According to the latest CMO Survey, CMOs plan to invest more than 70% of their budget into digital marketing — with most using the funds to tackle 2023‘s top digital marketing trends.
In the video below, two of our ongoing strategy experts address how to use your marketing budget in 2023. Plus, they’ll cover major changes to digital marketing and how you can prepare your business to adapt.
Want to keep learning about this year’s marketing trends? Continue reading!
Click below to see online marketing trends by topic:
- Marketing automation
- Content marketing
- Web design
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Ecommerce marketing
3 biggest challenges driving digital marketing trends
When it comes to digital marketing trends, marketers are trying to conquer these challenges:
- Measuring return on investment (ROI): You want to show the bottom-line impact of your marketing efforts — for that, you need the tech to measure and attribute ROI across online and offline channels.
- Adopting first-party data: Even though companies like Google have delayed sunsetting first-party cookies, it’s become critical for companies to transition to first-party data — also known as data you own.
- Building a martech stack: With the increased focus on first-party data and ROI, marketers continue to push to build a martech stack (or adopt one like MarketingCloudFX) capable of measuring ROI, using artificial intelligence, and automating omnichannel campaigns.
Digital marketing trends for marketing automation
Marketing automation is the ultimate tool for tracking, monitoring, and measuring your digital marketing performance. When you have a trusted marketing automation tool, you have a way to demonstrate your financial impact to decision-makers at all levels.
Learn how you should use marketing automation with these marketing automation trends:
1. Customer data platform (CDP)
A CDP provides a master data hub for user data — which is critical with the shift from third- to first-party data. With a CDP, your business can bring all its data together, from sales to marketing to support, and sync that data to create tailored omnichannel experiences that drive more revenue for your business.
MarketingCloudFX is an example of a CDP, and it’s helped our clients (along with our team of experts) to generate more than $3 billion in revenue.
2. Funnel tracking and optimization
Whether you operate in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) market, linear doesn’t describe the buyer’s journey anymore.
People take multiple paths to become a client, and with marketing automation software, you can begin mapping and making sense of these journeys. With that kind of data, you can:
- Calculate a strategy’s return on investment
- Determine the most common paths to purchase
- Bring marketing and sales data together
- Prioritize and optimize conversion paths
- And more
If you haven’t invested in marketing automation software, don’t wait.
With the recent shift in online privacy, it’s becoming more important than ever for businesses to track and manage their first-party data — which marketing automation software like MarketingCloudFX helps you do — so you can continue driving revenue from the web.
3. Customer relationship management (CRM)
For businesses powered by leads, it’s inefficient for sales and marketing departments to operate separately. When your sales team doesn’t know where a lead came from — besides the web — they don’t have the means to create a relevant and personalized pitch.
That’s why customer relationship management software is another marketing automation trend. With a CRM platform, your business can sync marketing and sales data together.
Now, your sales team will know that the latest lead arrived after downloading one of your white papers and reading some of your blog posts on similar topics. The result? More sales that the marketing and sales teams can celebrate together.
The advantages of AI also extend to another digital marketing trend, chatbots. With predicted savings of more than $8 billion, chatbots promise not only better marketing but also cost savings to companies worldwide.
Why do chatbots matter to digital marketing?
As chatbots have a customer service role, it’s natural to wonder why they’re useful for digital marketing.
Like your live customer service representatives, however, chatbots occupy a client-facing role. They interact with current and potential customers, which can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
A chatbot can provide a streamlined shopping experience for users, as well as post-purchase support.
For example, if someone’s searching for a pair of shoes, your chatbot can help a user narrow their decision by shoe type and style. They can even take that shopper’s order. Later, the shopper can connect with your chatbot to check-in on the status of their order.
Your marketing team or marketing agency can also use data from your chatbot to enhance your overall marketing strategy. For example, if users have questions about your return policy or product guarantee, you can update the content or design of your website to make this information accessible.
How can your company get ahead of this digital marketing trend?
If you’re ready to adopt this online marketing trend, you have two options:
- Develop a chatbot in-house
- Create a chatbot with a chatbot builder software
- Partner with a third-party chatbot provider
Like machine learning and AI, most businesses partner with an outside provider when it comes to chatbots. Depending on your chatbot needs, your company may also find success with a chatbot builder software like Drift, Chatfuel, or Aivo.
Digital marketing trends for SEO
Search engine optimization is a constant revenue driver, but it’s also constantly changing. That’s why your company needs to take a proactive approach to your SEO strategy — like by preparing for these SEO trends:
5. Google algorithm updates
Can’t stop, won’t stop is Google’s motto when it comes to algorithm updates.
The company is constantly developing new improvements to its algorithm, some big and some small. So, why are algorithm updates an SEO trend, then?
Because Google’s adopted an increased focus on the user experience. If you want to rank well this year and next, you need to develop high-quality, user-focused content (as demonstrated by the Helpful Content Update) that answers someone’s question and provides as much value as possible.
So, set aside time this year to create brand-new, must-read content and update content you published two or more years ago.
6. Core Web Vitals
People want information faster than ever, which is why Google developed Core Web Vitals, it’s newest ranking factor. Make your site faster than the competition, and you can master this ranking factor, leading to more traffic and revenue.
Get started by comparing your site against competitors with SERP Racer. Just enter a keyword your company ranks for, and you’ll see how your page speed compares to other pages.
From here, you can view your Core Web Vitals performance data and learn how to improve your speed. Set quarterly reminders too to check your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
7. Google Business Profile updates
The next 2023 marketing trend you’ll want to focus on is optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing. Search engines pull information from GBP listings to display in local search results, so it’s important to keep your profile up to date with the latest info.
This year, level up your local search presence with Google Posts. This GBP feature allows you to share posts that display when your site appears in search results.
With Google Posts, you can give searchers extra information about your products, offers, and events.
In addition to sharing posts, you’ll want to keep your listings current with your:
- Business description
If you want to boost your local SEO performance, make GBP optimization part of your list of 2023 marketing ideas.
Pro tip: New research shows a strong link between GBP photo quantity and search performance. Businesses with more GBP photos earn more clicks, calls, and direction requests. So, consider beefing up your GBP profiles with engaging photos of your business and products.
8. Visual search
With Google Lens, as well as Pinterest Lens, visual search is an exciting online marketing trend for companies. While visual search isn’t new, advances in technology have improved its usability, plus increased its accuracy.
Now, with Google Lens and Pinterest Lens, people can use their smartphones to take a photo of something, like a pair of shoes or a piece of furniture, and find out what the item is and where they can buy it. People can also use these apps to discover a new location via landmarks.
For example, if a user uploaded a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Google Lens can determine the landmark (the Eiffel Tower) and then use that information to find where the photo was taken (Paris, France).
What businesses benefit most from visual search?
While it may seem like ecommerce stores benefit the most from visual search, other industries can take advantage of this digital marketing trend. In fact, for companies outside the ecommerce market, visual search is less saturated with competition, offering more opportunities for early adopters.
A few examples of businesses that can use visual search include:
- A hotel
- A museum
- An ecommerce store
- A bakery
- An event venue
- A garden center
- And more!
If you’re not sure about this digital marketing trend, think about how users find your company.
For example, shoppers may discover your luxury hotel while browsing Instagram for travel ideas. They come across pictures of your hotel’s stunning interior and sunny exterior, but the post doesn’t include the location. With Google Lens, they can discover the location and book a stay at your hotel.
How can your company get ahead of this digital marketing trend?
Companies that want to become an early adopter of this online marketing trend will benefit from partnering with a digital marketing agency that understands how to optimize and create content for visual search.
As visual search is a new area, it’s often a challenging task for in-house marketing teams. With the expertise of an online marketing agency, your business can maximize its investment in visual search. Plus, that agency can apply all their research on visual search into your campaign.
Digital marketing trends for PPC
Next year, your business must pay attention to these pay-per-click trends:
9. First-party data
Even though Google delayed removing third-party cookies, it’s evident third-party data is going away.
If your business wants to prepare for this shift, you need to start building a system for collecting first-party data and storing it, which you can then use in ad campaigns, email campaigns, and more.
You can get started with first-party data by auditing your existing marketing technology (or martech) stack. If you don’t have a stack established, prioritize researching the tools or platforms your business will need to build marketing campaigns powered by first-party — vs. third-party — data.
If you’re looking for a place to start your research, check out MarketingCloudFX to see what’s possible.
10. New advertising avenues
Except for name-brand companies, most businesses stick with search or display advertising campaigns, like those available through Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising. With your martech stack and first-party data, though, your business will have the chance to explore new ad formats.
A few examples include:
- Connected TV
- And more
While you should continue to invest in proven digital advertising strategies, it’s also worth setting aside some of your PPC budget for new experiments.
Get ahead and become an early adopter by trying out new campaign formats, budding strategies, and even ad platforms to drive revenue.
Digital marketing trends for content marketing
When it comes to digital marketing trends for content marketing, you’ll want to pay attention to:
11. Video marketing
As video becomes easier for businesses to create, it’s become more important to content marketing. With video, you can reach your audience through a new channel and improve communication with audience members that prefer video over text when learning, researching, or even buying.
You can also personalize video.
For example, start by using data from your multi-channel marketing to pinpoint where and when your audience is active online. Then, meet them there with custom videos and ads that guide them to the next stage of the sales funnel.
A hiking gear company, for instance, may notice an influx of questions about the best backpack to purchase for day hikes. That company can use that intel to their advantage and create an informational page and video to answer the question.
When potential customers search, “best backpack for day hiking,” that business will be more likely to appear at the top of SERPs — and ultimately, more people find and contact them.
Personalized, informative videos will boost your search rankings and provide people the information they need to purchase. So, if video isn’t part of your 2023 digital marketing strategy, it’s time to add it to your repertoire.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to repurpose your video content by sharing on social media and adding videos to email campaigns. Repurposing content allows you to get maximum value from your investment — and it saves your team time.
12. Strategic content
Everyone creates content these days, which is why it’s important to spice up your content marketing strategy.
For example, think about how to repurpose your content across channels, how to optimize your content for different audience members, and how to personalize your content with first-party data.
Digital marketing trends for web design
Where should you focus your web design efforts next year? Get ideas with these digital marketing trends:
13. User experience (UX)
On average, companies that invest in UX see a $100 return for every $1 invested. That’s impressive, and with search engines like Google focusing more on UX, it’s becoming a priority for companies to rethink their sites and their sites’ usability.
UX updates that can help your business include:
- Adopting a responsive web design so any device can access your site with ease
- Improving page speed so users can access and browse your website sooner
- Creating page designs that organize content into bite-sized chunks
In most cases, it’s difficult for companies to tackle web design projects in-house. If that’s the case for your business, think about partnering with a web design agency that also knows SEO.
This kind of partnership will ensure you make SEO-friendly design and development decisions.
14. Page speed
Besides affecting SEO trends, Core Web Vitals is also affecting web design trends. In addition to improving your site’s usability, you’ll also want to search for ways to improve your page speed.
Tools like SERP Racer and PageSpeed Insights can help you get started, but for the best results, partner with an SEO web design agency. They can help you build a fast site that tops search results.
Digital marketing trends for social media
When it comes to digital marketing trends for social media, you’ll want to focus on:
15. Short-form video
From YouTube to TikTok to Instagram, short-form video has become a top performer. That’s why businesses looking to drive more awareness, engagement, and conversion from social media should start trying out these quick clips.
Remember, too, that if you don’t succeed at first with short-form video, try again. Experiment with new topics, angles, and edits to see what engages your audience. Once you find out what your audience likes, you’ll have a formula for success.
16. Social media shopping
The next 2023 marketing prediction focuses on social media shopping. With 3.5 billion people active on social media, social platforms give you instant access to ready-to-buy shoppers.
The introduction of platforms like Facebook Marketplace for Business makes it easier than ever for people to purchase directly from social sites. Social media shopping allows you to streamline conversions and boost online sales.
Features like Facebook Page shops, Instagram’s “Shop Now” button, and Pinterest’s Buyable Pins give you numerous options to start selling directly on social.
Pro Tip: In addition to organic social posts, you can use social media ads to promote products and sell more on social channels. In 2023, it’s harder to reach users organically on social platforms, so consider custom advertisements to drive better results.
Digital marketing trends for email marketing
What digital marketing trends can your business expect for email marketing? A few, including:
17. Privacy updates
Besides social media, iOS 14 also affects email marketing. Businesses that measure open rate, for example, will start to see those numbers affected by the iOS 14 update, which can impact your A/B tests for subject lines.
18. Revamped metrics
In response to iOS 14, companies will revamp their email marketing metrics. For example, instead of focusing on open rates, consider emphasizing your conversion or assisted conversion rates for email since those conversions contribute to your marketing goals, like driving leads or revenue.
Digital marketing trends for ecommerce marketing
Ecommerce is a powerhouse channel for companies looking to drive revenue online. If you’re selling online — or thinking about it — check out these digital marketing trends for ecommerce to set your brand up for success.
19. Mobile-first indexing
The world’s biggest search engine, Google, crawls and indexes the web from a mobile perspective. That’s one reason to optimize your online store for mobile users. The other? More than 40% of online transactions happen on mobile devices.
If you have a mobile- and user-friendly website, plus a compelling product or service, you make it even easier for users to purchase from you. The same concept applies to your competitors, so don’t skip on your website’s design.
20. Ecommerce platforms
Besides selling on online marketplaces like Amazon, Facebook, and Walmart, your business can also create an online store for its website. If you’re thinking about bringing ecommerce functionality to your site, you’ll need to research ecommerce platforms.
When vetting ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, think about:
- And more
These factors will help you choose the best platform for your business.
If you’re not familiar with web development — and don’t have inside help — WebFX features an in-house team of developers, project managers, and designers that can assist. Just contact us online to learn more!
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