U.S. consumers keep spending despite historically high inflation, and with so many brands vying for attention in the digital space, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends to remain competitive. Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field — and new trends often emerge due to changes in consumer behavior and technology. Brands that adapt quickly to these changes are more likely to be effective in their marketing efforts.
Additionally, trends in digital marketing can help brands understand changing consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations. By keeping up with these trends, brands will stay relevant and be more competitive in their industries. They will also be able to reach their target audiences more effectively and create more engaging and personalized experiences for their customers.
Here are five digital marketing trends that brands should pay attention to in 2023:
1. Digital Video Overtakes Linear
2023 will be the year that digital video will overtake traditional TV in terms of time spent, according to Insider Intelligence. Originally predicted to happen in 2024, digital video is anticipated to represent 52.3% (three hours and 11 minutes daily) of viewing time this year, while traditional TV will represent 47.7% (two hours and 55 minutes daily). This shift also marks the first time that traditional TV has dropped below the 50% threshold.
2. Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Exceed Pay TV Households
As time spent with traditional TV decreases, so do the numbers of households with pay TV subscriptions. In 2023, according to eMarketer, non-pay-TV households will outnumber pay-TV households by about 5 million. That said, TV ad spend will continue to significantly outpace streaming video spend, with streaming spend expected to be only one-sixth that of linear TV. The reason, according to eMarketer analysts, is because “much of streaming isn’t ad-supported.”
3. Apple Expands Advertising Offerings
In 2022, Apple announced additional ad formats in iOS 16 and Apple Maps, with Apple’s ad revenue projected to reach nearly $9 billion in 2023. And eMarketer reports that Apple is expected to launch its own DSP (demand-side platform) in 2023 to take advantage of the increased usage of Apple TV. That said, with iOS 14.5’s impact on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube (which resulted in a combined loss of nearly $10 billion in ad revenue in the second half of 2021), expect regulators to take a closer look at Apple’s potentially monopolistic practices.
4. Social Ad Spending Slows, but New Entrants Gain Market Share
Social network ad spending flatlined from 2021 to 2022. After an increase of nearly 37% the year prior, from 2021 to 2022 spending increased only marginally (up 3.6%). Although expected to continue to increase steadily, this slowing of growth was the result of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5 alongside increasing consumption of CTV. However, the experience hasn’t been the same for all social media platforms. While TikTok ad revenues increased by nearly 140% in 2022, Meta was down by 3.7%. New entrants like BeReal will present a mounting challenge to legacy social platforms, as BeReal’s growth in 2022 has outpaced that of platforms like Instagram and Snapchat at the same stage in their growth.
5. Shorter Attention Spans Drive Short-Form Video and Influencer Content
According to Hubspot’s 2023 Video Marketing Playbook, 49% of video marketers claimed that live-action videos were the most likely to go viral, with 85% of marketers saying that video is an effective method to help engage audiences with a brand. More engagement means more brand loyalty, which will encourage brands to continue using this form of content to engage with both new and existing customers. The trend toward less heavily produced, single-camera, first-person ads will continue as social platforms continue to shape the expectations of younger generations.
Digital trends are shaping the way we interact with the world around us. By staying on top of digital trends, brands can improve their overall digital presence, increase their online visibility and create a stronger brand reputation. Brands can identify potential risks and challenges faster, keeping them focused on the strategies they need to develop to address them. Ultimately, paying attention to digital trends will help brands stay ahead of the competition and maintain strong and profitable businesses in the digital age.
Christena Garduno is the CEO of Media Culture, a multichannel brand response media agency that drives growth for global clients with innovative and performance-driven media campaigns. Garduno has spent her career building the company from the ground up, leading with forward-thinking vision for the agency. With her dedication to leadership and excellence, she has led the agency through expedited growth, continuing to navigate the rapidly changing industry and pilot the path to unwavering success. She is a member of the Forbes Agency Council and the recipient of an Echo Award for her work with Turbo Tax. In addition to Forbes, she has been featured in American Express Business & Insights, ValueWalk, DigiDay and The Drum.