Every year, new trends and technologies emerge to influence how we develop strategies, deliver content, and connect with audiences, and 2023 looks to be no different. Marketers with their finger on the pulse of culture and society will have a distinct advantage over the competition. As for those who don’t, they probably aren’t going to be around long enough to be concerned with next year’s trends.
Here are five digital marketing trends to watch out for in the coming year. Who knows, you may even find one that would be perfect for your current marketing strategy.
1. Content Is (Still) King
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet,” Bill Gates wrote in a 1996 essay titled “Content is King.” He saw the internet as a level playing field where anyone with a computer could publish content. His words ring true to this day.
Google recently rolled out its “helpful content update,” which will prioritize content created by and for people. Similarly, Facebook’s News Feed is now called “Feed,” and users are more likely to see meaningful and informative content from people they engage with.
Google and Facebook’s algorithm updates make it harder for businesses to reach target audiences—so what can marketers do? Don’t try to game a search engine or algorithm. Instead, create authentic, satisfying content. The emphasis is on engagement, which will be a running theme in 2023.
2. (Short) Videos Are Taking Over
What would you say is the most popular social media app? Not Facebook. Not Instagram. Since its 2016 launch, TikTok has reigned supreme, with its ads reaching over one billion users each month. TikTok offers a way to reach millennials and members of Gen Z, but the trend to focus on is the rise of videos that have made this platform so popular.
85% of marketers say that short-form videos (videos under 60 seconds) are the most effective format on social media. Maybe it’s because of diminishing attention spans or social media burnout, but people are bored with posts that consist of nothing more than a picture and caption. Audiences want to engage with brands; they want to be wined and dined. Brands that post videos, live demonstrations, and interactive content like online quizzes will have an easier time engaging with their audiences and nurturing a loyal following.
3. Influencers (Big and Small) Are Becoming Brand Ambassadors
Influencer marketing isn’t so much a digital marketing trend as it is a proven marketing strategy. Almost three-quarters (72.5%) of marketers use influencer marketing, collaborating with content creators to reach their followers.
Millennials and Gen Z avoid ads like the plague—Gen Z is particularly adept at using ad blockers—and are far more receptive to influencer recommendations. Influencers are like gatekeepers who hold the key to reaching hundreds, thousands, or millions of people who would otherwise never interact with a brand. Influencer marketing isn’t new, but brands are now forming long-term partnerships with influencers who go on to represent their interests as brand ambassadors.
4. Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Over (Boring) Tasks
Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the face of marketing. Google and Facebook’s AI-driven advertising tools can target audiences with increasingly effective advertisements. Getting into inboxes is easier with tools that optimize email send times and automate the creation of subject lines. As if that’s not enough, ageless “virtual dolls” (AI-generated influencers) are working with brands like Tesla to advertise to tens of thousands of their followers in China.
Most marketing departments already use some AI-driven advertising tools, but as AI continues to disrupt the industry, businesses will be pressured to foster an AI-ready culture. While marketers may not need to become data science experts, businesses will be looking for professionals willing to upskill to leverage the power of AI for their marketing strategies.
5. Old (High-Traffic) Content Needs Attention
Virtually every business is relying on digital marketing to grow, as evidenced by the internet’s over 500 million blogs. Publishing blog posts is a tried-and-true way to rank higher on search engine results pages. (Google loves fresh content.) Over time, however, even the most well-written blog content becomes stale, resulting in diminishing returns for marketing teams.
Want to increase traffic and conversion rates? Update your old blog posts. HubSpot has more than doubled the number of monthly leads generated by old posts through what they call “historical optimization.” Be on the lookout for high-traffic, low-converting blog posts and improve content throughout. Not the flashiest trend, we admit, but it can generate tremendous results with minimal investment: Marketing is all about working smarter, not harder.
Keep Up or Risk Being Left Behind
We’ve presented you with an, ahem, stellar article on upcoming digital marketing trends, but it in no way compares to the formal instruction in marketing you’ll receive at The University of Texas Permian Basin.
UT Permian Basin offers an online undergraduate certificate in digital marketing that can be completed in tandem with any of our bachelor’s degree programs, including our online BBA in marketing. Supplement your undergraduate degree with specialized knowledge of digital branding, marketing analytics, and social media marketing, among other foundational topics.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, we also offer an online Master of Business Administration with emphasis in marketing for professionals interested in gaining leadership and marketing skills essential for achieving organizational goals. Led by the same doctoral-level business professors who teach on campus, this program can help you advance your career or transition into a marketing role, such as a marketing analyst, manager, or strategist.
Apply to one of our online marketing programs to keep up with emerging digital marketing trends and secure your future in a fast-paced industry like no other.