No digital marketing strategy is ever complete because there is always the need to anticipate what the future might hold. The digital marketing world is an ever-evolving space, and it’s imperative for digital marketers to stay up to date. Whether it’s a new platform, tool or software update, constant education (and experimentation) is key.

There are plenty of trends that will have a prominent impact on the digital marketing landscape in 2023, revolving around improving customer experience and new video marketing tactics. But where should you focus your attention?

Here are five digital marketing trends that will impact your communications strategy throughout 2023 and beyond:

Google Analytics (GA) 4

The transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 is something we recommended our clients get ahead of before the end of 2022. However, many businesses and organizations have yet to make the switch – so it’s something you’ll continue to hear more about in 2023.

This transition is extremely important if you take analytical and historical data seriously. Simply put, this is data that helps you grow your business. It tells you what worked and what didn’t. It shows you when your business is having the most success. It’s data that tells a story of your successes and challenges.

There are several key differences between UA and GA4:

  • The first difference you will notice is the updated interface. GA4 will certainly be a learning experience; however, your data is what’s most important.
  • GA4 will no longer track sessions – it will track events like pageviews, in-site searches, file downloads and several more.
  • The biggest change is GA4 will not rely on third-party cookie data. Instead, it will focus on first-party data to help the rising concern over consumer privacy.

For these reasons, it’s imperative you make this transition sooner than later. Universal Analytics will be sunset in July 2023…meaning if you have not completed this transition, you will lose your historical data with no way of getting it back. If you don’t have in-house developers, you will need a trusted partner to assist you with this transition.

Our team at Franco is also here to help navigate the switch to GA4. If you have any questions regarding the new platform or need assistance making the transition, connect with us.

AI and Automation

As user experience continues to grow in priority for all businesses so does the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

AI has the incredible ability to analyze massive amounts of data using precise algorithms in a small amount of time that no human could possibly do. This ability gives marketers opportunities to personalize their content marketing efforts, which inherently improves the customer experience.

One of the biggest innovations that AI and automation have created is the wide-range use of chatbots. Companies began using chatbots largely for customer service issues; however, their abilities are expanding. Chatbots now interact with customers to assist in finding what they might be looking for, which ultimately helps businesses drive sales or other conversions. In a study done by Marketing Insider Group, two thirds of consumers don’t know they’re interacting with AI tools vs. actual humans.  

If your business has not yet started to embrace the power of AI, then you need to start now. 

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Influencer Marketing

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, there has been a 456% increase in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” on Google since 2016. If you’re not familiar with influencer marketing, it’s time to get up to speed.   

Believe it or not, one of the earliest examples of influencer marketing was all the way back in 1760 when a potter named Josiah Westwood created a tea set for Queen Charlotte and was dubbed “Potter for her Majesty.” Fast forward a couple hundred years and you have the celebrity endorsement of Michael Jordan and Nike, which made the company $70 million dollars the first year. 

From there, the flood gates were opened. Throughout the 2000s, we saw influencers grow out of platforms like Twitch as the gaming world became “the next big place” for brands to reach their audiences.  

Today, platforms like TikTok and Instagram open the doors for companies to make connections with the growing list of people who position themselves as influencers. According to a study from Influencer Marketing Hub in 2022, the influencer marketing industry reached $16.4 billion.  

Influencers have become a common third-party audience companies turn to when they’re looking to promote a new product or service…and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon

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Metaverse

The Metaverse can seem overwhelming, but the simplest definition is it’s when the real world meets a virtual world. This means your physical being is represented by an avatar who can buy goods, meet new friends, participate in live entertainment and play games. It’s not just a VR or AR application, because unlike these platformsthe Metaverse is endless.  

The Metaverse is already a place where companies are spending millions of dollars to market themselves. Companies like Nike, Gucci and Coca Cola have created their own spaces within the Metaverse to market different initiatives. In 2021, Gucci created a two-week campaign where users could visit the Gucci Garden which featured several rare items that were sold for even more than their physical products. 

Throughout 2023, you will see more examples of these kind of campaigns from brands of different sizes. Remember, the unique thing about the Metaverse is the ideas can be endless. Unlike Google or Facebook advertising, you aren’t limited to the types of campaigns and ad formats you can use. With the Metaverse you can create realities where the user can explore content and buy products.  

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Visual Content

TikTok and Instagram Reels have officially taken over the social media world. For this reason, in 2023 we’ll continue to see marketers creating short form videos. In 2022, Wyzowl composed a study that showed 92% of businesses value video as an important part of their marketing strategy.  

For businesses to stay relevant this year, they’ll need get in front of consumers on these platforms (if, of course, their main audiences are using platforms like Instagram and TikTok). There are several different types of videos that could work on these platforms. If you have an upcoming new product, create a teaser video. Or if you just released a new product, put together a product demo video and answer some common questions. If you want to share how much customers love your product, a testimonial video is a great option.  

If you don’t have in-house videographers or a trusted video production partner, there are still opportunities to create dynamic content for these platforms. The cameras on most smartphones are high quality enough to film exceptional content for social media, and there are plenty of apps available for simple editing. Have fun and don’t be afraid to explore!

Conclusion

The digital marketing industry can literally change overnight. This is why it’s critical to look forward at trends that will undoubtedly make an impact. 2022 saw a lot of developments that will spill over into 2023, and more things will surface as the year progresses.  

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Ryan Solecki is a Senior Paid Media Specialist at Franco.