March 1, 2023

What’s ahead for digital marketing in 2023?

Rhonda Wormald
7 Communications
Operations Assistant

Digital marketing may be in the same age range as other Zillennial contemporaries, but instead of a quarter-life crisis, the space is always in perpetual motion and unabating transformation. It evolves in sync with technology and consumer behaviour changes, so when flux and new developments happen overnight, don't shift into automatic with your digital strategies.

A quick refresh on why digital marketing dominates:

1. The preponderance of mobile.

Mobile usage continues to soar, and it is increasingly paramount for marketers to optimize their campaigns and content for mobile devices. Anyone close to the data already knows that approximately half of all website visitors are via mobile. Marketers must think mobile-first in design and strategy to connect with their audiences.

The continued growth of e-commerce. Increasingly, consumers are turning to online shopping, and any naysayers learned to love it when the pandemic hit. Since then, consumers have shopped differently. To be in consideration, marketers will need to refocus with an omnichannel approach—provide a seamless (or seemingly seamless!) journey with a curated and personalized shopping experience. And find new ways to drive traffic to all your touchpoints!

A person at a cafe shop tapping their phone onto a payment machine, completing a transaction.

2. Seize the Micro-Moment

Micro-moments are the key touchpoints in the customer's journey when they turn to their devices for information, inspiration, or a task. When those small, everyday moments occur, someone usually has an immediate need or want and intends to act quickly. By understanding, anticipating, and targeting these micro-moments, marketers can create valuable experiences for their customers, where and when they will most likely make a purchase decision. Being present in these moments—with content and experiences that align with the intent and context of the moment—is vital to improving brand awareness, engagement, and those divine conversions.

This requires innovative use of data and technology to create real-time customer experiences that are both fitting and worthwhile. Undoubtedly, it is a lot of work and complex. Still, layering in a strategy to take advantage of micro-moments can help you push your brand ahead and deliver a solid customer experience.

Marketers that dive into innovative ways of digital marketing are the ones that really connect with their audience online, where they spend the most time. Keep watch on the marketing landscape for developments in these areas this year.

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3. Cozy up to AI & ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will continue to be a growing focus in digital marketing. Brands find these powerful tools enhance at multiple intersections—analyzing and reporting customer data, personalizing digital marketing campaigns, automating marketing tasks, and improving customer service.

One example is how AI chatbots and voice assistants, using natural language processing to analyze customer feedback and sentiment, can be used as 24/7 customer support to improve engagement and close conversions. These conversational interactions alone could revamp a customer service department overladen by routine or recurring inquiries. Or use location-based data and real-time signals, such as weather and daypart, to personalize and deliver the targeted content and offers you already know are most likely to drive engagement and conversions.

Adopting and harnessing the power of these technologies will put a brand in a position to hone its strategy and creativity while driving growth with highly targeted and relevant marketing messages. As they say, ‘innovate or die.’

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4. Tap into Video

Video content, including live streaming, short-form and 360 videos, ads, and vlogs, will continue to be essential in 2023. The increasing dominance of platforms such as YouTube and TikTok and the growing use of video on social media platforms drive this rise, allowing audiences to engage with brands in new and exciting ways. Video just has the ability to capture focus in ways that other content cannot.

To resonate with an audience, create memorable and impactful video experiences using creative storytelling and leveraging the power of emotion. There are many opportunities on the landscape to use video to build brand awareness, connect with audiences, and drive conversions—provided you serve high-quality, engaging, and relevant videos that resonate with your target.

Not to mention the innovative use of video allows a brand to explore new and emerging platforms and formats. Aim to include interactivity, like augmented and virtual reality. AR/VR experiences are immersive and can still differentiate their brand from others, etching a memory and creating a familiarity that can lead to better recall. Additionally, use data and insights to drive video marketing strategies, such as using predictive analytics to determine the best times to publish their content and using machine learning to personalize the video experience for each viewer. By embracing innovation in video marketing, brand marketers can drive brand awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, sales.

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5. Use Content

Anthropologists have taught us that storytelling is the core of human existence. It's common to every known culture. Marketers make the most of this by developing and sharing high-quality and relevant content. Creative narratives and immersive experiences are used to drive brand awareness by engaging with consumers and bringing brands to life.

Content marketing remains a crucial component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. By being innovative and taking a multi-channel approach, brand marketers can cut through the noise of emerging technologies—new ways to watch video, augmented reality, virtual reality, and podcasts—to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Complement your own content by incorporating user-generated content (customer reviews and testimonials) into the marketing to build credibility and generate loyalty. Have a bash at new platforms and formats and pick up the pace to reach new, undeveloped prospects.

With the rise of voice search and other disruptive technologies, content marketing will continue to adapt, providing new possibilities to reach out.

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6. Apply Influence

Brands partner with influencers that align with their values to create unique, shareable experiences and resonate with their audiences. For the most part, they are looking for influencers who have a large following on social media for reach and who can influence the opinions and behaviour of their followers. However, pairing with the right influencer to create genuine and engaging content is becoming incredibly important. Audiences are quick to sniff out inauthenticity and presume brands are commercializing and using their influencer to tap into their followers—all in the name of brand building and sales.

More brands are looking for authentic and cost-effective ways to reach and engage, tap into an existing trusted network, and get in front of new audiences. They are turning to micro-influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following on social media. Unlike celebrity influencers with millions of followers, micro-influencers are more niche, which yields an engrossed audience. This is highly effective at driving conversions and generating sales because their followers are more likely to trust their recommendations.

Micro-influencers are also efficient on the budget; whether your brand is small with a limited budget, or you are mandated to do more with less, a lower cost per engagement can make them an affordable option.

An individual smileing while interacting with a voice-activated speaker, tapping into the convenience of modern technology.

7. Optimize for Voice Search

Brands need to optimize their digital presence for voice search, as it will play a significant role in how consumers search for and find information going forward. Improve visibility in search results and reach potential customers when they are actively searching. A positive voice search experience can build trust and establish a deeper connection with the audience. Optimized voice search can give brands a competitive advantage and can be accomplished by using conversational language in website content and meta tags, and ensuring their site is mobile-friendly and has fast loading times.

Understanding the unique needs and behaviours of voice search users can aid in creating concise and conversational content, using long-tail keywords, and leveraging structured data to enhance the visibility of their content in voice search results. Develop branded voice apps and skills that integrate with Alexa et al. and allow users to interact with their brand more naturally and intuitively.

Digital marketing will continue to evolve in 2023, focusing on micro-moments, advancing tech, personalization, content, partnerships, and voice search optimization. As always, the key to success in digital marketing is to stay on top of the latest and greatest and to test and iterate to find what works best for your brand and audience.

Feel free contact us any time to see how we can help forge stronger connections online, through memorable in-person experiences... or both.