7 Digital Trends for Small Businesses to Watch in 2023

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In the ever-changing digital world, it's essential for small businesses to keep up with the latest trends in order to stay ahead of the competition. We are thrilled to share the 7 trends that are capturing our attention and how you can start implementing them as the new year rolls in.

Here is a sneak peek of the top 7 digital marketing trends for small businesses to watch in 2023. Keep reading to learn more!

Email Marketing

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Email marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. It helps build brand recognition and loyalty with your customers, while also being a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. In your email marketing campaigns, you can highlight your businesses’ social responsibility initiatives, demonstrate industry expertise, and express care for your customers – all of which can help you connect with your customers on a deeper level.

Part of what makes email marketing powerful is that it’s an invaluable data source. The email marketing software you choose will enable you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, so you can learn what works and what doesn't and improve your strategy accordingly.

User-Generated Content

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User-generated content (UGC) is a form of content created by your customers rather than your business. Utilizing user-generated content is a great way to build relationships with your customers and helps build brand trust. This Stackla study found that "79 percent of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.”

User-generated content can take many forms, such as videos, photos, reviews, comments, blog posts, and social media posts. USG can be repurposed and shared across multiple channels, providing valuable exposure for your business. Utilizing USG is inherently collaborative and is an effective and dynamic way to bring your customer’s voices and experiences into your marketing efforts.

Interactive Content

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Let’s face it, we’re all looking for ways to stand out in a sea of digital marketing content. Creating content that entices your customers to engage with your business, is a fantastic way to do just that. Part of what makes interactive content so effective is creating an opportunity for two-way communication with your customer. Instead of your businesses talking "at" your customer, you are able to speak with your customer. It’s an invitational approach to hearing your customers’ questions, feedback, and ideas and empowers them to be part of the conversation.

Interactive content also increases opportunities to gather data about your customer’s preferences, which are invaluable when planning marketing/promotional strategies moving forward!

There are many creative ways to use interactive content to engage your customers. TikTok can be an effective tool. But, if TikTok feels overwhelming to you (and you wouldn’t be the only one for whom this is true), there are many other avenues that you can explore. Social media posts, contests, quizzes, polls, and interactive infographics are all generative ways to interact with your customers. You may also consider offering downloadable resources like eBooks or whitepapers that require the user to submit their name and email address.

Experimentation is queen! Don’t be afraid to pick an example from the list and give it a try!

A Conversational Approach

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If you want your digital marketing strategy to make an impact in 2023, adopt a conversational tone and voice in your messaging. Why? Well, conversational messaging creates an inviting experience for your customer. If your tone is too formal, your customers might find your messaging boring, uninviting and alienating. You might even consider bringing humor into your messaging.

Here’s the good news:

  1. You don’t have to sacrifice professionalism for relatability.
  2. You are already the expert in what will most resonate with your audience.
  3. Your brand has a unique personality that helps you stand out from the competition.

Now is the time to bring your personality to life in your messaging. Doing so will invite an opportunity to better connect and relate with your audience. So, go ahead and have a conversation with your customers - they’re waiting for your invitation.

Brand Marketing

Brand marketing is a type of marketing that emphasizes your brand as a whole instead of focusing attention on a particular product or service you offer. Airbnb has transformed its marketing strategy over the past couple of years by primarily focusing on brand marketing. This has enabled them to tap into a powerful emotional connection with their customers.

Brand marketing is not just for big businesses. It allows you to promote your brand holistically and can help you connect with your target audience and make sure that your brand leaves a lasting impression. Brand marketing goes beyond marketing a particular service or product. It is about creating a recognizable identity and a story that people can identify with, relate to, and want to be a part of. As more and more people become familiar with your brand, they are more likely to use your service when they need it and recommend it to others.

Data Collection

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Data is power. Collecting data and analyzing it can transform your guesswork and hunches into practical knowledge that will enable you to optimize your digital marketing efforts and deliver greater revenue for your business. Digital marketing is not a “set it and forget it” type of practice. We experiment, we collect data from those experiments, we analyze that data, we optimize our efforts and repeat. Throughout this post, we have written about the importance of experimentation with different digital marketing tactics. Capturing data from these experiments makes it possible to make sound data-driven decisions moving forward.

Google Analytics is a powerful data collection tool that can help you track your website traffic and understand your customer base. A friendly reminder that in July 2023, Google Analytics Universal will be updated to Google Analytics 4. To keep collecting Google Analytics data, your Google Analytics account will need to be updated.

Consumer Privacy

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The demand for increased user privacy has been rising in recent years, as people have become more aware of how much of their data is being tracked and used. As a result, search engines like Firefox and Safari have already phased out 3rd party cookies, and Google Chrome has announced that they plan to do the same. This change will significantly impact digital marketing, as 3rd party cookies have long been used to track user behavior and target ads. While it is still unclear how exactly this transition will play out, the digital marketing landscape is always shifting, and this change marks an exciting time for innovation.

The How Matters

How you implement these trends is just as important as what you choose to implement. The exciting news is that these trends reinforce one another. Go ahead and highlight that fabulous user-generated content in your next email marketing campaign. Bring a conversational tone to your interactive content and brand marketing campaign. Don’t be afraid to repurpose content on different channels – it’s good for your budget and demonstrates brand alignment across your channels.

Digital marketing is a powerful tool for reaching customers and increasing revenue. How we reach and relate to customers and what we do with that information are hugely important. Ensuring that our marketing strategies are inclusive, that our data collection practices are transparent, and that we listen, respond, and innovate to meet consumer privacy concerns and demands is our responsibility as digital marketers.

Let’s Work Together

Want to leverage these trends to increase your reach and revenue in the new year? Let’s connect!