The year 2022 ended with a bang, with new technologies like DALL-E-2 and Chat GPT-3 hitting the market and gaining tremendous traction. We also saw the continued rise of Tik Tok and the rush by other social media giants to compete with the platform. The economy started to slow down, and many pundits predicted that we would enter into a recession by 2023 and expected to get out of it by the end of Quarter 2 of 2024. The world is expected to become even more dynamic going into 2023, and here are some trends marketers and business decision-makers need to be aware of.
The rise of content creators and micro-influencers
There was a time when brands naively spent a lot of money on influencer campaigns with ‘supposed influencers’ with a considerable following. Some of these influencers had bought their followers from Bot farms and had horrible engagement rates resulting in bad marketing campaigns for the brand. Gone are those days! Brands (at least most of them) have gotten smarter and have realized that what matters more than the total followers is the type of audience and the engagement rates on the posts. This has led to a rise in micro-influencer content creators with a relatively smaller following but a quality audience in the specific niches the brand is operating in.
First Party Data, Data Privacy
In September 2021 with the iOS 14 update, Apple made a policy change making apps ask users permission to track their behaviour. This disrupted third-party tracking severely, and one of the companies affected the most by this was Facebook, now known as Meta. This also affected Facebook advertising as it caused many complications for brands and marketers targeting iPhone users. Google, too came under severe pressure following this, and they, too initially announced that it would phase out third party cookies in late 2023, which it later postponed to 2024. But this is just some extra time given to brands and marketers to create strategies to overcome this. Marketers should double down on tactics to collect first-party data going into 2023.
AI and Machine Learning
2023 will be a big year for AI and Machine learning as Chat GPT-3 and DALL-E-2’s enormous success is bringing in Billions of Dollars of funding to the field. GPT-4 is said to be released by late 2023, which will be a further game changer. AI and Machine Learning are expected to be used heavily by marketers and brands for content creation, process automation such as social media publishing, and conversational marketing.
A study by Statista shows that Podcast listeners have been increasing by around 20 million each year and could surpass 160 million by 2023. In 2023 brands should seriously consider starting podcasts to gain an edge over their competitors and subtly promote their brand and solutions. In one of his keynote speeches, Gary Vaynerchuk gives the analogy of a not-so-popular high school kid who invited all the popular kids over to his house for house parties – over time, the popularity of this kid went through the roof. When you host the house party, you get all the leverage. When you host a podcast – you get all the leverage. You could invite industry experts and celebrities to join your podcast and make your brand the go-to place for information on your industry. You could also create 10-15 short content pieces from the long-form podcast, which could be distributed on socials to gain even more reach and virality.
AR and VR experiences
Even though the progress of AR and VR technology isn’t as fast as anticipated, this is already being used by brands to give their customers a different type of experience and excite them in the process. AR, and VR technology is especially used in the fashion industry. In 2021, during the pandemic, Burberry launched the Pocket bag AR campaign, allowing customers to design and view their own 3D handbag sculptures based on Burberry’s new campaign. AR and VR can be incorporated into our marketing strategies in many ways including virtual try-ons to wearable NFTs.
Purpose Driven Marketing
Consumers are increasingly becoming more socially and environmentally conscious, and they would naturally prefer brands that align with their values. Through purpose-driven marketing, brands can showcase their values and mission and show how their products or services align with these values.
Stats show that purpose-driven marketing is resulting in
- Increased brand awareness
- Increased customer loyalty
- Better financial performance
While having more than one positive purpose can help boost brands, not conveying your purpose could negatively affect brands as consumers, employees and investors are increasingly pressurizing brands to be good social actors.
TOMS 1 for 1 model, where the company donated a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold, is an example of a purpose-driven business, but it doesn’t have to go this extreme.
Case Studies, Client Testimonials and User Generated Content
Your brand has products and services which you think are fantastic – but how can you get your customers to believe it? One way to do this is by showing how it has helped your past customers. Often customers don’t go ahead with a purchase because they fear that the said product might not deliver as promised and, therefore, would be a waste of their money. But suppose they see a case study or client testimonial showcasing and proving exactly how it has helped your past customers. In that case, this will significantly improve trust and increase their chances of purchasing your products.
Tik Tok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels
When Tik Tok launched, many skeptics of this platform thought this was a fad and a platform used by dancers! However, soon they realized that wasn’t the case – and this was indeed a platform for all. The awe-inspiring thing about Tik Tok is the power of its algorithm, which can help you find content you like (based on your past interactions on the platform). This resulted in a massive explosion of the platform. Currently, it is reported that Tik Tok has over 1 Billion users. Tik Tok has been especially popular amongst Gen Zers.
The established Social media giants raced to catch up with this to prevent their platforms from becoming irrelevant and introduced different short video formats. Instagram released Reels, and YouTube released shorts. They also needed to increase the reach for these short-form content pieces to incentivize the content creators. The short-form video trend will continue into 2023, and brands should take advantage of this.
Face for the brand
Having a human touch to your brand has become more critical than ever. We have mentioned in our previous blogs how people trust other people more than they trust brands. Even if the content is being published on the company’s socials and websites – it is still better if it is being presented by an actual human or multiple people who are part of the company. Brands that do this have a face.
The face for the brand concept helps create a better connection with your customers. The customers will perceive your brand to be more relatable and trustworthy.
Conversational Marketing using chatbots
The modern-day consumer expects a response to their queries on a brand’s platform (website, socials) within 10 minutes. How will this be possible unless you maintain a massive army of customer service executives? Even if you’re a big organization, the cost of this customer service function is going to be quite high. This is where chatbots could be used to reply to your customers’ queries instantly. Modern day chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence, which helps understand complex requests, personalize responses and improve interactions over time.
Customers hate to repeat themselves to customer service executives. But this happens all the time. Modern-day chatbots, when used correctly can manage conversations at scale and aggregate data from multiple sources of data, from calendars to knowledge bases to blog posts and videos.
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