Digital Marketing Trends in 2023
- Artificial Intelligence
- B2B Influencers
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Demand Generation Strategies
- Customer Experience
- Editorial Marketing Teams
- Mobile-First Marketing
2022 was a busy year for everyone.
COVID-19 rules ended, and many people returned to life before the pandemic. This meant we saw a huge rise in workers returning to offices, shopping, and turning to digital experiences. Automation in digital marketing becoming more common than ever. But the lasting effects of the pandemic have meant a shift in ways of working. For some sectors, remote work is now the norm.
With more competition online and the rise of AI in digital marketing, marketing teams are embracing creativity, storytelling and fresh ideas. This comes with its challenges, as 2022 saw mass tech lay-offs, less flexible workplaces and capped wages. As marketing budgets got smaller, the capacity to create fresh and captivating content got harder and harder.
In 2023, we will face another challenging year due to an impending recession.
But marketers are natural shapeshifters – capable of adapting to any situation. Although this year will be a challenge, it will produce some amazing campaigns and unique content. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the seven digital marketing trends that we think will dominate 2023.
As ChatGPT makes its sensational debut, marketers and content creators are debating its position in digital marketing. However, it is yet to find its role and settle into an accepted position within wider business contexts. This hasn’t stopped a huge uptake from marketers worldwide.
Marketers and business owners are busy, and will always try to reduce time spent on producing content. ChatGPT does this by helping creators answer complex questions, introduce ideas and provide a working structure. Saying this, ChatGPT comes with limitations, particularly its lack of originality & authenticity. There are currently limitations to natural language AI, but it can save marketers valuable time by answering technical questions and helping to form content structure.
Even with its current limitations, we predict that in 2023 AI will be more commonly used by marketing and sales. This will be mainly to save time – by automating tasks and light copy.
B2B influencer marketing is predicted to rise in 2023 as more businesses buy products and services via referrals within their trusted networks. B2C influencers have been around for years, touting skin care products and fashion trends on popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The B2B space, in contrast, has been more commonly perceived as an industry of businesses buying and selling, with personal networks and relationships trumping one-to-many influencer style marketing.
Bucking this trend, in 2022 Linkedin saw a 22% increase in engagement. Users are beginning to interact with posts more often than ever. Only 2% of LinkedIn users are over 55, meaning the platform is brimming with younger users. These age groups tend to be more accustomed to influencer marketing than their older colleagues.
With these statistics coupled with more people working digitally and online, a shift towards businesses working more and more with B2B influencers is inevitable, in order to tap into their networks and audiences.
Augmented reality and immersive experiences
The pandemic dramatically shifted our shopping habits online, and retailers looked towards AR to innovate. IKEA delivered their AR app, where prospective users could place furniture via mobile phones in their homes. They could also purchase furniture directly from this app. Other businesses were quick to jump on the trend, and we saw AR become more accepted in daily shopping habits.
With these developments, marketers are looking towards attracting and retaining customers through digitally enhanced experiences more than ever. Some companies are investing billions into creating ‘virtual’ worlds and the industry is expected to reach $142.4 Billion by 2023. One example of this is Meta’s Metaverse.
The term ‘metaverse’ was first used in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel ‘Snow Crash’ which almost predicts what the metaverse has come to be known as today. In 2021, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s new name, ‘Meta’ linking the rebrand to the founder’s promise to create a ‘metaverse’ – a 3D virtual world that is interactive and immersive.
There is ongoing debate and speculation around how the metaverse will impact businesses and individuals, with Meta’s stock price plummeting since the 2021 announcement. Some commentators are claiming it will revolutionise social interaction, while others are rejecting the concept entirely. As of the time of writing, it is still unclear as to what uptake beyond the novelty is likely for the Metaverse and how long it will take for Meta’s huge investments in the platform to find a criticality of users.
It’s currently difficult to predict where a 3D virtual world fits in daily life, but what we do know is that more and more marketers are looking at new ways to engage with their audiences. AR might just be the ticket.
Demand generation strategies
The rise of inbound marketing in B2B saw marketing teams focusing on creating content with the intention of generating leads. Marketers were doing this by creating useful resources such as whitepapers or guides, which sat behind a lead generation form. This was (and still is) an effective method of converting leads into sales – but the B2B buying landscape is changing.
Buyers are becoming more privacy conscious and often avoid giving out their details, with one study claiming that only 1.54% of these marketing-qualified leads turn into revenue. With these numbers rapidly declining, marketing teams are looking at new ways to attract buyers online; one such strategy is demand generation.
Demand generation is a long-term strategy focusing on generating demand (or interest) for products and services. With this strategy, marketing teams are less focused on the number of leads generated, and more interested in creating conversations around a product or service. Marketers have been doing this via un-gated content, building communities where their buyers already live and working collaboratively with sales.
In 2023, we predict that businesses will invest more time and resources in original content that helps educate or inspire their audiences – and less time spent on creating content focused solely on conversion.
Customers want more, faster. In 2023 the cost of living is continuing to rise quickly. This means customers are looking for businesses that can provide good experiences and deliver value.
In 2023, we predict we’ll start to see businesses offering more immersive experiences through VR, AR and in-person events. We’ll see more businesses create chatbots designed for customer experience, more detailed help articles and even more communities. We are even likely to see a rise in customer experience automation.
With this in mind, marketing teams are focused more than ever on fostering a positive customer experience at the beginning of their journey.
In many cases, this means a business’s website.
This is the crucial first impression of any business and if it is not mobile-friendly (60% of all website traffic is mobile), is slow to load or the brand or design don’t measure up – then it is likely that potential customers will look elsewhere.
Having a well-designed website is crucial to most businesses, but in 2023 we think that we’ll start seeing more and more businesses from enterprise to SME looking at continuous, iterative website development. What once was a ‘design, build, forget’ approach to web design and development is rapidly shifting for all businesses to become a process of continuous optimisation.
We’d love to help wherever we can! Contact us to find out how we can help you reach your website goals.
Editorial marketing teams
More businesses than ever are opting for a demand generation strategy. Many of these companies will look to auto-generate content with AI, creating more competition online. Marketers are opting for less of a sales-first approach but rather investing time into editorial content. This aims to shed light on specific topics and issues that are entertaining, engaging or educational.
Content has always been ‘king’ but in today’s SEO landscape – with the rise of AI and Google’s ever-evolving anti-spam updates – content is no longer about keyword density but about how engaging and helpful the content is. This shift towards generating more valuable content has meant that marketing teams are becoming more editorially focused, searching for new insights and approaching content like journalism.
We predict that in 2023, we’ll see more marketing teams focus on storytelling and original content. But we’re also excited to see marketers engage more with their audiences by using things like polls, surveys and even voice searches.
If you missed the above statistic, here it is again:
60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
In 2015, only 31% of internet traffic came from mobile; as a percentage this number has doubled in eight years – and considering how many more hours we’ve spent on the internet since the pandemic, it’s reasonable to assume absolute mobile use figures have skyrocketed. But the mobile experience doesn’t stop at mobile-friendly websites. Businesses are investing more time and resource into building mobile experiences that go beyond any website or landing page.
We’re seeing more time spent creating short-form videos for social media channels such as Instagram reels and TikTok, and some customer service teams even using popular instant messaging apps like Whatsapp as a CX route. Start-ups and enterprises are also investing more in developing apps for early adopters and customers while SMEs tend to be building more PWAs (Progressive Web Apps), which are less time-consuming and more cost-effective.
In 2023, we can predict an emphasis on digital innovation within businesses that are striving to attract a younger generation.
This year is going to be a challenge for many businesses. Marketing teams are going to need to do more to reach their target audiences (some of them, with smaller budgets!). But the digital marketing space is resilient, and strong teams work together to ride the ebbs and flows. What we’ve predicted is just seven of the many digital marketing trends we think we’ll see in 2023!
We’re keen to hear your thoughts on this and what you’re planning for 2023. Are you thinking of investing in anything we’ve covered here? Is there something else up your sleeve worth shouting about? If so, feel free to get in touch with us on our social channels. If you’re looking for some advice on your upcoming digital marketing plans, get in touch with us on our website and we’d be happy to guide you!
Maybe you’re planning on implementing some of the above into your marketing strategy this year. If so, have a read of our blog on how to create a digital marketing strategy.