Today’s business environment is constantly changing and being influenced by new technology, innovation, trends and consumer behaviour. Knowing what’s ahead for your small business is as important as ever, but how do you know if the changes you see in the world around you will actually impact your business?

To help you better understand what the future may hold for your small business, we have performed thorough research and found 8 digital marketing trends in 2023 for small business owners to think about.

  1. Social commerce continues: The trend continues for small businesses to grow, they need to go to where their customers are, meaning, if your customers are on social, (and we know that are) they want to shop on social, so allowing them to purchase within the social app rather than redirecting them to your website gives them a seamless customer experience. It also prompts them to stay longer on your online store.

  1. Customer service moving to social networks: Continuing with the theme of ‘seamless in app’ experiences. As social commerce becomes an increasingly important component of social platforms, utilizing social media platforms for customer support offers a direct communication channel for promptly addressing potential concerns. Best practice in 2023 will be to create dedicated in-app support to resolve customer concerns or questions real time.

  1. Social authenticity: The authenticity of social media platforms will be key in 2023. The authenticity of content, real-time updates, and posts consumers can connect with are increasingly important in a world where heavily altered photos, videos and consumer cynicism exists.

  1. Visual commerce and short videos: Nowadays, when people are looking for answers, they tend to seek out videos more, rather than text. Consumers are increasingly wanting to explore products in-depth and static photos of products aren’t enough anymore. The popularity of short-video formats like TikTok and Instagram Reels has exploded in recent years. And it’s not just with consumers—brands are getting in on the action, too. The good news is it will become easier for businesses to plan and post in 2023 with short video formats making their way into social media management tools and schedulers.

  1. Creator and influencer marketing is here to stay: Have you heard the catchphrase of 2022? –  “I saw it on TikTok…” I hear it everyday from my teenage daughter! It is predicted that creators and influencers are poised to become even bigger economic drivers. Pairing video content with influencers and generating engagement with comments is a recipe for increasing revenue and reach in 2023. For small businesses when I talk of ‘influencers’ I am referring to nano and micro influencers – they are more open to collaborations and usually have higher engaged audiences.

  1. Accepting the shift to first-party data: First-party data is data your business has gathered directly from your audience, including customer data via your online store, site visitors, or social media followers. Although the loss of third-party cookies continues to be pushed back, it is inevitable. So for small businesses this means that they should prioritize first-party data strategies right now, an example of this is building your email database. 

  1. Focus on foundations: While it is easy to get distracted by the trends and developments in the digital environment, such as the metaverse, NFTs, AI and Web 3.0, the reality of digital marketing is that the foundations of your digital marketing activities still make up the majority of revenue for most small businesses. The eight eCommerce Growth foundations should be in place before you turn your focus to the emerging technologies, trends and tactics.

  1. Business values, the environment and sustainability: The global population is increasingly aware of environmental issues and the need for sustainable practices. Consumers are now focussed on supporting businesses that prioritize environmental concerns and have aligned values. Companies that are mindful of their environmental impact are expected to outperform the competition in terms of customer interest and business growth in 2023 and beyond.

To thrive in 2023, small businesses need to begin planning now. Those that understand not only their market and audience, but upcoming trends like these 8 digital marketing trends will be best poised to capitalize on opportunities over the medium and long term.