7 min read
Marketing strategies, tools, and trends change constantly, and none shift quite as quickly as trends in digital marketing. With technology continuously advancing, digital marketing is a swift-paced advertising channel.
The majority of today's consumers seek information online, and this means, in order to stay afloat, it's vital that your business – whether you use a marketing agency or not – keeps its digital marketing strategy fresh and current.
8 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023
1. Artificial Intelligence Tools
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools like Open AI's ChatGPT have been all over the news lately with their incredibly impressive ability to understand prompts, process language, and write. AI already has a prominent place in digital marketing with the use of chatbots in messaging marketing efforts.
If you've visited a website (at any hour of the day or day of the week) and had a helpful little chat box with a representative asking if they can help you with anything pop up in the corner of your screen, then you've already encountered this new AI technology. Chatbots are like marketing professionals and client representatives rolled into one. They're trained to answer common questions about a company, its products, and its services in addition to troubleshooting common problems.
Chatbots not only help you readily serve your clients day or night, weekday or weekend they can also save time and money that would otherwise be spent with your people answering easy-to-answer questions.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been on the rise for some time and has truly taken off with the industry reaching $16.4 billion in 2022 . This type of digital marketing uses influencers (individuals who have large followings on social media) to promote products, services, and brands to the individuals who follow their social pages and see their content.
If you decide to take the leap into influencer marketing, it's important to choose the right influencer for your brand. For example, a B2B business likely won't reach the right audience with a fashion influencer and a B2C fashion business isn't going to reach the right audience with an influencer working in the professional services or business industry.
3. User-Generated Content
The importance of user-generated content is on the rise, as well, with 90% of customers reporting relying on user-generated content for purchasing decisions .
User-generated content (UGC) is the modern, tech-savvy form of word-of-mouth marketing. It includes any online content (written or visual) that people outside of your business create in order to promote your brand, products, or services online. Common forms of UGC include:
- Social media posts or YouTube videos of your clients using your product
- Reviews of your business posted on Yelp, Facebook, Google, your website, or another online resource
- Video testimonials with clients talking about their experience with your business
- Live streams or posted videos of taste tests and unboxings
In UGC, your clients become your advertisers and your advocates. You can encourage clients to create UGC by making it easy and fun for them to do so. Post a cool backdrop and hashtag for photo opportunities and social posting. Pass out client review cards with a quick-scan QR code that leads clients directly to the review page on your website or social medial channels.
4. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) in digital marketing is also growing. In 2021, the augmented reality market reached $25.33 billion, and it is anticipated to grow an estimated 40.9% annually until 2030 . AR is already commonplace on social media, as its use is popular in the photo and video filters available on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. AR is also in use in e-commerce shopping platforms that allow users to visualize what certain products will look like in their homes.
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5. Interactive Features
Interactive features (usually found on websites) are highly appealing to clients because they're fun and make their experience feel more personalized. These features are also incredibly useful for businesses because they're powerful marketing research tools that your clients willingly participate in.
Interactive features include content like games and quizzes in addition to interactive videos, maps, and graphics that create a two-way experience for customers who are interacting with and learning about your brand. These activities generate opportunities for active brand engagement and motivate clients to buy into your brand's value.
6. Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies
Websites use third-party cookies (bits of code) to track the behavior of visitors. They're a super-valuable tool for paid digital advertising because they make it possible to target specific users based on their specific browsing history and interests. Although the move has been pushed back to 2024, Google has announced plans to phase out the use of third-party cookies .
Although people will likely feel more secure with their online privacy, the elimination of third-party cookies is going to make it significantly more challenging for digital marketers to deliver the right ads to the right people online. This means marketers are going to need to develop new tools and strategies for personalizing content and requesting permission from users to access personal data.
7. Video Content
Video content in marketing is nothing new. However, with the rising popularity of interactive videos and the use of video content on social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, video is experiencing explosive growth. In 2016, video content usage was at 61%. In 2023, it's at 86% .
8. The Rise of Social Commerce
Social commerce is a digital marketing tactic that makes e-commerce businesses available on social media platforms, and it's a powerful tool for businesses that maybe can't afford advertising through mainstream media platforms like television and radio. It's also gaining major traction in the digital marketing world. In 2020, social commerce sales in the U.S. totaled $26.97 billion. In 2022, they reached $45.74 billion. Now, they're projected to reach $56.17 billion in 2023 and an astonishing $79.64 billion by 2025 .
Advertising with social commerce can be completely free, or businesses can choose to spend a bit on advertising through their selected platforms. The best part of social commerce for businesses, though, is that it gives your audience the power to easily interact with and share your content, promote your business, and purchase your products. Plus, the algorithms on most social platforms are designed to elevate and promote the content that its users demonstrate to be most favorable. So, if you're talented in content creation and have a brand with a great personality, you'll automatically be rewarded through the natural order of social media.
What Is a Marketing Trend That Makes Sense for Your Business? Let Your Back Office Lead You
On the surface, marketing and accounting seem like completely separate business functions. However, like every aspect of your business, accounting is relevant to marketing, and the successful management of your marketing campaigns depends on the ability to measure their effectiveness.
Every effective marketing strategy should include a set of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) goals, and you can use your back office to track and measure the progress each of your campaigns achieves within your overall marketing strategy.
Whether you design a specific campaign to fuel business growth, advertise an upcoming business change, or simply generate new leads and sales, your accounting department can (and should) be set up to help you keep track of each campaign's success. For business and marketing leadership that generates positive results, fully integrate your marketing department with your back office to manage and improve your marketing strategies.