In the digital marketing world, change is always constant. So, it’s no surprise that 2023 is shaping up to be a year of big changes.
Do you want to know which digital marketing trends will dominate in 2023 and which you should apply to your business? In today’s episode, we keep an eye on them and see how you can use them to your advantage.
Berns San Juan: Let’s talk about digital marketing, specifically digital marketing for 2023. One of the things that I love about this industry and why I’ve been in it almost forever, it’s that change is always constant, right?
I think digital marketing is not for everyone because change is uncomfortable to some people but there are people I think either adapt well or get excited by change. And if you are the type of person that likes progress, that is always looking for progress, that is looking for a change, that is afraid of stagnation, it might be a vertical that you might find interesting because, in the digital marketing world, change is always constant. So it’s no surprise that come 2023, there are going to be a couple of changes that we need to anticipate coming for the following year.
Now, if you’re interested in wanting to know what digital marketing trends you should expect for 2023, and which ones might be applicable to your business, you’ve come to the right conversation. In today’s episode, we’ll keep an eye on some of the trends to keep an eye out for 2023 and how you can use them to your advantage.
Today, we’re going to take about 2023 and what digital marketing trends are likely to crop up for the coming year, and how they might influence your marketing efforts over the next 12 months.
Businesses and brands can’t just only need to plan for marketing, but you know, not just in the traditional sense, they also sort of have to future-proof their marketing strategies in order to be more prepared to take advantage of it. And a lot of the conversations or a lot of the topics I’m going to talk about today are not just going to be about big brands, a lot of these are applicable to SMBs. So let’s get started.
2022 Digital Marketing Trends Recap
As always, before I do a prospective, I like to do a retrospective. And so let’s do a quick recap about some of the things that we saw in 2022.
The rise of TikTok, the rise of YouTube shorts, and DIY videos. I think, by the way, DIY videos are still, by and large, an influence of the pandemic, but yet, DIY videos, right?
There are a lot of brands out there that gained a lot of momentum, a lot of traction. I’ll give you guys an example, right? There’s this very popular Filipino blog, they’re called Panlasang Pinoy and they have recipes and cooking instructions for traditional Filipino dishes. These guys already make a tremendous amount of traffic. I think last time I checked about 300,000 visitors on a monthly basis. So they’re already doing well and they did even better circuits in 2020 and 2021.
Baking instruction videos gained a lot of traction in 2021. Home workout videos got a lot of traction in 2021; the same banana is true for 2020. So short video clips and DIY videos really made a mark through 2020, 2021, and even 2022.
Now, another thing that affected, I think, digital marketing through 2022 is privacy. Right now, I know that the conversation about privacy started, I think was it 2021 when Apple launched the iPhone 12 or at least iOS 14, where the major feature was privacy. But privacy, transparency, and trust-building were all big deals in 2022.
In fact, there was a big change even before Facebook moved to Meta. There was a big Facebook algorithmic change at the start of the year that sort of forced us to have to remake all of the campaigns that we had already set up at the start of the year. So privacy, transparency, and trust building. People are becoming more mindful of their data. They’re becoming more private. They’re wanting their privacy respected more. They don’t want their data getting monetized.
I think a lot of aggregators have gotten really good at this. Some of them, in my opinion, by the way, have gotten worse, right? YouTube is an aggregator, and if I watch a National Geographic video, all of a sudden everything on my feed is a National Geographic video. And if I watch a BBC reel, all of a sudden everything is BBC for some reason, right? And that’s just too much because I’m not limited to 1, 2, or 3 programs on YouTube. But what that does show you is that personalization is becoming a trend. Your users have favorite pages that they go to. Some services, commodities, and products matter more to them than others. I will say kudos to a lot of brands.
I’ll give you guys an example. KFC, Greenwich, Jolibee, All Day, and All Home, these guys have gotten really good at personalization. I saw them revamp their e-commerce channels recently. And while I mind you asking for my address before I get to see your menu, the moment I put it in, I saw how convenient it was. There was a payoff. I immediately so got to see the menu, which branches were close to me, what was available in my area, not available in my area, how many delivery options I had.
Once I order, I have the option to repeat that order. And I’m a habit creature, I tend to order the same thing. So I love that they save my previous cart and that I’m able to buy the same stuff again over and over and over again. So this is an example of personalization where they save what my previous buying habits were and make it convenient for me to repeat a pleasant experience over and over and over again. So this is a great example of personalization.
Another one that has continued to gain momentum through 2022 is influencer marketing. Like if anything. If we had YouTube influencers and Facebook influencers 2, 3, or 4 years ago, we now have TikTok influencers, which is a new thing, right? And this sort of alludes to the rise of TikTok in the country where it just took us by storm, right? So influencer marketing continues to gain ground.
There is more social commerce going on now than there was before, historically, Facebook was just for boosting but now, I am seeing businesses, companies, SMBs, and brands, all engage their users and all attempt to convert their users from within the Facebook platform. They will attempt to convert you right within the platform without having to exit, and go to a landing page. The landing page is on Facebook, right? And so social commerce is becoming more and more and more seamless.
And then, I think marketing in the metaverse, this one you’re gonna have to put a grain of salt on, right? But all of the Metaverse tools like Facebook, the Metaverse tools like Instagram, the Metaverse tools like WhatsApp, the Metaverse tools like Messenger. I think when a lot of people use Meta, they still think of Facebook. But did you know that there are more Messenger users than there are Facebook users in the country? And so, if that’s not a channel for communicating with your customers, you might be missing out.
Marketing in the Metaverse
There has been growth in terms of marketing presence within the Metaverse. And when I say metaverse, I don’t mean the metaverse, the abstract concept. I mean metaverse is the brand, right? So these are just some things to retrospectively reflect on that we saw change in 2022.
Significant Digital Marketing Trends for 2023
Let’s talk about 2023. Okay. Earlier, I talked about privacy, transparency, and trust building. And I’ve been talking about this I think since prior to 2020 when all of this noise started about privacy, data monetization, and whatnot.
Gathering zero-party data through practices like form building
But I think in 2023, zero-party data is going to be more and more important than it ever was historically. So what do I mean by that? I mean, captive customer data. Build your own databases.
Whenever I talk to people, I always tell them I am a fan of a website because your website is an owned asset. What happens on your website is your data. Remember, it’s your domain, it’s your hosting, it’s your content, and it’s your technology. It belongs to you. Everything that happens on your website belongs to you. And so the customers that make inquiries, the leads that you acquire, the email addresses that you solicit, the phone numbers that get submitted, they belong to you? Well, no, they belong to your customers, right? But you have access to them.
You don’t have to pay a third party to acquire them, you’re not paying an aggregator to get them. This is your own captive data. And if you’re going to be serious about creating content that matters to your audiences, and that means segmenting your audiences, you cannot be marketing to strangers.
Captive data allows you to segment your audience, to such a detailed level. Your customer database is your own. You are not reliant on third parties, aggregators, or data brokers to provide you with data, right? You’re not just buying a bunch of 10,000, 20,000 random user advertiser IDs. So this is going to be a big deal. I strongly recommend that if you haven’t started building out your customer database, start building your customer database today.
Email marketing for product launches and small businesses becomes more influential.
Next, I think email marketing is, I don’t think ever went away, but there was just a time when it wasn’t posh. I think there was just a time when it wasn’t posh, but lately, I’ve been talking to customers and they’ve explored active campaigns. They’ve explored Mailchimp. Some of them are already on HubSpot. And so I think email marketing, specifically for activities like product launches or if you are a small business, these become more and more and more influential.
Now, you know, granted if you’re targeting… I would say, now millennials are very susceptible to email marketing. But if you’re targeting Gen Z, hey, maybe not. This is probably not the channel they’re on. But if you were targeting people that were born in 1983 or 1986 and earlier, then you might wanna use email marketing to drive awareness, to educate people, to drive consideration, and so on and so forth. So yes, there was a time when email marketing was not posh, but I think they are beginning to become a trend again because there are just tool providers, and software companies that are helping you automate, that are helping you simulate the care that you would have for your customers.
Real-time messaging platforms will be great for data collection.
I’m not talking about the chatbot, although chatbot falls within this category. Earlier I talked about Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber but I didn’t talk about Viber, but I am talking about it now. So, real-time messaging platforms, Facebook chat, like inside your website. Not only is this great for data collection, but it is also great for having a one-on-one conversation with your users, right? So real-time messaging platforms are going to be a big deal if you have the bandwidth.
If you haven’t tried it yet, I would strongly recommend that if you haven’t opened this channel, your customers begin to explore opening this channel even if we, by the way, have a chat box that appears on the lower right side of our page. I mean, nobody’s gonna talk to you after 6:00, or 7:00 PM because we’re B2B. But if you talk to us from 7:00 to 6:00, 7:00 to 7:00, there will be somebody that replies to you.
More than that, we’ve also started running more and more campaigns where the action we’re looking for is for the target audience, the potential customers to start a chat with the brand, right? So real-time messaging platforms may be a game changer for you. This may be a source of conversion for you. This may be a source of user acquisition for you.
User-generated content is growing
This one is more forbidden for established businesses and brands but I do think SMBs are more nimble at doing this. User-generated content. Right now, this is a really super old term and you know, in my day, user-generated content used to mean you publish a blog, a user’s comment on your blog, and then that tends to be your user-generated content.
But if you are an e-commerce website, do your users have an opportunity to publish a review about a product? Do they have an opportunity to rate a product? Do your customers have an opportunity to ask other customers what they thought about the product? These are examples of user-generated content. This one for 2023 for the Philippines, I think, is relevant.
But you know, Amazon sort of figured this out nearly a decade ago. I mean, if you wanna see what the perfect user-generated content experiences on an e-commerce website are, I would recommend you go to Amazon and then take a look. They have three ways of getting users to enrich the experience of a potential buyer on a product page, the rating of the page, the ask a question, the answer a question, right? So all of these are present inside Amazon pages.
So user-generated content is growing. SEO-wise, there is value to it when users contribute content to your page. They refresh that page which means Google gets encouraged to recrawl, rescan your page. So if this is not part of your strategy, if it’s not something that you had considered, 2023 might be the time for you to start thinking about, “Is this for you?” I will even go as far as if you’re an insurance company. The best way to get people to believe that a product or a service that a certain product is good for them is to get people like them to vouch for that product. And a lot of the insurance companies have gone e-commerce as you can actually purchase investment products, and insurance products online without ever meeting an advisor. But how do I know which one is right for me? And the people I will probably trust with that opinion are probably the people that are like me. So I would probably wanna hear from your customers.
Influencer marketing will continue to boom.
I think influencer marketing is going to continue to grow in the country. And I’ll say this for a couple of things, right? But influencer marketing is going to continue to grow. We are going to see it grow on Instagram, and on Facebook and we’re going to see it grow still on YouTube and on TikTok.
Shoppable Livestream content
Now, speaking of those, the other platform that has started gaining traction, and I talked about this I think like three years ago, ‘cuz I saw it done in China. And it blew me away live selling. I saw China start doing live selling and I thought like, “What?! That’s never gonna take off. What?” That was my literal reaction. I probably sounded exactly like that the first time I saw it. And I go like, “That’s never gonna happen. That’ll never work in the Philippines.” That was my initial thought, right?
And for those of you that don’t know, and only to those people that have no intentions of stalking me, I am in Greenhills every Saturday. And my God, the live selling there is robust. It always sounds like there’s always one of those small, up novelty stores, collector stores, toy collection shops like the ones that I go to. And they’re live selling and they’re moving inventory and it’s crazy. And so I guess what this tells us is it works. Shoppable Livestream content works.
If you are an SMB, you might wanna figure out how this is done. And the advantage is you won’t be the first. There are already some really good Filipino live sellers that do Livestream content. Learn from the best, right? And then make it your own.
Outsourcing to digital marketing agencies will be popular.
Another one I think is as digital marketing becomes more complex and you know. So I foresee, and this might be a little self-serving, but I think digital marketing agencies are going to be more vital than ever. My stand is that we are probably going to be more integral to brands. We’re probably going to be more instrumental to businesses than ever, not less.
I know that there are brands that build their own captive teams, that build their own in-house capabilities. But I think because… like take for example, for a company like True Logic, this is our lifeblood, right? We fall behind, and we die. And you know, if you are a bank, you fall behind, you’re a bank. You still have savings accounts and checking accounts, investment products and car loans, and whatnot. So this is not what you live and die by.
But for digital marketing companies, it is. We live and die by keeping up to date with Facebook algorithm changes, and Google algorithm changes, and so, we are incentivized to always keep pace. And you know, sometimes break the mold by doing experiments, by being a little risky, by taking a chance, like most on our own brands or on our own experimental websites.
Another advantage, I think, the digital marketing agency versus a captive team is there are a dozen professions that touch your website if you work with a marketing agency, right? A project manager, a Google ads manager, a graphic artist, a Facebook ads manager, an SEO specialist, a content strategist, an actual writer, and a marketing assistant, in varying volumes, right? You’re not necessarily getting one of each.
How do you build a team like that? If you are an FMCG, you’re good at moving consumer goods quickly. That’s what you’re good at. And if you are a bank, you’re good at banking. How do you spot a good project manager? How do you spot a good SEO if it landed on you? How do you spot a good social media manager if it landed on you? And so it becomes a bit tougher ‘cuz it’s not your forte.
Chatbots will be found on more websites for user experience.
The next one will be, I think I talked about engaging users like real-time messaging platforms but that also means, you know, chatbots. You know, for better or for worse, I think they’re here to stay. For better or for worse, they’re here to stay. I think when you employ a chatbot, do not delegate all of your customer experiences to your bots. I think the best way to employ a chatbot is on your off-hours or off-peak hours run them. Or on your most basic frequently asked questions, sure, run them. But always give your customers an avenue to talk to a person because we like talking to people.
For you guys that are listening to me, if you guys realize I was a bot and I was a made-up person, I’m sure you would stop downloading these podcasts, right? So nobody likes talking to bots. We never like talking to voice message machines, right? We don’t like talking to automated messages. And so what makes us assume that… well, actually, I will say maybe except Gen Z and some millennials ‘cuz I think they don’t mind. They’re so native to the internet that they don’t mind whether it’s a bot. But I would say for older people, older millennials, and Gen Xers, always provide an avenue where your customers can have human interactions.
The rise of machine translation in multilingual content marketing
And then the last one, with the rise of AI, right? And there are a lot of AI tools that are going out there. I think digital turns the world into your oyster. I think digital turns the world into your oyster. So, there is a rise in terms of how intelligent online tools and Google itself, by the way, are getting at translating multilingual content.
And by the way, it tends to be pretty spot on. When I’m on a Japanese page, I’ll be at Japan, like shout out. When I’m on a Japanese page, and I run translate and open its English version, it is very accurate. And Google translates, there’s not an engineer in the background like, “Oh, I gotta transcribe this.” No, no, no, it’s all machine-generated. And because the world is your oyster and if you want to enter a certain market, you don’t have to worry about, “Oh, but nobody in my company speaks Mandarin. Oh, how do I prepare content like that?” Start experimenting with technology, with machine translation, especially if there’s a target market where you perceive, you can create genuine value. Hello Singapore, we’re coming soon. I’m just saying.
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