A quick Google search for “2023 digital marketing trends” will show you a slew of posts and articles that parrot some combination of the following six concepts:
- Livestreaming or user-generated video
- AI-generated content
- Influencer relationships
- Something about TikTok
To be honest, I don’t agree with any of those except probably TikTok, since it will definitely be in the news throughout 2023 – whether that be for good or bad reasons. Additionally, if you think user-generated video is not already a trend, then you should not be writing on this topic. User-generated content as a trend has been on the “next year” list seemingly for a decade.
On the other hand, I have investigated all of those other concepts, and I really struggle to believe any will be adopted by the masses, at least in the business world. So, rather than create a list of what I think the world will do in terms of 2023 digital marketing trends, I have created my own list of things that I plan to implement. All of these trends have been informed by my own actions in 2022, and the things I have learned along the way. Some of these items were first-person experiences, and some were nothing more than the result of reading some inspiring posts.
Let’s start with my specialty, content marketing:
More strategic repurposing of content
I started seriously repurposing content in 2022 and, as a result, saw some really nice returns on my minimal investment. One example: I created a walkthrough video of the Mimic Social simulation for some other digital marketing professors that I collaborate with. I transcribed it, cleaned up the copy, and turned it into a blog post complete with video, images, and some basic on-page optimization. Three months later, I amassed close to 10,000 new website visitors thanks to that post via organic search.
The key to repurposing content is to go into the initial content creation step with a full repurposing strategy. Case in point: I created dozens of lecture videos between August and November for the classes I teach, but it was not until October that I realized I should be speaking more generally about the topics and not specifically about a course or assignment. And I definitely should not be including any time references. Content that you plan to repurpose needs to be evergreen and should not include any “inside knowledge” such as a reference to an upcoming quiz.
Overview videos like the one below are certainly informative, but it would take me hours of editing the transcript to get the text into a manageable, evergreen format. I would probably save time by just re-recording the lecture.
Now, I sit here with about six videos that I have selected as good repurposing candidates. A few focus on user experience, a few are about social media, and one really good one is about my personal experiences with influencer marketing.
New 2023 digital marketing trend: repurpose videos into infographics
Most of my repurposing consists of turning videos into blog posts. But now that I have some great infographic creation tools at my disposal (thanks, Visme!) I can start creating visuals to post on my surprisingly effective Pinterest account.
When it comes to repurposing a video or blog into an infographic, my goal will be to minimize text and maximize visual storytelling. This may end with me going to Fiverr instead of designing them myself, but it should be worth it in the end.
Better data visualizations
Data visualization is both common and expected these days, but those next-level visuals that move as gifs or videos are where I am headed. There are ample free data visualization tools out there that are easy to learn. For me, 2023 will be all about embedding them in the appropriate places and utilizing this technology to actually land some new business.
As content consumers, we have come to expect some basic bar charts, maybe a line graph, and even a fancy map if the situation calls for it. But now, I am moving on to the moving data. The question becomes, how can we use data to tell a story that warrants this animation without appearing frivolous or wasteful? I am still trying to answer that one, but once I do, you will see it here in all its glory.
New 2023 digital marketing trend: shareable data images
As I mentioned above, the best data visualizations are those that can be shared on social media. Unfortunately, that limits the use of trendy moving visuals unless you can create a .gif. For the visualization above, I bootstrapped a gif out of it and expected big results when I shared it to LinkedIn.
Alas, the post was average in engagement, impressions, and media views. One week later, when I shared a few images from major corporations and their own “research,” it reached thousands more people and garnered a bunch of comments.
Marketing to a global audience
Neil Patel recently published a video about the value of content in other languages and cited Mr. Beast as a major success story. I was skeptical at first, but then I read his blog post on the idea and I was sold. Most of the world does not speak English, so why are we containing ourselves to a single language? Obviously, you have to be able to communicate with these individuals, but do not underestimate the number of bilingual business professionals in the world.
Content translation can be done in a few ways. At its most simplistic level, you can use Google Translate and manually translate individual pages or articles, which will definitely have some errors and inconsistencies. But at a much more advanced level, you can use freelancers from Fiverr or any other translation service (they are getting really inexpensive) to have it done by a real person. You will need to institute some structural changes so Google properly indexes your translated content.
New 2023 digital marketing trend: translate the Freshly Digital Blog to Spanish
I have yet to create a plan for this, but I hope to translate all blog posts published in 2023 to Spanish along with the landing page. It might be easier for me to translate every page of the site and then simply add a “language” dropdown menu as Neil Patel has. For now, I am still investigating the time and money required to do this.
Do not “gate” content
I saved the most controversial trend for the end. After following a bunch of LinkedIn influencers this past year – and seeing my own gated content fail – I am going to un-gate my content.
For those who do not know, “gated content” is a valuable article or download that cannot be viewed by the public unless they share some sort of data (usually at least a name and email) to gain access. You see this most often with whitepapers and e-books. Sometimes, you even see it with company documents like financial reports or marketing kits. And if you want a corporate example, check out anything from HubSpot, like this free marketing plan template.
I published my third annual Entry Level Marketing Jobs Report in July. I built a nice, optimized landing page through Mailchimp to streamline my lead capture and nurturing. Today, I consistently still get five new email subscribers per month as a result of users downloading the report. It remains linked in the first spot on my top navigation since it still drives a lot of traffic. The report is highly designed and I spent the better part of 30 days researching, building, and publishing it.
However, for a short time in August, I re-released the report on social media and as a series of blog posts without the email wall. I added my subscription form to the articles as a sidebar rather than linking the gate (which I put back after a week). The un-gated report led to 55 new subscribers over six days, which is still more than the gated content has collected four months later.
Shameless plug: If you have read this far and have not subscribed to the Freshly Digital blog, you should!
New 2023 digital marketing trend: un-gate all content
To un-gate all content is not as simple as changing links or removing forms. Instead, it requires a combination of my other 2023 digital marketing trends. While I would love to simply post a PDF of my report, I know that will not solve my problem. My gated content is not bringing in the number of leads that I want. Rather, I need to provide the content in an interactive and educational way alongside my own data collection form. Besides, almost half of those who downloaded the report have already unsubscribed.
By sharing my most valuable content with a robust strategy, I know I can reap the benefits of a larger email list. A PDF link in my navigation gives no opportunity to subscribe, and it shows stagnant data. Next year’s jobs report will instead feature animated data visualizations, multiple forms of content, and if I’m really ambitious, be available in other languages.
Nick Mattar is the founder and CEO of Digital Detroit LLC.