The trouble with marketing is that it’s always changing. You can’t use the same inbound marketing strategies year after year without them eventually getting stale. If you want to continually bring potential customers into your business, you have to keep your marketing efforts current.
In 2022, we saw a wave of new technology sweep the industry. From marketing automation to the influence of social media platforms, many businesses were testing new ways to reach their target audience.
With marketing moving at the speed of light, we thought we’d help you get an edge in 2023. After all, preparation is the key to success, right? Below are the top 10 digital marketing trends that your marketing and sales teams should be thinking about as you go into Q1 planning.
1. AI Will Be More Readily Available
Marketing teams have used various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) in their campaigns for nearly a decade now. Simple things like predictive text, chatbots and automation within marketing platforms like HubSpot have streamlined content creation, outreach and even SEO performance.
In 2023, access to these AI marketing tools is predicted to grow significantly. More businesses and marketing agencies will see AI integrated into the CRM, CMS, and other platforms to help them streamline their processes and improve the experience at all points in the customer journey.
Another powerful component of AI is set to steal the show in 2023 for those with access: generative AI. This type of AI has the potential to skyrocket content marketing by scanning through content, such as short-form videos, blogs, infographics, white papers, etc., and using that information to create brand-new, high-quality content.
This will likely be critical to organic success because of the introduction of our next trend...
2. Information Gain
Information gain is the future of SEO, at least where Google is concerned. Their patent to introduce this machine-learning model was approved earlier this year and it’s likely to start affecting search engine results page (SERP) rankings in 2023.
Information gain is all about enhancing the user experience by providing them with only the most relevant, valuable content on the internet. So how is that different from what the search engine does already? In this model, Google tracks which pages you’ve seen and tailors your results to your previous search behavior. So if you read an article and it wasn’t helpful, you won’t have to scroll past it every time you type in a new search.
Content marketers will need to make some adjustments to their strategies to account for information gain next year. Looking at new angles they can take on old subjects, further information they can offer and other ways they can set their blogs apart will be key to ranking high in SERPs. And generative AI options are likely to help those teams that are stretched for human copywriters.
👉 Want to know more? Check out our blog: Information Gain and the Future of SEO
3. Email Marketing is Still King
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it might just be your most lucrative marketing channel next year. Donald Miller, founder of StoryBrand and Business Made Simple, recently shared some stats about the efficacy of email marketing in his own email campaign:
Emails are a powerful go-to source for lead generation and engagement with potential and existing customers. It keeps you top-of-mind, gives you direct access to prospects and can be used in any type of business. So don’t leave email out of your inbound marketing efforts unless you’re willing to leave money on the table too.
4. More Micro-Communities
Social media is booming, particularly with younger demographics. For marketers, this is great. It means wider audiences, more users and a higher potential for conversion. For users, however, more isn’t always better.
Where it used to be easy for social media users to find like-minded groups, they now have to sift through considerable noise to find the topics and groups that fit their interests. In response, we’ve already seen people forming smaller, tighter communities on social platforms. This means a smaller audience but much higher engagement rates if you can target them.
The key to tapping these micro-communities is to be well acquainted with your buyer persona or ICP if you’re doing B2B marketing. The more you know about what makes them tick, what their pain points are and what solutions they’re looking for, the easier it will be to break into those micro-communities with valuable content that resonates with that audience.
5. Focus on Optimization For Google Search Features
Namely, local search, People Also Ask and featured snippets. These three Google search features have garnered significant attention as Google continues pushing them to the top of SERPs and in front of users.
Capturing local SEO is important for brick-and-mortar businesses or businesses that are restricted to a certain geographical location. Google is investing more time and energy in enhancing local SEO for mobile search in addition to desktop browsing, so it’s worth the effort to start optimizing your web content for it.
The People Also Ask box is another coveted spot on SERPs and one many people have speculated about when it comes to ranking for it. Next year should bring more solid strategies for pushing your content into this space as we continue to learn more about the Google algorithm that chooses answers.
Featured snippets have been a point of focus since their introduction, and many marketers have developed their own strategies for populating this space. Continue using keywords and direct answers to questions to boost your likelihood of winning a featured snippet, but keep information gain in mind as you write as it could start altering which snippets appear for individual users.
6. Voice Search and Visual Search
Voice search continues to surge in popularity as personal assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are integrated into more technology. Ninety-two percent of internet users access websites on their smartphones, and more than half of smartphone users utilize their voice search feature. That’s a lot of people!
People are now using voice search more regularly and often more casually than they would a traditional search. This means SEO experts need to adjust their strategies to optimize for direct answers to direct questions. It also means tailoring your keyword strategy to target phrases that are spoken instead of typed — these are often very specific, long tail keywords.
Hand-in-hand with voice search is visual search. This is an up-and-coming search method that’s gaining popularity with the recent adoption of the AI-powered Google Lens, an app that allows you to use your camera to look up product information and listings. It’s basically an advanced image search that users can perform in real life.
Visual search optimization is a little trickier than traditional content optimization. It revolves around optimizing your images for search. You want to ensure you use multiple high-resolution images, choose appropriate keywords, optimize your title and description and don’t forget the alt-text.
7. Influx of Interactive Content
Interactive content has been expanding for a few years now, but with the advances in technology, we’re expecting some big opportunities in this space in 2023. Now that the internet is inundated with content, businesses have to find new ways to help their brand stand apart in the sea of information.
Enter virtual events, quizzes, surveys, webinars, calculators and more! The more you can engage website visitors and encourage them to interact with your brand, the more of an impression you’ll make on them in the process.
There’s one interesting interactive option that businesses are likely to adopt if they’re trying to hone in on mobile users: Google Web stories. These are similar to social media stories or reels. They’re a series of quick videos with text overlays that educate users in a more dynamic environment. It’s bringing the social experience to web searches and it just might be what you need to capture more attention.
It’s critical that you don’t leave that interaction limited to one user. You need to give people a way to share their experiences and invite others to your brand. Make sure the content itself and any results or takeaways are shareable so people can show off how cool your business is and encourage others to check it out.
Be Prepared, Stay Competitive
Successful inbound marketing takes a lot of time and effort. Knowing these trends early will put you ahead of the curve so you’re ready to adapt to any change in your industry landscape. You can use these insights to adjust your 2023 marketing strategy or to inform future campaigns.
If you’re new to running inbound marketing campaigns, check out our blog that walks you through the steps of setting up and implementing a successful one.