Content creator recording himself in front of a phone and ring light.
From creating video content to tapping digital creators, these trends will shape marketing strategies in 2023 and beyond. — Getty Images/ Xavier Lorenzo

The new year is almost here, which means it’s time to start looking forward to marketing trends and strategies that will help your business grow. Here are some strategies to consider embracing in 2023.

Social commerce will continue to grow

Social commerce is a segment of retail in which consumers explore products and complete transactions through social media and content creation platforms, all within an app like TikTok or Instagram. Social commerce has been popular in China and is expected to grow rapidly in the U.S., reaching nearly $80 billion, or 5% of total U.S. e-commerce by 2025, according to McKinsey projections.

What does this mean for merchants? Social commerce is more than simply offering customers a “link in bio” to access your online store. This shopping channel represents a change in when, how, and where customers are exploring and making purchase decisions. “For example, leading brands are working with platforms such as TikTok to forge new relationships with consumers, shifting from traditional advertising strategies to fun, engaging content that is less overtly promotional,” wrote McKinsey.

Social commerce requires sharpening your content strategy, working with influencers, and creating videos that encourage viewers to purchase without traditional sales techniques.

[Read more: Social Commerce and Loyalty Drive Key Marketing Trends]

Video and livestreams are crucial for engagement

In 2021, it's estimated that consumers spent around 548 billion hours streaming through mobile devices. Video-based content is one of the key drivers behind social commerce, and one of the best ways to reach consumers. From Instagram Reels to TikTok and more niche platforms like Twitch, users are spending a ton of time on channels that feature video content and livestreams. These channels can be incredibly lucrative, too: One report estimates that livestreaming could power the $78 billion creator economy through 2025.

From Instagram Reels to TikTok and more niche platforms like Twitch, users are spending a ton of time on channels that feature video content and livestreams.

The rise of digital creators

Marketing teams have been hearing for years that influencer marketing is king. This is still true, but 2023 will see the rise of a different segment: digital creators.

A digital creator or content creator is someone who literally creates something online. These people may specialize in creating videos, photos, graphics, informational resources, or blog content for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or their own personal websites. An influencer, comparatively, simply shares their life in an attempt to influence someone to buy something.

“Content creators work with the intent to create engaging content that educates and informs their audience,” wrote Sprout Social. “They have the power to grow a large audience, but it’s typically less about the creator themselves and more about the information they’re sharing.”

Many brands are turning to content creators over influencers to get high-quality content they can use in campaigns. Content creators can develop strategies and promote your brand with unique content. Creators may not have big followings, but the style of content they can generate often satisfies the need for user-generated content without the high price tag.

Embrace agile marketing and the ability to pivot

The turmoil from the past few years has taught marketing teams to embrace an agile approach to marketing and build flexibility into their marketing strategy. “Not only did over half of marketers pivot in 2021, 83% of those who pivoted changed course two to four times in one year,” reported HubSpot.

Agile methodology applied to marketing emphasizes real-time collaboration and enables marketers to respond easily to changing trends. Adopting this practice at your business means having a plan B for global events and changing trends in your industry. What will you do if there’s a recession, another supply chain delay, or a competitor launches a new product? How will you adapt your messaging to address a consumer’s evolving experience?

Changes in data and analytics

Google announced that it will be retiring Google Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. Marketing teams will have to switch to Google Analytics 4. This platform aims to collect events-based data rather than session-based data, and includes a number of updates to track the customer journey across multiple platforms.

“GA4 is also focused on customer privacy,” noted marketing expert Neil Patel. “This comes in the face of some of the latest privacy laws, such as GDPR and CCPA. With privacy-first tracking, cross-channel data measurement, and AI-driven predictive analytics, GA4 is an advanced tool that provides unparalleled insights.”

Google has also announced it will delay retiring third-party cookies until 2024, and experts note that there are plenty of opportunities to collect data elsewhere. Merchants should explore generating customer data from only surveys, SMS marketing, AI chat tools, or other first-party data sources.

[Read more: How Top Brands Are Turning SMS Text Messaging Into a Bona Fide Sales and Marketing Channel]

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