As the world exited the pandemic in 2022, consumers behaviours have changed and they retained some of the habits developed during Covid, and forged some new digital behaviours that strongly impacted digital marketing and the channels used to reach consumers.
With the emergence of a more complex and ever-shifting web of digital culture, it is time for marketers to think thoroughly how they could leverage the latest digital trends such as influencer marketing, streaming TV advertising and more.
What does 2023 hold for marketers? Let’s look at some of the trends outlined by M&C Saatchi set to shake up 2023.
1. Influencer marketing will reach new heights
Over one in four marketers is currently leveraging the power and reach of influencers with the greatest majority (89%) planning to increase or maintain their investment next year. At the same time, out of those marketers who are not investing in influencer marketing, 17% plan to test it for the first time in 2023, said the report.
With about half of all consumers using influencer recommendations and 70% of teens trusting nano and micro influencers more than traditional celebrities, it is no surprise how influencers provide equal or better ROI compared to other marketing channels while delivering higher quality customers. The reach brands get through influencer marketing is massive.
To choose the best influencer to represent a brand, it’s important to be clear on its objectives. For example, if mass awareness and reach are required, macro influencers are relevant, while if a brand needs to achieve bottom-funnel results, a variety of nano/micro influencers producing diverse content can be a better option.
2. Social commerce will take centre stage
Social commerce is more than just a new shopping experience, it represents a shift in how consumers interact with brands: where, when, and how they shop. For consumer brands, this creates opportunities for a much more interactive, entertaining, and experiential journey. Marketers can show off their products in a visually appealing way, through images, carousels, videos, live streams, etc. This helps in showcasing key value propositions to consumers aligning with contextual targeting that social media provides.
In China, collaborating with popular social media influencers and participating in live stream shopping, social commerce has helped brands achieve conversion rates of almost 30% on social media platforms, up to ten times higher than those seen in traditional eCommerce, according to the report.
Facebook & Instagram maintain a lead in the social commerce ecosystem. Marketers are recommended to focus on shops across Facebook and Instagram for the widest reach and broadest appeal. A shop is the brand’s online storefront where people can browse, explore, and purchase products directly on Facebook and Instagram.
Streamlining the customer journey to discover and eventually purchase within the same social platform allows marketers to better measure their efforts on social commerce campaigns, ensuring that they focus on all of the standard measurements like cost per purchase, average cart order value, ROAS and more.
3. Audio marketing from radio to digital ads
The recent demand for digital audio – both music and podcast streaming are on the rise. According to recent statistics, by 2027 the number of listeners worldwide is expected to rise to 1632.9 million from 1248.3 million in 2022.
Marketers that are aware of their customer personas have a competitive edge in capturing greater market share. With that said, leveraging targeting capabilities offered by streaming platforms to reach people based on demographics that best suit brands' customer persona will be an ideal first step.
Furthermore, the utilisation of interactive ad formats like CTA cards by Spotify, interactive voice ads by Pandora from marketers, and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in serving these interactive ad forms by audio streaming platforms are helping brands immensely in creating stronger narratives in an engaging manner, whilst allowing a more seamless user journey as the user can click straight through to brands' website.
The number of viewers garnered by short form video content as of Q2 2022 was 1.36 billion worldwide, up 5% from Q2 2021, clearly manifesting the growing popularity of the video format among consumers globally, according to the report.
4. Strike gold with short-form video
One-third of marketers currently use short form video and 90% of those using it will increase or maintain their investment next year with 21% of marketers planning to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2023.
Planning a strategy that distributes marketers’ ad spends across a number of relevant social platforms will play an important role in maximising the audience that brands reach through their ad campaigns, unlocking ample opportunities to increase their conversion rates.
Marketers should consider partnering with key opinion leaders for the addition of the content produced by them to their creative mix. Such collaborations help in driving awareness and trust among niche and targeted follower communities by borrowing the equity of key opinion leaders. The organic nature of their content will also have a wider appeal with mass audiences.
5. Streaming TV: Redefining ads in the digital era
With more and more households shifting from linear to streaming TV and a 25% growth in a span of only 3 years, Streaming TV has become an important advertising channel to reach audiences of all ages.
2023 will see several new players in the streaming TV advertising market. With increased penetration of CTV offerings like Smart TV’s or devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, and platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Peacock and YouTube TV, marketers have multiple inventory options to choose from.
While the most common streaming TV ad formats are pre-roll and mid-roll video ads, many providers are offering more customised options, such as polls and “choose your own” ad experience to make ads more interactive, personalised, and gain additional data points. It is likely that brands would mostly choose from typical video ad formats (pre roll and mid roll ads) to meet their campaign objectives.
Streaming TV platforms are moving at break-neck speeds to enhance measurement abilities of marketing campaigns. Given the huge shift from linear to streaming TV adoption by audiences, 2023 will bring higher returns to marketers that commit to advertising on this channel.
6. Unlock stronger narratives with authenticity
Consumers have become much more conscious about where they shop, and whether that brand has a positive or negative impact on the world. Higher levels of competition and global accessibility to different brands through online stores means consumers have more choice over which brands they align themselves with, with a higher expectation for those which claim to be sustainable.
30% of marketers are currently creating content that reflects their brand’s values, 16% of marketers plan to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values for the first time in 2023, and 89% of those that are already investing in it, plan to increase or maintain their investment.
Brands should be consistent in how they communicate their voice/brand identity across all channels, owned, earned, and paid as this is crucial to forming brands' brand identity and building trust. Brands more than ever before need to understand the nuances of their target audience, what they care about, what principles they value, and what products can relate to.
Personalisation is still in demand, so brands need to understand how to deliver that experience with limitations being created on the data collected from consumers.
Opinion: 5 key digital marketing trends in an evolving CX landscape
Meet the digital trends shaping 2021