In the exciting and fast-paced world of marketing, change is constant. Marketing trends are constantly evolving, and it’s up to brand leaders to stay up to date on the latest developments and adapt their marketing strategies to stand out from the competition. Keeping up with these changes isn’t always easy, but it’s essential in order to remain relevant with your audience and build enduring customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Trends happen for a reason. In many instances, they provide valuable insight into how your brand can best reach and connect with your target audiences. Staying on top and ahead of the trends is the first step. Determining how to best utilize the trends to your benefit can be an important differentiator.
As the second quarter of 2023 begins, these are the five biggest trends you should be tracking and maximizing:
1. Personalization: Customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences from brands, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2023. Customer expectations around personalization are also on the rise with 73% of shoppers expecting brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. (Source: Insider Intelligence). While personalization was once a nice-to-have bonus, it is now essential for standing out within an increasingly competitive digital landscape.
To meet customers’ needs and preferences, brands will need to use data and technology to better understand their customers and tailor their marketing messages and offers accordingly. If you’re able to get this right, you can win a loyal customer who feels deeply connected to your brand.
2. Video marketing: If video marketing is the future, the future is here! It’s not a major surprise that video is becoming an increasingly popular form of content, and this trend and demand is expected to continue for the remainder of 2023. A recent study shows that as many as 91% of consumers want to see more online video content from brands (Source: Wyzowl). And since 2017, the amount of online video consumed monthly has more than quadrupled.
Brands will need to create high-quality video content that engages their target audience across a range of platforms, including social media, websites, and more. In my opinion, short and sweet is the way to “win” with video content. In fact, according to Sprout Social’s recent survey, short-form videos are found to be the most engaging. As many as two-thirds of consumers (66%) say they pay the most attention to short-form videos—2.5 times more than long-form videos. This is in line with the increasing number of videos on channels such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram and video becoming an expected part of the online and social media experience.
3. Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing has become a popular way for brands to reach new audiences and build brand awareness. Throughout the rest of 2023, I expect to see more brands partnering with influencers to promote their products and services, particularly on social media platforms including shorter form video platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Creator marketing can help drive brand growth and overall visibility across the entire purchasing funnel and many companies have begun to leverage online as well as offline influencer strategies over the past few years.
I believe the rise of micro-influencers will be where brands can stand out and successful leverage influencers as well as social media overall. As consumers are looking for more relevant and relatable content, marketers are turning to nano- or micro-influencer collaborations. These often-unpaid content creators with 1,000 to 100,000 followers have very active and engaged audiences. The benefit in my mind of these “smaller influencers” is that they often have a greater ability to truly connect with their community, which can give them significant influencing power. Consumers in general are likely to trust them for their expertise, product reviews and service recommendations. When brands activate them at scale, nano- and micro-influencers can be a great way to target niche audiences, drive awareness and boost sales.
4. Sustainability: Customers are increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues, and they expect brands to act on these issues. Sustainable marketing is the promotion of environmentally and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values. If you’ve ever spent a little bit more on something because you knew it was locally sourced or 100% recyclable, you’ve taken part in supporting sustainable marketing.
Within 2023, we can expect to see more brands promoting their sustainability efforts and highlighting their commitment to social responsibility. There are several ways brands can begin to approach becoming more sustainable including donating profits to sustainable causes, sourcing sustainably materials or packaging, and creating products that aides in sustainable living or more. One of my favorite brands and category sustainable commerce leaders, Patagonia, pledged 15% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment since 1985. In 2022, that amounted to a total of over $140 million. They have also set a target to become completely carbon neutral by 2025.
The big picture of embracing sustainable marketing is that you’re able to position your brand as an active figure in an environmental or societal issue. It can humanize your brand messages and create another reason why customers should choose you over your competition.
5. Voice search optimization: Consumers are beginning to search for more things using their voices. In fact, the number of voice assistants is expected to reach 8 billion units in 2023, up from 3.25 billion in 2019. (Source: Statista)
I maintain that 2023 is the year of voice search optimization. As more people use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, brands will need to optimize their content for voice search. This means creating content that is easily discoverable and readable by voice assistants and making sure that the brand website is optimized for voice search. Voice search is not just a component of today’s digital marketing landscape, it’s the future. Search engines are becoming more advanced and voice assistants are getting better at understanding the incoming questions and will provide more accurate results. In turn, that accuracy can encourage more people to take advantage of voice search instead of the more traditional time-consuming search process.
By focusing on personalization, video marketing, influencer marketing, sustainability, and voice search optimization, brands can stay ahead of the curve in 2023. What else are you working on this year? Leave a comment below.