Looking for a TL;DR? Social commerce, video, AR and even 3D will continue to grow in importance. Marketers need to prepare for GA4, think holistically in their reporting and embrace Gen Z.
When it comes to organic and paid search, ‘helpful’ content is king and Performance Max campaigns are gaining traction. And don’t forget the importance of a ‘human’ brand!
Digital marketing top trends & predictions for 2023
1. Back to brand
We cannot rely on a linear customer journey any more. Throw in a cost of living crisis, and that path to purchase has become more challenging than ever. But…what is the one consistent thing that can be working for you on all platforms? Your brand.
So, commit to the brand you’ve built. Focus on your true USPs, consider your customers’ pain points and remind them why you’re the one they want to spend their money with. Be consistent so you’re memorable - remember to check this across all your touchpoints.
Something that might help here is a brand strategy project!
2. More gated content
Expect an increase in gated content to grow first party data and replace third party data. Some companies are already doing it, but expect to see more of it in 2023.
3. Less remarketing
As third party tracking pixels are able to collect less data, it’s possible we’ll see a reduction in spend on dedicated campaigns which retarget website visitors. Give your social campaigns the best chance by setting up domain-level tracking, such as the Meta Conversions API.
Mid-2023 update: On this topic, be sure to check out our since-published guide to improved tracking for paid social media.
4. Social commerce
This has been in our predictions for the last few years, but social commerce continues to rise. This year saw the introduction of the TikTok Shop, and in-app checkout on Instagram being introduced to Europe/EMEA. For the latter, we expect to see this rolled out for more business to create a smoother path to purchase for customers.
5. SEO on TikTok will keep on maturing
2022 saw TikTok up its game when it came to discoverability on the app, with keywords becoming more prominent, caption lengths getting longer and suggested search queries appearing, and we believe this is just the beginning.
As TikTok Shop evolves, we predict the SEO elements will expand to product titles and descriptions, we envision verified Creators having more influence and even more users hitting TikTok with their search queries before places like Google.
Mid-2023 update: Intrigued? We've since dived into a little more detail in our TikTok SEO guide.
6. AR will become more accessible
With huge platforms like Pinterest adding ‘try it on’ but for home and interior purchases - allowing you to truly visualise a piece in your room before you buy - we can expect to see AR on more and more sites. This will be particularly useful for home and garden brands where people may want to ‘test’ major purchases before buying.
7. Paid media consolidation
Performance Max campaigns allow paid media marketers to serve ads across a range of Google products and platforms including search, display, Gmail and YouTube using just one campaign. They replaced smart shopping earlier this year and can be a great way to achieve sales and brand awareness goals in one fell swoop!
We have had mixed success with these campaigns, so they’re certainly not for everyone, but you can be sure your Google Ads rep will be encouraging you to try them in 2023!
8. Holistic reporting
Thanks to iOS and Cookies privacy updates, the data we’re used to using to report will become no more - never to return. Focus less on individual channels and more on how everything is working together, ‘big picture’ thinking.
Download our white paper about privacy and tracking for the full lowdown. It's free, by the way, so who could say no?
9. Prepare for GA4
According to Google, Universal Analytics properties will stop collecting data from the 1st July 2023. It’s possible that this timeline will change, but it would still be wise for all GA users to set up a GA4 property as soon as possible, to allow it to gather data alongside your UA property.
July 2023 update: It turns out Google weren't lying, and GA4 is live! Fortunately, we've written a comprehensive guide to getting started with GA4.
10. Accept that Gen Z is your audience
Everyone will start (if they aren’t already) marketing to GenZ because at the older end of the scale they have buying power, and at all ages they are influencing parents more and more.
On that note, if you're a brand to sells direct to consumer, you won't want to miss out on our top tips for selling more online.
11. The importance of ‘helpful’ content for search visibility
Google released its helpful content update a few months ago, outlining the significance of ‘people-first content’. Google’s aim is to reward content in Search that provides value and a ‘satisfying experience’ to users. We expect this to be at the heart of the algorithm in 2023.
Create content that adds value for your audience and genuinely helps. Spare no detail. Don’t leave users wanting to bounce back to the search results.
July 2023 update: As Google promises to launch AI snapshots in search results — as we explore over on our blog about Google's Search Generative Experience — the importance of (and opportunities associated with) creating high-quality content are as clear as ever.
12. Providing answers to complex queries
Search marketers need to create and optimise content designed to answer complex queries where the user may need to conduct several different searches in order to uncover all of the information they require.
Take the search ‘Preparing for the Boston Marathon’; you’ll require information on training, nutrition, recovery, what to wear, how to adapt to different weather conditions on the day of the race, how soon before the start to arrive, and so on. If your content isn’t this comprehensive and specifically designed to address user exact needs, you’ll struggle to drive traffic in 2023 and beyond.
13. A greater emphasis on ‘strategy’
With the increase in automation and, in almost all paid platforms, a concurrent decrease in control and visibility, our very role as marketers is set to evolve. Added value can therefore come from developing a strategy with the help of digital marketing professionals (like us) as we can ensure the creation of bespoke strategies that take into account your business goals, customer journeys and challenges.
14. Make it move
More emphasis on motion graphics and creative use of video. You need to capture attention in a very short time frame and show customers your product (not just tell them about it).
If standing out with your digital output is something you're keen to do more — and we'd fully endorse this — don't miss our blog post detailingsix ad creative ideas.
15. Human element
Whether through photography or video, people want to see themselves or someone they aspire to be in a brand. It also helps greatly in creating a story, something your audience can connect with. Use people in your campaigns, be they influencers, people from your business or via user-generated content.
Mid-2023 update: Further to our musings above, we've since written all about how to humanise your brand.
16. Distorted typography
This has been creeping in over the last year or two since Misoko on Instagram started to use RGB split and liquify.
17. The rise of 3D
Another design trend that has been on the up for the last few years but with better access to libraries and software such as Adobe Dimensions, Blender and Cinema 4d, 3D has been more accessible to web and graphic designers.
Digital don’t stop…
It can be pretty hard to keep up. If you need a helping hand wrapping your head around it all and you’d like to enlist our expertise, we’re only a quick message away.