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Unlocking Growth: Steve Ice's SEO and Branding Wisdom on DesignRush

For "Brand Marketing Strategy Guide (2023)" by DesignRush, Steve Ice from Binary Glyph Media contributes insights on combining data-driven analysis with authentic storytelling to captivate audiences and enhance brand engagement. This comprehensive guide explores various aspects of brand marketing, offering actionable strategies to create a compelling narrative for your brand. Explore more on DesignRush.

In "Affordable SEO Services for Small Business," also featured on DesignRush, Steve Ice shares his expertise on the crucial role of local SEO for small businesses. He advises on strategies such as detailed keyword research and optimization for mobile users, highlighting the importance of local engagement and visibility on platforms like Google My Business. Learn more about optimizing your SEO strategy on DesignRush.

digital marketing trends
Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023

Any business wanting to compete today must understand the latest digital marketing trends. Fortunately for you, a lot of companies don't want to compete.

Did you know that 29% of companies don't even have a website or a digital marketing strategy?

If you want to get ahead, you must stay current. Let's talk about the most important digital marketing trends in 2023!

Some Social Media Platforms Will Win

Some social media platforms will win in 2023 ... and some will lose.

To start with the elephant in the room, Twitter is expected to lose over 32 million users between this year and 2024. Moreover, with their recent changes to the verification standards, it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell which accounts are real and which are fake. Barring any severe changes by the new owner, this is arguably the most dramatic shift in social media for the year.

We're not suggesting that every brand should move off of Twitter. Many industries thrive on Twitter's platform, especially politics, government, and journalism. Still, even those industries feel the effects of Twitter's recent changes.

However, other rising stars are expected to continue to rise sharply during 2023. The most shining example is TikTok.

TikTok Changes

TikTok is seeing a sharp rise in influencer marketing, and businesses are rapidly starting to pivot toward TikTok to reach younger generations. Some are doubling down on their strategies, seemingly shifting away from Instagram, which has held firm for years.

That's not to suggest that we expect Instagram to lose a following like Twitter. If anything, we expect brands to pivot more toward TikTok and Instagram as Gen Z expands its buying power.

Moreover, TikTok is seeing far more business profiles, advertisements, and influencer marketing campaigns than ever. This trend is likely to continue well into the year.

If your brand, target audience, and capacities are compatible with TikTok, we highly recommend using the platform as soon as possible. While TikTok has been in the news for years as a rising star, its growth has barely slowed. It now hosts around 1.8 billion users, and it's still growing.

Don't Count Out Instagram

Just because it isn't seeing the same growth as TikTok does not mean you shouldn't get on Instagram. It is still arguably the best influencer marketing platform available, and the platform works with almost any brand. Consider getting on Instagram immediately if you can create and utilize visual imagery and video content.

While TikTok is certainly the Gen Z hub, Instagram has a broad mix of Gen Z, Millennials, and many Gen Xers. You'll almost certainly find members of your target audience on Instagram.

LinkedIn Is Still Growing

You're missing out on many potential businesses if you run a B2B company and don't use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most significant global hub for professionals, and it's only getting bigger.

It's to the point now that some companies don't even ask for resumes from job applicants but rather for their LinkedIn profiles. So, what does this mean for marketing?

LinkedIn now has over 822 million users. While we don't know how active they are, we know that business leaders are likely to spend time on the platform. Therefore, anybody looking to sell to businesses, organizations, or governments should use LinkedIn to build an organic following, position their brand as a thought leader, or direct outreach.

What About the Creator Economy?

Creators and influencers of all scales, fields, and platforms will continue to play a role in digital marketing trends. They already have the trust of their audiences, so why not benefit from it?

Moreover, don't pay too much attention to an influencer's follower count. Engagement rates are far more critical if we've learned anything by 2023. Therefore, investing in micro-influencers can be more cost-effective and profitable in the long run.

Content Marketing Will Continue to Evolve

We're specifically talking about SEO trends here, but content marketing will continue to evolve generally. Audio and video content continues to grow and expand their reach year after year. However, that's not the only change in the industry.

AI Will Continue to Expand

AI-generated content is expected to continue its sharp rise in content marketing during 2023. Experts predict that as much as 90% of online content will be AI-generated by 2025. That's a staggering change with unknown potential consequences.

However, AI content is becoming far more sophisticated. While it can't yet fully replace human-generated content entirely, it is a great starting point for writers and content creators.

Moreover, that's becoming more true for AI images, audio, and video. Don't make the mistake of assuming that AI-generated content is limited to blogs.

Also, we still don't know what the future of AI content will bring. We should expect more advancements this year and in years to come. Only time will tell!

Websites Will Continue to Evolve

This should come as no surprise. A revolutionary website from 2013 is now considered outdated. That pattern isn't going to change any time soon.

The only question is how these websites will change. In 2023, it's pretty straightforward.

First, expect more companies to adopt the "mobile-first" strategy. If you're unfamiliar, you should preferably optimize your site for mobile devices. Most web traffic comes from mobile devices, so optimizing mobile-first landing pages is among the essential digital marketing trends.

Second, you should expect dimensionality. This is a new design trend that websites continue to adopt, attempting to add a third visual dimension to their 2D website. Pursuing this yourself is entirely up to your brand's preferences, but it is worth noting!

Finally, another common trend that's gaining more traction is loading animations. You can only improve your loading time to a certain point, and you don't want it to hurt user engagement or increase your bounce rate. A new way to avoid this is by keeping your audience engaged even while a page is loading.

Website Owners Will Pursue More Interactive Content

Businesses will continue to adopt more interactive content to their website. Improving your site's engagement rates is one of the best ways to build an organic SEO strategy. More businesses are catching onto that fact.

Written content is the easiest for Google's algorithm to index, and you should still use it in your strategy. However, interactive content is a great way to stand out from competitors, build backlinks, and increase engagement. Examples include:

  • Specialized calculators (mortgage, retirement, rental properties, etc.)
  • Online quizzes
  • Surveys or polls
  • Interactive infographics
  • Online courses
  • Games
  • Image sliders or carousels

The list goes on. Again, we aren't suggesting this will (or should) replace written blog or website content. Instead, it's a great supplement or addition.

Moreover, interactive content doesn't have to stand on its own. You can use it to break up your existing content, build backlinks, or add value to your users. We recommend following this trend to build engagement and SEO value.

Long-Form Content Isn't Going Anywhere

Google's algorithm loves comprehensive long-form content. The only way to beat a website with higher domain authority than you is by offering more comprehensive content.

Let's put it this way; 1,500 words is the new 1,000 words. It's becoming the new standard. If you want to stand out, you want to exceed 2,000.

Still, you cannot sacrifice quality for word count. This will destroy user engagement and trust, hurt your backlink strategy, and prompt penalties from Google.

Avoid fluff at all costs and keep the user in mind during content creation. That much isn't going to change any time soon!

However, to make this easier for the user and improve engagement rates, we highly recommend using tables of contents with long-form content. Just because Google prefers comprehensive content doesn't mean many users want to sit and scroll endlessly. Many are looking for specific information and offering an easy way to find it will benefit them and your strategy.

Visuals Will Continue to Dominate

Websites are increasingly breaking up their written content with more visual imagery. This is a significant trend to note, as the more your content catches users' eyes, the higher your engagement rates will be.

Conversely, the longer your paragraphs are, the higher your bounce rates. There is too strong of a correlation here to ignore.

Unfortunately, this is a tricky balance to maintain, as you want to offer as many images as possible in your content, but you don't want to slow down your pages' loading speeds. Still, we recommend adding visuals to your content and breaking up your text as much as possible for the best results.

It's All About Ads

Advertisements are nobody's favorite part of their marketing strategy because they're expensive. Unfortunately, they're only becoming more expensive this year.

Last year, digital ad spending broke the $600 billion threshold for the first time, and it's expected to continue to rise through 2026 at least. We may even see an $80 billion increase this year alone.

Ads Are Becoming More Effective

While costs per click continue to rise, understanding why is essential. It's not just inflation. Targeted ads continue to improve every year.

In some respects, you would expect the opposite. As the average person sees more and more ads every day (often in four or five digits), you may assume they're losing their effects.

However, with greater targeted precision, especially from Google and Facebook, ads continue to improve. Yes, this leads to higher costs and competition, but it also leads to higher returns on your ad campaigns.

What About Metaverse Marketing?

You'll hear much about metaverse marketing in the business press and on all blogs. Is it as big as they say it is? Not quite yet, but it is undoubtedly growing.

Is it worthwhile to invest in metaverse marketing? This entirely depends on your budget, audience, and goals. While it has shown excellent results for specific companies, we wouldn't characterize it as necessary.

Even so, if you need to reach younger audiences and want to branch out and explore new options, metaverse marketing is an option to try.

Automation Is Improving

Google and Facebook ads are using better AI than ever before. This is great for finding detailed analytics and concise reporting on your ad campaigns, allowing you to make necessary adjustments over time.

It's important to note that these changes are coming rapidly, so what the near future holds is still anyone's guess.

How to Adjust Your Marketing Strategy to Fit the Times

Now that you know some of the most important digital marketing trends of the new year, let's talk about how they should apply to your business. Of course, every enterprise is different, but there are some important lessons to learn to stay ahead of the competition. Here are some tips for doing just that!

Improve Your Website

Regardless of current digital marketing trends, improving your website will always be our first tip. Your website is the home base and center of your digital marketing strategy. No other asset of yours affects every aspect of your marketing efforts like your website does.

First, your website is the home of your entire SEO strategy. All of your content, keywords, user features, and metrics rely on the quality of your website. Google uses over 200 ranking factors related to your website, so every boost to your website boosts your SEO value.

Not only that, but if you lose users on your website, you lose money on your ad campaigns, newsletters, and social campaigns. An optimized, user-friendly website is essential to compete in today's business world. There is no substitute.

Double-Down on Your Email Marketing

If anybody tells you that email marketing is dead, they did you a favor. Now you know not to listen to any other marketing advice they give you!

In all seriousness, email marketing is not just alive; it's thriving. An email has the highest ROI from any digital marketing channel, with an average of $42 for every $1 spent.

It makes sense when you think about it. Usually, people sign up for your newsletter and want to hear from you. Also, email marketing services are relatively cheap, easy to use, and easy to personalize.

Make sure you use personalization, automation, and interactive content when applicable. Also, many of the same rules for content marketing apply to email campaigns.

For example, always end with solid calls to action, use a powerful title or subject line, and keep information clear and concise. The only differences are that emails should be more customized and tailored to each recipient, and you're trying to reach existing customers instead of new ones. Beyond that, the same rules apply.

Adapt Your Ad Campaigns

We mentioned how ads continue to improve their precision and returns on investment. Do we suggest doubling or increasing your ad spending due to these improvements?

Not necessarily. Building a high-quality ad campaign to stand out would be best.

You don't necessarily need to spend more on scaling if you keep your conversion rates high. Therefore, you need a great ad followed by a great web design. Otherwise, you may lose viewers later on in your funnel.

Ideally, these ads should be eye-catching and portray your message in as few words as possible. You may need high-resolution imagery or expert graphic design for display ads. For video ads, you'll need a professional videographer or animator.

Regardless of the type of ad campaign, make sure it states the right message, engages your audience, and directs traffic to an optimized landing page.

Set Yourself Up for the Long Term

Advertising is essential for generating short-term revenue. Although increasing its efficiency, it will always be the most expensive marketing outlet.

Therefore, spending a little extra now is essential to save a lot later. What we mean is investing in organic marketing. It's only becoming more critical each year.

SEO, social media, and email campaigns are the best options. SEO can help you build brand awareness and trust among your audience. Consumers are far more likely to make conversions when they find you, not the other way around.

Moreover, it's essential to invest in marketing efforts with a "light at the end of the tunnel" where costs dramatically reduce. These modes have much broader potential audiences, higher potential conversion rates, and a much more sustainable channel in the long run. Costs greatly diminish once you get the ball rolling!

Join in on Big Data

We didn't address much about data acquisition other than in the context of ads. However, the age of big data is here to stay. You can either embrace that or fall behind.

While privacy laws are tightening worldwide, there are still plenty of opportunities for data acquisition. Third-party sellers, form building, and other strategies can help you build a strong list of potential leads for your marketing efforts.

If you have the resources available and a niche target audience, we recommend joining in on data collection among the top digital marketing trends in 2023.

Embrace Real-Time Communication

Customers want instant responses, and they've grown to expect nothing less in recent years. The rise of automated email responses, automated sales funnels, and more has made the need for instant gratification inevitable.

Therefore, we recommend using these strategies and adding a human element during business hours. Sometimes, customers want information that a chatbot can't give them. Having someone available to chat remotely on your website is an excellent solution for this issue.

Moreover, this will certainly help build a quality brand reputation. Quality customer service is something the average consumer is willing to pay more for, and having instant access to a brand representative is a great way to offer that.

Also, real-time chat can be a significant boon for data collection when implemented correctly.

Contact a Digital Marketing Agency

If you want to boost your marketing efforts, you need the help of experts who keep up with the latest trends and have the skills and experience necessary to build and implement a comprehensive strategy. For that, you'll need the help of professional digital marketing services.

Hiring an outside team offers several benefits. For one, it's much less expensive than an in-house team without sacrificing quality. The right digital marketing firm will have many dedicated marketing experts to work closely with your strategy.

From there, you can sit back and receive detailed analyses of your strategy. You'll also have expert assistance that's only a phone call or an email away if you want to make any adjustments or changes.

Call a marketing agency today and see what they can offer you!

Keep Up With the Latest Digital Marketing Trends

Now that you know some of the most prominent digital marketing trends in 2023, immediately use some of our tips and optimize your digital marketing plan for the new year. Changes and trends can help or hurt your business. It's all about whether or not you decide to keep up with them.

Stay updated with our latest tips for your business, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy!

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