January 11, 2023
By Backstage on Branded Content
Authenticity Counts: Three Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2023
Pandemic recovery continues to come with mixed feelings: no-going-back opportunities and attitudes we could hardly have imagined just a few years ago offset by labor market pressures and protracted economic uncertainty. Spikes in inflation and interest rates, anxieties about consumer spending, and ongoing demand for high-quality talent are sure to keep brand marketers feeling uneasy about how best to attack the year already underway.
Detailed 2023 trends lists in digital marketing and ad-making are surely dominating your inbox. We’re here to help compile and distill what we know, narrowing to focus on a few key areas of influence in the coming year. Rising to the top of all the lists we’re seeing are continued calls for prioritizing authenticity, building trust and connection with customers, and doubling-down on social commerce content showcasing user generated content creators and influencers to create brand ambassadors out of everyone.
1: Video content continues its reign
The growth of video content was a key 2022 trend and shows no signs of slowing. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok short-form video formats have exploded (accounting for 80% of all mobile data traffic) and have been cemented into expectations for brand storytelling.
“Short-form videos continue to dominate social media algorithms and keep users more engaged than other content—especially when they come across as authentic rather than produced. Prioritizing efficient video creation rather than perfection will help agencies stay on top of trends and publish content that doesn’t feel as if it’s coming from a brand.” –Gavin Baker, Baker Marketing Laboratory (Forbes)
2: Marketers continue to humanize their brands
Creating content that reflects brands values is the third most popular marketing trend right now. It ranks among the top five in best ROI and will only get more attention from brand purveyors this year.
Consumers don’t want formality, they want empathy, humor, and relatability. They want human-centered advertisements that reflect who they are and what they care about.
3: User Generated Content (UGC) creators and influencers still dominate
You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. Content creators and influencers showing off their latest purchases and encouraging others to get their own. And it’s working better than ever.
Social commerce has proven itself as cost-efficient and effective, and it will only continue to explode. McKinsey estimates social commerce will top $56 billion in the U.S. by the end of 2023 and reach $80 billion by 2025.
According to a HubSpot report on influencer marketing:
- More than a quarter of marketers use influencers.
- It offers the second highest ROI of any trend.
- 89% of marketers using it will keep or increase their investment in 2023.
- 33% of Gen Z has bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months.
R. Michael Brown’s MarCom View
Your brand must be in the media business, especially video. Today and the future is dominated by the public and organizations cranking our video to express themselves, to position their brand, and to grow engagement, traffic, leads, and sales. Everyone is now a video producer.
Get in the game!
If you need help, contact me! Over 25 years of experience helping brands win customers and increase sales.