2022 is behind us, we're off to 2023! Do you know what that means?
That we've been pretending to live peacefully for ten years while the song Blurred Lines exists.
That you'll get the date wrong for a couple of months, surely, yes - everyone does that!
Most importantly, it means it's time for a fresh accounting of the marketing practices you need to adopt in order to see your visibility, likes, and revenue take off! Armed with our most powerful search engines, we've piloted a survey to reveal 8 ways to stay ahead of the digital marketing pack...
Fasten your seatbelt, it's going to shake!
Trend #1: Strategic cross-posting
"Lacrosse posting? Oh yes, my cousin was European junior champion".
No, cross-posting is not an obscure sports discipline derived from field hockey: it's the practice of posting on several social networks at once. For many, it's just copying and pasting the same post on several platforms... And that's 100% normal, designing a publication takes time!
But in 2023, cross-posting is flexible: the idea? To adapt to the purpose of each platform. Let's explain: according to a Hootsuite study, to find fun or entertaining content, people go to TikTok. To search for a brand and post photos, they go to Instagram. To feel poor and incompetent, he goes to read fake influencer turnover reports on Linkedin. Well, we invented the last one, but you get the idea: in the eyes of the public, each network has a core mission of its own... Which explains why more and more cross-posting strategies are being developed, with publications tailored to the social network.
You don't have all the knowledge of a marketing team. Nor the time span. Nor its blood caffeine level (if you do, it's a miracle you're alive). That's okay: in 2023, no pressure! Let's stick to one credo: quality over quantity. It's okay not to post all the time, just make sure you stay relevant.
Trend #2: Democratized influencer marketing
That's it! Here is finally something that will cost us LESS.
No, not the gas (sorry).
Not the ice cream either (believe us, we are as disappointed as you are).
Not even the baby butt cream you use on your face (we knew you had a beauty secret. We promise we won't say anything).
We are talking about influencer marketing, this overpowering tool to boost the visibility of your brand! More and more big brands, which were the first to use the services of influencers, have to reduce their marketing budgets... And eject the expenses they see as optional - that is, often, influencer marketing. That's okay, it's more for us, as your Aunt Martine would say, upset that you don't want to try her potato salad. Especially considering the impressive results of these campaigns, it's a big mistake: according to a study conducted by Hubspot, 33% of Generation Z consumers have already bought products thanks to influencers. That's more than with recommendations from family or friends! If they made a little effort, too. It doesn't cost anything to give advice while dancing to Harry Styles' As it Was.
Fewer requests from their - so far - main customers? Influencers' rates are going down... And becoming more accessible. While they were already not as expensive as we think: did you know that 19% of influencers work for $100 to $400, and 29% for... Samples? In the end, they're people like everyone else: a mug is enough to make them happy.
So for 2023, here's a challenge: go out and contact your first influencer. It won't cost you much, and it's likely to pay off BIG: according to the Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer campaign yields an average of $5.20 for every dollar spent. A bargain.
Trend #3: Short videos
Haven't experienced this trend? That's OK, not everyone has access to TikTok!
Or Instagram Reels.
Or Youtube Shorts.
Or modern society as a whole.
Joking aside, it's true: short videos (usually under 1 minute) have exploded in recent years... And it's not in 2023 that they will say their last word. Not because they can't talk (logical), but because this format is efficient, concise, in line with the audience's need for authenticity and immediacy.
Your audience doesn't have time to watch a video longer than a minute. They do, however, have time to spend half a day watching short videos. At the same time, they are easy to consume and even if you regret it a little bit afterwards... You always come back to them. Like chips. Everyone likes potato chips.
So for 2023, here's a great resolution: if you haven't already done so, join the one-third of marketers who have started using short-form videos. There's no shortage of topics...
🍰 Mug cake recipe, if you sell mugs;
📦 Unboxing video of your products;
💬 Question/answer about your brand;
💃 Tuto for dancing the Macarena (well OK that's just for us, because we've been messing around for 25 years).
Trend #4: Generation Z as the #1 target
Let's face it: in 2023, consumer decision-makers are part of Generation Z - a generation whose birth year is between 1996 and 2012. Yes, consumers who potentially arrived on earth after the Pogs or Crazy Frog. And that's okay: the world is evolving and thankfully so! It's thanks to evolution that we walk on our two feet, that we discovered fire or that we don't pluck our eyebrows like in the 2000s. When you put it like that, it puts it into perspective, doesn't it?
Another fact that puts it into perspective: in 2021, generation Z represented 40% of the buyers, with a purchasing power of 143 billion dollars. For the record, in euros that's a lot of money.
It's funny, you're feeling all pumped up all of a sudden! So how do you attract this target? Do you make videos where we see you frantically dabbing with a bob on your head?
No, thanks. Generation Z wants just the opposite: authenticity. They have grown up surrounded by all kinds of marketing techniques... They are no longer fooled! Fake perfection is outdated: they now value transparency, sincerity, ethical values,Sustainability and inclusiveness... For it is better to be realistic than to be illusory. And it is better to be perfectible than to be perfect.
You know what's great? Many things, yes, but especially the fact that being our partner already gives you a great head start to conquer the generation Z, especially with strong values of environmental protection (100% plastic-free shipments, most of the catalog organic and recycled, ...) as well as the worker (respect of working conditions, reasonable hours, fairer pay). You are, from the outset, at the head of a brand rich in values: what class! Don't be shy: show it.
Trend #5: The UGC
Behind this little name is User-Generated Content, in other words content generated by users. Yes, it's what you think: it's photos and videos captured by your audience that you can use for YOUR marketing, especially on your social networks... O joy: in 2023, UGC is one of the biggest trends in digital marketing. Customers who buy AND promote you, that's great, isn't it? What's missing is that they'll run you a bath with essential oils and tuck you in at night.
How do you explain the success of UGC? Very simply: this type of content fulfills two essential missions in the buying decision process... It highlights your product AND shows that it has been tested and approved by other consumers.
Now we are all, ALL sensitive to the opinions of others to shape our own behavior. Even Jean-Bryan, your self-proclaimed fringe cousin who sells bamboo keychains at markets - no matter what he says! It's a principle of psychology called social proof, it's real and it's arch-effective in marketing.
To get UGC from your customers, there are several techniques: ask them directly, create a special hashtag to find this type of content easily (like #iloveyourbrand) or fill up efficiently by encouraging them to send you some in exchange for a promo code. It's worth noting that there are also new platforms where you can contact consumers to send them your products to create UGC, which in our eyes is somewhere between sugar-free water and shoe umbrellas on the absurdity scale... Or at least very similar to influence marketing. A clever disguise, but a disguise nonetheless.
Trend #6: Social commerce
New year, new trends, but not too many either. Easy, let's not rush them! In 2023, social commerce is going to play hard to keep its hard-won place last year among the biggest digital marketing practices... A major trend, so much so that we have devoted a whole article to it.
Social commerce is always a hit, but in a slightly more nuanced way: once the craze is over, you realize that it presents some problems. A bit like your ex.
So what are these problems exactly? In general, they are related to the lack of confidence of consumers, mainly those in North America and Europe: last year, they were very shy while the Chinese public was flying the flag (with 350 billion dollars spent, to be precise). Among the concerns of Americans and Europeans, there is the fear of not being able to return a product that does not fit, the impossibility of getting a refund, or a delivery time that is too long. Basically: stores on social networks tend to look shady to them, like your ex.
So, what do we do? Do we throw in the towel? Ah, we won't be caught dead there! That's where you, as the prestigious marketing director of your business, can step in... Your mission? Reassure them as much as possible about each of their questions. "Not sure about our reputation? BAM: see this Instagram post showing off positive customer feedback"; "You're worried about not getting your money back? BAM. Here are the guarantees I can give you about that"; "Worried we're trying to scam you? BAM. Here's a detailed step-by-step tracking of your order status." Marketing is a great tool to reassure your customers: we're sure you'll know how to use it wisely.
In any case, we're not going to let social commerce get away with it, are we? That would mean losing a whole audience, and therefore a certain number of sales, and that would not be pretty!
Kind of like your... Uh, no, nothing.
Trend #7: Artificially Generated Content
That's it! It is established... Artificial intelligence is among us! We're not really in a Will Smith-like dystopian vision of AI where the ugly robots crush the human hope, nor in a dystopia of your aunt Martine where she imagines that they will replace us all and take all our jobs ("Just look at the supermarket, all those automatic cash registers"): in 2023, artificial intelligence should rather be seen as a precious assistant rather than a full substitute. We can hear you sigh from here, procrastinators... And we're really sorry. I promise, it's still a valuable tool... Especially in marketing and SEO!
ChatGPT, the AI star, proves it perfectly. Underneath its playground joke look ("What are the initials of Grandpa Turtle?"), ChatGPT hides a powerful potential. It is a conversational machine specialized in natural dialogue, which is able to produce text like no other AI before... Use it to write entire paragraphs for your blog or social media captions? That would be too easy! No, it won't be able to provide you with complete content as relevant as a human with a real brain containing marketing knowledge. Besides, Google knows how to detect texts created with AI, and that smells bad for your brand's SEO.
That said, it will be able to make your life infinitely easier by offering you all the inspiration you need, for example by asking it for blog post topics related to your niche, summarizing a text by setting a word limit, rewriting an excerpt of a text in another style or even coming up with ideas for posts on Instagram, as we did here :
We can also ask for ideas of what to eat tonight, knowing that we do not like olives or sardines. It has nothing to do with it but it can be useful.
So that's the point of AI: not to replace you, but to help you... Especially in your brainstorming. Like a super inspired colleague who wouldn't stink up the whole open-space with his tuna lunch. Pretty good, right?
Trend #8: Technical support integrated into networks
Our society revolves more and more around one notion: that of immediacy. So much so that it's sometimes hard to remember what it was like just a few years ago... A time when, to make a complaint to a brand, you had to spend 5 minutes waiting on the phone on a Trip-hop remix of Beethoven, then type 1, then type 5, to finally hear that all operators are on the line, please call back later.
Phew: now, no need for all that! Just send an email, or, as more and more consumers are doing, contact brands directly on social networks. A trend that doesn't seem to be reversing, and especially not in 2023... Logical: they are more and more numerous to make their purchases there, so it is normal to expect to be able to contact brands there, too. The figures prove it: one in five Generation Z consumers has contacted a brand on the networks during the last three months, and no less than one in four Millenials.
It's clear: the messaging services of social networks were not designed for that! But they certainly weren't made for getting ghosted by your crush either, and yet. So, if your audience seems to be showing an interest in this type of contact, we advise you to go in their direction - like a quarter of marketers who already do, according to a Hubspot study. Your big plus? As a small or medium-sized business, you have a panoramic view of your customers' experience. Like an eagle or a lego that can turn its head 360 degrees. A real class act. So whether it's email or social media, you'll be able to give them the answers they need, unlike many brands that struggle with the lack of technical support experience of their marketing staff.
In the race for visibility and sales, we will always bet on you. ALWAYS. Having talented users like you is not only a source of pride, it's a driving force... And now that you're ahead in marketing for 2023, we're convinced: the podium is yours. Go for it, champ!
Sources: Accenture, Hubspot, Hootsuite, Influence Marketing Hub