By Krista Neher, Forbes Councils Member
Many businesses are already mapping out their digital marketing plans for 2023 and beyond. Smart businesses are looking for the latest trends to incorporate to maximize their results and impact. Here are some of the biggest trends impacting digital marketing that can help grow your success.
1. The Metaverse
The metaverse is one of the most talked-about trends in digital marketing. The metaverse is a broad term that describes a variety of immersive virtual experiences taking place online, usually with others. Starbucks, Nike and countless big brands have announced metaverse experiences. While there is a lot of excitement for the metaverse, most businesses don’t have practical use cases (or return on investment) just yet.
What can you do now? Start experimenting with the metaverse and immerse yourself personally. Look for emerging opportunities for your business to participate in and keep a close eye on others in your industry. The metaverse is still experimental for most businesses, so don’t worry about going all in yet.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) powers all marketing. One of the quiet trends in digital marketing over the last few years has been AI being integrated into almost every digital marketing channel. Algorithms determine the social media posts you engage with, the search results you see and even the ads displayed to you. AI is making marketing smarter, connecting consumers to the exact right products and messages.
What can you do now? Examine how AI is changing the core aspects of the digital marketing channels you use. Understand how the algorithms are impacting your results and optimize your content strategy to take advantage of this.
3. Customer Experience
Most algorithms and AI in digital marketing optimize for the same thing—creating a better user experience, as this is what matters most. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) updates this year focused on providing the most helpful content to users. Beat the algorithms and delight your customers by focusing more on their experiences.
What can you do now? Help future-proof your digital marketing by focusing on the customer and optimizing their experience. All algorithms are based on improving the user experience—so this helps protect you from future algorithm updates.
4. Short Videos
TikTok and Instagram Reels are taking over social media feeds—and consumer attention. There is no question that this format will only continue to grow. For businesses to stay relevant they need to appear in the channels and formats where their customers are. The good news is that short video formats are making their way into social media management tools and schedulers, so it will become easier for businesses to plan and post next year.
What can you do now? If you haven’t been active in these formats personally, now is the time. Start watching Reels and TikToks to gain an understanding of the format, content and appeal. Next, start posting and experimenting with short video content for your business. Test and learn your way to success in these powerful platforms that are earning so much time and attention.
5. Simple, Clear Messages
With short-form video taking over and attention spans constantly dropping, businesses have a bigger challenge than ever. Businesses must be able to communicate in short, quick soundbites to earn attention on mobile devices.
What can you do now? Spend more time crafting shorter, simpler messages. Take your marketing and brand priorities and sound-bite them into short sentences or quick ideas. Challenge yourself to copy popular short video formats and shorten your messages.
Influencers are hot. As the advertising landscape becomes more and more cluttered, businesses need to find new ways to get in front of their target audiences. Increasingly, businesses can find opportunities to break through the noise with organic-seeming content via influencers. Influencer marketing has been on the rise for years, and this trend will only continue as influencers build up larger and larger audiences that are ripe for the picking for marketers.
What can you do now? Research opportunities to integrate influencers into your marketing plan for next year. Examine how your competitors or other industries are harnessing influencers to grow results.
7. Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy is about getting your team or employees talking and sharing on behalf of the business. More and more businesses are realizing the power of their employees. Employee personal profiles and assets are often more effective at reaching more people more authentically than business accounts and assets. Harnessing this power is an untapped opportunity—especially in business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
What can you do now? Evaluate the opportunity for employees to contribute to your marketing efforts and build a plan to engage them. An engagement plan usually includes training, tools and resources to motivate and excite employees to speak on behalf of the business.
8. LinkedIn As A B2B Powerhouse
LinkedIn has been around for many years but recently has posted record growth and engagement. It is expected to account for 25% of B2B advertising in two years. There is a growing opportunity for businesses to use the platform for growth. Yet very few businesses take advantage of this. My guess is that LinkedIn will only continue to grow and the opportunity will only get bigger. Jump in early to disproportionately win.
What can you do now? Build LinkedIn into your plans strategically. Optimize your content. Grow your audience and look for new features and opportunities to accelerate your success.
9. A Focus On Foundations
While it is easy to get distracted by the metaverse, Web 3.0, NFTs and AI, the reality of digital marketing is that the foundations of digital marketing still make up the bulk of results for most businesses. Foundations like your website, SEO, email, social media, digital ads, community management and reputation management will disproportionately contribute to your results.
What can you do now? Get a competitive edge by growing your results in these key areas. Have a plan to optimize and get better results faster from your existing efforts.
Article originally appeared on Forbes.
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