U.S. adults are considering joining the metaverse, there is still a large group of business owners who are unfamiliar with the metaverse and are intimidated to consider advertising in this space because bigger brands are dominating – but that is far from the case. Being in-tune with the trends and experiencing it for yourself will help you understand the implications and importance of what lies on the horizon and how soon everyone – consumers and brands – will be jumping into the metaverse. It’s only a matter of time.
You can’t have a conversation about digital marketing without AI, because AI and data analysis will be a huge part of every marketing activity in 2023 and beyond. AI and automation is what fuels every smart marketing decision, helps us reach the audiences we want to get in front of, and aids in targeting when third-party cookies go by the wayside. Additionally, 83 percent of executives believe AI is a strategic priority for their businesses today, and it goes without saying that it will become more crucial next year.
When it comes to organic content on social media, we are at the mercy of the algorithms that seem to rule with an iron fist, so make sure your marketing team understands your audience fully and how they interact with your brand. Also take note of how the algorithms on each respective platform work, and you’ll quickly learn how to break through the noise and deliver a better content experience to consumers. Use your deepening knowledge of AI to optimize content, creative and overall social media marketing strategy and you’ll be set for smooth sailing into 2023.
Video, specifically short-form video, has been a critical focus of content strategies for quite some time. In a study, 94 percent of respondents shared that watching a video helped them make a purchase decision at least once and, as we demonstrated for the metaverse, video in various forms will be a huge part of selling and being seen next year and beyond.
In 2023, brands should focus on capitalizing their video content through the use of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. Post more engaging and quick snippets of videos to Stories, and center around bursts of content that will keep viewers engaged and speak to them on a more personal, relatable level. Don’t forget to hone in on key social media trends, dances, sounds, and team creativity. Perhaps most importantly, always encourage shares and reposts within your team, and engage with the audience. Plan on sharing multiple videos per week that stay fresh and consistent throughout the year.
As the first line of engagement in 2023, try to get employees involved with your brand as much as possible on social media platforms. Employee engagement is one of the first signs that shows that a brand cares about its people. Business-related posts via employee Instagram Stories and LinkedIn pages are deemed far more “authentic” than brands that simply practice self promotion.
So, when posting content, encourage the team to react within the first hour of that content being posted. The first hour of a post being live on a feed is known as “the golden hour” because that is the time when it is crucial for algorithms to know that a post is gaining traction. If the algorithm sees more people engaging in that first hour, it is more likely to push the post out to more new eyes and audiences. This will help B2C and B2B brands grow their page organically. Also, consider leveraging thought leadership through shared content from “the experts.” Encourage employees to share their thoughts and information and give them a shoutout by sharing back on your brand’s social media pages.
In short, if it isn’t being measured, it isn’t doing you any favors. With the thousands of data and tracking tools available, there simply isn’t an excuse anymore for being uninformed. In 2023, brands are fully expected to know what works for driving clicks and what doesn’t. It’s important to take the initiative to understand lead attribution and how people are engaging with content, as well as tracking where visitors came from by investing in intelligent reporting and analytics.
Gone are the days of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Use the wealth of resources that sit at your fingertips, such as Google Analytics, Google Data Studio (now Looker Studio), Google Search Console and more to read and understand marketing methods. As discussed previously, consumer behavior is shifting drastically coming into 2023 and lead attribution is more difficult to track due to multi-channel marketing, so once you find a marketing measurement and tracking method that works, plan to capitalize and scale on it aggressively.
The world isn’t basic and neither is digital marketing. It is an artform that takes a solid strategy and intentional execution to be successful. The beauty of a multi-channel digital approach is that your brand shows up anywhere your audience could be to reach them with their own dynamic messages based on individual search intent and interests. In 2020, having a multi-channel approach heavily rewarded businesses, because it meant they could reach shoppers where they were in various eCommerce locations. In 2023, you absolutely cannot be the business that only sells through a website. You must utilize platforms like Instagram and Facebook Shopping, Etsy and Amazon, among others. Every missed channel is a missed opportunity for a sale.
Plan to put even more emphasis on organic social media, social media advertising, PPC/SEM and Google Ads, retargeting, geotargeting, content marketing, SEO paid and organic measures, and make sure all messages communicated through the various channels are clear and concise.
Consumers must be able to trust the brands they buy from. People trust brands that elicit positive emotions; remember – they’re not paying for your name – they’re paying for how you make them feel. That is crucial to keep in mind when contemplating the multi-channel approach.
Make it a goal in 2023 to know and understand your sales funnel, then deliver intentional and direct content at various stages of your funnel, which include:
Of course, it is important to keep in mind that all this content will be delivered in different ways, which is the foundation and principle of multi-channel marketing
With the death of the third-party cookie (RIP), it is crucial to gather as much first-party data on customers as possible in 2023, including email addresses and more. Capturing this information will make it easier to create email lists for sending content and simplify the process of creating like-audiences through social media targeting, so you know you’re getting in front of the right people. When the right audience is captured and the message resonates with their interests, it’s possible to generate more than two times the revenue from a single ad campaign, improving overall cost efficiency
First-party data also includes insights into website and app behavior, customer feedback, customer service and sales conversations and more, which allows for better personalization, integration of your messaging, targeting the right audience, building customer relationships, building dynamic content for your audience, brand transparency and fueling overall marketing efforts when captured correctly. To capture a greater amount of first-party data, use more lead gen forms to re-engage those who are stuck in the middle of the funnel. Experiment with more multi-channel platforms to see what messaging works with what audiences.
At Bolt PR, being aware of the trends isn’t just part of our job – we are charged with playing a role in the future of digital marketing. 2023 is going to be a year of moving forward at full speed, and with a team that’s energized about putting the trends to work every day, we just can’t help but make some amazing things happen.
You have a brand that deserves to be seen. By increasing our clients’ digital footprints in a big way, we’ve been a part of bringing the spotlight on strong social content, capitalizing on crucial trends, and bringing the right audience at the right time every time. You deserve that, too. Let us ignite your organization’s 2023 goals.