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Better Marketing In 2024 – 11 Trends and Predictions to Grow your Business Online

By Evan Bryce 13 January, 2023, 18 mins read

(Last updated March 2024)

And just like that, 2023 is already in the rearview mirror. Take a deep breath – it was a wild ride.

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But before we jump into what’s on the horizon, let’s take stock.

What did 2023 teach us?

For starters, it showed us the power of authentic and honest digital marketing. We saw more momentum for online shopping and massive changes in consumer behaviour and preferences, from the way people shop to the ways they want brands to interact with them.

2023 also showed us that consumers are more loyal than ever before – but they’re also quicker to leave a brand if they don’t feel respected or heard. It was no longer just about the product or service, it became about the connection — companies had to focus on building relationships based on trust, transparency, and authenticity. With so much choice and competition, communicating strong brand values became a non-negotiable – 82% of shoppers now want a brand’s values to align with their own

But it’s now 2023 and the marketing landscape has shifted yet again (it doesn’t take long, does it?

Why should we care?

The real-time, unstructured nature of BeReal caused a buzz; all eyes were on TikTok, forcing YouTube (Shorts) and Instagram (Reels) to respond; and Zoom – the once new-normal for business meetings – was all but forgotten as we got back to a pre-pandemic way of life.

Because as marketers, we need to stay ahead of the curve – we need to always be thinking about what’s next. What will make a mark? What deserves our attention, not to mention our time and money? Which platforms are unicorns, and which are fads?

Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or someone who just wants to keep your finger on the eCommerce pulse, here are some of the key trends and predictions you should be aware of when thinking about the business and marketing landscape:

Let’s dive into the 11 Golden Rules For Successful Marketing in 2023

  1. Don’t Sleep on AI
  2. Jump On TikTok, Or Get Left Behind
  3. Engage With Your Audience To Become Memorable
  4. Harness The Trust-Building Potential of Organic Content… Because It’s Back In Full Swing
  5. Despite New Platform Hype, Don’t Ignore Meta
  6. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In Google
  7. Be Raw, Authentic & Vulnerable
  8. Invest In Personal Brands
  9. Get Ready For An Ecommerce Resurgence
  10. Don’t Predict The Future, Follow Your Audience Instead
  11. Delegate 80% Of Your Business So You Can Focus On The Most Important 20%

1. Don’t Sleep On AI

Rule #1 Don't sleep on AI

Make no mistake, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about to unlock a whole new level of creativity at a scale never seen before. AI-driven automation is poised to become the norm for almost every area of marketing, from customer segmentation to personalisation, copywriting and ad creation.

Will AI replace copywriters, designers and strategists? No.

Will it help the very best creative experts create faster, more personalised content that entices action. You better believe it.

There’s no shortage of AI content-writing machines – ChatGPT, Jasper, Copysmith, and Anyword, to name a few. Even Canva’s new AI-powered tools offer customised writing and designs based on your input. And these platforms existence is far from secret. Stubborn copywriters will shy away from them and continue writing content, but that’s not the way forward.

It’s time to embrace AI as a tool for streamlining processes, creating personalised content fast – even launching entire campaigns in minutes. It’s no longer a matter of if it will happen, but when – so start getting familiar with this tech now.

It makes the best copywriters, like those at Megaphone, even more valuable – because AI is only as good as the creative experts driving it.

Design platforms like DALL·E 2.0 are already making it possible to generate creative visuals from text inputs, and soon – AI will be used in video marketing too.

Will this mean the end of human-crafted videos? We don’t think so – the human understanding of marketing psychology, emotion and mise en scene will always be needed. But AI has the power to make the process much faster, smoother and more affordable for companies of all sizes.

The key is to understand how AI fits into the creative process and use it wisely. You don’t have to throw out old-school ideas to make room for AI – it can help give those ideas a new lease on life.

The rise of AI means marketing is going to become more about ideas and less about the execution of those ideas.

Want to know how to leverage AI to make your brand’s marketing more efficient? Book a free chat with our digital strategist team.

2. Jump On TikTok, Or Get Left Behind

Rule #2 Jump On TikTok, Or Get Left Behind

TikTok isn’t just a fad – it’s here to stay. It has more than one billion active monthly users. Roughly 90% of us access TikTok every day. And the average watch time? Over 1.5 hours.

If you weren’t already convinced of TikTok’s power, now you should be.

By 2023, we predict that this platform will become a major marketing channel for almost every brand – from B2B to B2C. Even if your target market isn’t Gen Z or Millennials, there’s potential in using the platform as an influencer outreach tool and establishing yourself as an industry leader.

TikTok’s interactive video format makes it perfect for building a community, telling stories and engaging with customers in new ways. The most engaging TikTok content is raw, unfiltered and authentic — playing into a much boarder macro trend: customers crave authenticity and transparency more than ever.

The key is to understand your customers’ wants, needs and interests – then tailor your content accordingly. Think about how you can use the platform to add value to their lives, not just sell products or services.

But this isn’t a big revelation, is it?

Something that is definitely taking people — businesses, mostly — by surprise is the power of TikTok as a lead generation platform. The platform’s Ads Manager and Brand Takeovers options offer marketers a whole new level of targeting capabilities to reach the right customers. Unlike some other platforms, TikTok doesn’t just rely on demographics – it also uses data from users’ behaviour patterns and interests. It’s another world of opportunity. Are you ready to seize it?

Remember: TikTok is Gen Z’s preferred search engine (over Google)

Did you know that 40% of Gen Zers prefer using TikTok to Google as their search engine? It’s true – and it’s a sign of how much power this platform has.

What does this mean for marketers and brands? It means that if you simply want to be found by your target market, you need to make the most of TikTok and its various tools. There’s no way around it.

It also means that there’s a huge opportunity to use it to create content that answers questions and solves customers’ problems. If you do this, you’ll be rewarded – because people love helpful content. It’s the kind of content that keeps users coming back for more.

Be ready: TikTok’s UGC creatives will also become vital for Meta success

Gone are the days of expensive, high-gloss, professional-looking campaigns raking in sales. People now expect to see real, relatable people in ads – and there’s no better way to reach them than through user-generated content (UGC).

We predict that in 2023, unfiltered UGC creatives will become one of the key components of marketing across all platforms — not just TikTok. The trustworthy style of UGC is already a high-converting style on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Shorts, and more – and that’s poised to continue.

But it goes beyond aesthetics. UGC ensures that you don’t get caught up in the algorithms, giving your content an edge over competitors who are only using stock images or ad creatives. This means you can make the most of every piece of content – from sponsored posts to stories – without breaking the bank.

Food for thought: People always use the phrase “stop the scroll” – this implies that you need to stand out, often with eye-catching visuals and videos. But UGC creatives do the opposite — they help you blend in, by speaking to consumers in their language and showing off what everyday people look like using your product or service. When someone notices an ad, they run for the hills. In 2023, is the key to “stopping the scroll” blending in rather than standing out?

Have you heard of trendfm? If not, it’s Australia’s first organic+ads TikTok content service – and a big reason why Megaphone won 2023’s Global Content Marketing Agency of the Year. As a Megaphone reader, you can chat for free with a TikTok expert to get more account followers now.

3. Engage With Your Audience To Become Memorable

Rule #3 Engage With Your Audience To Become Memorable

There is a lot of content out there – and a truckload of competitors too.

So how will you win? By standing out.

And how will you stand out? Not with the loudest ads or the most ridiculous sales. By embracing that age-old reality TV cliché: finding that genuine connection with your audience.

It sounds cheesy, but it’s what the public craves. If you can go above and beyond in customer service and create conversations with your customers that are more than basic marketing speak, you’ll be remembered.

And if you do it right, you won’t just be remembered – you’ll become part of the conversation. People will start talking about your brand and bringing up your products in their day-to-day lives.

Remove the vanity from “following” and “followers”. If you can turn it into a relationship, it’ll do much more for your brand in terms of customer loyalty and sales.

Let’s get more specific. How do we actually get to that stage?

  • Respond to all comments, questions and enquiries — even those that are negative. Show people you care about their opinion and thank them for providing feedback.
  • Follow up on conversations to show you’re there to help and listen.
  • And if it’s appropriate, comment on other posts from users in your industry or target demographic – this will help build relationships with potential customers or fans.

4. Harness The Trust-Building Potential of Organic Content… Because It’s Back In Full Swing

Rule #4 Harness The Trust-Building Potential of Organic Content... Because It's Back In Full Swing

Relying on paid ads to keep the ship afloat won’t cut it in 2023. Paid ads are just a piece of the puzzle – you need to have a well-rounded strategy that includes organic content as well.

Showcase your brand’s personality with organic posts and stories, so customers can get a glimpse behind the scenes. Lift up the curtain on your company’s culture and values and let people in.

“Day in the life” and “behind the scenes” video add faces to companies. They know that the people behind the brand are real, and it helps build trust.

Organic content can also help you test out trends and ideas before investing in costly campaigns – so don’t underestimate its potential!

This means investing in online platforms like Instagram (Feed and Reels), YouTube (including YouTube Shorts), Twitter, TikTok, BeReal and many more.

If you want to stay ahead in 2023, organic content should be at the core of your content strategy.

From step-by-step tutorials to meet-the-team videos, and posts about the latest trends in your industry, there are so many ways to show off your brand with organic content.

Did you know: Live videos saw higher engagement rates in 2023. 80% of audiences would rather watch a live stream than read a blog post — and there’s no reason why audiences won’t continue craving the raw, unfiltered, unscripted content in 2023.

5. Despite New Platform Hype, Don’t Ignore Meta (Facebook + Instagram)

Rule #5 Despite New Platform Hype, Don't Ignore Meta (Facebook + Instagram)

TikTok, BeReal, WeAre8 (hadn’t heard of that one yet, had you?), and other new platforms may be fun to explore and experiment with — but don’t forget about the big players under the Meta umbrella: Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is still the go-to platform for businesses of all sizes. And when it comes to reach, no other platform can touch it.

But that doesn’t mean you should ignore everything else.

In 2023, more touchpoints are needed. That means your prospective customers need to see your brand and your product in multiple places — from search engine results to YouTube videos, to ads on TikTok and organic Instagram Reels.

If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to reach out to one of the Megaphone Digital Strategists. The team has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Meta ads for thousands of clients, growing 20+ brands to $10 million in annual revenue – and they’re confident that Instagram and Facebook will remain powerhouse platforms when it comes to 2023 marketing.

So while new platforms can be fun, don’t forget the tried-and-tested tools of the trade. The bigger picture is that your content should be available and visible in multiple places, no matter where your customers are looking.

Did you know that Megaphone is an official Meta partner? That means we get access to the lastest platform updates and innovations. Want to learn more about what’s on the horizon for Meta? Then chat to one of our Strategists (for free).

6. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In Google

Rule #6 Don't Put All Your Eggs In Google

Don’t get us wrong, Google is one of the most powerful advertising platforms out there. In 2023, hundreds of our clients achieved record-breaking results – and we were named a Top 3% Google Premier Partner as a result.

But as 2023 rolls around, don’t forget to diversify your channels. That means looking at Bing as a serious advertising tactic. While it’s nowhere near as popular as Google, Bing still gets more than 1 billion monthly visits – that’s over a billion chances to spotlight your brand and tap into the army of Google naysayers

Plus, Microsoft is said to be partnering with ChatGPT – a move set to threaten Google Ads and force the Silicon Valley behemoth to evolve.

But nobody’s saying you have to choose. Make the most of both search platforms with a unified campaign strategy, testing each platform to see which works best for your goal.

A tactic you can implement today:

When advertising on platforms like Google, you’re usually doing so with a Pay-Per-Click framework. That means even if someone with zero interest in buying clicks on your ad, you’re still paying for the attention.

That’s where “Exclusion Landing Pages” can come in handy — a surefire way to improve lead quality and get better bang for your buck.

It works like this:

  1. Create an “exclusion” landing page – one where you will be taking all these bots, competitors, and people who you don’t want to show your ads.
  2. Create “fraud protection rules”, e.g. if someone clicks on our ad more than once in the last 30 minutes, redirect to the exclusion page.
  3. Add “Google Tag Manager” to that exclusion page
  4. Create an exclusion remarketing list in Google ads.
  5. Exclude that audience from all campaigns, so they can’t see the ads.

If that sounds like jibberish or you want to learn more about how you can implement this today, we’re always happy to chat.

7. Be Raw, Authentic & Vulnerable

Rule #7 Be Raw, Authentic & Vulnerable

Think about it: you know you’re getting targeted with ads. You know that brands are using your data. You know companies are usually trying to sell you something. It was just one of many things we learned in 2023.

And your customers know exactly the same thing.

That’s why in 2023, more companies are shifting away from generic ads and instead making their content as raw, authentic and vulnerable as possible.

It means talking about things like failure, mistakes, challenges you faced — spaced between a few wins and successes — without being over-the-top salesy or trying to hide anything.

Your customers will appreciate it. They know you’ve got something to sell, but your vulnerability shows that not only do you understand how they feel, but that you care about them as individuals and not just targets for conversions.

So be vulnerable in your 2023 marketing — authenticity is always a win.

Being raw, authentic and vulnerable can help humanize your brand, create a sense of trust in your customers and increase the chances they’ll develop a connection with you.

What does this look like in terms of platforms? We predict that brands will start to prioritise LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok in particular to share their behind-the-scenes stories.

But no matter which platforms you choose, remember that authenticity is key — be real, be raw and build trust with your customers. That way, when you do ask for the sale, they’ll be more likely to say yes because you’ve built rapport.

Thinking of LinkedIn for B2B marketing? LinkedIn has dropped a new outreach product, Sales Navigator, which makes it easier to find and connect with the right people. It’s worth looking into for 2023 if you’re serious about getting more leads (looking at you, service businesses…).

8. Invest In Personal Brands

Rule #8 Invest In Personal Brands

This one comes down to one thing: trust.

Would you trust a logo or a face more? We’d wager the latter.

That’s why we think investing in personal brands will be one of the biggest marketing trends of 2023.

Founders, employees and spokespeople who are already aligned with your values can become powerful influencers in their own right — but only if you give them the platform to succeed.

This means investing time and money into personal brand building.

What does a ‘personal brand’ actually mean though?

It’s not a logo. It’s not a colour palette.

It’s the story behind the person: their values, opinions and successes. It’s showcasing them as the expert in your field. Take our CEO, Lauren Oakes, for example.

If you’re a business wanting to grow, you could get to know Megaphone through our blogs and posts, but you’d get to know us better (and trust us more) by seeing Lauren – a face of the brand – speak at events, share value on her TikTok profile, or share vulnerable insights on a fun talk show video.

Personal brands can be incredibly powerful when done right — so don’t forget to invest in them this year. It’ll pay dividends if you do it correctly.

When you think Tesla, you think Elon Musk. When you think Apple, you think Steve Jobs or Tim Cook.

In 2023, people won’t just know your brand – they’ll know the faces behind it.

9. Get Ready For An Ecommerce Resurgence

Rule #9 Get Ready For An Ecommerce Resurgence

After an explosive two years of pandemic-initiated growth, eCommerce and online shopping stabilised a little in 2023. Brick-and-mortar stores began to reopen, and many customers slowly but surely returned in droves – if, for nothing else, the novelty of it all.

2023 will be all about eCommerce, again – but this time for sustainable growth.

Online retail isn’t going away – it’s here to stay and it’s only getting bigger. To keep up with the competition, brands need to make sure their online presence is clean, convenient and customer-friendly.

Think back to the most recent Christmas and Boxing Day period – shopping centres were packed, weren’t they? Consumers are tired of long lines, limited stock and inconvenient locations (not to mention battling for parking spots) – they want convenience and ease. We can thank Amazon for 24-hour delivery (another platform poised to surge in 2023).

We believe that eCommerce will be the major focus for brands in 2023, with a concerted effort to make online experiences as simple, secure and efficient as possible.

So, think about how you can improve your website’s navigation (implement CRO tactics) and checkout process. Invest in mobile optimization and make sure your customer service team is ready. Get your SMS marketing strategy ready (Yotpo* is a great tool for this) and make A-grade customer service a non-negotiable (Gorgias*, a customer support platform, can help here)

It’s time to get ready for an eCommerce resurgence. Are you ready?

*(Megaphone is an official partner of Yotpo, Gorgias, TikTok, Meta, Google, Shopify and more – contact us if you’d like assistance getting set up.)

10. Don’t Predict The Future, Follow Your Audience Instead.

Rule #10 Don’t Predict The Future, Follow Your Audience Instead.

We know how this one sounds.

Ironic. A little contradictory.

But bear with us.

Don’t ignore all of the trends, predictions, and technologies out there — but don’t become so obsessed with predicting the future that you forget why your customers are here in the first place.

Your connection to your audience is more important than ever this year. No matter what else is going on in the world, make sure you’re always connecting with them at a deeper level.

Ask for feedback, ask what they’d like to see from you (whether that be new products, new services, different content, special bundles, whatever) and engage in relevant conversations.

2023 is about listening just as much as it is about predicting — so make sure you’re giving your customers a platform to speak up, no matter how big or small their opinion.

How can you get customer feedback?

  • Send post-purchase surveys – with or without an incentive
  • Get on the phone! Imagine if the founder of your favourite clothing brand called you to ask how you like the new style. You’d tell your friends, wouldn’t you?
  • Run polls on social media or in newsletters
  • Host webinars that give customers an opportunity to engage with you directly
  • Go ‘live’ on social media platforms, giving customers a chance to ask genuine questions and get unscripted, honest responses

11. Delegate 80% Of Your Business So You Can Focus On The Most Important 20%

Rule #11 Delegate 80% Of Your Business So You Can Focus On The Most Important 20%

The age-old Pareto Principle (the 80-20 Rule) is as relevant today as it was when it first emerged in the 19th century.

Focus on the 20% of your business that delivers the majority of its results – freeing up time to innovate, build customer relationships, and focus on what you really love to do (heck, maybe even take a holiday).

Forget delegation being a chore or an extra cost; outsourced services are here to help you hone your attention on the most important aspects of your business.

What can you realistically outsource?

If you can outsource any (or all) of the above to a proven and trustworthy marketing agency, go for it.

Not only is this time-efficient, but it’s also cheaper than hiring multiple in-house experts too. Plus, it also allows you to work with the industry’s brightest minds and the millions of dollars worth of data and learnings under their belts. So don’t be scared to partner with an external agency!

We’ve seen firsthand what a difference utilising an agency makes, and strongly believe that businesses of all shapes and sizes should take advantage of these services in 2023.

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The Megaphone team celebrating awards

Want to grow your business in 2023 and beyond? Click the link below to get in touch.

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