22. June 2024

Marketing Trends 2023: Forecast for all Digital Channels

Marketing Trends 2023

A new year is approaching and we can’t wait to share marketing trends for 2023! 2022 was an eventful year, to say the least. Due to these events we’ve seen gas shortages, supply chain issues, raw material shortages affecting multiple industries, inflation, and last but certainly not least a strong recession prediction for the upcoming year. Marketing budgets are the first to get slashed during recessions! So, what does this mean for 2023?

First things first, digital marketing is here to stay. There is no going back from it as the business around digital marketing is expected to reach a market size of USD 807 billion by 2026. However, you may find that budgets are not as accommodating as they were in previous years. With this being the case, your best bet is to prioritize your budgets on channels and initiatives that will deliver the most ROI. Thus, you need to prepare for 2023 by identifying these priorities. This is where we come in! As we do every year, we have recapped marketing trends for 2023 in one convenient place so that you can navigate the potentially icy waters of digital.

eCom Marketing Trends 2023

eCommerce is still evolving. When you think of eCommerce now, it’s no longer customers sitting on their desktops placing an order. It is branching out in a way that even eCommerce as a term doesn’t really encompass all its current forms anymore. Now with this said, let’s familiarize you with some of eCom’s trending off-shoots:

mCommerce

A simple way to explain mCommerce is to say that it is basically eCom done via mobiles. Users are currently less inclined to place their orders on their desktops. Think of it, we spend most of our time fiddling with our mobiles: chatting, answering calls, checking our social media accounts, and yes, you guessed it: making online purchases. Studies and statistics are also confirming this. According to Statista, Mobiles account for 71% of retail traffic and 61% of online orders. 

Social Commerce

More and more people are spending their time on Social Media platforms. Hence why it seemed logical for both social media platforms and brands to invest in Social Commerce. It was destined to be the next big thing. Wondering what happened there? Well, turns out it’s a trust issue. Social Media platforms have a long way to go for them to gain their users’ trust. According to an Accenture survey, it turns out 48% are concerned about refunds, 37% about return policies and 29% don’t trust the social platform with their payment details. 

ReCommerce

As the word suggests, it’s the process of shopping for second-hand or “Pre-Owned”, products online. Recommerce is also touted as a way to enhance sustainability. This comes from the fact that the lifespan of products gets extended and reduces emissions that would be generated from buying new products. Conscious shopping is also known as Green Commerce. Platforms & Shops for Pre-Owned fashion items have been there for quite some time. What’s new is the interest of online retailers and fashion brands in the sector. No wonder the global Pre-Owned apparel market is expected to grow from USD 71 bn in 2022 to USD 282 bn. In the image below, we show you examples of both retail and fashion platforms showcasing their pre-owned sections. 

Digital Marketing Trend:
Pre-Owned products both on brands and retailers’ websites. Pic from Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Farfetch and Zalando

With the rise of consumers’ environmental awareness and the interest in sustainable shopping, brands would be expected to offer their customers environmentally friendly choices. This could be through a change in formulations, packaging, or in the case of fashion, by selling pre-owned apparel.

cCommerce

cCommerce stands for conversational commerce. It encompasses the customers’ discussions with a company’s representative via Chat. This is used as a means to propose products and actually drive sales. Now that 94.5% of internet users are on messaging apps, it’s high time for brands to consider this channel. The need for cCommerce was also emphasized during the pandemic. With limited human interactions, the pressure on brands’ customer service has seen an all-time high. 

This reflected negatively on brands, who were not equipped for the sudden spike. Chatbots, a form of cCommerce, were some brands’ answer to better improve their customer service without breaking the bank on restructuring their customer service departments. Although simple in their nature, done well, they could cater to your customers’ needs and answer their questions, and most importantly, be there around the clock. 

What Does This Mean for You: Branch Out

Now that we’ve explained the different eCom channels, it’s time for you to branch out and explore. Online shoppers may find your products through any one of these avenues. Whether you sell directly to them or through a third-party retail partner, your brand would benefit from being accessible through these channels. Remember that even luxury brands are now offering pre-owned or vintage items for repurchase. Therefore, this can be another revenue stream. Furthermore, the use of cCommerce can give you first-hand information on the consumer’s thought process that drives purchase.

Marketing Through Your Website in 2023

As with all other aspects of your business, your website has to be experiential. Customers’ expectations are high, they are not looking to simply buy a product or visit a store. They are looking for experiences. The pandemic accentuated this marketing trend. After nearly two years of lockdowns and social isolation, we’re all eager to explore and experience more. This also applies to your website.

Your website is an amazing opportunity for you to introduce your brand and your story. “Scrollytelling” fits here perfectly. Wondering how you can transform your users’ simple scrolling action into an experience? Let’s shed some light on this. Scrollytelling is basically introducing animation and a storyline to your scrolling. You could use this to either speak about your achievements and portfolio or simply tell your customer your brand’s story.

Website design trends
Website design trends

Homepages don’t have to be straightforward and dull. You can get creative with them. One other way of experimenting with your website design is through one-page websites. Yes, we know, that’s not new. One-page design was a thing almost a decade ago. But bear with us here. You could elevate a one-page design by adding cursor animations, games, or mazes that lead your customers to their desired tabs. One-pagers also have the added benefit of being easier to mobile optimize. See how everything links to mobile optimization? Thus, mobile U/X is central to the digital experience!

What Does This Mean for You: Give Your Customers an Experience, not only Products

Remember that shoppers have many avenues to find your product online, but only you can offer your brand as an experience. When it comes to website design, you need to think out of the box. You have to give your customers the chance to experience your brand from your perspective. The website is your perfect chance to do this. Design your website in a way that tells your brand story without asking your users to go to the same old About section. What your brand stands for and what you’re about should flow seamlessly while your customer is casually scrolling and skimming through your website.

SEO Marketing Trends 2023

Long gone are the days when Google purely ranked your content based on Keywords. The trend in marketing is now all about providing the right information and the right answer to the users’ queries. The best at doing so ranks higher. It’s as simple as that. But how do we make sure that our content is of value to our readers? You just need to shift focus from Keyword stuffing to Keyword intent.

Marketing Trends
SEO

Before typing in a keyword, every user has an intent for their search term. It could be that they’re looking for a product to buy or merely seeking information. By understanding the keyword intent, you can make sure your content better fits your target audience. And no, your content doesn’t have to be short and sweet. In fact with long content, we’re speaking 3000 words and above, you get triple the traffic and more people are 4 times more likely to share your piece.

It’s also worth noting that with the rise of long content comes the rise of Rich Snippet. Rich Snippets are basically blog and online content snippets that show up on search results. They’re called rich because along with the text excerpt, they can also feature reviews, links, and pictures. Optimizing Rich Snippets has become crucial, especially with Google’s attempts to focus on Zero-Clicks, where users get their answers directly on the SERP without ever needing to click on the website’s link.

What Does This Mean for You: Provide the Best Answers

Remember that Google’s algorithm update in 2022 focused on something called ‘helpful content’. This means the algorithm reads for actual meaning and value to users rather than just the extent of keyword optimization. The race is now who gets to answer the users’ questions and queries best. Focus on optimizing your Rich Snippets and make sure to enrich them with pictures, links, and add-ons. Provide the best answers through a strong understanding of your target audience. Know what they’re looking for and where their interest lies and optimize your content to provide the best answer. The way to ensure that you can drive traffic and eschew the effects of Zero-Clicks is to write longer and more detailed answers. The snippet should evoke enough curiosity that the reader then clicks back to your website to read the rest. 

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Social Media Marketing Trends 2023

92% of internet users aged between 16 and 64 are on Social Media platforms. Research also suggests that users under the age of 25 tend to turn to Social Media Platforms over Search Engines for brand research. Another study shows that 54% of Social Media users are engaged with brands. Following is a chart that clearly lists the type and share of this brand engagement.

Digital Marketing Trend: Brands' Social Media Presence
Survey on how do users interact with a brand’s social media presence

Now, if your customers are already spending time on their Social media accounts and you have a strong presence there, This is the year to build on that presence! There are two ways to do that for you to be ahead of this digital marketing trend:

Customer Service

Social media accounts are no longer purely social. These platforms have gone from peer networking to being their own forms of media. This means it’s just a matter of time before it gets fully utilized as a customer service channel. From this point, it’s a matter of choice between live or automated chat. Nothing can beat a consistent performance over live chat. It also conveys the message that you’re making the commitment to be in touch with your clients. 

Marketing Trend: Social Media in Customer Care
Facebook rewards responsive business accounts with a Responsiveness statement in the about section

Live Chat, however, comes with a downside. They’re not available 24/7 365 days a year. Also done wrong, they could negatively impact your brand’s image. Automated chats could come in handy in this case. Platforms like Facebook are equipped with features that could help your business in this sense. With a common inbox and automated chat features, you can make sure to be there for your customers when they turn to you for questions. The platform also rewards you if you are responsive on your brand’s account with a “very responsive to messages” tag on your About section. Following is an example from Clairol’s US Facebook account.

Digital Marketing Trend: Social Media in Customer Service
Facebook rewards responsive business accounts with a Responsiveness statement in the about section

Product Research

According to a recent survey conducted by Hubspot and Brandwatch, 36% of respondents in the US have discovered a new product through social media. When asked about the platforms they typically turn to for product research, Facebook ranked highest, followed by YouTube and then Instagram. This doesn’t mean that you should deprioritize other channels. What this means is simply that you need to understand your customers, their age, and interests, and most importantly know which platform would better match your product, brand, and customers.

What Does This Mean for You: Fulfill Follower Wishes

Focus on better utilizing your social media presence, whether it be through a new and improved customer service approach or better representation and reach of your brand. Carefully study your target customers to understand how they are using your channel. Do you get a lot of questions or requests in your comments? Which kinds of posts perform the best? Are your followers looking for entertainment, information, product suggestions, or more? Remember that a good strategy focuses on doing one thing well, but can make room to keep followers engaged in a way that resonates with them the most.

Advertising Avenues

Our attention is constantly overconsumed by the input we’re surrounded by and here is where the struggle with advertising lies. As an advertiser, you need to always be up to date on all technological changes and also on changes in people’s preferences and behaviors. You have to know your target audience and their media preference, for you to better reach them. Let’s focus on an unexpected channel so you can truly reach your audience where they already are.

Podcast Advertising

A medium that has lately been on the rise, Podcasts promise regular and engaged listeners. Exploring this channel in 2023 may help you realize efficient advertising ROI. Studies show that podcast listeners have risen by 30% in the last three years alone. The average podcast listener tunes in for around eight shows per week. Interesting numbers definitely grabbed advertisers’ attention. According to eMarketers, US Podcast ad revenue is expected to reach USD 4b by 2024. Another interesting number and why we think you should consider Podcasts this year. 

Marketing Trends: Podcasts
Podcast Marketing

But as with every new thing, Podcast ads slowly evolved into their current form. At first, the host of the podcast would record the ad as part of the podcast. These ads were named “baked-in”, but then they didn’t allow advertisers any targeting. They only reached a generalized demographic. Fast forward ten years later, and we now have something called Streamed Ad Insertion (SAI). With SAI, advertisers managed for the first time to have accurate analytics and audience targeting making podcasts more interesting than ever.

Marketing Trends Beyond Advertising

Podcast marketing isn’t, however, only about ads. You can decide to either have your own brand podcast or feature on an existing one as part of your marketing efforts. But the question is what would be more efficient? It depends on your resources and budget. If you have the time, energy, and budget to invest in your own podcast, go for it. But only hop on this content creation train if you truly have the resources to create value for your listeners. Otherwise, you would be better off featuring on an existing, good-performing podcast. This would be a good way to test this channel in 2023.

What Does This Mean for You: Consider This Trending Channel in 2023

From a brand’s perspective, you should keep your podcasts genuine and as true to the brand’s image as possible. Remember the goal is for your customers to know you better while being entertained. Check your budget and resources if they allow you to invest in a Brand Podcast, go for it. Remember that off-brand content can also have a negative effect on your listeners.

Marketing Campaigns and Customer Listening

Assuming your customers spent the time and tuned in to your brand’s podcast, now would be the time to return the favor. Marketing campaigns were mostly centered around showing off the brand, the products, and their qualities. They were mostly brand and product-centric. But this isn’t necessarily in sync with the upcoming marketing trends in 2023.  

Marketing trends: Customer listening
Customer-Centric Marketing Campaigns

Your customers need to know that you’re listening to them, that you acknowledge their problems and act upon them to give them a better experience. This means that you need to invest in customer listening for you to have the correct insights and information about your customers. And what better way to show how carefully you’ve been paying attention to your customers, than by creating a customer-focused campaign? 

What Does This Mean for You: Customer-Focused Marketing Campaigns

Use the opportunity and show the clients you care. If you sense a growing concern regarding a certain topic, be ahead of the game and provide an answer before it’s even required. Know your customers, improve at identifying their problems and act upon them. Doing so not only shows customers that you are listening but also indicates to them that your brand has the right solution for them.

Mobile Marketing Trends 2023

As we mentioned before, the time spent on mobile devices is increasing and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Hence we thought it would be helpful to share our insights into upcoming mobile marketing trends for 2023. 

Super Apps

By definition, a super app is an app that encompasses multiple smaller apps. These have been growing in popularity in the past few years given how fast-paced our lives have become. Just to give you some context on what is defined as a Super app think of examples such as Klarna, Uber & Bolt. Users are currently more inclined to have a “one app does it all” kind of usability. For instance, with the Uber app, you can book a cab, in some cities, find a shared bicycle, or even order food.  Think of apps like WeChat in China, the app has evolved into fulfilling multiple functions and thereby creating an ecosystem of behavior around it. Research conducted by Paypal and PYMNTS suggests that 1 in 3 people in the world use a super app.

Apps for Wearable and Foldable Devices

Wearable devices are growing in popularity and that is no surprise as big tech companies are investing in the development of interesting safety features. Now wearable devices can not only track your steps, heart rate, and oxygen level, but also things like ovulation, or be used to report car crashes by calling the emergency. 

Marketing Trends
SEO

No wonder, consumers are finding them more interesting. Now with that comes the follow-up investment in app development. Unlike regular mobile devices, wearable and foldable devices have different display sizes and control functions. And here is where the need for apps adapted for them arises. 

What Does This Mean for You: Be more Agile with Mobile

It all comes down to your target audience and their behavior. Are they users of wearable tech and super apps? If so, you need to ensure that at the very least notifications can be delivered to their wearable devices. Further, you can collaborate with super apps to ensure that products can either be paid for or delivered through them. The more ways you can find to be where your consumers are (in the digital realm), the better it is for conversion. This is because they don’t have to sign up for new services to gain access to your products.

What To Do Next?

These are indications of which trends will define the marketing landscape in 2023. However, remember that every industry is different. Every target group responds differently to these trends. In order to see which trends are most effective for you to implement in 2023, start by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Want to keep the marketing trends conversation going in 2023? Talk to us: moin@watersky.digital