The digital landscape is forever changing. We’ve witnessed the rise and fall of hyper targeting, and the not-quite-as-dead-as-people-thought death of the cookie over the past few years. We’ve also seen expectations around customer experience continue to increase, which has a significant impact on their path to purchase. 

That’s why we’ve written this quick guide on next year’s trends. Here’s what to jump on, what to be aware of, and what to avoid like it’s the ‘vid.

1. The Metaverse

The metaverse is one of the most talked-about trends in digital marketing. Is it a fad? Is it the future? Some big brands like Starbucks and Nike are doing their part to find out for us, having announced upcoming metaverse experiences in the new year. 

While there is a lot of excitement – and controversial discussions – about what the metaverse could potentially do and how it could change everything, the truth is at the moment not many businesses have a practical use case (or ROI) for its application. Not yet, anyway.

What’s next: Start experimenting with the metaverse personally, before you consider entering it from a business perspective. Look for emerging opportunities and keep a close eye on others in your industry. And if your business does enter it, make sure that you’re doing something meaningful, and providing value for the end user.

2. Artificial Intelligence

We’re already living in a world where AI powers the internet. This has been one of the biggest trends for years – and it’s not going away anytime soon. From a user perspective, algorithms determine the social media posts we engage with, the search results we see on Google, and the ads served to us across the web. 

It’s also changing life for marketers, too. Although not necessarily in the way people think. As biddable platforms become more ‘black box’ in their offerings, there’s a lot of testing and learning required to get the best result.

What’s next: Examine how AI is changing the channels your brand uses. How are the algorithms impacting your results? How does it change your delivery? Make sure you optimise your strategy based on this data.

3. Customer Experience

Another trend that has been at the forefront for the past few years is customer experience. Most algorithms optimise for this experience, making it important throughout 2023 and beyond.

It’s important to note that a good customer experience doesn’t necessarily mean a hyper-personalised one. In fact, as privacy has become more of a focus, we recommend relying less on demographics data (which can be largely incorrect), and more on what you know about their online behaviour. 

What’s next: Start optimising your content, across your website, your ads and everywhere your brand is, to meet your customers at the stage of their journey. Take advantage of your first-party data and rely less on murky third-party information. 

4. Short, Sharp Content

One of the biggest challenges for brands is how to capture a consumer’s ever-shortening attention span. Communication needs to be done in short, sharp bites to keep users engaged. Really, there’s no question why short video content like TikTok and Instagram Reels are so successful. We only have so much time, and we’re not committing to more than a few seconds. 

What’s next: Spend more time crafting simple messages. They can be in any format, but video is a key medium that won’t go away anytime soon. Keep in mind, video doesn’t have to be polished, studies show content that looks user generated is deemed more authentic, even if it's from a well-known brand.

5. Ads on SVOD

Netflix has launched its new ad-tier subscription in Australia, and other platforms including Disney+ and Binge aren’t far away from doing the same. It’s been a slow start, with Netflix recently missing their projected viewership targets and refunding some agencies the shortfall. 

Some people think this is the end of subscription-based streaming, but we disagree. This isn’t the first time advertising has come for PayTV, and if Netflix (and others like them) continue to prioritise their user experience with limited ad spots and frequency capping, and also their advertiser’s experience with transparent viewership targets, the platform will be successful in the long run.

What’s next: Read our ebook and learn more about the importance of Total TV viewership.

6. Employee Advocacy

More and more businesses are realising the power of their team. Employee advocacy is about getting everyone excited about the company, talking and sharing on personal social media accounts on behalf of the brand. It’s proven that personal profiles are more effective at reaching people in a more authentic way compared to business accounts. Think micro-influencers and social proof.

What’s next: Evaluate whether there’s an opportunity for employees to contribute to your team’s marketing and build a plan to engage them. If it’s not an option just yet, simple steps like having your email marketing sent from a real person’s address rather than a group email can put a face to the name and have a big impact.

7. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been around for years now, but it has continued to record massive growth and receives one of the highest engagement rates out of the various social media platforms. It’s expected to capture nearly 25% of US B2B ad spending by 2024.

This is a big opportunity for B2B brands, particularly those where it makes little sense to be on other platforms such as Facebook, TikTok or Instagram – yet very few businesses take advantage of the platform, or use it to its full potential.

What’s next: Incorporate LinkedIn both from an organic and paid perspective into your marketing strategy. Optimise your content, look out for new features and opportunities. 

8. Web 3.0

Some of the trends we’ve mentioned in this blog relate to Web 3.0. The next iteration of the world wide web, Web 3.0 aims to provide a more open and transparent internet, with decentralisation a key focus. At the moment a lot of Web 3.0 is conceptual, with more technological development required before it can be fully realised. But it’s certainly a trend to keep in mind, as privacy, security and machine learning are key parts of its future.

What’s next: Read up on Web 3.0 and understand the differences between it and past iterations of the web, so you’re aware of the ways your brand can take advantage of this new internet experience.

9. Solid Foundations

While it’s easy to get lost in the big ideas like the metaverse, Web 3.0 and AI, the reality is that the foundations of marketing still need to be prioritised. What good is advertising on the metaverse or selling NFTs if you don’t have a clear message or you’re not sure if your audience is even there?

What’s next: Integration is key. Understand the value and position of each of your marketing channels. You don’t have to advertise everywhere; focus on where your audience is and build out from there.