December 05, 2022

The state of marketing: 5 trends to expect in 2023

In marketing, it’s frighteningly easy to mingle with yesterday’s news. Once you master one realm, another space opens, and it hits you – you’re not cool anymore.

But don’t start Googling “ways to be cool in 2023” (spoiler: that’s not cool). By steadily learning and evolving, you can become successful and forward-thinking with your marketing strategy. What trends will shape the year ahead? Put down that crystal ball and read on for the five tactics making headway.

1. Podcast Prowess

If you’ve thought about it, there’s a good chance there’s a podcast about it. In 2022, 62% of Americans over the age of 12 listened to a podcast. People listen for a variety of reasons: connection, inspiration, and knowledge are major motives. As more listeners use this platform as a source of entertainment, podcasts will inevitably grow in popularity. But with over 2.5 million shows to choose from, competition is fierce.

If you’re looking to hit records in 2023, here are a few tips to succeed:

  • Be consistent: Set a schedule and stick to it. It allows your audience to know when your next episode will air and to look forward to it.
  • Build genuine connections: Don’t be afraid to get real with your followers. They’re listening to you because you have a voice and perspective no one else has. Share behind-the-scenes news and keep your personality at the forefront.
  • Focus on quality: Create captivating content to tell the stories people want to hear, inviting fascinating guests to boost your appeal—and expand your audience reach!
  • Share, share, share: Don’t let your hard work waste away in the empty void. Make sure to share your podcast across all your channels to gain maximum exposure.

2. Video Killed the Radio Star

Crafting a successful story for the digital world is multidimensional. Video is the visual tool that appeals to various ranges of attention spans while attracting audiences from around the globe. Think of video as the popular kid in high school. Everyone likes them, including digitized Regina George: the algorithm.

Video’s top status is here to stay. It accounts for 50% of time spent on Facebook, and more than 3 billion users of TikTok since 2016. YouTube, the origin story of video dominance, will have a projected 3.5 billion users watching streamed or downloaded videos at least once per month by 2023.

Tips to get cozy with the YouTube algorithm:

  • Merge quality and length: Many experts recommend creating videos that are less than 10 minutes long so viewers don’t exit from boredom. While this range can be helpful, it’s just as important to consider quality of content while catering to a specific audience. It’s easy stuff: If your video is filled with uninteresting fluff, they’ll leave. If you create content worthy of watching they’ll stay and enjoy.
  • Title it right: Understanding YouTube SEO is important when naming your video. Do keyword searches and use those words in your title and description. Additionally, be creative with the title to hook viewers in.
  • Think visually: On the internet, everyone judges a book by its cover. Your YouTube thumbnail is the first visual impression you get, so make sure it’s intriguing. Don’t be lazy and allow YouTube to create your still image for you. Customized graphics appeal to more users.

3. Local Longevity

In today’s global market, it can be easy to lose sight of your local consumers. Brands are starting to realize they can’t be all things to all people because it’s simply not sustainable or efficient to try to appeal to everyone. Instead, focus on identifying your niche and targeting your marketing efforts accordingly. What could be more important for building a connection with consumers than being authentic and demonstrating you understand and care about your community?

Tips to engage with authenticity:

  • Be conversational: Stick to a brand voice and use it to engage with your audience. Stand by your values and personalize each experience as much as possible for those who interact with your brand.
  • Stay in your lane: A whopping 90% of customers place a premium on authenticity when selecting companies they support. Don’t be where you’re not supposed to and stick to what you know. Audiences will respect you for your targeted authority.

4. One Message to Rule Them All

Integrating your marketing platforms by unifying all aspects of communications is essential for strengthening the customer journey. It gives you a complete picture of your audience’s behavior and helps you identify the best opportunities for high-quality leads.

Tips to integrate effectively:

  • Decide on a clear message: It’s easier for consumers to get on board with a brand’s message if it’s consistent and purposeful. Define what it is you are trying to achieve and create uniform messaging.
  • Align across all channels: Think of all the places you message and ensure they complement one other and lead to the same goal.
  • Track progress and adjust:  Decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) you plan to use to measure results and track them to reach your goals.

5. Workplace Winning

Creating internal messaging that aligns with your company’s values and mission will be essential to attracting and retaining top talent. By viewing your people as your brand, you can create powerful experiences and human connections that will resonate with your customers and help propel your business forward.

Tips to succeed:

  • Start inside and work out: Audit the current state of your brand image and adjust. Start from the inside by reworking internal-facing documents such as employee handbooks and company emails. Then work your way across platforms with external-facing pieces like job descriptions and digital searches.
  • Engage your employees: Send out surveys to employees and really listen to what they have to say. Ask them to be part of the narrative – amplify their successes and boost professional growth opportunities. With 40% of consumers making purchases based on word-of-mouth recommendations, employee engagement is valuable on all fronts.

Now that you’re part of the cool club, let’s recap. What’s out in 2023: ignoring these trends and sticking to what you’ve always done. What’s in: adjusting and getting ahead of the game. As we say goodbye to 2022, there’s no better time to start thinking about the future of marketing.

About the author: Ethan Whitehill, President and Chief Creative Officer at Crux, has made a career out of building agencies and growing brands. He founded the firm Two West in 1997, running it as an independent shop for nearly 20 years before combining his firm with an AdAge Top 100 Agency, where he served as CMO. As an agency founder and entrepreneur, Ethan brings a business owner’s mindset to marketing, working on a host of diverse brands, from packaged goods and professional services to hospitality and high tech.

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