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5 Main Digital Marketing Trends for 2023

2022 is coming to an end. It was a year marked by great instability, as a result of the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world economy, by a sharp increase in inflation, interest rates and the cost of living in Europe, and by enormous uncertainty about the future, not only economically as well as socially and financially.   With the new year at the door, the time has come to look at what will change (and influence) marketing actions in 2023.   The scenario is not encouraging: UNCTAD (United Nations Trade and Development Unit) has revised global economic growth downwards to just 2.2% in 2023. Digital investment will continue to grow, but at a slower pace.   Currently, digital investment represents around 30% of the market in Portugal, although well below the Western European average (more than 60%), according to Magna (intelligence unit of the IPG Mediabrands group). Forecasts for 2023 point to a growth in investments in digital advertising of more than 9%.   In a year of great uncertainty and loss of purchasing power, how can companies devise strategies to reverse this trend and gain an advantage over the competition?   Here are 5 of the main marketing trends you should adopt in 2023 for your brand to grow on digital: 1. Purpose Consumers will support brands that invest in social issues that they are interested in and identify with. The purpose of brands and their concerns for the Planet are increasingly competitive and differentiating factors, which is why it is important to create closer links with the community.   To create these connections, it is important to focus on authenticity and partnerships, for example, with influencers who represent and identify with your brand. In fact, there was a growth in influencer marketing in 2022 and a slowdown is not expected in the next year. However, the use of influencers has undergone changes: if before brands looked for profiles with millions of followers, today the tendency is to bet on microinfluencers, this being a consequence of the natural saturation of promotions and collaborations of influencers with many followers. Brands are now betting on influencers with fewer followers, but who generate the opportunity to reach more specific niches. 2. Content Content is (still) king, but content produced organically by the public – UGC – User Generated Content – ​​is increasingly dictating the future of brands. This trend has been growing and will continue to be a decisive factor for businesses, as it allows you to publish content with intent, relevant, authentic and with a purpose, in the various channels.   In fact, the use of social media in marketing is at its peak, according to Hootsuite's “Social Media Trends Report”. Finally, it seems that companies have left their skepticism about these channels behind and have made them a fundamental part of their strategy.     In terms of format, video continues to be the “star” on social networks and the platforms' commitment to this type of content is increasingly evident (much due to the success of TikTok). An example of this are Instagram Reels or Youtube Shorts , which owe their success to the power of organic reach, creating interaction with the public, giving brands notoriety and allowing the dissemination of products. 30% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 and 40% of those between the ages of 25 and 34 consider themselves creators of content, according to Hubspot's "2022 State of Consumer Trends Report". Another trend is to mimic advertising on social networks with the content of each platform in order to avoid being intrusive or the user losing the experience of the social network where he is. In fact, the average time spent by consumers on advertising fell to 54.6% of the total, globally. And this number is expected to continue to decline, according to “The Drum”. 3. Automation and Artificial Intelligence Marketing automation will be key in 2023. Whether in the dialogues created with users, in real time, through chatbots or even via WhatsApp, as it allows for greater interaction with customers and customer service at lower costs and with high efficiency.   The use of automation, especially in email marketing, has proved to be crucial for maintaining effective communication with consumers, in parallel with the creation of a narrative based on storytelling when sending emails, giving them personality and creating a connection with the reader. Technological advances will also allow the creation of AI-generated ads, presenting content of interest to the user based on machine learning. But it is not only in ads that AI will be an advantage: also with regard to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this will be a fundamental “weapon” to generate content, “meta descriptions”, “tags”, or even automations without human intervention. 4. Personalization It is nothing new, but it is increasingly important. The personalization and humanization of the contents awaken empathy and connection to the consumer, it is a fact!   Brand communication must be directed at a specific audience, according to their preferences and profile, with the right tone of voice and content that is relevant.   Personalization implies data. And data requires security, which is increasingly demanded by platform users. In 2023, we are going to enter a new “cookieless” era, with all the changes and, therefore, brands will have to invest in “zero party data” and “first party data”, to continue to communicate with their customers in a personalized way . Transparency, security and credibility are increasingly important factors for consumers when providing their personal data online. And brands will have to bet on these values ​​if they want to gain customer trust.  5. SEO on social networks SEO has a very clear objective and only quality, relevant and original content will be able to obtain prominent positions in search results. In addition to complying with good practices, it will be necessary to do more than work on the right keywords, it is essential that they are in line with the rest of the content. We have witnessed a growing use of social networks as search engines, in particular Instagram and TikTok, for younger users, “dethroning” Google. Therefore, search engine optimization on social networks should be a priority in 2023.   Aware of this trend, Google has already started showing videos from TikTok and other platforms in its search results, in addition to the multisearch results.  
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