The Top Marketing Trends of 2023 & How They’ve Changed Since 2022
1. Influencer marketing will evolve into a common marketing tactic.
Influencer marketing really picked up steam in 2022, and we predict this trend will keep pace in 2023. Why? 89% of marketers who currently engage with influencer marketing will increase or maintain their investment next year.
On top of that, 17% of marketers are planning to invest in it for the first time next year.
When marketers collaborate with influencers and industry thought leaders in their industry, they can expand brand awareness and gain fans from the influencer’s own audience.
Can’t afford to hire a celebrity influencer with millions of followers? That’s okay. In fact, more than 56% of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are social media promoters with a smaller following (typically, thousands to tens of thousands of followers). Although they have fewer followers, their posts often pack more punch due to their higher level of engagement.
These influencers have found a niche in their industry, too — which is why they’ve started to play a bigger role in converting leads, connecting with audiences, and boosting brand awareness.
Because micro-influencers are still considered “everyday” people (unlike hard-to-reach celebrities), their audiences are actually more likely to trust their opinions and recommendations.
Although it’s tempting to only look at just follower count when determining if an influencer is right for your brand, remember that true influence lives in engagement rates (clicks, subscribes, and purchases).
- How to Become an Influencer in Your Industry
- The 6-Step Process to Maximize Your Influencer Outreach
2. Video marketers will keep content short.
Short-form video has taken the marketing world by storm, and we predict it will carry over in 2023. A staggering 90% of marketers using short-form video will increase or maintain their investment next year, and 1 in 5 marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2023.
While long-form videos can offer depth and large amounts of information about a product, brand, or services to audiences, both B2C and B2B marketers have learned that getting to the point with short-form videos can actually be much more effective.
Not only does it take less bandwidth to create a short-form video, but this type of format aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics. This is likely why platforms like TikTok, Reels, and — in previous years — Snapchat have gained quick growth and marketing interest.
3. Social media will become a customer service tool.
Leveraging social media as a customer service tool is relatively new, but this trend is quickly gaining steam. So much so, more than a quarter of marketers use direct messages (DM’s) to offer customer support, and 15% of marketers plan to try it for the first time in 2023.
It’s no coincidence that this trend is emerging at a time when many social media platforms — namely Instagram and Facebook — are expanding its e-commerce capabilities. For this reason, providing customer service on these platforms will become even more crucial.
It’s also worth noting that consumers want to communicate with brands via DM’s — especially the Millennial and Gen Z crowd. HubSpot’s 2022 Consumer Trends Survey found that 20% of Gen Z-ers and nearly 25% of Millennials have contacted a brand on social media for customer service in the past three months.
4. More businesses will leverage SEO to concur search traffic.
As marketers, we must ensure that our websites and content are as discoverable as possible — especially on Google — which can provide both long-term and short-term traffic returns. And, while SEO is not new, it’s strategies are becoming even more ingrained within modern day marketing strategies.
When it comes to the trend marketers will invest the most money in for 2023, SEO ranks third behind short-form video and influencer marketing. Further, 88% of marketers who have an SEO strategy will increase or maintain their investment in 2023, which is a slight uptick from the year before (84%).
As the interest and need for SEO strategies grow, so do all search optimization opportunities. As Google algorithms have evolved, SEO has become about much more than churning out basic posts that answer simple search queries. Now, brands are investing in SEO experts who can help them with everything from search insights reports, to multimedia optimization.
5. Mobile optimization will be even more important.
Consumers are spending more and more time on mobile devices. In fact, more than half of annual online website traffic comes from mobile devices, including tablets.
As millennials and Gen Z audiences continue to grow buying power, mobile-optimized digital experiences will be even more vital to consider as a business owner who markets to these fast-paced, highly connected generations.
Above are just some of the reasons why:
- 33% of global marketers invest in mobile web design,
- 64% of SEO marketers call mobile optimization an effective investment
And, mobile experiences aren’t just important on brand websites, they’re also important in other key marketing strategies. For example, 56% of marketers who work with email are focused on delivering mobile email experiences to subscribers.
6. More companies will prioritize social responsibility.
89% of marketers who create social responsibility content plan to increase or maintain their investment in 2023, which is almost double from the year before.
The trend is clear: social responsibility, ethics, and transparency matter to the modern consumer.
For instance, 50% Gen Z-ers and 40% of Millennials want companies to take a stance on social issues, specifically racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender inequality, and climate change. When companies advocate for these issues, it has a strong impact on their purchase decisions
With all of this in mind, companies have begun to pivot social media strategies to focus more on inclusive initiatives, promotions, and offerings, while highlighting causes or missions they support. Although this might not sell products immediately, showing a sense of social responsibility is still both thoughtful and effective.
Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation, Hal Gregersen, shares his perspective on the subject:
“If there can be a perfect storm of opportunity for strengthening D&I [diversity and inclusion] in organizations, I believe it is happening now.,” Gregersen says. “With the pandemic, traditional ways of doing business and of working were upended, and now, barriers to the idea of change are dissolving.”
7. Aligned marketing and sales teams will win.
As we inch closer to 2023, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for sales and marketing teams to work together. When these teams are aligned, marketers can get a more complete picture of their customers, including their interests, hobbies, and demographics.
But when this doesn’t happen, it creates a flurry of problems for everyone involved. Most notably, it’s more challenging to share and access data across teams — which 1 in 5 marketers currently struggle with.
Worryingly, only 31% of marketers say their sales and marketing teams are strongly aligned. It’s no surprise that almost half of marketers are shifting their goals in 2023 towards sales and marketing alignment.
8. Experiential marketing could make a comeback.
Experiential marketing campaigns enable audiences to step into an immersive experience that is often in a physical place or via an AR/VR platform.
One example of an experiential campaign you might have seen in the past was M&M’s Flavor Room pop-up.
The experience included orb-shaped “rooms,” which were each complete with decor and fragrances unique to a certain candy flavor. The pop-up, which was based in NYC back in 2018, also included snack and drink lounges with M&M-themed cocktails — which, I’m willing to bet, we’re great opportunities for M&M to appear on different attendees’ social pages.
Although immersive experiences like these were fun, effective, and highly shareable on social media, they ran into barriers in 2020 and 2021 as businesses, public venues, and entire countries were forced to shut down public operations in the global pandemic.
And, because producing a branded AR/VR experience is a high-budget bet that can also rely on audiences to have tools like AR/VR headsets or the latest smartphone technology to access the content — fewer small brands have invested in digital experiential marketing.
But, now, as digitally immersive platforms continue to get more accessible to larger audiences, the possibility of experiential marketing back on the table again for 2023.
9. Inbound marketing will remain a best practice for growing brands.
In a time of digital transformation, embracing inbound marketing is an incredibly smart move.
Throughout the last two years, the world’s dealt with unprecedented change, and outbound marketing tactics have become even less effective in reaching prospects and leads.
The shift from in-person to hybrid work from home (WFH) business practices have made inbound marketing come to the forefront of effective tactics. For example, there’s been a significant rise in virtual events due to COVID-19 forcing marketers to get creative to catch the attention of customers.
John Hazard, the founder and content strategist at digital marketing agency Lighthouse Creative Group, sees this as a place of opportunity to generate interest despite their typical formulaic production. “Screen fatigue is a big issue for brands.”
Hazard adds, “As virtual events have exploded as a replacement for in-person engagement, every business has tried to roll out events, webinars, and virtual conferences. But most are just PowerPoint presentations or an executive talking with their kitchen in the background. That’s not interesting … So, the race is on in 2021 for polish and production value — graphics, directors, professional hosts, equipment, and no kitchen backdrops.”
Inbound marketing can be a valuable asset to create brand awareness and build trust digitally through refocusing strategy to drive customers to seek out your content.
The process of inbound marketing requires you to produce quality, valuable content tailored towards your target audience and buyer personas and their needs.
Why Brands Are Adopting the Flywheel
The marketing funnel is old news. Today, the flywheel — and a subsequent focus on service — have replaced the one-way direction of the funnel and lives at the center of many inbound marketing strategies.
In the world of the marketing funnel, customers were an afterthought. Once they became a paying customer, businesses considered them obsolete — until, of course, it was time re-sign that contract.
The flywheel, on the other hand, places the customer in the center. Since word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tactics, it’s wise to not only serve your customers but also equip them to become advocates for and promoters of your brand. The flywheel illustrates this process: excellent service as its own marketing strategy.
By keeping the flywheel at the center of your marketing efforts, you’ll delight and empower your customers. It’s worthwhile to place a heavy emphasis on customer service and train your team to handle requests and issues.
This will lead to customers who can market for you — they can promote and advocate for your business via their networks both online and in-person.
10. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will experience slow adoption in the marketing sphere.
We initially had high hopes for VR and AR in the marketing space. Back in 2021, 35% of marketers were leveraging AR or VR in their strategies, and of those marketers, almost half planned to increase their investment in 2022.
But in 2023, it could fall lower on the list as less marketers plan to invest in it. More than a quarter (27%) of marketers are planning to stop using VR and AR next year.
Generally speaking, this is a trend marketers have been slower to adopt due to pricey equipment and bulky headsets. But, as VR glasses and AR apps become more accessible, this could turn around.
11. More brands will test out native ads.
This year, almost a quarter (23%) of marketers planned to leverage native ads for the first time, and we predict this number will continue to grow in 2023.
Why the growing interest in this strategy? Well, it works. Of the marketers who use native ads, more than 36% say it’s effective, while nearly 50% say it’s their top ROI-generating tactic.
When your brand pays to feature content on a third-party website, you’re investing in native advertising. Unlike traditional advertising, which is designed to interrupt and stand out, native advertising is designed to blend in and promote your brand to a new audience who might otherwise never learn about you.
Because native ads don’t “feel” like traditional ads, consumers are more likely to consume them — in fact, consumers view native ads over 50% more than banner ads.
Examples of native advertising can be found on social media, through search engine results, content recommendation platforms (those links to various other content you can click at the bottom of the page to read more on or related to the topic), or in campaigns.
For example, Instagram is a popular social media network that routinely partners with brands for native advertising. By taking advantage of the Instagram Story or Shop features, brands are able to share posts that look similar to the average user’s followers posting style, while subtly advertising a product.
Content Marketing Trends
At least 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep, and the majority of them expect brands to create content to gain their interest. That’s why brands all around the world have only grown their investments in content marketing.
12. Video will remain the top marketing content format.
Video dominated the marketing space in 2022 – and we predict 2023 will be no different. Why? Because marketers plan to invest in short-form video more than any other trend next year. What’s more, a whopping 90% of marketers who currently leverage short-form video will increase or maintain their investment in 2023.
“Video creates a deeper connection with your potential customer base and it is easy for brands to repurpose video content into podcasts and text-based content,” Neil Patel CMO and Co-Founder of NP Digital, says.
In the past, video creation and marketing strategies were limited due to costly resources and production. Today, it’s much more accessible. With a lower-cost barrier, video has become less intimidating to incorporate into your marketing efforts.
“Our company, Jotform, has been ramping up our video efforts on YouTube. We have over 16,000 subscribers and have seen a huge increase in site traffic and signups from investing in video on this platform,” says Aytekin Tank, Founder & CEO of Jotform.
You don’t have to hire a production team or marketing agency; all you need is a smartphone, such as an iPhone, and affordable editing software. Don’t believe us? This post highlights how our own video marketers created video content from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
13. Blogging isn’t going anywhere.
Blogging has been a commonly used marketing strategy since brands started building their own websites. But, the age of this tactic shouldn’t be a sign that it’s out-of-date. In fact, blogging has been used for so long simply because it works. So much so, one in three marketers leverage their own blog or website
On top of that, our research suggested that most consumers read blogs multiple times per week and have purchased something from a brand after reading the company’s blog.
Aside from providing consumer engagement and potentially conversion, blogs also provide a major key benefit to your website or online pages: search discoverability.
Ultimately, sites with robust blogs have more search potential and can implement SEO strategies much easier than sites that don’t.
Think about it this way. If a prospective client wants to hire a virtual accountant, and your firm’s site has a blog post that highlights tax tips or strategies your accountants use, this person might find your post or website via Google search, read your post and explore your website, and then decide that they want to contact you for a consultation or accounting assistance.
If you haven’t considered a blog by this point, but are intrigued by this data, check out these resources to help you build out your own strategy:
14. Case studies will continue to drive leads and brand credibility.
Longer-form case studies offer prospects an incredibly deep and exclusive look into how people or brands benefit from a product, service, or strategy. While some businesses place them publicly on their web pages to persuade a potential buyer as quickly as possible. others might gate them as free PDFs that require a lead conversion to be downloaded.
Although many marketers, such as those in B2C industries, don’t leverage case studies, those that do find them effective. Additionally, case study usage in content marketing is only growing: 37% of marketers planned to use case studies in their marketing strategy for the first time this year.
15. Marketers will embrace data with infographics.
If a picture paints a thousand words, infographics could paint at least double.
Infographics not only have the shareability and visual appeal of a nice photo — but they’re also packed with helpful data and informative information. This makes them incredibly engaging to web visitors and social media audiences alike.
Of the marketers who regularly use infographics in their content strategy, 56% say they are their most effective content type.
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