Emerging Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2023

Jonatan Parski CEO

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Emerging Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2023

Previously, marketing was divided into Traditional marketing and Digital marketing, and each field had its own unique marketing strategy. In 2023, however, this distinction makes a lot less sense than it might have even 5-10 years ago. 

The majority of advertising already takes place on the internet – so in effect, in 2023, all marketing is digital marketing. In this new digital environment, emerging digital marketing trends appear almost before the old trends have fully taken hold. 

For example, Facebook and Google, the top internet powerhouses, update their algorithms almost monthly, and if you don’t keep your marketing strategy up to date with the latest trends, you get left behind.

Ideally, what every marketer really needs is to be able to predict what digital marketing trends will be coming up next, which nobody can really do. However, the best analytic minds can have a pretty good guess as to which digital marketing strategies are likely to become increasingly important.

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The role of AI

The first of the digital marketing trends 2023 has seen is the increased role of Artificial Intelligence. 

In the same way that Google can deliver much more nuanced search results than it could 10 years ago, by taking into account the context and intent of a search query, so artificial intelligence programs can produce incredibly realistic AI content.

But this is a problem. Artificial Intelligence can generate texts that can be used maliciously, for instance, to generate fake news, to generate spam email, and to try and dodge anti-plagiarism regulations. 

That’s why so many programs have sprung up claiming to be able to distinguish content written by a human author from AI-generated text.

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However, in their article Can AI-Generated Text be Reliably Detected?, Sadasivan et al. (2023) claim that the best AI detector you could possibly get could distinguish between human and AI-generated content at only very slightly better than chance levels. 

In other words, the AI technology available to us right now can already create content that is virtually indistinguishable from content produced by a human.

In that case, one of the main new digital marketing trends we will almost certainly be seeing more and more is the use of AI as every company scrambles to get its marketing strategy up to scratch.

Smart Speakers

The best smart speakers that have been produced in the past few years not only broadcast news or play music but can also ‘understand’ you when you speak. 

If you have smart speakers, a simple voice command is all you need to switch on the lights, see who’s at the door (when you have a smart doorbell/security camera), or adjust the heating in a certain room in your house.

Since Smart Speakers are already so common, and are likely to become even more so, chances are that they will soon become one of the main channels via which marketers can promote their products.

This creates opportunities for the digital marketer. The two primary ways in which marketers can take advantage of Smart Speakers are:

(i) Create a branded skill or app for Smart Speakers that will provide a valuable service to users, while reinforcing your brand message.

(ii) Create a flash briefing to deliver your message in audio format (via Smart Speakers).

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Voice search technology is now being so widely used that it’s having quite a big impact on digital marketing already, and is likely to become even more important as time passes.

When people are too lazy even to type their messages (preferring to send voice notes) – or too lazy to click on menu items (preferring to control their phone by voice commands) – search engine optimization works differently. 

Most importantly, if you want your site to be discoverable by voice search, you need to scrap your shorter keywords (e.g., ‘clothing brand’) and replace them with long-tail keywords (e.g., ‘most expensive women’s clothing brand’).

Chatbots

The use of chatbots in marketing and advertising is on the rise, and this trend is likely to continue. At present, chatbots are often employed to assist with customer queries, and guide them through the steps to take in self-service processes. 

They can be used (together with AI) to handle customer queries just as well as – or even better than – call center operators.

In addition, chatbots can be used to great advantage in the marketing context. They can not only help companies to better understand their customers’ needs, but also, ultimately, to push through more purchases in less time.

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Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology is the fourth upward digital marketing trend we’re predicting that is likely to forge ahead in coming months. 

AR has already been used to great effect, for example, by IKEA. With their Place app, customers can ‘see’ how IKEA’s furniture would look in their own homes, before deciding what to buy.

This marketing strategy cuts out at least some situations where buyers get their purchase home, decide it is not the right one after all, and return it for a refund. They already know how the product works in the home, and are more likely to be satisfied with their choice.

The Personal Touch

In the olden days, all marketing was targeted. When small businesses served small communities, and everybody knew everybody else, there was never a question of collecting data from market research relating to buyer preferences.

Everybody already knew what their customers preferred. This allowed all marketing to be ‘targeted’ almost by definition.

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This is no longer the case, and marketers need to work to know their audience and target marketing efforts.

Know your audience

Now, in the age of multinational corporations and digital marketing, personalization is becoming important again, in a different way. You don’t provide your customers with personalized services or targeted marketing because you know them so well: you provide it because you have researched them so well.

AI comes in here again, because different kinds of business intelligence tools can make sense of huge volumes of sales data much better than any human could. These tools can allow businesses to gain valuable insights into customer behavior or preferences, which in turn can be used to inform marketing campaigns – which (hopefully) in turn generate more sales.

Personalized messages

A number of the top digital marketing trends relate to mobile phones. Now that the vast majority of people across the world rely on smartphones for business and pleasure, businesses would do well to capitalize on smartphone messaging apps for their advertising.

WhatsApp is an obvious channel to try first, especially since it is linked to Facebook – which is another platform marketers should definitely be exploiting.

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Customer Experience

The quality and affordability of advertised products are the main things that buyers check before they buy, and obviously every marketer needs to continue to emphasize these two crucial points. However, in today’s market, quality and affordability are no longer the only things you need to focus on when designing your digital marketing strategy.

Today, consumers are more likely to care more about the experience of choosing, purchasing, and using items. Again, this will be where AI will come in. 

Although customer services are increasingly provided by chatbots or interactive customer-care portals, these services need to remain as relevant, personal, and customized as they are when handled by a person – and AI technology makes this possible.

In-Person Events

The impact of Covid-19 restrictions on live events was more extreme in some countries than in others, but everybody was affected to some extent. Now that most restrictions have been lifted, live events will inevitably see a spike in popularity. Be sure to capitalize on this opportunity when you design your next marketing campaign!

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Interactivity

Allowing customers to interact with marketing content gets your message across much better than if you simply allow them to view the message in a passive way.

Interactive Content

Basically, the idea is that, instead of giving your customers a static image, chart, or other graphic, you should give them something customizable. 

For example, they should be able to click on their location on a map and be presented with information relevant to the products or services available in that location. Or they should be able to click some captions, and watch the appropriate chart or graph being assembled before their very eyes.

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If your website boasts interactive elements, visitors will be encouraged to explore your site, and their choices will give you insights into what they are looking for. The majority of smartphone users already enjoy playing games on their devices, which is why marketing strategies that mimic aspects of such games are likely to succeed.

Why not invite your consumers to:

  • spin a wheel for the chance of a discount
  • spot a certain character in a picture to win a prize
  • navigate a maze to find a treasure chest?

Be creative! And remember that it’s not just kiddies who enjoy fun games: so do adults!

Visual Content

Even if it isn’t interactive, visual content is a powerful marketing tool. It takes less time to view an image than to read text, and images usually also evoke more powerful emotions than text. That’s always a plus for marketers, because communications that stir up viewers’ emotions are more powerful and are remembered for longer.

Short form video content is even better than static visual content. Video advertising results in better lead generation and conversion rates than you’d get with any other form of advertising. 

But now that consumers are bombarded with so many opportunities to view different video content (compared with in the early days of TV, for instance, where you had very little choice), holding people’s attention is more difficult. Videos can’t be too long, or people will click away.

That’s another one of this year’s top digital marketing trends: short and sweet is the way to go!

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The Road Ahead

According to top Google analysts, digital marketing in the coming months will require attention to some key areas:

Inclusivity

Inclusivity is a big deal in the digital marketing world right now. Seeing that almost all advertising now needs to appeal to a fairly global audience, it’s no good featuring only majority ethnic groups, lifestyles, or other content.

Consumers need to be able to identify with the persons in the adverts, and everybody identifies best with those who are most like themselves. The people, places, environments, and activities in your advertisements need to be as familiar as possible to as many people as possible from your target market.

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Sometimes, this will mean creating content in a language that is not spoken by the members of your team. Not a problem! With such high quality translation and localization services available, creating foreign language content has never been easier.

Influencers

The popularity of social media platforms, as well as file media sharing apps like TikTok and Instagram, have produced a new phenomenon: influencer marketing. 

Influencers are popular figures – including musicians, artists, and sportsmen and -women – who capitalize on their social visibility to promote brands. Identifying the influencers who have the potential to influence your potential customers, and capitalizing on these influencers’ popularity, could be one of the best things you could do for your brand in 2023.

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(However, just having a social media presence is not good enough. Just as there are important principles to keep in mind when doing any digital marketing, there are important principles to apply in the social media context. It may be worth your while to employ an agency to create professional social media content for your needs.)

Ideologies

People are becoming increasingly aware that global resources, like land, water, and food, are limited. As a result, consumers want to consume in a responsible way. They don’t want to feel that they are harming the environment, causing animals to suffer, or leaving insufficient resources for all the people who need them.

Accordingly, there is definitely an opportunity for brands with a conscience. But be careful: a lot of grand plans and impressive rhetoric just won’t cut it! Consumers want to see companies putting their money where their mouths are. They want to see concrete actions leading to concrete results and making the world better.

Privacy

In 2023, most people understand that Google knows almost everything there is to know about them. Almost before you even start searching for something online, you start receiving related advertising just because you clicked a certain link or searched for a certain item in the last few days.

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But with so much of our personal information online, we need to feel we can trust those social media and other sites not to misuse it. 

When consumers experience any kind of infringement on their privacy, that is severely detrimental to the confidence they may have in a brand. Nearly half the consumers surveyed switched to another brand after having a bad privacy experience.

Conclusion

In the 21st century, technology is growing at an unprecedented rate, and our world is changing almost beyond recognition. To keep up with the latest digital marketing trends, your marketing strategy needs to be flexible and creative. By all means implement some of the strategies discussed in this article to help you stay ahead, but chances are, not every digital marketing trend that has been predicted will come about. 

What is even more important than trying to predict the future trends in digital marketing is staying constantly on the alert to identify unique opportunities and come up with creative digital marketing ideas in your own, changing environment.

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Chantelle

Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

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