This has proven to be an unpredictable and tumultuous year, with businesses of all sizes looking for ways to boost their marketing. It has never been more important for small businesses to make the most of their limited marketing budgets by staying on top of trends through laser-focused and highly strategic campaigns as we move into 2023.
There has been a major shift in both consumer and business behaviours, such as the online shopping boom and home economy growth post Covid, and these impact how and what people and business buy, so it is vital to keep up with these evolving trends within the digital marketing space.
What are the marketing trends for 2023?
Small businesses that can stay on top of marketing trends will be better placed to identify cost-effective opportunities to continue reaching their audience — while those that fall behind risk losing their competitive edge.
‘Google is set to tighten its guidelines when it comes to posting content’
So, what marketing trends should small businesses expect to see as we move into 2023, and how can you make the most of them and your marketing spend?
Nearly every sector has seen an explosion in new technologies and digital transformation, and the digital marketing space is certainly not exempt from this.
In the race to remain competitive, companies of all sizes are looking for new and innovative ways to streamline time-consuming tasks, freeing up more time to focus on tasks which add value and drive profit.
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For smaller businesses operating with limited resources and staff, this is of particular importance; time spent manually generating reports or posting to social media is time spent away from value-adding work.
Adopting the right kinds of automation for marketing tasks can pay huge dividends.
For example, automations that are being launched by ad platforms such as Google Ads with CRMs like Hubspot offer a way to save an immense amount of time, while also boosting the effectiveness of your campaigns.
One of the biggest changes we are seeing in marketing trends is the legal and cultural shift when it comes to consumer privacy. Audiences are increasingly more informed and concerned about their data privacy, and small businesses must respond to these concerns if they wish to keep their customers on side.
iOS updates around data privacy impact the Facebook Pixel – along with the EU’s ruling on Google Analytics – are further evidence of this changing landscape around privacy.
Because of this, businesses must begin to phase out a reliance on third party data – especially as Google is set to begin phasing these out from 2023.
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Instead, the focus must be on new ways to acquire original first-party data, and small businesses can do this while fostering good relationships with their audience by taking a transparent approach.
One of the easiest ways is to offer value in exchange for personal data. This could be through discount codes or other customer benefits in exchange for an email address and could even be tailored to segments of your customer base.
This will allow you to continue adapting to these new expectations around consumer privacy, while still offering value.
Good content is a powerful and cost-effective component to many marketing strategies. However, as we move into the New Year, companies should be aware that Google is set to tighten its guidelines, and marketers must take note of this is they still want their content to rise to the top of the search results and remain relevant.
Google wants to promote what they term “helpful” content to their users. For businesses, this means taking a careful and considered approach to really boost content marketing. It may be tempting to simply stuff your content with a bunch of relevant keywords and hope for the best – but this is simply a waste of both time and resources.
Instead, consider laser focusing your content and tailoring it towards relevant audience segments. This is not only incredibly important for good SEO but will help add value for both you and your customers, while also boosting engagement and providing an opportunity to repurpose it across multiple channels.
Delving into data
As new precedents for consumer privacy are set, a greater need is placed on companies to more effectively use the data they already have.
There is a growing need to not only capture data, but also use it to divide audiences into relevant segments which allow for a greater degree of personalisation, ensuring more targeted marketing campaigns.
This poses some unique challenges for smaller businesses, who may not have the same resources to do this as larger ones. However, there are still things that small businesses can do to make the most of what they already have.
For example, looking to your CRM to analyse and keep data on how users found you can be extremely valuable – and there are several platforms and tools which can help you do just this, such as a free Hubspot account.
It is also important to bear in mind that when it comes analysing data, there are simply so many aspects that are not trackable, such as word of mouth or link sharing across certain platforms, that tracking your total digital marketing ROI is nearly impossible.
Instead, when analysing marketing channel ROI data, it should be seen as an indicator, rather than a complete picture of the total.
Marketing trends in 2023
There is understandably an air of caution as we close out 2022, and businesses are looking to maximise the efficacy of their marketing strategies, while making the most of limited resources.
While marketing fads may come and go, identifying some of these big trends, especially those which effect the entire marketing landscape, is key for retaining a competitive edge and creating campaigns for 2023 which continue to deliver.
Sam Martin-Ross is founder and director of digital marketing agency Digital Uncut