No matter what you may have heard, marketing and building a brand still follow the same basic rules, no matter what the current trends are.
Even though new technologies come out every month now, the core ideas behind marketing haven’t changed much. Despite all the consistency, the methods marketers implement in their successful strategies are evolving considerably over time.
Not too long ago, the only standard was to put ads in newspapers. Then the TV arrived, and that little black box was our main window to the world.
Now, online ads and artificial intelligence (AI) are the most important parts of how businesses market themselves today. And mind you, it only took a few decades for this to occur.
Each year brings fresh technological developments that business owners would be wise to keep an eye on. But what’s more important than jumping on every tech trend that gains traction in the marketing game is knowing which ones you should pay attention to and which ones you should leave behind.
In order for you to consider only the ones that have proven successful, we’ve created a list of the most popular tech trends you should check out.
Ranging from smarter content segmentation to AI implementation and better data utilization to immersive experiences, these are some of the tech trends you should get a glimpse of and try to incorporate into your 2023 marketing strategy.
No More Cookies?
Big data has never been as important as it is now. But due to global privacy rules, data collection methods are changing, and everyone should reconsider how they collect information.
Although Google has pledged to move away from third-party tracking cookies in their Chrome browser during the second half of 2022, this change is yet to become a reality in 2023.
Based on the data they can obtain, third-party cookies follow user activity in an effort to deliver a more customized experience. They frequently come with privacy concerns due to their nature, and if they don’t have provisions, they can be in breach of the GDPR and other privacy laws.
This is why, by 2024, you should think about collecting zero-party data from your users that they can deliberately and voluntarily share with you. How so? There are different ways, and some of the most effective are:
- Website activity
- Polls, forms or quizzes
- Customer messages
- Customer profiles
With this information, you can provide each consumer with suggestions tailored to their own needs and interests, as well as engaging experiences that are tailored to their specific demographic. It also obtains data that is directly related to conversions, and it does so very successfully. All this without breaching anyone’s privacy.
Arguments over what constitutes “king content” online will never die. Furthermore, long and short forms will perpetually compete with one another. But in reality, they are most effective when working together and not competing.
Although the preferences of your target market should always guide your decision regarding the most appropriate format for your corporation’s communications, there are several options to consider.
While it’s true that younger generations—particularly Gen Z and Gen Alpha—are more likely to seek out quick fixes in the form of short videos, we can’t ignore the Millennials and older adults who place a higher value on in-depth thought and the written word.
Both Algorithms and People Love Video
Video marketing is effective because viewers can consume short videos with minimal effort, providing potential customers with access to the information contained within them more quickly than with any other medium.
Marketing efforts are now placing a greater emphasis on video because it keeps a viewer’s attention for longer than other forms of content. TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels are some of the most popular formats for spreading brand awareness and increasing audience engagement.
But what’s most important are algorithm updates like Instagram’s latest, which give more attention to content from creators who already have a body of video work. This is shown by the fact that channels with creators’ reel videos are now more visible and brought to the front.
Users’ attention spans are getting shorter, and people are losing focus quickly, so it’s important for brands to communicate their messages in as few seconds as possible through creative short-form video content.
If you want to reach the most people possible, you should focus on producing short-form video content for those who are just scrolling to kill time while also making use of long-form content for people who want to dive in and learn more.
Long-Form Isn’t Irrelevant, But It’s More Educational
The gold standard in content marketing is long-form, insightful content that aims to help and give useful resources to users rather than sell to them.
Recent changes, such as Google’s Helpful Content Update, which came out at the end of last year, will make this trend even stronger. The most successful content will be the one that thoroughly answers people’s questions and helps them make the most appropriate choice given their situation.
Offering helpful content on topics that your audience cares about is a great way to build your brand and keep your customers coming back. Trust can be developed by showing that you’re interested in more than just making a sale.
Content like social media posts, blogs, and email blasts should have a good mix of product promotion and advice that people can use. This will also encourage people to visit your website or any other digital channel you prefer more often.
Conversational AI and Chatbots
Unless you have been “off the grid” in the last couple of months, there is almost no way you haven’t seen an article, LinkedIn post, or Facebook status discussing ChatGPT.
Whatever opinion you currently have or have come across, what is important to discuss is the practicality of a conversational AI system for small business owners.
On the one hand, there is ChatGPT, which can help even the absolute beginners in digital marketing write, or at least get a grasp on, engaging copy while focusing more on things they are better at.
On the other hand, time is money, and being available 24/7 is a nightmare for a small business owner. That is where chatbots play a crucial role. Not only do they enable business owners to focus more on growing their businesses, they also:
- Are Cost-Effective; at a fraction of the cost of human customer service representatives, chatbots can provide 24/7 support for your business’s customer base, all while enhancing their overall experience.
- Increase Lead Generation; chatbots can be used to collect customer information and provide personalized follow-up with potential customers.
- Are Accessible; Customers can easily connect with small business owners and get answers to their questions since chatbots can be integrated into a variety of platforms, including websites, messaging apps, and social media.
While on the topic of AI, another tech trend worth following is machine translation (MT).
Data published online is primarily in English, which limits its accessibility. The vast majority of people who do not speak English as their first language use an online translation tool, which often gives the wrong impression of your brand.
As a result, there will be an ever-increasing demand for content created in multiple languages. It would be an understatement to say that MT needs to be improved and designed quickly.
Because of this, machine translation post-editing (MTPE) has become very popular among digital marketers as a way to create high-quality marketing content in multiple languages by using both cutting-edge technology and the knowledge of native-speaking translators.
Even though the metaverse hasn’t lived up to all of our high hopes, this combination of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) hasn’t reached its full potential yet. There is a completely new market you can target with a cutting-edge, 3D, immersive experience that combines the virtual and real worlds.
Different industries have found ways to market and even sell their products, services, and experiences on different platforms, but video games may be the most interesting playground.
Giants like Roblox and Fortnite have introduced us to “gamevertising”: placing products into video games or simply giving a chance to players to “feel” and immerse themselves in experiences that they weren’t able to experience live.
Some of the best examples are special events like Travis Scott’s virtual Fortnite concert, part of his 2020 album’s rollout, or billboard ads in Roblox where bigger brands started promoting their products. Is it annoying to stumble upon an ad while gaming? Probably so. Is it ineffective? Definitely not.
More Push Notifications, Fewer Newsletters
Customers’ brand and product searches, as well as their online purchases, are all happening on their mobile devices.
Since there are already so many email marketing campaigns, it will be harder for your audience to connect with you in a meaningful way. That is why push notifications are becoming a top marketing technology trend today.
In 2023, it will be only natural for companies to use push notifications to grab customers’ attention. A great benefit of using them is the increase in audience engagement you’ll see as a result of their proper implementation and the use of unique and valuable messaging sent at a regular frequency.
Want to be better than the others? Put some time and thought into writing interesting copy and producing unique sounds for your push notifications.
Like “it’s time to be real!”—try creating a sense of urgency, or if that’s too far-fetched for you, aim to at least put a smile on your users’ faces when they read your messaging.
Micro Influencers, Genuineness and UGC
Celebrities weren’t the only ones who could sway people’s purchasing decisions during the pandemic; regular social media were even more influential.
Now, consumers are shifting their focus away from the “flawless” social media influencer, so those who make their living in this space must adapt.
Micro and niche influencers are respected and trusted by a large part of the target audience because of how deeply they care about the cause. Working with them expands the scope of what is possible and allows you to reach a more specific audience.
When making this kind of decision, however, it’s important to think about whether or not the influencers you choose align with the values of your brand.
A misunderstanding about how you want your collaboration to go can hurt your brand’s reputation in a big way, so it’s important to always be as clear as possible.
Another shift in marketing is the rise of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is created by actual users of your products, either in exchange for payment or simply because they are happy with the product and want to share their experience with others.
Nevertheless, their genuineness is the single most important thing they bring to the table.
The Power of Podcasts and Audio Content
Marketers will have access to a wide variety of interactive content types in 2023, not just video. Podcasts and audiobooks are good examples of audio content that could be used to attract listeners and viewers. For example, podcasts are a great way to use inbound marketing to educate and engage people.
If you’re trying to increase engagement rates among an older audience, this may help. Moreover, podcasts may be a useful marketing tool for reaching buyers if your company’s marketing funnel features an education phase designed to intrigue consumers’ interest and improve their understanding.
Moreover, podcasts can also give a sense of genuineness. Just like we connect with our favorite TV personalities, influencers, and other celebrities, we tend to trust our podcast hosts and their shopping decisions, advice, or just recommendations more.
Oftentimes, podcast creators reserve space for sponsored content. This is where the door to collaboration opens.
A podcast can be a powerful marketing tool if you offer to place your product within it in exchange for a cut of the profits made through the use of unique discount codes.
Listeners are more likely to buy from people they trust, like the podcast’s host. And once you establish a good partnership with some of the creators, you can let them convey promotional messages in their own style and sense of humor.
That’s exactly where a direct correlation lies between their authenticity and originality and the success of your marketing strategy.
While it’s true that keeping up with the latest technological trends can be great for business, it’s pretty worthless to add new tools to your repertoire if you don’t know how to use them.
Everyone is trying to adopt new strategies, but the most cutting-edge tools in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to implement them in your business.
Technology adoption is driven by business requirements and customer needs. Adopting new technology simply because it’s popular among competing businesses is rarely a good idea.
Before incorporating any of the above tech trends into your marketing strategy, you should think about these questions:
- First of all, who are your customers?
- What are you missing, and where, in your current work?
- Can you supplement your business with any of these technologies?
- Do you have the financial resources to keep these technologies running in the future?
Once you’ve answered all of these, you’ll have a clear understanding of which trend will best serve your company’s needs and convey your message to customers.
Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious. Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.