Nearly three years after the first lockdowns, we’re still discovering new seismic shifts in society—and how consumers respond to marketing is no different. Going into 2023, the collective yearning for connection hasn’t gone away. Despite the initial reticence, many have embraced the paradigm-shifting opportunities the digital community offers. “After three years of COVID, everybody is super ready for a hyper-virtual world,” says Moran Kadussi, who tracks global digital trends at Wix. "You can do more things in the virtual sphere than you thought you could before.”
As a business owner, you probably want to know how to best approach your marketing strategy with the future in mind. To anticipate which marketing strategies will carry through 2023, we spoke to industry experts about the marketing trends you can implement and get ahead of the curve:
Marketing trends to embrace in 2023
01. Interactive content marketing
With governments tightening GDPR laws and tech giants cracking down on third-party cookies, marketers are set to lose a heck of a lot of data. This may explain why interactive content such as quizzes is all the rage right now—brands can gather psychographic data less invasively. According to a 2022 survey of 1,600 marketers, 45% said interactive content was the type of content they used the most on social media and 77% said it was the most effective.
Besides the data-collection benefits, interactive content also engages consumers. Data from over 230,000 sales and marketing professionals shows that interactive content receives 28% more views than static content. Plus, the average person spends 4.6 more minutes watching interactive content than static content.
Here are a few examples of interactive content to implement into your marketing strategy in 2023:
02. AI marketing
Ross Simmonds, CEO of Foundation, told Marketing Millennials, “In 2023, I think we’re going to see major campaigns be run on the back of AI-generated creative and content.” You’ve likely noticed this trend yourself, with DALL·E 2 images flooding social media over the past few months. Indeed, the Business Research Company expects the global artificial intelligence in marketing market to grow from $17.46 billion in 2022 to $48.91 billion in 2026.
May Habib, the co-founder and CEO of an AI-writing platform called Writer, explains that intelligent tools can make the content creation process dramatically more efficient, whether you’re creating a blog or just trying to write a few paragraphs for your About Us page. “AI-assisted drafting doubled search volume for Emotive within a month,” she says about one of her customers. “They would’ve needed to spend six months outsourcing to an agency to get the same search impact that one writer working with our product did.”
03. Live streaming
After serving as a salve for isolation during COVID lockdowns, live streams became ubiquitous in marketing. Video gaming made the concept popular, but it has evolved to include all sorts of content, from eSports competitions and concerts to interviews and tutorials. Marketers have taken note and will be investing big in live streaming in 2023, especially in Twitter Spaces and Instagram Live Rooms.
Melinda Lee, the chief content officer of a live-commerce platform called Stage TEN, thinks live-streaming's communal nature has made it so popular among consumers and marketers alike. “You see the community watching and engaging with the streamer but also engaging with each other,” she explains. Because of all that enthusiastic participation, your shows can end up serving as impromptu focus groups. “The whole time, you’re gathering data on what it is that people want to know about the product, the questions they ask, what would attract them to a live stream,” says Lee. She recommends incorporating prompts for feedback into broadcasts.
Live streaming has a minimal barrier to entry—you need minimal equipment and tech savvy to undertake this form of digital marketing. Plus, you can always reformat the recordings for other content. All in all, hosting live streams can drive traffic to your website and connect with your target market.
Tip: Free Wix users can broadcast up to ten minutes in a single stream on Wix’s video maker and premium users can broadcast up to three hours.
04. Long-term influencer partnership
Influencers are excellent at fostering parasocial relationships in which their audience feels likes part of their lives. Marketers wanting to capitalize on those connections have started to tap into the real potential of influencer marketing by weaving their companies into the fabric of those relationships.
Rather than paying a bunch of up and coming influencers to post about the business a couple of times, brands are investing in long-term partnerships with a smaller number of influencers. They’re also prioritizing quality over quantity when deciding which influencers to work with. “I’m seeing a lot more thought going into–not just how big the creator’s audience is, but whether they’re a fit for the brand,” says Lee.
Shachaf Rodberg, Wix's marketing trend analyst, thinks it isn't just influencer partnerships that are changing—influencer marketing seems to be changing marketing as a whole. “Marketing social channels are changing," he explained. "They’re either bringing semi-famous creators in or allowing their in-house creators to be the face of the company.”
05. Promoting users over products
Marketers work to better facilitate interaction between customers and amplify community-generated content. That could mean running forums, featuring user-generated content on social media, posting testimonials on websites or initiating a referral reward program.
Some companies are going as far as acquiring community-based companies. A product management company called Pendo acquired Mind the Product—a community made up of over 300,000 product managers, designers and developers—earlier this year.
A community-led marketing strategy is most effective when community is built into the business itself. For example, Figma offers a ton of templates, most of which come from users themselves. This feature emphasizes the brand’s identity as a facilitator of collaboration. Figma also sponsors and supports local groups through a company initiative called Friends of Figma. By fostering community, Figma deepens brand loyalty and facilitates word-of-mouth marketing.
06. Media marketing
As you may have gathered from the six other trends discussed thus far, media is no longer a facet of marketing—it’s fundamental to modern marketing. Whether it’s a marketing blog or a YouTube channel, media is a must for your marketing strategy. “Companies are understanding that their customers have other needs and challenges and things they care about, which are mostly not the company or the product,” said Rodberg. “It’s about how the company can help solve those needs or provide value in other aspects other than the product itself.”
Consider Red Bull—a marketing empire that just so happens to sell an energy drink in a few flavors. In addition to owning a handful of sports teams, an athletic sponsorship business and a travel agency, Red Bull also has a small media conglomerate made of magazines, content sites, a record label, TV shows and movies. All that media not only pulls in profits of its own, but it also makes Red Bull—a company worth over $7 billion—a household name.
Red Bull is an extreme example, but most companies these days invest in some form of media marketing or another. Banks are acquiring food publications, game creators have millions of TikTok followers and apps are bankrolling artists because they know that to get customers, they need an audience. “People are either looking for entertainment, education or connection,” said Rodberg. “If you are not creating those things and you only create ads, people just won’t react.”
If you've seen Minions-related TikToks or Netflix making topical jokes on their Twitter, you know how powerful trendjacking can be. Trendjacking is a social media marketing strategy in which a brand uses trending topics, events or memes to connect with their audience. By tapping into the conversations and interests that are already capturing the attention of the online community, brands can position themselves at the forefront of these discussions, gaining exposure and increasing their brand visibility.
One of the key advantages of trendjacking is its ability to generate buzz and virality. By incorporating trending topics or memes into their social media content, brands can capture the attention and interest of a broader audience. This can result in increased user engagement, shares, and potential reach far beyond their usual follower base.
Furthermore, trendjacking allows brands to showcase their personality and creativity. By injecting humor, wit, or a unique perspective into their content related to trending topics, brands can differentiate themselves and create a memorable impression on their audience. This not only fosters a sense of relatability but also helps to build a more authentic and human connection with consumers.
However, it's important for brands to approach trendjacking with caution and authenticity. It's essential to ensure that the chosen trend or topic aligns with the brand's values, target audience, and overall marketing strategy. Authenticity is key to avoiding backlash or appearing opportunistic. Brands should strive to add value to the conversation rather than simply jumping on a trend for the sake of it.