With 2023 just around the corner, we thought we’d ask some of our marketing team what they expect to see more of in 2023. From helpful content to a cookie-less web; if you thought 2022 was a year of change then be prepared for more of the same in 2023.
A bigger spotlight on organic, helpful content
Leah – Senior Marketing Executive
Whilst the past 18 months have already seen an increased focus on creating informative content, Google doubled down on this back in August 2022 with their “Helpful Content” algorithm update. This update created a demand to think more strategically about the real purpose of producing a piece of content. Google then released another “Helpful Content” update in December 2022, further cementing the fact that there’s only going to be an increased focus on this outlet in 2023.
What is helpful content?
Helpful content is content created to provide readers with valuable information that answers questions and breaks down complicated topics into more digestible segments.
How do businesses know if they’re creating helpful content?
In Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ algorithm update, they specified that they’d be prioritising “people-first content” meaning content should be written in a way that’s concise, informative and not overly repetitive for the sake of keyword stuffing. They also made a point to note that content should not be “written for search engines”.
Each piece of content should have a clear focus and shouldn’t try to cover lots of unrelated topics in the same article. Try to avoid writing about topics that don’t relate to your business just because you think the search volume would be better, and always write about topics that you can provide real guidance on.
What else do businesses need to know about producing helpful content in 2023?
In mid-December 2022, Google also updated their quality rater guidelines. You might already be familiar with the concept of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness), but now it’s E-E-A-T, with that extra ‘E’ standing for experience. Meaning Google will be placing a higher value on content written by somebody who has some degree of experience with the topic at hand.
So, not only should your business be focusing on creating content that clearly answers consumer questions or troubleshoots customer pain points, but it should also aim to back these pieces up with voices of experience. Case studies or opinions from authoritative team members will really strengthen content pieces and hopefully, give your website a good chance of outranking your competitors and reaching more people.
Personalisation and humanising of brands
Laura – Senior Marketing Executive
Personalisation has become a natural part of the shopping experience for both stores and customers.
We’ve seen many more brands jump on the loyalty scheme bandwagon over the past few years, meaning it’s possible to track what people are purchasing and then reward them with offers that are relevant. It feels much more personal for the customer, and means that marketing efforts for the brands are more likely to hit their target rather than ‘screaming into the void’.
If the popularity of Spotify Wrapped has taught us anything, it’s that people are expecting brands to know them on more of a personal level than ever before.
We’re all perfectly aware that this is our own data repackaged and presented back to us in a fun format, but we’re not sure if we really mind.
More and more brands are picking up on the personalisation-via-data trend and using it to both their and their customers’ advantages.
Loyalty schemes mean that brands can keep track of what customers are buying and then send them personalised offers based on their purchase history, therefore encouraging them to come back and buy from them again rather than heading to a competitor.
This all works to make the brands themselves feel more human, as they get to know who their consumers are as people.
In 2023, as well as building on loyalty schemes, it’s likely we’ll see more personality from the brands we as consumers are giving our data to. We’re already seeing it on social from the likes of Aldi – there’ll be even less corporate language, as people see the value in interacting with other humans rather than faceless brands. Whilst it may not be possible for all small businesses to create loyalty schemes or personalised offers for their customers, there are other things they can do to help their customers get to know the humans behind the brands.
Social media is the perfect place to start with this, as it allows business owners to give an insight into their company, how it’s run and the people making everything happen behind the scenes. In turn, you can encourage customers to interact with you and share what they love about your products, therefore allowing you to get to know who they are too.
The phasing out of cookies
Alex – Senior Marketing Executive
What is the cookie-less web?
Under the radar but now fast approaching, Google will be phasing out its acceptance of 3rd party cookies for its popular browser, Google Chrome, creating a more secure online experience for its users in 2023.
Since user data protection laws and customer privacy concerns (GDPR) have come to the forefront of digital marketing strategies, many platforms have started to prepare for the end of the core standard advertising practices concerning online tracking and user behaviour targeting.
How will this impact businesses?
Everything from your SEO to pay-per-click campaigns and website analytics will need to be updated to cater for first-party data instead – data your users have provided directly to you. Alongside this, the online tools you’ve had in place to analyse and optimise your third-party data (Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Ads to name a few) will become more trend based than before.
How can businesses prepare their websites for the cookie-less web?
To help ensure your online marketing is as seamless as possible for this update, we recommend you optimise your website, apps, and CMS to become more reliant on collecting first-party data, moving away from the standard third-party practices.
Updating your website to a first-party data approach will help to negate these upcoming changes. Implementing non-invasive online forms, chat functionality and lead magnets will help to ensure you have plenty of opportunities for lead capturing.
Once updated you will likely find the data you collect will be of a much higher quality than your previous third-party cookies, so there’s no need to be afraid of the planned changes.
Marketing automation to help lower cost per lead and increase marketing ROI
Brandon – Head of B2B Marketing
The UK State of Digital Marketing Report from LOCALiQ reported only 30% of SMBs across the UK use a form of marketing automation. In 2023, businesses will observe higher costs to generate leads from their marketing campaigns due to factors such as inflation becoming apparent in the digital marketing landscape, an increase in customers taking time to research the best product offers, and decreased ability to create personalised adverts with increased restrictions on data tracking and targeting of internet users with changes in technologies used by the likes of Apple and Facebook.
Marketing automation is when a business streamlines marketing activities, or leverages machine-learning, so steps taken to capture or nurture a lead can be prompted in real-time, with little or no human involvement. With its quick, adaptive abilities, marketing automation can exponentially increase the amount of leads that come into your sales funnel, conversions, and ultimately increase the return on your marketing investment with lower cost per lead (CPL).
Marketing automation can seem like a frightening topic to learn and implement for a business owner or marketer. Solutions from companies like Google, however, can make it easier. Google’s Responsive Search Ads are a great example of how a business can incorporate marketing automation into a digital marketing and paid search strategy.
In 2022, Google sunset expanded text ads and replaced it with responsive search ads. Expanded text ads were static ads and shown to anyone who searched for your business on Google with very little variation.
Responsive search ads allow Google to do the heavy lifting of creating and delivering more personalised text adverts to users searching for your product or service. When Google does this, it’s a form of marketing automation. With its machine learning and automation technology, Google could have the ability to create 1,000 variations of your paid search ad, whereas you may only be able to create 3 or 4 paid search ads yourself.
In 2023, I encourage more businesses to leverage solutions like Google’s Responsive Search Ads and others as an easier way to integrate marketing automation, help lower cost per lead (CPL), and increase overall marketing ROI.
Sales and marketing alignment
Nikki – Marketing Director
Aligned marketing and sales teams will outperform siloed functions in 2023 and beyond. Whichever way a business chooses to achieve this (whether strengthened by automation or simply by breaking down silos and barriers to communication), mobilising marketing and sales teams to work together towards shared objectives with open channels of communication will vastly improve business outcomes.
For many businesses, sales and SDR teams are the immediate touchpoint a customer experiences with a business. These teams have an unrivalled knowledge when it comes to understanding a business’s ideal customer profile, as well as the types of companies and industry verticals a business’s offering resonates with. These insights are a gold mine for marketing; they are exactly the kind of insights marketers need to ensure the investment of budget and resource goes into targeting the areas that will yield the biggest return.
On top of that, sales know what resonates when they pitch a business’s services, they have superior knowledge of what the most asked questions are; what people need to know and what can be improved with regards to the positioning of products and services. Their conversations will uncover pain points and motivations to buy, they will understand nuances around certain industry sectors and business types – all data and learnings to drive back into marketing and product teams.
Building on this intel and the data marketing hold on prospects’ interaction with a brand, marketers can improve the chances of sales conversion by equipping them with access to the best fit data and leads; extracting the right information in the qualifying process to ensure leads are a good fit for the business. Marketers can empower sales with the right type of content which not only addresses questions prospects pose, but credibly positions the business as an authority in their domain. And, with the addition of automation, the opportunity for marketers to improve sales efficiencies is limitless.
Want to delve deeper into our predicted 2023 marketing trends? Our on demand webinar 7 Digital Trends Businesses Need to Know in 2023 is available to watch now, and don’t forget to subscribe to the LOCALiQ monthly newsletter for the latest marketing updates.