How Digital Marketing is Changing for Small Businesses in 2023
To help small businesses stay ahead of the curve in digital marketing, we asked 15 industry experts, including CEOs, founders, and digital marketing executives, to share their insights on the changes they foresee in 2023. From the industry becoming easier to meeting high audience expectations, discover the top trends and strategies these professionals predict will shape the future of digital marketing for small businesses.
Digital Marketing Made Easier
It will be easier! Here’s why.
Digital marketing used to require expertise and demanded high resources, both workforce and budget. Building a website, SEO efforts to rank the page, social media marketing, and paid digital campaigns – all these topics developed rapidly.
And they still do.
The one thing that changes right now: support by tools, AI, and more native ways of producing digital content. For example, Canva makes creating appealing visuals in different formats easier than ever. TikTok and YouTube Shorts opened the video creation community for non-professionals at scale. AI-based website development and “What you see is what you get” website platforms lower the entry barrier. LinkedIn advertising opportunities are self-explanatory and allow a try-and-error approach.
Yes, there is still a need for experts in all these topics. But small businesses can start with little preparation. This allows a “fail fast, learn fast” mentality.
Digital marketing remains key in marketing.
AI’s Growing Role in Marketing
AI is changing digital marketing substantially. Google just announced at its I/O conference that they will put AI into a majority of their products, including search. It has yet to be determined how this will impact SEO, but what we do know is that AI will take up a majority of the first page on Google SERPs.
They are also bringing it to the forefront of paid media, and you will use AI to predict customer behavior and better target ads. You can even use AI to generate ads and creative. I predict AI will continue to take a larger role in digital marketing and will soon replace some aspects of digital marketing as we know it today.
Focus on Metrics, Not AI Hype
Small businesses are constantly hearing about AI in digital marketing. They don’t want to be left behind. This is all understandable. The problem is that this blind embrace of AI without focusing on KPIs and ROAS leads to a lot of waste.
Small businesses need to concentrate on metrics and deliverables. Don’t let the smoke and mirrors around AI fool you. AI is a tool, and like all tools, it should be judged by the results it produces. Don’t let the hype around AI keep you from focusing on your key metrics.
Predictive Analytics Revolutionizes Marketing
The digital marketing landscape for small businesses is evolving rapidly due to the rise of predictive analytics, helping them to compete at a level previously reserved for larger corporations with vast data sets.
Predictive analytics uses AI and ML to predict consumer behavior, preferences, and trends based on historical data. As a result, this tech is becoming more accessible, even to SMBs, revolutionizing their marketing strategies.
Before, small businesses often relied on broader, less targeted marketing campaigns because of a need for more sophisticated data analysis capabilities. Now, predictive analytics enables them to launch highly personalized marketing initiatives. This increases efficiency and ROI by focusing resources on customers most likely to convert or make repeat purchases.
This transformation creates a more level playing field in the digital marketing arena, and I predict it will continue to evolve, empowering small businesses to grow and compete effectively.
Voice Search Optimization Matters
As we enter 2023, the digital marketing landscape for small businesses is evolving at a rapid pace. One change we see is the growing importance of voice search optimization. With more people using voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa to search for products and services, small businesses need to ensure their online presence is optimized for voice search. According to a report by Juniper Research, by 2023, there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use globally.
To stay ahead of the curve, small businesses should focus on creating content that answers common voice search queries and ensures their website is optimized for featured snippets. A real-life example of this is how local businesses are optimizing for voice search queries such as “near me” or “what’s open now” to increase their visibility to potential customers.
Influencer Marketing and Structured Data
In 2023, digital marketing for small businesses is changing. TikTok and Instagram are becoming increasingly relevant, making influencer marketing a trending technique. It helps reach new audiences, enhance brand advocacy, and boost sales conversions.
Additionally, the right structured data for local business websites is crucial. For example, Google’s focus on entity optimization and card-based SERPs requires the correct structured data for improved visibility. These changes reflect the dynamic nature of digital marketing, urging small businesses to adapt to emerging trends and technologies for effective audience engagement.
Investing in Short-Form Video Content
One of the most vital parts of any digital marketing strategy is content creation. Content is what informs, persuades, and builds an online presence, and over the past few years, the content that audiences are interested in has changed. Due to the rise in social media and digital content, audiences’ attention spans and expectations have transformed, and they now require quick, snappy, and to-the-point content.
Short-form video is a more specific example of this and is a key strategy that many small businesses should look at investing in through 2023 and the future. These short, more direct videos are memorable, engaging, and most importantly, hold the attention of today’s generation. Short-form content can also be designed through the means of infographics, low-word count articles, interactive media, and pop-ups.
Engaging Audiences With Video Marketing
In 2023, small businesses will increasingly rely on video marketing as a powerful tool for engaging audiences and conveying information. Video content is more engaging and memorable than other forms of content and can be easily shared across social media platforms. Short-form video content will continue to grow in popularity, driven by platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Small businesses can leverage video content to showcase products or services, tell their brand story, and provide valuable information to their target audience. Incorporating video marketing into their digital marketing strategy can increase engagement, reach new audiences, and ultimately drive more business.
Embrace Hyper-Personalization in Marketing
In 2023, the digital marketing landscape for small businesses is undergoing a significant shift towards hyper-personalization, powered by advances in data analytics. These tools, once exclusive to larger corporations, are now accessible to smaller businesses, enabling them to tailor their communication, product recommendations, and customer experience in a more individualized manner.
This shift offers the potential for increased customer engagement and higher conversion rates. However, it also presents challenges to managing large data volumes, navigating intricate data privacy regulations, and maintaining a balance between personalization and privacy.
To successfully harness the benefits of this trend, small businesses must invest in continual learning, adapt to evolving technology, commit to ethical data practices, and find the right equilibrium between personalized and mass marketing strategies. This is even more relevant with the advent of AI-powered marketing tools.
Meeting High Audience Expectations
With the intense development and implementation of AI tools in content creation and marketing, audiences and customers have become considerably more skeptical and attentive to promotional content. Consequently, expectations toward content have increased, and marketers face the challenge of producing unique, yet not high-cost, content because of difficult financial times.