The marketing world moves at the speed of light.
As a marketer at any experience level, keeping up with these changes isn’t always easy. But, to succeed in the fast-paced marketing world — and maintain a sense of relevance with your audience — it’s vital to stay ahead of them.
To help businesses build cutting-edge and competitive marketing strategies in 2023, the HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketing professionals — and talked to a handful of industry experts — to create this bookmarkable guide of marketing trends to watch in the next year.
When marketers collaborate with influencers and industry thought leaders in their industry, they can expand brand awareness and gain fans from the influencer’s own audience.
These influencers have found a niche in their industry, too — which is why they’ve started to play a bigger role in converting leads, connecting with audiences, and boosting brand awareness.
For example, Rosie, who’s known as The Londoner, is a popular travel and lifestyle influencer with over 330k loyal followers who interact and engage with her posts. The below image of a post on profile shows that with almost 36,000 likes, Rosie is garnering almost 11% engagement.
Although it’s tempting to only look at just follower count when determining if an influencer is right for your brand, remember that true influence lives in engagement rates (clicks, subscribes, and purchases).
Not only does it take less bandwidth to create a short-form video, but this type of format aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics. This is likely why platforms like TikTok, Reels, and — in previous years — Snapchat have gained quick growth and marketing interest.
Still not convinced that short-form videos can be effective in your marketing strategy? Check out this great example of a TikTok video from Canva that informs viewers of just how easy it is to make professional-looking graphics with the website.
Tara, design with us!✨ ##CanvaPH
It’s no coincidence that this trend is emerging at a time when many social media platforms — namely Instagram and Facebook — are expanding its e-commerce capabilities. For this reason, providing customer service on these platforms will become even more crucial.
As marketers, we must ensure that our websites and content are as discoverable as possible — especially on Google — which can provide both long-term and short-term traffic returns. And, while SEO is not new, it’s strategies are becoming even more ingrained within modern day marketing strategies.
As the interest and need for SEO strategies grow, so do all search optimization opportunities. As Google algorithms have evolved, SEO has become about much more than churning out basic posts that answer simple search queries. Now, brands are investing in SEO experts who can help them with everything from search insights reports, to multimedia optimization.
As millennials and Gen Z audiences continue to grow buying power, mobile-optimized digital experiences will be even more vital to consider as a business owner who markets to these fast-paced, highly connected generations.
Above are just some of the reasons why:
And, mobile experiences aren’t just important on brand websites, they’re also important in other key marketing strategies. For example, 56% of marketers who work with email are focused on delivering mobile email experiences to subscribers.
The trend is clear: social responsibility, ethics, and transparency matter to the modern consumer.
With all of this in mind, companies have begun to pivot social media strategies to focus more on inclusive initiatives, promotions, and offerings, while highlighting causes or missions they support. Although this might not sell products immediately, showing a sense of social responsibility is still both thoughtful and effective.
“If there can be a perfect storm of opportunity for strengthening D&I [diversity and inclusion] in organizations, I believe it is happening now.,” Gregersen says. “With the pandemic, traditional ways of doing business and of working were upended, and now, barriers to the idea of change are dissolving.”
As we inch closer to 2023, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for sales and marketing teams to work together. When these teams are aligned, marketers can get a more complete picture of their customers, including their interests, hobbies, and demographics.
One example of an experiential campaign you might have seen in the past was M&M’s Flavor Room pop-up.
The experience included orb-shaped “rooms,” which were each complete with decor and fragrances unique to a certain candy flavor. The pop-up, which was based in NYC back in 2018, also included snack and drink lounges with M&M-themed cocktails — which, I’m willing to bet, we’re great opportunities for M&M to appear on different attendees’ social pages.
Although immersive experiences like these were fun, effective, and highly shareable on social media, they ran into barriers in 2020 and 2021 as businesses, public venues, and entire countries were forced to shut down public operations in the global pandemic.
And, because producing a branded AR/VR experience is a high-budget bet that can also rely on audiences to have tools like AR/VR headsets or the latest smartphone technology to access the content — fewer small brands have invested in digital experiential marketing.
But, now, as digitally immersive platforms continue to get more accessible to larger audiences, the possibility of experiential marketing back on the table again for 2023.
In a time of digital transformation, embracing inbound marketing is an incredibly smart move.
Throughout the last two years, the world’s dealt with unprecedented change, and outbound marketing tactics have become even less effective in reaching prospects and leads.
The shift from in-person to hybrid work from home (WFH) business practices have made inbound marketing come to the forefront of effective tactics. For example, there’s been a significant rise in virtual events due to COVID-19 forcing marketers to get creative to catch the attention of customers.
Hazard adds, “As virtual events have exploded as a replacement for in-person engagement, every business has tried to roll out events, webinars, and virtual conferences. But most are just PowerPoint presentations or an executive talking with their kitchen in the background. That’s not interesting … So, the race is on in 2021 for polish and production value — graphics, directors, professional hosts, equipment, and no kitchen backdrops.”
The flywheel, on the other hand, places the customer in the center. Since word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tactics, it’s wise to not only serve your customers but also equip them to become advocates for and promoters of your brand. The flywheel illustrates this process: excellent service as its own marketing strategy.
By keeping the flywheel at the center of your marketing efforts, you’ll delight and empower your customers. It’s worthwhile to place a heavy emphasis on customer service and train your team to handle requests and issues.
This will lead to customers who can market for you — they can promote and advocate for your business via their networks both online and in-person.
We initially had high hopes for VR and AR in the marketing space. Back in 2021, 35% of marketers were leveraging AR or VR in their strategies, and of those marketers, almost half planned to increase their investment in 2022.
Generally speaking, this is a trend marketers have been slower to adopt due to pricey equipment and bulky headsets. But, as VR glasses and AR apps become more accessible, this could turn around.
This year, almost a quarter (23%) of marketers planned to leverage native ads for the first time, and we predict this number will continue to grow in 2023.
For example, Instagram is a popular social media network that routinely partners with brands for native advertising. By taking advantage of the Instagram Story or Shop features, brands are able to share posts that look similar to the average user’s followers posting style, while subtly advertising a product.
But what content strategies are brands investing in? Below are just a few trends you’ll want to follow in 2022.
“Video creates a deeper connection with your potential customer base and it is easy for brands to repurpose video content into podcasts and text-based content,” Neil Patel CMO and Co-Founder of NP Digital, says.
In the past, video creation and marketing strategies were limited due to costly resources and production. Today, it’s much more accessible. With a lower-cost barrier, video has become less intimidating to incorporate into your marketing efforts.
“Our company, Jotform, has been ramping up our video efforts on YouTube. We have over 16,000 subscribers and have seen a huge increase in site traffic and signups from investing in video on this platform,” says Aytekin Tank, Founder & CEO of Jotform.
You don’t have to hire a production team or marketing agency; all you need is a smartphone, such as an iPhone, and affordable editing software. Don’t believe us? This post highlights how our own video marketers created video content from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blogging has been a commonly used marketing strategy since brands started building their own websites. But, the age of this tactic shouldn’t be a sign that it’s out-of-date. In fact, blogging has been used for so long simply because it works. So much so, one in three marketers leverage their own blog or website
Aside from providing consumer engagement and potentially conversion, blogs also provide a major key benefit to your website or online pages: search discoverability.
Ultimately, sites with robust blogs have more search potential and can implement SEO strategies much easier than sites that don’t.
Think about it this way. If a prospective client wants to hire a virtual accountant, and your firm’s site has a blog post that highlights tax tips or strategies your accountants use, this person might find your post or website via Google search, read your post and explore your website, and then decide that they want to contact you for a consultation or accounting assistance.
If you haven’t considered a blog by this point, but are intrigued by this data, check out these resources to help you build out your own strategy:
Longer-form case studies offer prospects an incredibly deep and exclusive look into how people or brands benefit from a product, service, or strategy. While some businesses place them publicly on their web pages to persuade a potential buyer as quickly as possible. others might gate them as free PDFs that require a lead conversion to be downloaded.
If a picture paints a thousand words, infographics could paint at least double.
Infographics not only have the shareability and visual appeal of a nice photo — but they’re also packed with helpful data and informative information. This makes them incredibly engaging to web visitors and social media audiences alike.
Of the marketers who regularly use infographics in their content strategy, 56% say they are their most effective content type.
Ultimately, credible data can help marketers, bloggers, and content creators tell compelling and persuasive stories. Why else do you think we surveyed hundreds of marketing professionals to create this content?
This is why social media marketing is a popular channel that’s become a part of almost every business’s greater marketing strategy. Social media marketing allows you to authentically connect with your audience on a personal level, humanizing your brand.
Many social media platforms are vying to become the next go-to shopping destination. Instagram has Instagram Shopping; Facebook has Facebook Shops; and TikTok is testing new e-commerce and partnership features.
If this trend continues to grow, you may want consider focusing on social media for your lead generation efforts.
Brands have been trying to tap into the true power of TikTok since it first began to go viral three years ago. Now, with well-over 1 billion global users, TikTok has positioned itself as an app for a wide variety of audiences and marketers.
Managing three to five platforms is realistic. This range allows brands of all sizes to expand their reach to different audiences while also giving social media marketers a realistic list of platforms to master without stretching their bandwidth during the work week.
Here are a few questions that can help you determine how many platforms you should really be on:
By asking yourself some of the questions above, you can determine how much time your social team and brand will need to build an effective and engaging strategy on each platform, and prioritize which platforms you should really focus on.
Are you one of these marketers? If so, have you figured out how exactly you plan to improve your SEO and organic presence? When you optimize for specific types of consumer behavior, you’ll help your business become more discoverable online.
By far, one of the HubSpot Blog’s most vital tactics is our Search Insights Report. This report highlights all the keywords we would like to leverage and all the blog posts we’ll need to create or update to rank for those keywords on Google.
For example, you can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to do some quick SEO keyword research related to your business, products, or upcoming content to learn where you can boost your content with keyword-optimized titles, subheads, body text, or descriptions.
SEO doesn’t just involve changing the text on a page. It can also involve choosing and optimizing the right videos or images for a page to help it rank in Google images or search engine video carousels.
While optimizing images could involve compressing files to increase page speed and adding keyword optimized alt text to an image, video optimization strategies could involve embedding an video with a similar topic or keyword into a blog post.
Currently, 53% of marketers who leverage SEO have a strategy for optimizing videos and images. Of those marketers, 49% say image and video optimization is their most effective SEO tactic.
When sites with solid rankings begin to link to yours, Google’s crawlers note that your site might be credible and also have solid authority in your space. This can then tricker your Google ranking to go up. This, ultimately, is the goal of link-building — or getting other sites to link to yours.
Although writing highly shareable content, reaching out to share it with other websites, or ensuring that your post gets links can be time-consuming and challenging, research shows that this time and effort pays off. Of the 48% of SEO marketers that use backlinking and link building, 63% say its their brand’s most effective SEO tactic,
Instead of coming up with new ideas, marketers are going to be taking what’s worked in the past and optimizing it for the present.
In SEO, keeping your content up to date and full of rich, engaging content will outweigh older work that is lacking in keyword relevancy with old statistics and links. Not only that, but taking existing content and repurposing it for a new podcast, webinar, or blog post can be an efficient way to keep it relevant in search engines.
While one in four SEO marketers leverage historical optimization in their strategy, 29% say of those marketers say it’s an effective SEO strategy.
Back in 2021, 41% of marketers planned to increase their investments in voice search optimization in the coming year. However, it seems this trend is less of a priority for marketers these days.
Think about it: these digital assistants answer short, informational queries such as “Who is the actor in Mission: Impossible?” or, “What’s the weather in Boston today?”, but they’ve also started to process more local, conversational, and customized searches. These may sound like, “Where’s a nearby coffee shop I can work from today?”, “How late is it open?”, and “Do they serve iced coffee?”
Bots are powered by a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface. Bots are made possible by artificial intelligence which helps it understand complex requests, personalize responses, and improve interactions over time.
Bots provide the perception and dedication of a 1:1 service experience while working with hundreds of customers — something that no customer service representative or team would ever be able to do.
“Do your buyers want to use live chat? You should give it to them. They’ve had the same problem three times in the last month? You should already know, and have a plan to fix it,” Dick concludes.
In the marketing world, data is highly valuable — and not just valuable to you, as a marketer or business owner. Whether it’s an email address, credit card information, or smartphone location, consumers also view their data as precious and privileged — and it’s your responsibility to take care of it.
Whether a software company, bank, government agency, or lemonade stand, every business operates using data. It’s the lifeblood of all things marketing, sales, service, and more.
But, when precious information is misused or siphoned into the wrong hands, it leads to a strong distrust in businesses and potentially exploited consumers
GDPR is an effort by the EU to give greater control to consumers over their data. Under the GDPR, organizations must ensure that their data is collected legally and safely and that those who collect and manage said data will protect it and respect consumers’ rights.
Following the GDPR guidelines might seem like a burden, but being fined for non-compliance will feel much heavier; fines range from 10 million euros to 4% of a company’s annual global revenue.
And — GDPR isn’t the only entity enforcing privacy mandates in 2022. In fact, companies like Google and Apple are now taking stands for user data as well.
Ultimately, brands and governing bodies are increasingly aiming to give users more choice when it comes to releasing their data. And, while it is great for the consumer, businesses who leverage personal data to run campaigns will need to create alternative strategies and pivot plans incase they lose access to crucial datapoint.
You’re up to speed… for now. And, as long as you’re keeping a thumb on the pulse of marketing trends — and always remain open to change — your business won’t fall behind.
But, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of keeping up with all these insights, don’t worry. The HubSpot Blog will be publishing regular Marketing Strategy research pieces with data from hundreds of marketing professionals in the coming months and will continue to update this post as new trends emerge.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and was updated in November 2021 with updated HubSpot Blog trends data.