1.) Google Analytics 4
The monumental change of 2023 is Google’s official transition to Google Analytics 4, sunsetting the Universal Analytics (UA) platform that most websites have used to track visitor traffic for a decade. UA properties will cease capturing new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023. If you’ve yet to set up a free Google Analytics 4 property for your website, do so now to begin capturing data and avoid the headaches of a last-minute transition.
Data captured in UA prior to July 1st will continue to be accessible in the platform for at least six months, according to Google. This historical data may be meaningful to your business for purposes of reference and benchmarking. If so, it’d be beneficial to export data as needed prior to it being permanently lost.
Read more on the Google Analytics transition.
2.) First-Party Data
Privacy concerns of consumers and data-protection regulations have heightened in recent years, especially among European and Californian markets. As a result, top platforms such as Google and Meta are eyeing a migration from the cookie-based data many businesses use to better target their advertising.
While these platforms will likely replace cookie-based data through a similar methodology, marketers are rightfully doubtful of the targeting precision of these alternatives. To position your business for success in coming years and reduce wasted ad spend, seek ways to capture first-party data that your business owns and is sheltered from the impacts of pending regulation.
Read more on first-party data.
3.) Marketing Automation
The adoption of marketing automation and its benefits further grew in 2022, a trend that will certainly continue moving forward. Google in particular has doubled down on automation capabilities for its advertisers, spanning from automated bid strategies to automatically generated assets and account recommendations.
Each business should consider the resources these platforms are encouraging, but must ultimately choose what’s best for their business. Where automation is leveraged, it must always be implemented with proper supervision and quality control.
Read more on digital advertising automation.
Video continues to dominate marketing. Social media platforms in particular have placed higher value on video above other content formats, helping brands to appear in more shoppers’ feeds and spurring engagement. Fueled by the rapid growth of TikTok in recent years, short-form video content will remain core content for brands for the foreseeable future.
Brands also continue to see results from publishing on video platforms such as YouTube. In an era of dwindling attention spans, longer-form content that historically lended itself to written blogs is performing well as video content. Video platforms, YouTube in particular, also supplement SEO efforts as published content can appear in Google’s results and these sites/apps often function as search engines themselves.
5.) Content Marketing
Brands face seemingly increased competition for shoppers’ attention each year. One strategy that’s proved effective in reaching potential customers is content marketing, which centers around developing and distributing content for target audiences. Such content is something generally beneficial to the consumer and something they’d likely seek out such as comparison videos, helpful articles (such as this one), and the like.
By creating and sharing this content, brands naturally attract shoppers while establishing themselves as subject matter experts. Consumers are continue to be wary of some forms of advertising so marketing without an inherent sales pitch better captures shoppers’ attention and builds brand awareness for when they reach a purchase point.
2023 marks a significant year in digital marketing. From Google’s analytics transition and presumed algorithm updates to an increasingly cookieless environment, businesses must be as nimble as ever to continue to build awareness among potential customers and increase their competitive market share. Brands will be well-positioned by staying up-to-date on trends as the year progresses and closely supervising their efforts to ultimately do what’s best for their business.